09
Sep
6

As with every iPhone release over the past four years, your average Android fan is probably summing up today's announcement with a big "so what?" In truth, it's an understandable, if predictable, reaction: Apple has quickly gained a reputation in the smartphone community for turning last year's (or the year before that) features into this year's thing you totally won't believe.

As a lumbering multi-hundred-billion dollar consumer product giant, though, Apple has lost the luxury of disrupting a market it took into the mainstream, and has in recent years moved more and more to the conservative side of the smartphone market, calibrating and refining on a basic hardware premise we've all been familiar with since the iPhone 4: one phone, one size, three storage options, and a dogged refusal to give in to market "trends" it didn't agree with.

09
Sep
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Autodesk's mobile offerings for Android are almost always impressive or useful, often both. From SketchBook to Pixlr Express, the company has consistently provided Android users with great apps. Today, there's a new entry in Autodesk's catalog that lives up to that reputation - 123D Catch. In a nutshell, the app lets users create 3D models of real objects using just their smartphone camera.

To get started, the app suggests capturing 20-40 photos all around your chosen object, most at even level with the object, plus some from a top angle.

09
Sep
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It looks like Samsung is sending the latest public version of Android 'round the houses. Yesterday the Galaxy Note 3 on Sprint got upgraded to Android 4.4.4, and according to a few end users, Verizon's flavor of the Galaxy S5 is getting it today. A long thread on the popular XDA Developers forum began a few hours ago, with multiple Galaxy S5 owners reporting the download coming in. One user posted the download link, a hefty 346MB file.

09
Sep
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Update #1 9/6/14: It looks like at least some of those who've run out to buy the Moto 360 at retail are already seeing the KGW42N update. Charge your watch, set it up, and you should get the alert.

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Thanks to reader Justin for the tip and the photo!

Update #2 9/9/14: The G Watch is now receiving 4.4W.1 as well, though the build number varies slightly (KGW42Q):

wm_IMG_20140909_183037

Thanks, Devin Arthur.

09
Sep
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The black leather Moto 360 is currently up on the U.S. Play Store, though it probably won't last long. After going out of stock pretty much immediately at launch several days ago, it is already listed as shipping September 22nd, a full two weeks from now. The gray leather variant remains out of stock.

Update #1 9/8/14 1:55pm PT: Aaaand it's gone.

Update #2 9/9/14 1:15pm PT: Back in stock.

09
Sep
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Amid a flurry of news from a certain (ahem) other watch today, it looks like the powers that be at Google have matched Best Buy's price for the LG G Watch. The Android Wear device is now being sold for $179.99 in the United States, a $50 reduction over the initial price. According to promotional text on the Play Store, this reduced price will only last until September 23rd.

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At the moment the G Watch is in stock and leaving the warehouse in 1-2 days.

09
Sep
teardown

Update: Motorola responded to Ars Technica's post on the same iFixit story to explain the battery discrepancy. According to the statement, 300mAh is a "minumum rating" for the battery manufactured by Pro-Power, while 320mAh is a more typical rating. (Batteries are much less precise in terms of capacity than, say, a RAM DIMM.) The mix-up reportedly stems from the fact that they simply didn't have room for both a minimum and maximum rating on the tiny label, and erred on the side of caution - after all, end users aren't really supposed to see it.

09
Sep
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Sony has announced that the latest version of KitKat is now rolling out to many of its Xperia products with Z in their name. That includes the Z, the ZL, the ZR, and the Tablet Z. For the confused, no, I'm not talking about smearing chocolate all over a Wii U controller. Sony just really likes the final letter of the alphabet, and it's now delivering Android 4.4.4 to four devices all bearing Z in their names.

09
Sep
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It's been over two months since Google gave Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 owners a chance to tinker with the upcoming L release of Android, in what has been the biggest beta test in Android's short history. With all of us waiting on a release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014, it's gratifying to know that the powers that be are hard at work getting Android L ready for primetime.

09
Sep
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T-Mobile's HTC One M7 is set to receive an over-the-air update tomorrow, September 10th, that will deliver Android 4.4.3 along with Wi-Fi calling enhancements. HTC's Mo Versi, the company's Vice President of Product Management, took to Twitter this weekend to deliver the news in his usual fashion.

T-Mobile has long supported Wi-Fi calling, a feature that lets users circumvent a poor mobile connection by tapping into their home network instead.

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