If you thought the Galaxy Gear was priced poorly, wait till you see Qualcomm's in-house alternative. In a press release issued Monday morning the monster chip supplier announced that its unique Toq smartwatch would be available starting December 2nd, AKA "Cyber Monday," from toq.qualcomm.com. The price? A wallet-straining $349.99, fifty bucks more than Samsung's watch and about twice the price of more budget-focused alternatives like Pebble. The Toq will only be sold in the US.
Earlier today, we covered some interesting updates coming to Sprint's Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 Mini, and HTC One Max, all concerning LTE bands and "LTE UI Enhancements." These changes were of course related to Sprint's fledgling "Spark" tri-band LTE network which, according to Sprint, could potentially reach speeds of between 50 and 60 Mbps.
The network is only ready for a few cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Tampa), but if you own a compatible device you'll get to enjoy Sprint's LTE UI Enhancement anyway.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a pretty capable tablet, though it does have several drawbacks. While the painfully low 1280 by 800 display can't be helped, its default software configuration is far less immutable. If TouchWiz just grinds your gears, you will be happy to know that CyanogenMod nightlies are now available for both the 3G (GT-N5100) and WiFi-only (GT-N5110) versions of the tablet. Sure, anyone who installs them now may be sacrificing stability and other functionality, but that's the price some are willing to pay for stock Android and quicker access to updates.
The Galaxy Gear is twice the price of the Pebble and pricier than both iterations of Sony's SmartWatch, but it isn't necessarily a more complete product. A particular sore spot is how the watch handles notifications, limiting not only which apps can send them, but not actually displaying the contents for most apps. The latest update to the Galaxy Gear Manager app alleviates this somewhat. Now users can pick which apps send messages to the Gear and even read the contents on the watch itself.
Sprint wants everyone to know about its tri-band LTE network that could potentially reach speeds of 50 - 60 Mbps, so it gave it a catchy name - Sprint Spark. Once the rollout is complete, this could be the largest LTE network in the US in terms of spectrum usage. But that's the future. Right now, the network is available in only a handful of cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Tampa), and even fewer phones are currently set to tap into it (okay, just one).
The day you've been waiting for is here, "phablet" fans... assuming you're a prospective or current Sprint customer and you haven't already bought a Galaxy Note 3. The Now Network has launched its carrier-branded version of the HTC One Max (or "One max" if you're a brand manager) and it's currently available on the official online store for $149.99.
That's $149.99, if and only if you meet a few qualifications.
The Adobe Reader Android app has received another update, but you're going to have to hand over some money to take advantage of all of its new features. Adobe has rolled out new "Adobe PDF Pack" and "ExportPDF," which users can purchase from within the app. The former let users convert documents into PDFs, while the latter does just the opposite.
Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.
ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then.
So far Samsung has been right on the money when it comes to the much-anticipated Android 4.3 update for its major phones. Today customers with the AT&T model of the Galaxy S4 are getting the last version of Jelly Bean, according to this (very long) thread on XDA. It looks like the update file started going out to customers a few hours after midnight, so technically Samsung is a day late - then again, the schedule was leaked, so it's hard to hold that against them.