The AT&T crapware on the carrier's LTE-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is playing a game of musical chairs today. An OTA update rolling out to the device moves around some icons and basically just does weird stuff, but leaves it on Android 4.4.2.
Update: We've heard from a source close to Digital Turbine that the software is not supposed to re-install bloat apps after they have been removed by the user. Once they're gone, they should stay gone, barring a factory reset of the phone (at which point they will reinstall, but again, only once). Digital Turbine was also not able to reproduce this behavior in its own testing on the T-Mobile Note 4, so it's not clear what went wrong for this particular user.
Now that the Nexus 6 has launched on three of the five announced carriers, it's time to do a little comparison. Nexus hardcores like their device pure, unlocked, and free of all carrier intervention and bloatware. The problem is, Google Play and Motorola both only sell the device at full price, which starts at $649 USD for a 32 GB model. A lot of people will no-doubt find it difficult to come up with that kind of cash all at once.
Buried in the press release announcing the Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint was the first official mention of Sprint App Pass. It's a subscription-based app store the carrier plans to pre-load on all its Android devices, and we have the full scoop on features thanks to some information we've been given. The gist of it is that you pay a monthly fee and get access to all the stuff offered by App Pass, but only for as long as you keep paying.
Verizon is just not letting up on the updates. Which is kind of a crazy thing to say about the carrier. Today's is an oddity, though, as the Droid Charge will be getting a mild upgrade. Yes, really. It's not a huge change, though. Unfortunately, it's not Jelly Bean (or even Ice Cream Sandwich), but it does bring a couple of the features from those platforms, including face unlock and a photo editor.
I know, I know. 4.0.2 sounds a lot like Android 4.0, but it isn't. It's actually Gingerbread 2.3.4, and Verizon Xperia Play owners who wish to rock out like it's May 2011 need only mash the update button.
The good news (in addition to the version bump) is that this update will let you take pictures with the right trigger (how did they not think of that earlier?), enable 720p video with continuous autofocus, and fix those crazy bugs like charging forcing landscape mode.
While tonight's event positively overloaded us with details about Ice Cream Sandwich, there were some features that didn't make the cut - Android engineer Dan Morrill has spilled the details on even more awesome features we can expect from the latest version of Android, posting a brief message about them on Google+. Unfortunately we don't have screen shots of these features, but we can discuss what information we do have, feature-by-feature.
So, by now you've heard of the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime/Droid Prime/Samsung Prime... or whatever we're calling it these days. If you haven't, well... you should find a rock with internet access to live under. Details are few and far between, but thanks to the guys over at MyDroidWorld, we have a full listing of the installed system apps to gander at while we wait for something better to come along.
It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).
OK, DROID BIONIC owners - I think it's finally safe-ish (well, as safe as it can be for the moment) to start tinkering with your phone a little. There's enough information out there now to reliably root, backup, and de-bloat your phone - with the ability to unbrick if you screw something up.