It doesn't matter which phone a Sony QX10 or QX100 owner uses, these cameras are better. The drawback is that the user experience is nothing short of awkward. One particular issue is slow NFC connection times, making it challenging to capture spontaneous shots (and aren't those the best kind?). Fortunately, this is the type of problem an update can address. Firmware version 3.0 is now available for both models, doing precisely that.
The Galaxy S5 is on its way. AT&T, US Cellular, and T-Mobile all have pre-orders available, so people can call dibs without waiting for the device's April 11th launch date to arrive. Now as Samsung prepares the phone for its simultaneous launch in over one hundred countries, the first official firmware has made its way online. This one is for the Chinese variant of the SM-G9009D, and it's available for download over at SamMobile.
It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.
The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident.
Another month, another update for Google Glass. The OTA started rolling out yesterday, offering a safe way to experience a nice set of improvements to the Glass experience. Still, advanced users need to flash updates for one reason or another, and they will be pleased to know that the XE8 system image is now available for download. The ZIP file is a healthy 348MB in size, which is roughly the same as last month's.
The PadFone is a versatile piece of tech, a smartphone that plugs into a tablet that plugs into a dock. It's an interesting concept, and if you don't use it that often, the three pieces together could probably get you through more than a couple of days on a single charge. Now ASUS is providing a firmware update to the original PadFone, bringing about stability improvements along with stronger WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
Google is continuing to make its monthly Glass updates available in a timely manner. The newest version of the wearable firmware, XE7, is now ready to download on the Google Glass Developers page, right alongside the two older downloads. It's a beefy 346MB package, delivered in the usual ZIP format.
XE7 adds a ton of new features for Glass testers and developers, including more varied "ok glass" commands and contextual actions, improvements to search functionality, an updated home screen, and better contact management and sharing.
The launch of the world's most hyped Android-powered mini console might have been something of a dud, but at least the creators are keeping up the support. The first major update after Ouya's release includes some substantial improvements to the app/game store, most notably PIN security for purchases (to make sure those meddling kids don't empty Mommy and Daddy's checking account) and support for pre-paid gift cards. Card totals can now be applied towards new games or in-app purchases.
Sony wants to make sure that you remember they've got a smartwatch, what with all these Pebbles, Agents, and every other Johnny-come-lately crowding the market. They may have found the perfect vector for getting their somewhat aged Bluetooth watch back in the spotlight, at least among die-hard Android power users: custom ROMs. Sony is now officially condoning hacks and modifications to the SmartWatch, as detailed on their Developer World blog.
Remember when Samsung promised to investigate the possibility of freeing up storage space on the software-heavy Galaxy S4? It turns out that's easier said than done. Case in point: the latest software update for the international Snapdragon-powered GT-i9505 (I9505XXUBMEA), which SamMobile spotted being sent to at least some GS4 owners in Germany. The updated firmware clears up 80MB of space, which is nice, but doesn't really put a dent in the nearly 7GB of system files.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.