Minus a couple of hiccups, Samsung is reliably updating its later models to the last version of Jelly Bean. Sprint's branded version of the Galaxy Note II is the latest phone to get the Android 4.3 magic, complete with updated compatibility with Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Gotta sell those $300 add-ons, eh Sprint?
Samsung is following its release schedule almost to the letter. In addition to Android 4.3 goodies and Gear compatibility, this particular update (L900VPAMK4) adds HD Voice enhancements, Samsung KNOW compatibility, and a few visual touches to bring the Note II more in line with UI elements found on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Read More
The Galaxy Note II came out over a year ago rocking Android 4.1.1. That was great at the time, but now that a giant KitKat statue is standing up in front of the Googleplex, it's time to move things along. Samsung never bothered with bringing 4.2.2 to the Note 2, but customers will likely forgive them now that 4.3 is rolling out to devices across the globe. It's moving in phases, though, so for the time being the only models to start receiving the update have been the GT-N7100 and the GT-N7105. Read More
Update: Samsung has confirmed that it meant 800k shipments – not sales. The confusion might have resulted from Samsung's claim that the Gear is the best selling smart watch, which might still be true. We don't know how many have actually been sold, or if that rumored 50k sales number from last week is accurate.
Samsung's foray into the nascent smart watch market has not been as much of a failure as some recent reports would have you believe. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
The Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S4 has been making the rounds lately, already popping up for Verizon and Sprint. Now it's set to make another appearance, not on AT&T or T-Mobile, but on US Cellular. The carrier that wasn't large enough to appear on Samsung's leaked accelerated Android 4.3 update plan now has a changelog up detailing what users can expect from software version R970VXUAMJA. Read More
There was an unusually specific leak from Samsung last month, showing a relatively accelerated schedule for updates on the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II on all four major American carriers. That isn't much comfort for those customers on US Cellular, since the #5 carrier wasn't quite important enough to be included in the leak. But now there's a new leak in town, helpfully provided by an anonymous tipster, showing that the US Cellular Galaxy S4 will be updated on Friday the 8th. Read More
Verizon got it first (for once), but now it's time for Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Sprint to get their Android 4.3 update on. The over-the-air download should be disseminating today, though we've yet to see confirmation from Sprint itself. Assuming that it is indeed going out, the update comes right on schedule, according to a leaked Samsung document.
In addition to the standard Android 4.3 features, the OTA download (L720VPUAMJA) delivers compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's Knox encryption system. Read More
Update 10/28/13 10:30pm PT: The update is rolling out now (thanks, bdh and ohbuckeyeman!):
Samsung has added details about the upcoming I545VRUEMJ7 software update that will, among other things, make the device compatible with the Galaxy Gear. That means anyone who ran out and purchased the watch before discovering that it was only compatible with the Note 3 can now breathe a bit easier (I'm sure at least one person did that, right?). Read More
By all accounts, the Galaxy Gear isn't doing spectacularly well. Samsung is still busy adding support for its smart watch to devices other than the Note 3, and the device itself is not without its foibles. Still, your choices are limited when it comes to smart watches, so you might as well save 20 bucks.
The Galaxy Gear has a 1.63-inch AMOLED screen with support for catching your Android notifications and telling you what's up (sometimes) without looking at the phone. Read More