All the talk about Android L this week overshadows the unfortunate fact that the previous release is still on less than 15% of Android devices. This weekend US Cellular is helping in a small way, releasing KitKat to two of its Samsung phones. The US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega (6.3) are both being updated to KitKat, so those with the applicable hardware should keep an eye out for the over-the-air alert.
A day after beginning its rollout of an over-the-air software update for the Galaxy S5 that brings Wi-Fi calling to the device, Sprint is pushing out updates to two other Galaxy devices. The S4 Mini and Mega are both due to receive Android 4.4.2 starting today. The Mini's version number is L520VPUBNE3, and the update comes on the same day as the Verizon variant's. Meanwhile, the Mega is getting treated to L600VPUANE4.
Samsung Galaxy Mega owners have probably felt a little bit ignored while they've watched one Samsung phone after another getting updates. After all, they only made it to Android 4.2.2 at the end of November, a month after KitKat was announced. They can finally say that they're running the latest version of Android (if we pretend that 4.4.3 didn't just come out). Starting today, an update to Android 4.4.2 will begin rolling out to the Galaxy Mega on AT&T.
The Galaxy S4 Mini and Mega may typically take a backseat to the Galaxy S4, but today is their turn to bask in the limelight. Sprint is now rolling out OTA updates to both devices enabling Galaxy Gear support along with WiFi calling. The former is already available for the Galaxy S4, but the latter functionality is brand spanking new. This update is rolling out right on schedule.
The Galaxy S4 Mini's update is version JDQ39.L520VPUANA7.
T-Mobile has had WiFi calling for a number of years, but now Sprint is about to get into the game. Rumors began circulating early this year, and now we have the details on the launch, which is happening tomorrow. An OTA update (scheduled for 2/21 as well) for the Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega will enable WiFi calling on those devices, but other phones will come later.
When Samsung introduced its gigantic yet frugal Galaxy Mega line, I had a feeling that it would be a hit with smaller and more budget-conscious carriers. Lo and behold, Metro PCS is the latest US carrier to get a branded version of the ginormous Galaxy Mega 6.3, starting on November 25th. AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular have already released the phone. After a $100 instant rebate, the phone costs $399 on a MetroPCS contract-free plan.
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.
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).
Sprint is getting some significant updates to its smartphone lineup today: two high-end phones from LG and two mid-range phones from Samsung, in a variety of sizes from petite to freakin' huge, man. The Nexus 5 and G2 from LG, as well as the Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega (6.3) from Samsung, are all available on the online store now. They should be in most retail stores soon (with a possible exception in the midwest and southeast), though the Nexus 5 will probably be scarce as usual.
Samsung makes a lot of phones, and that means it has a lot of open source packages to post. Today it's taking the time to drop the kernel source for two Galaxy S4 variants after the Android 4.3 update, as well as the code from the AT&T Galaxy Mega giganto-phone.