Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.
Here in the US, Amazon offers video streaming bundled up with its annual Prime subscriptions, so anyone who wants discounted shipping gets to watch some videos on the side seemingly for free. Now the company is starting to replicate this setup in the UK and Germany as well. Today Amazon announced that it is merging Amazon Prime and LoveFilm Instant in both of these countries starting on February 26th, combining the speedy delivery and substantial Kindle library of the former with the 15,000-strong collection of TV shows and movies of the latter.
Motorola's Moto X is making the trip to Europe, and while it isn't packing everything into its suitcase in time for launch (such as Moto Maker), it will still be the same phone we already know and love when it hits store shelves in France, Germany, and the UK come February 1st. The device will sell for £380 or 399 euros unlocked with British customers also able to snag one up on contract starting at £25 a month.
Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The recently refreshed ASUS Nexus 7 is now available directly from Google's Play Store in Europe in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and UK as well as in Asia in Japan. Both 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi-only variants are being offered - we're still counting down days till the launch of the LTE version.
The 5 new countries join the 2 existing ones (U.S. and Canada) for a grand total of 7.
It's been nine months to the day since Android 4.2 was announced, and just under four months since Samsung's first non-Nexus 4.2 devices started hitting the shelves. But apparently it takes at least that long to make sure that every non-touch gesture and gyroscopic scrolling function works with a new version of Android. Case in point: both the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi (GT-P3110) in the UK and the Galaxy Note 8.0 3G (GT-N5100) in Germany are just now getting updated, according to SamMobile.
It took Google how many years to start selling Google Play gift cards? When you look at it that way, it's not so bad gift cards are just now being expanded to Germany and France. Previously, the only supported regions were the USA and UK.
Both new countries will have cards in €5, €25, and €50 denominations. The process to redeem cards is the same as it is in the US and UK – just go to play.google.com/redeem and put in the code.
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.
Rumblings of delays aside, we've been waiting to hear more concrete information about the arrival of the new HTC One. Well, today we got something closer to solid facts. According to the company itself, the new flagship phone should launch in the UK, Germany, and Taiwan next week. Dates may vary by local carriers, but it won't be too long of a wait.
As for the rest of the world, more countries in Europe, as well as the North American and Asia-Pacific regions should see the handset land 'before the end of April.' No specific dates are given, nor any carrier information, but we already know that in the U.S.
If there's one thing we all know about the latest entries in the Nexus line, it's that they're hard to get a hold of. No one is quite sure why the launch turned out to be a total mess, but all eyes have been on the Play Store since October, waiting to catch the devices in an ephemeral moment of availability.