Fire OS is a solid operating system if all you need is the ability to consume Amazon content in various forms, but it just doesn't cut it for the nerdier stuff we pickier types get off on. In some ways, it's a shame, because Amazon puts out solid hardware at affordable prices. On the other hand, there's the option to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, and flash something more exciting onto the tablet.
While no US carrier-branded variants of the Galaxy S4 have received an official update to Android 4.4/KitKat yet, Samsung has dropped the KitKat kernel source for the Sprint's model. While that by itself is really only of interest to developers, its implications will matter to a much larger audience. Generally, Samsung does not release kernel source for builds that aren't official. Historically, once source code is made available, official OTA updates follow in reasonably short order.
Sony announced the Xperia Z1s at CES earlier this month, and it quickly showed up on T-Mobile's website. So Americans looking to just own the handset have had a week to order one online from the carrier, while those wanting a deeper relationship with the device - to love it for what's on the inside, rather than the outside - have had to wait a little longer. But now their opportunity has come as well.
As the latest update to Android looms ever closer, we've got our eyes peeled for anything that may hint at what's to come. While most of that information comes to us through leaks or hidden surprises, sometimes it will try to hide in plain sight. Over the last few weeks, an increasing number of code commits have been made to the android-3.10 branch of the kernel/common project. As you might be able to guess from the names, kernel/common is the codebase from which every device kernel is eventually derived.
Back in late August, Samsung announced a new version of the Galaxy Tab 3 specifically for kids. Dubbed Galaxy Tab 3 Kids (bet you didn't see that name coming), it's a festive-looking little gizmo with a kid-friendly form factor and easy-to-understand UI. And now you can download the kernel source code.
Normally, we would discuss how the source code allows developers to tweak the device's kernel, opening up a new world of possibilities for the device.
Sony's Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami") made a bit of a splash at IFA in Berlin a few weeks ago. The phone's focus on high-quality imaging via a 20.1 megapixel camera, combined with the undeniably slick high-end industrial design that Sony has been putting out for the last few years, has already earned it a few fans. As usual, Sony has posted the required open-source kernel files for the new device to their developer website, this time before the hardware is actually available for purchase.
Say what you will about Samsung (and we do - it's pretty much our job) but they don't mess around when it comes to timely source code availability. The company just posted the kernel source code for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, even though it hasn't been released yet. In fact, to our knowledge Samsung hasn't said where or when you can expect to see the shiny new tablet, or for how much.
- U.S.: Sprint and T-Mobile
- Asia: Taiwan and Hong Kong (CHT)
- Europe: unbranded European version, Italy (TIM), France (Bouygues), and Germany (O2).
Of course, the Canadian and Developer Edition had their own releases earlier this month.
Among US carriers, only AT&T and Cincinnati Bell are still unaccounted for, but likely to make their own appearances shortly.
If you've been feeling sad because of the lack of posts about source code lately, today should be making up for it. This morning, Samsung released the first bath of kernel source for the Galaxy S4, and just a bit ago HTC offered up the code for five different variants of the One.
Looks like Samsung wasn't quite finished after the S4 code this morning, however, as the company just pushed the T-Mobile Galaxy S III LTE's code to its download server.
It's One launch day! You can get HTC's newest flagship on Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile here in the US, as well as Telus, Bell, Brightpoint, and Rogers in Canada. To go along with the official launch of the device, HTC has also decided to throw the development community a bone by releasing the kernel source code for five variants of the device: Developer Edition, Brightpoint, TELUS, Bell, and Rogers.
Notice anything particular about that list?