As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
A bit of new information out of @evleaks points to possible specs for the still unannounced Sony Xperia Tablet Z2. The first one was a big departure for Sony's past tablet designs, but it was also a good device. If the leaked specs are to be believed, the sequel is going to be a lot like the first one – a little too much like it, perhaps.
Minigore 2 arrived on Android a little over a week ago, but it was gone just days later after its ad practices were called into question. The game was basically requiring players to tap on ads to bypass mandatory wait times. It was a minor inconvenience, but a big fat violation of Google's ad policies. After a quick tweak, the game is back in Google Play under a new listing.
Google has pushed out an update to the Google Search app, which now means there's also an update to the Google Experience Launcher. We've got the APK for you to install below, and this is looking like a substantial update – it looks like the new (and probably official) name for the Google Experience Launcher is Google Now Launcher.
Like most OEMs, HTC likes to lock down the devices it sells to the general public, but maybe you like a little more freedom. That means an exploit is required to get s-off status. The new Firewater S-Off tool can manage that for any (or at least very nearly any) HTC device, even newer HTC One phones.
The tool comes courtesy of developers beaups and fuses, and it's completely free for personal use.
Now that a KitKat build for the Galaxy Note 3 has leaked, people have started reporting new things that they're finding. Though most of the major features of Google's latest Android version are present, the "tap and pay" option is conspicuously absent. Further, it appears host card emulation has been disabled altogether. This is curious given the fact that Isis Mobile Wallet, which is partially backed by AT&T and nowhere to be found on the official Android 4.3 builds, is preinstalled on the leaked firmware.
Today, famed leaker @evleaks has given us what he believes is a preview of the new Nexus 10, made by Samsung. In case you haven't been following the enormous amount of drama surrounding this; Asus, Samsung, and even LG, have all been suggested as possible manufacturers for Google's next-generation 10-inch tablet. Going into today, the Asus rumors seemed to have the most credibility, so if this leak holds true, the emergence of Samsung as the top dog would definitely be a plot twist for some folks.
Schemer, Google's niche quasi-social network for sharing all the things you want to do in life, is being shut down. Since launching over 2 years ago, it has struggled to find a user base, new features were few and far between, and the app itself was only updated a handful of times. For those unaware of how Schemer works, the idea is pretty simple. You use it to list things you want to do, and mingle with other people who either want to do the same thing or have already done it.
We’re coming up on the 6-month anniversary of the shutdown of Google Reader; and while some people might still be a little jaded about losing the beloved service, most have moved on to one of the many alternatives that popped up to replace it. Several great feed aggregators exist, many offering innovative improvements over Reader, but their mobile apps may not fit your needs. The developer of gReader, noinnion, intends to solve that with the release of News+, a feature-rich and very customizable news reader app with support for several services.
Of all the US Galaxy S4 variants, it's a safe bet that the Metro PCS version is one of the lesser-owned models. That said, if you count yourself among the ranks of SGH-M919N owners, your Android 4.3 update is ready. The official changelog doesn't look any different from the comparable OTAs for the other variants, but it's always nice to get a big firmware update like this nonetheless.
- OS upgrade to Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
- Samsung Galaxy Gear™ Compatibility - for detailed information about Galaxy Gear features, please visit the Galaxy Gear page
- Samsung Knox Compatibility
If you're curious what OS changes Android 4.3 brought with it, you can check out our overview.