20
Dec
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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.

20
Dec
391674-metropcs-galaxy-s-4

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

galaxy_s4_metropcs_4.3_update

If you're curious what OS changes Android 4.3 brought with it, you can check out our overview.

19
Dec
google_play_books

Last week, Google rolled out a huge update to Google Play Books that included support for uploading PDF and EPUB files. When the latest update, version 3.1.23, began rolling out, we tested it and noticed that PDF uploading was removed. A quick look at the Play Store's description also shows clearly that it was taken out.

play_books_whatsnew

Additionally, a comparison of the 3.1.17 and 3.1.23 APKs revealed that the following line of code was removed:

<data android:host="*" android:mimeType="*/*" android:pathPattern=".*\\.pdf" android:scheme="file"/>

If you want to upload PDFs into your library, you can still do so via the web interface.

18
Dec
cricket_gs3

Today is a good day to be a Galaxy S III owner. Before the Verizon variant's update even had time to get cold, Cricket's is now fresh out of the oven as well. The OTA brings along the changes from Android 4.2 and 4.3, plus Galaxy Gear support and a lot of UI changes which serve to make the software look and function more like the Galaxy S4's stock ROM.

cricket_gs3_1 cricket_gs3_2 cricket_gs3_3

With this update, all US-based carrier variants of the Galaxy S III have received Android 4.3.

18
Dec
bootloader_unlock

In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.

18
Dec
google_dialer_icon

Of all the announced new features of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4/KitKat, one of the cooler ones was a new dialer colloquially known as the "KitKat dialer." It features a revamped UI and includes the ability to search for businesses, contacts, etc. right from inside the dialer. It also features Internet-based caller ID. The name "KitKat dialer," however, is not entirely accurate.

Background

Google Dialer (its official name) is not technically part of KitKat because it is not included in AOSP.

17
Dec
htc_one_vzw

If you own a Verizon HTC One, it's time to start tapping that "check for updates" button. Following Friday's announcement by HTC of an Android 4.3 firmware update, Verizon has updated its support PDF for the device with a full changelog. The new firmware version is 2.10.605.1. In addition to the obvious OS upgrade, there seems to be a fair number of bug fixes including:

  • Increased charging speed when using Mophie Juicepack power station
  • Corrected faint ringing noise from earpiece
  • Play purchased ringtones
  • Connection error fixed in the HTC Watch application
  • View the correct date using the all day calendar reminder
  • Conjunction words are better recognized on device keyboard
  • Backup Assistant performance

Update: Looks like it's rolling out now.

16
Dec
image

Following the HTC One GPE and Galaxy S4 GPE updates that rolled out over the weekend, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE is now receiving its first OTA. Rumblings about the update started as early as Friday, but we decided to wait until we had the OTA zip link. The new firmware version is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H, which brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.

gpad_kot49h

There is no official changelog with the update, so it's currently unknown what, if any, device-specific bugs may have been fixed.

16
Dec
image

As soon as the first orders for the Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition began arriving at users' doors, the bug reports started rolling in. While this always happen with a new handset, two of the issues quickly emerged as critical. To be more specific:

  • Attempting to access the "Security" area under the phone settings results in a crash of the settings app. This is prohibiting users from doing things like changing the screen lock, enabling installation of non-market apps, and enabling data encryption.
14
Dec
galaxy_s4_gpe

The Google Play Edition update train keeps rolling along. Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One GPE update, Galaxy S4 GPE owners are reporting a new OTA update as well. This update was alluded to yesterday, when Samsung released a new set of kernel source and framework files for the device. The firmware version is I9505GUEUCML4, which is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H. This brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.

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