The Galaxy Note 3 has already been getting its fair share of KitKat, but now it's the Galaxy S4's turn. The Exynos 5 Octa version of the international Galaxy S4 is getting Android 4.4.2 via an OTA update. If you have a GT-i9500, don't go checking for updates just yet – this rollout is starting in Russia.
Samsung has become that one friend you've got who suddenly decides he wears a fedora. No matter how many times you tell him that he looks less like a debonair time traveler than a guy who raided his grandfather's closet, he just won't take it off. Russian blog Hi-Tech Mail spotted the new Galaxy S4 'Black Edition' on Samsung's Russian page this morning, and a similar variant of the S4 Mini was later found.
The 2014 Winter Olympics will take place next month in Sochi, Russia, and Samsung has just released an app into the Play Store for keeping up with all the hoopla. With bright colors and a clean interface, the Sochi 2014 WOW (Wireless Olympics Works) app might just be your best means of avoiding the excessive banter and lengthy commercials that come with trying to navigate the Olympics on television without a guide.
The YotaPhone was one of the only genuinely exciting mobile products to come out of CES 2013 nearly a year ago. If you've been itching to get your hands on this interesting combo device, you can lay down your money right now... so long as you're laying down Rubles. YotaPhone just started online sales of its LCD/E-Paper combo phone in Russia. Our Russian readers can pick one up for 19,990 Rubles (about $600 USD).
Update: It looks like Telstra has had carrier billing for a couple of months, and Google is just now getting around to updating the support page. Thanks to Adam Ricket (@onlineadr) for the heads-up.
Good news, Aussies: your mega-carrier Telstra is now in Google's good graces when it comes to billing for apps and other purchases on the Play Store. Just select carrier billing during the checkout process, and the purchase price will be added to your next phone bill instead of your credit or debit card.
So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page.
While the Nexus 4 may be the LG handset getting everyone's attention, the company does have other market segments to think about. The L SeriesII (so that's what happened to the other letter from the Optimus G) fills that need with a trio of handsets that will debut with the Optimus L7II in Russia next week. The phone comes with a 4.3" 800x480 IPS display, dual-core Qualcomm processor and Jelly Bean 4.1.
It seems like we can't go more than a week or two without hearing that one of Google's content services has rolled out to a new country. Today, Russia is getting in on the action with Play Books and Movies now available throughout the country. You can purchase books like normal, and movies are available both for rental and purchase.
Prices for movie rentals start at around 49 rubles (USD$1.60) and purchases start at 99 rubles (USD$3.22).
Samsung is well-known for its ubiquity in the feature-phone market, and it's starting to look like they'll be employing the same assault-on-all-sides approach with Android phones too. As if they aren't struggling already to keep their phones up to date, Sammy is now digging a deeper hole with today's announcement of four budget-oriented devices set to prop up the rather premium Galaxy S.
Starting from the bottom, we have the Galaxy mini, intended to be a "first smartphone" for those crazy, hip youths you keep reading about.
Last week, Google announced that over the next 2 weeks, support for purchasing paid apps was coming to 18 more countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Taiwan.
This morning, reports are trickling in that the switch has been indeed flipped, at least in some of these countries. So far, we've been able to confirm Sweden, Denmark, and India.