Eight inches is a fine size for a tablet, but the options are still pretty slim. People in want of a stock Android experience in the form factor pretty much have to go with the LGGPGPE or hack together their own solution. Thankfully the latter is, depending on the device, as simple as gaining root and flashing a ROM. CyanogenMod has just rolled out its first nightlies for Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.
Sprint or Verizon customers in the market for a new Galaxy S5 might want to meander on over to Amazon right about now. Currently the site has the handset available for just $99.99 with a two-year contract, half of the usual upfront fee. This deal is applicable both for new customers and people looking to upgrade to another device.
Verizon users who would prefer to avoid Amazon do have a few options.
Verizon customers who want to indulge in the more in-depth parts of Android don't often get the chance, thanks to the carrier's tendency to lock down bootloaders and close off most of the avenues to custom ROMs. But for major releases, manufacturers often sell contract-free variants with an unlockable bootloader. Like the S4 before it, the Galaxy S5 now has the option, and you can buy one directly from Samsung. Verizon won't sell it to customers online or in retail stores.
If you think that Samsung's "Pro" line of tablets are too expensive, you're in good company. And apparently that company includes the folks at Amazon, because they've discounted every Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro model by a considerable margin. They're still expensive, at least compared to other Android tablets, but they might be a little more palatable with a lower price tag.
Let's take it from the top, shall we?
The latest round of back-and-forth in the endless IP battle between Apple and Samsung is over, and the former has come out on top. According to an 8-person jury in the federal court, various Samsung phones and tablets, including the Galaxy S II and III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Nexus, infringed on three Apple patents. The jury awarded Apple $119.6 million USD in damages.
Apple didn't have it all its own way: the jury also found that none of the Samsung phones presented violated two other Apple patents, and they awarded Samsung $158,400 after finding Apple guilty of unintentionally violating one of the Korean company's patents presented in a counter-suit.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, and most of the US and international versions of the Galaxy S4 have been given the KitKat update as well, but millions of owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III from 2012 are still sitting on an outdated version of Android. Sprint seems to be the first US carrier to alleviate that: this support page says the update for the S III is going out starting today.
The tinny speakers on your smartphone are no good for listening to music (HTC One owners, please ignore), so Samsung has decided to offer you a new audio option. The Samsung Level series consists of four mobile audio products – Level Over, Level On, Level In, and Level Box. So what the heck are they? Here's a hint: the names describe their relationship to your ears.
If you've got a late-model Samsung "smart" camera, you should check out this nifty function. Samsung Home Monitor lets owners of the upcoming NX3000 camera (and presumably other models in the NX line) view video from the camera's lens remotely on their phones. It's a neat application of the hardware available.
Using the simple app, you can treat your camera like a security camera or baby/pet monitor. Users can stream live video from the camera at any time, as long as there's Wi-Fi in the house and your smartphone has a data connect (Wi-Fi or mobile).
Verizon is not known for being liberal with the OTAs, but Galaxy S4 owners have been on the verge of revolt waiting on this one. Now, the KitKat update is finally heading out to the Samsung Galaxy S4. Users all over the country are reporting it is available for download, so begin mashing the update button.