Verizon is sending out an over-the-air software update to Galaxy S5 owners that brings in a number of improvements. Though, before you get too excited, most of these changes skew towards the minor side of things. Verizon's Caller Name ID, Message+, and Cloud apps have all been updated. Likewise, some of Samsung's apps and accessories have seen attention as well. Web Search has been added to S Finder, and Visual Voicemail now works when the S-View flip cover is closed.
The Oculus Rift has been in development for a few years with development kits available to those who wanted to experience the future of motion sickness, but now the second iteration of the development hardware is out. Naturally, iFixit got one to tear apart. What they found is solid evidence of the collaboration between Oculus and Samsung. The screen in the Oculus Rift DK2 is literally the whole front panel of a Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung pitched Milk Music this spring as a totally free music service exclusive to its devices, but slipped in at the end that it might not be free forever. You can still stream tunes for free without ads (or so the description says), but the new update to Milk adds the expected $3.99 monthly subscription for additional features.
Update: It looks like FreedomPop ran out of stock on its refurbished tablets almost immediately, and at the moment the links below default to various hotspot gadgets. Given the limitations of Sprint service, it's not a surprise that the company's secondhand hardware stockpile wouldn't be huge.
Also, several prospective customers have told us that they've been given the run-around when trying to sign up for the free plan, instead being placed on the free trial for paid service and almost immediately charged.
Sprint has announced that an over-the-air software update is due out for its version of the Galaxy S4 going by the name of version number L720VPUFNG2. The changelog for this one is pretty minor, so there's little reason to start abusing that update button. Galaxy S4 owners should be on the lookout for an HD Voice icon (which they might be able to notice), and a number of security patches (which they won't).
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.
Not everything in the Android world is super-high-end, and if your carrier is building a brand on being cheaper than the other guys, perhaps having a few cheap phones around isn't a bad idea. Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy Avant, the latest addition to T-Mobile's hardware lineup. The internal specs won't blow anyone away, but with an off-contract price of just $216 (or $9 a month for two years on Jump), they don't need to.
Thanks to its "just right" size and low price tag (at least relative to the other members of the Tab Pro family), the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is my pick of the litter. And if you'd like to pick one up for even less, Best Buy is offering a new one for a whopping $120 off of retail. You can get a white or black Tab Pro from the big box retailer in its base 16GB configuration for $279.99.
Update, 7-25-14: It looks like this over-the-air update was delayed for some reason. Samsung says it's coming in now.
KitKat is making its way to the Galaxy Note II. We've seen it come to Sprint, and just yesterday it started rolling out to Verizon's version of the handset. Now US Cellular has updated the support page for its Note II to say that KitKat is on its way.