Charge allthethings! Wouldn't you like that? Well, Samsung has a solution for you in its Multi-Charging Wall Charger. Announced back in August, the tri-split cable and wall charger combo is finally available for sale on Samsung's Online Store. Essentially, this is a cable with a USB port at one end and three MicroUSB ports on the other, allowing you to use one USB output to split the charging power between 3 devices simultaneously.
Android L is probably just a few weeks away, but Google's partners already have the code to begin designing updates. That's why SamMobile was able to get a hold of a nearly complete build of Android L on the Galaxy S5. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a Samsung ROM to look, but there's definitely some L influence.
Samsung has been sending the somewhat overdue Android 4.4.4 update to its flagship devices for the last few weeks, and according to this support page, it's now the Sprint Galaxy S5's turn. The Sprint CDMA edition of the S5 should be receiving the latest stable build of Android now, though we haven't actually found any users who are getting it this morning. Given the way that US carriers tend to stagger the rollouts for just about everything, that isn't all that surprising.
Samsung is really the only game in town if you want an Android slate larger than 10-inches. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is a pricey device, though. The retail figure is $649.99, but it usually sells for $549.99. You can get it for more than $200 less on eBay right now, provided you don't mind a refurbished unit.
The Tab Pro 12.2 is rocking a 2560x1600 LCD, an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 9500mAh battery.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro series was massively overpriced when it was introduced, but like most Samsung devices, it gets some pretty good discounts at retail. Best Buy is offering the 8.4 inch Wi-Fi tablet at $249.99, which is a solid $80 off of the current retail price and $150 off of the launch price from seven months ago. It's available in both black and white, and this is a new device, not refurbished.
Update 9/26/14: The price has dropped another $20 to $379.99.
The longer you wait, the more affordable products become. These aren't necessarily words to live by, but they're generally true. Not too long ago we were happy to share with you a new Galaxy Tab S 10.5 we found on Amazon going for $446. Now we've come across a refurbished one on eBay available for just $399. That's $100 off what is one of the best tablets out there, just so long as you don't mind dealing with Samsung's added software and its love for physical home buttons.
Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.
For all the grief we give Samsung tablets about fake leather and physical home buttons, the higher tiers of hardware have some great specs. Speed demons and resolution fanatics might be particularly enthralled with the Tab Pro series, all of which feature 2560x1600 screens. If you appreciate the hardware but could do without Samsung's Android skin, the developers at CyanogenMod now support the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are already available for the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, giving users of two out of the four tablets in the series access to AOSP-style software with rapid updates.
Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T, don't get too excited when you see a new software update message appear in your notification bar. This is a minor update with minor changes, and once you apply it the phone will still be running the same Android 4.4.2 build that you've had since June. According to an AT&T support page, the update includes just three things:
- Connectivity improvements related to receiving calls and text messaging
- Security patch
- Updated Google apps
We've got no idea what kind of updated Google apps Ma Bell put in there, since Google prefers to do its own updating via the Play Store these days.
Samsung releases so many phones in so many variants that even professional gadget bloggers get turned around on occasion. But the folks on the CyanogenMod team are doing their best, bless 'em, and today's fruit of their labor is ROM support for an extra variant of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4. The most pertinent one for American readers is probably the G900-T, the Galaxy S5 model sold by T-Mobile as their branded version.