The Galaxy Gear didn't jumpstart Samsung's wearable ecosystem as it had hoped. In fact, it was such a disappointment that the company released a new version alongside the Galaxy S5 just a few months later. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run Tizen instead of Android, but there was rampant speculation that the original Gear would be moved to Tizen eventually. Apparently that's close to happening, and SamMobile got some hands-on time with Tizen on the Galaxy Gear.
Carriers are pretty overt about making consumers pay for their devices using long-term contracts or high amounts of cold, hard cash. They're not so open about the subsequent payment in tears - thick, heavy tears dropped waiting for Android updates that feel destined never to come. Well, Verizon Galaxy Note 3 owners, you've officially paid enough. It's time to wipe away those tears, for the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat OTA update is finally rolling out to devices.
16GB of on-board storage? Pathetic. 32GB MicroSD card? Miserly. Samsung is teaming up with its subsidiary Seagate to provide an add-on mobile storage solution that should outstrip just about everything out there, and do a few more tricks as well. The "Samsung Wireless" device is combination Wi-Fi/USB portable hard drive and portable battery with a gigantic 1.5TB capacity, set to sell for $179. Unfortunately there's no reliable release date, and it's not available on the Samsung store at the moment.
SamMobile has gotten its hands on some pictures of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which is yet another Samsung tablet for us to keep up with (please don't hurt me if I accidentally type Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S 7.7 one day - I'm really trying here). What makes this one special is its screen, as it is expected to ship with a 2560×1600 AMOLED display. The device will reportedly come in two sizes, 8.4 and 10.5 inches.
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.