Some devices get all the ROMs. Of course, for the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, that's kind of the point. Late last month an early version of Android 4.3 was leaked for the phone right around the time of its Play Store debut, and now an even newer build labeled "JWR66V" has popped up. According to XDA Developers forum poster Jahon, it was build on July the 11th, and now it's been re-packaged into a ROM file flashable in the custom recovery of your choice.
Earlier this month, a Samsung Galaxy S3 exploded inside an 18-year-old girl's pants pocket, leaving her with a pretty nasty third-degree burn on her thigh. It really happened, and the burn is real, but Samsung's not responsible. The company has concluded that the battery used in the device was not the original. Scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research in Dubendorf, Laboratory have confirmed Sammy's findings.
Late last month, Samsung announced an LTE-A-powered Galaxy S4 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor for Korea's SK Telecom network. The benchmarks – along with the speedtests – were mind-boggling, but it was extremely unclear whether the rest of the world would ever get a taste of everything this new GS4 has to offer. Thanks to a new leak over at AllAboutSamsung.de (and confirmed by SamMobile's sources), we now have strong reason to think that an international version, model number i9506, is on its way.
Samsung announced this spring that security app LoJack would soon be built into the Galaxy S4. The necessary firmware arrived on most North American variants of the S4 in recent weeks, and now the service is live to take advantage of it. LoJack can be activated on your Galaxy S4 today for $29.99 per year. In return for your money you get phone tracking, remote wipe, and recovery assistance.
The LoJack app is built into the firmware of the device, making it persistent through factory resets (but probably not ROM flashes).
Some people can take some phenomenal pictures using their smartphone cameras, but many mere mortals often find that their pictures look best with a healthy coating of filters and exaggerated graininess to mask the graininess that's already there. Paper Camera has made its way around Android circles due to its uncanny ability to skip the whole editing step and take instant hand-drawn depictions of whatever a camera is facing. Paper Artist is a photo editor from the same developers that gives users a broader set of tools for turning their pre-existing photos into art.
If you're one of the lucky few with a T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, there's an update headed your way. It's based on Android 4.1.2, just like the last one was, but it adds one notable new feature: LTE. Yes, the tablet's latent LTE radio has been enabled with this update.
The new version of the software is starting to hit devices today, but mashing the update button won't help. It's going to be arriving in waves until all tablets have gotten the notification around July 19th.
Anyone looking for an affordable handset might want to take notice of the Samsung Galaxy Prevail II available today from Boost Mobile. The device comes with Android 4.1.2, a 4-inch screen, a 800 by 480 resolution, and a 1750 mAh battery. A 5MP camera is embed in the back and the typical 1.3MP camera can be found in the front. The device will set you back just $180, and it comes without a burdensome two year contract.
Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Verizon, there's a new update available for your phones. But don't bother checking your Settings menu for an over-the-air prompt: it's only available via the Verizon Software Upgrade Assistant after connecting the device to a PC. Standard users should be fine, but rooted users (or those who intend to root or flash a new ROM sometime in the future) should avoid this one. According to several posters on XDA, the VRUAME7 patches existing root methods, and flashes a new version of the locked bootloader that prevents users from flashing a pre-release kernel, effectively blocking another path to root.
Sprint may be rolling out an update to the Galaxy S4 today, but AT&T customers are not to be left out. The company is distributing an update to version I337UCUAMF3, which is not the same as that going out to Sprint users. While it's 359MB file size is remarkably similar, it ushers in a different set of bug fixes. The update also enables two additional LTE bands and improves NFC.
Samsung has been muddying the waters of the Galaxy brand ever since it launched, and the Galaxy S4 has been sent to new depths, with no less than three "S4" variants following the original's release by only a few months. But the Galaxy S4 Active - the sporty, tough, waterproof version of Samsung's flagship - is the first of the company's myriad extended line that actually deserves the same name as its more mainstream brother.