It's been nine months to the day since Android 4.2 was announced, and just under four months since Samsung's first non-Nexus 4.2 devices started hitting the shelves. But apparently it takes at least that long to make sure that every non-touch gesture and gyroscopic scrolling function works with a new version of Android. Case in point: both the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi (GT-P3110) in the UK and the Galaxy Note 8.0 3G (GT-N5100) in Germany are just now getting updated, according to SamMobile.
Ready for some more Android Open Source Project woes? In addition to the Nexus 7 drama over AOSP builds in the last couple of weeks, it looks like there are some issues with the Nexus 10 as well. Don't worry, the Android 4.3 factory image for the N10 is sitting on the Google Developers page, proud and happy, but the binaries and drivers for some individual components on the tablet seem to be missing, most notably the graphics driver.
One of the biggest complaints about Samsung's latter tablet lines (aside from the plastic builds, outdated specifications, lack of storage, and oh yeah the freakin' smartphone buttons) is that they're too expensive when compared to similar Android tablets. Sammy is hoping to alleviate at least a few of these complaints with some pack-in deals for the Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3 (all versions), and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition.
Samsung is the biggest Android OEM on the planet by a wide margin. The South Korean company even manages to outsell Apple in the smartphone market on occasion, and it has all of us to thank for it. It has also traditionally made some of the best Android-based tablets you can buy. The first Nexus 7 from Asus last year showed us what a small, inexpensive tablet could be, and Samsung released a few competent alternatives to compete with it.
It was only a matter of time. Samsung just sent out invitations to the their latest Unpacked press event, this time labeled "Episode 2." It's scheduled for 1PM EST on September 4th, just under one month from today, before the annual IFA show in Berlin. Android newshounds will recall that the original Galaxy Note got its debut at the same venue back in 2011.
There's little doubt that new Note hardware will be the focus of this event: stylized text reading "NOTE THE DATE" is emblazoned on the invite.
Samsung seems to be on a bit of an update spree lately, trying to get its devices up to speed on Android 4.2. This time it's the LTE Galaxy Note 8.0 and the somewhat older Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 with 3G. Attacking the system update button like an enraged jungle cat won't do any good, folks. These updates are rolling out in stages.
The Note 8.0 update is starting in the UK, with expansions to more countries soon.
The folks on the CyanogenMod team are always adding new devices to their ever-increasing list, and over the last few days they've added no less than eleven more. According to a pair of Google+ posts, there are new officially-supported phones and tablets including two Barnes & Noble Nooks, a ton of Motorola devices, and a few Samsungs thrown in for good measure. Here's the full list:
- Barnes & Noble Nook HD (hummingbird)
- Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ (ovation)
- Motorola Atrix HD (mb886)
- Motorola Photon Q - GSM (xt897)
- Motorola Photon Q - CDMA (xt897c)
- Motorola Droid Razr M (xt907)
- Motorola Razr HD - GSM (xt925)
- Motorola Droid Razr HD - CDMA (xt926)*
- Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G (apexqtmo)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 - C Spire (jfltecsp)
- Samsung Verizon Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE (i925)
*These builds may also work for the DROID RAZR MAXX HD.
For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence.
If you like the look of the Samsung Galaxy S4, but you're just a big butterfingers, maybe this is your lucky day. The Galaxy S4 Active is on sale through eBay Daily Deals, and it's quite the steal. The 16GB unlocked device is selling for $589.99.
The Galaxy S4 Active is similar to the standard GS4, but it has an LCD panel instead of AMOLED, and the casing is water resistant and more durable.