The Galaxy Gear has been leaked, rumored, and talked about for months now, and it's finally here. Well, it exists and we've seen it, anyway. We got some quick hands-on time with Samsung's don't-call-it-a-watch smart watch, and have plenty to say.
First off, Samsung was very clear during our hands-on time that the Gear shouldn't be thought of as a watch. The question of whether non-watch-wearers will be willing to pick one up is moot to the manufacturer, as the experience and functionality provided by the watch should be enough to sway users toward adding the high-tech accessory to their wardrobe.
Besides taking a look at the Galaxy Gear here at IFA 2013, we also got the chance to play around with Samsung's new lineup of Note devices, namely the Note 3 and the Note 10.1 2014 edition.
Ignoring for a moment the devices' form factors, they share a lot of similarities and, in fact, share just about everything software-wise. Samsung's main focus with the new devices, besides their refreshed specs, displays, and hardware design, is the S Pen, which itself has received a functionality upgrade.
Besides the Galaxy Gear and Note 3, Samsung has made official a new "2014 edition" Note 10.1. While, if its name is anything to go by, the 10.1 has long to go before release, Samsung gave us some early hands-on time with the tablet.
Samsung just announced its fall catalog at the Unpacked pre-IFA event. There are very few surprises: the Galaxy Note 3 is here with a new leather-style stitched design, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and a revised version of the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Galaxy Note 3
The Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung's new flagship "phablet." It's been given a pretty huge update in terms of physical design: the rear cover is a faux leather, stitched design, combining with the banded sides to make it look like a journal.
Remember the allegedly hilarious video for "The Smart Cube" from last week, which toed the line between awkward funding campaign and a parody of awkward funding campaigns? We mentioned at the time that it was almost certainly an alternative marketing campaign for a Samsung product, probably the Android-powered Galaxy NX camera. There's no way to say this without sounding a little smug, so: yeah. It is.
Update: Lookout has confirmed the deal. PR is at the bottom of the post, if you're interested.
The assortment of apps you have to wade through when powering on a new phone for the first time is about to grow by one. Samsung is expected to announced on Wednesday that is has licensed Lookout's anti-malware suit for all its upcoming Android devices. No word yet on whether or not current devices will get Lookout as an update.
Update: It looks like stock for the online store is depleted. If you've got a Fry's store near you, you might still be able to select in-store pickup. Here's a list of retail locations.
Happy Labor Day, Americans! Today is the day we celebrate unwise imbibing on a three-day weekend, billion-dollar retailers hosting sales that ironically force many of their employees to work, the nigh-limitless lobbying power of unions, and oh yeah, laborers.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 is due for a refresh along with its smartphone cousin. If you've been waiting for a high-end Samsung tablet (or just a tablet that's considerably larger than the current 10-inch breed), the folks at Korean site MovePlayer may have spotted it. A single photo of a hitherto unseen Galaxy Note 12.2 bearing the obviously huge screen and Samsung's increasingly ridiculous physical Home button was leaked earlier today.
Update:According to GigaOm, today's Galaxy Gear images are definitely of a prototype, as VentureBeat speculated could be the case earlier. Additionally, GigaOm's sources indicate that the watch will be running Android 4.3 with Bluetooth LE connectivity, a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor (with Mali-400 MP4 GPU), and the ability to make phone calls. Our original post follows below.
We're looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's rumored smart watch, expected for an IFA reveal.
If you've got a late-model Samsung device and a desire to tinker, Wanam Xposed is for you. It's a module for the increasingly popular Xposed Framework (which means that those without root need not apply). If you have a stock Samsung device that runs Android 4.2 or later, Wanam Xposed opens up an incredible amount of customization options for TouchWiz and other settings.
Visual and audio tweaks include colors or transparency in the notification bar, customizations for the battery, clock, and date displays, transparent quick settings, 180-degree rotation support, disabling Samsung's dingy boot sound, and a dark theme for the multi-window view.