One of the less exciting (but still important) announcements at Google I/O 2014 was that Google will be adopting part of Samsung KNOX as a security platform in Android itself. KNOX, which is currently only on Samsung devices, is a business-oriented security solution that keeps work and personal data separate and secure on a single device. Sounds pretty good, right? Not to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, but you know what is good enough?
I'd just like to thank Google for expanding Android to two new platforms this year (Android TV doesn't count). Now we've got twice as many opportunities to talk about over-the-air software updates. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, both running nearly identical builds of Android Wear, are being updated to the slightly newer KMV78V build today. Owners should be seeing the update alert over the next few days if they haven't already.
Most of us have adjusted rather well to taking pictures on our phones, but there's a subset of the market out there that would much rather talk on their cameras. Samsung, as the one smartphone manufacturer willing to build just about anything, wants to help these people out. The Galaxy K Zoom is a point-and-shoot camera that's been smashed into the back of a lower-spec Galaxy S5, and it's currently going for $450 unlocked on eBay Daily Deals.
Okay, you've heard the jokes: "mini" phones are, at this point, considerably larger than the "big" high-end phones of previous years. So let's just assume that whenever Samsung employs the word "mini" in the name of a device, it means "looks kinda like the other one, but cheaper." Such is the case with the Galaxy S5 Mini, the third mini phone to spring off of Sammy's flagship line.
The S5 Mini's screen is 4.5 inches large with a resolution of 720p.
Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.
The biggest reason to turn down Samsung's Pro line of tablets is easily the exorbitant pricing. $750 for a tablet? Seriously, Sammy? Unsurprisingly, the various models have quickly fallen to some dramatic discounts, none more so than the top-of-the-line Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. BuyDig's eBay seller account has a refurbished 32GB model going for $449.99. That's $200 off the Amazon price (and technically $300 off retail), and $50 cheaper than we saw earlier this month.
As with most of these promoted eBay deals, standard shipping is free, at least if you live in the United States.
We've heard that Google intended to really make a push for greater corporate adoption with the L release, and the company touched on some of its plans in today's keynote. It confirmed that Android will empower companies to separate personal data from work data using containers without outside companies having to apply additional code to their devices. Interestingly, this comes thanks in part to Samsung, which has contributed some of its KNOX code to the next version of Android.
If you're ready to hop aboard the Samsung tablet train, the Note 10.1 2014 isn't a bad way to get started. It's a good size for productivity, has a beautiful display, and sports the S Pen for all sorts of fun stuff. Also, for right now, you can score a refurbished 16GB model from eBay for $300 with free shipping. That's a solid deal, especially considering Amazon is letting new models go for $480.
Verizon users will soon have the option of buying a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 that's compatible with the carrier's XLTE network. Oh, this isn't just any tablet, though. It's "The Family Tablet," which sounds to me like it should be a terrible ABC Family channel sitcom about a tablet that comes to life and solves a family's problems, or some such nonsense [cue laugh track]. But no, Verizon is simply choosing to stress Android's multi-user mode for some reason.
If you want an Galaxy S5 Active, your only choice is AT&T. Meanwhile, the newly announced Galaxy S5 Sport is a Sprint exclusive. Of course, these are pretty much the same phone with tiny aesthetic differences. Sprint is really pushing the fitness angle, though.
The GS5 Sport has the same trio of physical buttons on the front as the Active, and the specs are the same. You can get the gist simply by reading up on the Active, and pretending it says "Sport." It's IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, and it's got a beefier, more textured casing than the regular GS5.