As Cameron explained in his latest "What We Use" entry, technology can change a lot in just one year. Around this time last year, I was running with a 2012 Nexus 7, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and an Evo LTE. All of those devices have changed since then, as have my favorite apps and other gadgets. The family of devices I use has grown and evolved significantly since last October, so I thought it may be fun to detail just what I use to get through a normal day.
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.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.
Unified Remote, in short, is a great app. Its claim to being "easily the most feature-filled PC remote" may have merit, as Artem will attest. The app, in conjunction with a PC-compatible server, will allow your device to control your mouse, keyboard, and favorite software (think Spotify, Winamp, VLC, Hulu, iTunes, etc.) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Besides having impressive (and incredibly handy) functionality, Unified Remote impresses with a clean, easy-to-use interface.
When we think of tablet manufacturers, News Corp doesn't really come to mind off the bat. Yet, here we are. The international media conglomerate has announced plans for a branded Android tablet targeted at education called Amplify. The slate would come pre-loaded with Google Apps for Education, content from Common Sense Media, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and a graphing calculator. Most of this can be acquired or supplemented on regular Android tablets, but having the system pre-built may make teachers' lives easier.
While it's not a major Android version update, Sprint is rolling out a pretty good upgrade to Evo LTE customers. The over-the-air software will add the ability to stream audio/video to a television set or other display via an MHL cable. Neat!
The update will also bring a variety of improvements, including to WiFi, Bluetooth compatibility, and the proximity sensor while listening to voicemail. So hopefully you won't have to worry about your face pressing buttons now.
Hope you like the idea of a smartwatch, because startups are not giving up on them. To wit, one of the most popular manifestations of the concept is the Pebble which began as a Kickstarter project that aimed to raise $100k. Instead, the company raised $10 million. Yes, a hundred times a hundred thousand. That investment seems to be paying off a bit, though, as today an Android app landed in the Play Store just prior to the first round of units arriving on customers' arms.
Sure, we're only a few hours away from the Nexus 4 and 10 launches, but that doesn't mean we can't have a software update or two while we're waiting. Some users on Google+ and Twitter are reporting that the Galaxy Nexus is receiving an update to Android 4.2 as we speak. Of course, if you're on a Sprint or Verizon device, you will probably be exempt right now, but if you see your
miracle upgrade, speak up!
Who doesn't love a good software update? Today, Sprint is beginning to rollout a minor upgrade to the Photon Q that brings a few incremental improvements. Sorry, there are no Jelly Beans to be seen, but there are still some things to be excited about. Here are a few of the key features of the newest build:
- Improved text messaging when requesting usage and upgradeability through Sprint Zone
- Select number of users to access Wi-Fi hotspot
- Random power cycle when using Wi-Fi Direct
- Manually send or auto-sync emails from outbox
- seamless international text messaging
- Faster launch and playback using the YouTube application
- Improved browsing with Google Chrome for Android Mobile Browser
- Improved MMS functionality
All in all, it's not a huge update by any means, but users of the device should still appreciate the tweaks.