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.
By now you've heard all about the new Nexus 7. You know that it comes with Android 4.3 and supports multiple user profiles. You've seen that it's significantly more powerful than last year's model. We've all been reading up on this device for weeks now, and now all that matters is when the device will become available. People in the US can pick up the device in any number of big box stores or get one directly from Google Play already.
HTC hasn't abandoned the market for small phones, as shown by their One Mini at a (relatively) tiny 4.3 inches. But that's still on the premium side, and those who want both a small size and a small price need some love too. Enter the Desire 500, a 4.3" phone with a mixture of features from this generation of HTC hardware and the last one. It's currently slated for release in the UK sometime in August, but HTC has been mum on a price and wider release details so far.
Attention, people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: you can now buy television shows from Google Play, both on the web and via your Android devices. Google threw the switch on the content earlier today, making the UK the first country to get access to TV shows on Google Play outside the United States. Content appears to be a decent mix of US and UK shows at the moment, though it's probably a bit anemic when compared to the US store due to good old-fashioned licensing issues.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom should become available in the UK tomorrow, July 11. Clove has announced that they will sell the joint smartphone-camera for £369 excluding VAT (£442.80 including). The Zoom will only ship in white and comes with 8GB of internal memory, though just 5GB of that is accessible to the user. Like most digital cameras, you're expected to expand this thing with a MicroSD card, so you might want to add that to your cart when you place that order.
Update 7/9/13: Clove updated the timeline from July 15th all the way to September 9th. Boo:
UPDATE - The release date of the Sony SmartWatch 2 has been put back to September and will not be launching week commencing 15th July as previously stated. The revised arrival date is week commencing 9th September.
Sony announced the second version of its Bluetooth SmartWatch just a couple of weeks ago, and you'll be able to buy one in another couple of weeks, at least if you live in the United Kingdom.
Last week we reported that British Sky Broadcasting Group's Google Play apps and Twitter account had been compromised by the Syrian Electronic Army, a fringe group of hackers and digital vandals in support of the current Syrian government. After the hack was discovered, Sky's apps published under the BSkyB label were removed from the Play Store. Sky reports that the app descriptions were defaced, but the apps files (APKs) themselves were never replaced.
The UK citizens have sounded off on the BBC iPlayer's Play Store reviews, loudly and often: it's sitting at a depressing 2.9 stars, with more 1-star reviews than any others. The Beeb has been slowly improving the streaming video app, and today it gets a long-overdue update to version 1.7, finally including support for 10-inch tablets. I honestly have no idea why that was such a hurdle for an international media company, but hey, there it is.
For those unfamiliar, the BBC iPlayer allows our friends in the United Kingdom to watch live BBC programming on the go. Featured shows and up to seven days of previous content are also available for streaming. The application is incompatible with international devices, so don't bother paying the Play Store a visit if London is more than a couple hundred miles away from where you live. And the latest update to the app ushers in support for 1080p displays, allowing it to take advantage of the latest-gen handsets.