Android OS

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Sprint Starting Deployment Of Android 4.4.3 For The Moto X

Android 4.4.4 is a thing now, but Sprint Moto X users will have to make do with 4.4.3, which is heading out starting today (build KXA21.12-L1.22). This is one of those times you're going to have to wait your turn, as the OTA is going out in waves.

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Google Rolling Out Android 4.4.4 Update (KTU84P) With A Security Fix, Factory Images/Binaries Up For Nexus Devices

Nexus owners are about to get a surprise OTA update, but it's not Android 5.0 Lemon Drop Sunshine. It's another build of KitKat, specifically 4.4.4 with build number KTU84P (branch kitkat-mr2.1-release). Sprint has posted the Nexus 5 changelog on its community forums, and it's apparently a security fix.

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Updates To AOSP Confirm Dalvik Runtime Will Be Removed From Android, ART Officially Takes Its Place

It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime. Yup, this is the end for Dalvik.

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Galaxy S4 Mini And Mega Are The Next Sprint Devices To Receive KitKat Via OTA Software Updates

A day after beginning its rollout of an over-the-air software update for the Galaxy S5 that brings Wi-Fi calling to the device, Sprint is pushing out updates to two other Galaxy devices. The S4 Mini and Mega are both due to receive Android 4.4.2 starting today. The Mini's version number is L520VPUBNE3, and the update comes on the same day as the Verizon variant's. Meanwhile, the Mega is getting treated to L600VPUANE4. The changelog is the same for both devices.

Changelog

Some of the changes to expect include white notification bar icons, a larger selection of emoji, new wireless printing options, and consolidated location settings.

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Verizon's Galaxy S4 Mini Gets An OTA Update To 4.4.2, Won't Make That God-Awful Home Button Logo Disappear

If you're rocking the Verizon version of Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini, check your notification bar: you may have an over-the-air update waiting for you. According to this Verizon support document, the KitKat update is heading out for the Big Red model of the S4 Mini. KOT49H.I435VRUBND5 upgrades the phone to Android 4.4.2, throwing in Samsung's minor additions to TouchWiz as well. The update also has a smattering of adjusted apps and bug fixes.

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According to Verizon, in addition to all the goodies that KitKat includes, the update adds Verizon Cloud and Emergency Alerts as pre-installed apps, and updates Samsung's KNOX encryption system to 2.0.

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Amazon Releases Fire Phone SDK To Developers, Includes Support For Firefly, Dynamic Perspective, Motion Gestures, Active Widgets, And More

Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps. There was even a video filled with sound bites from developers, mostly game designers, that had been given early access to the Dynamic Perspective SDK.

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Motorola Announces The 10 Moto 360 Design Face-Off Finalists – Cast Your Vote Now

After over 1300 Face-Off contest submissions, Motorola has chosen its 10 favorites Moto 360 face designs to go on to final voting. You can cast your vote(s) now for the design you want to see as an option on the Moto 360 when it comes out later this year. The images run the gamut from clean and simple, to rather complex for a smart watch.

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Better Late Than Never - 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi And Wi-Fi+3G Android 4.4.3 (KTU84L) OTA Urls Have Been Finally Captured

While the majority of Nexus and GPE devices have received their Android 4.4.3 OTAs relatively quickly, the rollout for certain other devices has certainly been... unusual. We still haven't heard anything about the 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, or the Moto G GPE, and until today, the OTA for the 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (I've been waiting for it to post both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G links together).

As they say, better late than never, but I'm sure owners of the abovementioned phones and tablets are not thrilled, especially those with Nexus 7s LTE that have received neither factory images nor OTAs.

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Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo Posts Epic 40,000 Word "History Of Android"

Android Police alum and current Ars Technica editor Ron Amadeo has been hard at work on something that might be of interest to you. Head on over to Ars and you can read Ron's 40,000 word history of Android. Yes, 40,000 words – for reference, the classic novella Animal Farm is about 10k words shorter. I can only hope Ron's bosses will unchain him from his desk and allow him to sleep now.

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Android 4.4.2 KitKat Is Rolling Out To The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Mega

Samsung Galaxy Mega owners have probably felt a little bit ignored while they've watched one Samsung phone after another getting updates. After all, they only made it to Android 4.2.2 at the end of November, a month after KitKat was announced. They can finally say that they're running the latest version of Android (if we pretend that 4.4.3 didn't just come out). Starting today, an update to Android 4.4.2 will begin rolling out to the Galaxy Mega on AT&T.

Here is the official changelog:

  • Android OS upgrade (KitKat 4.4.2)
    • New platform support for secure NFC-based transactions through Host Card Emulation (HCE),
    • You can add printing support to your apps or develop print services to support specific types of printers.
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