You know what? There are entirely too many versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I feel like I've written this same story a half-dozen times, though that's probably because it's essentially the same software update across the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. In any case, if you're rocking Samsung's 2013 flagship on budget carrier Cricket, you might see an over the air update prompt today: it's your turn to get Android 4.3.
The default way to order content from the Play Store is to add a credit card to Google Wallet, but if you've grown accustomed to having purchases show up on your bill like the good ol' days when phones were phones, there's the option to enable carrier billing. The choice isn't universal, and while it's available to customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon here in the US, it still has to trickle out to other carriers around the world.
If you own a Verizon HTC One, it's time to start tapping that "check for updates" button. Following Friday's announcement by HTC of an Android 4.3 firmware update, Verizon has updated its support PDF for the device with a full changelog. The new firmware version is 2.10.605.1. In addition to the obvious OS upgrade, there seems to be a fair number of bug fixes including:
- Increased charging speed when using Mophie Juicepack power station
- Corrected faint ringing noise from earpiece
- Play purchased ringtones
- Connection error fixed in the HTC Watch application
- View the correct date using the all day calendar reminder
- Conjunction words are better recognized on device keyboard
- Backup Assistant performance
Update: Looks like it's rolling out now.
Samsung has been rolling out Galaxy Gear support to additional devices since the end of October, lumping the functionality in with updates to Android 4.3. A leaked schedule provided a timeline of when to expect various Galaxy handsets across the big four American carriers to get updated, and many OTAs started rolling out right on schedule. Others have not. The AT&T Galaxy Note II's update has been somewhat of a tortoise, but it may soon cross the finish line, as the long-awaited OTA is finally inbound.
Sprint has been steadily rolling out 4G LTE coverage to markets across the country, presenting new clusters every month or so. This month's list is significantly longer than usual. We're not looking at a couple dozen here, but 70. These areas are spread all throughout the country, but many of them are concentrated in the South, with new locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the Galaxy S4 Zoom is unique. This hybrid offspring from Samsung's mobile and camera divisions (which have since tied the knot) doesn't really compete with the Galaxy S4 as far as specs go, but if you want a solid point-and-shoot camera that makes calls, you probably can't do any better. If you also want that device cheap, Amazon is offering it for just one penny, so long as you also want a new AT&T contract.
If Verizon's HTC One is your daily carry, good things are afoot: according to HTC Product Management Director @Moversi, the company has approved the 4.3 OTA and it should begin rolling out next week. This news comes roughly six weeks after HTC America President Jason Mackenzie stated that they company would need "more time to spin new [software] and re-test the 4.3 update," which was said to take approximately a month.
Gather your grains of salt, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint is considering making a buyout offer for T-Mobile come the first half of 2014, to the tune of $20 billion. While that probably sounds good on paper, it's not nearly as much AT&T offered back in 2011, at a whopping $39 billion - making Sprint's bid half of what AT&T thought T-Mobile was worth 2 years ago.
The list of devices that offer support for Samsung's first smartwatch is constantly growing, and today Verizon's Galaxy S 4 Mini gets to join that elite crew. The support docs just updated with details of the OTA, which highlights the Gear's potential usefulness.
Gear support isn't all you'll find in this update, either. It also brings about some new bloatware (imagine that), like Verizon's MyInfoZone Widget, VMware, and Verizon Cloud. Exciting stuff.
Verizon shocked many of us by being the first carrier to update the Moto X to Android 4.4. This update came less than a month after KitKat made its first public appearance, and it was followed by OTAs from T-Mobile and AT&T mere days later. Then came US Cellular's turn in early December. Today, Sprint finally rises to the occasion and has started to push out Android 4.4 to its version of the Moto X, making it the last of the large national carriers to do so.