All the talk about Android L this week overshadows the unfortunate fact that the previous release is still on less than 15% of Android devices. This weekend US Cellular is helping in a small way, releasing KitKat to two of its Samsung phones. The US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega (6.3) are both being updated to KitKat, so those with the applicable hardware should keep an eye out for the over-the-air alert.
If you're still toting around a stock AT&T Galaxy Note II, good news: your phone is finally getting Android 4.4.2. The rollout should be starting now, and includes all of the basic 4.4 goodies you can expect coming from 4.3, like wireless printing, the new storage access framework, SMS default app selection, Google Wallet tap-to-pay support, and a few others. Here's Samsung's full changelog:
OS upgrade to Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- New Lock Screen Access
- Media Controls - full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
- Camera Shortcut - access the Camera application right from the lock screen
- Improved user experience when multiple messaging apps are installed - All SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside other conversations and video calls.
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.
In case we didn't make it clear with yesterday's post, we were more than a little miffed at Verizon's dismissal of Chromebook Pixel LTE owners. The company told customers that it had unceremoniously ended Google's free 100MB/month data bundle for the Pixel LTE after just one year, despite the initial two-year service promotion. Today Google is offering a consolation prize to those customers who bought the Chromebook Pixel LTE from the Play Store: a $150 refund credit.
Update 6/24: In a statement to Tmonews, T-Mobile has confirmed that it has a system in place that allows users (and UpgradeSwap) to check the IMEI to verify whether or not the device is being financed. You can find that tool here.
If a customer wants to purchase a T-Mobile phone and is checking the IMEI number, they should be using our tool for the correct information.
Update 2 6/24: In this ever-increasing back-and-forth battle, UpgradeSwap has now responded with a claim that T-Mo's own system doesn't even work correctly half the time.
Sprint unleashed a slew of network announcements this morning at a press conference in Chicago, and for the most part, it's just the news you'd expect: more LTE, more Spark, and more HD voice.
The 28 markets aren't listed individually, but Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose all saw expansions, and Sprint brought its LTE coverage count to 471 cities today. The company plans to cover 250 million people with its LTE network by mid-year, up from 225 million now.
Google and Verizon Wireless seem to be in a perpetual state of "it's complicated." The protracted issues with the Nexus 7 LTE, the infamously terrible launch and support of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and a few other spats come to mind. Now JR Raphael of ComputerWorld is reporting that Verizon has unceremoniously dumped the 100MB per month of free packaged wireless data that came with the LTE model of the Chromebook Pixel that went on sale last year.
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.
Samsung has been on a KitKat spree lately, and it has just about covered most of its popular devices from the last two(ish) years with the update. Today, Verizon updated its support docs for the Galaxy SIII, which indicates that the update is on its way in the coming days, as well.
Aside from KitKat, this update brings a couple of new enhancements, like the inclusion of Isis. Otherwise, it's basically the same song and dance – updated applications, bug fixes, an improved multi-app experience, the like.