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.
T-Mobile has just announced their plans for Uncarrier part 5. The first big move of the T-mo's latest effort to shake up the wireless industry is the announcement of Test-Drive, a service through which users can get an iPhone 5S for seven days to take T-Mobile's "data strong" network for, well, a test drive. There's no down-payment, no charge, no nothing. Just get the device, try out the network, and return it at a store when you're done.
Update: KitKat is also rolling out to Canadian variants of the Galaxy S III running on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. They are joined by the Galaxy Note II on all of the country's major carriers. The goods are going out over the air, but you can get them via Samsung Kies as well.
It doesn't matter how old a device gets, there's hardly ever a time when an update to a new version of Android is unwanted.
Sprint rolled out support for Wi-Fi calls to a couple of handsets this February, but all other devices that don't already have the feature require a dedicated software update. Fortunately for Galaxy S5 owners, the carrier has announced plans to bring support over to this flagship device. The S5 will be able to make calls and send text messages over registered Wi-Fi networks following an over-the-air update (version G900PVPU1ANE5) that's scheduled to start rolling out today.
AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.
Sprint customers have enough connection woes to deal with when their phones are working just fine (I kid, I kid), so I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to have one that randomly loses data access. Apparently that was what was happening to at least some owners of the HTC One M8. According to the notes released on this support website, the latest Sprint over-the-air update (1.54.651.10) should fix the problem.
Wireless charging is one of the cooler advances we've seen in smartphone tech in recent years, and truth be told, it isn't all that expensive if you know where to get a charger (such as, in the past, here, here, or here... or right now, here, here, or here). No, it's not nearly as fast as Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology or even as rapid as a standard 2.1A wall wart, but it's just so dang convenient.
AT&T needs more of your money, so the wireless carrier is bumping up the activation fee it charges customers who sign a two-year contract. The fee, which formerly sat at $36, has risen $4 to reach a round $40 as of June 8th. The minor price hike applies to upgrades as well.
The change comes as a result of consumers increasingly choosing to pass on traditional contracts in favor of the AT&T Next upgrade program.
It seems like everyone is making smartphone screens more useful when they're off, and LG's attempt is called Knock Code. This feature lets you securely wake and unlock the device with a series of taps on the screen while the phone is asleep. No need to buy a new phone, though. Knock Code is rolling out the the AT&T LG G2 via an OTA update right now.