When Samsung introduced its gigantic yet frugal Galaxy Mega line, I had a feeling that it would be a hit with smaller and more budget-conscious carriers. Lo and behold, Metro PCS is the latest US carrier to get a branded version of the ginormous Galaxy Mega 6.3, starting on November 25th. AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular have already released the phone. After a $100 instant rebate, the phone costs $399 on a MetroPCS contract-free plan.
Hey! Remember they Droid Xyboards? No? Well, surprisingly, Verizon does. In fact, both the 8.2- and 10.1-inch versions are getting an OTA update that brings Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) right now. Fantastic.
So what does this mean for Xyboard owners? Some new stuff, pretty much. Like Google Now! And Chrome. And Movie Studio, according to Verizon's changelog.
See? Look at all that new stuff. Really, there aren't a lot of tangible differences between 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 aside from just knowing that you're a few versions behind.
Minus a couple of hiccups, Samsung is reliably updating its later models to the last version of Jelly Bean. Sprint's branded version of the Galaxy Note II is the latest phone to get the Android 4.3 magic, complete with updated compatibility with Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Gotta sell those $300 add-ons, eh Sprint?
Samsung is following its release schedule almost to the letter. In addition to Android 4.3 goodies and Gear compatibility, this particular update (L900VPAMK4) adds HD Voice enhancements, Samsung KNOW compatibility, and a few visual touches to bring the Note II more in line with UI elements found on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.
Regular readers will recall that yesterday AT&T suspended the rollout of the Android 4.3 update to its carrier-branded version of the Galaxy S4. It looks like US Cellular is doing the same today. The following is a statement given to Android Police when we asked a US Cellular representative about any possible delays to the update, which was started on November 8th:
KitKat is tasty, for sure, but it's not the only Android flavor that gets users excited. Many users are still waiting for the latest version of Jelly Bean to arrive on their devices. Considering just how many Galaxy SIIIs Samsung managed to sell, that's a good number of customers who will be happy to know that their wait for Android 4.3 will soon come to an end. If you have a Galaxy S III running on T-Mobile, an Android 4.3 update may now be available for you to install.
There are a number of themes in Android news so common that we can almost pre-write the posts. One of the near certainties has always been that Verizon is going to take forever to update its phones. Well, that's why this news is so surprising. KitKat is coming to the Moto X on Verizon first, and it's happening today.
If you're using the T-Mobile variant of the slick Sony Xperia Z, check your notification tray - you might have a very welcome waiting for you. According to this T-Mobile support page, the Xperia Z is finally getting an over-the-air update. It's probably not what you were hoping for: the update brings the phone up to Android 4.2. You know, the version that's now over a year old.
If it makes you feel any better, it's been only five months since the Android 4.2 update was sent to the international version of the Xperia Z.
If you've been waiting for an opportune time to switch to AT&T, it's now. AT&T is currently offering a limited-time sale on a handful of on-contract devices, some of which are pretty desirable. It doesn't cover everything (the almost brand-new Galaxy Note 3 is notably absent, for example) but you should be able to save a pretty penny on your purchase.
The best deal of the lot is probably the LG G2, at least if you're looking for cheap, powerful hardware.
We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.
Here's a deal that's about to save some of you much more than twenty bucks. Best Buy and Sprint have come together to offer students activating a new line an entire year of free talk, text, and data. You still have to pay for the phone itself and all applicable monthly taxes, but in the grand scheme of things, that's a small price when you're looking at potentially over $800 in savings.