For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence. Read More
HTC pushed the Android 4.3 kernel and framework code earlier today, and the update just started showing up for both Google Play Edition devices. Now Samsung is getting in on the whole open source thing. Yes, it has posted the new kernel source files for its Google Play Edition phone.
We knew it wouldn't be long, and sure enough, the Android 4.3 update has started hitting Google Play Edition devices. Both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 from Google Play are currently receiving update notifications. If you're lucky enough to have one of these devices, commence mashing the update button at your leisure.
The updates for both devices are developed by the OEMs, but there are no modifications to the UI and no carrier testing to get in the way. Read More
In preparation for reporting on the general state of the Moto X bootloader, we reached out to AT&T for an official statement on the matter. We know that many potential buyers want to know whether they can fully modify their phones, especially after the HTC One X and Galaxy S4 were denied unlockable bootloaders on the carrier. Here's what they said in reply:
To ensure a safe and consistent experience on your wireless device, we do not support unlocked bootloaders.
A lot of you have been waiting to hear about the status of the bootloader in the Moto X - after all, if this is Motorola's new standard, how do they intend to go forward? The answer is a bit anti-climactic: according to this developer-focused page on the Motorola website, the Moto X for Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Rogers in Canada will be unlockable, along with "two models just for developers."
What are these two models? Read More
It was just six weeks ago that we featured Rockmelt, an Android app with a bit of an identity crisis. It didn't know whether it wanted to be an RSS reader or a browser (but it did know it wanted to look like Pinterest). Well, the eponymous company that makes Rockmelt is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Yahoo. And they've killed the Android app deader than a dove at an NRA convention. Read More
Sprint announced the Flash back in November last year, when it launched with Android 4.0. Well, it's finally getting an update to Android 4.1... 9 months later. Ugh. The new software version is N9100V1.0.0B15. Improvements aside from things like Google Now and expandable notifications include enhancements to the camera app, which now includes blink detection, flash mode toggle, an EXIF data menu, and a detailed settings menu.
You can start checking for the update on your device now, though the rollout may be staged over the next week or two. Read More
While we haven't heard much on the Android 4.3 update news front for the One or Galaxy S4 GPE other than "soon," it sounds like soon really may mean soon. HTC just released the Android 4.3-based kernel source and framework files for the One GPE on HTCdev.
The corresponding software version for the source and framework is 3.06.1700.10, while the kernel version remains unchanged at 3.4.10. You can download the kernel right here, and the framework files here. Read More
There's no denying the usefulness of a keyboard when doing a lot of text input on Android, and there's no shortage of Bluetooth options that fit the bill perfectly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in email or a text editor likely has one of these handy little accessories laying around, but if that user also owns a Nexus device with 4.3, then they're in for a bit of a surprise the next time it's paired up: many Bluetooth keyboards no longer work post-update. Read More
Google just dropped a bomb on the official Android blog moments ago: Android Device Manager, a tool to help locate your lost phone. It's simple - you can track your phone from a web interface (or the official Android app!), and then ring or wipe it. Simple? Yes. Absolutely something we've all wanted since, I don't know, ever on Android as a standard feature? Duh.
Android device manager will be part of - you guessed it - Google Play [Services]. Read More