ZOMG! Volantis? Is it time for Volantis? You know you were thinking that, but we just don't know what's going on. All we can say for certain is that Google's Play Store in the US has no stock of the WiFi N7 or the LTE versions with AT&T or T-Mobile SIMs. The only version you can get is the "GSM Networks" LTE tablet.
Update 7/14/14: The previous deal sold out, but it's now back under another listing.
Google I/O has come and gone without mention of a new Nexus tablet (which was expected), but this means you still have time to pick up a Nexus 7 for cheap and remain current. Numerous deals have passed already, but this time we've come across one going for a price approaching the 50% off mark.
Owners of the LTE variant of the Nexus 7 2013 have kind of been left out in the cold when it comes to the latest Android updates. While most of the other current Nexus devices (including the WiFi version of the same tablet) are running Android 4.4.4, a lot of N7 LTE users are still back on 4.4.2. Those who know their way around a bootloader can install the factory image for 4.4.3, but until now there was no standard over-the-air update.
It looks like all of the recent Nexus devices are covered - everything from the 2012 Nexus 7 up through to the Nexus 5. Of course, just because branches have been published for these devices, it is not absolute confirmation that this entire list of devices will receive an official L release.
The last time that the Padfone 2 got a major version update was way back in December 2012, for Jelly Bean 4.1. Yeah, you read that right. Today ASUS is updating its second phone-tablet-combo-thingy all the way to KitKat, a move that will surely please at least some of the users who haven't upgraded to one of the newer models. Are you ready for some sketchy ASUS English translations? Of course you are.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
The 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, now known as the bastard child of the living Nexus family, has not received any updates in the recent round of Android 4.4.3, and subsequently 4.4.4, releases. All of a sudden just now, the 4.4.3 factory image finally showed up, and we can only speculate how long it'll be before we see 4.4.4. For those who are counting, that's 22 days since the Nexus 4, 5, Wi-Fi 7, and 10 have all had their respective factory images available.
I don't need to tell you this is a good deal – we've seen it pop up before and it sold out pretty fast. Today you can get the Nexus 7 in either 16GB or 32GB sizes for $170 and $130 respectively, but it's US-only.
The 2013 Nexus 7 is approaching a year old now, but that time has done little to slow this 7-inch slate down. New models are still zippy and more than capable of handling most of what the Play Store has to offer. So when the tablet is available at a discounted price, it's worth pondering whether you or someone you know is in need of such a solid piece of tech.