At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default.
Google Now is only as good as the cards it tosses up for users to play around with. Since launch, TV cards and the ability to customize them has been a luxury exclusively available to people in the US. Now it looks like the feature is trickling out to residents of the UK as well.
A couple of readers on that side of the Atlantic Ocean sent us these screenshots of the feature in action.
At Google I/O this year, we learned that Google Play Services is generally updated on a six-week cycle. As expected, the mighty puzzle piece behind Google's Android services is getting an update starting today that introduces a number of small changes that most users probably won't notice but which may make developers' lives a little bit easier.
Among the changes users probably will notice are some UI tweaks. The Google Settings app has a refreshed header (which is carried through all GMS-bound settings), and Google Play Games has a new dialog for toggling your profile from public to hidden.
Among the many things announced at Google I/O was support for casting custom backdrops to the Chromecast. We haven't heard anything about it since then, but now users are beginning to report seeing "Casting Backdrop" listed on their devices.
An over-the-air software update is set to hit AT&T's version of the Galaxy S4. The change log for this one isn't particularly long, but it will bump users up to baseband number KOTH49H.1337UCUFNB1. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from having the freshest set of software available on a device, and that feeling is what the bulk of owners will notice about this release.
As for what's actually new, AT&T says this update will provide better connectivity when making calls and text messaging.
The updated Moto X just went on sale earlier this week with delivery dates toward the end of the month. So far only the GSM devices for AT&T and T-Mobile have popped up, but Verizon has confirmed it too will have the phone soon. If you have been waiting on the seemingly inevitable Sprint announcement, you are about to get some bad news—Sprint won't carry the 2014 Moto X. Ouch.
The longer you wait, the more affordable products become. These aren't necessarily words to live by, but they're generally true. Not too long ago we were happy to share with you a new Galaxy Tab S 10.5 we found on Amazon going for $446. Now we've come across a refurbished one on eBay available for just $399. That's $100 off what is one of the best tablets out there, just so long as you don't mind dealing with Samsung's added software and its love for physical home buttons.
Samsung unveiled to the world the newest phones in the Note series earlier this month at IFA in Berlin, but in typical announcement fashion didn't provide a firm release date. Those details have now been revealed: the Note 4 will be available beginning on October 17th, with pre-orders starting tomorrow, September 19th. So far AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have confirmed this date on their respective networks, but we're still waiting to hear from everyone else.
Samsung makes a lot of tablets. So many in fact, that it can be hard to keep track of which are the entry-level and which are the premium ones. Tab Pro? Galaxy Tab? No, it's the Tab S series that you want to lay your hands on if at all possible. Verizon Wireless has finally started selling the LTE-equipped 10.5-inch version for a cool $600 off-contract.