All the talk about Android L this week overshadows the unfortunate fact that the previous release is still on less than 15% of Android devices. This weekend US Cellular is helping in a small way, releasing KitKat to two of its Samsung phones. The US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega (6.3) are both being updated to KitKat, so those with the applicable hardware should keep an eye out for the over-the-air alert.
Basically all of Blu's phones as of the last year or so have been released with Android 4.2.2, leaving users waiting for any sign of an update to put them past Jelly Bean. We've known that the company planned on pushing KitKat to a number of devices towards the end of June, and it has now released the initial devices that will be the first to get 4.4, along with a statement on Facebook.
It's no secret that we think the Galaxy Tab S series are the best tablets you can buy right now. They're also not cheap - Samsung's priced its iPad competitors at iPad prices, and that means shelling out at least a cool $400 if you want to get in on that Super AMOLED goodness. Best Buy, though, is willing to give you a whole Benjamin off the MSRP if you give them a little trade-in action, though.
Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.
Outside of Google, it looks like Sony is the first company to start pushing 4.4.4 to its devices, beginning with the Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra. While it's only a very minor update, it still says something about Sony's drive to push timely updates that it's the first to get 4.4.4 out the door to consumer devices.
Included in this software
There are many improvements in this upgrade for your Xperia™ smartphone, some examples are:
- Android 4.4.4 including the latest enhancements and security updates from Google
- Updated and improved camera experience
- Improvements when using Google voice, Contacts, Music streaming and Google+
- The latest versions of our Sony apps for you to enjoy
- All of our latest bug fixes, optimisations & improvements
The update is currently only rolling out in Europe, but it will likely follow in other regions fairly soon.
Should you decide to swing by the main Android website (which there is very little reason to do), you might notice something odd in the section describing the Nexus 5. It comes in "black, white, red, and yellow." Oh, really now?
Update: Google seems to have pulled down the mention of "yellow" and still hasn't responded. So, that's maybe a little suspicious. Or maybe it was just a mistake. Time will tell.
The biggest reason to turn down Samsung's Pro line of tablets is easily the exorbitant pricing. $750 for a tablet? Seriously, Sammy? Unsurprisingly, the various models have quickly fallen to some dramatic discounts, none more so than the top-of-the-line Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. BuyDig's eBay seller account has a refurbished 32GB model going for $449.99. That's $200 off the Amazon price (and technically $300 off retail), and $50 cheaper than we saw earlier this month.
As with most of these promoted eBay deals, standard shipping is free, at least if you live in the United States.
Earlier this year, both Evan 'Evleaks' Blass and The Information's Amir Efrati claimed that the upcoming Android Silver program would replace the Nexus line of developer phones. Blass went so far as to say, "There is no Nexus 6. Farewell, Nexus." Both of those reports would seem to be contradicted by our own exclusive reveal of the HTC Volantis, a new Nexus tablet. Now we've got even more claims that the Nexus hardware line isn't going anywhere soon, this time right from the proverbial horse's mouth.
Amazon's Android Appstore always has at least one paid app featured for free every day, but for whatever reason, they've decided to make a whopping 31 apps free right now. Taken together they're worth over $100 USD. Most of them are barely notable, but there are some worthy games and apps in there as well. Plex, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Room Two, AccuWeather, Root Explorer, Ravensword, Dungeon Village, and Splashtop are all worth it even at the paid price.
NVIDIA had the 4.4.2 update ready to roll out to Tegra Note 7 devices over four months ago, which is when it rolled out to the EVGA Tegra Note 7 (among others). The HP Slate 7 Extreme – which is virtually identical to other TN7s – has been waiting ever since. And finally, today, that same update started rolling out.
I guess it's better late than never, but it's still pretty clear HP dropped the ball here (surprise!).