Normally the kind of customer who buys a "rugged" phone like the Hydro VIBE isn't all that concerned with having the latest and greatest in software - or at least that seems to be the attitude of the carriers and manufacturers, who don't seem very concerned themselves. Perhaps that's why Sprint and Kyocera launched the phone with Android 4.3 back in May, despite the fact that 4.4 had already been available for seven months.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
There's this company over in the UK that's ready to sell Moto 360s to people on that side of the pond. O2 is its name. Anyone who heads over to the carrier's website will now see the smartwatch for sale at £199.99. It seems to only be available in black.
People who hit that buy now button should be rewarded with a product that ships on the next day. This comes after the device was previously available on the site only as a pre-order.
When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).
You know those scary warnings that show up whenever you unlock the bootloader on a phone? "We can't be held responsible... blah blah... reduced functionality... blah... fiery death... blah blah blah." Sometimes they aren't kidding. Users who have unlocked the new Xperia Z3 Compact have found that low-light camera performance drops considerably. It turns out to be because of DRM in Sony's image signal processing.
Android L is probably just a few weeks away, but Google's partners already have the code to begin designing updates. That's why SamMobile was able to get a hold of a nearly complete build of Android L on the Galaxy S5. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a Samsung ROM to look, but there's definitely some L influence.
Samsung has been sending the somewhat overdue Android 4.4.4 update to its flagship devices for the last few weeks, and according to this support page, it's now the Sprint Galaxy S5's turn. The Sprint CDMA edition of the S5 should be receiving the latest stable build of Android now, though we haven't actually found any users who are getting it this morning. Given the way that US carriers tend to stagger the rollouts for just about everything, that isn't all that surprising.
WebOS, the last and sadly failed initiative from the venerable Palm Inc., seems to have more lives than Mumm-Ra the Everliving. After getting a second chance when HP acquired the Palm company, then a third when LG tried it out on connected televisions, it looks like the Korean manufacturer is going to give it a shot at powering future smartwatches. The Verge spotted a WebOS smartwatch page on LG's development portal, which was then swiftly taken down.
Update 9/18/14: An updated version 6.1.07 (previous was 6.1.05) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.
Update 10/2/14: An updated version 6.1.11 (previous were 6.1.05, 6.1.07, and 6.1.09) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.
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.