The Bluetooth experience on Android has always been a rocky road. For the first few years Android relied on BlueZ, a "protocol stack" originally developed by Qualcomm for the Linux operating system. Despite many limitations and missing features, BlueZ served admirably until Android 4.2 launched with a new stack dubbed Bluedroid, a project built jointly by Google and Broadcom. Like any young project, the bugs were plentiful, but most of the critical issues were solved in the first few weeks.
All of the flagship Android devices from 2013 have been added to CyanogenMod in some form or another: the Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the LG G2, the Moto X, and of course, the Nexus 5. But there's one notable entry that has not graced the download page yet - Samsung's enormous and powerful Galaxy Note 3. According to an early-morning post from the custom ROM's official Google+ account, that's about to change.
Samsung has a large and growing selection of accessories for its many Android devices, ranging from spare battery chargers to Bluetooth headsets and replacement parts. It's also crammed with various covers and cases, some of which even provide an extra degree of functionality. That is especially the case (giggle) with the Galaxy Note 3 Wireless Charging S-View Flip Covers that are now finally available from Samsung's online shop.
This product combines the official wireless charging cover and the S-View Flip Cover into one, making the Galaxy Note 3 the first to receive this combo.
HTC is pulling back the curtain a bit to give us a peek at what goes into a device update. Not only that, but it has broken out the different versions of the HTC One with individual KitKat statuses and a big infographic explaining the process.
The HTC One comes in three basic types – the carrier version, unlocked/developer edition, and the Google Play Edition device. Of course, it's the carrier version of the HTC One at Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile still waiting on KitKat.
Sure, you have your Pebbles and your Galaxy Gears, not to mention your various Kickstarter-funded competitors that promise even more functionality. But how much work do you really intend to do from your wrist? If all you want is a fitness tracker that plays back music and can also tell the time, then Motorola's MOTOACTV smartwatch might be all you need, and today it's available from Woot for just $129.99, over half off its usual price.
If one of NVIDIA's Tegra Note devices was under your Christmas tree this year, a quick jump into the System Updates menu should bring just one more gift: an OTA directly from NVIDIA. This is the first major system update for the company's first tablet platform, and should be available on all brands of the device, including EVGA, ADVENT, Gigabyte, Shezhen Homecare Technology, ZOTAC, and XOLO.
As NVIDIA has promised timely updates to the Tegra Note line of devices, this OTA brings the OS version up to Android 4.3 – not the KitKat update that many of you were likely hoping for, but a nice little version bump nonetheless.
Typically Christmas day is a slow one for technology news, but apparently the good folks at the Android Open Kang Project have dragged their coding machines in front of the open fire. Today AOKP has posted the first nightly builds of Android 4.4.2, granting deliciously fresh custom ROMs to all the good little girls and boys. And all the bad ones too, I suppose.
The list of initially-supported devices doesn't cover AOKP's official support list yet, but it covers most of the major Nexus devices, Samsung's Galaxy SIII and S4 American and international incarnations, all five major versions of the HTC One, and a handful of Sony devices (because they tend to be pretty open as far as bootloaders and modifications go).
Amid the flurry of new devices quietly launched recently, Google released a new Nexus accessory - a folio case for the Nexus 7 (2013). Despite my varied experiences with Nexus accessories, I'm always eager to see what Google thinks will work best with their devices. I'm particularly interested in tablet accessories. Tablets are meant to be super portable and usable anywhere, so making an accessory that retains the appeal of the device's form factor while also adding some utility is an interesting challenge.
Listen up, super-late Christmas shoppers: Best Buy has a pretty good deal going on seven-inch Kindle Fire HDXs today. You can score up to $82 off of various HDX models, and while they definitely won't arrive before Christmas (because, you know, that's today), they all have free shipping. Here's a full list of the options:
The Galaxy Gear may not be the best smartwatch out there, but if you have a compatible Samsung device, it may just be worth checking out. This would normally set you back $299.99, but today only, you can get the Gear for $239.95 from eBay, a 20% savings. To sweeten the deal even further, the watch also comes with free shipping.