Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp was certainly yesterday's biggest story when it came to web and social news. But according to Amir Efrati of The Information, there's an interesting backstory that didn't make it into the financial pages. He reports that six months ago, Google offered to pay WhatsApp to notify the larger company if they received an acquisition offer from anyone else. While an exact amount hasn't been disclosed, the deal was reportedly worth "millions of dollars."
The Information's anonymous sources say that WhatsApp declined the offer - surely a hard pill to swallow for a startup company, even one with the fantastic number of users that WhatsApp boasts.
The kernel source was posted just the other day, which usually signals an update is right around the corner. Indeed, here comes KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 on Sprint. The 503.6MB OTA download includes a few small tweaks to TouchWiz with Android 4.4.
Chromecast not working? Now you can complain in an official place on the web – a Googler might even see and help you out. The official Chromecast product forums are up and running with plenty of general information and threads with specific questions.
New phones and tablets aren't the only thing that Samsung will unveil in Barcelona. A recent Twitter post indicates that the company will reveal a new line of Exynos mobile processors, cryptically titled "Exynos Infinity." The post from the official Exynos account omitted any other details, but a debut during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 24th (concurrent with, but technically distinct from, Mobile World Congress) is a safe bet.
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The Galaxy S5 may or may not be coming to Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona, but reliable leak source SamMobile thinks it is. The specialist site is reporting a series of leaks for the camera in Samsung's next flagship, starting with its sensor, a new 16-megapixel module. That would give the S5 more photo fidelity than the current Galaxy S4 and Note 3, but still it would still lag behind Sony's best-in-class 20.7MP sensor.
Google Fiber coming to your city, with its promise of gigabit Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what most of us currently put up with, is about as awesome as winning the lottery often enough to buy Time Warner Cable yourself and using all of the company's resources to funnel a connection to your house and yours only. Thus far the service has only appeared in a few parts of the country, namely Kansas City, Austin, and Provo.
Samsung's advertising has been somewhat hit or miss lately, ranging from pretty decent scifi ads for the Galaxy Gear to cringe-worthy infomercials for the same product. But it looks like there's been something of a shift in the company's promotional direction, or at least in the way that it responds to Apple's sometimes hyperbolic TV ads. Check out this new one-minute spot for the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1.
The ad plays up the TabPRO's high-resolution screen with a better aspect ratio for movies versus the iPad Air, plus its ability to fit multiple apps on the screen at once, which has been a staple of TouchWiz for a while.
LG teased the G2 Mini a week ago, announcing that more information would come on February 24th at Mobile World Congress. Well, the company has gotten ahead of itself, pre-announcing the device and confirming a few specs. The "small" version of LG's flagship, unfortunately, won't match its power, screen quality, or camera. The G2 Mini will ship with either a Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia Tegra 4i chip, a 4-7-inch 540x960 display, an 8MP camera, a 2440mAh battery, and just 8GB of internal memory (alleviated somewhat by a microSD card slot).
Fans of Motorola and ROM flashing will be excited to learn CyanogenMod is giving them what they want. NewCM11 nightly builds of the popular ROM now support a ton of Motorola devices with unified builds. You just have to figure out which phones are which – it's a little tricky.
There is a single ROM for the Falcon, which would be a cool name for a phone. It's actually the Moto G, and it looks like this ROM should work for all variants.
Just yesterday HTC committed to two full years of updates after release for new phones, but it looks like the company isn't keeping the updates to recent hardware. Last night Martin Fichter, one of HTC's US vice presidents, posted a link for a ROM Update Utility file ("RUU") for Sprint's HTC EVO 4G LTE to Twitter. The RUU updates the phone to Android 4.3 and Sense 5. If you've got an EVO 4G LTE phone and a Windows computer, you can flash it right now.