Minus a couple of hiccups, Samsung is reliably updating its later models to the last version of Jelly Bean. Sprint's branded version of the Galaxy Note II is the latest phone to get the Android 4.3 magic, complete with updated compatibility with Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Gotta sell those $300 add-ons, eh Sprint?
Samsung is following its release schedule almost to the letter. In addition to Android 4.3 goodies and Gear compatibility, this particular update (L900VPAMK4) adds HD Voice enhancements, Samsung KNOW compatibility, and a few visual touches to bring the Note II more in line with UI elements found on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Read More
If you read our Nexus 5 Voltron-style review, you know that one of the Nexus 5's only real failings is its tiny, tinny speaker. To quote Mr. Ruddock: "It doesn't get very loud, the quality is pretty gag-worthy." A few XDA-Developers members decided to investigate the actual hardware on the speaker, leading Adam Outler to conclude that at least some units were affected by a manufacturing defect. He decided to fix this problem the XDA way: by cracking the phone open and poking holes in it. Read More
Motorola is continuing its tradition of being transparent about which devices are on the docket for OTAs. The company's online tool has been updated to indicate several new devices will be joining the Android 4.4 fold.
Toshiba pisses me off. It's a company that released one of my favorite Android tablets of all time (which is also subsequently abandoned after 4.1). When I know that a company is capable of putting out good gadgets but they continuously release garbage, it frustrates me. Announcement after announcement, I think this could be the one – this might just be the next good Toshiba device. And every single time, I'm disappointed. Read More
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the best smartphones money can buy. However, it does take a lot of money to buy one. As an unexpected thank you for buying its giant tablet-phone, Samsung is offering $50 in Google Play credit, and all you have to do is enter some information online.
It's easy – just hit up the website below and input your phone number, IMEI, and a few other bits of information. Read More
If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain. Read More
In a series of tweets earlier, HTC offered some insight into the status of updates coming to the DNA and One, hopefully giving some comfort to owners of the respective devices, though updates can never come soon enough for many.
First, HTC addressed concerns over the update to 4.3 for One owners on Verizon, indicating that getting the update cleared with good old VZW would be "a two step process," involving an update for compatibility, and the actual 4.3 update in December. Read More
The first notable update for KitKat has just been released across most of the major AOSP and Nexus channels. According to Google software engineer Conley Owens, the KRT16S build includes bugfixes for the original Nexus 7 and Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi and mobile versions), Nexus 4, and Nexus 10. The binaries have already been added to the Nexus repository.
Screenshot credit: Tron87, Nathan Sparrow
Google has also updated the factory images for the relevant Nexus devices. Read More
Smartphone theft is a growing problem. With more and more people carrying around a $500 gadget in their pockets, muggers and pickpockets are targeting smartphone owners for a quick and easy buck on the aftermarket. Municipalities all over the country have noted the rise in cell phone theft, and so have the manufacturers. But as CBS News reports, when Samsung built in a user-accessible kill switch to deter thieves, the CTIA and the five largest carriers in the country wanted nothing to do with it. Read More
Regular readers will recall that yesterday AT&T suspended the rollout of the Android 4.3 update to its carrier-branded version of the Galaxy S4. It looks like US Cellular is doing the same today. The following is a statement given to Android Police when we asked a US Cellular representative about any possible delays to the update, which was started on November 8th:
We have suspended the release of the Android 4.3 upgrade for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 at the request of Samsung. This was a global decision made by Samsung and we are working with them on a new resubmission of the software and will have more details soon.