In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK. Read More
Good news, the long-awaited Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S III is now rolling out to Verizon customers. Sure, it comes after peers received the goodies first on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, but that's just the way the wind blows sometimes. Oftentimes, actually. This is Verizon we're talking about. But here it is, build number I535VRUCML1, complete with the last Jelly Bean release and Galaxy Gear compatibility. Read More
You know what? There are entirely too many versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I feel like I've written this same story a half-dozen times, though that's probably because it's essentially the same software update across the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. In any case, if you're rocking Samsung's 2013 flagship on budget carrier Cricket, you might see an over the air update prompt today: it's your turn to get Android 4.3. Read More
Glass has just gotten a nice update to XE12, which besides foretelling the long-awaited iOS app, brings with it new Glassware, gestures, and questions.
Perhaps most important, the update introduces new glassware for Hangouts. Not being able to interact with the service by sending and receiving messages has been an elephant in the room for Glass from the beginning, so it's great to see that compatibility has finally arrived. The glassware will also take over Glass' video call capabilities, and allow users to send photos too. Read More
Gah, what a long, long, lonnng road it has been. From the rumors of "touch sensitive wood" to the actual Moto X launch, MotoMaker, and everything in between, a lot has happened with Motorola this year. And since the X's availability, many users have been chomping at the bit for some of that au naturel action on their phone. I'm referring, of course, to the wooden backs that have long been teased. Read More
Yesterday, The Information reported that Google is rumored to be working on smart thermostats, in a renewed bid to help users manage their home energy (and interior climate). Information on the project is sparse so far, but Google hopes it will be a successful follow-up to the unsuccessful PowerMeter, a service that was killed off due to apparent scaling difficulties.
Thanks to a tipster who is - we know you've heard this before - familiar with the matter, we've got an early glimpse into Google's upcoming thermostat foray - we've got a few new details and a look at the service's Android app. Read More
If you own a Verizon HTC One, it's time to start tapping that "check for updates" button. Following Friday's announcement by HTC of an Android 4.3 firmware update, Verizon has updated its support PDF for the device with a full changelog. The new firmware version is 2.10.605.1. In addition to the obvious OS upgrade, there seems to be a fair number of bug fixes including:
- Increased charging speed when using Mophie Juicepack power station
- Corrected faint ringing noise from earpiece
- Play purchased ringtones
- Connection error fixed in the HTC Watch application
- View the correct date using the all day calendar reminder
- Conjunction words are better recognized on device keyboard
- Backup Assistant performance
Update: Looks like it's rolling out now. Read More
In case you haven't been paying attention, there has been a storm of Android 4.4.2 updates for Google Play Edition devices over the past few days. It started Friday with the HTC One and Galaxy S4, and continued yesterday with the G Pad 8.3. Now, it's time for Sony Z Ultra GPE owners to get in on the action. The OTA weighs in at hefty 444 MB and, like all other recent GPE updates, will bring the phone up to date with current Nexus devices at Android 4.4.2/KOT49H. Read More
Samsung has been rolling out Galaxy Gear support to additional devices since the end of October, lumping the functionality in with updates to Android 4.3. A leaked schedule provided a timeline of when to expect various Galaxy handsets across the big four American carriers to get updated, and many OTAs started rolling out right on schedule. Others have not. The AT&T Galaxy Note II's update has been somewhat of a tortoise, but it may soon cross the finish line, as the long-awaited OTA is finally inbound. Read More
Following the HTC One GPE and Galaxy S4 GPE updates that rolled out over the weekend, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE is now receiving its first OTA. Rumblings about the update started as early as Friday, but we decided to wait until we had the OTA zip link. The new firmware version is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H, which brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.
There is no official changelog with the update, so it's currently unknown what, if any, device-specific bugs may have been fixed. Read More