Sprint has been marketing push-to-talk functionality (a walkie-talkie style function that's popular with business users) since long before Android came into being. Though the feature isn't nearly as common as it once was, Sprint seems ready to keep it going with an update to the official Android app. The Direct Connect service is now compatible with a handful of new phones, most notably headliners like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2.
If the Internet had a pantheon of deities, Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds would surely be among them, with a big white beard and a laurel wreath. Torvalds has been a vocal detractor of corporations that don't offer support for Linux, including an especially expressive denouncement of NVIDIA back in 2012. But yesterday, Torvalds gave NVIDIA a thumbs-up - which is two whole fingers away from his previous gesture - for posting an early open-source driver for the Tegra K1.
As you've doubtless heard by now, Lenovo is buying Motorola. Which means Google is selling Motorola. Which means some people are, understandably, upset. The future is uncertain for Moto - the company lost nearly $400 million last quarter, and that number is the worst yet under Google's leadership, despite slashing 80% of the Motorola workforce since Google acquired the company in 2011.
Undoubtedly, Lenovo's leadership will bring some changes at Motorola.
Here's a refreshing change of pace for Android users eager to get their over-the-air updates. According to this Sprint support page, the Android 4.4 update for the HTC One is available for customers right now. But strangely, it's not going out in the usual method - users will need to initiate a manual update request in order to pull it down. If you're an Android regular, you know how this goes: check the About Phone section of the Settings menu to see if there's an update available.
Sony has a solid track record when it comes to quickly making open source kernel files available to the public. The company released them for the T-Mobile exclusive Xperia Z1s last week on the same day that the handset launched in stores. Now Sony is following through with the Xperia Z1 Compact just after launching the phone in Europe.
These files are what developers need to make the custom ROMs many of us can't get enough of.
Like most OEMs, HTC likes to lock down the devices it sells to the general public, but maybe you like a little more freedom. That means an exploit is required to get s-off status. The new Firewater S-Off tool can manage that for any (or at least very nearly any) HTC device, even newer HTC One phones.
The tool comes courtesy of developers beaups and fuses, and it's completely free for personal use.
There are definitely some problems with the Ouya even after all these months, but that's mostly because of the hardware. In the absence of a true hardware revision the company is making a few minor alterations. A new version of the Ouya is now available for sale with more storage, an updated controller, and a totally brutal all black color.
Sony is continuing to mimic Motorola by adding its apps and services to Google Play. This time it's the new Xperia Transfer Mobile app, which seems a lot like Motorola Migrate. Who knows... maybe Sony is going to sell itself to Lenovo any day now.
Samsung hasn't made a big fuss about it yet, but the long-rumored Galaxy Note 3 Neo is now official. The device, which is a more modestly specced version of the Note 3, has popped up on Samsung's Polish site with all the pictures and data points you could ever want.
There are two versions of the Note 3 Neo, one with LTE and a hexa-core ARM chip, and another with 3G and a quad-core processor.