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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Looking for a 32GB 2013 Nexus 7 on the cheap (in the US)? Amazon and Newegg to the rescue! While this isn't the lowest price we've ever seen, it is pretty close to it, and more importantly, it's not through eBay or a less than well-known 3rd party retailer - these are the big-box guys.
Getting things kicked off, the 32GB 2013 Nexus 7 is one of today's Newegg featured daily deals, coming it at an impressive $239.00 sans tax and shipping, beating the Play Store price by a rather substantial $30, or 11%.
While the Nexus 5 launched nearly three weeks ago in some parts of the world, as we all know, the Google Play Store doesn't exactly ship to every corner of the globe. Today, we're getting a little closer to that goal, though, as India and Hong Kong can now purchase the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) direct from Google, as confirmed by the Nexus page on Google+.
Starting with Hong Kong (Play Store pictured above), pricing for the Nexus 5 is HK$3,198 for the 16GB version, and HK$3,588 for the 32GB variant.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 is already cheaper than the Galaxy Gear, but thanks to two instant coupon offers, you can get it now for half the price of Samsung's product. Rakuten.com lists two retailers willing to part with Sony's watch for $149.99. Just head over to the site and add the device to your cart to have the discount applied immediately.
With this discount, the SmartWatch 2 is available for the same price as the Pebble.
Got your eye on a Moto X or Moto G, but just don't have the scratch right this minute? Motorola still wants your business, so it's offering to finance phone purchases interest-free for up to 18 months, provided you're credit-worthy. Sorry, we cannot vouch for you.
If you're willing to spend $549 or more, you can get no interest for 18 months with nothing down. That's more than the full cost of the regular Moto X, so you'd have to buy the Developer Edition (or the Droid Maxx) to take advantage of this with a single device.
Google made a big deal out of the Qi-compatible wireless charger last year, but it took months to finally arrive. This year Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger is making its entrance in a much more timely manner. You can order it right now and it'll ship on or around November 22nd.
The Nexus charger is compatible with all recent devices with Qi technology – the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and 2013 Nexus 7.