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.
An Android 4.4 update has been hitting Galaxy Note 3s all over the world, and while some people who have yet to receive it may feel a bit envious, there are benefits to waiting. Some users have reported being unable to use third-party flip covers that trigger a special lockscreen when closed. Following the upgrade to KitKat, only Samsung's official products, which contain a special identification chip, would work. Now Ars Technica has received a statement from Samsung acknowledging the issue as a "bug" and announcing a future OTA update that will return functionality to third-party accessories.
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
Samsung is slowly but surely sending its Android 4.4.2 update out to more and more regions and variants of the Galaxy Note 3. This morning SamMobile reports that both the LTE Snapdragon (SM-N9005) and the 3G Exynos (SM-N900) versions of the Note 3 are being updated over-the-air on networks in India, South Korea, and Switzerland. As usual, the rollout is staged, but users in these countries can try a manual update check via the Settings menu.
We heard rumors a number of months ago that Samsung was mulling a plan to begin restricting the functionality of uncertified accessories like cases and chargers on its devices. It seems that the company has started doing just that with the Android 4.4.2 update for the Note 3. Users who have updated are reporting that third-party S-View cases, like the one sold by Spigen, are no longer working.
Samsung includes a small identification chip in the official S-View case that allows it to work properly with the phone.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the more desirable high-end phones on the market at the moment, especially if you like your mobile hardware big and pleathery. If you also like your service from Sprint, then Amazon's wireless store has a heck of a deal for new customers: a Galaxy Note 3 for $112.49 on a subsidized plan. That's more than $200 off the retail price. Black and white models are available, and shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
Samsung tends to introduce phones with two or three color options, then slowly branch out to all parts of the visible spectrum in time. It's time for the Note 3 to start shifting colors, and you can experience it on Verizon Wireless. The new Rose Gold version of the Note 3 is coming to Big Red as an exclusive device.
The Rose Gold color scheme is basically a white Note 3 with gold trim – it actually looks a bit like the gold iPhone.
Samsung saw fit to sneak Android 4.4.2 out on the international Snapdragon-based Note 3 last week (starting with Poland, for some reason), but now things are picking up steam. The first 4.4.2 updates are arriving for the Exynos Note 3 (SM-N900). First up on the update list this time is Russia.
Earlier this week, Samsung officially started the rollout of the Galaxy Note 3's update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Appearing first for those in Poland through KIES, the update matched what had been leaked shortly before the rollout began.
Just a few days later, Samsung has uploaded the official kernel source files to its Open Source Release Center.
Interestingly, the manufacturer told developer Chainfire just yesterday "we only publish open source code of official version," responding to a request for access to the files.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.