As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
Update: AT&T has just posted on its blog to say the OTA is live. Check for updates, people.
Prepare yourself AT&T customers – the Galaxy S4 is about to finally get that KitKat update that's been slowly rolling out across Samsung's product lineup. AT&T just posted the update details, and tomorrow (February 26th) is the big day.
Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.
The Galaxy Note 3 has already been getting its fair share of KitKat, but now it's the Galaxy S4's turn. The Exynos 5 Octa version of the international Galaxy S4 is getting Android 4.4.2 via an OTA update. If you have a GT-i9500, don't go checking for updates just yet – this rollout is starting in Russia.
US Cellular customers with Samsung flagship phones, you can finally play with the latest and greatest in Android software. The carrier is sending out the KitKat 4.4.2 update for both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 today, following the carrier's Moto X update by just over a week. Not bad, considering that larger carriers aren't very far ahead.
You know the drill: check your Settings menu for a manual update if you haven't seen it already.
Samsung has been very cautious in rolling out its KitKat update thus far, with even most Galaxy S4 owners still waiting around on Jelly Bean. This doesn't even take into account all the millions of other Galaxy smartphones and tablets that often take a backseat to the company's flagship. Yet Samsung has now provided a list of all the devices it intends to bump up to Android 4.4.2 before it's all said and done.
Most custom ROMs require separate builds for separate carrier variants - one for an international model, one for an AT&T model, one for a Verizon model, and so on. CyanogenMod is trying to consolidate some of its most popular builds so that a single ROM ZIP file will work across several various device variants. Last month the CM team combined three HTC One builds, and today they're doing the same for Samsung's Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3.
The kernel source dropped yesterday, which seemed to point to an impending release, and we didn't have to wait long. Android 4.4 is on its way to all Galaxy S4 users on Sprint, but you'll have to wait your turn.
There are so many regional and carrier variants of Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship that even we can hardly keep them straight, but apparently CyanogenMod hasn't released an official ROM for the white bread, vanilla, Exynos-powered original GS4 before now. But lo and behold, a new build for the GT-I9500 GSM model has appeared on the CM download page. It's a test version of CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4) if you're interested.
As you may recall, support for Exynos-based hardware has been something of a sticking point for CyanogenMod and other ROM teams.
The Galaxy S4 is nearly a year old now, but that doesn't mean Samsung's done releasing new variations of it. Today the company has officially announced a new "Black Edition" of the flagship that comes with the plastic, faux-stitched back panel that first appeared with the debut of the Note 3.The new S4 model is joined by a variation of the S4 mini that looks the same, just smaller.
The new Galaxy S4 and S4 mini come with black power adapters, data cables, and headphones (as opposed to the usual white ones).