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.
Samsung has become that one friend you've got who suddenly decides he wears a fedora. No matter how many times you tell him that he looks less like a debonair time traveler than a guy who raided his grandfather's closet, he just won't take it off. Russian blog Hi-Tech Mail spotted the new Galaxy S4 'Black Edition' on Samsung's Russian page this morning, and a similar variant of the S4 Mini was later found.
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.
The family of accessories for the Galaxy S4 has a new arrival. Hot on the heels of Samsung's launch of a similar product for the Galaxy Note 3, the wireless charging S-View cover for the Galaxy S4 is now available. Before now, if you wanted to charge your phone wirelessly, you'd have to take the cover off and replace it with a wireless charging back. It's important to note that there is no difference between this and the regular S-View accessory, other than the additional contact points to enable Qi charging.
OTA updates are usually a good thing, but first impressions can be misleading. The just leaked Android 4.4 KitKat build for the Galaxy S4 seems good, but some behind-the-scenes changes broke SuperSU, making root access difficult. Ever the go-getter, Chainfire already has it sorted out.
The new flashable ZIP file is available from Chainfire's site – version number 1.89. CF-Auto-Root has also been updated to include the new SuperSU. This has been successfully tested with the leaked ROM on the GT-i9505, but should also be fine on other devices you need to get root on.
Typically Christmas day is a slow one for technology news, but apparently the good folks at the Android Open Kang Project have dragged their coding machines in front of the open fire. Today AOKP has posted the first nightly builds of Android 4.4.2, granting deliciously fresh custom ROMs to all the good little girls and boys. And all the bad ones too, I suppose.
The list of initially-supported devices doesn't cover AOKP's official support list yet, but it covers most of the major Nexus devices, Samsung's Galaxy SIII and S4 American and international incarnations, all five major versions of the HTC One, and a handful of Sony devices (because they tend to be pretty open as far as bootloaders and modifications go).
Of all the US Galaxy S4 variants, it's a safe bet that the Metro PCS version is one of the lesser-owned models. That said, if you count yourself among the ranks of SGH-M919N owners, your Android 4.3 update is ready. The official changelog doesn't look any different from the comparable OTAs for the other variants, but it's always nice to get a big firmware update like this nonetheless.
- OS upgrade to Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
- Samsung Galaxy Gear™ Compatibility - for detailed information about Galaxy Gear features, please visit the Galaxy Gear page
- Samsung Knox Compatibility
If you're curious what OS changes Android 4.3 brought with it, you can check out our overview.
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Jose Luis Ortega
We're into awesome giveaways here at Android Police, and it so happens that one such awesome giveaway opportunity just landed in our lap this week: a whole bunch o' Sprint phones and tablets.
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.