Here's something you don't see every day. American carriers AT&T and Verizon both offer the fourth-generation models of the Galaxy Tab 8.0 and 10.1, and this weekend, they're each updating both versions. That indicates some kind of coordinated effort on the part of Samsung's software engineers... or a remarkable coincidence. In any case, owners should start seeing the over-the-air updates come in today, though some will have to wait a few more days.
AT&T's Samsung tablet lineup is getting a couple of small updates, but it probably won't be all that interesting unless you've got a very specific need for carrier billing or kid-friendly content. The AT&T branded versions of both the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 (good grief, Samsung, your names are a mouthful) are receiving minor updates to their firmware. Neither one boosts the Android software on the tablets (4.4.2), but they do add a few tools.
So you own a Galaxy S4, Tab 4 8.0 LTE, or Avant and have just received an over-the-air update from T-Mobile. What does it do? Regardless of which of the three devices you own, the answer is the same: not much.
The Galaxy S4, easily the most popular gadget of the three, is receiving a bump to version M919UVUFNK2. This brings with it Chinese language support. Don't speak Chinese? Proceed not to care about this update.
T-Mobile is pushing out an over-the-air update that will bump its Galaxy Tab 4 up to Android 4.4.4. This means that people who own this 8.0-inch LTE-enabled tablet will get to run the latest version of their mobile operating system for at least a week before 5.0 starts running out to various devices. Since this is a bugfix release, that's the biggest reason most users will have to look forward to this OTA.
Barnes & Noble and Samsung appear to be getting along pretty well, for the two companies have now unveiled their second joint tablet: the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. Just like the previous Nook tablet, this is a Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 with some added software tweaks that place emphasis on reading and consuming content from Barnes & Noble. The tablet is available for a launch price of $299 (following a $50 instant rebate), which puts it right in line with the price of the non-Nook version of the slate.
Alright T-Mobile users, it's time to get flashing, at least if you own an LG G3 or the 7-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Team Win has released their custom recovery build for both of the T-Mobile variants of those devices, enabling power users to easily flash modifications and ROMs or backup the existing system. You can grab the T-Mo G3 recovery here, and the Galaxy Tab 4 recovery here.
Apparently the various unlocked and carrier models of both devices are just different enough to cause difficulty when flashing a modified recovery or ROM, and in both cases these TWRP builds are the first official ones for their respective devices.
You'll finally be able to hitch your wagon to the Sprint Spark LTE network in tablet fashion come this Friday. That's when Sprint plans to launch its first tablet with support for tri-band LTE. The device in question is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, and other than the LTE radio, it looks to be the same device you can get now sans mobile data.
Big Red is welcoming two new devices to its stable today: HTC's mid-range
One Mini 2 One Remix, and Samsung's 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 4. Both are available on the Verizon website right now, and should be in retail stores today or soon thereafter. The One Remix costs $49.99 on-contract (half of what we expected), or $449.99 without the commitment, which actually isn't bad as far as Verizon phones go.
Starting today, AT&T will offer the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 online for $269.99 with a two-year contract. Alternatively, customers can skip the annual contract and pay $369.99 upfront or add $18.50 to their bill for twenty months instead. Either contract-free price matches what T-Mobile is selling the device for, but both still cost $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model.
The LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 4450mAh battery.
An LTE version of Samsung's mediocre 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 came to Verizon last month, and now one has its eyes set on T-Mobile. Like Verizon, the uncarrier is pushing this tablet as a great piece of hardware for families to share. Considering the low 1280 by 800 display, I could see this as a great device to let junior smear peanut butter all over. But at 24 monthly payments of $16 ($384, over $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model), I may have to object.