Samsung's finally giving up on its flub of a chat platform, ChatON, early next year. Speaking to Engadget, Samsung confirmed that the app which no one asked be installed on their phone would be going offline on February 1st in all markets except the US, where it will shortly convalesce until some point before the end of Q1 2015. At which time, ChatON will die, and let's be real, probably go on to be reborn as some other not-very-good Samsung software product in a year or two, like a sort of crappy phoenix. Read More
Carriers are slowly creeping toward the day when they will no longer need old-fashioned 3G voice calls. AT&T is doing its part by updating another device with VoLTE functionality. The Galaxy S4 Mini should be getting an update right now with VoLTE baked in.
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. Read More
Update: Here's the OTA zip file straight from Google's servers.
Google and Samsung haven't forgotten about the first Google Play Edition phone. Yes, the Galaxy S4 GPE is getting its Android 5.0 update right now. Time to hit that update menu.
Those looking for an off-contract deal on fairly recent phones have a treat today: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are available in refurbished condition on eBay for $320 (Note 3) and $220 (S4) with free shipping. They are Verizon devices, but are unlocked and technically able to pick up 3G from GSM carriers, according to the seller.
You can buy a Gear VR in the US now, but you need a Galaxy Note 4 to get any use out of the device. While the headset comes with extra sensors, much of the computing power takes place on the smartphone side of things. An update is now rolling out to the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Note 4 that get things ready to go. Read More
Samsung rebranded its AllShare Play service to Link about a year ago, but that wasn't the end of that transition. A new Samsung Link Platform app has been released on the Play Store to complement the new experience — the previous Samsung Link app is still there too, but it carries an older design language and seems to suffer from update and sign-in issues.
Link allows you to bridge the gap between your various electronics, be it Samsung phones or tablets, computers, and TV sets. Read More
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. Read More
Samsung's virtual reality-producing pair of Galaxy Note 4-powered goggles have gone on sale in the US on the manufacturer's website. Gear VR Innovator Edition, as the experimental product is actually called, is available for $199.99.
Gear VR works similarly to Google Cardboard, with a phone providing the processing power and display needed for the experience. But instead of cheaply assembled paper holding up the handset, Samsung and Oculus have worked together to create something that looks as though it should serve a function on its own. Read More
Update 12/7/14: The deal is back today.
Samsung is really the only game in town if you want an Android slate larger than 10-inches. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is a pricey device, though. The retail figure is $649.99, but it usually sells for $549.99. You can get it for more than $200 less on eBay right now, provided you don't mind a refurbished unit.
The Tab Pro 12.2 is rocking a 2560x1600 LCD, an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 9500mAh battery. Read More