Can you hear that? The growing din of excited Samsung fans is rising as we move ever closer to the announcement of the company's new flagship device. Samsung is rumored to be giving its UI a facelift on the Galaxy S5, and that may extend to the S Voice app. A pair of leaked screens show what appears to be the new UI for Samsung's voice assistant.
Ready for yet another Samsung-exclusive app to dot the screen of the latest Galaxy device? Ready or not, it looks like Samsung's supply of custom software isn't running out any time soon. SamMobile got their hands on a leaked APK for "Samsung Life Times," a new app that will presumably debut with a future smartphone.
The app is a sort of life logger, collecting data from various apps and presenting them in a personal digital history.
AllThingsD spinoff Re/code is reporting this morning that Google and Samsung have reached a series of "broad agreements" regarding the latter's modifications to the Android OS, and it may be music to the ears of Android enthusiasts everywhere.
According to an unnamed source (of course!), Google wasn't exactly happy with the direction the Korean OEM had been moving with the OS, particularly in the way it had been promoting its own content services on devices.
Not content with being the world's biggest phone manufacturer, Samsung has decided to break into the retail space in a big way. The company already has three stand-alone Samsung stores in Spain, operated by the established retailer Carphone Warehouse. Now the two companies have announced that Samsung will expand the program, completely converting over 60 existing Carphone Warehouse retail locations into Samsung-excusive stores.
Samsung already operates "mini stores" inside many Best Buy retail locations.
Diversify and fill all niches. Samsung seems to have learned its basic sciences, because they're applying a naturalist approach to the tablet market: a ton of models for consumers, new specialized versions for professionals, and now a tablet made just for the lucrative education market. Today Samsung announced a new Galaxy Tab especially for K-12 schools. It's only new in a technical sense - the hardware is clearly a black 10-inch Galaxy Tab 3.
If Samsung has not yet scared you away with its recent indiscretions, the new NotePRO 12.2 can be pre-ordered in the UK. You won't even have to wait very long for this stylus-friendly monster to ship. Samsung expects the NotePro (Samsung usually leaves the screen size off) to hop a truck to your home on February 4th.
The NotePro is very similar to the previously announced 2014 version of the Note 10.1, except for the size, of course.
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.
Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."
The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds.
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.