Smartphone theft is a growing problem. With more and more people carrying around a $500 gadget in their pockets, muggers and pickpockets are targeting smartphone owners for a quick and easy buck on the aftermarket. Municipalities all over the country have noted the rise in cell phone theft, and so have the manufacturers. But as CBS News reports, when Samsung built in a user-accessible kill switch to deter thieves, the CTIA and the five largest carriers in the country wanted nothing to do with it.
Regular readers will recall that yesterday AT&T suspended the rollout of the Android 4.3 update to its carrier-branded version of the Galaxy S4. It looks like US Cellular is doing the same today. The following is a statement given to Android Police when we asked a US Cellular representative about any possible delays to the update, which was started on November 8th:
Many of us have sacrificed point and shoot cameras for the smartphones in our pockets, but it will be a long time before they can compete with the more high-end options out there. So if you want an Android camera that can take truly phenomenal pictures, you may have to sacrifice the phone portion for the time being. Consider turning your attention to Samsung's Galaxy NX, a camera with a 20.3MP sensor, a 4.8-inch touchscreen, and Android 4.2.2.
KitKat is tasty, for sure, but it's not the only Android flavor that gets users excited. Many users are still waiting for the latest version of Jelly Bean to arrive on their devices. Considering just how many Galaxy SIIIs Samsung managed to sell, that's a good number of customers who will be happy to know that their wait for Android 4.3 will soon come to an end. If you have a Galaxy S III running on T-Mobile, an Android 4.3 update may now be available for you to install.
The Galaxy Note II came out over a year ago rocking Android 4.1.1. That was great at the time, but now that a giant KitKat statue is standing up in front of the Googleplex, it's time to move things along. Samsung never bothered with bringing 4.2.2 to the Note 2, but customers will likely forgive them now that 4.3 is rolling out to devices across the globe. It's moving in phases, though, so for the time being the only models to start receiving the update have been the GT-N7100 and the GT-N7105.
The low-cost Sprint MVNO FreedomPop just launched its freemium phone service last month, but now it's expanding phone selection by letting users bring their own handsets. However, that doesn't mean you can take just any Sprint device over the FreedomPop and kiss your bill goodbye – there are some restrictions.
Update: Samsung has confirmed that it meant 800k shipments – not sales. The confusion might have resulted from Samsung's claim that the Gear is the best selling smart watch, which might still be true. We don't know how many have actually been sold, or if that rumored 50k sales number from last week is accurate.
Samsung's foray into the nascent smart watch market has not been as much of a failure as some recent reports would have you believe.
Remember that Android 4.3 update that started rolling out to the AT&T Galaxy S4 last week? Well, you can stop waiting for it and hitting the update button every 10 minutes – there's been a little hiccup.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a pretty capable tablet, though it does have several drawbacks. While the painfully low 1280 by 800 display can't be helped, its default software configuration is far less immutable. If TouchWiz just grinds your gears, you will be happy to know that CyanogenMod nightlies are now available for both the 3G (GT-N5100) and WiFi-only (GT-N5110) versions of the tablet. Sure, anyone who installs them now may be sacrificing stability and other functionality, but that's the price some are willing to pay for stock Android and quicker access to updates.
The Galaxy Gear is twice the price of the Pebble and pricier than both iterations of Sony's SmartWatch, but it isn't necessarily a more complete product. A particular sore spot is how the watch handles notifications, limiting not only which apps can send them, but not actually displaying the contents for most apps. The latest update to the Galaxy Gear Manager app alleviates this somewhat. Now users can pick which apps send messages to the Gear and even read the contents on the watch itself.