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.
We heard rumors a number of months ago that Samsung was mulling a plan to begin restricting the functionality of uncertified accessories like cases and chargers on its devices. It seems that the company has started doing just that with the Android 4.4.2 update for the Note 3. Users who have updated are reporting that third-party S-View cases, like the one sold by Spigen, are no longer working.
Samsung includes a small identification chip in the official S-View case that allows it to work properly with the phone.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 currently has a starting price of $549.99 at most retailers, making it a relatively pricey tablet. Yet with its 2560x1600 10-inch display, 3GB of RAM, and quirky S Pen functionality, there's a lot to like here. So if you have your heart set on this device, and you aren't above picking up a refurbished model, then you can currently get one on Groupon for just $389.99.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the more desirable high-end phones on the market at the moment, especially if you like your mobile hardware big and pleathery. If you also like your service from Sprint, then Amazon's wireless store has a heck of a deal for new customers: a Galaxy Note 3 for $112.49 on a subsidized plan. That's more than $200 off the retail price. Black and white models are available, and shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
Samsung tends to introduce phones with two or three color options, then slowly branch out to all parts of the visible spectrum in time. It's time for the Note 3 to start shifting colors, and you can experience it on Verizon Wireless. The new Rose Gold version of the Note 3 is coming to Big Red as an exclusive device.
The Rose Gold color scheme is basically a white Note 3 with gold trim – it actually looks a bit like the gold iPhone.
Samsung saw fit to sneak Android 4.4.2 out on the international Snapdragon-based Note 3 last week (starting with Poland, for some reason), but now things are picking up steam. The first 4.4.2 updates are arriving for the Exynos Note 3 (SM-N900). First up on the update list this time is Russia.
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.
The incomparable @evleaks has offered up another look at Samsung's alleged UI experimentation, this time showing what would appear to be predictive search or information cards, similar to those offered by Google Now. Split into two parts, the collection shows everything from home temperature automation to exercise tracking to flight info, package tracking, appointments, and plenty more.
What differentiates the cards from Google's own service (design aside) is apparent social integration beyond birthdays and commutes.