For quite some time, we've been hearing about the potential advantages of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) spec, and a seemingly endless list of gadgets that could benefit from it. Unfortunately, while many modern flagship devices are equipped with the necessary hardware, Google has allowed the Android OS to languish without official support for the standard. Most of the top OEMs have built their own proprietary versions for the energy efficient protocol, but until now, only Motorola has freely shared access to its API.
Howdy, Sprintsters! If you're a Note II owner, it's time to head into Settings > About Phone > System updates again, as The Now Network is pushing another OTA to the massive handset. It's a small one, with only a couple of fixes in tow:
- Waking a device with the home key incorrectly brings up the Recently Use applications screen
- Home Screen security updates
Exciting, no? At least you'll have a safer home screen and won't have to deal with seeing recent apps when you turn the device on with the home button post-update, though.
Just last week we featured the battery-cover-busting ZeroLemon 7000mAh extended battery for the Galaxy S III. If that's not enough for you and your globe trotting, electricity eschewing lifestyle, the company also offers an even more expansive 9300mAh battery for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. In case you're wondering, yes, it's perfectly normal to imagine Also Sprach Zarathustra playing in the background right now. Amazon's got the battery for a mere $39.99 (US price) at the moment.
The Galaxy S4 is upon us. AT&T and US Cellular launched their respective pre-order pages just yesterday, and now Sprint and T-Mobile have announced official release date and pricing info.
The Now network will begin offering The Next Big Thing on April 27th for the expected price of $250 with a two-year agreement. However, if you're willing to ditch your current provider and port your number to Sprint, you'll get another hundred-spot off, bringing the price down to $150.
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10.
Just last week, we saw the launch of the elusive book cover for the Nexus 10 – the only official accessory of its kind to come out of the Play Store for the 10" slab. Since we spied it at the Nexus 10's original launch, all had been quiet. Presumably, the covers simply weren't ready to be sold.
Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change.
The day AT&T and US Cellular customers have been waiting on for some weeks is here: it's time to pre-order Samsung's Next Big Thing. For a shiny new two-hundred dollar bill, you can secure the 16GB Galaxy S4 in either white frost or black mist on either carrier. And if you're on US Cellular, you get an added bonus: the company is throwing in a free S View flip cover to seal the deal.
Looks like every carrier in Canada (give or take a couple) decided to announce GS4 pre-orders at the same time. The good news, though, is that if you're on Telus, Bell, Virgin, or Videotron, you're one step closer to landing yourself a shiny new phone. The device is available for pre-order on all four of the aforementioned carriers, with a shipping date of April 27th for the former three.
Customers on Telus and Bell will be able to grab this handset for $200 with a three-year agreement (yikes!); Videotron customers will see the same price, though there's no word on agreement terms in the PR.
If you happened to be one of the less than 13 people who shelled out $550 to get Verizon's variant of the Galaxy Camera, then a nice update is heading your way. It appears to bring some pretty useful new features, like S Memo, a new Help App, four new Smart Modes, and a nifty remote view finder.
So far as the new Smart Modes are concerned, the update brings scenes for dawn, indoor parties, snow, and food to the device, for a total of 19.