04
May
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A couple of months ago, a number of team Hacksung/CyanogenMod members expressed frustration and doubt regarding the fate of the popular custom ROM when it came to Samsung's newest flagship - the Galaxy S4 (see our review). Other CM members quickly put an end to the misinterpretation, but not before some prematurely jumped to incorrect conclusions. Needless to say, when Steve Kondik, a.k.a. Cyanogen, took to G+ to announce the first upcoming S4 builds, he couldn't resist the opportunity for a healthy dose of sarcasm:

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His follow-up messages confirmed that the T-Mobile and Canadian S4s were first in line, followed by the international i9505 at some point in the future when the team gets a hold of the hardware, though it's not clear whether the i9500 or other Exynos Octa variants will be supported.

03
May
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Greetings to our northern neighbors - you cam now buy Samsung's latest flagship device on a variety of Canadian carriers. The Galaxy S4 is available from the standard nationwide wireless providers, Rogers, Bell, Virgin, and TELUS, in addition to MVNOs and regional carriers like Fido, Videotron, Eastlink, and Koodo. Prices range from $199 Canadian with a three-year contract from the "big three" to just shy of $700 for an off-contract model, which is pretty standard for new premium models in Canada.

03
May
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Samsung has just released the kernel source code for the Sprint and US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4, models SPH-L720 and SCH-R970, respectively. The timing is likely due to the fact that both devices operate on relatively similar CDMA networks.

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The kernel source for these devices mark the first such release for American versions of Samsung's brand-new flagship. That means AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, C-Spire, and Cricket source code are still yet to come down the pike.

03
May
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If you're a Verizon Wireless subscriber looking to get your hands on a shiny new Galaxy S4 come release day, you're probably weighing your various pre-order options already. Well, Wirefly's one you can toss into the mix, and with a half-decent deal - their Verizon GS4 is just $179.99 for new account or upgrades, $20 less than Verizon's price. Here's the white version, and here's the black.

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Even better, Wirefly doesn't charge sales tax for many states, and that's actually a big savings, since generally you're charged the full MSRP of the phone for sales tax.

03
May
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There are still very few "universal" docks available for Android users, but if you own a Samsung smartphone, this little baby comes pretty close. The Samsung Galaxy Multimedia Desktop Charging Dock includes a spiffy flip-out stand big enough to support the biggest of Notes, plus an audio-out 3.5mm jack for easy output to a nearby speaker. One Amazon vendor is selling the dock for just sixteen dollars American, a discount of more than two thirds off the retail price.

02
May
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Verizon just started pushing Android 4.1.2 to the Galaxy Note II. AT&T will start offering that same update to the original Note tomorrow, May 3rd.

Update: The word on the street is that this update is already available through Kies. Hook up and get it!

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While the Android version bump is the same, however, everything else about this one is quite a bit different. Here's what you an expect post-update:

Software update includes

  • Popup note: Allows user to instantly write down directions, phone numbers, and other information while on a call.

02
May
GALAXY Note II Product Image_Key Visual

Last to the party as always, Verizon is finally pushing Android 4.1.2 to its version of the Galaxy Note II. This update also brings some Samsung enhancements like a proper version of multi-window, along with overall bug fixes and enhancements. Overall, it looks like a pretty good one for Big Red's note-taking behemoth.

01
May
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It was only yesterday that Cyanogen definitively confirmed AT&T's treacherous move to lock down the Galaxy S4's bootloader, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. No thanks to AT&T but to security researcher extraordinaire and a person I admire Dan Rosenberg, a.k.a. the magician, a.k.a. the root whisperer.

Dan, who is responsible for numerous root and unlock exploits, tweeted this photo of his Galaxy S4 earlier today:

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There are no instructions or blog posts explaining the unlock at Dan's blog yet - these should be coming in the future.

30
Apr
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I picked up Samsung's official first-party cover for the Galaxy Note 8.0 shortly after getting the tablet itself, because Samsung's plastic body doesn't inspire confidence, because all tablets scream out for an easy freestanding solution, and (not least) because it was the only option right after release. The case hits all the high points: good protection, a built-in stand, and a magnet to activate the screen's sleep feature. The only major downside, like the tablet itself, is the price.

30
Apr
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If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.

Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run.

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