You saw Android Wear a couple of months ago when Google unveiled the SDK and both LG and Motorola presented the first promotional pictures. Then you watched the Google I/O keynote that officially launched the LG G Watch and Samsung's surprise addition of the Gear Live. And now you've got a shiny, brand new Android Wear watch before you... but all you can think about is ripping into the digital guts of that thing and doing all of the awful things that Google never intended.
I'd just like to thank Google for expanding Android to two new platforms this year (Android TV doesn't count). Now we've got twice as many opportunities to talk about over-the-air software updates. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, both running nearly identical builds of Android Wear, are being updated to the slightly newer KMV78V build today. Owners should be seeing the update alert over the next few days if they haven't already.
An LTE version of Samsung's mediocre 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 came to Verizon last month, and now one has its eyes set on T-Mobile. Like Verizon, the uncarrier is pushing this tablet as a great piece of hardware for families to share. Considering the low 1280 by 800 display, I could see this as a great device to let junior smear peanut butter all over. But at 24 monthly payments of $16 ($384, over $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model), I may have to object.
It looks like all of the recent Nexus devices are covered - everything from the 2012 Nexus 7 up through to the Nexus 5. Of course, just because branches have been published for these devices, it is not absolute confirmation that this entire list of devices will receive an official L release.
Most of us have adjusted rather well to taking pictures on our phones, but there's a subset of the market out there that would much rather talk on their cameras. Samsung, as the one smartphone manufacturer willing to build just about anything, wants to help these people out. The Galaxy K Zoom is a point-and-shoot camera that's been smashed into the back of a lower-spec Galaxy S5, and it's currently going for $450 unlocked on eBay Daily Deals.
Okay, you've heard the jokes: "mini" phones are, at this point, considerably larger than the "big" high-end phones of previous years. So let's just assume that whenever Samsung employs the word "mini" in the name of a device, it means "looks kinda like the other one, but cheaper." Such is the case with the Galaxy S5 Mini, the third mini phone to spring off of Sammy's flagship line.
The S5 Mini's screen is 4.5 inches large with a resolution of 720p.
All the talk about Android L this week overshadows the unfortunate fact that the previous release is still on less than 15% of Android devices. This weekend US Cellular is helping in a small way, releasing KitKat to two of its Samsung phones. The US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega (6.3) are both being updated to KitKat, so those with the applicable hardware should keep an eye out for the over-the-air alert.
It's no secret that we think the Galaxy Tab S series are the best tablets you can buy right now. They're also not cheap - Samsung's priced its iPad competitors at iPad prices, and that means shelling out at least a cool $400 if you want to get in on that Super AMOLED goodness. Best Buy, though, is willing to give you a whole Benjamin off the MSRP if you give them a little trade-in action, though.
Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.