Samsung has been trying to improve its image in software lately, especially when it comes to security updates for Android devices. What better way than to release an update several days early? That's the case with the May security update, which is already rolling out to several devices, with new features coming to select flagships.
Samsung got incredibly fast when it comes to security patches, often beating even Google to the punch. The story is different for carrier-issued updates, but compared to prior years, they've gotten quicker, too. As such, AT&T has started pushing the update to the S20 series and the Note9 while the Verizon S9 and S9+ are in for the patches.
Google promised over a year ago that the wireless version of Android Auto would work out-of-the-box on any Android 9.0+ phone, but that hasn't quite panned out. The only devices that have been able to use it are Google's own Pixel devices (plus the Nexus 5X and 6P), but that finally appears to be changing.
After yesterday's presentation for the Galaxy S20 line of phones, many of you may have already made the decision to order one of the three models to be your next phone. Since Samsung is sticking to the glass sandwich recipe for this generation, it may be wise to wrap that (potentially $1400) phone in a case to add a bit of protection. If you didn't choose one of Samsung's options, Moment has a couple cases available that might fit the bill, and they are designed to be very environmentally friendly.
Broken displays often end up being the death sentence for old phones, so in a great marketing move that's also good for the environment, Sprint has decided to offer $50 repairs for shattered Samsung Galaxy screens. The deal is valid regardless of your carrier and will run through February 9 or while supply lasts. To take advantage of it, you need to drop in at a nearby Sprint shop.
For years, AT&T has been trying to push its SMS successor, Advanced Messages. The problem is that the standard only supports a handful of flagships and isn't even interconnected with the networks used by other carriers. Still, AT&T is working to get Advanced Messaging out to more devices and has just pushed out one such update to the Samsung Galaxy Note8 as well as the S8 and S8+.
TWRP is a custom recovery partition that can be installed on hundreds of Android devices, allowing homebrew ROMs to be sideloaded, full system backups to be created, and much more. Since the last time we covered the project, a handful of more phones and tablets have been added to the official roster, including the Asus Zenfone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e.
More than two years after Samsung announced its original Dex dock, Plugable designed a competitor that can work with virtually any USB-C device. The Cube is a tiny hub that connects to your device through an external cable and acts as a dock to link it to USB peripherals, a monitor, and even an external network.
Some Sprint customers who own smartphones in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S10 series are facing major cellular reception problems. There has been some progress in solving the woes of S10 owners, but for those with plagued S8 devices, the investigation is just beginning.
With One UI, Samsung introduced a system-wide night mode for its Android Pie devices. The new feature darkens the manufacturer's proprietary software such as the Calculator and Messages apps and also alters the overall menus and interface colors, but still requires you to manually enable dark mode in other applications like Messenger or Slack. Android Auto, on the other hand, happily receives this setting and defaults to it, no matter the time of the day.