While most of us are anxiously biding our time for Android’s newest iteration, KitKat, a number of devices are making their way to the latest build of Jelly Bean. Among those devices are the Xperia Z1 and the Xperia Z Ultra. While some of you may not be as thrilled and continue to look forward to Sony pushing out the Android 4.4 update, the software update boasts new features on top of performance tweaks. They include:
- Sony’s Smart Social Camera – The Xperia Z1 exclusive is now making its way to the Z Ultra. This brings the ability to “download, access and enjoy ‘Xperia Camera apps’ directly from within the viewfinder.”
- Updated Sony Apps – Messaging, MyExperia, Smart Connect, Track ID, Sony Select, among others, are tweaked and improved.
- Sony Media apps – WALKMAN, Album and Movies with Sony Entertainment Network cloud integration are more “converged” allowing for better access to local and cloud content.
- Themes – Xperia Themes with downloadable UI packs are coming soon.
- Security enhancements – On top of Android security enhancements Sony has made some of their own to their Xperia in Business platform.
So besides Jelly Bean’s tweaks and enhancements you’ll be seeing Sony’s software enhanced as well. These are just two of the many Sony devices being updated, so look for those announcements in the coming weeks. While you’re at it, drop us a line in the comment section below and let us know if you’ve received the update yourself.
source: Sony Mobile
Samsung appears to be ready to release at least four new tablets during the first quarter of 2014 as it continues its march toward mobile device domination. One of these devices is anticipated to be the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (SM-T11) potentially being released the second week of January. The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is expected to be a low-end tablet which a price tag to match, although we do not have any specs yet to gauge where Samsung things the low-end of the market is. Another tablet that may be close to release is the possible Galaxy Tab 4 with a model number SM-T331. Whatever this mystery tablet is, it is expected to come with an AMOLED display instead of LCD as part of Samsung’s initiative to switch over to AMOLED.
Rumors are also floating around that Samsung is interested in producing a Note series device with a 12.2-inch screen that could possibly trigger the merger of tablets and laptops as a viable category for most buyers. There is also some rumbling about a possible Android/Windows dual-boot device with a more traditional laptop size screen of 13.3-inches.
LG is not exactly sure what may be going on over at the Korea Times, but they do know their latest report hinting at an LG partnership with Huawei is nothing but hot air. In a statement released today, LG says “there is no discussion now or in the past with Huawei on any aspects of LG Electronics’ business.” This terse statement came in response to a report in the Korea Times suggesting LG and Huawei may be working on a partnership with at least one of the goals being to help “revive” LG’s smartphone business.
While LG has generally been receiving positive reviews for the devices it released in 2013 like the LG G2 or the Nexus 5, it has continued to struggle in the market to gain share. During the past year LG saw Huawei overtake it in global shipments. However, that lack of market share is attributed to LG’s weakness in the entry-level and lower ends of the market. Coincidentally, that is also the part of the market where Huawei primarily targets their devices. Apparently the analyst cited by the Korea Times thinks LG is feeling the heat and described their smartphone business as “fragile.”
source: The Verge
We already have a good idea the Galaxy S 5 will sport a 2K (2,560 x 1,440) display, so if a rumor suggests a Samsung phone with this display, I think it’s safe to assume it’s a Galaxy S 5. Korean media suggests that this “Galaxy S 5” will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress this February 2014.
We have also heard that Samsung might be dropping plans for a fingerprint scanner in favor of eye (or iris) scanning technology, and the same media source is agreeing. However, they weren’t clear if it will be on the same phone that gets shown at MWC or another device(s) later in the year. I suspect it will indeed by on the Galaxy S 5 and other flagship devices as well.
We are only 3 weeks away from CES, but Huawei is already making some noise. They just announced the Glory 3X (or Honor 3x depending on the region), which was previously referred to as the Honor 4. Now this phone sports and octa-core, but don’t be fooled, this is a mid-tier phone. The octa-core is made by MediaTek (MT6592), and although all eight cores can run at the same time, it packs Cortex-A7’s, so don’t expect performance any better than a Snapdragon 600. That’s why we always say, don’t buy a phone because of specs alone.
As to the rest of the specs, the Glory 3X has a 5.5-inch IPS 720p (1280 x 720) display, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera, dual-SIM capability, and 3,000mAh battery. It will be priced a 1698 Yuan ($280).
Well that was quick. Last week, we got wind of the LG Gx, which was rumored to replace the G2. As we predicted, it’s not the case as it’s more of an Optimus G Pro followup. This one goes back to LG’s traditional design, as in you won’t find back power and volume buttons like the G2. The Gx sports a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, and 3,140mAh battery. It was announced for the LG U+ network in Korea and supports VoLTE.
This phone will get a couple of new software features….Smart Day will provide more key information on the lock screen and Media Time gives improved access to music and videos from the lock screen. At this point, we have no idea if it will become available outside of Korea. Last year’s Optimus G Pro was, but we will have to wait and see.
Motorola has begun sending invites for their software “soak test” for the Verizon DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini. All Motorola has to say about it is that members of the Motorola Feedback Network will have a chance to preview a “new software release.” Despite the fact that Motorola could not be more vague, this could very well mean that KitKat is on its way to those devices. It usually takes a few days for a soak test to push out to everyone, so be patient if you’re still waiting – it’s coming, we promise.
Source: Android Central
With the LG G Flex having a release date in Asian markets, many wondered when it would head west to the United States. Earlier today, Twitter’s @evleaks tweeted an image of the G Flex for Sprint. Only the front of the device was leaked, giving way to minimal Sprint branding. On the lockscreen sits the carrier’s name and their LTE icon sits in the status bar. In case you were wondering, the model number for this device is LS995 — the same as November leak. If there’s any indication for a release date, it would be February 7 or sometime around then as that is the date displayed. Stay tuned for more information regarding the G Flex’s United States arrival.
The last thing we heard about wood backs for the Moto X was that they would be ready for the holiday season. Christmas is less than two weeks away and Motorola has yet to make the wood backs available. In case you were losing hope and decided to start making your own wood back, Motorola has stepped in to help. The image above was tweeted today along with a message saying “Put this DIY project on hold. Trust us.” Either Motorola is telling us that wood backs are coming soon to the Moto X or this is just a teaser to get us excited once again.
Owners of the LG G2 around the globe are anxiously awaiting word on when their devices will join the Android 4.4 KitKat party. According to LG’s Korean web site, the LG G2 will receive KitKat before the end of December. This will make the LG G2 one of the company’s first devices to receive KitKat. Previous reports also put the update coming to U.S. owners of the LG G2 before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, sources in France are reporting the Android 4.4 update for the LG G2 is expected to show up in that country during the first quarter of 2014. That would match the time frame for the rollout of KitKat on the LG G2 in Canada.
source: SFR, LG
Good news for HTC One Mini owners coming in today— the device will be receiving Android 4.3 shortly as the update as been spotted in Europe in multiple countries.
With the update comes all of the the usual Android 4.3 goodies, as well as the ability to turn off Blinkfeed which is certainly nice. Video Highlights and Music will also see an update, making the final file size a whipping 630.55MB.
Let us know if you’ve already received the update and how it’s working out for your device.
Earlier today we told you that the HTC One Google Play edition was receiving Android 4.4.2— we now have news that the same update is now being sent out to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play edition.
As was said before, the update is pretty much all minor bug fixes, so no real need to flash anything here.
However, specifically for this device, it seems that one of the bug fixes includes the H symbol being replaced with the 3G symbol even when connected to HSPA+. Another fix is the SMS DOS issue.
Let us know if you have received the update already in the comments and if you’re seeing any other changes to your device!
Nexus device owners received Android 4.4.2 last week, and now the Google Play Edition of the HTC One is getting the update as well.
HTCDev also posted the framework support files (468.4MB) for the new build— if you’re not comfortable flashing anything to your phone, you might be better off waiting for the OTA update. (It really isn’t a big update so you’re not missing out.)
Got the update already? Let us know it the comments.
The latest on the list of app updates from Motorola is Touchless Control, one of the coolest features on the Moto X. The new update will allow you to verbally unlock your phone through your PIN and do a few more things without unlocking the phone at all. Doing things like a quick Google search or making a phone call will all work without the device needing to be unlocked, but if you do need to unlock it for something bigger, you can simply speak the PIN number and your Motorola device will unlock itself, all ready to go.
If you’d prefer not to use the new PIN-unlocking features, though, that’s okay, too. Motorola didn’t enable the setting by default, so after updating you’ll have to manually turn it on. It will also only work with their handsets that have been update to Android 4.4, so unfortunately, this update won’t do much for Verizon Droid owners. You can grab the update after the break.
Motorola is certainly looking to the future. The Moto X came with plenty of fanfare, and the new line of Droids are better than ever. The Moto G adds a pretty nice affordable option to the company’s lineup as well.
Moto CEO Dennis Woodside recently sat down with the Associated Press to discuss the future of the company as well as a reflection on the past year’s performance.
Hit the break for some of the more interesting quotes from Woodside.