The Android 4.4.1 update for the Nexus 4 started rolling already. If you don’t feel like waiting for the update, we have the download link for you. If you have flashed a custom recovery you can simply download the update zip file to your device and flash. Assuming you don’t have a custom recovery, hit the break for full instructions.
The Android 4.4.1 update for the Nexus 5 started rolling a little quicker than we had originally thought. This update will dramatically improve the camera by making it faster. If you don’t feel like waiting for the update, we have the download link for you. If you have flashed a custom recovery you can simply download the update zip file to your device and flash. Assuming you don’t have a custom recovery, then hit the break for full instructions.
Action Launcher was pretty much just your basic launcher when it was first released, but it has certainly grown a lot since that point.
First of all, the launcher features a “Quickpage,” which gives instant and easy access to a home screen card by simply swiping to the side of the screen. “1-Swipe,” another new addition, gives you access to both Quickpage and the previously added Quickdrawer by simply swiping to the left or right.
The best part about these new features is that you can use them alongside other launchers. The update also adds some nice KitKat additions including the new folder design as well as the status/nav bars.
The pro version is on sale for half-off right now for $2 and adds some customization features to the free version. I’ll certainly be giving it a long look when my new Nexus 7 comes in the mail tomorrow! (Can you tell I’m excited?) Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.
When Google announced KitKat, they confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus had officially reached the end of its support life and that it would not see the update from 4.3 to 4.4. Of course, the entire reason many people buy these Nexus devices is so they don’t have to settle for “official” updates and can take care of it themselves, and the Galaxy Nexus is no different. Thanks to developer PlayfulGod on XDA, the Gnex finally has a fully functional KitKat ROM available so it can join the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 with up-to-date software.
The ROM is built off of Cyanogenmod 11 source, and every major thing works, including data, phone calls, camera, etc. There are a handful of bugs left to iron out, including panorama being broken and a graphical glitch when taking screenshots (although the screenshots turn out fine) but neither of those things are going to affect the ROM in a major way.
If you’re interested, you can find the ROM below. Remember, unlocking your device and flashing custom software can void your warranty, so flash at your own risk.
In an obvious defensive move, AT&T has just announced new Mobile Share Value plans to entice those that don’t want a contract. In a nutshell, if you buy your phone outright from AT&T, join the Next program, or buy it somewhere else, you will get a $15 discount off the fee for each smartphone in the Share Plans. They are also standardizing the fee to a flat fee of $40 for each smartphone for subsidized customers as opposed to the range of $30 to $50 depending on the data size. So this means that if you buy a phone off contract, your will pay $25 for the phone, plus whatever data package you sign up for.
Data plans are also changing a bit. The 1GB and 2GB options are going up by $5 to $45 and $55 respectively, while the 6GB plan drops from $90 to $80. Last but not least, they are adding an 18-month plan to the Next program, so you can opt for either 12-months or 18-months for upgrading your device.
Pantech just announced a slightly smaller version of the 5.9-inch VEGA NOTE. The Secret VEGA UP sports a 5.6-inch Full HD display. quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 13MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, 3,150mAh battery, LTE-A, and Android 4.2.2. Most of the specs are the same as the VEGA NOTE except for a little less RAM (2GB vs 3GB), less storage (16GB vs 32GB), and no stylus support.
The Secret VEGA UP also includes a fingerprint scanner, just like the VEGA NOTE, and includes Secret 2.0 mode, which makes the display visible to only those looking directly at it. Pantech is definitely an innovative company that I would like to see more of here in the U.S.
Fingerprint Cards, an identity technology company from Sweden that manufactures touch sensors, hopes to ride the wave of touch recognition demand by selling to the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei among others. Fingerprint’s CEO Johan Carlstrom thinks Apple’s inclusion of fingerprint identity technology in the iPhone 5S will set off a scramble by Android device producers to include the same technology in their products during 2014. » Read the rest
The KitKat update for US Cellular’s Moto X is currently in its testing phase and will be rolled out to users gradually. It will like take a week or two for the update to hit your device, but again, a round of applause has to go our to Motorola and their team for getting KitKat out so quickly.
A new report from a Korean news source indicates Samsung is preparing several new devices for release during the first quarter of 2014. Among the devices mentioned is the Samsung Galaxy S 5 despite that prediction being contrary to an earlier report that the device would not be ready until April. Even if the Galaxy S 5 does not make it to market before the end of the quarter, other devices may receive a warm welcome from buyers.
One of the devices is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, just officially announced on Nov. 25th by Samsung. The Galaxy Grand 2 is targeted at the mid-range market, packing a 5.25-inch display, 1.5GB of RAM, a 1.2 GHz processor and running Android 4.3. According to the report from Korea, the Galaxy Grand 2 may only be available in Korea initially. Another device Samsung is prepping is the Galaxy Note 3 Lite, a scaled down version of their latest Note series smartphone. The Galaxy Note 3 Lite is expected to have an LCD display instead of AMOLED with a size of either 5.49-inches or 5.7-inches.
There have been a number of reports saying the Samsung Galaxy S 5 would be released a little earlier than normal, but Eldar Murtazin says that it’s slated for the end of April 2014. This is pretty close to what happened with the Galaxy S 4. It was unveiled in Radio City Music Hall on March 14th, and was available for purchase in late April. If you think about it, it would be tough for Samsung to release the GS5 any earlier considering that it might sport a 2K display and either a fingerprint scanner or eye scanner.
Eldar was also asked about the often rumored ultra high-end F series. He said it is real, but still in development. We have heard the F Series would include devices with flexible displays, so I would say we still have a ways to go until we see anything concrete.