According to a recent report, Samsung is preparing a software update for their Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 tablets to add multi-user support. Multi-user functionality is supported by Android 4.2, but despite shipping with Android 4.2.2, Samsung did not include this feature on these Galaxy Tab 3 tablets. Screenshots purporting to be from a Galaxy Tab 3 device show the multi-user account function available in Settings.
No information is available concerning other improvements or new features that Samsung may include in the update nor is there any information on an expected date for the update to start rolling out.
Security is the buzzword these days and passwords are one royal pain in the you know what. Even locking your phone is a pain. That is why I like Apple’s implementation of the fingerprint scanner. However, Google might be headed in a completely different direction. As you know Google has embraced Near Field Communications (NFC) for a few years now, while Apple doesn’t even talk about it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is testing an NFC security token. Hardware tokens aren’t anything new. Most traditional versions generate random numeric passwords, but the user has to retype them each time they want to login. This form, created by Yubico, Inc., could work by simply touching it to your Android phone or tablet using NFC or it could also be used as a USB plugin on your desktop or laptop. Google would use this token to log into Gmail and other Google services. I should note that Yubico already offers the YubiKey (pictured above) and can be used just like what I described. It can actually be used with Gmail’s 2 step verification. How Google will change it, remains to be seen, but WSJ says Google “plans to offer to consumers” next year.
With everything going on surround the NSA and privacy, a lot of people are nervous about just about every form of security. The latest is Wi-Fi passwords. Michael Horowitz of Computer World is reporting that Google knows all the Wi-Fi passwords that are stored on your Android devices. He states that in Android 2.3.4, if you go to Settings/Privacy and choose “Backup my settings” it will backup your Wi-Fi password on Google servers. Now fast forward to Android 4.2. If you go to Settings/Backup and reset, the option for “Backup my data” specifically says, “Backup application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers.”
As we head into the 4th quarter, all eyes are going to be on both the Nexus 5 and the HTC One Max. Unfortunately for HTC, most people are going to concentrate on the Nexus 5. Word is the One Max will be introduced to the world sometime in October, the same month as the Nexus 5.
We now know the model number is HTC 8088 thanks to a page leak. The specs were also specified, but the only problem is the processor wasn’t listed, just the clock speed. Last night the big news was the One Max would have the Snapdragon S4 Pro instead of the Snapdragon 800. That would mean that HTC is trying to price the One Max as low as possible, but we are also hearing that it will cost around $800 off contract. That seems a little too high, so one of these reports has to be false.
Rumor has it that LG is working on a phablet that is similar to the Xperia Z Ultra in that it will have a 6.4-inch display. However, it will have a higher pixel density than the Ultra. This new phablet will feature a 1920 x 1080 display with a ppi of 418, while the Ultra tops out at 342. It will also have the Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera. The megapixel count seems a little low since the G2 has 13MP.
We have slightly bizarre news for this Sunday night. @evleaks is reporting that the HTC One Max phablet will not have the Snapdragon 800, and will have the Snapdragon S4 Pro instead. This would be a real Debbie Downer, and if true, one has to wonder why HTC would do this? It could mean that the One Max won’t be competing with the likes of the Galaxy Note III or the Xperia Z Ultra, but instead competing with the Samsung Galaxy Mega.
Generally, phablets are priced higher so HTC might be trying to bring the larger screen option to the budget minded folks like Samsung is doing with the Galaxy Mega. At least they opted for a quad-core as opposed to the dual-core Snapdragon 400 found on the Galaxy Mega. Again, assuming this is all true, why would HTC put a fingerprint scanner on a phone that isn’t a flagship phone? I guess we will just have to wait and see what the full story is.
Last week we got a good look at the upcoming Kindle Fire HD refresh, and today we have a press render of the new Kindle Fire. You won’t see a front-facing camera, which is why we believe it is the non-HD version of the Kindle.
It shouldn’t be too long till Amazon unveils the new Kindles. Last year, they did it on September 6th, so obviously they are a little late this year. Invitations could go out this week for an event later in the month. Stay tuned.
Now that we know that the Nexus 5 is made by LG and is probably based on the G2, it’s likely to sport Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The phone is shown in all its glory via the FCC, and it appears it has the same camera module found on the LG G2.
A great camera is one feature that never found its way onto a Nexus device. The Galaxy Nexus had a terrible camera, and although the Nexus 4 was much better, it was nothing to write home about. If you remember, back in February, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Vic Gundotra said the following about Nexus phones…..“We are committed to making Nexus phones with insanely great cameras. Just you wait and see.” Well it appears that we just might see pretty soon. I’m looking forward to a Nexus device that can take amazing pictures, how about your guys?
We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. The leaks and rumors regarding the Nexus 5 is in full swing. We should get our hands on it next month along with Android 4.4 Kit Kat. Apple started a new trend in offering a spec that doesn’t matter, and Samsung decided to match them. More importantly, Samsung’s octa-core will be a true 8 core very soon!! The HTC Max is going to be the next phone with a fingerprint scanner, but will anyone buy it? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.
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We’ve already gone over some of our favorite launcher apps for Android tablets, but there are just as many great home screen replacement apps for phones. If you’re not a fan of the stock interface that came with your phone, like Samsung’s TouchWiz or any version of HTC’s Sense, these launchers do an excellent job of giving you a more customizable experience, including altering icons and widgets and applying some great looking themes. We’re going to go over a few of the top launcher replacements available in the Play Store to get you started. Read more