Owners of the international variant of the Galaxy Note II should be preparing for a software update. Samsung has issued the Android 4.4 update to the device in France and other locations are likely to join as well. The usual KitKat improvements and additions are expected and it should breathe new life to Samsung’s second generation phablet.
We will let you know when carriers in the United States start rolling out the update.
Earlier this week, we learned that the Android 4.4 KitKat update (with Sense 5.5) would be rolling out to the DROID DNA on Thursday. And that is exactly what started yesterday. The device that hit the market back in 2012 is getting the software update in two stages. The first is 18.3MB and preps the DROID DNA for the massive 618MB download.
Hit the break for Verizon’s changelog. Read more
A new report from CompareMyMobile, a phone recycling website, shows that over 40% of the people trading in smartphones with intentions of buying the new HTC One (M8) were upgrading from an Apple or Samsung device. Specifically, almost a quarter of these individuals, 23.74%, were moving from an Apple device to the HTC One (M8) while another 21.29% were coming from Samsung devices. HTC is also enjoying significant loyalty from owners of their older devices as 46.8% of the trade-ins came from that group of consumers who are trading up. Read more
When Sony released their Lifelog app earlier this month it was limited to only working on Sony smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z2. That has changed today as Sony has released an update to the app enabling it to work on some non-Sony devices. Users will have to log in with a Google account on non-Sony devices while those with Xperia handsets have to login through the Sony Entertainment Network. Read more
HTC has been a leader in terms of smartphone design over the last few years, and the man mostly responsible for that has announced his departure from the company. Scott Croyle has been the SVP of Design and User Experience since 2008, but he will now concentrate on his own projects moving forward.
If there is any good news out of this, it’s the fact that Croyle isn’t leaving them cold turkey. According to HTC, it’as a “long term transition” and he will still be involved with HTC product development as a consultant for a few more months. No word on who will take over, but the speculation is that it will be Jonah Becker, which is the second-in-command.
HTC has also promoted Drew Bamford to heading up HTC software and services. He was overseeing the Sense user experience.
source: The Verge
A couple of days ago we told you about the OnePlus “Smash the Past” campaign, in which you can smash your current phone for a chance to buy a brand spanking new OnePlus One for $1.00.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, you won’t be able to use any old phone. OnePlus One details which phones are eligible, but you can use whatever you want to smash it. Some of the suggested items are a hammer, baseball bat, screwdriver, and a blender. As far as what phones you can smash, there are 25 in total, and the majority of them are pretty current. One exception is the Galaxy S III, which is nearly 2 years old, but it is a very popular phone. They also go as far back as the iPhone 5.
The “OK Google” hotword has already evolved from its inception, but as with all Google products, there is a lot more on the way. Android Police is reporting that the “OK Google’ hotword will move to an “everywhere” concept. The biggest addition will be with apps, which could mean that you will be able to search from within apps. The rumor is that it would be done while the app is opened, but I would expect it to be searchable even if the app isn’t active on your screen. For example, you might be able to add items to your favorite grocery list app via “OK Google.” We have been hearing about this type of evolution for a while now, so hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.
The Amazon app store has been hosting quite a few sales lately. Today, they have 12 music related apps for free (total value is over $40). They have apps for listening to music as well as creating music. There’s even something for the DJs out there.
Hit the break for the full rundown with links. This sale ends today, so be sure to get your downloads in by midnight.
The Bokeh effect has become a big thing in smartphones over the last few months. If you’re not familiar with the Bokeh effect, it is the process of de-focusing certain areas of a picture, usually the background. HTC went as far as adding a second lens for this effect and Google just added it to their stock Camera app. Now, Samsung has added “Selective Focus” and “Out of Focus” options to the Galaxy S 5. They both do the same thing, but act completely different.
“Selective Focus” is for when you know in advance of taking your shot that you want to apply this effect, and “Out of Focus” is for those times when you didn’t know. You can make changes after the fact with both methods, but they can be a little confusing in how they save the images as well as exactly when they work.
In this video, I will walk you through both options and how they work. Hit the break for the video and be sure to check out all our other Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung condensed a few of the camera modes into “Shot & More” with the Galaxy S 5. This makes it a lot easier as all you have to do is press the shutter button, and it will take a series of burst shots. Soon after, the device will tell you what editing modes are available based on what happened in the shot. You will have your choice of Best Shot, Best Face, Drama Shot, Eraser, and Panning Shot. All options were available last year as separate modes other than Panning Shot, which is brand new. The best part of all of this is that you can make as many edits as you want after the fact, which is something you couldn’t do on the Galaxy S 4.
In this video, I walk you through how to get into the “Shot & More” mode as well as how to make your edits and save your images. Check it out after the break, and be sure to hit up all our Galaxy S 5 guides.