Sony updating additional devices to Android 4.3, includes the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL


If you own one of Sony’s recent Xperia devices, then you should be receiving a software update soon. While it is not Android 4.4 KitKat, it is a welcome update. The Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and Xperia Tablet Z are all being updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The update adds Sony’s Smart Social Camera app, updates to their own apps, a streamline set of media apps, a new battery management mode, and more enhancements. Of course, the arrival of the update will depend upon your market. To see the specifics of the update, hit the source link.

Source: Sony
Via: Android Central

Samsung releasing the Galaxy Grand 2 in India next week, no word on elsewhere


After announcing the device in November, Samsung has given the Galaxy Grand 2 a launch date. The device will be available in India starting next week, the first week of the new year. The retail price translates over to between $370 and $400. It will be available in black, white, and pink colors. The Galaxy Grand 2 has a 5.25-inch 720p screen. Inside is a quad-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. If the 8GB of storage doesn’t satisfy prospective buyers, memory can be expanded due to the microSD card slot. Out of the box, the handset runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.


Don’t expect a curved display on the Galaxy S 5


The Korea Herald is reporting that the Galaxy S 5 won’t sport a curved display. This really isn’t anything shocking since curved displays appear to only be reserved for the Galaxy Round series, at least for now.

Let’s face it, Samsung probably wouldn’t have the production capacity to do it anyway. Right now they are producing 8,000 5.5 sheets per month yielding 500,000 panels. We’re not sure if that “500,000” number is annually or monthly, but either way, that is nowhere nearly enough to handle the demand of the Galaxy S 5, which would be at least 40 million units.

On another note, they also reported that Apple won’t adopt curved displays until 2015, so Samsung (and LG) will have a leg up.

source: Korea Herald

HTC goes under the radar and announces the dual-SIM Desire 400


HTC has announced a new device without most of us even noticing. But don’t worry, they likely chose to do so intentionally. The Desire 400 is a dual-SIM handset with a 4.3-inch screen that is headed for Asian markets. The phone has landed on HTC sites in Russia and Ukraine. According to the Russian site, the screen will have a 800×480 resolution and be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM. On the back is an 8MP camera while a 1.6MP camera sits on the front of the handset. Thankfully it has a microSD card slot since there is just 4GB of storage inside.

The Ukrainian site, however, states the device will have a 5MP camera with a VGA camera on the front. Also, a dual-core processor will be inside. This is likely just adjustments made for different regions. Both have HTC’s Sense user interface and BlinkFeed. There are three color options: white, black, and light blue. Stay tuned for more information on this little device.

Source: HTC
Via: GSM Arena

[Deal] Twelve Disney games available for just $0.49 in the Play Store for the holidays


To celebrate the holiday season, Disney is discounting twelve of their apps. At $0.49 per app, it is certainly a deal worth taking a look at and bests SEGA’s sale that started yesterday. And Disney is not offering a random group of apps. Impressive games such as Temple Run: Oz, Wreck-It Ralph, and Where’s My Water? are included. Disney says to “Celebrate the holidays, and download this app for 75% off exclusively on Google Play™! Don’t forget to check out other great Disney Holiday Magic deals!” Read more

Hulu Plus for Android updated to include slide-out navigation and persistent resume bar


Hulu Plus is the latest Android app to change its look to be more consistent with Google’s design standards. The update includes a slide-out navigation panel that allows for easy access to sections like TV, Movies, Kids, Originals, Latino & British, and a redesigned layout for shows that have multiple seasons. Also, there’s a persistent resume bar, which works well with Chromecast, to allow resuming playback across all devices.

You can find a download link after the break.

Read more

Samsung Smart App 2013 winner announced for Galaxy S 4


Samsung has finally announced who has won their Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013 for Galaxy S 4. The contest launched in May and ran through August. Designers were asked to create applications using the Chord SDK that allows devices to work with another rather than through a server. The winning app, giving the developer $200,000, was Dots Out. It is a revamped version of the ancient game Cha Pai that requires “courage, quick thinking and good strategy skills.”

The winning developer will be heading to Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona to receive an award on Samsung Developer Day. From their, they get a booth at the conference to try and woo investors. But the grand prize winner is not alone, the second and third place winners have also received some cash and will join the Dots Out team in Barcelona next month. Although this contest is over, Samsung is running another one for their Galaxy Note 3 handset. To download Dots Out and the other winners, hit the download link below.

Source: Samsung [Download Link]

Google mulling options after European Union rejects antitrust offer


Remember that beef between Google and the European Union from over the summer? It still has not been solved and it does not look like it will be anytime soon. According to Reuters, Google’s latest offer of a settlement with the EU has been rejected. To make matters worse, Google has reportedly been told that they are running out of time to settle the matter and will have to face formal charges. Reuters says that “EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia rejected the internet search giant’s latest concessions on Friday and warned that it has only a short time left to make a satisfactory offer.” The issue at hand is that Google blocked search results containing competitors.

Google’s latest offer was revised by a group of 125 companies that the commission deemed their rivals for feedback. One of the components of the offer was to “allow rivals to display their logos and make their web links more prominent to users.” Unfortunately, it was not strong enough and Almunia stated to Reuters that “there is little time left, but the ball is still in Google’s court. But within a short time frame the ball will then be here (with the European Commission) and then it will be the moment to take decisions.” For the European Union, an end is planned for spring 2014.

Source: Reuters

New Samsung Galaxy Gear ad is all about impressing others, misses the point


Samsung has been rapidly releasing new advertisements this holiday season. In this lengthy new ad, titled “Are You Geared Up?”, Samsung is showing how well its Galaxy Gear smart watch can impress others. Specifically, how it can help score that lucky lady. A man whips out his Gear while riding a ski lift and the woman becomes infatuated with it. After that, the setting moves to a party. There, Samsung makes fun of itself and other smartphone manufacturers. One guy fumbles his smartphone while another simply handles it with his Gear. Why Samsung is laughing at its own massive smartphones, I am not too sure.

To watch the advertisement, hit the break. Read more