Google officially announced via Twitter that its Wallet service is now available for the Sprint variations of the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One smartphones, as well as the Sprint and U.S. Cellular variations of the Galaxy Note II smartphone as well. This means that all owners of those phones will need to do is simply visit the Play Store and grab the latest update in order to get in on the awesome payment action. Naturally, it would be nice for more devices to take advantage of the great service, but at least Sprint as usual, is ensuring its customers can take advantage of the awesome service.
Verizon has started rolling out a small Android 4.1.2 OTA update for Galaxy Note II users. While there’s nothing major in the update, you do get more applications added to multiwindow, as well as the ability to change your quick toggles in display settings. Verizon is also removing the Zappos app and throwing in a handful of bug fixes across several apps. Nothing major, but definitely an update worth getting. Hit the source below to get the full changelog from Verizon.
As expected, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the HTC First Facebook phone today, but he also introduced a complete home replacement for many popular Android phones (and eventually tablets). It’s called Facebook Home, and according to Zuckerberg, “It sets the tone for your whole experience.”
Although the new launcher will work with all the apps that are installed on your phone, it changes the focal point to people as opposed to apps. The Coverfeed allows you to scroll through updates with large photos. You will be able to quickly see all the comments and respond inline. You will also find a notification pane that includes SMS messages and other important posts.
Don’t think T-Mobile is stopping there either. Complimenting the newly announced network is the announcement of the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One smartphones having full LTE support, while the Galaxy Note II is also slated to have support as well (but you knew that already). T-Mobile also pledges that it will expand its LTE reach later this year and well into next year… but again, you knew that already too.
As Apple and Samsung continue to bounce the crown for best-selling smartphone between each other, analysts at Nomura say the latest Galaxy device will push Samsung back to the top spot. Nomura was not impressed with the latest device in Samsung’s Galaxy line, the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Nevertheless, the changes that they describe as “evolutionary” as opposed to “revolutionary” should be enough to propel Samsung to the top spot.
During the fourth quarter of 2012 Apple sold around 27.4 million iPhone 5 devices versus 15.4 million Samsung Galaxy S III units to retake the title. Nomura’s analysts think Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II will combine for sales in the range of 35 to 40 million units per quarter during 2013. The analysts also expect a shift to occur during the upcoming sales quarters as both Apple and Samsung will have to start working on stealing users from each other rather than the smaller players in the smartphone market. Besides ratcheting up the acrimony that already exists between the two companies, this will probably result in more price-based competition. Such a situation will be good news for consumers but it will impact margins for Samsung and Apple and it will make life difficult for other manufacturers trying to capitalize on the market.
Owner’s of a Samsung Galaxy Note II on the T-Mobile network may notice an update is available for their device. The update is probably one you will want to grab as it enables a connection to T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE service. T-Mobile indicates the service should be available in Las Vegas and Kansas City by the end of this month. At some point this summer the new service should be lit up in enough areas to reach 100 million people and by the end of the year it should reach 200 million people. For comparison, the Verizon 4G LTE network reaches 275 million people.
In some testing that was conducted using a Galaxy Note II, speeds were found to be in the 59 Mbps down, 25 Mbps up range. Granted, there were probably no other users accessing the signal. As fast as the 4G LTE connection is, T-Mobile customers will also benefit from HSPA+ 4G when they find themselves in an area with no 4G LTE coverage.
Much like an incident that occurred last fall in San Jose for another TalkAndroid writer, Ed Caggiani, I happened to be travelling in a part of Durham I don’t normally visit when I came across some Sprint 4G LTE coverage. After grabbing some grub in a convenience store, I went to check my email while in the parking lot when I noticed the 4G indicator was lit up on my Galaxy Note II. Hit the break to read more about what it was like to have 4G LTE for a few minutes. » Read the rest
SECLISTS.ORG has recently disclosed a potential security flaw on the Samsung Galaxy S III. According to the report, “It is possible to bypass the lock screen on the GSIII allowing an individual full access to the phones features.” We previously reported a similar screen lock bug relating to the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
It appears that when Samsung messes up with security, they go BIG or go home! Similar to the Note II Security flaw, it takes pressing a combination of buttons in the correct sequence to get it to work. Here’s how to do it on the GSIII: » Read the rest
Uh oh— it looks like Samsung’s Galaxy Note II may have security flaw. While operating a G-Note II with Android 4.1.2, Terence Eden, recently discovered that the homescreen can actually be accessed by pressing the “Emergency Call” icon, followed by the ICE button and finally pressing the physical home key for several seconds. Although the homescreen does appear for a short period, it is enough time for any hacker to actually click and open one of the homescreen apps— which is especially bad if one of the homescreen apps performs an action at launch (think of a direct dial widget that can make phone calls for example). All of this can certainly cause major issues for owners that may end up with their devices falling into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately Samsung has yet to comment, but we’ll be sure it will want to patch this potentially major little snafu as soon as possible.
An over the air software update is available for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note II. The update, which became available February 15, serves as a security patch for the Exynos kernel exploit discovered in December. As with most OTA updates, the carrier recommends downloading via WiFi. Make sure you have plenty of battery power as well. There’s no easier way to brick a phone than by losing power mid software install. It will push the firmware version to I317UCAMA4 but leave Android on 4.1.2.