[MWC 2014] Samsung announces Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches running Tizen OS

Samsung has officially kicked off things for Mobile World Congress - and caught a number of us off-guard of a weekend - with the official announcement of the successor to 2013's Galaxy Gear, in two flavours. Samsung's christening the devices Gear 2 and while you might think it's strange that the word "Galaxy" is missing, there's a simple reason why - Samsung's abandoned Android on the watches and instead opted for its own Tizen operating system. The company hasn't stated the reason behind the switch, but has stated that the Gear 2 will support a "numerous" amount... Continue reading

Jolla offers Android users a taste of Sailfish OS – launcher now, ROM later

Jolla, the Finnish company that was born as a home for some of Nokia's former Meego engineers, has announced its intention to bring Sailfish OS to Android devices - first as a replacement launcher, then as a fully installable ROM. It seems that new Android launchers are officially A Thing™ right now, with recent months seeing the launch of Aviate and EverythingMe - even Firefox is getting in on the action and now Jolla is joining in. Jolla is hoping to entice Android users with a launcher that mimics Sailfish's user interface which has its... Continue reading

Samsung rolling out software fix for Galaxy Note 3 to allow third party accessories again.

The start of the Android 4.4.2 update rollout back in late January for the Galaxy Note 3 hit a snag early on, at least for owners, who discovered that the update was not allowing them to use their third party accessories with their phone. But Samsung has begun rolling out a fix for the issue to affected handsets, beginning in Poland. The initial software update didn't make it very far, with it seems only handsets in Poland and Russia - as well as anyone else who downloaded and installed the affected update. While Samsung initially denied responsibility for... Continue reading

Samsung US announces which of their devices will receive Kit Kat

Samsung in the US released a list of devices that will receive an update to Android 4.4.2. While they haven't included dates on when the devices will receive the update - beyond reminding owners that the update availability will vary by carrier but that some updates will begin rolling out today. While Kit Kat was designed by Google to run on devices with fairly low hardware requirements, most of the devices listed by Samsung could be described as having almost top of the line hardware. The devices that will receive the update are : Phones : Galaxy Note 3 Galaxy Note II Galaxy S4 Galaxy... Continue reading

Australian Carrier branded Samsung Galaxy Nexus to finally receive Android 4.3

The Galaxy Nexus was a pretty popular phone choice for a number of Australians when it became the first Nexus device to be released on all three carriers but part of the carrier distribution agreement was that the updates had to go via Samsung and the carriers before being delivered to phones. After seemingly being abandoned on Android 4.1.2 it seems that carrier branded Galaxy Nexus owners will finally see their Android 4.3 update. All three carriers have updated their software availability pages to indicate that Android 4.3 has been received from Samsung. Optus and Vodafone have already... Continue reading

Sony advises further updates for a host of older Xperia phones will not be coming

All good things must come to an end, and so it is for Android updates to older model phones. Sony has updated the support pages for a range of their older model Xperia handsets noting that their build is the final version, meaning that owners should begin either accepting the final version of their software build or begin looking at the ROM community. The devices range in age from around the 18 - 24 months old, which seems to be about the average age for Smartphone updates, although the fact that a number of these devices are still only on... Continue reading

Pebble will begin the rollout of Appstore for their Smartwatch this week

At the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month, Pebble announced that their long awaited App store would be launching from late January; while they appear to have missed that goal, it will apparently be rolling out this week - at least for iOS users. Android will be 'shortly after'. Pebble yesterday showed off what the App store will look like through their official @pebble twitter account, while a followup tweet from Pebble Advocate Myriam Joire, formally of Engadget, soon after advised that the rollout would begin on Monday (in the US). The final design of... Continue reading

Android 4.4 rolling out to European HTC One handsets now

The Android 4.4 update has been a very much anticipated release for owners of the current flagship device, and before an updated successor is announced in the next few months, users are very much wanting as many updates as possible before the device is relegated to the same fate that met the former flagship and it appears that European owners of the HTC One are beginning to get their first taste of Kit Kat on the HTC One now. HTC Developer LlabTooFeR advised that the Android 4.4.2 update - ROM version 4.19.401.8 - is beginning to hit handsets.... Continue reading

Samsung admits issue in Note 3 update with third party accessories; will fix shortly

  Just a few brief days ago, we reported on the update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which appeared to break some compatibility with third party accessories, like the Spigen Slim Armor View case depicted above. While speculation was rife that this was intentional on the part of Samsung, it does now appear that this was unintentional. Samsung recently gave this statement to Ars Technica: We have currently identified a software compatibility issue with the Galaxy Note 3 update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) and select 3rd party accessories. A software... Continue reading

Android 4.3 rolling out to Telstra Samsung Galaxy Note II – other carriers to follow soon

Seems that the Android 4.3 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has begun rolling out to handsets, at least Telstra branded handsets for the time being, with other carriers promising the update should begin shortly. At 946.94MB it's not a small download so you may want to hit up a WiFi connection before you begin - there's no word on whether it's counted against your data plan - but it includes all the features you'd expect, including Knox update for consumers, Galaxy Gear compatability and improved UI and performance : The update is due to hit both Continue reading

Samsung denies link between Android 4.4 update and third party accessory issues

Yesterday a disturbing issue began to filter out from Galaxy Note 3 owners who had installed the Android 4.4 update on their phone and noticed that their third party S-View covers were no longer functioning correctly. At the time, there wasn't any information beyond an old rumour from a few months ago that Samsung was planning to implement just such a software 'feature' to encourage the use of official accessories, well Samsung has now responded to the rumours via German site All About Android. The quote shows that Samsung does believe that their original accessories are the best... Continue reading

Upcoming releases of Android could break Root apps

Changes made to the Android Open Source Project master tree have revealed that there are upcoming changes to the Android security model, which means that a large number of root apps could be rendered unusable in future releases of Android, potentially as early as Android 4.4.3. Rather than an active attempt to break root apps, it appears that this change is the result of newly implemented security measures, but it could have (un)intended consequences. Well known Android hacker and developer Chainfire has taken to Google+ to share what he's found: https://plus.google.com/113517319477420052449/posts/Lyhjzu1z9s1 In essence, prior to this change, root apps had no impediment... Continue reading

Sony preparing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for Xperia T, TX, V and SP

Owners of some older Sony Xperia devices need not feel left out of the recent Android updates for too much longer. The official Sony Xperia Twitter account, @SonyMobileNews, has put out some advice for Xperia owners this morning, advising that Xperia T, TX, V and SP will receive an update to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by the end of February. https://twitter.com/SonyMobileNews/status/423758239293923328 Yes, it's not an update to the latest and greatest, but it's an update none the less. Are you an Xperia T, TX, V or SP user, and will you be looking forward to this update? Continue reading