Amazon Fire Phone Finally Recieves Android Update

Amazon, global online e-tailing giant has taken a dip into a multitude of different markets with varying success rates. Its own branded product range includes the highly regarded Kindle range, which in its own right is massive. Then you have the Fire smartphone and tablet range; the Fire Tablet was a good introduction into the market, but the Fire Phone stagnated with little input.

It started life as a high-end competitor boasting huge specs and a huge price tag to go along with it. Since then the price has dramatically dropped to around the $200 mark and still includes a year Amazon Prime subscription, which is $99 alone.

Those of you that bought the phone and whatever price point can now rejoice, the Fire Phone has its own Android skin overlayed over a previous Android version. Up until recently it used Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and has now been updated to 4.4 (KitKat). To those who keep up to date with Android will know that it is still over a year old and massively behind the current 5.1 updated Lollipop version.

“KitKat is responsible for a bunch of the new things Fire OS picks up, including Bluetooth 4.0 support, improved accessibility, printing support, security and accessibility features, and an emoji keyboard (Amazon uses unchanged versions of Google’s emoji, the same you’d see on a Google-blessed Android phone). The Fire Phone still lacks support for Google’s closed-source apps and APIs (much to the detriment of its ecosystem), but if it ended up in the open-source bits of Android 4.4, then it should be here. A handful of Fire OS-specific features, including lock screen notification improvements and the ability to change the home screen wallpaper, have also been added.”

I’ve always stuck by what I know, I love my Samsung Galaxy S6. What phone manufacturer do you use? Did you consider the Fire Phone when it was released? Let us know in the comments

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing this information.

Xiaomi Launches 40-Inch Android-Powered Smart TV for Only $320

Rising Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has launched a new Android-powered 40-inch smart TV at a very affordable price.

The Xiaomi Mi TV 2 is available for the bargain price of $320, and boasts a 1080p Sharp LED display with 5000:1 contrast ratio, Cortex-A9 quad-core 1.45GHz CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage and a MIUI TV OS running through Android 4.4 KitKat.

The TV is capable of playing H.265, H.264, MPEG4, REAL, RM, FLV, MOV, AVI, MKV, TS, and MP4 formats.

The thin display – 14.5mm, front to back – also doubles as an Android gaming console.

With Xiaomi is making strides into the US and European markets this year, it seems likely that this impressive (and impressively cheap) television will be available in the West very soon.

Source: Gizmodo

Sony Xperia E4 to Have Two-Day Battery Life

Sony’s forthcoming mid-range smartphone, the Xperia E4, will have a 2,300mAh battery that can handle up to 48 hours of active use. The Xperia E4, due to go on sale later this month, could even run for longer, using its STAMINA and Ultra STAMINA power-saving modes.

“With Xperia E4, we wanted to offer people some of the premium Sony features they have come to expect — with unparalleled ease of use — at a highly competitive price point,” Tony McNulty, Vice President of Sony Mobile’s Value Category Business Management, said. “With a simple setup, great screen and unrivaled two-day battery life, we’ve created an on-the-go entertainment device that will keep on going, wherever you are.”

The 5-inch Xperia E4 has a MediaTek MT6582 1.3GHz quadcore processor, a RAM 1GB, and 8GB built-in storage. The handset also features a rear 5MP camera with full HD video capabilities, a 2MP front camera, and a microSD slot. It will run Android 4.4.4 KitKat, but no news on whether it will have an Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade.

The smartphone will not be available in the US, and is rumoured to be priced at around £100.

Source: Tech Times

Creator CI20 From Imagination – the New Raspberry Pi Rival

 

The Creator CI20, developed by UK chip designer Imagination, is a microcomputer set to rival the Raspberry Pi. Although slightly bigger in size, Imagination’s project packs more processing power, more RAM, and its own onboard flash storage.

Like the Raspberry Pi, the CI20 can support various Linux operating systems, but, unlike its competitor, can run the Android 4.4 KitKat OS, too. It features on-board WiFi and Bluetooth functionality, compared to the Pi’s single Ethernet port. The Ci20 will cost slightly more than the Raspberry Pi, priced at £50 ($65). It is available for pre-order now, with the first models shipped in January 2015.

Source: BBC

Lenovo Announces The YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ Sporting a 1920 x 1080 Pixel Display

Aside from its battery life, the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 10 has been quite a disappointment in terms of performance and expectations. Nonetheless, the company has just announced that it will try its luck one more time with the announcement of its successor, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+.

The HD+ version has the same screen size as its predecessor, a 10-inch IPS display, however the resolution has been tweaked from half HD to full 1920 x 1080 10-point multi-touch as per the ‘HD+’ name. It features a Quad-Core 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 2GB DDR2 RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB additional space.

Aside from the above, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ features a 1.6MP front camera and 8MP rear camera, 3G connectivity via a microSIM slot, GPS with A-GPS support, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, dual front-facing speakers, a 9000mAh battery and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS which is said to be upgradeable to KitKat.

The YOGA Tablet 10 HD + retains the key design and technologies users find in the original YOGA Tablet 10, starting with its incredible up to 18 hours of battery life, the tablet’s signature three modes: Hold, Tilt and Stand; as well as deploy the new and improved kickstand that extends from the tablet’s battery cylinder to position it in Stand Mode.

In terms of pricing, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ will be available in stores this April with a price tag of $349 / £210.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Recent Rumors Point To Both Google Nexus 8 and Android 4.5 Rolling Out In July

The latest Android 4.4 KitKat is still running on a very small range of devices, having some manufacturers still working on updates for their previously released handsets with a lower Android version.

Even so, Google is undoubtedly working on another Android version, namely the 4.5, an operating system update schedule which Google made a habit of announcing during the I/O developer conference. However, this year might be different as some information sheds some light on what’s going to happen this year.

The dates for Google’s I/O developer conference have been recently announced, having it held between the 25th and 26th of June. If we are to follow Google’s past release announcements for the next Android OS version, that would be the date for this year’s announcement of the upcoming Android OS version. But sources from Google in Dublin tend to contradict this routine.

An anonymous source from Google HQ in Dublin is said to claim that a brief information from his or her superiors point to Android 4.5 being announced at a separate event which will be held in July, the same time when the Nexus 8 tablet is said to be announced. The information tends to add more information to the rumors about Google attempting to drop the 7-inch tablet market and focus on 8-inch tablets starting from this year.

Google’s actions have been justified by the increasing competition in the 7-inch tablet market, whereas 8-inch tablets are still in their early steps. And judging by both rumors, it appears that Google’s 8-inch tablets will not arrive in April as rumors have stated in the past. However, take the information with a pinch of salt, since no official information about either the next Android update nor the 8-inch Google Nexus tablet has been released yet.

Thank you Unwiredview for providing us with this information

New Nvidia Tegra Tablet To Be 4G LTE Compatible And Roll Out With Android 4.4 KitKat

Apparently the Nvidia Tegra Note will receive a hardware refresh which will include a 4G LTE capability, having the new 4G enabled tablets available from Nvidia partners starting from Q2 2014 at an estimated price tag of $299.

While Nvidia isn’t selling the tablets themselves, they will ship to partners ready for branding and sale handling. There have been a few Tegra Note tablest on the market up until now, however none branded with major manufacturers. Even so, Nvidia expects to extned its Tegra Note tablets availability to Western Europe, Brazil, and Ukraine over the next few months.

EVGA is said to ffer the Tegra Note in North America and Western Europe, Dixons in the UK, Gigabyte in Western Europe, Korea, and China, Gazer in Ukraine, Zotac in Japan and Korea, Xolo in India, Gradiente in Brazil, and Homecare in China too.

The Nvidia Tegra Note tablet specs are basically the same aside from the new 4G capability added, having a 7-inch 1,280×800 IPS touchscreen, a quad-core Tegra 4 processor, a 5 MP rear camera, a VGA front camera, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD card support, and Wi-Fi. Also, the 4G LTE Tegra Note will launch with the Android 4.4 KitKat pre-installed, having a KitKat update ready for current Tegra Tablet owners since Nvidia is handling the updates itself.

Thank you Unwiredview for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Unwiredview

Three Out Of Four iPhones Now Run The Latest iOS 7 Firmware

Apple released the statistics gathered through the App Store usage tracking feature. The result gained were that devices running iOS 7 have a 74 percent share, and given the short amount of time the iOS 7 has been on the market, its adoption rate is astonishing. Apple first released the latest iteration of its mobile platform on Sep. 18 in concert with the iPhone 5s and 5c launch.

The adoption rate continues to rise every day, and while having only 22 percent running the older iOS 6 running on other active devices, we can very well see the iOS adoption hitting 96% as early as Q1 2014. To be noted here is that the iOS 6 is only one year old, and this points out that users are more and more inclined to keep their gadgets up to date as much as they can.

The numbers coincide with those of ad network Chitika, which on Wednesday released data regarding iOS device Internet traffic. According to the analytics, iPhone version distribution stood at 74.1 percent for iOS 7 and 22.4 percent for iOS 6 during the three-week period between Oct. 25 and Nov. 18. As for iPad users, some 9 percent were still using iOS 5, though the number can be attributed to the tablets’ longer lifespans.

The ad firm also compared the Android competition, which saw just over half of all users running the last-generation 4.1 to 4.3 Jelly Bean. Google’s current Android 4.4 KitKat is only operating on 1.1 percent of devices, while 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 2.3 Gingerbread account for 18.6 percent and 24.1 percent, respectively.

Thank you Apple Insider for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Apple Insider

Android 4.4.1 Will Reportedly Fix Nexus 5 Camera

Nexus 5 users should be pleased to hear that Android 4.4.1 update should be rolling out shortly and that in addition to speeding up focusing, it will add faster white balancing, less shutter lag, and the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode. The company also shared a handful of photos showing the difference between normal mode and HDR+ following the update.

Dave Burke, Google’s Director of Engineering for Android, confirmed the news about the camera problems users have been encountering and that the Nexus 5 takes longer to focus than it should. In an effort to produce a higher-quality image, the team opted to “make the shutter time longer, reduce the gain even longer, and get better shots.” This resulted in slower-than-expected shooting speeds, a drawback the next version of Android is aimed at fixing.

Besides the framerate increase, the Nexus 5 will have a speed-up between capturing pictures, reducing the time gap by 1 second. There will also be a progress indicator in the HDR+ mode that makes the mode easier to manage. The update should also fix the Nexus 5’s face unlock bug, where relying on facial recognition to unlock the device would occasionally ruin the camera app until the entire phone was rebooted.

The camera on the Nexus 5 is superb as it is, however the drawbacks have kept it from being the perfect picture-taking gadget. With the new update, owners should soon be able to whip out the handset with more confidence.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Android Police

Android KitKat’s ART Runtime To Make Apps Run Faster

Android 4.4 KitKat appears to come with a special feature that will help with the execution of programs on android devices. The key features it brings is faster and more efficient execution of apps, better battery life and a more fluid experience for users.

ART, which stands for Android Runtime, handles app execution in a fundamentally different way from Dalvik, the former runtime process on android handsets. The current runtime relies on a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler to interpret bytecode, a generic version of the original application code. In a manner of speaking, apps are only partially compiled by developers, then the resulting code must go through an interpreter on a user’s device each and every time it is run. The process involves a lot of overhead and isn’t particularly efficient, but the mechanism makes it easy for apps to run on a variety of hardware and architectures.

ART is set to change this process by pre-compiling that bytecode into machine language when apps are first installed, turning them into truly native apps. This process is called Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compilation. By removing the need to spin up a new virtual machine or run interpreted code, startup times can be cut down immensely and ongoing execution will become faster, as well.

At present, Google is treating ART as an experimental preview, something for developers and hardware partners to try out before attempting to make it compatible with all devices and apps on the market.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Android Police

SwiftKey 4.3 Released And Available On The Google Play Store

SwiftKey has once again updated the third-party Android keyboard, releasing version 4.3 out onto the Play Store. Among the features in this update are a selection of three keyboard layouts, optimized for different screen and hand sizes. Particularly useful, I’ve found, is the Compact layout, which makes the entire length of the keyboard easier to reach with a thumb. This has proven invaluable when using larger devices like the Galaxy Note 3.

Canadian English language has also been added in this version according to the following press release “it understands local place names and personalities, for example, it understands Canadian users who type “Stephen” will be more likely than American English users to be talking about Prime Minister Stephen Harper than author Stephen King.” Very cool.

The “Living Layouts” update, which is what SwiftKey is calling version 4.3, combines the tablet and phone apps into a single version, meaning that users who paid for one or the other will get the second one free of charge.

SwiftKey is facing increasing competition in the Android keyboard market as well. Swype just updated its app and Google is rolling out a revised version of its own Android Keyboard with KitKat, bringing “swipe through space” functionality that debuted with SwiftKey. But choice is good, and Android users have a wealth of it. Anyone interested in the app can find it here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Ukb6Migl0[/youtube]

Thank you mobilesyrup for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Google Play

Google Nexus 8 Tablet Seen On Android’s Official Web Page

Google might have accidentally leaked an image of their upcoming Nexus tablet, circulating under the name “Nexus 8”. Originally spotted on The Verge forums, a strange tablet was pictured in Google’s own promotional material for the revamped Android page promoting Android 4.4 KitKat. The picture is found at the bottom of the Apps & Entertainment page, and reveals a woman holding a tablet with very thin bezels.

The bezels are much thinner than the ones found on the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, and the device also appears to be running Android 4.4 KitKat due to the white status bar icons shown in the image. The tablet looks to keep to a similar overall size when compared to the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, leading us to believe that Google could be readying a Nexus 8 tablet.

Do not get your hopes up too soon as it could just be a marketing mistake, and the device in cause could even be a Nexus 7 with a poorly simulated screenshot on top. If Google is preparing such a device, we will hear more news on the topic at hand or maybe even see it released sooner than anybody could expect.

Thank you Android Authority for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Android.com

Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs Now Available For Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Google have already stated the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will not get Android 4.4 KitKat support (because it is too old) but the guys over at XDA Developers have decided they aren’t going to accept that. XDA Developers forum user Gharak posted up an Android 4.4 KitKat ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Android 4.4 ROM apparently works fine with the Galaxy Nexus but there are some glitches with it, such as a graphics glitch with the rotation and lock functions.

Anyone with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus handset might want to give the 4.4 ROM a shot but its worth remembering that it certainly won’t be as stable as a normal Android release.  You should always install and “tinker” at your own risk, preferably if you have another spare handset. All the download links can be found here at the source.

Image courtesy of Samsung

Android 4.4 Ported To The Nexus 4, Nexus 7 And Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition

In less than 24 hours, a group of talented software geeks has been successful in porting Google’s latest Android OS, 4.4 KitKat, to three Nexus devices. Android 4.4 KitKat is not yet officially available for Nexus devices, but AOSP builds for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 – 2012 and 2013 Editions are available for download.

Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition Wi-Fi version users can get their AOSP KitKat fix from Rootzwiki, while the Nexus 7 – 2012 Edition Wi-Fi model users can get the ROM via Paranoid Android. A Google Apps package for them can be grabbed from here. The Nexus 4’s AOSP KitKAT ROM is available for download as well over here.

A reminder however is that installing unofficial software on your devices, even if these are AOSP ROMs for Nexus devices, is not recommended. Everyone is responsible for whatever happens during the installation, but in case you decide to go this route, make sure you backup your data and follow the necessary install steps closely.

The Nexus 4, Nexus 7 – 2012 and 2013 Editions , Nexus 10 and Google Play editions of the Galaxy S4 along with HTC One will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for the official update.

Thank you Android Authority for providing us with this information.

Google To Announce Android 4.4 KitKat

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sONcojECWXs[/youtube]

Google released two long-awaited and hotly anticipated products. Already detailed earlier, the Nexus 5 runs on Mountain View company’s latest mobile OS. Android 4.4 KitKat has been in the news for quite some time now. It’s high time we learnt more about it, and officially now.

One of the key features of the new release is optimizations made to the OS, so as to be able to run smoothly on legacy devices with just 512 MB of RAM. Don’t get too excited, your old 2011 Smartphone won’t get the update. The significance of this update is that entry-level devices in the future should have no problem running Android 4.4 smoothly, despite their aging hardware.

Google has brought in a new sensor batching technology that cuts down on power consumption. Wireless printing has found its way into the features list, with support for HP hardware. Android 4.4 KitKat comes with the updated Hangouts app, capable of sending and receiving text messages and placing HD video calls. Google has updated the ‘People’ app, adding more functionality to it. It’s search functionality has been revamped, allowing you to look across multiple accounts with relative ease.

Google Now has also received a massive update, taking advantage of some of the hardware features offered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC. The voice recognition engine has been tuned to be 25% more accurate than before. Also, all those envious of Moto X owners need not be anymore, for the Nexus 5 can also be woken up using just your voice commands.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of NextPowerUp

Google Play Store 4.4.21 APK leaked

Google Play Store APK version 4.4.21 has been leaked, and is available to download for most android devices right now. If you’re tired or waiting for Android 4.4 KitKat in particular, then you can now at least get a piece of the pie without having to wait for Google to make the whole package available to all. Today, the Google Play Store 4.4.21 update is available to anyone who wants to download it, giving users the chance to upgrade ahead of Google’s own planned  road-map.

In terms of updates to the Play Store, there’s nothing really all that interesting to report as yet. The most noticeable change here is that Google has done away with menu-accessible navigation buttons in favor of a slide-out panel, which is certainly the design angle that most mobile developers seem to be going for these days. It’s something that was perhaps first really prevalent on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, but both Android and iOS now take advantage of slide-out panels in order to reveal menus and the like.

The date regarding an official release of the Google Play Store 4.4.21 is unknown at this point, but it’s a fairly safe bet that it will launch alongside Android 4.4 at the latest, and perhaps even before that. It’s compatible with everything running Froyo and beyond though, so everyone can install it right now on your device from the link here.

Thank you Redmond Pie for providing us with this information.

Google Newsstand Rumored To Be Introduced In Android 4.4

The Play Store is set to undergo a few changes, and news this afternoon suggests some new media content. While Play Magazines has long been a middle-of-the-road option when compared to similar services on other platforms, Android Police is reporting that it could be changing for the better.

In their ongoing teardown of Play Store APKs, the team over at AP found mention of Google Play News a few months back. While nothing came of it, this recent teardown of Play Store 4.4 reveals several mentions of Google Play Newsstand. This hints at a long-rumored digital news service, much like Play Magazines. If the code is unchanged, we may also get the same service we saw with Play Music All Access.

With All Access, we were treated to a free trial before deciding whether or not to take the plunge and subscribe. It seems that Google Play Newsstand may offer the same kind of free trial. What lefts to be known is whether or not it’s a one-price unlimited news aggregate like All Access is for music.

If it is, news that they could couple a news service with Play Magazines is their saving grace. Of course, which partners they have on-board for any service is what will drive it. As great as All Access is, it can leave users wanting compared to competing services. With the proliferation of information sharing across the web, we’re left to wonder just how Google plans to make this worth while to consumers.

Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s ready for prime time, either. We would like to see it come to light with Android 4.4, but we’re not holding out hope just yet. It’s in the code, and obviously ready to launch, but we saw this with Play News months ago, so we’ll wait to hear something official before speculating much more.

Thank you Android Community and Android Police for providing us with this information.

 

 

Nexus 5 3000 mAh Battery Not Applicable According To New Leak

It appears that today we are having a Nexus 5 leak  frenzy, and here’s another one which puts at least one rumor to rest. As we found in some leaks earlier, Google planned to bring multiple variants of their next-generation Nexus Smartphones with varying battery capacities. The leak appears to have been misleading, so there is no point hoping for a 3000 mAh battery packed in the new handset. The Nexus 5 is confirmed to carry a 2,300 mAh battery unit, which we feel is quite good already. Sure, it doesn’t match up to the Xperia Z1 and LG G2, both of which have 3,000 mAh batteries, but owing to the lack of OEM overlay and extra background apps, we expect the Nexus 5 to come close to the battery life on offer by rivals.

Also, it has been once again confirmed that the Nexus 5 will come in only two variants, 16 GB and 32 GB, without a micro SD card slot as expected. It is good to know that Google isn’t launching an 8 GB variant, as we found that to be completely useless. According to the latest reports, and deductions based on the teaser images being posted by KitKat’s Twitter account, Google will announce Android 4.4 KitKat, and most probably the Nexus 5 alongside it, on October 21st.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Android 4.4 To Let You Set A 3rd Party Messaging App As Default

The Android 4.4 KitKat update is getting near and we are all excited to see what comes out of the brain trust over at Google. One feature that they have confirmed is the ability for users to choose a third-party app as their default SMS or MMS app. This has of course never been available before.  Google notes that many third-party SMS and MMS apps have already been made using workarounds to gain access to users’ text messages, a method that it doesn’t quite condone. The specific changes which have been made are to SMS_DELIVER_ACTION and WAP_PUSH_DELIVER_ACTION, SMS and MMS respectively, which will only work with one app at a time starting with Android 4.4.

The details come amid rumours that Google will also begin bundling SMS and MMS messaging right into its Hangouts app, creating a competitor to Apple’s iMessage. It also reports that Google will do away with Android’s traditional Messaging app, leaving Hangouts as the only built-in text messaging option for Nexus devices. This is something we have wanted for some time, as Google have struggled somewhat to encompass all their messaging platforms into a single solution.

Thank you NextPowerUp and BandwithBlog for providing us with this information.

New Location Settings To Be Added in Android 4.4 KitKat

The old Android location services will be revamped on the new Android 4.4 KitKat release. It seems that the “Location Access” area will be called simply “Locations” and the Location ON/OFF switch will be moved from the area that used to be called “Access to my location” to the top right corner.

Furthermore, the two Location Sources features, GPS satellites and Wi-Fi & Mobile Network will be replaced with three new features. The first is “High Accuracy” which uses the GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile (but uses more battery), the second “Battery saving” which uses Wi-Fi and mobile networks and of course as the name says, it saves battery. The third is Device sensors only, which only uses the internal GPS receiver, but of course will take a long time to get your actual position.

The rumor is still to be treated as a rumor, at least for now, but given the images and looking from a logical point of view, there are high chances that the rumors will be true. There is a hint pointed to a launch date for the Android 4.4 on October the 15th, but we will have to wait and see what happens.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Android Police.

Sony Xperia Z1Rumored To Get Android 4.4 KitKat Update On November 7th

The most anticipated android update, which is the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat, will hit the Sony’s latest flagship that was launched at the IFA 2013 in Berlin Xperia Z1. Rumors are that Sony is working on its update platform and will roll out Android 4.4 updates in November to its devices. November the 7th is the date for the Xperia Z1 and after that, Sony will release this new update to its other Smartphones as well and there is a chance that after the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra will be powered up with the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat.

The rumors also tell us that the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat will be bundled with many changes and will include some great enhancements and features, so probably this update is supposed to be big and could bring huge changes to the Sony Xperia flagships.The update will also bring security and bug fixes and optimized X-Reality Engine will also be bundled with this update.But unfortunately there is no official words on it so consider this news as the rumor.

To sum it all up, Sony will most likely skip Android 4.3 update for its latest flagship Xperia Z1 like Samsung recently do with the Galaxy S3 and its other Smartphones as Samsung have skipped Android 4.2.2 update.

Thank you Android SAS for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Android SAS.

HTC Sense 5.5 Screenshots Leaked

HTC Sense 5.0 has been on the market for some time now and in the past few weeks this, considered by many as the best Android UI, also has been released for HTC One X and HTC One X+.

There has been some speculations for months now that HTC has already been working on the next version of their famous UI – HTC Sense 5.5. Some of the Sense 5.5 features are already present in the latest HTC One Android 4.3 build, however they are currently disabled in the framework since they are not yet fully compatible.

Today, the HTC Sense 5.5 interface has been leaked and detailed screenshots of the UI have emerged on the internet. The HTC Sense 5.5 UI can be seen in detail below:

HTC’s beautiful and minimalism focused Sense 5.5 user interface update is scheduled to arrive soon with the upcoming HTC One Max phablet.

The new images have revealed that BlinkFeed can now be switched off, which is a major plus for those who were annoyed by this feature and did not want to use it at all.

Additionally, the camera app will get two new features titled Panorama+ and Dual Capture. In the notifications toggle, a new option called “Do Not Disturb” has been added, but it will most probably be a type of Flight Mode implementation.

Thank you Android Revolution HD and NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images  courtesy of Android Revolution HD.

SMS and MMS To Be Merged Into Hangouts By Google

The Hangouts application, which has so far only successfully unified Google+ Messenger and Google Talk, leaving Messaging and Voice to co-exist, is finally getting SMS and MMS integration. According to sources familiar with the matter, the upcoming Hangouts version 1.3 has these features enabled and, furthermore, also allows sharing of videos via the Hangouts protocol.

Messages sent via SMS will be shown as “via SMS” next to the timestamp so that users can always figure out the protocol used for each message delivery. Users can also request delivery reports for sent SMS, a feature that is part of the SMS protocol that some use on a daily basis.

MMS picture messaging is supported as well, though it cannot be confirmed sending of video via MMS at this time. There is a settings menu for wireless alerts as well as a toggle for auto-retrieving messages while roaming. Finally, users can opt out of SMS via Hangouts altogether.

The Voice protocol has still to be implemented into Hangouts, but nobody knows if there will be another update in the future which allows Hangouts to be able to “engulf” the Voice protocol as well.

There is no official confirmation at this point about a possible release timeline and correlation between KitKat and this Hangouts update. It’s possible that Google will roll it out before KitKat but it’s equally as possible for it to come out later if it’s not fully baked just yet.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Android Police.

Samsung Galaxy S4 & Note 3 Will Not Receive Software Patch To Unlock 8-Core Power

This is really terrible news for all Galaxy S4 owners, as well as new Galaxy Note 3 owners. Samsung has revealed that both devices, powered by the Exynos 5 Octa SoC (5410 and 5420 respectively), won’t get the much wanted software patch which would have otherwise unlocked all 8-cores for simultaneous usage, for example Monster 8-core performance. The reason stated by Samsung is “thermal issues,” which is understandable, considering how hot the Galaxy S4 heats up to even with just its usual four cores operating under the hood.

The 8-core update will come only after the Exynos 5 Octa batches get updated with new production methodology aimed to avoid overheating in 8-core scenarios, and since the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are sporting the current thermal envelopes, calculated to run with only four cores at once, the fix won’t apply to them, at least officially, unless you don’t mind the risk of frying the handset.

 On the issue of the Android 4.4 KitKat update for Samsung’s flagships, the expert advised that this is still months away, and right now they are focusing on getting Android 4.3 rolled out to everyone in Q4.
Thank you NextPowerUp and PhoneArena for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Nexus 5 Rumoured To Be Called Nexus 4 – 2013 Edition

The next generation of Nexus Smartphone by Google, a device which was called the Nexus 5 for a better part of the year now, might actually be named the Nexus 4 2013 edition. Now that we think of it, such a naming scheme is entirely plausible. Take the Nexus 7 for example, with the new model called the 2013 edition. The same rule is expected to be applied on both the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 5 (Nexus 4 – 2013 edition) when either device is launched later this month.

This was pointed out in the leaked images of the so-called Nexus 5 device, which gave us bits and pieces of the Android 4.4 KitKat it was running, but one image in particular was showing the device’s model named as “Nexus 4”. And given the previously mentioned devices which kept the model but with a slight change to the edition, it might be that Google will name their new Smartphone the Nexus 4 2013 and not the Nexus 5, a name that we all used for months now to describe the upcoming Nexus device.

Looking at the Build Number as well, it shows the internal name of the device on which it is installed. Each facility has an internal name:

  • Nexus One: passion
  • Nexus S: frizz
  • Galaxy Nexus: maguro
  • Nexus 4: mako
  • Nexus 4 2013 (Nexus 5): hammerhead?

There is nothing new the name “hammerhead”, which draws the conclusion that it might belong to the Nexus 4 2013 (or Nexus 5 if you prefer it)The information is still vague, but we will soon know all there is to know about the Nexus 4 – 2013 edition (Nexus 5) when it will be released.

Thank you NextPowerUp and TuttoAndroid for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NextPowerUp and TuttoAndroid.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Available for HTC One Handsets

Great news for HTC One users as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updated has started to be available for OTA download. It is reported also that the HTC One will run smoother and faster with the new 4.3 OS than the Samsung competitor, the Galaxy S4.

The update started to become available to unlocked HTC One devices on the 28th of September and carrier locked phones will soon be given the update later on (if not already received). It is worth noting that Android 4.4 KitKat will soon be available in October, so updates are on the roll for android users.

The main improvements that users will see in the new Android 4.3 update for HTC One are:

  • Improved colour contrast in low-light environments using the camera
  • New battery charging animation in power-off state
  • Video highlights can now feature soundtracks
  • New radios
  • Several bug fixes
  • Improved overall system performance

Aside from the modifications and improvements provided by HTC to the One smartphone, the new firmware features several Jelly Bean goodies from the Android 4.3 version.

Some features owners should expect from the new software update are as follows:

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 version for realistic and high performance 3D graphics rendering
  • Virtual surround sound powered by Fraunhofer Cingo – Beats Audio technology may have overridden this
  • Bluetooth Low Energy and compatibility with Bluetooth Smart accessories
  • Improved dial pad functionality with Autocomplete
  • Better keyboard and text input
  • Wi-Fi only location scanning
  • Disabled apps tab found in the “Settings > Applications”
  • Additional language support
  • Enhanced photo daydream
  • Faster switching from the lock screen

Thank you Gadget.ro and IBTimes for providing us with this information.

 

Android 4.4 KitKat Running On Nexus 5 Spotted

Screenshots of an Android device taken by Myce have revealed what they claim is proof of the Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat.  In a log file “Android Key Lime Pie” is revealed with corresponding references to the Nexus 5 as the product name. Android Key Lime Piece is another way of referring to Android 4.4 KitKat.

The extensive range of screenshots, of which some of the “more interesting” ones can be seen in this article, show that the next generation Nexus device will  run Google Babel (Hangouts) and Google Authenticator. Additionally other stuff has been revealed like a complete list of Nexus 5 sensors. The Nexus 5 has a Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Game Rotation Vector, Motion detector and Step detector.

The screenshots also reveal evidence for wireless charging and camera sensor settings. If you want to check out a more detailed analysis of the log files and what they could potentially mean then you can find that here.

Images courtesy of Myce