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2 years ago

Samsung launches 5 new SDKs to drive coherent app design


Samsung has the tools to lure developers to their hardware, and they're showing them off at SDC13

Samsung’s Gregory Lee kicked off the conference by welcoming the more than 1,300 attendees from 33 nations.

“We have tremendous reach around the world,” Lee said. “And in most cases, we’re number one in smartphones in all those markets. And we have products in every segments, at every price point.

“The applications that you develop will reach all across our devices, not just smartphones, tablets, PCs, but also TVs, and enterprise solutions.”

Of course, the main focus is on mobile (where Samsung makes a ton of money) so that means Android. These tools will help developers who want to take advantage of the hardware features Samsung adds to their devices, and it's great to see them digging in and catering to developers who can (and want to) get great software on some of the most popular mobile devices sold today.

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 update landing today with Gear support, Band IV LTE


As we speculated earlier today, Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S4 will indeed be the first U.S. model to be updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which brings with it Samsung's "premium suite" software. Samsung has updated its support page indicating that the new software version I545VRUEMJ7 should begin rolling out today.

Alongside the new version of Android, today's update includes support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's KNOX enterprise security layer to Galaxy S4 owners on Verizon. There's also a new version of the Group Play media sharing app and support for Band IV LTE, allowing VZW GS4 owners to take advantage of their carrier's recent 4G LTE deployment on those frequencies.

If you're updating your Verizon Galaxy S4 today, hit the comment and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Samsung; via: Droid-Life

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid soak test invites going out


New Droids getting ready for their turn at the big camera update

You have your shiny new Droid Maxx, Mini or Ultra. It's one hell of a phone, and in my opinion the best set of phones to ever hit Verizon. I wish there was a GSM Droid Maxx. But I digress.

You've been watching every other Moto X build phone get soak tests and updates that make the camera about a zillion times better. The good news is that it's now your turn.

Invites are going out for a multi-phone soak test for the Mini, Maxx and Ultra as we speak. It's the same deal as every other Motorola phone, where members of the Moto Feedback Network may get a chance to test early builds of any upcoming update. Often, the update for everyone follows soon after. 

Punit Soni, VP of product management at Motorola Mobility promised nobody has forgotten the new Droids. Now it's time to deliver.

Thanks, all you anons who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Forget 64-bit for a moment, the new Exynos CPUs are rumored to use a 14nm process


Great performance is a good thing, but less time on the power cord is a better thing

64-bit processing is nothing to sneeze at, but it's also nothing new. The first 3Com PDAs used 64-bit processors. Every Intel Atom processor is 64-bit. I think Casio built an old watch with a 64-bit processor in it as well. It means nothing by itself, and the reason Apple's new Samsung-built A7 performs so well is because it was designed to deliver a particular experience to particular software. There's more to it than the number of bits.

While we're not going to dismiss the benefits of moving hardware and operating systems to 64-bit support, there's something much more important said to be part of Samsung's new Exynos design — a 14nm process.

To put it in simple terms, this refers to the way the processor wafers are built, and it's a measurement of space between components. When you move down to 14nm (nanometers) you do a couple very important things. You decrease the cost, and up the power efficiency. Advanced discussion of FinFET, MOFSET and MuGFET advancements are best left to the forums if you're into that.

When you have a minute hour to spare, ask Phil how he loves his Haswell (22nm) laptop. The 22nm process gives it awesome battery life compared to previous versions. Intel loves to crow about the Haswell, with good reason. They also offer a great example of the benefit of a 14nm process, with tests of their upcoming Broadwell chips being 30 percent more power efficient under the same load

TSMC has released a roadmap showing they are on-board, but Samsung can meet the demand. If these rumors turn out to be true, and Samsung delivers a 64-bit, HMP-ready 14nm Exynos processor, we may get the performance to power ratio we've been waiting for in our mobile devices. 

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2 years ago

'Premium suite' with Android 4.3 + Galaxy Gear support headed to U.S. Samsung phones


Galaxy S4, S3, Note 2 getting 4.3 + Gear support 'in the coming weeks;' Gear update for Galaxy S4 Active, S4 Mini and Mega 'in the coming months'

Following the emergence of a leaked update timetable on Friday, Samsung has confirmed that the "premium suite" update pack for the Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 will be arriving on U.S. devices "in the coming weeks." The update includes Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's new KNOX enterprise security layer. According to today's press release some devices will start receiving the update today — and although no specific devices or carriers are mentioned, the leaked timetable points to today being the day for the Verizon Galaxy S4.

Elsewhere, international Galaxy S4s started receiving their Android 4.3 updates a couple of weeks back, and these also included Galaxy Gear and KNOX support.

Samsung also tells us the U.S. Galaxy S4 Active, S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega will receive similar updates "in the months ahead."

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids coming to the U.S. November 10


Pre-orders start November 1, priced at $229.99

Samsung has announced that the chunky, bright-colored Galaxy Tab 3 Kids will be headed to the U.S. from Nov. 10, priced at $229.99. The 7-inch tablet is essentially a Galaxy Tab 3 wrapped in a colorful exterior, with the option to switch into a second, kid-friendly operating mode alongside the standard Android/TouchWiz UI. Naturally for a kid-centric tablet you'll find a host of games and educational apps preloaded on the Tab 3 Kids, along with parental controls to keep tabs on what your kids can do.

We've got the full feature list after the break.

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2 years ago

NVIDIA updates Shield with Android 4.3, button mapping, console mode


The $300 NVIDIA Shield gaming console gains a great deal more functionality

NVIDIA today is letting lose a major update to its Shield gaming console, one that adds a significant amount of functionality to the $300 device. Here's the lowdown:

  • Android 4.3: Shield is getting updated to Android 4.3, making it one of the first Android devices — gaming phone, tablet or otherwise — to be updated to the most current (and available) version of Android. (And some apps can now be moved to the SD card.)
  • Console mode: This has been teased publicly, and now it'll be available. You'll be able to plug your Shield into your TV and control it wirelessly using a Bluetooth gaming controller.
  • Custom control mapping: Not every app has been optimized for Shield, and not every developer will take the time to do so. So NVIDIA's giving you a way to set your own custom mappings, download mappings others have made — and share your own with your friends.
  • GameStream exits beta: The deal where your computer crunches the graphics and shoots them to your Shield — provided you have the proper NVIDIA graphics card — grows up and gets official. (Plus you can get some nice deals on games when you buy a new graphics card.)

We've been giving the update the what-for over the weekend — a few initial thoughts, after the break.

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2 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!


It's the start of what promises to be a very busy week in the Android world, between Android Central Live at the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco, and the various KitKat and Nexus announcements we're expecting later on. So why not take time to get caught up on the latest Android happenings through the Android Central podcast. We've got special guest Russell Holly of, a bunch of Nexus speculation, BBM for Android launch impressions (it's really great user friendly and smooth) and a bunch of questions from the live Q&A.

Check out Android Central Podcast 157 in audio and visual form over on this here Internet web page. You'll also find it on YouTube, and through the podcasts section of the Android Central app. Happy Monday!

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2 years ago

Live at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT): The Samsung Developers Conference keynote!


We've coming at you live from the inaugural Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco. We're not really sure what to expect here at the Westin St. Francis, which should keep things that much more interesting.

We're streaming the keynote live on our SDC page. But hit the break if you prefer it with a little more chat room, the better to get your discussion on. 

The keynote kicks off at 11 a.m. PDT, 2 p.m. EDT, and we'll be live later in the afternoon.

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2 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 selling for £180 from UK retailer


Imported U.S. model with UK adapter

We're expecting a couple more Nexus devices to land before the week's out, but if you're in the market for a 2013 Nexus 7 — still one of the best small tablets out there — here's a deal worth taking a look at. UK merchant Pixel Electronics on is selling the 32GB Wifi-only Nexus 7 for a mere £179.99 — £59 less than the Google Play Store price.

The devices being sold are U.S. models with UK adapters, which explains the unusually low price. The American model will work just fine in the UK, of course, so all you're missing out on is an official UK wall charger. The reduced price is part of a sale lasting for the next eight days.


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2 years ago

Samsung wants to help you become a rock star developer


The Samsung SDK and this week's Developer Conference will take you from frustration to fulfillment

Meet Derek. He's a struggling mobile developer who can't seem to get the ideas from his head onto his phone. When he's finally had enough, his cries for help are answered by a glittering magic envelope — an invitation to the Samsung Developers Conference. Soon his problems are overcome, he's the envy of his co-workers, and he owes it all to the Dev conference and the Samsung SDK.

Ok, the premise is over-the-top a little bit. Or a whole lot. But the idea here is to get you — the potential app developer for Samsung's Android-based phones — excited for this week's event. Combine that with Samsung's recent flair for the dramatic, and you get these shorts. 

Hit the break, watch through the playlist, and get ready for a lot more — both informative and entertaining — stuff from Samsung in the days to come.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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2 years ago

LG officially releases the G Flex, a 6-inch curved OLED smartphone


Features include a curved display, self-healing rear skin and back-mounted buttons 

We've had our fair share of looks at the then-unannounced G Flex, and now LG has made its curved phone official. Unlike the recently-revealed Samsung Galaxy Round, the G Flex is curved on the horizontal axis (think Galaxy Nexus) and seemingly more dramatically based on the pictures LG has released. Aside from the curve, the G Flex follows LG's design language found on its other "G series" devices, including the rear-mounted buttons we first saw on the LG G2.

In terms of specs, the G Flex has an OLED display, as we'd expect for such a curved panel, but is unfortunately only 720 x 1280 resolution — at 6-inches diagonally, that pegs the pixel density at 244 ppi. Inside, we're looking at a MSM8974 (Snapdragon 800) processor clocked at 2.26GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, 32GB of internal storage and Bluetooth 4.0. As expected, for now this is a South Korea-only affair. Also interesting, LG says the rear of the G Flex will feature a self-healing coating, designed to automatically fill small scratches in the finish.

As you'd expect the G Flex is running Android 4.2.2 with LG's own software customizations. LG seems to be crafting its software to take advantage — or at least be accommodating — of the curved screen, shifting elements on the screen based on how the phone moves. Beyond that, it isn't entirely known what new software features will be G Flex-specific. See the press release after the break.

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2 years ago

Google's Wifi Passport service and app live in Jakarta


No carrier service, no problem — if you're in Indonesia

Google has partnered with MOGPlay and are now offering free or cheap Wifi access for folks in Jakarta, Indonesia. Wifi hotspots are scattered around the city, and using the official Android app and voucher codes, users can connect and stay connected (when in range) for up to 60 days.

The first voucher, good for 10 days, is free, and further vouchers are inexpensive. A 20-day pass will cost 20,000 IDR (about $2.00 US) and a 50-day pass will cost about 50,000 IDR (about $5.00 US). 

So far, this is only live for Jakarta. But it's easy to see the allure of such a program, especially in emerging markets — Google and Android's bread and butter. No word on any expansion at this point, though. If you're in Indonesia, are handy with a proxy, or know other tricks to get those apps you're not allowed to get from Google Play, you'll find this one right here.

Source: Google; Via: Google Operating System blog

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2 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Headed to SF for the Samsung devcon


So it's been a couple weeks since we last chatted. Thank the cold rains in London and the allergens in Florida for that, I suppose. But here we are, back again. And things are about to get crazy.

I'm on my way to San Francisco today for the inaugural Samsung Developers Conference. Android Central is the official community partner for the event. And seeing as how Samsung's doing something new (by throwing this little party in the first place), we figured we'd step up our game as well.

So you'll be getting live coverage from us Monday and Tuesday. That includes not only liveblogging the keynote — but we'll be streaming it online as well. Plus, we'll have three hours of live video coverage on top of that. We'll be doing a couple live podcasts, and interviews from the conference.

So join myself and Andrew Martonik. This is gonna be fun. It's all going down at

A few other thoughts runnin' through my head ...

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2 years ago

Android 4.3 test firmware for Galaxy Note 2 leaks out


New interface elements and features borrowed from the Note 3 included

Samsung has stated that it's on track to have a Galaxy Gear-supporting update ready for the Galaxy Note 2 by year's end, and it looks based on a leak today that that update will also be to Android 4.3. A full build of test firmware for the international (GT-N7100) variant of the Galaxy Note 2 has leaked, giving us a look at a mid-cycle but relatively complete build.

The firmware has a new interface that draws from what's seen on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, and includes new features like Samsung Knox and Samsung Wallet. It is said that Samsung is pretty rapidly working on the software and new builds are coming out every two days, so things are likely to change some between now and the official release.

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