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3 years ago

Samsung SDK updated for Galaxy S5 features

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Fingerprint and activity information on the Samsung Galaxy S5 now open to developers

App developers interested in making use of the Samsung Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner or heart rate monitor only need to download the recently-updated Samsung Mobile SDK. Version 1.51 beta of the software development kit rolled out with access to accessory data (like that spiffy new Gear Fit) and health (including food and heart rate data). Fingerprint scanning actions are being called "passes", and physical activity is being lumped into "motion".

As always, the SDK allows developers to implement Samsung-specific features, like the S Pen and MultiWindow features. Devs can download the new SDK right over here. Personally, I'm pretty interested to see what kind of apps make use of the new features. How would you folks like to see the fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor used in apps?

Source: Samsung Developers

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3 years ago

KitKat for AT&T's Galaxy S4 available today

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OTA rolling out over the coming days, or you can manually check

AT&T's Galaxy S4 has a KitKat update ready and waiting, and AT&T says it should be available starting February 26 — which is today!

The update will push to you automagically over the next few days if you like, or if you're the type who just isn't about to wait for an update, you can check for it manually via your device settings. Make sure you're on Wifi and have at least 50 percent charge on your battery. AT&T doesn't mention availability via Kies, but it might be worth trying as well.

The update brings the Galaxy S4 to Android version 4.4.2, and has a few other notable changes:

  • Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility
  • Drag and drop to uninstall or disable applications
  • Call reliability improvements

Often times these updates start right away on their projected date, so now is the time to check. If you get it, be sure to holler out with your experience.

Source: AT&T. Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Moto G update pushing out to just about everyone

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Update addresses known issues with connection and USB OTG support

GSM Moto G owners everywhere are reporting an update to their phones today. We've heard reports from the U.K., the continent, and the U.S. of unlocked phones receiving a newer version that's still KitKat. A few highlights of version 174.44.1:

  • Fixed an issue which caused temporary cellular network loss for a small number of customers
  • Fixed wallpaper cropping issue
  • Resolved USB OTG support for USB drives
  • Fixed low call volume as experienced by some users

We've heard nothing from users of the CDMA or dual-SIM versions just yet, but it's worth keeping an eye out if you're using one. Motorola is killing it with these quick updates!

Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

MWC 2014: Mobile Nations Podcast wrap-up!

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Mobile World Congress 2014 is over and we're wrapping it up in full-on Mobile Nations style! Join Phil Nickinson, Alex Dobie, and Andrew Martonik of Android Central, Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry, Daniel Rubino of Windows Phone Central, and Richard Devine of iMore as they talk EVERYTHING Samsung, Android, Nokia, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more!

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3 years ago

Your Galaxy S5 wants you to know it's powered by Android

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New boot screen branding for Android on the GS5

Boot up the Samsung Galaxy S5 and you'll be presented with a new message below the usual boot-up logo. The Galaxy S5 isn't just a Galaxy S5 — it's "powered by Android," and that's exactly what you'll see at boot-up.

It's an interesting distinction for Android's biggest manufacturer, and not something we've witnessed in such a prominent place on any other handset. There's been much speculation recently surrounding developments in the relationship between Google and Samsung, and there's no doubt that an Android logo on the GS5's bootscreen will put Google's OS brand in front of a ton of eyeballs in the months ahead.

More: Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and initial review

Hat tip to Brian Klug

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3 years ago

LG kicks TD-LTE-enabled Optimus G Pro onto China Mobile, calls it LG-E985T

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LG's smartphones in Korea, Europe, and the Americas might get cool makes like G Pro 2 and G Flex, but in China, they get numbers. Which is all as well, considering that when you get your phone onto China Mobile you get access to 750 million potential customers. So that's where you'll find the LG-E985T, with TD-LTE and FD-LTE in tow.

All things considered, the LG-E985T is actually a fairly well-specced phone. Considering it's more or less an LG Optimus G Pro with a few alterations, it ought well be. Its heart is a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage (plus microSD expansion of up to 32GB). The display is a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS panel (ppi: 400) and there's a 13-megapixel rear camera with 2.1 megapixels up front. It's all powered by a removable 2940mAh battery. In addition to TD-LTE, the LG-E985T also supports FD-LTE, so China Mobile customers with the phone will be able to take their phone out into the broader world and still have proper 4G coverage.

The LG-E985T will launch running Android 4.2.2 and will be available in black and white colors. Availability on China Mobile beings this week, though pricing has not yet been announced.

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3 years ago

Samsung unwraps Knox 2.0, will use biometric ID and handles apps from Google Play in a new way

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Knox 2.0 to ship on Galaxy S5, come to other Galaxy devices with Android 4.4 updates in Q2

Last year at Mobile World Congress we heard all about how Knox, and how it would help add a layer of security to folks using their own device for work, and today — exactly a year later — version two is announced with some great improvements.

It starts with the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S5. Knox 2.0 will use two-factor biometric authentication, where access to a central keystore will require both a fingerprint and a passcode. Developers of corporate apps and security policy can implement this into their software, and ensure that only the person who should have access is the one who can get access.

On the apps front, Knox can now run "most" applications from Google Play without setting up a new environment, while still keeping the system and kernel secure from malicious code. The Knox software will now secure each apps its data, and prevent unauthorized editing and access to system partitions and other sensitive areas and databases. Samsung will also be setting up a Knox marketplace, where IT staff can set up deploy applications across all users phones. Several companies — including Box and GoTo Meeting — are already on-board.

Knox 2.0 will come installed on the Galaxy S5, and will begin rolling out to other Galaxy phones —it requires Android 4.4 — in the second quarter of 2014.

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3 years ago

Motorola hints at Moto X refresh in late summer

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Moto takes to the Twitters to tease us all

We combed through everything said at the Motorola press dinner to try and find more, but this Tweet is all that Moto is saying about a new model Moto X.

It doesn't tell us much, and we all figured a company that makes phones would make a new phone for a new year, but we can't help but be a little excited. Anyone else ready for a new Moto X?

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3 years ago

The Moto G is Motorola's most successful smartphone ever

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Moto G is highest-selling smartphone in company history

Another nugget from Motorola's MWC press dinner. Motorola senior vice president of product management Rick Osterloh had this to say while talking about Motorola's commitment to Android, the upcoming merger, and Motorola's future:

The Moto G has been the most successful, highest-selling smartphone in Motorola's history

He went on to mention that Motorola is making a profit on every sale, and that they will make even more after the Lenovo purchase is complete.

Hey Nokia — this is how you do it.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 — Everything you need to know

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We're rounding up all of our important Samsung Galaxy S5 coverage for you right here

You might have noticed that we've covered the heck out of the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch at Mobile World Congress. It's a lot to take in, but we're going to round up all of the important stories right here for your easy reference.

For those unfamiliar, let's go over the broad strokes. The Galaxy S5 is launching in April worldwide. It's got a 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080 display, 2.5 Ghz quad-core processor, and 2 GB of RAM. Some of its fancier features include a heart rate monitor built in near the camera and a fingerprint sensor, though there are plenty of iterative updates. Dig into the stories below for a fully detailed look at the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy S5 announcement

Samsung Galaxy S5 specifications

Pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S5

Hands-on video of the Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 release date

Anything else you guys would like to know about the Samsung Galaxy S5?

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3 years ago

Moto X and Moto Maker expanding to new countries

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Moto X will arrive in India and Australia, Moto Maker coming to Europe and Mexico

More news from Motorola's Bareclona press dinner, and this time it's all about the Moto X.

The handset itself will be crossing a few new borders and is headed to India and Australia. We've no details on availability dates or pricing, but we expect things to happen relatively soon.

For folks across Europe and in Mexico, who want a custom Moto X, Moto Maker is also expanding. Starting in Q2 in both the UK and Germany, you'll be able to custom create and order a Moto X in a variety of colors, very much like U.S. customers have been able to. Hooray! We've no details on when we'll see this in Mexico just yet.

Talking about Moto Maker, the wood backs make up about 25 percent of all Moto Maker purchases. Moto feels this will continue, and has a couple of new options planned. They have no new materials to announce, but wanted us to know there will be more to offer in 2014.

One more thing — Motorola says they are investigating how they could build custom devices for the Chinese market. They want the same fulfillment times we see in the US from the Texas plant, and seem to have a good idea of how they could pull it off. Also, when talking about Motorola devices in China, it was mentioned that doing business will be much easier when Motorola is part of Lenovo. Look for an official announcement soon is our best guess.

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3 years ago

Motorola bringing multiple wearables, including a new watch, in a few months

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Motorola thinks wearables should look like jewelery

We're having a friendly press dinner with Motorola at Mobile World Congress, and Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of product management, has been talking about wearables.

Osterloh says that he thinks the current crop of wearable devices are all "extremely ugly" and aren't anything you'd actually want to wear. Wearables should be treated like a item of jewelery and look good on your wrist, or wherever else you're wearing them. He also made sure to mention that they won't be running Tizen.

Without a lot of details, Motorola says they will be releasing multiple wearable devices in 2014. Things should be ready for a full announcement in a "few months," and it sounds like Lenovo would be on-board with the idea should their buyout of Motorola happen as planned.

Wearable computing is coming, whether we're ready for it or not. One thing that would help folks get on-board is devices that look good. We think motorola may be on to something here if they can pull it off.

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3 years ago

AT&T rolls out unlimited international messaging for texts, pictures, and video

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If you happen to be on one of AT&T's Mobile Share plans and have friends, relatives, acquaintances, coworkers, or just people you want to message with that happen to live outside of the United States, then we've got good news: AT&T is making international messaging free on February 28th.

In addition to the free messaging, AT&T is rolling out reduced international calling rates. The new World Connect Value package that includes 1¢ per minute calls to "over 35 countries, including Canada and Mexico." Those other countries are located exclusively in the Caribbean and Central and South America, and tiny nations like St. Pierre and Miquelon are counted among them.

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3 years ago

LG has a homeBoy for you at Mobile World Congress

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Yes, that really is its name

We have to confess the name is why we stopped to look at the LG homeBoy. Perhaps offering more hilarity in the west than LG's native Korea, the device itself is basically a large Bluetooth entertainment system for the LG G Pad 8.3. You dock and connect the tablet, then all sound from apps or music comes out through the actually pretty good sounding speakers on your homeBoy.

You can also connect your homeBoy to your TV and use it to mirror content to the screen while still retaining the sound through the devices speakers. It looks pretty good, has NFC and is personally tuned by a chap called Mark Levinson. But you'll still have to go into a store and ask if you can buy yourself a homeBoy. Thanks, LG!

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3 years ago

Sony ditches permanent screen protectors for Xperia Z2 devices

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'Anti-shatter film' no longer used on Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet

Good news for would-be Xperia Z2 buyers today, as one of our major bugbears with previous Sony smartphones has been consigned to history. At a meeting today at Mobile World Congress, Sony confirmed to Android Central that fixed screen protectors — officially known as "anti-shatter film" — are not used on the Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet. Instead Sony's latest smartphone and tablet are furnished in bare glass and metal, just as nature intended.

We've long bemoaned the use of the anti-shatter film on Sony phones, which scratches more easily than the reinforced glass of the display and gives the devices a more plasticky feel, while also picking up smudges and fingerprints. So it's great to see this finally addressed as Sony launches its 2014 portfolio.

Be sure to check out our Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet hands-on posts for more on both devices.

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