Today Google began rolling out the first major update to Android 4.4 (AKA KitKat). The new update is said to bring dramatic improvements to the Nexus 5's Camera by improving focusing, fixing issues with pinch zooming, and more.
Google says that the update "improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag." The roll-out will take place over the next few days, but those who do not wish to wait can head over to Motorola's official download in ZIP form that can be found below.
This was something we saw at the NVIDIA Editors' Day 2013 in Montreal, Canada, but now it is available with 1080p @ 60FPS through your own, personal Shield device, thanks to a new update NVIDIA is currently pushing out.
NVIDIA has announced the new December Software Update, which improves the 720p 60FPS Console Mode function, provides new games it works with, and the crown jewel: 1080p 60FPS PC Gaming Console Mode. Officially supported games include the biggest hits right now: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
NVIDIA has said that it will continue to add games to its list of titles that pump out to your TV at 1080p at 60FPS, with more details available at the Shield website.
Patent Bolt has discovered quite the idea that Samsung has, where the South Korean giant has a patent on something that describes touch controls which are on the back of the smartphone, with transparent displays.
There are multiple uses for this type of technology, with one of them being the ability to open an application, or control a video without getting your hand in front of the screen. You could also move objects that are on the bottom layer of the multi-layered screen, as well as security uses, for increasing your password with dual-sided passwords.
Apple were the first to the market with a fingerprint scanner on a smartphone, with the iPhone 5S and its Touch ID technology. But now it looks like Samsung is going to follow through with its own security technology based on a fingerprint scanner.
Reuters is reporting that a company that specializes in fingerprint recognition technology, Sweden's Fingerprint Cards, is expecting "seven or eight of the world's biggest smartphone makers" to jump into the fingerprint recognition market. Fingerprint Cards' CEO, Johan Carlstrom, has said that Samsung will be launching a fingerprint scanner-capable smartphone in 2014, and that his company is hoping to become a supplier.
We did hear that Samsung stated it wasn't working on a 'Touch ID' type of technology for its devices, but we all knew it was an eventuality.
This morning, website fonearena.com spotted a mysterious benchmark result posted on GFXbench.com. The benchmark result details a Samsung smartphone with the model number SM-G9000S, a previously unknown device. The benchmark list the phone as featuring a 2K display with a resolution of 2560x1440.
Internal hardware is pretty impressive as well with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked to 2.7GHz, and a Adreno 330 GPU. The device is running Android 4.4, but RAM and Storage numbers were not included in the results. Fonearena is speculating that this could be the Galaxy Round 2.0 based on the model number configuration.
Other industry analyst are speculating that this could be the Galaxy S5, but I feel that the Galaxy Round 2 is a much better bet, as I fully believe that the Galaxy S5 will be a 4K device with Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon processor. In the end though, only time will tell, and wit benchmark results starting to leak out, it is only a matter of time now before we find out what phone this really is.
We've heard rumors of the Galaxy S5 to include a more premium feel, possibly adopting a metal chassis like its competitors' in the HTC One, and iPhone 5S. Well, PhoneArena is now reporting that a new rumor points to metal chassis producer, Catcher, beginning work on the Galaxy S5 chassis.
Samsung is looking to build a massive 10 to 30 million units for the Galaxy S5, which should feature the aforementioned metal chassis. Another tease is reporting that we should expect two versions of the S5, one with the usual, cheaper plastic design, and another with a premium metal finish. We should expect the Galaxy S5 to be quite the flagship from the South Korean company when it launches next year.
This is an odd way to find out about a new smartphone from HTC, but there was a ruling on Tuesday morning that threatened HTC's One smartphone from being pulled from the UK market.
Well, Judge Richard Arnold looks to have slipped that there is an HTC One successor coming very soon. Judge Arnold slipped the news nugget during his decision, where he said: "HTC is close to launching the successor flagship model to the HTC One. HTC has not revealed the launch date. Nokia has adduced evidence which suggests that the launch date is in the first quarter of 2014 and possibly as early as February 2014. HTC has not contradicted this."
The reason behind Judge Arnold bringing up the unreleased, unannounced One successor, is that HTC is worried that its business will suffer (more so than it is now) if the HTC One disappears from the UK market before it can unleash a new smartphone. Judge Arnold says that the HTC One successor will be released in Q1 2014.
Something interesting just popped up onto my radar, and that's the news that ASUS is working on a new dual OS tablet. The new tablet is capable of running Android and Windows, something of which ASUS is no newbie at.
But, with Android 4.4 KitKat now out, and Windows 8.1, could we see a mashup of operating systems under a new ASUS-built device? Well, it looks liker we can expect three models: M82T, L82T, and the R82T - with no information on what makes them all different. We do know that on the tablet that slid through the FCC was powered by the Intel Atom "Bay Trail" chip.
Other than that, we know it has a 3910mAh battery, and either 32GB or 64GB of storage. We don't know about the screen size, but we could expect something in the 7-inch range or so - which would work, considering ASUS builds the Android 4.4-powered Nexus 7 slate. If we do see this thing released, we should expect it to be shown off at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, in January.
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, where we have Midhun from India wanting to pick up a new smartphone, but is torn between the Nexus devices, the Galaxy S4 mini and the Xperia SP smartphones.
Q: I am planning to buy a mobile and here are my choices:
- Galaxy s4 mini
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 5
- Xperia SP
I am not a big gamer, but I am looking for a good battery life and does a lot of browsing and WhatsApp. The S4 mini has QHD screen and the rest have HD screens, so when coming to the application support will I face the problem of non supported apps with S4 mini?
A: You can view the answer to Midhun's question right here.
Android 4.4 aka "KitKat" has officially been released to the public for about a month now and a new report says that KitKat has made its way onto 1.1-percent of all Android devices. This may not sound like much, but when you consider that at the moment, Android 4.4 only supports a handful of devices at the moment.
The numbers come straight from Google's Android Dashboard, a tool that tracks the installation of Android on devices that access the Google Play Store. The Android market is still dominated by Jelly Bean installs, and most likely will be until deep into 2014 when we see more devices being opened up to KitKat.
Nokia has just won a major battle in the so-called "Patent War", with a UK judge ruling that the HTC One Mini infringes on some of Nokia's patents. As a result of the ruling, the HTC One Mini has been banned from sale in the UK, and all sales must halt by December 6th, or HTC will face major fines.
Additionally, the company could see its flagship, the HTC One, banned from sale in the UK as well, which could cripple the already troubled manufacturer. The judge presiding over the matter did acknowledge that this would cause considerable damage to HTC and has postponed ruling on the one until HTC has had time to appeal. HTC says that it has agreed to cease all imports of its devices, until the appeal hearing has concluded.
The patent violations are based on certain chip sets used in the HTC One and One mini, and HTC says that it is working with chip suppliers to look into alternative chip solutions that could allow the devices back on the market. "HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024 patent." the company said in a statement.
Up until now, the only way to get your hands on one of Motorola's low-cost Moto G Android-based smartphones was to order it from the official Motorola website, but today the company announced that customers could purchase it through Amazon.com. Pre-orders for the Moto have been available on Amazon since early morning and the company says that orders will begin shipping on December 4th.
The Motorola Moto G features a 4.5-inch 720p screen and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor that has been clocked at 1.2GHz. 1GB of RAM is on hand to keep things moving nice and smooth, while a 5-megapixel rear camera handles imaging duties. Unfortunately LTE support is missing, and only 3G radios are installed. The phones pricing points make up for this though, with an 8GB model retailing for $179 off contract, and 16GB for $199 with no contract.
The long awaited Oppo N1 is almost here and today the company announced that it will officially launch next week on December 10th. If you have not heard of Oppo before now, do not worry much as the Chinese company deals in high-end Android smartphones with a relatively low cost, making them hot items for hardcore Android enthusiast.
The Oppo N1 features a 5.9-inch screen that boast a full 1080p resolution and wide viewing angles thanks to IPS technology. A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor is included and has been clocked to 1.7GHz, while 2GB of RAM is present to keep everything running smooth. The device will be available in either 16GB or 32GB configurations, and a single flippable camera will be present for front and rear imaging duties. The Oppo N1 will retail for $599 in the US, and can be purchased directly from Oppo.
If you were waiting to grab the Moto G smartphone, the latest smartphone from the now Google-owned Motorola Mobility is available for pre-order on Amazon in two varieties.
It comes in both an 8GB and 16GB model, with the former available for $179 and the latter, $199. You might have thought that those prices were on-contract prices, but they're not - this is an outright price, and at that price, it becomes an unbelievable steal!
Those of you in the wild with an unlocked or developer edition HTC One smartphone will be seeing a new update pushed to you, which includes Android 4.4 KitKat, and Sense 5.5.
The news is coming directly from HTC USA's Twitter account, which is a very nice surprise for Thanksgiving. If you have one of these handsets, and have received the OTA update, please do let us know what your thoughts are on the One with KitKat in our comments, below!
You might not have heard of Gigaset, but you have most likely heard of NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC, which is what Gigaset has included in one of its new tablets.
The Germany-based company has just launched two new slates, the first is an 8-inch model, the QV830. The second, is the QV1030, which is a 10-inch tablet. Both of the slates run stock Android 4.2, which is a nice change, but each slate has very different specifications.
The bigger QV1030 features NVIDIA's high-end Tegra 4 SoC, which is a quad-core part clocked at 1.8GHz. The 10-inch display includes a 2560x1600 resolution, 16GB of internal flash storage is included, which is expandable, an 8-megapixel camera is found on the back, and a 1.2-megapixel up front.
It looks like LG could be a bit behind when it comes to providing Android 4.4 KitKat for its awesome G2 smartphone, in Canada at least. The news is coming from MobileSyrup, who has been told by an LG Canada rep that Canadian G2s will receive the KitKat update around "late Q1" 2014.
The Android 4.4 update will hit all Canadian carriers, which is nice, but this is a long time to wait for the update. Even longer, considering LG made the Nexus 5, which is what the new OS debuted on. Let's hope it hits devices faster, and LG, if you're reading this, don't make people wait this long, please.
You've probably never heard of the Gionee brand at all, but the Chinese company is preparing to launch its Elife E7 smartphone, which features a 5.5-inch 1080p display and is based on Google's Android OS.
What makes it special is a two-part attack, it will be the first smartphone to feature the 2.5GHz-clocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, as well as the 'most-sensitive' 16-megapixel rear-camera. This is thanks to the Largan M8 lens and 1/2.3-inch sensor with a big 1.34Âµm pixels. Gionee is bragging that its camera is already better than the unreleasded, unannounced Galaxy S5 from Samsung.
There's one restaurant in Israel that is offering 50% discount for its diners, if they turn their smartphones off while they dine. Restaurant owner Jawdat Ibrahim told Time that he has this offer for this diners, because he is disgusted with the changed culture of eating.
Where people will sit at the table, on their smartphones, and not paying attention to their friends, family and loved ones at the table next to, or across from them. I hope that more restaurants around the world begin to offer this, it would be a nice change.
If it's one company having issues with production lately, it's Apple. Apple's new Retina iPad mini has been having supply issues since it launched earlier in the month, with the company reportedly struggling with low display yields.
Multiple analysts have said that the Retina iPad mini production would be at around two million units for Q4 2013, but DigiTimes has something else to say about that. DigiTimes is claiming that production issues are all but ironed out, and that Apple is pushing ahead with orders scaling up to four million units for the month of November.
Obviously it is the holiday shopping season, and Apple needs something to sell, DigiTimes has said: "As bottlenecks in making components for the iPad mini with Retina have gradually been removed, Apple has increase orders in November to nearly four million units, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Currently, Apple's orders for the iPad mini with Retina have already surpassed those for the first-generation iPad mini, the sources noted."
AT&T pushed out an update for Android 4.3 on the Galaxy S4 earlier this month but it pulled the update, saying it would concentrate on "potential improvement." Well, the update for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on the S4 is back.
The features in the update include OpenGL LES 3.0 support, better notification access, and Bluetooth Smart technology. AT&T is also rolling out an update for Galaxy Gear compatibility. The update for Android 4.3 on the Galaxy S4 is sized at 727MB and is up for download now.