Posts with tag android 4.4
But not for the reasons you may think
You’re reading the headline right now and I bet I know what you’re thinking – this guy, he’s an Apple fanboy. He’s gotta be. I’m sitting here writing an article about why my switch to Android didn’t work out, after all. You’re probably betting that I’m sitting here with an iPhone next to me right now – and guess what, you’re absolutely right. But before I even start the meat of this article, I want to clear the air – I’m not back on my iPhone because I dislike Android. I didn’t even particularly dislike the Nexus 5 I was switching to. On the contrary, I quite liked both Android and the Nexus 5. So why am I back on my iPhone?
It turns out, the reason I went back is because at the end of the day – iPhone, Android, whatever – switching to Android just didn’t matter. It made nearly no tangible difference to my daily routines. Sure, there were some minor inconveniences – I missed iMessage terribly, and I couldn’t find an official version of the just fantastic TwoDots game on the Google Play Store. But really, for the most part, I couldn’t find a single tangible difference in the way I used iOS and Android.
Using Android was, to be honest, entirely enjoyable. Android is no longer the poorly designed mess that it was back when I last tried out the platform for real back in the Gingerbread days (over two years ago, for you non-geeky types). There’s an app for just about everything I wanted – Google Chrome is an excellent mobile browser, easily just as good as Safari on iOS 7. The camera on my Nexus 5 was fine – not iPhone 5s good, as I’m accustomed to, but certainly not bad in any sense of the world. Integration with Google Hangouts was beneficial, and I actually really liked the way that Facebook Chat Heads worked on Android – in fact, I wish Apple would let Chat Heads float above running applications and the home screen on iOS as they work on Android. While switching to Android, literally everything was fine or even great.
So why did I switch back to my iPhone? If I found my experience using Android just as good as my iPhone, why switching back? For me, it just turned out to make slightly more sense given my personal situation. The vast majority of my contacts use iPhones, so everyone I’m talking to just about is through iMessage when on my iMessage. Not a huge benefit over SMS in and of itself, but when you factor in the ability to chat with people via Mac and iPad – both of which I have and use regularly – that’s a huge plus on behalf of the iPhone. Then there’s the fact that the iPhone has a slightly better camera, I’ve put a ton of money into purchasing apps on the App Store, most of my music has been bought through iTunes, and even my iCloud calendars.
So that’s why I went back to my iPhone. Not because Android is bad – on the contrary, I enjoyed my time on Android. But just because it didn’t offer me anything significantly good enough to pull me away from my years of iPhone use. Proponents of Android will say that customization and extensibility of Android is a huge plus, but to be honest, I tried a bunch of different keyboards, launchers, etc. etc – and I went back to the stock Android setup every single time.
Oh, but lest I forget – I am super pumped about the thought of a Swype-like keyboard being available on iOS 8.
The same as it always is
As expected, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2014 today, replacing last year’s Galaxy S4 with a hugely updated device that managed to be more in the same while also building on the foundation that the company largely started with the Galaxy S III in 2012 and continued with the Galaxy S4 last year.
First, the design – the Galaxy S5 may not be the revolution you’ve been hoping for. This is very much a familiar Galaxy phone, with the same design language you’ve come to expect from recent Samsung offerings – including a huge, beautiful screen, one physical home screen button, two capacitive Android buttons, and a nice dose of plastic surrounding it all.
What is changed is changed, however. The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a larger 5.1″ AMOLED display with a mind boggling full HD 1080p resolution – that is to say, the Galaxy S5 can display as many pixels as that 50″ HDTV in your living room. It’s got a swappable back cover, like the Galaxy S4, a microSD slot (which is all the more rare these days), and a high capacity 2,800mAh battery life – which is needed to power the improved specifications.
Inside, we get a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16-megapixel camera with 4K video recording support, an IR remote, NFC, LTE-A support, and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage expandable with that microSD card. But the big kicker is – can you guess it – the inclusion of a very Touch ID reminiscent Fingerprint scanner, which functions exactly as it does on the iPhone 5s released last September. Just hold your thumb to the Galaxy S5’s home button and let the world open up for you.
The Galaxy S5 comes in four colors – the traditional white and black, as well as a new gold entry (surprise!) and a not unpleasant blue. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the Galaxy S5 will launch in nearly 150 countries on April 11th. We’ll let you know as soon as we know more. Until then, this is the Galaxy S5. The same as it always is.
Image Source: Engadget
Just look at that
While the Nexus 5 comes in only white and black colors like most smartphones (iPhone 5c and the Lumia lineup excluded, of course), Google may be looking to spice things up just a tad. If Twitter user @artyomstar is to believed – and we don’t see why he wouldn’t be – the company is getting ready to launch a special version of the Nexus 5 that comes in a super sassy lipstick red type color.
I personally can’t imagine grabbing one of these for myself – there’s just something a little too extreme about this particular shade of red – but if you’re okay with buying a smartphone that’s as loud and proud as you may be, Google could soon have the phone for you.
A great deal for a better tablet
The new Nexus 7 is one of the most impressive tablets I’ve ever used, and today’s your big chance to nab one for a whopping $50 off. Today and today alone Woot is offering the new, second generation 16GB Nexus 7 for just $189 – a $40 savings from the retail price – or $219 for the 32GB model, $50 off.
The new Nexus 7 runs Android 4.4 “KitKat”, though without some of the special launcher flourishes found on Google’s other new Nexus device, the Nexus 5. It features an extraordinarily high resolution display akin to that on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and one that is mostly superior to the iPad mini with Retina Display.
There’s a limited supply of these things available, so if you’re interested you’ll want to run over to Woot and grab yours now. Better act fast.
A great price for a great smartphone
If you had any interest in Motorola’s impressive Moto X smartphone, now would be a great time to pull the trigger. Motorola has announced that, as a New Year present for all of their adoring fans (chuckle), they’ve dropped the price of the Moto X to an easy to swallow $399. That’s a great price considering that’s an unlocked, high end Android 4.4 device officially supported by Google that works on any carrier, even if you don’t have a free upgrade.
Or, if you’re the type who likes to tinker with his hardware, check out the unlocked Moto X Developer Edition. While it was more or less ridiculously expensive before, Motorola’s also dropped the price of this bad boy to just $449 – only $50 more than the standard consumer version. Not too shabby!
Google, get on this
If you’ve got either a Nexus 4 or a new Nexus 5 running either Android 4.0 to Android 4.4, you best be weary of any odd SMS messages for a time. According to PC World, a glitch exists in the two latest versions of Android that allows attackers to rapid send 30 “flash” messages to Nexus devices, which causes a system crash that forces a hard reboot.
The issue stems from the fact that Android doesn’t notify users with an audio tone when being sent a flash SMS message, which allows these messages to build up leading to an overflow of sorts, and therefore a crash. Google is said to be aware of the device and has been working n a fix for some time now, however PC Magazine has only just reported the issue.
Source: PC Magazine
Pay up or get out
In a seemingly backwards change of policy for Google and their “open-source” Android operating system project (AOSP), we’re hearing of confirmation from developer Maximiliano Firtman that Android 4.4 “KitKat”, the new version of Android that shipped with the new Nexus 5 just a couple of weeks ago, is being published without a web browser. Vendors, who rely on AOSP for the operating system on their phones, are now being forced to license Google Chrome if they want to avoid the headache of developing their own web browsers; previously, Google provided a free “Browser” application with the AOSP that had most of the basic features of Google Chrome for Android.
The change in policy comes as Google hopes to take over increasing control of Android. Google has decided that all future versions of their launcher application will remain exclusive to Android with Android 4.4, with the AOSP providing developers and vendors only the Android 4.3 version, which lacks improved Google Now integration, Google search integration, and more. Google has been under the microscope as of late for their controversial practices, which are seemingly acting against their open source, “don’t be evil” corporate policy.
RIP, Galaxy Nexus
Bad news for owners of our favorite Galaxy S II variant, the Galaxy Nexus. Google has confirmed that, after a mediocre-length and healthy life (for the GSM version, anyways – the CDMA has always been the ugly step child of the family), Google is officially ending support for the Galaxy Nexus as they confirm that the handset will not be receiving an update to today’s Android 4.4 update.
That means that, for those counting, only the original Nexus 7, the second-generation Nexus 7, the Nexus 10, the Nexus 4, and the just released Nexus 5 will support Android 4.4 at this time. This is slightly disappointing as the Galaxy Nexus is not even two years old, having been released in mid-November by Google and Samsung. It’s okay, Galaxy Nexus. We still love you. Even if big-daddy Google no longer does.
Because it hasn't leaked enough already
Google has taken the wraps off the oft rumored Nexus 5 at long last. It seems like it’s been so long since we started covering the leaks of this thing that it’s felt like this day would never come, but now that it has I can say I’m excited. The Nexus 5 is the spiritual successor to the Nexus 4 as the crown jewel in the Nexus throne, featuring that flagship Android experience the Nexus lineup is known for, but this time it comes in “KitKat” flavor.
That’s right, the Nexus 5 comes preloaded with Android 4.4 “KitKat”, Google’s next iterative version of their popular mobile operating system. Like the new name would suggest, Android 4.4 is a much larger update than the previous two updates, both of which carried the same “Jelly Bean” name as Android 4.1. But if you’re looking for revolution and not evolution, you might be disappointed – while Android 4.4 manages to look and feel fresh, it does so without that big “wow” change that many in the Android camp had been expecting after so many years with the Android 4.x line.
Besides Android 4.4, the Nexus 5 starts at $349 and includes 16GB of internal storage, and supports Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile absolutely out of the box; sorry, Verizon fans. It’s got a blazing Snapdragon 800 processor, a strong 5″ 1080p display, and an 8MP back shooter (camera) equipped with image stabilization. And let’s not forget that all of this is running Android 4.4 totally stock, as pure and clean as Google intended it to be used. A refreshing feeling for sure.
We’ll be continuing our Nexus 5 coverage in the days ahead, so keep an eye out for more. Until than, you can hop on the bandwagon and order yourself a Nexus 5 right from Google Play – if you’re so inclined.
Send texts while you Hangout
As Google grows closer and closer to the release of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4, Google made a big public deal about a dramatic improvement to their Google Hangouts application that has been released on the Google Play store today that will just be a perfect fit for your new Nexus. Namely, Hangouts – the iMessage competitor that has always been a step behind Apple and iMessage due to its lack of built in SMS texting support, for those few times your friends aren’t running on Google’s proprietary messaging protocol. But no more. That’s right, starting today, Google has announced that they’ve been SMS texting right into Hangouts, finally making it the iMessage competitor it was just destined to be.
On top of the oft requested feature, Google has announced that they’ve built GIF support right into Hangouts for all your cat meme needs – again following in the footsteps of iMessage, which has supported GIFs for years now. Still, playing catchup isn’t always a bad thing – these are two pretty positive steps in the right direction for Google and Hangouts. Now Google, it’s time to stop playing in the sandbox and bring out the big funs – Android 4.4.
The time has (almost) come
The months of waiting. The lead in. The aging Nexus 4. The teasing – oh, the teasing. And we can’t forget the Nestle branded Android operating system that is Android 4.4 “KitKat.” After all this time, it appears that our wait is finally over – if a little slip up over at the house of Google is any indication, Google’s next flagship Android device, the LG built Nexus 5, will be making an official appearance any day now.
The slip up in question? For the briefest of moments – just a couple of seconds – customers could actually head over to the Google Play store last night and be treated to a product page for the as of yet unannounced Nexus 5, complete with a description, press shots, and – at long last – confirmation of that much speculated name.
Google’s tagline for the Nexus 5 is “Capture the everyday and the epic in fresh new ways.” It’ll run you $349 for a 16GB version when it does finally launch. This also serves as virtual confirmation that the Nexus 5 will ship with Android 4.4 “KitKat” as the press shot reveals a much flatter, cleaner, and frankly more beautiful Android UI than any that’s come before it.
We’ll keep you in the know on the latest regarding the Nexus 5, because trust me – we’re just as excited as you are.
Not a bad looking phone
Psst – in case you weren’t aware, Google’s getting ready to launch a new smartphone. And that’s not all, they’ll be replacing one of their most popular smartphones to date – the Nexus 4. No small feat, to be sure, but it looks like Google and new partner LG are up for the challenge, as today’s leaked press images of the Nexus 5 show.
All in all, there’s nothing too outrageous to be seen here. We’ve got ourselves a black slab with a large display and a front facing camera – the description of pretty much every smartphone since, oh, I don’t know, the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 (sans the front facing camera back then.) No word yet on when we’ll be able to get our hands on one, however one previous rumor that indicated Google was preparing for a launch on the 15th turned out to be, sadly, incorrect.
Source: Mobile Syrup