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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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Nest permanently eliminates wave to silence as part of recall

Posted: 21 May 2014 02:51 PM PDT


Last month Nest Labs halted sales of their Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms after testing indicated it may be possible the units could inadvertently be silenced via the "Nest Wave" feature. The Nest Wave feature was a way for users to wave their arm near the unit to temporarily silence the alarm rather than having to physically touch the unit. Nest's testing indicated it was possible the units could misinterpret movements as attempts to silence the unit. The company, after working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has decided to proceed with a "recall" of all units.

The recall does not require consumers to return their units. Instead, a "software remedy" is being issued to turn off the Next Wave feature. This is the same solution Nest issued when first announcing the problem. Consumers with Nest Protect devices can verify they have received the update via their "Nest Sense" account and making sure the Next Wave option is grayed out.

Consumers can get more information on how to connect to a network and make sure the feature is disabled by visiting http://ift.tt/1mFjZxW.

source: San Jose Mercury News

Come comment on this article: Nest permanently eliminates wave to silence as part of recall

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Facebook pulls a Shazam: detects and shares songs and shows

Posted: 21 May 2014 02:31 PM PDT


It looks like Facebook is taking a page out of Shazam's playbook for an upcoming Android update that's expected to roll out over the next few weeks. In short, Facebook is making it easy to share with your Facebook friends information about what you're watching or listening to.

The new feature utilizes your phone's microphone and once you opt-in, Facebook will listen in to detect songs/shows playing each and ever time you're within the compose window. Not only will Facebook be able to identify the shows and songs you listen to/watch, sharing will be as easy as completing a few clicks. Once you share a song, it will provide a 30-second preview within the post, connecting to Rdio, Spotify or Deezer. For shows, you won't get a clip preview but Facebook will identify the show, episode and even season within the post.

For those worried about the idea of Facebook spying on you while listening in, Facebook claims it is only scanning for song and TV info. Furthermore, nothing it detects while listening in is ever recorded or stored on Facebook's servers and it gives you the option of whether or not you want to post any songs or shows it detects.

For those that like sharing everything you do, this could certainly be a fun way to take your Facebook posts up a notch. For those that don't care, this is just another added annoyance that will make you further resent the fact you're still signed up with Facebook (kidding!… sort of..). As for how good Facebook's detection catalogue is? Apparently they have millions of songs in their database, as well as the ability to recognize programming from 160 different TV stations.

What do you think, a cool new feature or a pointless one? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Google to offer low-cost Wifi hardware to businesses, free access to customers

Posted: 21 May 2014 02:24 PM PDT

Google is working to bring low-cost Wifi access hardware to small business is hopes of getting more people online around the world. According to a report out of The Information, Google Access — the same group that runs Google Fiber — is coming up with a plan that will offer small businesses heavily discounted enterprise-grade Wifi access points and other hardware to provide better internet access to customers. The initiative is currently targeting the likes of restaurants, gyms and doctors' offices— businesses that regularly have people coming and going and would want internet access.

The business would benefit from inexpensive and improved Wifi access for customers, and in turn Google would control who could have quick and easy access to the network. The idea being that once a customer connects to one "Google" Wifi hotspot, they would then be able to automatically connect to any other hotspot operated by Google in partnership with a business. It isn't clear at this point whether or not it'd require a sign-in with your Google Account, or if information on usage would be shared with the businesses.

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Facebook will soon recognize what song your are listening to or what show your are watching

Posted: 21 May 2014 01:49 PM PDT


Facebook will roll out a new feature in the coming weeks that will allow you to use your phone's microphone to detect what song you are listening to or what you're watching on TV. Then of course, you will be able to share it on the network for all your friends to see.

Assuming the feature is turned on, you will see an audio icon when you write a status update. If it detects a matching show, movie, or song, you can add that info to your post if you wish. If it's a song, your friends will get a 30 second preview, and if it's a TV show, your friends will know which season and episode you're watching.

Look for this new feature in the coming weeks.

source: Facebook

Come comment on this article: Facebook will soon recognize what song your are listening to or what show your are watching

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Nest recalling 440,000 Protect smoke alarms, providing refunds

Posted: 21 May 2014 01:20 PM PDT

Nearly two months after issuing a sales stop of the Nest Protect connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, the product is being recalled. The recall, issued through the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, affects all 440,000 Nest Protects out there, and owners are eligible for either a repair of the unit (in the form of a software update) or a refund.

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Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Music' winner!

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

This last week's photo contest was looking for pictures representing "music," and we got a good number of great photos to choose from. From instruments and bands to street performers and speakers, we saw a great variety of musical shots. We only had one prize to give away to a single winner though, and it was a top-notch picture that was worth the win. Read along and see who won this week.

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Samsung trademark filing points to smart glasses being called Samsung Gear Blink

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:35 PM PDT

It's long been thought that Samsung is working on its own pair of smart glasses, akin to Google Glass. But the latest trademark filing by the company points to a possible name for the future device. The device may be named the Samsung Gear Blink, which is not only interesting, but says quite a bit about the device itself.

The name Samsung Gear Blink is surprisingly good, though people will argue about this all day. Also, it says that the device will be running Tizen, as the lack of "Galaxy" in the name hints that, like the new Gear smart watches, it will be running something other than Android. If it's running Tizen, we can assume that it will be exclusive to the Galaxy series of devices, instead of universal like Google Glass. What a shame that would be.

It'll be interesting to see what the competition comes up with in the smart glasses category. Samsung may be known for bloat and useless features, but some stuff the company comes up with is really unique and useful. But with no info on release date or even any sort of hard proof it exists, we'll have to wait.

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Samsung reveals golden Samsung Galaxy S5

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:19 PM PDT

galaxy s5 gold 2

Samsung has revealed a golden color option for their 2014 smartphone. It's the Samsung Galaxy S5 in gold. Not real gold, mind you, but perhaps it'll be enough to make you feel like a bit more of a baller.

We reckon it's the same device under the hood, which you can read about in our Samsung Galaxy S5 review right here. It looks like Samsung has applied the gold styling to both the back cover and the faux-chrome strip that stretches around the edge of the device. Neato. So where can you buy it? Samsung says it's headed to all major carriers here in the United States, though Verizon customers will have to get it through indirect retail channels (whatever that's supposed to mean). Look for it starting May 30th.

galaxy s5 gold 1

[via Samsung]

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Upcoming SingStar App Will Let Players Use Their Smartphones As Microphones On PS3 And PS4

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:19 PM PDT

14235421502_45024a83f9_z WARNING: The following Android Police story contains Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.

Music games are great for parties with close and consenting friends who won't judge you when you completely destroy miss that one riff in Down on the Corner. But they do have one failing: you can't play them without all the plastic instrument accessories, making spontaneous sessions at a friend's place something of a chore.

The creators of Sony's SingStar series have found a solution that will make you say, "why didn't I think of that?" The forthcoming PlayStation 4 edition of SingStar probably won't change the karaoke game's winning formula, but it will let you install a companion app on your Android phone and use said phone like a tiny, rectangular microphone.

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Upcoming SingStar App Will Let Players Use Their Smartphones As Microphones On PS3 And PS4 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon Prime Instant Video adds several HBO shows to its catalog, HBO Go for Fire TV still on the way

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:19 PM PDT


We knew Amazon and HBO had inked a deal that would bring HBO content to Amazon's Prime Instant Video, and that day is finally here. You can finally start streaming full series like The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, and Rome, plus a handful of others, and you'll get access to some seasons of current shows like True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and Treme. Miniseries like Band of Brothers and The Pacific are available, and there's even a few HBO movies, too. Toss in some HBO documentaries and comedy specials and you've got a ton of great content to stream through Amazon's already excellent video service.

Unfortunately, you won't get all of HBO's current content, and some shows like Game of Thrones, True Detective, and The Newsroom are missing. However, Amazon and HBO are working on bringing more and more content to the service over the next few years, so just because it's not available now doesn't mean it will never be available.

The press release also mentions that HBO Go will be coming to Amazon's Fire TV later this year. That was mentioned in the original deal between the two companies, so it's nice to hear some reassurance that they haven't forgotten about it. For the full press release, hit the link below.

source: Amazon

Come comment on this article: Amazon Prime Instant Video adds several HBO shows to its catalog, HBO Go for Fire TV still on the way

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MacGyver's Deadly Descent challenges your resourcefulness with a paperclip

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:57 AM PDT

MacGyver is pretty much an American icon at this point, so it's only fitting that he should have his own game as well. MacGyver Deadly Descent has rolled onto Android today serving up plenty of mulleted goodies for fans of all ages — no Swiss army knife required. While the game itself involves more puzzle solving than MacGyverisms, it's still a blast to play.

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What to do if you lose your phone

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Your Android smartphone is the most personal computer you own. No other device is with you virtually every second of every day, and so over the course of a standard two-year contract you'll be presented with plenty of opportunities to misplace it.

Fortunately, over the past few years Android has grown has grown into mature, stable mobile OS with an abundance of security features designed to help you out in just such an eventuality. But the solution isn't entirely technological, and there are a few common sense tips you should follow as well.

Let's walk through some top precautions to take to better protect your Android phone from loss, along with some tips in the event that you've already lost your phone.

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Moto 360 could be priced at $249, Motorola document suggests

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:52 AM PDT

Earlier this year, Motorola teased its upcoming Android Wear-powered Moto 360 smartwatch, talking up the device's round display and its support for devices running Android 4.3 or higher. Motorola has also said that the Moto 360 will launch this summer. One detail that everyone wants to know is how much the thing will cost when it does arrive, and while Motorola hasn't made any official pricing announcements, today that detail may have been accidentally outed by Moto.

Motorola today announced the Moto 360 Design Face-Off contest, which tasks entrants with creating a watch face for the Moto 360. In a document that lists the official rules for the contest, Motorola says that the winner will receive a Moto 360 that has an average retail value of $249.

That $249 Moto 360 price tag isn't official quite yet, but I could definitely see it becoming the real deal. A recent leak suggested that the LG G Watch could come in with a price tag of around $300, and Motorola has shown with the Moto X, Moto G and Moto E that it's not afraid to get aggressive with its hardware pricing.

Would you buy a Moto 360 if it launched at $249?

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Google Apps beefs up enterprise mobility management features for Android

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Google's rolled out a set of four new enterprise security features that will make it even easier to secure Android devices on a corporate network, and secure the network itself. The update to the Google Apps Mobile Management tools will enable administrators to remotely and automatically wipe inactive accounts, support certificate secured networks, lock out compromised devices, and gather more information about the devices that are on the network.

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[New Game] MacGyver Deadly Descent Arrives In Play Store, Is Presumably Constructed From Chewed Gum, String, And Paperclips

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:07 AM PDT

m Readers of a certain age may remember when MacGyver was a show on TV and not just a campy way to refer to tinkering with junk to make neat stuff. Now you can take on the role of MacGyver in the official MacGyver Deadly Descent game. It is unclear if you get to build an ultralight plane out of an old outboard motor, pipes, and a tarp, but there are plenty of puzzles to solve.

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[New Game] MacGyver Deadly Descent Arrives In Play Store, Is Presumably Constructed From Chewed Gum, String, And Paperclips was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Reddit Sync Hits Version 9, Looks Better Than Ever

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:07 AM PDT


It took me a really long time to jump on the reddit train. I would look at it occasionally, but only in recent months have I really started to enjoy using it. Part of that is due to Reddit Sync – it's just a killer, well-designed app that I wanted to use more after covering its UI overhaul back in December. Ever since then, I haven't gone a day without firing up the app and checking out what's happening across the 'net.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Reddit Sync Hits Version 9, Looks Better Than Ever was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG G3 leaks continue with full spec list, more dummy unit photos

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:56 AM PDT

Despite the fact that the LG G3 has leaked more times than I can count by now, none of those reports have included a complete spec list for the upcoming flagship. That's finally changing today, as a image has surfaced that may contain all of the G3's features.

According to a post on Korean forum Seeko.co.kr, LG recently revealed the full list of G3 specs at an South Korean retailer event. The feature set named in the leak includes:

  • 5.5-inch QuadHD (2560×1440) IPS display

  • Quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor

  • 13-megapixel rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization+

  • 2.1-megapixel front camera

  • 32GB storage

  • 3GB RAM

  • 4G LTE, LTE-Advanced connectivity

  • 3000mAh battery

  • NFC

  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm dimensions

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

The image also includes the model number "LG-F400S/K/L." The three letters in that identifier are likely references to the three major South Korean carriers, SKTelecom, Korea Telecom Freetel and LG U+.


While still unconfirmed at this point, most of the specs named in today's leak line up with what we've heard about the LG G3 in the past. Should this leaked feature set hold true, the G3 ought to be an impressive flagship handset that could give the Galaxy S5 and One (M8) a run for their money. Perhaps best of all, though, is that considering LG's multi-city May 27 event and the widespread availability of the G2, I wouldn't be surprised if LG brings the G3 on most major carriers.

Via: Droid-Life

Sources: Seeko.co.kr, Clien (1), (2)

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Shhh – Secret is now available for Android

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT


New social app Secret has surfaced in the Google Play store after enjoying a successful start on the iOS platform. The Secret app is built on anonymity as users do not see who posts the "secrets" that are shared via the app. After signing up, during which time uses are asked for their phone number and email address, users are delivered anonymous posts that are supposed to help the sender "Be honest. Be open. Be yourself." according to the developer.

The pool of posts that individuals see is built using the contact info on a user's phone. Even if a user opts to not provide a phone number, which results in the app not accessing your phone contacts, the email requirement means any contact with an email could be the source of a secret that is displayed in the app. If for some reason a user does not have any contacts using the app or who have little to share, they can access a list of secrets from unrelated people.

Each secret can be dressed up with colors or backgrounds along with blurs, textures, and moods. Besides the nature of the secret, these effects can help draw attention to a secret and perhaps entice a user to like the secret. When that happens, the secret spreads to their friends and after six degrees of Bacon liking, everyone in the world knows the secret or something like that.

There are at least a couple downsides to the Secret app. First, since users don't know who posted a secret, they could be consumed with paranoia wondering if any given secret is about them. Second, due to the anonymous nature, it can be difficult if not unwise, to rely on the app as a trustworthy source of information.

If you are interested in Secret, use one of the download links below to grab the free app from Google Play. We'll try to keep it a secret and if we don't, we'll only share it anonymously.

secret_app_screen_05 secret_app_screen_04 secret_app_screen_03 secret_app_screen_02 secret_app_screen_01

qr code

Google Play Download Link

Come comment on this article: Shhh – Secret is now available for Android

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Apple wins patent lawsuit over Samsung in The Netherlands

Posted: 21 May 2014 07:05 AM PDT

Apple Android 2

Apple has won a broad injunction over Samsung in The Netherlands. The decision was reached by the District Court of The Hague this morning, and the case has been dragging on for almost 3 years.

The case was originally awarded to Apple back in 2012, however a German court ruled in favor of Samsung on the same patent. Samsung contested Apple's win in The Hague for another year, after which the case was again ruled in Apple's favor. The patent itself refers to Apple's simplification of navigating and manipulation of photos, and is known as the "bounce back" patent.

Because of how long the case has been dragging on, the products first thought to infringe are now old models, including the original Galaxy S, SII and a number of Ace phones. Despite this, the infringement has been extended to all devices that infringe in a similar way, including any future devices.

Source: Apple Insider

Come comment on this article: Apple wins patent lawsuit over Samsung in The Netherlands

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Netflix announces European expansion for late 2014

Posted: 21 May 2014 07:05 AM PDT


In a statement released this morning, Netflix announced that it will be expanding to a number of European countries in late 2014, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

This is great news for those of you overseas who have been wanting to take advantage of Netflix's services since its popularity has grown here in the U.S.

People in the above countries can visit www.netflix.com today to sign up for an email alert to find out when Netflix has launched.

The press release also said that pricing, programming, supported devices and further details will be available at a later date.

Stay tuned, foreigners!

Source: Netflix

Come comment on this article: Netflix announces European expansion for late 2014

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Google may serve ads on your thermostat in the future

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:51 AM PDT

You may soon see ads on all manner of home appliances, as Google has stated in a letter to the Securities and Exchanges Commission that it intends to serve ads on "refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities."

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Google overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable brand

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:34 AM PDT

apple vs google

Here's some news to cheer about, Android fanboys.

According to a study conducted by Millward Brow, an independent research company, Google experienced a 40 percent increase in brand value between 2013 and 2014, while Apple experienced a 20 percent loss in value. Pretty significant, right?

Well, the changes in brand value seem to have put Google on top, moving from the second position, swapping with Apple, which was the previous top dog on the list.

You could easily make the argument that the two companies are pretty much nothing alike, and never were. Yes, while both sell phones, tablets, music players and computers, Google also has the added advantage of a billion-dollar search engine, self-driving cars, Wi-Fi balloons, Google Glass and some other pretty crazy things that nobody would have deemed possible just a few years ago.

If Apple plans on catching up any time soon, it better think about expand its product offering and begin working on new, revolutionary projects. Since the iPod, we haven't really seen anything on that front for a long time.

Via: Cnet

Source: Millward Brow

Come comment on this article: Google overtakes Apple as world's most valuable brand

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OTTTD (Over The Top Tower Defense) Is Coming To Android Tomorrow (May 22nd), And It Looks Like It Lives Up To The Name

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:21 AM PDT

OTTTD-logo-500-wide If there's something missing from most mobile tower defense games, it's a little dash of crazy. The upcoming OTTTD says right in the name what you're getting – it's a crazy over-the-top game that merges traditional tower defense with real-time strategy and a bit of role-playing. It also has a giant cybernetic shark with rocket launchers, which, c'mon... that's awesome.

In addition to all the towers, you have a squad of 3 heroes that you can move around the battlefield to do fight off zombies, mechanical turtles, and octopi.

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OTTTD (Over The Top Tower Defense) Is Coming To Android Tomorrow (May 22nd), And It Looks Like It Lives Up To The Name was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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KitKat update rolling out for Sony Xperia Z, ZL, ZR, and Tablet Z

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:08 AM PDT

Sony has announced that they've begun rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat to a wide range of their devices. The Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z are all enjoying the update, while Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia E1, and Xperia M2 are next in line for KitKat updates in July.

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Sony: Android 4.4 now rolling out to Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and Xperia Tablet Z

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Two months after Sony began pushing Android 4.4 to devices like the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra, the company is now treating some older members of the Xperia family to a taste of KitKat.

Sony announced this morning that it has begun rolling Android 4.4 updates out to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and Xperia Tablet Z. The updates include a number of goodies like performance and user interface improvements, updated versions of Sony's native apps, Xperia Themes and more. Here's Sony's official changelog:

  • Google's Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing improved performance & user interface (UI) optimisation…

  • If you've got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we've added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens. You'll also spot a revamped Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (also with a fresh new look)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need

  • As you might expect, we're also uplifting Sony's entire native app portfolio to the latest versions bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for one and all… some of our favourites look like:

  1. Messaging – a few UI adjustments here & there, including a slicker "send" animation, and deeper Emoji support for some expressive fun… also worth noting, you'll find smileys wherever there's an app with a keyboard :) :)

  2. Email – you'll be able to both load and see more mails… but don't fret, navigation of said load is easier with a more responsive viewing pane – split screen modes divide info for easy digest… especially useful / works a treat on Xperia Tablet Z

  3. Smart Social Camera – our social imaging experience makes its debut on our first Z Series devices; a selection of Xperia Camera apps directly accessible from your viewfinder… including personal favourite "Creative Effect", and more for download to boot!

  4. Battery STAMINA Mode – level-upping our unique power management feature, bringing smarter data management & more for prolonging your juice

  • Sony's Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more…

  • And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: "Xperia Themes", with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…

  • Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future

We've known since late 2013 that this quartet of Xperia devices would be receiving KitKat, but it's still exciting to see the updates finally pushing out. After all, these four aren't exactly the freshest products in Sony's Xperia family, but they're still getting treated to the latest version of Android as well as a number of new Sony apps.

As is usually the case with updates, Sony cautions that the timing and availability of these updates will vary by market and carrier. If you've got an Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR or Xperia Tablet Z by your side, though, you should keep an eye out for a KitKat treat in the coming days and weeks.

Sony also notes that it plans to begin pushing Android 4.4 to the Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia E1 and Xperia M2 in July. More details on those updates are expected later.

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