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Monday, June 2, 2014

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What does iOS 8 mean for Android

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 02:36 PM PDT

With today's announcement of iOS 8, my Twitter feed blew up with one common theme: How does iOS 8 compare to Android and what does this mean for Android? Let's take a brief moment to discuss these topics.


Before we get started, you might want to read a great summary of today's WWDC keynote provided by the Verge.


Now that you're all caught up… Time and time again we've seen major iOS releases with major features revealed and the same thing always happens. There is no one feature, or couple features, that is going to totally change the mobile market. Despite what some alarmists might want you to think, the market is much more complex than that. Sorry, third-party keyboard support in iOS 8 isn't going to make $700 phones more affordable or change the marketing budget for Samsung. If you see an article saying that iOS 8 is signaling the end of Android's dominance in the market, walk away.


The one key thing you can takeaway from today's iOS 8 announcement and what it means for Android is this: it's great for Android. How is it great for Android? It shows that Google still needs to be on their toes. Right now, Google and Apple are really the only two major players pushing each other forward. Through Jelly Bean and KitKat, Google has released some amazing features and services. Apple is responding with iOS 8. Google will respond with whatever major update comes next.


iOS 8 will get a ton of attention for the next couple weeks, and then Google I/O will come and Android will get a ton of attention for a couple weeks. This is how it works. If iOS 8 were to completely change the direction the industry's been going for the last couple years, I'm not the only one who would be blown away.


There were a lot of interesting things announced and said today (Apple is releasing a new programming language, they mentioned Google search a couple times–think about that how you will–and Apple is clearly getting very close with Microsoft), but nothing that's going to turn the industry on its head.


Anyway, how about that Samsung Z?





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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 specs leaked

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 02:35 PM PDT

samsung_galaxy_tab_s_84_white_evleaks


With the release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series expected to be fairly soon, some people are getting more anxious about the specs of the devices to be released. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has popped up a few times over the past few months, but we haven't seen any specs, until now.


The device is now said to include an 8.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. It will also include an 8-core processor with a speed of 1.9 GHz, 3GB of RAM, and Android 4.4.2 out of the box. We also know the model number of at least the Chinese version of the device, which is SM-T705C.



The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is expected to be released on June 12 in New York, alongside its big brother, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5. The devices are expected to have similar specs, ad should go on sale sometime towards the end of summer.


Source: Shouji.Tenaa

Via: GforGames




Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 specs leaked





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Acer reimagines “Extend” app

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 02:04 PM PDT

acer_extend_app


Acer originally released their "Extend" concept a while ago, allowing users to connect their smartphone to their computer and use it as a dock with a keyboard and a spare battery. But that concept has been completely reimagined.


Extend is now simply an app that users can install on their Windows PC and use to control their phone. It can be connected both wirelessly, or via USB, and once it is connected, the phone screen appears in an emulator box. Users can then drag and drop files onto their device and off of their device. The performance of the app is also good, depending on the phone. Acer is aiming for at least 24 frames per second.


Source: Engadget




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Pushbullet launches Google Play beta program

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:20 PM PDT

pushbullet


Pushbullet is a popular service that allows users to push links, photos, and other content to their mobile devices, while also pushing notifications and phone calls to the desktop. Now, the creators of Pushbullet have created a Play Store beta program, allowing users to test future version before stable builds are released.



The beta channel's initial build isn't anything to write home about. For now, you can simply remove devices and contacts as well as enjoy the service with a few less bugs. However, good news is on the horizon has better updates are reportedly on the way.


Pushbullet's desktop application also got a small update in the wake of the beta program. It is now possible for notifications to be mirrored, automatically taking over the function of the browser extension. This puts less responsibility on the browser, making things run smoother and quicker.


In order to access the beta program, all you have to do is join the Pushbullet Beta Community on Google+. You will then be able to access the application from the Play Store. Head on over to Pushbullet's announcement to get started.


source: Pushbullet

via: Android Police




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Google expanding Chromebook availability to nine more nations

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:51 PM PDT

Chromebook


Folks in New Zealand, the Philippines, Norway, Denmark, Mexico, Chile, Belgium, Spain, and Italy are welcoming Chromebooks. All but the people in Belgium, Spain, and Italy can purchase them starting today. Those three other countries can take start buying Chromebooks within the next few weeks.


On the official Google Chrome Blog, there is a heartwarming welcoming message that is tailored for each country. I recommend hitting the source link to check it out.


Source: Google Chrome Blog




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Sony teases a “next big thing” of its own, likely Xperia Z Ultra successor

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:51 PM PDT

sony_next_big_thing_this_season_twitter_teaser


Normally it is Samsung saying it has "the next big thing." This time, it is Sony using the phrase. And it looks like they are using the phrase quite literally. On Twitter, the company tweeted the image above while saying "Shh… do you want to know a secret? Stay tuned for the next big thing this season." The image does show a rather large device. What could it be? The successor to the Xperia Z Ultra. A massive Sony device, that is the key.


We will keep an eye out for what this could be and let you know of anything else.


Source: @SonyXperia




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Tech-friendly cities prefer iOS over Android devices

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:18 PM PDT

crittercism_tech_cities_android_vs_ios


Crittercism, a company that works to improve mobile application performance, has found that tech-friendly cities have a clear preference as to what mobile operating systems are more favorable. A tech-friendly city is one that is, unsurprisingly, technologically advanced. The cities that made the list are some of the largest in the United States.


The results of the study were mixed as some cities favor Android and others went the way of Apple's iOS. The top two iOS cities were San Francisco and New York. Being in the New York Metropolitan Area, I can firmly agree that iOS devices are predominantly carried around. San Francisco, on the other hand, is nearby Apple's headquarters in Cupertino. Other cities that were more so leaning iOS include Chicago, Fort Worth, and Jacksonville. Cities that heavily prefer Android are San Antonio, Phoenix, and Detroit. Even Houston and El Paso were high on Android's side, but it was basically split even with iOS.


What have you noticed? Is your area Android and iOS favorable?


Source: Re/code




Come comment on this article: Tech-friendly cities prefer iOS over Android devices





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New Demographic Stats in Google Play Games Services

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:26 AM PDT

By Ben Frenkel, Google Play Games team


Hey game developers, back in March you may remember we added new game statistics in the Google Play Developer Console for those of you who had implemented Google Play Games: our cross-platform game services for Android, iOS and the web.


Starting today, we're providing more insights into how your games are being used by adding country, age, and gender dimensions to the existing set of reports available in the Developer console. You'll see demographics integrated into Overview stats as well as the Players reports for New and Active users.




In the Overview stats you can now see highlights of activity by age group, most active countries, and gender.




With a better understanding of your users' demographic composition, you'll be able to make more effective decisions to improve retention and monetization. Here a few ways you could imagine using these new stats:



  • You just launched your new game globally, and expected it do particularly well in Germany. Using country demographic data, you see that Germany is much less active than expected. After some digging, you realize that your tutorial was not properly translated to German. Based on this insight, you immediately roll out a fix to see if you can improve active users in Germany.




In the Players stats section the new metrics reveal trends in how your app is doing across age groups, countries, and gender.





  • After Looking at your new demographics report you realize that your game is really popular with women in their mid-20s. Your in-app purchase data corroborates this, showing that the one female hero character is the most popular purchase. Empowered by this data, you race to add female hero characters to your game.


Additionally, if you're already using Google Play game services, there's no extra integration needed! By logging in to the Google Play Developer Console you can start using demographics to better inform your decisions today.






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Six tips for creating awesome video highlights in Sense 6

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:26 AM PDT






The video highlights feature in Sense 6 lets you quickly and easily create quick 30 second montages that you can then share on social media or directly with friends and family. Sense will choose photos, videos, and Zoes that are stored on your device and mash them up. From there you can add a theme complete with music, and you're done. However, software isn't perfect and video highlights are no exception. Here are some tips on creating even better video highlights in Sense 6!





















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T-Mobile Nexus devices getting Android 4.4.3 today

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 09:54 AM PDT

android-kitkat


T-Mobile has announced that several of their Nexus devices — including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and 2013 Nexus 7 — should be getting Android 4.4.3 starting today. As expected, the update isn't big and doesn't bring much in the way of new or exciting features. It's mostly a bug fixer that should do a decent amount of house cleaning.


T-Mobile's release notes don't go into too much detail about said changes, though, so we'll have to wait for some coders to get their palms greased and dive in head first. Those with the Nexus Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 should be looking for version KTU84L, while the Nexus 5 should be getting KTU84M.


The updates are identical in size at around 54MB each, and you should be able to come up from almost any prior version (as long as you haven't rooted or installed custom ROMs, obviously). The staggered OTA process is expected to run between June 2nd and June 9th, after which you'll be able to apply it manually if you so please. Head to the Settings > About Phone menu to check for updates, but not before making sure you're on WiFi and charging your battery up to at least 50%.


[via T-Mobile 1 | 2 | 3]




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The ASUS Transformer Book V is the first 5-in-1 Android / Windows device

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 09:07 AM PDT

ASUS_Transformer_Book_V_03


Back at CES, ASUS showed off the Transformer Book Duet (TD300), which was later cancelled. Since it was a Windows and Android device, it was believed the reason was because of pressure from Google. Apparently that wasn't the case as today at Computex, ASUS unveiled something very similar in the Transformer Book V.


The Transformer Book Duet was a 4-in-1 device, but the Transformer Book V takes it one step further making it a 5-in-1 device. Just like the Duet, it's a Windows laptop, Windows tablet, Android laptop, and Android tablet, but the V adds PadFone capabilities by adding a standalone phone that can be docked.



ASUS_Transformer_Book_V_01


Our understanding on how it works is this…..The default OS is Windows 8.1, but when the phone is docked, it will transform to Android 4.4. So if the phone isn't docked, you can use the 12.5-inch display as a standalone Windows tablet or as a Windows laptop when the keyboard is attached. When the phone is docked on the backside of the display, it becomes an Android 4.4 tablet or if the keyboard is connected it it, an Android laptop. The Duet didn't have phone capabilities and it was a duel boot system as in both OS's were installed on the device.


Just like the PadFone, the phone can be used just like any smartphone when not docked to the display. It feature a 5-inch HD display, a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Moorefield processor, 2GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, LTE, and a 2,500mAh battery.


The tablet has a 12.5-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) IPS display, an Intel Core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of flash storage, and 1TB of HDD storage. There is a 28Wh battery that provides 10 hours of web browsing time.


We don't know when this beast will come to market, but since it's being shown under a glass display, it probably means it isn't ready for primetime just yet. Who knows, maybe it will suffer the same fate as the Transformer Book Duet.




Come comment on this article: The ASUS Transformer Book V is the first 5-in-1 Android / Windows device





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Pushbullet beta comes to Google Play for fearless explorers

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Pushbullet


Pushbullet already pushes out (no pun intended) features at an alarming pace, but if you need to be at the very edge of development you can now participate in their beta program via Google Play. It's as easy as joining a beta program has ever been — join the community here, then opt into the beta here. Simple, no?


From there you'll be delivered updates of all the latest features before they're ready for gen-pop. They also announced an update to their Windows app that adds support for notification mirroring so be sure to check that out if you're into that sort of thing.


[via Pushbullet]




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US Department of Defense gives approval to Samsung Knox devices

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:25 AM PDT






Samsung has announced that five of its Galaxy devices have been approved for the U.S government's Defense Information System Agency (DISA) products list. The devices include the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. All of them are using Android 4.4 (KitKat) along with Samsung's KNOX secure workspace platform, which includes system-level encryption for enterprise-based apps.





















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Xposed GEL Settings Module Adds A Nifty Dynamic Home Button And Icon Pack Support In Version 1.7

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

unnamed (1) As useful as the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) is, it's not exactly what you'd call "customizable." But intrepid modder Jack Underwood has been working on that, making the GEL bend to his will through the magic of root and the Xposed Framework tool. The latest update to Xposed GEL Settings adds some really cool features. The most impressive is probably the dynamic home button: the home button on the virtual nav bar will switch to the app tray icon on the default home screen if that's the function you've selected.





Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:


Xposed GEL Settings Module Adds A Nifty Dynamic Home Button And Icon Pack Support In Version 1.7 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




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Samsung’s first Tizen phone is finally here — beginning of the end for Galaxy?

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:19 AM PDT

samsung-z1


Samsung's finally done it, folks — they've brought their first Tizen-based smartphone. It's the Samsung Z. No Galaxy in the name, naturally, because it doesn't run Android. It's very much a Samsung phone, though. It features TouchWiz with S Health 3.0, a fingerprint scanner, and a heart rate monitor. It has a 2.3Ghz quad-core processor 2GB of RAM. And it even has that familiar faux leather back that some of Samsung's latest products have been sporting. Unfortunately the display doesn't quite match up at 4.8 inches and 720p resolution, but that's good enough for any decent smartphone.


samsung z samsung z 4 samsung z 3 samsung z 2

So what now? Is Samsung going to make a full-fledged attempt to replace their Android-based Galaxy lineup with Tizen-based offerings like they did with smart watches? By extension, is the Samsung Galaxy line doomed? And by further extension, is Android doomed?


Not likely. Samsung still has a long way to go if they want to ween off the alc– I mean, Android. Tizen doesn't currently have much developer support, and even if Samsung begins courting a good deal of developers it wouldn't be able to match up to the prowess of Google Play. And we all know users go where the apps are (which is probably why Microsoft is having a tough time finding solid footing in the smartphone space).


The short answer is that this shouldn't be worrying anyone. We're sure Samsung would love to someday blossom into Apple and produce all their own software and hardware, but that day likely isn't around the corner or even up the street. They have to start somewhere, though, and this is where they'll begin.


[via Samsung Tomorrow]




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Addappt – Indie app of the day

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:14 AM PDT



What is addappt?


Smartphones have revolutionized how we use the cell phone. What was once a fun little thing we kept in our pockets that got bad indie app of the dayreception everywhere has turned into a game playing, battery draining, socializing, HD-video-watching super machine. They've changed how we do pretty much everything. One of the few exceptions being how we manage contacts. Your address book is pretty much the same as it has always been with the notable exception of syncing to social media. A new app on Android called addappt may be changing that.


Here's how the app works. On the face, it looks like your ordinary contacts replacement app. It'll sync your current address book and show you all of your ordinary contacts. It's once you start using it the way it is supposed to be used and getting others to use it that way that things become interesting.


When you add someone to addappt using the app's built in system, you no longer have to worry about their contact information. If they move, change phone numbers, their email address, or anything else, they simply update it in addappt. The change will then sync to everyone that the person is connected to.


Let's say you and I were connected on addappt. If I got a new phone number and updated my information in the application. That change would sync to your device (and everyone else I'm connected to). Thus you would automatically have my new contact information without my having to give it to you again or you having to request it.


This has the potential to change how we think about contacts. Usually when a phone gets broken, contacts get lost, or information gets changed, people have to go through the painstaking process of reaching out to all the important people, posting their new details on Facebook via the now-infamous "inbox me to get my new number", and all sorts of other tedious methods. With addappt, once everyone is connected, you just sign into the app and all of your contacts will sync. You update your details and they get your new information. No more tedious emails.


The app itself is fairly well designed and it's worth noting that it's pretty much the same design across platforms. So iOS users and Android users all have invariably the same experience with the same set up which is actually something we quite liked. There are buttons on contact cards that let you call, message, or email them. You can also see quite a bit of info such as email, phone number, address, events (such as birthdays), websites, GPS location, and even personal stuff like family members. Each user can determine how much of their information is shown.




addappt review





PROS


  • Self-updating address book is really what everyone has always wanted.

  • Clean design and interface that's nearly identical cross platform makes it easy to show people who don't own Android.

  • Even if you don't get your friends to use it, it's a good contacts replacement app.

  • addappt contacts and non-addappt contacts are separated so you know who is and isn't part of that network.

  • addappt doesn't spam, store, or sell out your contacts.




CONS


  • There have been bugs reported that cause the app to crash on select devices as well as deleted contacts re-appearing.

  • If you don't get everyone to use it, there isn't much that it does that other contacts apps don't do.






8.5

Overall, addappt has a lot of potential. How well it works for you depends on how many other people you can convince to use it. Alone, it's a very capable contacts replacement app but in the event that you can get your contacts to use it as well, it can become a lot more than that. It's free in the Google Play Store and definitely worth checking out using the button below.






Check out the last indie app of the day: Peek

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Scout GPS Navigation app switches to crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap, goes global

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:08 AM PDT

A while back we video reviewed Scout, a personalized GPS Navigation app, and pointed out some of it's pros & cons in comparison to defacto Google Maps for Android. Telenav, the maker of the app, has upped the ante in the competitive mapping space by switching all their navigation platforms; Android, iOS and web to... View Article


Scout GPS Navigation app switches to crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap, goes global is a post from: AndroidTapp


The post Scout GPS Navigation app switches to crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap, goes global appeared first on AndroidTapp.





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T-Mobile: Android 4.4.3 update to hit Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 today

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Android 4.4.3 has leaked out a few times so far this year, but there's been no word on when the update will begin rolling out to us users. If some T-Mobile support documents are to be believed, though, that push could begin today.


A pair of new T-Mobile support documents claim that Android 4.4.3 will begin rolling out to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) today. The updates will bump the devices up to builds KTU84M and KTU84L, respectively, and are said to include security enhancements and bug fixes.


It's worth pointing out that Sprint said that Android 4.4.3 would hit the Nexus 5 back in mid-April, and obviously that didn't happen. So while this news is exciting, you may want to try and contain that excitement until Google makes an official announcement. Once that happens, you'll be the first ones that we tell. Promise.


Sources: T-Mobile (1), (2)





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Spotify now lets you take your entire music collection offline

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT






Spotify now lets users easily make their whole Spotify music collection available offline should they desire to do so. With just a single button press, you can now download every song under Your Music. This ability actually came to Android users as part of the recent security update.





















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T-Mobile says Nexus update we know is coming is coming today

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT






Here we go again. T-Mobile says Android 4.4.3 is coming to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 today. Bugfixes and security enhancements are all that's on the changelog, and the build version is listed as KTU84M. Fixes are always good, but we'll not be holding our breath over this one just yet — it's hardly a surprise, and we've seen carriers jump the gun on this one already.





















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Acer brings low-cost, low-spec unlocked smartphones to Canada

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT






Acer's Liquid smartphones have come in unlocked flavors to Canada. The Acer Liquid S1, Liquid Z3, and Liquid Z5 are now available at retailers across the land of moose and maple, and bring with them low prices and specs to match. They're not the latest and greatest from Acer, but they're cheap.





















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The best app, device and accessories sales for June 2, 2014

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT






We're back for another week of Android fun, and that means more sales on apps, accessories and devices! We're rounding them up here today, so check back early and often for the best savings.





















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Watch this: John Oliver on net neutrality

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT





It's Monday morning here in the U.S., and so it's perhaps a little early in the week (to say nothing about being early in the day) for politics. But net neutrality is that important. And besides, John Oliver is British. Which means ... something.


Anyhoo. If you don't have HBO and don't "borrow" someone's HBO Go login, you need to watch this. It's our online future at stake, and it's worth fighting for.





















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7-inch Galaxy W makes debut in Korea

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:36 AM PDT

GalaxyW With a 7-inch smart phone/tablet passing through the FCC last week, it was only a matter of time before we saw the release of this monstrosity. Well, it seems that today is the day as the Galaxy W smart tablet (phone?) made its debut in Korea. The Samsung device packs a 720p resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory. Given that its running Touchwiz, you'll probably only see about 9-10GB of that being usable. Luckily though the device packs a microSD card slot. It also has an 8MP rear shooter and a 2MP front camera. It comes with a large 3,200 mAh battery. Instead of Android 4.4 though, it comes with Jelly Bean (4.3).


The device sells for 499,400 KRW — about $487 dollars — in Korea. It's available in white, black or red. There's no word on whether or not it'll make its way to the US. Does a 7-inch smartphone entice any of you out there?


source: underKG




Come comment on this article: 7-inch Galaxy W makes debut in Korea





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Android 4.4.3 to hit Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 on T-Mobile today?

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Google Nexus 5 black aa 8


Is today finally the day when Google begins pushing out the long-awaited Android 4.4.3 update?


According to a T-Mobile support page, the Android 4.4.3 over the air update should begin rolling out to Nexus 5 users starting today, June 2. There's little detail about what's coming in the update on the support page, with a very generic "Security enhancements" and "Various bug fixes." The update will bring firmware number KTU84M.


Another support page mentions the same update for the Nexus 7 (2013), this time bearing the KTU84L firmware number. Both updates are said to be weighing 54MB, suggesting that, indeed, the update will bring just bug fixes and tweaks.


Excited as we may be, we need to remember that we've been through all this in April, and we ended up disappointed. Back then, the Android 4.4.3 update window for the Nexus 5 on Sprint passed, and the support page for the update was eventually taken down.


We'll keep you posted on this, but it's worth keeping an eye on your notifications or checking manually from Settings>About Phone>System Updates.




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