Android 4.4 KitKat update: when will your device get it?

Sterling Keys (translation) 2014-01-22T08:00:00Z3 days ago User picture After finishing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta, Sterling made the move to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Within a stone's throw of mountains, ocean, and complete wilderness, he mountain bikes and skis during the day and is hopelessly connected to his phone and computer at all other times. His writing "career" started as he penned about his escapades while skiing and has slowly progressed to freelance marketing and promotion throughout British Columbia. Interested in anything tech and gadget related, he has thoroughly enjoyed his transition of writing for AndroidPIT.

The distribution of the upgrade to KitKat is proceeding pretty slowly with many devices still lagging behind to even catch up to Android 4.3 Jellybean. So what exactly does the Android 4.4 schedule look like for the different manufacturers? Here’s a summarized version of all the available information about the KitKat update.

nexus 5 android 4 4 kitkat logo 02Who is getting it and when? / © AndroidPIT

Android KitKat was not the big version jump that everyone had hoped for. However, the majority of the changes that KitKat brings with it are hidden away behind the scenes and bring some pretty good innovations with it. Hangouts has been integrated as the standard messenger, the status bar is now transparent with white icons, there’s a new full screen mode and improved phone app. For a full overview of the changes in KitKat, check out our summary.

The Moto G is in the forefront with the KitKat update and is among the first devices outside of the Nexus and Google Edition line of devices to get the update. This brings some promise for Motorola: both the Moto X and Moto G run an almost pure Android experience with very small changes to the core, making the adjustments to a new Android version a very simple case compared to other manufacturers. The Moto X, which will soon be available outside of the Americas for sale, is seeing the rollout right now and will be shipping from the factory with Android 4.4.

moto x black white teaserRolling out now and from the factory: the Moto X with Android 4.4.2. / © Motorola

Samsung Touchwiz is highly different from stock Android and as such, takes a bit longer for an update to roll out. Apart from having to customize any updates to their own UI, Samsung picks and chooses which of its devices are going to get the update and which aren’t. However, if you’ve got one of the latest Samsung devices (Galaxy S4 or Note 3) you are first in line for the update rollout. In fact, a test version of Android 4.4 for both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3 has already been spotted in the wild that can be installed if you so choose. As such, you can most likely expect an official rollout to commence before the month of January is over.

note3 kitkat 442The update to KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 is coming. / © Google, Samsung/AndroidPIT

However, for older devices such as the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, it’s still unknown on when the update will begin. Both only received the updated to Android 4.3 just over a month ago...

Sony is currently lagging behind on its update schedule: all Sony devices currently are still waiting for their update to Android 4.3, despite reassuring customers in December that the update was going ahead as planned and was beginning to rollout. However, nothing has been noted to any of our test devices and we’re still waiting patiently for that long expected rollout.

xperia z compact 6The Sony Z1 and Z1 Compact: who will get the update first? / © AndroidPIT

For the Xperia Z1, ports of KitKat have been making their way onto the net, but nothing official is anywhere near the horizon. As for the Z1 Compact, if it comes to the market in February with Android 4.3, it would be the first among Sony devices to sport Android 4.3. Think about that for a second.

HTC is stating that the HTC One will start seeing the update in the next few weeks, at least according to various twitter updates pointing in that direction. As such, the HTC One, One Mini, and One Max should start seeing Android 4.4 sometime between now and February.  In fact, as of January 20th, we’re starting to even see the rollout of Android 4.4 to various customers around Europe. With that new information pending, we should start see it rolling out to new areas over the next little while.

htc one kitkatRight now, all signs point towards the end of January for KitKat and the HTC One. / © HTC, Google/AndroidPIT

Later this year, the entry-level smartphone the HTC Desire 500, should also be seeing the KitKat update. However, the One X, One X+, One S, and One V will be left in the dust and will be receiving no more official updates from HTC.

LG set off the end of the year with a bang with the LG G2. The much-acclaimed smartphone was unveiled at the IFA with Android 4.2.2 on board and should have received the update to Android 4.4 in late 2013. So far, however, we have yet to see anything despite reports coming last December about an impending update coming from LG. It was then reported that at least the French market would see the update before the end of January. Canada, however, would be left in the dust and not see anything until the end of March. If you're in South Korea, however, you might be in luck.

root lg g2Right now, it could be by the end of March before the G2 sees an update. / © AndroidPIT

According to various other reports, it seems that LG is skipping the Android 4.3 update all together and will bumping most of their devices straight to Android 4.4. If this is true, expect a whole swathe of LG products seeing the KitKat upgrade around the same time including: Optimus models, G Pad 8.3, G Flex, among others. While a schedule has not been announced per se, it it safe to assume it's pending.

The Chinese manufacturer brought the Ascend P6 to the market last year, which brought some elegance and style to Chinese manufacturing. The Ascend P6 was, at the time, the thinnest Android smartphone on the market and was released with Android 4.2.2. Huawei has promised a release of Android 4.4 shortly with a updated version of their Emotion UI.

rueckseite kamera blitzWill the Ascend P6 be getting the update shortly? / © AndroidPIT

The distribution is expected to start in January in China, with the new Emotion UI 2.3 being tested in a closed beta group. When the update will be available outside of China, as well as when it will be available for other Ascend models such as the Ascend Mate, is still to be determined. Even the Ascend Mate 2 which was presented at CES 2014 was still sporting a version of Android Jellybean on it.

Asus is going a little bit backwards on their update schedule, at least for their newer device. The Padfone A80 Infinity is expected to get the update in the first quarter of 2014, with its successor, the Padfone A86, not receiving the update until the second quarter of 2014.

padfone 12The new Padfone from Asus will have to wait until the end of the second quarter of 2014. / © AndroidPIT (originally by Johannes Wallat)

LG G Pro 2 rumored for MWC: 6-inch Full HD display and KitKat on board

Loie Favre 2014-01-24T14:00:00Z18 hours ago User picture Loie Favre is a Canadian-Swiss, food-loving, live-music-craving globe-trotter. Coming from a humble background in the Canadian Prairies centred around nature and the Arts, she studied Translation and Languages in Edmonton. She left her home on the Pacific Coast of Canada, to seek her fortune in Berlin. She is now an Editor and Manager for AndroidPIT.com and is enjoying discovering about everything and anything under the sun about Android.

Rumors are mulling about a new LG device that will likely be presented during the Mobile World Congress: the LG G Pro 2, successor to LG (Optimus) G Pro. We’ve been hearing it will pack 3 GB RAM, a 6-inch Full HD display as well as be the first LG smartphone to come with the latest version of Android 4.4. KitKat pre-installed.

lg logo android © AndroidPIT

As per usual, we’ve been keeping our Android 6th sense in overdrive for news and rumors on next month’s Mobile World Congress where we will be eating tapas while checking out new devices and innovations companies and exhibitors have to present. LG didn’t disappoint at last year’s convention so this piece of news doesn’t come to us as much surprise. In addition to what was noted above in terms of tech specs, the new phablet would come with a Snapdragon 800 processor and support LTE and LTE-Advanced networks.

If you think of the more recent phablets to come out, it compares more closely to the Galaxy Note 3 in terms of power and performance, as Samsung’s tablet also has the same processor and memory. The LG G Flex, is another newer phablet, but it lacks a Full HD display and only packs Android 4.2.2.

Keep your ears and eyes peeled for more MWC news coming your way from AndroidPIT.

Source: Android Central

Kings of Parking 3D: fun without real-life obstacles

Loie Favre 2013-12-17T20:00:00Z1 month ago User picture Loie Favre is a Canadian-Swiss, food-loving, live-music-craving globe-trotter. Coming from a humble background in the Canadian Prairies centred around nature and the Arts, she studied Translation and Languages in Edmonton. She left her home on the Pacific Coast of Canada, to seek her fortune in Berlin. She is now an Editor and Manager for AndroidPIT.com and is enjoying discovering about everything and anything under the sun about Android.

Kings of Parking 3D virtually has you practicing pesky parking maneuvering we all hated learning in real life. Forward, backward, parallel: choose a vehicle from the fleet and steer it as skillfully as possible through various precarious parking situations. Just like you learn in driving school the key is trying to remain calm, don’t panic. In today’s review, we are going to see just how captivating and entertaining this game really is.

Kings of Parking 3D Good?? ?Increasing levels of difficulty?All cars behave differentlyBad?? ?After a while it can become boring?Automatic camera behaves oddly

The basic principles behind Kings of Parking 3D can be quickly described: in each level, the player's task is to maneuver vehicles as quickly as possible to the designated parking area. In the beginning, you’ll quickly master the art of parking, but as the game progresses, the difficulty increases and you are asked to complete much more complex tasks.

Kingsofparking5The first level requires a bit of a learning curve, but it's a lot of fun./ © Tiltgames

Divided into levels, the player needs to park the car and beat the clock all while ensuring that no damage is done and that you get three stars. This concept is already known from games like Angry Birds or Plants vs Zombies, however in Kings of Parking 3D, they’ve omitted entirely a framework for action. Here you’ll find the subject of parking under time pressure, packed into a funny story. Though the game is quite good, I feel like there is more room here for growth.

Kingsofparking1Like the game on Facebook and you get the Android truck! / © AndroidPIT

Overall, the fleet of cars includes four different kinds of vehicles, each level stars one of the four cars. It starts off with a school bus and then the levels become increasingly harder. Next to the bus, there’s a sedan, a sports car and the Android truck, which can be unlocked only with a "Like" on Facebook. In the free version, you need to complete a chapter before having access to the next one.

Kingsofparking2You'll find the high scores under ''Check-in''. / © AndroidPIT

Overall Kings of Parking 3D was well done, although I found the total length of the game to be too short. Given the fact that it is free, I wouldn’t say that this is a negative point. There is still room for improvement in their choice for the controls. Although the developer implemented the MOGA controller just recently,  more options for on-screen operation would have been appreciated. For example, the size of controllers or an adjustment to the camera angles.

In a game like Kings of Parking 3D, it’s difficult to make a distinction between controls and functionality. How fun the game is, is significantly influenced by the game’s controls, especially in this genre.

Although it was generally well done, there is still room for improvement. The automatic camera is particularly frustrating because it switches on its own which isn’t always to your advantage. With limited parking maneuvers, the perspective would suddenly change and the player loses important parts of the image.

Though you are able to switch to a manual camera, this costs you valuable seconds from your score. A setting for the behavior of the automatic camera before started a level would be great.

The other controls for Kings of Parking 3D are otherwise very well done, even if the player goes through a certain learning curve at the start of the game. After a few minutes of play, the controls are no longer a problem and a high score can be achieved.

The graphics were also very well done, though at times the corners and edges of the game would disappear.

During our testing period, no crashes at Kings of Parking 3D were noticed.

Kings of Parking 3D is ad-supported and is available for free. For 99 cents, all the levels can be unlocked. Furthermore, the application is then ad-free.

Kingsofparking42Der erw√§hnte In-App-Einkauf. / © AndroidPIT

Kings of Parking 3D is a successful game. Without question, the app is fun, though after a certain time, it can become monotonous. It sometimes seemed as if the application was missing a few finishing touches, like some advanced settings for the automatic camera and a broader fleet. Nevertheless, installing Kings of Parking 3D is worth it.

No comparable apps are currently known to us. If you happen to know one, it would be great if you could get in touch with us.

US Department Of Justice Charges Four Alleged Android App Pirates With Criminal Copyright Infringement

Software piracy sucks. Ask any developer: app piracy is a major problem on Android, and more so on Android than on other mobile platforms, thanks to the relative ease of installing applications outside of the Google Play Store. But the United States Department of Justice is not turning a blind eye to mobile piracy. The Department charged four men with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement earlier this week in Georgia's northern federal district court.

Kody Jon Peterson, a 22-year-old from Florida, was charged with one count on Thursday. Thomas Allen Dye (21) and Nicholas Anthony Narbone (26) from Florida and Thomas Pace (38) from Oregon were charged separately on Friday. Peterson was involved with the "SnappzMarket Group" starting in May 2011, and the others formed the "Appbucket Group" in August 2010. The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

nexusae0_seized

According to the Department of Justice's report, Snappzmarket.com and Appbucket.com disseminated over one million stolen copies of Android apps each. Both website domains along with Applanet.com were seized on August 21st, 2012 as part of the investigation, which the report says is the first time that the DOJ's power to seize domains has been used to fight mobile piracy. The investigation was carried out by the DOJ with help from the FBI's Atlanta field office. FBI agent Ricky Maxwell had this to say:

The protection of intellectual property is the cornerstone of a free market that rewards innovation and forward thinking. The federal charges presented in this case illustrates the problems facing technology based companies in particular but also highlights the FBI and U.S. government response to those engaged in such wholesale criminal activity involving the piracy of copyrighted products.

Though both websites were particularly well-known as easy sources of pirated apps, taking them down will probably do little to dissuade pirates, many of whom are located beyond US jurisdiction. Even now it's depressingly easy to find unauthorized and cracked APK files scattered across the Internet. Here's hoping that this is only the first part of a larger anti-copyright infringement campaign.

Source: Justice.gov


View the original article here

Giveaway: 5 free license keys for Android Data Recovery software

Kris Carlon 2014-01-23T07:00:01Z2 days ago User picture Putting down roots in Berlin after six years of traveling is a major step for Kris Carlon, who has spent more time living out of a tent lately than sitting at a desk. Kris comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent writing on art and culture in Australia and other places he has lived. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since.

Some of you may have read my article recently about how to recover lost or deleted text messages on an Android device. In that article, I used Wondershare Dr. Fone for Android to illustrate how simple it is to keep your SMS and other data secure, even if it's been accidentally deleted. Wondershare has just offered us five free license keys for the full version of Dr. Fone for Android – worth $49.95 – to giveaway to our readers.

WondershareTeaserWondershare Dr. Fone for Android data recovery may just save your life. / © Wondershare

In case you missed the article, or have no idea what Android Data Recovery is about, well it's all right there in the title. If you accidentally delete data from your Android device, no matter what it is, you're in luck. As long as you act quickly, and use a reliable software tool like Dr. Fone for Android, your chances of recovering your precious data is close to 100%. And with the full version you can make mistake after mistake and just keep on recovering your data if you fail to learn your lesson!

Wondershare DrFone 1Dr. Fone will recover photos, videos, text messages and contacts. / © Wondershare

Here's what Wondershare Dr. Fone for Android offers:

Compatibility: Dr. Fone is available for all Android phones and tabletsRetrievability: You can retrieve deleted texts and contacts as well as videos and photos.Backup: You can browse and backup your Android data to your computer.Preview: Preview all recoverable contacts, messages and photos and select only what you want to recoverRead-only/risk-free: Your device will remain in its ''original'' state, with no damage, deletion, modification or impact on your warranty.DrFone ProcessRecovering your lost data is seriously this easy. / © Wondershare

Convinced? Ok, the rules: all you need to do is be a member of AndroidPIT (so you can post a comment), and share the URL of this giveaway article on your Facebook and Google+ profile, then add those two ''share URLs'' to your comment below – tell us the worst thing you've ever deleted by accident! The giveaway will be active for a week, and next week Wondershare will contact our lucky winners with their free license keys. The winner selection will be random, but we will check your share links (so make sure they are Public)! There are no restrictions (age or country of residents) on who can participate. After the contest is over, the winners will receive their license key after one or two days.

If you miss out on one of the free license keys but still want to recover your data, you can visit this bonus page on Wondershare's site to receive a 50% discount on the full version of Dr. Fone for Android data recovery software.

LEDBlinker - customize your Notification LED!

Kris Carlon (translation) 2014-01-03T13:00:00Z3 weeks ago User picture Putting down roots in Berlin after six years of traveling is a major step for Kris Carlon, who has spent more time living out of a tent lately than sitting at a desk. Kris comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent writing on art and culture in Australia and other places he has lived. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since.

LEDBlinker is an app that proves pretty neat for allowing you to determine whether a notification is important or not, without actually having to turn on the lockscreen. Having used the app for quite a bit I can definitely say that its more useful than I thought it would be, and is worth a try. Check it out in today's review.

LEDBlinker Notifications Good?? ?Very customizable?Test function?Simple operationBad?? ?No adjustments for individual contacts

When you start the app, there will be a list of predefined apps and types of notifications you can get from them. You can then set the color in which you want the LED to blink when you receive a notification from one of these apps. For example, the pre-loaded SMS client, email app, Facebook and other such apps are defined here. All you have to do when you get here is simply choose what color you want the LED to be in each situation then you’re good to go.

The good thing for those with smartphones that don’t have an LED light for notifications on their phone is that LEDBlinker can also work through small icons on the screen when the phone is in sleep mode. In other settings, it is also possible to set the flashing interval times as well as vibration and sound settings, if desired.

In the user defined section, you can add a custom color for apps downloaded in the Play store or apps that have been sideloaded. You simply tap on the plus sign in the upper section of the screen and then select the app you want to define an LED color for. After this you can define the exact color, the blink rate and other such details for yourself and when notifications are triggered from this app, you will be able to see them before you even turn the screen on.

AndroidPIT LEDBlinker 1All your default apps are pre-loaded and you can set your own as well. / © Mario Ostwald

When I read that the app needs permissions for reading Facebook and WhatsApp messages I thought that you would be able to customize alerts to specific individuals. Unfortunately, on this assumption I was disappointed: a distinction will be made only between normal WhatsApp messages and group WhatsApp messages. Maybe this specific-contact feature is something that could still be added. It would certainly be a unique selling point over the competition. 

In terms of operation, LEDBlinker can be quickly mastered: basically you just have to click "LED On" in the respective app, then you can adjust the color and blink rate and test the notification. Also, when you create a "user defined" profile, ie an app that is not in the default list, it is easy to do and functions int he exact same way as the pre-defined apps.

Again, you can also set small icons or even the time to appear on the screen if you do not have an LED notification light. There are also battery saving measures, sleep mode as well as tones and vibration options in the settings.

AndroidPIT LEDBlinker 2User-defined profiles are simple to set up and you can select custom colors. / © Mario Ostwald

Considering the app is free there is really nothing to complain about, because the LEDBlinker app properly does what it sets out to achieve. The whole thing is very stable too, and unlike some competing apps that I have tested, LEDBlinker offers full customization of the color and blink rates for each app.

The core app is free to download, and for less than two dollars you can upgrade to the full version, which offers mnay more customization options. The full version will give you even more customization possibilities. Other apps of this kind cost a similar amount but do not necessarily provide the same functionality as LEDBlinker, especially not in the free version.

In its category, LEDBlinker is a really is a great app that fulfills almost every wish: you can define all possible types of notifications for LED color, sound and vibration for your apps.

The only thing I could say is missing from this app is the ability to actually set contact-specific notifications. We all know that when some people text or call us it's really important, while for others...not so much. This would be a useful addition to the app. Other than that it’s pretty solid and robust.

(originally by Ludwig Hubert)

Apps:
LEDBlinker
Social Network OverView
APPoint
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Samsung starts third-party accessory block with 4.4.2 update to Note 3

Loie Favre 2014-01-23T12:00:00Z1 day ago 2014-01-23T16:51:23Z— updated 1 day ago User picture Loie Favre is a Canadian-Swiss, food-loving, live-music-craving globe-trotter. Coming from a humble background in the Canadian Prairies centred around nature and the Arts, she studied Translation and Languages in Edmonton. She left her home on the Pacific Coast of Canada, to seek her fortune in Berlin. She is now an Editor and Manager for AndroidPIT.com and is enjoying discovering about everything and anything under the sun about Android.

The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update to the Galaxy Note 3 may have brought some welcome changes to the the phablet’s software, however it has just been discovered that Samsung did what they threatened to do a couple of months ago: the company has implemented an accessory restriction on the Note 3 with the new Android update where third-party cases will no longer work for S View mode...this could only be the beginning of their accessory domination.

Note 3 s viewSamsung needs a slap! © AndroidPIT

For the time being, the block is limited to cases, forcing people to buy the official S-View case and ditching knock-off versions if they still want to have the quick view functionality. They did however talk about expanding this restriction to batteries and chargers, forcing the client to only use official Samsung products, which according to them, would ensure customers are only using safe and tested products.

galaxy note 3 usb 3How far will the ''original accessory scam'' go?  © AndroidPIT

There are two different ways for  you to get around this case restriction though. Firstly, the official case comes with an implanted ID chip which allows the Galaxy Note 3 to recognize that it’s official and therefore switch to S View mode when in the case. If you are feeling crafty, you could surgically remove the chip from this case and insert into the case or cover of your choice - although you'll still need the original cover to do this. Second of all, if you have root access, you are able to install a new Xposed module from the XDA developers forum, which will allow you to trick the phone into this mode.

galaxy s4 mini 20Non-original accessories may not work with the Note 3 and this goes for batteries too.© AndroidPIT

When it comes to batteries, we always recommend smartphone owners to use official ones anyway, but this seems to be just another way for Samsung to gain even more monopoly in the mobility ecosystem. If this restriction test of theirs goes well, which we can only assume it will (for Samsung at least), then chargers, batteries and other third-party accessories could soon become null and void if you own a Samsung device running Android 4.4.2 and later.

What do you think of Samsung’s move? Is it just another way to make more money or an understandable strategy for the company in trying to expand their own brand?

This just in from Samusng, their rebuttle to the entire third-party restriction news that arose today.

To ensure a pleasant and smooth user experience with Samsung products for our customers, we recommend that only original accessories from Samsung to use. Of course, customers can continue to rely on third-party accessories. The full functionality of our devices and accessories, however, can only be ensured with genuine Samsung components, since only in this way it is ensured that equipment and accessories are perfectly matched. A correlation between the Android version 4.4 and the supposed incompatibility of third-party accessories does not exist. 

Source: Android Police, Sammobile

3 up-and-coming Snapchat alternatives

Loie Favre 2014-01-23T16:00:01Z1 day ago User picture Loie Favre is a Canadian-Swiss, food-loving, live-music-craving globe-trotter. Coming from a humble background in the Canadian Prairies centred around nature and the Arts, she studied Translation and Languages in Edmonton. She left her home on the Pacific Coast of Canada, to seek her fortune in Berlin. She is now an Editor and Manager for AndroidPIT.com and is enjoying discovering about everything and anything under the sun about Android.

Are you fed up with Snapchat with all of its security problems and newly implemented ghost chasing human authentication? It may be time to change your photo sharing, auto-destructing, messaging app for an alternative. Here are three Snapchat alternatives that you might want to consider after deleting your Snapchat account.

androidpit snapchatIs it time to let Snapchat go? © Snapchat /AndroidPIT

Though this app is still in public beta phase, it’s already catching on. Just like Snapchat, Wickr incorporates self-destructing messages. The difference is that you can control how long you want the recipient to be able to see the message, whether it be a text, photo, video or voice message, before making it go poof! The California-based company claim to have military-grade encryption which will keep your messages private. This one is unique in that you don’t create a personal profile, no information is asked of you. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

androidpit wickr © Wickr Inc.

The developers from Evertale ApS have also created their own version of SnapChat and it is one of the better ones from the list, packing a little bit of Instagram’s functionality as well. So far, you can only take pictures, but the developers are on track right now to add video and doodle features. The photo messages won’t self-destruct but they are kept private. You can choose ones from your gallery or take one via the app with the built-in camera feature. Group conversations are also possible and the app will use your contacts from your phone like in WhatsApp without you needing to manually add any of them.

androidpit wink © Evertale ApS

This app has all of the Snapchat functions, without the same security problems. When sending a message to a friend, the picture or video in its contents will disappear after 5 seconds into the the abyss of messages, never to be found again. Thanks to some heavy-duty encryption, your messages are kept private and are previewed by the sendee with the app's own pixelation effect. Replying to a message is done with one tap. So far it’s only in its beginnings on the Google Play Store, but it looks fit to catch on with many users.

andoridpit clipchat © Iddiction

What photo-sharing apps do you use? Are you still a fan of Snapchat or are you ready to move on?

 
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