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NVIDIA Shield tablet software update 1.2.1 now available

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

NVIDIA is good about keeping its Android-powered tablet, the Shield, updated and performing well. This tablet is squarely aimed at gamers and is most notable for having a fancy controller accessory to control the games. NVIDIA has announced a new software update is now available for the tablet.

The new update brings the tablet to software version 1.2.1 and adds several new enhancements and bug fixes. The update improves WiFi performance on the 5GHz band. Better WiFi performance is something that we all want.

NVIDIA also added in performance optimizations for encrypted devices. The big fix in this update is a remedy for an intermittent charging issue that some users have encountered. The new update landed yesterday.

The last update came on September 30 and brought the device to software version 1.2. It added a lot of new features including improved touch performance and lots more. The new update can be downloaded by going to settings, about Shield, system updates.

SOURCE: NVIDIA

Samsung outs firmware update for Galaxy Note 4

Posted by wicked October - 14 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rolling out this month in different countries as we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Those who are lucky enough to get their hands on the phablet are now enjoying the device. And they should be expecting a software update as Samsung recently released a firmware update number XXU1ANJ4.

The software update is only 36MB and offers enhancements in some features, better stability, and improvement in battery life. Samsung has released the update to the first owners of the Galaxy Note 4 and will bring it to everyone once phone is launched in their respective markets. Phone will be available this coming October 17 in the US from major mobile carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

If you already have your Galaxy Note 4, check Settings > About Phone > Software Update menu to see if the firmware update has arrived. If you’re still not decided whether to get the new Note, maybe the OLED screen tested by DisplayMate will make you. The Note 4 screen is said to have over 400 cd/m2 of luminance, higher than the screens in its class. How about the good results of its battery in a benchmark test? Or its passing a three-point bend test. And who could forget the drop test? Like I said, it’s not hard to convince Android fans to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

We have yet to see how the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will make it in the mobile market today. It will directly compete with the iPhone 6 plus but we all know that Samsung has more experience in this area.

VIA: SAMMOBILE

Samsung Galaxy S3 given an Android KitKat lifeline

Posted by wicked October - 4 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Not too long ago, Samsung made a decision that the international version of the Samsung Galaxy SIII (I9300) – one of its most popular phones ever – is not going to get an official TouchWiz Android 4.4 KitKat update. Cue the sound of millions of hearts of Galaxy SIII owners breaking, as most of them were really still hoping against hope that it would happen. Now the Galaxy SIII is given a lifeline through community development by “arter97”, an XDA Senior Member, with a port from a Korean SIII variant that had an official KitKat update.

Of course, there are a lot of AOSP ROMs that could give the Galaxy SIII a KitKat feel, but it seems like nothing beats the official TouchWiz look. The Korean variant in question was the E210S – with 2GB of RAM and LTE – was updated to Android 4.4.4, and this is what was ported for the I9300 international model. Take a peek at the screenshots below.

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S3_kitkat_unoff2
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S3_kitkat_unoff4

There were bugs that kept the port from being stable – SMS messaging issues, signal issues, and the like – but an updated version 2 has come out fixing those things. What is really notable about this port was that it was done in just a few hours, when Samsung was dillydallying over putting out a KitKat update because the Galaxy SIII international version had only 1GB of RAM. For comparison, we know of a lot of entry level phones that run KitKat smoothly on just 1GB of RAM.

If you want to join the fun, check out the original XDA forum thread here, and do tell us about your revived, reinvigorated Galaxy SIII. Version 2 of the build is now up, so it’s a much more functional port. We don’t have to remind you that backups are ALWAYS necessary, so don’t forget to do that before you go flashing your firmware.

SOURCE: XDA

ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 also get their Android 4.4

Posted by wicked October - 2 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Continuing its KitKat updates for its ZenFone family, ASUS has released the latest firmware for the larger ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6. Aside from updating the Intel-powered Android smartphones to the latest Android 4.4 version, it also adds some new features to region or model specific handsets.

Improvements to already existing functionality, aside from the jump to Android 4.4, include better Miracast compatibility. This protocol is used for streaming media content to compatible receivers such as TVs or set-top boxes. And speaking of streaming, the ZenFones now have support for DLNA, another popular protocol protocol used for home media servers and sometimes gaming consoles as well.

As for new features, ASUS has added a much needed Do Not Disturb mode for automatically silencing the smartphone in certain situations or times. Owners in China and Taiwan will now have a new Call Guard feature as well. Those with dual SIM slots will now be able to put the phone in full dual standby mode. Plus, the new Reply via Call-in feature will automatically select the correct SIM when replying to a message or call.

Unfortunately, in typical ASUS fashion, the firmware update is more involved than it reasonably should be. Instead of delivering the firmware over the air (FOTA) as most OEMs do these days, ASUS requires users to manually download the firmware, plug in their ZenFone to a PC, and copy over the downloaded file to the phone’s root folder. As if that wasn’t enough, ASUS warns that users have to make sure that they are downloading the correct firmware for their phone model or risk causing the update to fail and potentially wiping their data.

SOURCE: ASUS (ZenFone 5), (ZenFone 6)

FlashTool now able to download latest Xperia firmware

Posted by wicked September - 2 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

For those who manually download the latest firmware for their Sony Xperia device, FlashTool is already a very familiar program. Paired with XperiFirm which downloads new firmware for Sony Xperia devices, one can easily flash new firmware for their devices using FlashTool. The new version of the desktop app now gives you a new feature – the capability to check and download the latest firmware for Sony Xperia phones and tablets.

The new feature, available in version 0.9.18.1, effectively takes over XperiFirm’s job, which means you only need one program to get your latest firmware available from the Sony servers worldwide and flash it to your device. A disclaimer, we are in no way saying that XperiFirm doesn’t work anymore – it still does. In fact, XperiFirm has been pretty much the go to app since the demise of the Sony Update Service tool.

FlashTool_0.9.18.1-_3

In the new version of FalshTool, you can now check for updates for your specific device. You can even choose what firmware you want depending on those available on Sony’s servers. Once you download the firmware files, it’s only a matter of bundling the software together in an update package that your phone or tablet will accept – all done via FlashTool, of course.

FlashTool_0.9.18.1-_9

If you need the specific instructions, go on and check out the source link. FlashTool is available through the official download page here. There is also a mirror available here, through a file storage and downloading site. If you’re an Xperia user, we recommend that you check it out.

VIA: Xperia Blog

OnePlus One XNPH33R update addresses touchscreen issues

Posted by wicked August - 22 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

It’s only been a couple weeks since the last update for the OnePlus One smartphone landed back on August 12. Despite the short time span since the last update, the new update is one that many OnePlus One users have been clamoring for because this one aims to fix issues some users have been having with the smartphone’s touchscreen.

This update is XNPH33R incremental and is a maintenance release with critical updates inside. Other than packing a fix for touchscreen issues, it has some other stuff inside that users will appreciate. One of the other issues addressed in this update is poor battery life that some are experiencing.

The change list also shows a new radio image and some unspecified audio fixes. The update decreases power consumption in idle state and the update brings other unspecified audio fixes. A CVE-2014-4943 security update is also included for a serious security issue that could allow nefarious users to gain privileges with the phone.

Unfortunately, early users of the update are saying that it doesn’t completely fix the issues with the touchscreen. Reports indicate that the screen is still jumpy making it hard to unlock the phone using trace patterns. A video of the multitouch issues with the phone can be viewed above.

VIA: Android Police

Sony Xperia M2 Kitkat update now rolling out

Posted by wicked August - 18 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The firmware update that will push Sony’s midrange beauty – the Xperia M2 – to Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now rolling out, though it has been noted that the update applies to a limited few so far. The Xperia M2 launched in February with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, although with its robust specs, it was expected that Sony would update to KitKat sooner or later.

The update seems to be confined to the D2303 LTE variant at this point. This international model is available in France, Ireland, Israel, Russia, Singapore and Thailand. No updates have been spotted for the D2305 and D2306 variants, as well as the Xperia M2 Dual models. But we assume owners of those models would probably wait just a small amount of time before the update for their phones roll out.

Xperia-M2-KitKat_18.3.C.0.37-315x560

The KitKat update on the Xperia M2 should bring a handful of new features and improvements to the handset, including several performance improvements, and a new navigation bar and task bar. The update also brings cloud print support, and improved SMS capabilities – like being able to set the Hangouts app as default for text messaging.

If you’ve received the update, tell us what you think about it in the comments section below. The generous and capable hardware of the Xperia M2 should be able to handle it, we think. But do tell us if there are any hiccups we – and the rest of the world – should know about.

VIA: Xperia Blog

ASUS PadFone Infinity, Fonepad Note 6 get their Android 4.4 due

Posted by wicked August - 14 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Better late than never, we always say, so we welcome with open arms the very late arrival of the promised Android 4.4 update for the ASUS PadFone Infinity A80, as well as its descent on ASUS’ stylus-wielding Fonepad Note 6. But while the update of last year’s devices to the latest Android version is definitely a good thing, ASUS‘ update methods might make some wonder if they’re really worth the trouble.

When the PadFone 2 got its promised KitKat update on schedule last June, it revealed a rather irksome quirk to ASUS’ procedure. While most manufacturers have embraced Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) methods, this particular device requires the assistance of a PC software to update. But worse than that, it was noted that the update will wipe the device clean, forcing users to start from scratch, at least without a properly made backup.

Unfortunately, that is also the case here with the older PadFone Infinity, model number A80. Users will have to manually download the new firmware and follow ASUS’ update procedures to a T. And yes, it will reset the device, so users are advised to create a backup beforehand. But even more than that, this upgrade will also remove previously pre-installed apps from the device, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how users have grown habits around those apps. Some apps like Watch Calendar, ASUS Sync, Birthday Reminder, Device Tracker, and more are listed to be removed while some like ASUS Studio and ASUS To-Do are simply renamed.

The update for the Fonepad Note 6 is presumably less involved, though the lack of instructions or notes don’t really inspire confidence. Users still have the option of downloading the new firmware, but ASUS doesn’t mention whether a FOTA method is available or whether it will result in a total wipe. The update, aside from bumping the Android version from Jelly Bean to KitKat, will also introduce ASUS’ new ZenUI to the device. It will also remove some apps that either no longer work on Android 4.4 or are supplanted by native Android functionality. If you own any, or both, of these devices, hit the source links below for the update announcements and links.

SOURCE: ASUS (1), (2)

NVIDIA SHIELD Portable gets Wireless Controller support

Posted by wicked August - 6 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

NVIDIA is pushing out a firmware update to the SHIELD Portable, the new name of the Android gaming handheld formerly only known as the SHIELD. While this update brings a number of improvements to the overall gaming ecosystem, its key point is that the SHIELD Portable can now be controlled using the new NVIDIA SHIELD Wireless Controller.

A wireless controller for the SHIELD Portable might sound redundant. After all, the SHIELD Portable is practically a controller with a clamshell-type display. This integration, however, does serve one purpose. If you want to play your Android games on a larger screen, you can connect the Portable to the TV and leave it there. You can then play and enjoy from your couch or chair using the wireless controller. The SHIELD Wireless Controller also has it’s own 3.5 mm audio jack and built-in microphone so that you won’t have to use the Portable’s equivalent ports when it is a few feet away.

The update also brings in other changes, like the new SHIELD Hub app that rebrands and replaces the former TegraZone app. GameStream, which lets you play some of your PC games on your SHIELD Portable or Tablet, has also been improved, now with new onscreen controls. Netflix HD now also supports 1080p quality video when streaming in Console Mode. Plus, unique to devices that have wired connections, the SHIELD Portable’s notification bar now sports an Ethernet icon of its own. That is, when connected via Ethernet and not WiFi or mobile.

With the integration of the SHIELD Wireless Controller into the SHIELD Portable, NVIDIA has practically come full circle, completing its new SHIELD Triumvirate. It will be interesting to see how the Android gaming market, and the entire gaming market in general, respond to this new thrust. While the SHIELD Portable was regarded to be well-favored and popular, it wasn’t considered exactly a retail success. The SHIELD Tablet, with its hybrid gaming and note-taking purposes, is still too new and might be too niche to make a dent. The SHIELD Wireless Controller, on the other hand, is too exclusive to the SHIELD to make it of any use beyond NVIDIA’s currently limited ecosystem.

SOURCE: NVIDIA

Download official Xperia firmware with XperiFirm

Posted by wicked August - 4 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

With the demise of the Sony Update Service software, it seemed that all Sony Xperia handset users were doomed to use PC Companion, which is now Sony’s only recommended software for getting firmware updates. So it is relatively a good thing that software like XDA Senior Member IaguCool’s XperiFirm is available for when you want to get the current firmware for your Xperia device officially from Sony servers without hassle.

Official interface software tend to be bloated with features that consumers won’t normally use, and for one, that equates to a pretty heavy download and installation that you wouldn’t normally acquiesce to (but then you have to). That is unfortunately the case with Sony’s PC Companion, and that was why the SUS software was so famous with Xperia users, until recently when Sony announced that it was killing off support for that specific software.

XperiFirm was developed not really in SUS’s mold, but certainly in the spirit of giving Sony and Sony-Ericsson device users a hassle free search for current firmware. XperiFirm searches Sony’s online servers for the latest firmware available, and only the ones that exist on Sony’s servers. From there, users can pick which one they want and download it through the app, and then decrypt it to output an easily usable FTF file (Xperia users should be familiar with this).

XperiFirm-1

There is more information about the app from its original XDA thread here. Initially, the app requires that your PC be running Java Runtime Environment and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or better. Look for the download link via the source link below, and also check the original XDA theread if you have any questions.

VIA: Xperia Blog

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