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Summary:

News of KitKat coming to more Galaxy Note 3 handsets is a good thing, unless you use a third-party case, that is. Asus showed off a pair of Nexus 7 docks while the Galaxy S5 home screen may have leaked, looking very different.

android-this-week

There’s good and bad news for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners this week. Android 4.4, or KitKat, is appearing in a software update for the handset in more regions. The software first started rolling out in Poland but has found its way to  India, South Korea, and Switzerland reports SamMobile. It’s sure to follow in more regions soon. Along with the update, however, are reports of third-party accessories not working the way they did prior to the KitKat upgrade.

Galaxy S 4 S-View cover

Cases in particular appear to have a problem. Many mimic Samsung’s own case for the Note 3, showing data through a windowed cutout when the phone is sleeping, for example. Last October, Samsung was reportedly testing a chip verification system to ensure accessories would be compatible with its devices, but the company never announced such a program. However, a software workaround that bypasses accessory verification appears to fix the issue with third-party accessories, indicating Samsung has implemented a hardware check.

asus nexus 7 wired dock

There’s no such check on the newest Nexus 7 docks. Asus published product pages for a pair of docks this week: one wired and one wireless. Both charge the 2013-edition of the Nexus 7 tablet and can prop up the tablet for watching video or browsing the web. The wired dock includes an HDMI port to shoot content to a larger display while the wireless dock simply charges the tablet; there’s no output from the dock. Neither dock is available in the U.S. yet. They have been sold in a few regions overseas for roughly $50.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 isn’t available in any country yet since it hasn’t been launched. That hasn’t stopped the leaks flowing about the company’s next flagship phone, however.

This week screen shots of the reported home screen for the handset appeared on the web, courtesy of @evleaks.

This looks like a combination of Samsung’s Magazine UX — found on its latest tablets — and the cards of Google Now, showing contextual information as well as notifications from contacts and social networks. The approach also reminds me of Facebook Home, the Android launcher that focuses more on content and less on apps.

If the Galaxy S5 does use this as a home screen, it would be a big departure from the company’s TouchWiz user interface. That’s probably not a bad thing as TouchWiz has become a little stale over the past three to four years. Samsung needs some type of software to differentiate itself from other Android phones while also improving the user experience.

Will this type of layout do that? It’s difficult to say, but I like the idea of more glanceable information from the home screen of a handset.

  1. If I wanted a Windows type phone. I would buy a Windows Phone. But I don’t want to Windows type phone. So hopefully you can change it back to regular widgets.

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  2. I downloaded the KitKat update OTA this morning in Warsaw, without having to resort to Kies. 360-odd megabytes, a smooth install, no bugs yet after a day’s testing.
    Galaxy Note 3 Changelog

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    1. Dominic [iuzzo Sunday, January 26, 2014

      That good news but I can’t beleive that Samsung is becoming moreproprietary like apple, I Love Samsung devices especially my note 3 but they’re starting to hurt android.

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  3. Dominic [iuzzo Sunday, January 26, 2014

    That good news but I can’t beleive that Samsung is becoming moreproprietary like apple, I Love Samsung devices especially my note 3 but they’re starting to hurt android.

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  4. I think the new upgrade 4.4.2 kit kat! I think sucks!! So for all it’s REALLY DONE is, Nothin!!! Lol!! I’m f****** serious NOTHING!!! All I’ve noticed is that the like battery simble used to be green and is now white! Why the hell would they make it an upgrade and make it white instead of a color or atleast the same like wtf!! So so far I’m REALLY disappointed!! STUPID ACUALLY, oh and 1 other thing to go along with that is the arrows the are at the bottom of the 4G and LTE symbols, 1 pointing down and 1 up symbolizing the network working like an arrow pointed up and down meaning the network or service going in and out of the phone, (“Sending & receiving”) information used to be different colors too, are not now and are white!! Rediculis that they wouldn’t be atleast stay the same being colors but not and to now white!!?? What’s the point of that!!?? We’re trying to make things more interesting and intrieging and more to catch the eye so I haven’t seen anything good from this upgrade to 4.4.2. So somebody PLEASE let me know what good this upgrade has done to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3! These upgrades are supposed to be good and make your cell phone better in SOME WAY ATLEAST and am I not right!?? SO FAR NOTHING!!! I AM REALLY DISAPOINTED!!! So if it’s going to make the S5 look REALLY GOOD, then that sucks for everybody else!!! So come on whom ever comes out with these upgrades, do something BETTER or make something better PLEASE cause so far this one sucks!! So thanx alot from whom ever came out with this, you could of done WAY BETTER and you know it! So unless there’s something I don’t know than please educat me or tell me what I am missing!;( If someone can tell me that there’s more too this that I’m missing I’ll give my email sachadixon5@gmail.com

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    1. This is a minor point upgrade so I wouldn’t expect major user interface changes. Most of the upgrade is behind the scenes stuff, tweaks or bug fixes.

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