While Android’s notification system is far superior to the iPhone’s in almost every way, Google could certainly make some improvements to the way in which we receive alerts when our smartphones are locked. All we get with stock Android is a tone and a blinking LED.
Fortunately, there are some third-party solutions that offer a lot more. SlideLock displays iPhone-style notifications on your lock screen so that you can read messages and emails without having to unlock.
HTC really nailed it when it designed the flagship HTC One, and because the device has received so much praise, the Taiwanese company has followed it up with a whole host of alternatives in different sizes that carry the same look. The Desire 700 is the latest, but it’s vastly different from the rest.
It looks just like the One, but it’s made of plastic, not aluminum. It also has entry-level specifications coupled with a price tag that’ll make your eyes water.
Samsung has today begun rolling out its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update to the international Galaxy S III (GT-I9300), just weeks after the update was made available to Galaxy S4 owners. The release brings a whole host of new features and improvements, including Galaxy Gear support, the ability to move apps to the SD card, and lots of user interface updates.
Google Now for Android is now even more useful thanks to a handful of new cards that have been added this week. You can now get car rental information, concert tickets, and NCAA football scores — and there’s even an awesome commute sharing card that’ll let you inform loved ones that you’re on your way home when you leave work.
There have also been some improvements to existing cards, including those for public transit and TV.
One of the best and most popular features on Motorola’s flagship smartphone, the Moto X, is its Active Display functionality which automatically displays important notifications on the lock screen without any user input. This attribute was a Moto X exclusive at launch, and in less than not time a replica was developed exclusively for Android 4.3 users, which is now available to download on any 4.1 Jelly Bean device.
Samsung has begun rolling out its Android 4.2.2 update for the Galaxy S II Plus, much to the bemusement of users with the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II. Those devices are still waiting to be upgraded from Android 4.1, and given that they were both flagships last year, it’s a little surprising that they’re still waiting to get the latest version of Jelly Bean.
Sony has today revealed its Android 4.3 upgrade plans for Xperia smartphones and tablets. It’s good news if you own an Xperia Z or one of its many variants, as well as the Xperia SP — all of which will get Android 4.3 at some point. Sony also says it is looking at “uplifting some of our other devices running 4.1 direct to 4.3.”
Verizon’s Droid Xyboard owners find themselves in a very interesting situation after the carrier announced their cellular devices will be the only devices to receive the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, whilst their Wi-Fi counterparts will remain on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Wi-Fi devices generally surpass their cellular twins on a regular basis when it comes to software updates. So what we’re seeing today is pretty unusual.
Sony is pushing out an update for its Xperia ZL, including the North American unlocked LTE model, bumping it up to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean — the latest Android release. If you wish to update your handset, you’ll have to do so using Sony’s PC Companion app for PC, or Sony Bridge for Mac.