Monday, July 21, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Duos receives Android 4.4 KitKat

      The plain, 'vanilla' Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini still hasn't been on the receiving end of the update to Android 4.4 KitKat. This despite the fact that the S4 Mini Black Edition started getting the new software in mid-June.
      And today it's the dual-SIM version's turn. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Duos (sporting the model number GT-I9192) is now in the process of being updated to what is still the latest version of Android.

      Unfortunately though, the rollout is limited to Russia for now. So if you bought your Galaxy S4 Mini Duos from there, you should get a notification about the new Android version any day now. After applying the update, you'll be on software build I9192XXUCNG2.
       It's interesting to see that Samsung is still ignoring the single-SIM GT-I9190 Galaxy S4 Mini and not letting it get its taste of KitKat. In fact, that phone is still stuck on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for whatever reason. Hopefully it will get updated too - sooner, rather than later.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

[Deal Alert] Refurbished 32GB Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition On eBay Daily Deals For $349.99

If you were tempted to pick up a refurbished Galaxy Note 10.1 during the deal we posted earlier this week, but the 16GB internal storage left you wanting, an even more enticing offer just appeared on eBay. For just $11 more, you can score a model with 32GB built-in!
Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 11.17.47 AM
Specs:
  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 Super LCD display (~299 ppi)
  • Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz Quadcore + 1.3 GHz Quadcore)
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage + MicroSD expandable storage
  • Wi-Fi
  • 8MP rear camera / 2MP front camera
  • S-Pen Stylus
These are manufacturer refurbished units and should operate as if they are fresh off the factory floor, but they may have "light signs of use." This is a pretty remarkable deal for a 2014 model (released Oct 2013), especially since $415 is the lowest price available for a matching refurbished unit on Amazon. Quantities are limited, so hurry over and snag one before they are all gone.
Shipping is limited to the United States and Canada. Buyers in the U.S. will also enjoy free shipping.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Best Android Apps, December 2013

Check out the latest and greatest in apps for your Android device with our monthly app roundup.


Humble Bundle

Name your price, and it’s all in a good cause.
 
Name your price | By: Various developers | Download fromwww.humblebundle.com
OK, so we’re cheating a little this month with Humble Bundle for Android, because it’s more of an app resource than an app, but we’re comfortable with stretching the rules a little this one time, because Humble Bundle is definitely something you should know about.
Every few months or so, the HB team curates a selection of some of the best Android games available and sells them in a special collection for which you can pay whatever you want (and decide where the money goes). Humble Bundle is also available on desktop, but on mobile it’s an Android exclusive (as other OSs restrict side-loading apps). Sign up to keep in the loop when the next HB hits, and check out the HB Beta app too, which lets you manage your purchases.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

 
Price: Free | By: Microsoft | Download from: Google Play
There’s already a number of remote control and remote desktop style apps out there in the mobile marketplace (with Splashtop being one of the most prominent apps), and once you’re invested in one that works well for you most users are probably happy to stay put.
But Remote Desktop, a new release from Microsoft, is worth a look. For starters it’s free (on both Android and iOS), and doesn’t require you to install any client software on the host PC like most other solutions. However, this comes with a significant caveat: to support Remote Desktop your Windows PC of choice will need to be a Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate variant of the OS. Entry-level Home editions (including Windows 8) aren’t supported out of the box.

Rdio

 
Price: Free | By: Rdio | Download from: Google Play
There’s an awful lot of competition in the streaming music space, and it’s only getting tighter with tech giants like Google and Apple muscling in on the territory staked out by Spotify and Co. While some of the services on the market offer free streaming options (in addition to commercial subscriptions), it seems none have been willing to let their mobile apps provide this functionality — with the exception of Guvera, which offers free ad-supported listening on mobile.
Rdio is the first of the big-name players to go free on mobile, offering its radio-esque Stations feature for free on Rdio mobile apps on Android and iOS (and with no ads to boot). There’s about a zillion stations on offer, including genres and artist-specific playback. Free and no ads: simply awesome.

Delver

 

Price: $1.96 | By: Priority Interrupt | Download from: Google Play
Looking more than a tad like a Minecraft-inspired effort (or perhaps even Ultima Underworld, when the appearance of pixels wasn’t an ironic stylisation, if your memory stretches back that far), Delver is a nostalgia-flavoured first-person dungeon crawler that charges you with recovering the ‘Yithidian orb’. (That’s actually about as far as the plot goes.)
And the simplistic setup isn’t Delver’s only oddity. Each level is randomly generated, ensuring no two quests are ever the same, and the game also features a rather punishing ‘perma-death’ system: get slashed by too many swords or struck by too many mystic fireballs and your adventuring is over for good. A fun game, if a little difficult to get to grips with. Also available on Win/Mac/Linux.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to Restore Access to App Ops in Android 4.4.2+

app-ops-in-android-settings
Google removed access to App Ops, the hidden Android app permission manager interface, in Android 4.4.2. App Ops is still present in Android, however — with root access, we can get it back.
The cat-and-mouse game with Google’s Android developers continues. We’ll have to continue the battle until Google waves the white flag and admits that we users should be able to control access to our own private data.

Root + Xposed Framework + AppOpsXposed

This trick will allow us to regain access to the App Ops interface. To do this, we’ll need three things:
  • Root Access: Google has completely disabled access to App Ops for mere mortals, but it’s still available deep in the stock Android ROM as of 4.4.2. With full root access, we can take it back.
  • Xposed Framework: The Xposed Framework is a tool that allows us tomodify parts of the system that would normally require flashing a ROM. With the Xposed Framework and root access, we can make these sorts of system-level tweaks. These tweaks allow us to modify system apps at runtime without directly modifying their files.
  • AppOpsXposed: This Xposed Framework module restores access to App Ops and adds an App Ops option to Android’s main Settings app.
First, you’ll need to root your device. How you do this depends on your device. If you have a Nexus device, we like WugFresh’s Nexus Root Toolkit, which will walk you through the entire process.
nexus-root-toolkit-automated-rooting
Once rooted, you’ll need to enable the “Unknown Sources” option, download the Xposed framerwork Installer APK file from its official website, and install it on your device.
Launch the Xposed Installer after it’s installed, tap the Framework option, and tap Install/Update.
install-xposed-framework
With the framework installed, tap Modules in the app to view modules you can download. Scroll down and tap the AppOpsXposed module, then tap the Download button to install it.
install-appopsxposed
Enable the module in the Modules list and reboot your device to activate your tweaks.
enable-xposed-framework-module
You’ll see an App Ops option in Android’s Settings app, where it belongs. Tap the app to access the now-unhidden App Ops interface.
restore-appops-in-android-4.4.2

Root + App Ops X 

If you already have root access, you can still use the paid App Ops X. App Ops X is an “eXtended” and recompiled version of Google’s App Ops tool with additional features. Once you pay for an in-app purchase, the installer app downloads App Ops X and uses its root access to install it to your system partition.

App Ops X is noteworthy because it continues to function normally on Android 4.4.2, even after Google broke the standard version of App Ops. If Google were to entirely remove the included version of App Ops on a newer version of Android released after 4.4.2, it’s possible that App Ops X would still continue to function and would become the best option.
If nothing else, this shows a path forward if Google were to remove App Ops entirely. Developers could recompile the App Ops interface and use root access to install it to the system partition. Google says that App Ops just exposes system APIs that are being used elsewhere in the system — for example, to restrict notification permissions or control which SMS app has the ability to send SMS messages. Thus, Google wouldn’t be able to stop us from doing this without removing access to the lower-level APIs themselves, even if they removed the interface entirely.
install-appops-x

CyanogenMod and Other Custom ROMs

Rather than start playing a cat-and-mouse game with Google’s Android developers, who may start attempting to break the App Ops interface and disable even these tricks in future versions of Android, you may just want to install a custom ROM.
For example, CyanogenMod includes its own permission manger that’s now based on App Ops. Cyanogenmod’s developers likely won’t remove access to App Ops in a minor update. Even before App Ops existed, Cyanogenmod incorporated its own app permission manager that allowed users to control what apps could and couldn’t do on their own devices.

Motorola Moto G Gets Android 4.4.2 KitKat Update Early

That inexpensive Moto G smartphone continues to do things ahead of schedule by getting an early OS update. Motorola announced that it’s rolling out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update to some of the handsets already, to Moto G phones that were purchased on Motorola’s website or Amazon in the U.S.

There’s no word on when carrier versions of the Moto G will see the KitKat update--Motorola simply says that’s all coming “soon”. 

Motorola Moto G

New features include enhanced touchless control so you can perform certain tasks without actually having to unlock your phone; improved Active Display to offer notifications even when the display is off; and the same Camera features of the Moto X, including drag-to-focus, manual exposure capabilities, exposure lock for panoramic shots, and more.

The Moto G is the less expensive alternative to the Moto X and costs just $179 off contract.

ANDROID 4.4 KITKAT STARTS SPREADING

Google has announced Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of its mobile operating system, and while we know it’ll make its debut on the Nexus 5, how long will we have to wait for it to make an appearance on other phones? Information has been coming through from various sources, and there’s good news almost all round.

Here’s a rundown of all the official announcements, along with any less formal news we’ve heard, to make sure you know when the new version of Android is coming for your device.

Updated on 12/20/2013 by Andy: As the year comes to an end, manufacturers are busily preparing Android 4.4 updates. Motorola in particular has been hard at work, and has now announced the new software for the Moto G and Verizon’s Droid range.

Google and its Nexus hardware

Android 4.4 KitKat has slightly deviated from the tradition of previous versions, which all debuted on Nexus hardware, by deciding to also hit the Verizon Moto X at around the same time. Don’t worry though, Google confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat will come to the Nexus 4 smartphone, plus the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet. The Google Editions of the Galaxy S4 and the HTCOne will also be getting some chocolatey Android goodness.

As of November 12, the Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013 models) and the Nexus 10 should start getting the update, and although no official word has come through, reports spread on November 20 that it’s starting to arrive on Nexus 4 smartphones too. Eagle-eyed Nexus fans will notice the Galaxy Nexus isn’t included in the list, and sure enough, the two-year old phone won’t be getting any more Google love.
HTC One updates soon



Moving on to other manufacturers, HTC talked about getting Android 4.4 on its devices almost immediately after it was announced. According to the president of HTC America, Google Editions of the One would be first on the list, and the developer and unlocked versions would join it by the end of November. He went on to say HTC One phones locked to a network should see it around February 2014 or earlier if everything went well.

A tweet sent though the HTC USA Twitter account on November 13 confirmed the update for the Google Play edition of the HTC One was with Google, and that it was responsible for pushing the update. A Google+ post from the official Android account on November 26 confirmed the update was being sent out.

Subsequently, HTC also said Android 4.4 would be out for the Developer Edition and SIM-free HTC One before the end of November. It was right on the money too, as on November 29 it sent out another message saying Android 4.4 KitKat was out for unlocked One phones and the HTC One Developer Edition.

In the UK, HTC plans to have Android 4.4 and HTC Sense 5.5 for the One smartphone ready for the end of January 2014. As for the HTC One Max and One Mini, there’s no date at this time, but the update for both will arrive in the near future.
Samsung’s KitKat updates are coming

While HTC is working hard to keep us informed about Android 4.4, Samsung hasn’t been quite so forthcoming about its plans. In a statement provided to CNet UK, it says it will be announcing rollout plans for Android 4.4, “In due course.” We’d imagine the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 will be at the top of Samsung’s list for updates, with the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3both prime candidates too.

Samsung has announced update schedules in the past, then been burned by missing self-imposed deadlines, so it’s no surprise to see them keeping quiet. We also wonder if maintaining compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch will slow things down, as Android 4.3 is still only just rolling out to some S4 owners.

While Samsung hasn’t provided any official statements, French network SFR hasn’t been able to control itself. In a brief blog post, it says an update to Android 4.4 will be coming for the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 in late January or early February next year. While it’s talking about its own devices, if network locked updates for those two devices really are coming at that time, we should see unlocked phones getting Android 4.4 around the same time, if not a little before. We doubt Samsung will share any news until it’s ready to be sent out, but at least this gives us hope.

As for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, a post on the official Android Google+ page confirmed the new version was sent out on November 26.
Motorola Moto X and Moto G top of its list



Thanks to Motorola’s website dedicated to software updates, it confirms the Moto X will be getting Android 4.4. The first Moto X’s to get a taste are those connected to Verizon, and Motorola has confirmed a staggered rollout will begin on November 19. Those with Moto X phones on other networks should be getting good news very soon.

Digging through Motorola’s upgrade list, Verizon’s Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, and Droid Maxx are also all scheduled to get the new software, and the newly released Motorola Moto G is also getting Android 4.4 KitKat before January 2014.

On December 19 via a tweet, Verizon announced it had started updating the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx to Android 4.4 KitKat. It says the new version is being delivered in stages, so if it’s not already waiting on your phone, it will be coming very soon.

Motorola is ahead of schedule with its Moto G update, having confirmed in a blog post that U.S. versions of the phone will be receiving Android 4.4 updates from December 19, and not next year as originally promised. It says phones purchased through Amazon and Motorola are first on the list, while Moto G phones bought from networks will follow soon.
Sony to update modern Xperia hardware

Sony has talked about its plans for Android 4.4, and it’s all good news. The company will be updating its Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Zl, and the Xperia Tablet Z to the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. Like most others, it doesn’t provide an arrival date, and says the launch will be “phased” and depend on where you live and the network on which you’re registered.
LG’s on a diet, avoiding KitKat until March 2014

As LG is responsible for the Nexus 5, we’d been expecting to hear something official about Android 4.4 KitKat for the LG G2 quite quickly. Instead, there were a few vague rumors from a French network about it coming in the new year, which were redacted soon after publication, before Canadian site MobileSyrup.com said it had been informed by LG that Android 4.4 wouldn’t be coming to the G2 until March 2014 at the earliest.

On December 15 we got our first piece of official news. LG published a short press release on its blog, saying the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the G2 was, “In progress,” in Korea. However, no specific release information was provided for international devices, only that we should expect another announcement in the future. It’s looking like the March 2014 estimate will, sadly, be accurate.
Huawei to update flagship Ascend P6

Huawei has confirmed on the Sina Weibo social network it would be skipping Android 4.3, and instead working on having Android 4.4 KitKat ready for the Ascend P6 smartphone. It’s hoped the software will be ready by January 2014, but it’s not clear when it’ll be distributed internationally.

It’s important to remember the dates provided by manufacturers are rarely set in stone, and can change. Along with any issues which may turn up as the software is worked on, we shouldn’t forget that updates must also pass through the networks for approval, a process which can take several weeks. Even when it gets the green light, distribution is usually staggered to help identify any previously unseen problems, meaning it could take a while to get to your phone.



Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-4-4-kitkat-phone-list/#ixzz2oDgwvw8H
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Google Android 4.4 KitKat

Google Android 4.4 builds on the success of Jelly Bean with KitKat, a powerful mobile operating system that makes up for its lack of candy coating with a solid framework. You can look forward to always listening Google Now, a new dialer that brings the power of search to your phone calls, and tons of tweaks under the hood to make this the slickest version of Android to date. But despite being fast and reliable, there's not much new for users to sink their teeth into with KitKat. Android users waiting for a response to the bold redesign of Apple's iOS 7 will have to wait, because KitKat is pretty much status quo.
Setting Up Your KitKat
I've always been impressed with Android's setup process, which walks you through the core features of the OS while you enter your information. Once you've set up your phone to the appropriate language, Wi-Fi network, and so on, a series of transparent overlays point out useful features including Google Now and the improved notification tray. Apple, on the other hand, makes you guess at the new features.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
Your phone doesn't require a Google account, but it can't do much without one.  I was a bit annoyed that I had to log in twice, once in the OS and again on a Google Web page, to access my two-factor secured account. I expected that a device so closely tied to Google's services would handle security with a little more grace. It also bothered me that the powerful anti-theft tool Android Device Manager was not featured during the setup process. Users should know that the Device Manager is available and encouraged to make use of it. That said, I did like that the service is fully activated on my KitKat phone, an Editors' Choice winning Nexus 5$448.00 at Amazon, requiring no additional setup from me.
InterfaceIf you're coming from a Samsung phone, as I was, you'll probably notice that KitKat is a far sleeker and more subtle experience than you've seen before. It's also lightning-fast; the OS felt like it was positively leaping at me on the Nexus 5.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
The color scheme is traditional gray and light blue, with some colors flipped from the previous version. The biggest aesthetic change is that Google has done away with the ever-present black bar across the top, letting the time and battery level hover above the wallpaper. 
A neat extra: Wallpapers move slightly beneath your apps as you swipe left and right, giving you a sense of depth and movement. It's not as whizz-bang as iOS 7's parallax effect, but it feels enjoyably futuristic.

Google pioneered features like the notification tray, where swiping down from the top reveals alerts and also controls for some app functions like music playback in Play Music. There's also a flip-able tile in the notification tray for fast access to settings such as Wi-Fi and Airplane Mode. Apple introduced some of these features into iOS 7, but Android keeps it simple with just a single pane. However, tablet users should note that KitKat retains the annoying twin pulldown menus—one for notifications and the other for settings.
With KitKat, Google has further expanded the role of its new Hangouts app. At first, it merely handled Google+ text and video chat, but it has since subsumed Google Talk, and now in 4.4, it swallows up SMS messaging as well. I actually found it quite convenient to handle all my chatting from a single interface. But it does push instant messaging toward an SMS model where everyone is available all the time. You can now set moods and availability messages, but you can never shut off Hangouts—only suppress its notifications.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
Hangouts is also a great place for Google to debut its new emojis. These funny and bizarre images can be mixed in with text, but are special characters and not sticker-like images. You'll find a startlingly large array of faces, animals, and arcane symbols in here. Compared with Apple's emojis, I actually preferred Google's, which are bigger and more colorful. Best of all, the emoticons map to Apple's emoji keyboard, so anyone with an iPhone or Android will also see what you're trying to say. Many of the new features in Hangouts are available to all Android users who download the updated app, not just to KitKat users.
Google, determined to make NFC payments a thing, has baked in support for key NFC actions to KitKat. Google is using its own open architecture for NFC payments so any KitKat phone, regardless of wireless carrier, can be used as a digital wallet in brick-and-mortar stores. I tested it with the Google Wallet app, but it apparently works with other NFC payment apps as well. The biggest challenge with NFC payments remains the rarity of stores equipped to handle them.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
Even the humble calling app has been visually refreshed with an infusion of search data. For instance, Android will apparently search Google Maps for the phone numbers of unknown callers, in case any of them happen to be listed businesses. It also lets you search by text or voice; in testing the feature, I said "The Compleat Strategist," and it searched my contacts as well as the Web to find the number of a nearby game shop. While nice, it's one more personal information setting to worry about. Adjust your Google Account settings online to keep people from finding your Google Account by searching your phone number.
Google Now first appeared in Jelly Bean, and the Moto X$499.99 at Amazon was the first phone that was always listening for the "OK Google" voice command, which activates Google Now. In Android 4.4, Google Now and the "always listening" voice search features are center stage and a remarkable and integral part of the KitKat experience.
Note that, unfortuantely, not every phone that runs KitKat takes advantage of the always listening features. My Nexus 4 $379.89 at Amazon responded to my voice, but a colleague'sSony Z Ultra Google Play Edition did nothing.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
At its most basic, Google Now returns Google search results using its amazing speech-to-text technology. I had no trouble searching for Korean food, even with my mouth full of Korean food. However, Google Now delivers its best content on special cards, like weather, stocks, and driving directions. For example, it was easy to check if it was raining and then get directions to my favorite comic shop Bergen Street Comics, without ever touching my phone.
While Google Now does a great job transcribing my speech, I had to speak in specific operators, which didn't feel as natural as using Apple's Siri. "OK Google, directions from home to work" delivers a very useful map card while "OK Google, get directions home" does nothing useful.
Google Android 4.4 KitKat
It got on my nerves that Google Now dumps you into search results whenever it can't pull up a card. I felt like I was being misunderstood. For example, both Siri and Google Now can create new alarms, but they can't edit existing ones. Ask Siri to cancel an alarm and she says she can't; ask Google Now, and you'll get search results for "cancel my alarm." Say what you will about Siri's fake personality, but she often explains the system's limitations rather than leave you guessing. Both are much better than Windows Phone's Speech, which can call, text, open apps, and search the Web, but little else.
Despite these annoyances, Google Now does quite well when stacked up against Apple's Siri.  I prefer Google Now's graphical cards, and I really liked how it remained available on the far-left pane of the home screen—unlike Siri which vanishes once you're done. Google Now is at its best when cards are available, though it also provides a great way to quickly pull information from the Web.
Beyond Google Now, one of Android's defining features is the ability to place custom widgets on your lockscreen or homescreen. Apple's rigid grid of apps and tightly controlled system don't allow for that. Instead, you're meant to ask Siri about whatever you need. 
Little Extras
If you love Android but you don't care for how Android looks, you can always replace the default launcher with something more to your taste.  In KitKat, Google has reached out to these modders (and, perhaps, the providers who mask Google's work behind their own custom interfaces) with a new settings option to manage all your launchers.
KitKat has made it easier to change your phone's wallpaper, too, and even lets you reorganize whole pages of apps on your home screen. Just tap and hold the home screen. Also, the Swype-like gesture typing and predictive typing Google Keyboard is still standard on KitKat devices.
Taking a page from iOS, Android 4.4 now fills your lockscreen with album art while music is playing. Also in the eye-candy department is the new Immersive Mode that fills the screen with app content, pushing nav bars out of sight. This last feature is best experienced in the Play Books app where eBooks and magazines fill the entire screen for a great reading experience.
Most of the improvements in Android 4.4 won't be immediately obvious to users, but developers will surely appreciate them. For instance: Google's developer documentation crows that KitKat is more efficient than ever, requiring as little as 512MB of RAM to operate. This is a great move for Google, potentially opening up a world of lower-end smartphones in developing countries and older devices that have languished on older versions of Android. But users on current-generation phones will probably only notice that Android feels crisper and more responsive.
Along with improved efficiency in the OS are more efficient tools for developers. Users probably won't notice that pedometer apps like Moves are using Android 4.4's step-counting tools instead of rolling their own, but they might notice a slight boost in battery life.
When it comes to apps, Google definitely has an impressive collection in Google Play, but they rarely feel as polished and well-made as iOS apps. Android also requires you to accept all permissions requested by an app when you download it, while iOS provides some finer grain controls.
I couldn't test all the features in Android 4.4 since some, such as the built-in support for IR blasters to change TV channels, weren't supported by my Nexus 5 or my Nexus 7Best Price at Amazon. Other features, like closed captioning, didn't appear to be used by any apps I could find (not even Google apps). Still others, like active application sandboxes hardened with Security-Enhanced Linux and increased cryptographic capability just aren't accessible to users. Oh well.
Philosophical Differences
Android is smarter, leaner, faster, and more capable than ever—and though it currently lacks exciting new features it's still a strong contender against that other mobile heavyweight: iOS 7. But  iOS 7 distinguishes itself with a very powerful design language that governs everything from the visual appearance to how you're encouraged to interact with the device. Likewise, BlackBerry 10 has an emphasis on moving "forward" and a central communication hub, while Windows Phone 8 bet big with a bold tile interface. That's not to say that Android is broken, but it doesn't always feel logical or designed.
Instead of high-design, Android offers a clean frame for developers, carriers, and even users to build upon. Anyone can go onto Google Play and download themes to dramatically change the look and feel of their Android device. In fact, most people will probably experience Android 4.4 as seen through a custom interface from a hardware manufacturer or a wireless carrier (if at all). If you want Android 4.4, seek it out in its purest form on phones like the Nexus 5 and the Moto X.
The mobile environment has been defined by the tension between the four main operating systems but now more than ever it feels like the ball is in Google's court to make Android feel fresh and innovative. Android 4.4 is an excellent mobile operating system that outdoes its predecessor, but it feels more status quo than forward thinking when compared to the competition. Windows 8.1 is a bold statement about usability and what it means to be mobile, but its weak app store and slow adoption rate make it a dark horse. BlackBerry 10 suffers from its association with itself. iOS helped define what a mobile operating system should be, and its seventh version balances great user experience with strict design. Backed by the excellent App Store and a modernized new look, it gets an Editors' Choice for mobile operating systems. 
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