LG G2 owners may have to wait a while to get the Android 4.4 KitKat software that their Nexus 5-toting counterparts already enjoy. A spokesperson for the company's Canadian branch informsMobileSyrup that the G2 should get its KitKat upgrade late in the first quarter of 2014 -- in other words, March. While that will disappoint early adopters, LG does note that every local carrier will receive the update at about the same time. Whether or not Americans will see the new OS any sooner is another matter. We've asked the company about its US upgrade schedule, and we'll let you know if it can provide some details.
Watch out if someone sends a flood of text messages to your Nexus phone -- they may be trying to break in or otherwise cause havoc. IT administrator Bogdan Alecu has discovered an Android bug that triggers exploitable behavior in the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 whenever they're hit by a large volume of Class 0 SMS messages, or texts that aren't automatically stored on the phone. The denial of service attack usually forces the handset to reboot, but it can also disable the network connection (if temporarily) or crash the messaging app. Non-Nexus hardware appears to be safe, although Alecu notes that he hasn't had a chance to test a wide variety of gadgets. Regardless of the problem's scale, affected users will have to be cautious for a while; Google tellsPCWorld that it's looking into the exploit, but there's no word on just when we can expect a patch.
Update: There's already a firewall app in Google Play that protects against the exploit. Thanks, Chipsy4!
BlackBerry's tentative step into the world of feed-based social networking, BBM Channels, is at last leaving beta. As of 3PM Eastern, those with BlackBerry 10 and classic BlackBerry OS devices can use the Tumblr-like service for themselves, subscribing to content feeds from both major providers and their friends. Android and iOS users, meanwhile, will have to sit tight -- BlackBerry says that Channels support for their platforms is arriving in the "coming months."
The Moto G may not reach the US until January, but that doesn't mean it will be unavailable on North American shores until then. Motorola's budget wunderkind has just reached the continent through Canada's Telus and its low-cost Koodo brand. Both carriers are selling the 8GB smartphone for $200 CAD ($189 US) off-contract; thriftier shoppers can get the Moto G for free on a two-year Telus agreement, or $50 at Koodo with a $150 use tab. Other local carriers aren't expected to offer the Moto G in the near future, so this may represent the best chance of getting the handset for both Canucks and eager American importers.
It's a tale of two phones this week, along with their respective OSes, of course. Your host Brad Molen is joined by TechnoBuffalo's Jon Rettinger to dig deep into Nokia's 1520 and the Windows Phone OS. There's also an in-depth look at what makes Google's Nexus 5 so good (KitKat is surely part of it) and how the device's price point may help tip the future of smartphones in the consumers' favor. Proof of concept phones are also on the table and we'll see how LG's G Flex and Samsung's Galaxy Round stand up to the scrutiny. So, slot some time into your schedule and head to the streaming links below for another engaging and informative episode of the Engadget Mobile Podcast!
Many students have trouble scrounging up money for loan payments, let alone cellular service. Thankfully, Sprint and Best Buy have teamed up on a promotional cellphone plan built for these non-existent budgets. The My Way promo adds a line with a year of free phone service to a parent's existing account; customers just need to sign up at Best Buy and prove that Junior is going to school, whether it's elementary or college. As you'd expect, though, there's a big catch. While the plan includes unlimited calls and messaging, data is capped at 1GB per month unless you pay an extra $10 per month for unfettered internet access. Even so, it's a potentially huge bargain for students who get in before the deal ends January 1st -- they may finally have cash to spend on the finer things in life.
Whereas Netflix has expanded quickly onto numerous mobile platforms in the UK, Amazon can't claim the same for its own streaming service, Lovefilm. Aside from the obvious Kindle support, Lovefilm's iOS app has been iPad-only for two years, with iPhone and iPod Touch owners only being included from today. On the plus side, the app brings AirPlay and IMdB integration, and Lovefilm has been working hard to rack up morecontent in the UK -- having historically been regarded as stronger than Netflix in terms of its movie library. Meanwhile, there's still nary a peep of a Lovefilm Android app -- something even the most recent streaming contender, Wuaki.tv, has managed to deliver.
Apple offers iPhones through both large and small US carriers these days, but it has so far given Boost Mobile the cold shoulder. That may soon change, however -- @evleaks has just leaked ads hinting that Boost will get the iPhone 5c and 5s in the near future. While the images don't reveal any launch dates or pricing, they suggest that both smartphones will be eligible for the provider's "shrinking" unlimited rates. The expansion isn't all that crucial given the upcoming 5c and 5s launches through Virgin Mobile, but it doesn't hurt to have another option for low-cost iPhone service.
We hope you don't want to use a heart rate monitor while running with your Lumia 1020 -- you'll likely be out of luck. Nokia Australia claims that Bluetooth 4.0 support won't be coming to existing high-end Lumias like the 820, 925 and 1020. There are "hardware limitations" that prevent an upgrade, the company explains. We've reached out to Nokia for clarification, but the company may have hinted at those limits when launching the Adidas miCoach app -- it mentioned that only the Lumia 520, 620 and 720 would work with Adidas' heart monitors. The restrictions will no doubt frustrate some owners, although we suspect that Nokia may improve its Bluetooth support with the next wave of Lumia hardware.
Update: Nokia Germany spokesman Ben Lampe says that Bluetooth 4.0 support will come to all Windows Phone 8-based Lumias through a post-Amber update. Clearly, there are conflicting responses; we're hoping to get a definitive answer soon.
There have been rumors that TSMC would handle some of Apple's future chip production, but details of the purported arrangement have been vague. The Korea Economic Daily may have just filled us in, however. It claims that Samsung will make 30 to 40 percent of Apple's A8 processors next year, with TSMC presumably assembling the lion's share. Apple wanted TSMC to be the sole manufacturer, but the challenge of building 20 nanometer-class chips led to a supplementary agreement with Samsung, according to the Daily's tipsters. Neither side has commented on the report, so take it with a large grain of salt. If the story is accurate, though, it suggests that Apple will have only modest success in excluding its arch-rival's technology from next-generation iOS devices.