Samsung Galaxy S5 & HTC M8 rumors, slow Nexus 4 KitKat updates, avoiding broken displays – Android Q&A

November 27, 2013
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Welcome to this week’s edition of Android Q&A! As always, we try to answer as many of your great questions as possible. Coming up this week – rumors surrounding the upcoming flagships from Samsung and HTC, delayed Android 4.4 Kitkat updates for Nexus devices, and avoiding broken displays. Let’s get started!


Question 1

Why is taking so long for Nexus devices to get the Android 4.4 Kitkat update? – Victor Lazo

Answer

First, the update is rolled out in stages, based on geographical location. So, if you’ve heard about users in another country receiving the update, the rollout in your region might still take a while. In some cases, there are also network providers to deal with, hence the need for a staged update rollout.

Secondly, the delay might be caused due to a critical bug release that was found by Android developer Al Sutton, that had to do with encryption. This bug could have left encrypted devices undecryptable if the user entered the wrong password after an update. While unconfirmed by Google, it is likely that they wanted to fix this serious issue before rolling out the update.


Question 2

Why can other phone companies not use stock Android on their phones? – ParagonRice

Answer

It all comes down to differentiation. Let’s assume that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC M8 feature similar specifications. If both have stock Android, what makes either device stand out (other than build quality, of course)? OEMs want to add value to the user experience and the device, to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Granted, a way to distinguish yourself in the current market would be for a device manufacturer to use vanilla Android. That might be what Android enthusiasts want, but from the perspective of the OEM, the differentiation comes from adding value to the device.


Question 3

What are some of the best Android phones coming out in 2014?

Answer

As always, the competition in 2014 is going to be intense. Today, there are two upcoming smartphones in particular that we’ll be taking a look at.

First is the successor to the HTC One, codenamed HTC M8. Rumors surrounding the HTC flagship are all over the place, with the smartphone expected to feature a 5-inch or 5.2-inch 1080p or 2K resolution display, 2/3 GB RAM, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

Always exciting is also the next flagship smartphone from Samsung. Let’s call it the Galaxy S5. This device is expected to feature a 5-inch flexible Super AMOLED display with 2K resolution, a flexible chassis, 64-bit octo-core processor, at least 3 GB RAM, 16MP rear camera with 4K video capture, quad front-facing speakers with S-Beats Audio technology, massive 4,000 mAh battery, and of course, Android 4.4 Kitkat with the latest version of TouchWiz on top.


Question 4

What are some of the best pressure-sensitive styluses for Android devices? – Bruno

Answer

While both the Incipio and Griffin styluses have received great reviews, but there doesn’t seem to be too many pressure-sensitive options available that match the quality of the S-Pen. Two articles that we recommend you check out here on Android Authority give you some more details on the S-Pen, and another explaining how the Sony Xperia Z Ultra features the tech to use any device as a stylus.


Question 5

How do I fix the cracked screen on my tablet? – Alicia

Answer

Unfortunately, fixing the cracked screen on your tablet can prove to be quite expensive, but is the only available option. Once fixed, or if you decide to get a new device, we recommend picking up a good protective case for your tablet to avoid similar accidents in the future. Look for a case that features a raised bezel around the front of the device. With these cases, even with a face down fall, the screen of the tablet should be protected. We do have a helpful video and article demonstrating how to replace your screen on the original Nexus 7 from 2012, if you’re curious to see how it gets done.


Don’t forget that the Android Q&A exists because of your great questions, so keep ‘em coming! Fill out the form below, and we’ll try to get to all your questions in next week’s edition of the show.

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