LG issued its KitKat update for carriers several weeks ago, but Verizon was unsurprisingly absent from the list of supported devices. That's nothing new because AT&T launched its update this week and Verizon has been late to issue Android firmware updates for several high-profile devices in recent years. Regardless of the delay, the LG G2 tied to the network has finally started its Android 4.4 KitKat update process. It's not yet ready for over-the-air updates, but if you download the Verizon Software Upgrade Assistant PC software, you can grab the update now. Instructions are available here. UPDATE: Now available as an OTA update by going to Settings app.
In my recent comparison of Cortana to Google Now and Siri, I noted that Apple iOS was the only tool that didn't have song identification built into its search tool. That may change in the next version of iOS. According to Bloomberg, Apple is partnering with Shazam to let users listen to a song and discover its title and artist. Launching Siri and saying "What song is playing" will identify the song and then use Apple's music services to purchase the song or create an iTunes Radio station.
In the event that someone is away from his or her computer and needs to access files on it, Google has released an app to make that possible. The Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android connects to software on the desktop that makes it possible to remotely control a Windows PC or Mac OS machine. An Android 4.0 or later device and this Chrome browser extension are required to use the app.
It's later than some other devices, but Android 4.4 KitKat has arrived for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. The update adds some UI enhancements, small performance boosts, and security patches. It also offers color emojis, a new lock screen with full-page album art, full-screen in some apps, better closed captioning, access to the camera from the lock screen, wireless printing, and setting volume in specific applications. Galaxy S4 Active owners can try to manually trigger the update by going to Settings > More > About Device > Select Software Update > Check for Updates. Be sure your phone has at least 75 percent battery life before applying the update.
T-Mobile has yet another deal for BlackBerry customers making the switch to a new phone. The first attempt at converting BlackBerry customers didn't go over very well, but now that it's no longer selling BB OS handsets and Samsung is footing the bill, now's as good a time as any to help people looking to move to a Samsung device. T-Mobile has a promotion that will give existing BlackBerry customers $200 if they switch to a Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, or other Samsung devices. The $200 will be given in the form of a gift card sent after service is established, so visit your local retailer or the T-Mobile website for more information.
China's Ministry of Commerce has approved Nokia's sale of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft. China is the latest regulator to approve the transaction, a process that took longer than expected because of approval issues in some parts of Asia. Microsoft and Nokia must still close the deal once all the necessary approvals are obtained, but Nokia anticipates the $7.2 billion deal being finalized at some point this month. Once completed, Nokia's handset division, product pipeline, and manufacturing assets will be run by former CEO and current Microsoft executive Stephen Elop.
Don't worry, you're not the only person scrambling to find the Google I/O registration link today. There isn't one because Google has pushed back the registration by one week. Registration will open Tuesday April 15 and run until Friday April 18. Anyone can register for a chance to purchase the $900 tickets to grant access to Google I/O and gear to help developers build new apps, but Google will select attendees at random. Students will be able to attend for $300. Google I/O 2014 registration will go live one week from today, so anyone interested in attending should start saving money just in case they are accepted.
At a time when Amazon is expected to announce a new media streaming product, Plex for Android just happens to have dropped its price by 80 percent. Plex, which streams multimedia content from a media server like your home computer to Chromecast or a mobile device, is now just $0.99 in the Amazon Appstore. The app typically costs $4.99, so this is a big markdown to grab if you plan to play your videos or music in different places and want a user-friendly option.
The LG G2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates has begun on Sprint. The update upgrades the phone to receive the performance enhancements and printing options introduced in Android 4.4, and it also fixes an unspecified issue with Next Radio. LG-specific changes include some UI tweaks, better Knock On response times, slightly better battery life, and enhanced security on the phone. The update is rolling out now, so users can go to Settings > About phone to check for a System Update and apply the latest software. Be sure to charge the phone to 75 percent battery before downloading.
EE has brought 4G LTE to its 187th town today with the launch of service in 12 new markets. It also expanded coverage in areas between Edingburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff and Swansea, so travelers between those towns should maintain decent service. Customers in the following locations can today upgrade to a 4G plan and enjoy faster service: Antrim, Bridgend, Burnley, Coleraine, Leigh, Livingston, Macclesfield, Newtownabbey, Nuneaton, Pontypool, Sittingbourne and Tamworth.