Updated Nexus 9 factory images lead this week's Android device updates roundup

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Credit: Rob Schultz

The Nexus 9 is a pretty solid tablet. As part of Google’s Nexus program, you can grab the factory images and download them directly, freeing you to tinker away with your device and restore it to its original state if things go haywire.

Google uploaded a new image for its flagship tablet, solving an issue some were having with updating and squashing a few bugs along the way. 

Each week we gather up all the major software updates for the biggest devices; phones and tablets on U.S. carriers (and unlocked phones, of course), wearables, and round them all up so you don’t miss a thing.

Making sure your device installs the latest software is a good housekeeping practice, ensuring you have the latest features, close security holes, and squash those pesky bugs.

Nexus

Nexus 9: The latest factory image for the Nexus 9 is here, bringing some bug fixes and performance improvements to Google’s newest tablet. Version LRX21R is supposed to upgrade those who could not move from LRX21L to LRX21Q. If you can’t get the update over-the-air on your tablet, head to Google’s page and flash it yourself.

AT&T

Galaxy Note 3: Congratulations, you’re getting some extra AT&T and Samsung bloatware in your latest update. At least you’re getting bumped up to Android 4.4.4, which has some bug fixes and performance updates. But the over-the-air update also brings the Samsung-made Kid mode, SideSync 3.0, Knox 2.0, virtual tour mode in the camera app, and adds Uber to the list of apps you can’t uninstall (not exactly great timing).

Sprint

Galaxy S5: While Verizon’s variant got this update two months ago, the Sprint Galaxy S5 is finally getting Android 4.4.4. Beyond the security fixes and other improvements in the most recent build of KitKat, the download includes support for international Wi-Fi calling and an icon for accessing HD voice capabilities.

Verizon

LG G Vista: Verizon is pushing out a few user interface tweaks in update VS88011B. The most notable is a pop-up that displays caller information when you’re having a phone conversation. There’s also a camera button on the lock screen and improved performance with YouTube, which will be useful if you go with Google’s YouTube MusicKey service.

Huawei

Ascend Mate2: Huawei took some heat for announcing in a bizarre blog post that it would not be updating its Ascend Mate 2 to Lollipop. The company is now reversing course, saying that it will update the phone to Android 5.0 in the “first half of 2015.” It’s nice to see Huawei change its mind, but it still has us shaking our heads that they would have even thought of doing this in the first place.



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