Must read Android: top 11 stories this week
This week in your world of Android: the possible release date of the next HTC One leaked, more Galaxy S5 rumors surfaced, the camera-focused Android 4.4.1 update rolled out to the Nexus 5, the first CM11 builds arrived, and Google updated its Play Store apps.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s must read Android.
Judge leaks M8 release date. Wait, what?
The judge presiding over a Nokia vs HTC lawsuit in England wrote in a filing that Nokia estimated HTC would release the successor of the HTC One as early as February 2014. HTC’s lawyers didn’t disagree. So if you look forward to the release of a new HTC phone, that seems the safest bet.
What else we (think we) know about the next HTC One? It will have a 5-inch screen and a design that is similar to the current One. Expect more leaks over the next weeks.
Drawing the portrait of the Galaxy S5
It’s just the first week of December, and the rumors related to the Galaxy S5 are already coming in fast and hard. As usual, we have an assortment of shady leaks and speculation, but slowly we begin to make an idea of what’s ahead.
A new report added credence to the theory that Samsung is going metal for the next iteration of its hero series. A benchmark listing gave us an idea of the possible specs, while a report from Korean media talked about the other devices coming along the Galaxy S5 in Q1 2014.
- Rumor: Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 Lite and three other Galaxy handsets coming in Q1 2014
- Galaxy S5 candidate spotted in benchmark: 2K display, 2.5GHz processor, Android KitKat
- Samsung has reportedly secured suppliers for Galaxy S5’s metal casing
Nexus 5 is back into focus
All the reviewers agreed – the camera on the Nexus 5 was inconsistent at best, and the app itself was a slow, unintuitive mess. But the pleas of disappointed Nexus users didn’t fall on deaf ears. With Android 4.4.1, Google made the Nexus 5 camera faster and better, by improving autofocus speeds and tweaking the software to make images pop a little more. The app is now clearly faster, and Google promised changes are coming to the user interface.
Smaller changes, mostly bug fixes, came to the other Nexus devices.
- Android 4.4.1 will massively improve Nexus 5 camera, rolling out in a few days
- Android 4.4.1 is now rolling out to the Nexus 5, download link available [Update: Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, too!]
KitKat to the masses
While OEMs are taking their sweet time updating their devices to the latest version of Android, the CyanogenMod team is already pushing out CM11 nightlies for a number of popular smartphones and tablets.
Cyanogen started with the M1 milestone releases for all the actively supported Nexus devices and nightly builds for the HTC One, Galaxy S3, and the G2. More devices are coming, and stable releases can’t be far.
- KitKat based CyanogenMod 11.0 M1 builds now available for Nexus devices
- LG G2, HTC One, Galaxy S3 CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4 KitKat) nightlies available
Sweet Play Store updates
With winter taking over the northern hemisphere, it’s time to make yourself a hot cocoa, fire up the Play Store, and look up some great music, movies or apps. And just in time, Google released updates to its Play Store offerings.
The Play Store now has better social integration and app recommendations from friends, the Play Music app finally lets you store songs on the SD card, and Play Movies now lets you get your HD movies in SD format, for quicker downloads.
- Google Play update brings in-app purchases indicator, improved social integration
- Google Play Music update adds SD card support for music downloads
- Google Play Movies update arrives, lets HD movie owners access SD downloads
What were the top events this week in your opinion? Tell us in the comments.