This week in your world of Android: Google launched Android Wear, Moto and LG teased their new smartwatches, the Chromecast and Nexus arrived to more countries along with Play Movies and Music, Oppo introduced the amazing Find 7, KitKat finally hit Sony’s flagships, the Galaxy S5 went up for preorder, and some cool new features were added to Google Now.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s Android Weekly.
World, meet Android Wear
Google surprised just about everyone when it announced Android Wear this week. This new version of Android is designed specifically for wearable devices, with an initial focus on smartwatches. Using a Google Now-like interface and voice commands, Android Wear is a hugely promising development.
- More details on the Android Wear UI and how everything works
- Android extending to wearables – meet Android Wear
Moto 360 and G Watch
Google will work with Android OEMs and watchmakers to launch Android Wear devices, and two of them have already been announced. The LG G Watch and the Moto 360 will be released later this year, bringing the power of Wear into sleek, attractive designs. The Moto 360 in particular, with its round dial, is looking hot!
- Moto 360 is Motorola’s first Android Wear smartwatch and it looks amazing
- Additional Moto 360 details revealed: splash resistance, unique charging method and more
- LG G Watch coming in 2nd quarter 2014, will utilize Google’s Android Wear platform
Chromecast and Nexus continue expansion
Google’s affordable devices are wonderful, but just a few countries can get them directly from the Play Store. That’s slowly changing, as Google opened up its hardware store to more countries, and extended the availability of the popular Chromecast HDMI dongle to 11 new markets.
- Chromecast launching in 11 new countries today
- Google now offering the Nexus 5 and 7 to a handful of new countries
Play Movies and Music in a lot more countries
Google also opened up its music and movies shop to dozens of new countries, letting more people get affordable, legal media right from their mobile devices.
The amazing Oppo Find 7
Darcy and Josh travelled to Beijing this week for the Oppo Find 7 and boy was it worth it. The Find 7, with its Quad HD display, powerful camera, and fast charging battery, is one of the hottest devices of the year so far.
- Oppo Find 7 officially announced: here’s what you need to know
- Oppo Find 7 hands-on and first impressions
- Oppo Find 7: top 7 features
KitKat lands on Xperia
Several high-end Xperia devices received an update to Android 4.4 KitKat this week, bringing them up to date with the new Sony Xperia Z2.
Keep calm and prepare your credit card
The hot new Galaxy S5 is coming April 11, but you can now preorder it from a bunch of retailers and carriers from around the world. Going for the same price as its predecessors, the S5 is coming in four snazzy colors. Decisions, decisions…
- Samsung Galaxy S5 up for pre-order from AT&T starting tomorrow, US Cellular also confirms its plans
- T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders begin March 24
Voice commands got smarter
Google added new voice commands to Google Now/Search, for the first time allowing users to interact with the phone using their voice. You can now open the camera by saying “take a picture” or start Play Music by saying “play some music”. It doesn’t seem much for now, but these actions are opening the way for more powerful commands coming in the future.
- Not sure what music to listen to, just ask Google Now on Android to “play some music”
- Google Search update introduces ‘Take a Picture’ and ‘Take a video’ voice commands
What was the biggest Android news this week? Tell us in the comments.