This week in your world of Android: Android 4.4 hit (unofficially) a bunch of devices, we learned more about the Google Experience Launcher and the new ART compiler, Samsung teased its future tech, a bunch of core Google apps received updates, and we got a peek at HTC’s future flagship phone.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few phrases. It’s must read Android.
Android 4.4 update news
Google is keeping mum on its Android 4.4 update plans, but mercifully, some OEMs have been more forthcoming. Meanwhile, hackers and tinkerers have begun to release their own unofficial KitKat-based ROMs.
- Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs arrive for the HTC One, Xperia Z and Sprint Galaxy Nexus
- LG G2 Android 4.4 KitKat update tipped for November/December
- Android 4.4 KitKat unofficially arrives to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus
- Sony unveils its Android 4.3 and Android 4.4 upgrade plans
New Google launcher may be Nexus 5-only
This week we learned the ins and outs of the new Google Experience Launcher on the Nexus 5. The bad news is that the new app may not make it to other devices.
- Google Experience Launcher – Hands on
- Nexus 5’s Google Experience Launcher may not come to other devices, Nexuses included
Peering into Samsung’s future
At Samsung’s Analyst Day event this week, execs talked about tech coming to mobile devices starting next year: from ultra-crisp displays to custom 64-bit processors, the future is bright for Samsung fans.
- Samsung in 2014 and beyond: 560 ppi, foldable displays, custom 64-bit processors, 16MP Isocell sensors
ART is in, Dalvik is on its way out
One of the oldest parts of Android, the Dalvik virtual machine, is approaching retirement. Google’s working on a new VM called ART, that should bring faster app execution and increased stability.
Google core apps updates
From the bigger and better Hangouts app to the improved default keyboard, some of Google’s most important apps were in the spotlight this week.
- Google Keyboard 2.0 begins rolling out to Google Play
- Latest Hangouts update arrives to the Play Store
- Google Text-to-Speech engine arrives to Google Play
A sneak peek at the HTC M8
As we get closer to 2014, upcoming flagship devices begin to leak, and the successor to the HTC One is among them. The new M8, due early next year, can’t come soon enough.
What’s the biggest story in Android this week? Tell us in the comments.