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AA Weekly: top Android news of the week, July 14, 2013
This week, we almost overdosed on Moto X leaks, a solid rumor about the Nexus 5 made the rounds, two core Google apps were updated, the latest Android security scare fizzled out, the LG G2 was in the spotlight, and T-Mo launched its update club.
The Moto X hype train chugs along
Even if you wanted to, you probably couldn’t avoid reading about the Moto X this week. It started in force with reports about the phone’s Clear Pixel camera, which we think is marketing speak for a RGBW sensor. The novel type of sensor should enable the Moto X to take great pics even in low-light conditions.
Then, a variety of leaked images emerged, culminating in a veritable photo shoot of Eric Schmidt just casually using his white Moto X like he was in a secret Google lab and not at a public event with photographers all around.
Our Nate Swanner reported on info he got from people who actually used the Moto X; his conclusion: the user experience is great, and that matters more than having the latest specifications.
The G2 looks sexy with buttons on the back
We’ve heard that the successor to the Optimus G would be sporting a unique design, but this week we finally got a clear peek at the G2. The most striking feature of the LG G2 is the absence of buttons on the front and sides of the device. LG opted to place the volume rocker and the power button on the back of the phone, under the camera module. On the front, the G2 is almost all-screen, with a very thin bezel and just LG’s logo to break the monotony.
The G2 is just as attractive in the hardware department – one of the first devices powered by the crazy fast Snapdragon 800 processor, LG’s new smartphone could also be the first to come with 3GB of RAM. A relatively large battery and an OIS camera complete the portrait of a very exciting device.
Nexus 5 rumored to be the sibling of the G2
It’s still early in the game, but it looks that the next Nexus smartphone will be an LG job, just like the Nexus 4. At least that’s what a recent report from the Korean media claims. LG is allegedly developing the G2 and the Nexus 5 in parallel, and the two smartphones will share most of the specifications.
The rumor says we should expect the next Nexus in October, with Android 5 pegged to make its entrance at the same point. Note that this is just speculation for now, but a number of other rumors seem to support it.
Google Maps update rolls out. Hangouts gets a voice
Two important Google apps were updated in the last week. The Google Maps app received the big update that was first teased at Google I/O, which brings a completely redesigned user interface and a bunch of new features. There was a bit of a rumpus over the conspicuous absence of offline maps functionality, but, as it turned out, the feature was only an “OK maps” away.
Voice calling is back in Hangouts, after a few weeks of absence. When Google updated Talk to Hangouts many were shocked to discover that phone calling was removed from Gmail and the Chrome app. Well, put down your pitchforks, it’s back.
The huge security bug that wasn’t
The Android blogosphere is periodically swept by security scares, and the latest vulnerability supposedly makes 99% of Android devices susceptible to hacking. The problem (for scaremongers) is that the vulnerability doesn’t affect the vast majority of users who only download apps from the Play Store.
Nevertheless, Google promptly released a patch for the vulnerability, which was then incorporated in the latest CyanogenMod. Now, if only manufacturers would move that fast.
Jump from device to device with T-Mobile
T-Mo continues its quest to shake up the American wireless market, and its latest offering is the most exciting yet. Announced on Thursday, Jump! is basically an upgrade club – pay a $10 monthly fee and you get to update your device every six months instead of having to wait two years like you would on other carriers. For that price, you also get an insurance plan, so, depending on how obsessed you are with new devices, Jump! may well be your dream come true.
What’s your take?
In your opinion, what were the most important news this week, and why?