This Week In Android: May 20th-26th

It’s the week after Google I/O but even as the excitement over all the internal Google announcements draws to a close, we’re launched into another week full of exciting news. Let’s take a look!


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Samsung, HTC Announce Sales

Samsung and HTC have both announced sales numbers for two of their respective top smartphones this week. Samsung kicked things off by boasting that ten million units of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the company’s new flagship device, have shipped. The announcement comes less than a month after general availability, faster than the 50 days it took the device’s predecessor, the Galaxy S III.

Samsung also announced new handsets would be available in the summer, sporting new colour variants including Brown Autumn and Purple Mirage. Furthermore, leaked photos published by GSMArena have shown a rugged variant of the device that could see the light of day sometime in the future.

The Samsung Galaxy S4, available now (or soon, depending on your carrier).

The Samsung Galaxy S4, available now (or soon, depending on your carrier).

Although its announcement comes in a slightly less official form, an anonymous HTC source told The Wall Street Journal this week that “about five million” units of the HTC One have been shipped and sold since launch. The report maintains that demand continues to outlive supply.

HTC One With Stock Android?

Following last week’s official announcement of a Google-branded Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android being launched in June, reports this week have hinted at HTC working on launching a variant of its flagship HTC One with un-skinned, stock Android.

The HTC One's body.

The HTC One’s body.

No price or date has been set for an announcement, let alone launch, although availability in the United States is said to be “imminent”.

Google Updates Many Apps

Although Google I/O was last week, Google waited until this week to push updates to a number of Android apps.

Firstly, the beta of Chrome for Android was updated to include Google Translate support, allowing the experimental browser to translate foreign language websites in a similar fashion to the desktop version. The company also updated the Google+ app to bring new focus to photos and images and integration with Snapseed’s filters and tools.

Google Chrome Beta

Google Chrome Beta

In the stable, non-beta world, the regular Chrome for Android was also updated to introduce a fullscreen mode for Android phones and a tab history for tablets, alongside improvements to search and general stability.

Google Drive received a major redesign update

Google Drive received a major redesign update

Finally, Google Drive was refreshed with a new UI that now aligns itself with the recent trends of other Google apps, including Google Play. In addition to the refined grid-based UI, Google has introduced a new scanning feature for physical documents that recognises characters so they can be indexed in search, the ability to download files locally and general performance improvements.

Other Updates

  • Foursquare updated its mobile app with new filtering features, allowing users to specify qualities of venues and locations in extreme detail, including using Foursquare-exclusive data like whether or not your friends have been there already.
  • Alongside a rather significant redesign of the entirety of Flickr, Yahoo! updated its Flickr Android app to stay in line with the new design whilst also consistently maintaining the quality of images viewed and uploaded through the app.
  • Opera’s new browser experience for Android has rolled out of beta, releasing officially on Google Play this week.
  • Amazon has expanded availability of the Kindle Fire and its own Appstore to 170 and 200 new territories, respectively. Previously, the tablets had only been sold officially in seven countries.

Check in next week for another look at the week in the world of Android!


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