This Week In Android: Nov 11th – 17th

If you’ve been wanting to get your hands on a Google Glass unit, or perhaps have been craving a Moto X-style phone but without the Moto X-style price tag, this week could be a lucky one for you. With new announcements from Motorola and Google to discover, let’s take a look at the week in Android!

Motorola’s $179 Moto G

Motorola this week announced the Moto G, an entry-level smartphone to complement the family established with the higher-end Moto X.

The Moto G sports a 4.5-inch 720p display with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor under-the-hood with 1GB of RAM and 8/16GB of internal storage (though with no microSD slot for further expansion). The handset features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front. The Moto G isn’t subject to the same customisability through Moto Maker as the Moto X is, but a removable back plate allows owners to swap out the colour of there device with blue, teal, yellow, white, purple, red and black covers.

The Moto G comes with a variety of rear-shell options.

The Moto G comes with a variety of rear-shell options.

The Moto G will launch with Android 4.3, but an update to 4.4 KitKat will be due shortly after. Jellybean and, later, KitKat will be subject to Motorola’s minimal Android skin but won’t feature Moto X-exclusive software functions like Touchless Control and Active Notifications.

The Moto G will be available unlocked and off-contract for $179 in the United States

Android 4.4 KitKat Comes to Nexus 7 and 10

The Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets have been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in a software update that began rolling out this week.

The update is hitting WiFi versions of the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, with cellular models of the Nexus 7 receiving the update shortly. The Nexus 4 will also get an update to Android 4.4 in the near future.

Google’s Glass Waiting List and Play Music

Google has officially opened up the waiting list for Google Glass, a program previously exclusive to those that had been selected by Google or an existing Google Glass Explorer participant. US residents can now sign up through Google and declare that “If a spot opens up, I want to purchase Glass and become an Explorer”. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a spot, but the program marks the first open application for early access to the device.

You can now officially apply for a place in the Glass Explorer program through Google.

You can now officially apply for a place in the Glass Explorer program through Google.

Google has also launched a new $85 set of earbuds that will allow stereo playback of music through Google Glass. A companion software update has also added new voice commands for Google Music, allowing users to command the device with “Okay Glass, listen to” to launch new tracks. Currently, though, only Google’s Play Music sees official integration into Glass, though third-party services could be seen in the future.

Other Updates

  • CyanogenMod is now available as a straightforward installer package through Google Play. Although it requires a windows PC (with OS X support coming), the app allows users to easily install CyanogenMod without any complex, external progress.
  • A report from market researchers Strategy Analytics, via The Wall Street Journal, has revealed this week only an estimated 500,000 units of the Moto X have been sold since launch.
  • Google Now has been updated for users not running 4.4 KitKat, bringing new cards such as one delivering TV show suggestions.

Stay subscribed to Android.AppStorm so you don’t miss next week’s instalment of This Week in Android!