This Week In Android: Nov 25th – Dec 1st

Today not only marks the beginning of the final month of 2013 and the run up to a holiday season that is likely to award many new Android phones to loved ones, but also the culmination of another week of Android news. This week we’ve seen the continuing rollout of Android 4.4 and more. Let’s take a look!

YouTube for Android Music Pass Hints

Recent discoveries from the code behind YouTube for Android have revealed hints of YouTube’s unannounced Music Pass service. The rumoured subscription is said to offer unlimited streaming with offline caching and background playback support for listening to music while using other apps, all ad-free.

Hints inside YouTube's Android app have suggested another Google streaming service is inbound.

Hints inside YouTube’s Android app have suggested another Google streaming service is inbound.

The app source has also revealed indications of offline video playback so users can store entire playlists locally for playing back without an internet connection and perhaps hinting at an enhanced movie rental service.

Pebble on Amazon

Pebble, one of the original devices in the smartwatch category, has launched on Amazon in a number of colours, beginning with a list price around $149.99. Currently, only the red Pebble is available directly from Amazon with other colours having already sold out and left to third-party sellers, retailing at a significantly increased ticket price.

You can now get your Pebble shipped directly from Amazon.

You can now get your Pebble shipped directly from Amazon.

The Pebble smart watch works with both iPhone and Android handsets and provides quick, wearable access to email, SMS, incoming call and other notifications. The device has already garnered an average 4-star rating from customer reviews.

HTC One’s UK Dual SIM Launch

HTC has brought the Dual SIM version of their flagship HTC One to the United Kingdom, ending an exclusivity of the device to Asian markets. As the name suggests, the special variant of HTC One offers owners the chance to use two SIM cards at once, receiving calls, SMS messages and using data between the two cards at will.

The HTC One, now available with Dual SIM support in the UK.

The HTC One, now available with Dual SIM support in the UK.

The Dual SIM variant is available for pre-order from HTC’s official UK store for £494.99 and contains all the other internals that make up HTC’s flagship device, including a 1.7GHz quad-core processor and 4.7-inch 1080p display. There are no details on further availability.

Other Updates

  • Android 4.4 KitKat has begun rolling out to Google Play edition models of both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. The update is available as an OTA download and precedes a promised general release of KitKat for North American models of HTC One by the end of January next year.
  • The Moto G, Motorola’s second phone in the Moto family, has been made available to order in the United States. US customers can order the handset — starting at $179 — directly from Motorola for shipping on December 2nd or from Amazon where shipping commences on December 4th.
  • Microsoft has continued its anti-Google Scroogled campaign with a video ad of Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison appraising a Google Chromebook. The video highlights the Chromebook’s reliance on the internet for full functionality and describes it as being unlike “true” laptops with traditional native apps.
  • CyanogenMod’s reign on the Google Play store has come to an end, after it was voluntarily discontinued from the marketplace following a notification from Google to its developers of the app’s violation of Google Play’s Terms of Service.