This Week in Android: Jul 1st – 7th

There’s been more Samsung news this week with an official number of shipped units being shared for the S4 from the company. However, the first week of July has also brought us an interesting development on the previously-restricted Falcon Pro Twitter client, the first tablet update for video-sharing service Vine and an EOL announcement for one HTC One S. At the risk of an embarrassing Summer-themed pun, let’s dive in!

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Pebble Watch Launches In Retail

The Pebble smartwatch will be launching in retail locations today, with Best Buy carrying the device in an “exclusive retail launch partnership” from today, July 7th. Only black versions of the device will be available to start with, since the multiple colour options are still being shipped as part of Kickstarter preorders. A red version will be available in Best Buy in August, however.

Pebble works with your Android handset or iPhone to power a range of features.

Pebble works with your Android handset or iPhone to power a range of features.

The Pebble smartwatch is, of course, the e-paper-based watch that works with iPhone and Android handsets. The device garnered more than 68,000 backers in its original Kickstarter campaign with more than $10,000,000 raised. The funding period ended in May 2012.

Samsung Announces 20m S4s Shipped

According to reports, executives at Samsung have announced that it has shipped twenty million units of the incumbent flagship Android device, the Galaxy S4. The S4’s achievement was attained in 68 days, over a month faster than the Galaxy SIII. The figure is still lower than that of Apple’s previous two generations, but confirms a general trend of the Galaxy family in better reflecting Apple’s figures.

More Moto X Murmurs

There have been some new developments on the Motorola front. The company launched a full-page newspaper ad and accompanying webpage to tease the Moto X, Motorola’s upcoming smartphone. In the ad, the Google-owned company also revealed their new logo for the first time.

Introducing Motorola's new look.

Introducing Motorola’s new look.

In other less-official news, sources to The Verge have revealed the Moto X will not be a handset under the Droid nomenclature and won’t be a Verizon exclusive in the same way previous-generation Droid devices have. The Moto X is also said to have a user-chosen back panel and trim colour, as well as an option for custom engraving.

According to the report, however, the Moto X is not the only phone in the works. A new line of Verizon “Droid Ultra”s are said to be under development after a webpage advertising the handset family briefly showed up on the carrier’s site this week.

Other Updates

  • The video-based social network Vine has launched on Android tablets, in a first for tablets worldwide. The app’s expansion is currently only available for Kindle Fire tablets (excluding the first generation) through Amazon.
  • HTC has announced that the HTC One S will no longer receive Android updates, leaving the phone with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and a version of Sense 4. The phone was originally released in spring 2012.
  • Amazon’s GameCircle, a Kindle Fire service for syncing games between devices, has been expanded to non-Kindle Android devices where developer support is available.
  • The iconic game QWOP has finally launched on Android, joining iOS and, of course, desktop platforms in a frustrating athletic challenge. The Android version sells for $0.99 through Google Play.
  • Popular Twitter client Falcon Pro has been updated with a secretive method of bypassing the social network’s limits on app registrations. The 2.0.4 update allows knowledgeable users to register their own apps with Twitter and use the respective API keys for use with Falcon Pro.

Next week we’ll have yet another exciting instalment of This Week In Android. Make sure you’re in the loop.