Welcome back to the Android Police Week In Review, where we round up the 20 most popular stories published on Android Police in the last week. Without further ado, here they are.
It looks very likely to be the case that Motorola will be charging a little extra for the wooden backs on the Moto X, and by a little, I mean in the neighborhood of $50 compared to the plastic X. Is there $50 of wood, workmanship, and assembly there to justify this premium? Of course not. It's an option that, like most "premium" add-ons for everything from cars to kitchen appliances, is there for those people willing to pay to get it.
A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
According to the aptly-named New Cell Phones Blog, photos of the "4.3-inch or 4.5-inch" Droid 5 have surfaced, which would confirm that Moto has another QWERTY slide-out keyboard in the works. The photos come to New Cell Phones courtesy of Weibo and show off a wireless charging coil. Other rumored features evidently include NFC and a resistance to both water and dust.
Nothing else is known about these photos, their veracity, or Motorola's plans for a Droid 5, but we'll certainly keep you updated when and if more details emerge.
Samsung's Galaxy Note III, the device hotly anticipated by existing Note fans and mobile watchers alike, is one step closer to its imminent reveal, recently passing Bluetooth SIG certification.
The certification listing from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group doesn't tell us much, except that the specific model certified is headed for NTT Docomo. From the reports existence, however, it's safe to assume (if you weren't already expecting an IFA reveal) that the device is coming relatively soon.
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.
The Moto X has been making headlines as of late for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the astoundingly versatile Motomaker. Motomaker lets you to customize your phone to a degree that we've never seen before, allowing for a staggering total of 504 unique color combinations. Don't gasp in amazement at that number just yet, though. It looks like Motorola is preparing Motomaker to include the wooden backs we saw last month at the phone's unveiling.
The cool thing about rocking the beta version of a product is getting to experience all the shiny new things before anyone else, and the new tab page currently in the works for the Android version of Google Chrome is the kind of alluring update that makes doing so oh-so-tempting. It reduces the amount of clutter at the top of the screen, places search front and center, lists most visited websites in a single scrollable row, and provides prominent buttons for accessing bookmarks and synced devices at the bottom of the page.
Google just published a major update to the Play Store Developer Content Policy, and whether you're a user or developer, you need to be aware of these changes. The content policy is basically Google's "this is what we don't allow on the Play Store" list. As such, you can understand why it's important. Google periodically updates this policy, but this is the biggest change I think we've seen yet - tons of areas have been touched on and modified, and there are significant ramifications to these changes.
Those of us who've managed to hang on to Verizon unlimited data after the tiered plans started showing up are not going to give it up lightly. We buy unsubsidized phones at ridiculous prices to stay secure in the knowledge that we can gobble as many gigabytes as we want for $30 a month. This does not please Verizon: unlimited data is not conducive to profits, and unsubsidized customers are more likely to bolt.