There are a number of themes in Android news so common that we can almost pre-write the posts. One of the near certainties has always been that Verizon is going to take forever to update its phones. Well, that's why this news is so surprising. KitKat is coming to the Moto X on Verizon first, and it's happening today.
The Galaxy Note II came out over a year ago rocking Android 4.1.1. That was great at the time, but now that a giant KitKat statue is standing up in front of the Googleplex, it's time to move things along. Samsung never bothered with bringing 4.2.2 to the Note 2, but customers will likely forgive them now that 4.3 is rolling out to devices across the globe. It's moving in phases, though, so for the time being the only models to start receiving the update have been the GT-N7100 and the GT-N7105.
The low-cost Sprint MVNO FreedomPop just launched its freemium phone service last month, but now it's expanding phone selection by letting users bring their own handsets. However, that doesn't mean you can take just any Sprint device over the FreedomPop and kiss your bill goodbye – there are some restrictions.
Update: Samsung has confirmed that it meant 800k shipments – not sales. The confusion might have resulted from Samsung's claim that the Gear is the best selling smart watch, which might still be true. We don't know how many have actually been sold, or if that rumored 50k sales number from last week is accurate.
Samsung's foray into the nascent smart watch market has not been as much of a failure as some recent reports would have you believe.
If you're using the T-Mobile variant of the slick Sony Xperia Z, check your notification tray - you might have a very welcome waiting for you. According to this T-Mobile support page, the Xperia Z is finally getting an over-the-air update. It's probably not what you were hoping for: the update brings the phone up to Android 4.2. You know, the version that's now over a year old.
If it makes you feel any better, it's been only five months since the Android 4.2 update was sent to the international version of the Xperia Z.
Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."
Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.
Noted YouTube guy and occasional Android Police guest, MKBHD got his hands on an LG G Flex from South Korea and as is his custom, has made a video about it. If you've been wondering about that self-healing back, this video will clear some things up for you.
LG went to great pains to show off the scratch-resistant back material in a recent video, and it was pretty impressive. As MKBHD points out, though, that was shot under ideal conditions.
We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.
Amazon is now distributing an OTA update for the Fire OS that powers the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets. Version 3.1 brings deeper Goodreads integration, so users can more easily share favorite quotes with others, view what their friends are reading, and leave reviews. Readers can also import their Amazon library directly into the social network. This may not be the most exciting new feature, but it makes perfect sense for a tablet that is descendent from a line of e-readers.
You may have noticed a bit of a frenzy in the world of gaming consoles in the last week or so. Not one to be left behind, OUYA is taking the opportunity to remind everyone that the Android-powered console exists, and can be had for less than the price of a car payment. To that end a limited edition version of OUYA was just posted to the online store in a fetching white case, with matching controller.