This has been the week that saw Android 4.4 appear on more than just the Nexus 5, and Android 4.3 started appearing on devices around the world too. The Moto G, the super cheap international variant of the Moto X, was officially released to much fanfare, and major updates were made to Google Search, Facebook, Viber, Chrome and Hangouts. CyanogenMod Installer also finally made it to the Play Store, bringing the custom ROM scene to a Play Store audience. We also shared our less than sparkling impressions on the Galaxy Gear as well as some of our editorial team's multiple opinions on the Nexus 5. But what were the most-read articles this week?
Now that Android 4.4 KitKat is going live on devices other than the Nexus 5, with which it shipped first, all eyes are on the horizon for when non-Nexus owners can expect to see the fabled candy bar update to their OS. Some manufacturers posted pretty definite timelines, some less so, and some dodged the bullet entirely. But if you own a smartphone, and my guess is you do if you're reading this, then you need to see what your manufacturer has said (or not said) about when you'll be catching the KitKat flavor train.
While the majority are looking to the future, many are also looking much closer to home, to see when the heck they're finally going to get the long, long, long overdue Android 4.3 update on the Galaxy S3. Some S3 owners in the UK got the highly anticipated update only to have it basically brick their phone or cause so many problems it became basically unusable. Samsung freaked, stopped the rollout and are presumably scrambling to fix the issues, in between answering angry phone calls and emails from disgruntled customers.
On a happier Note, Note 2 to be exact, owners of Samsung's previous phablet flagship were excited to know the last Jelly Bean update was finally going to be arriving on their phablet. But that excitement has undoubtedly turned to fear as the similarities in hardware between the S3 and Note 2 mean the same problems S3 owners experienced could well affect the Note 2, and it seems likely that Samsung has pulled the pin on the scheduled rollout for the Note 2 as well. There's no official word from Samsung on any problems, stoppages or fixes, but stay tuned.
After many of us installed the APK from the Nexus 5 firmware, Hangouts made an official appearance in the Play Store, bringing bundled instant messaging and SMS/MMS support to Google's own message client. The official version took the Play Store by storm, and made our top reads list along the way. We really like it, but there's a few pesky considerations we'd like to see in an update. Add yours to the list and we'll see if Google pays attention.
Personally I'm a bit of a cheerleader for offline maps. I love them. But sometimes I journey so far away from Google Maps I lose sight of my roots. Using Google Maps offline availability is a lifeline for many and keeps many of us coming back again and again to what is possibly Google's most important app other than search. If you're on a limited data plan, you can't live without this tip.