Weekend news roundup: All the best Android news from last week (December 16 – December 22)

It’s been a busy week filled with Android 4.4 news, a milestone for CyanogenMod and the debut of the Bamboo-backed Moto X. Check out our round up below of all the best Android news you may have missed this past week.


CyanogenMod ROM reaches the 10 million users milestone!

This year has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for the CyanogenMod team. First, the founders and core members of the team founded a company — Cyanogen Inc. — with an aim to become the third largest eco-system in the mobile world. This led to some community backlash initially, and some members leaving the team, but all is well now. Then last week, the company received another $23 million in funding allowing it to look beyond smartphones.


Android Apps and Games on Sale for Christmas [Roundup]

With Christmas just around the corner, most app developers have put up their apps and games on sale to celebrate the Christmas spirit. If you have got yourself a new Android device this holiday season, now would be the perfect time to grab some of the most popular apps and games of this year on the Play Store, while they are on sale.

Get This: Vine just updated its app to support the millions of people still on Android 2.3

Month after month, Google updates its developer dashboard that tells app makers which versions of Android are regularly accessing the Google Play Store. Month after month, everyone in the mobile industry is stunned that Android 2.3 Gingerbread refuses to go away. Tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions, of smartphones and tablets with access to the Play Store are stuck on a version of Google’s mobile OS that’s soon going to turn three years old.


Motorola rolling out Android 4.4.2 update for the Moto G

Motorola said it was going to do a better job updating its phone, and it looks like the manufacturer is making good on its promise. Starting today, the carrier announced that is is rolling out a surprise Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Motorola G. Motorola originally promised to deliver KitKat in early 2014, so the manufacturer is getting a welcomed head start.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas lands on the Play Store for $6.99

Android gamers rejoice! Rockstar games has released the mobile version of their massively popular PC game — Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — for Android devices. The game has been optimized and tweaked to work properly on mobile devices and take advantage of all the features they offer.

Rumor: Samsung to unveil a 10.5 inch AMOLED tablet next month, it’ll probably be expensive

Remember that rumor from a few weeks back that said Samsung has begun mass producing 8 inch and 10 inch AMOLED panels? Well, according to the Korean website ETNews, Samsung is also producing 10.5 inch AMOLED panels. More importantly, the company will actually be launching a tablet that uses one of those 10.5 inch AMOLED panels at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas.

One month with the Galaxy Note 3: This is Samsung’s best work, but is it the best phone?

Last month, on the 18th of November, I took delivery of Samsung’s highest end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. I want to say that I’ve had my SIM card in it for 31 days, but that would be a lie since I’ve also been playing with Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, LG’s G2, and the Nexus 5. Still, of all those phones, I’ve easily used the Note 3 the most, without a doubt in my mind. Below are my thoughts on the device as someone who has owned a Galaxy Note II for roughly 10 months.

Samsung hires Tim Gudgel, one of the main people responsible for how Apple Stores look

According to GigaOM, who references an article behind a paywall at The Information, we now know that Samsung has just made a key hire. Tim Gudgel may not be a household name, but he’s supposed to be one of the people behind the way Apple builds their stores. Gudgel is actually the second Apple Store employee Samsung has hired, earlier the Korean company successfully courted Michael Forrest and put him in charge of making “Galaxy Stores”.

Latest Google Glass update adds wink support, but you’ll need the latest Glass hardware

Google has just pushed out a new update to Google Glass, version XE12. With it comes official support for a new gesture called “wink”. Simply wink at Google Glass and it’ll take a photograph of whatever it is you’re looking at. Useful if you want to take a candid picture without having to belch out “OK Glass, take a photo”. There’s also a new app that’ll allow you to upload videos straight to YouTube. But the best new feature, by far, is that Glass won’t append “Sent through Glass” to your emails and texts.


AOKP releases 4.3 Milestone build, Android 4.4 builds around the corner

After a period of brief inactivity, the AOKP team has finally released their long-awaited milestone build of Android 4.3, for all their supported devices. While a milestone build is not a “final” build, it is still relatively bug-free and stable enough for day-to-day usage.


Motorola rolls out $100 bamboo option for Moto X

Earlier today, Motorola took to Google+ and dropped a tease about its wooden-backed Moto X. The company told customers to “Put this DIY project on hold” and it did so with good reason. A few hours after that tease made the rounds, the company added a new bamboo option to its Moto X maker design tool.

Samsung launches the “Smartphone GamePad”, says you actually don’t need an XBOX or PS4

For those of you old enough to remember the first PlayStation, chances are you’ve already played a game on your smartphone or tablet that looks as good or even better than Sony’s first games consoles. Where consoles are superior, however, is their precision controllers and ability to connect to a large screen television. Samsung is aiming to address that today with the launch of the “Smartphone GamePad”.

In case you missed it: Google bought a company over the weekend that builds killer robots

On Saturday, while everyone was out Christmas shopping, Google decided to buy a company called “Boston Dynamics”. Never heard of them? You’ve probably seen one or two of the YouTube videos they’ve uploaded. They’re the guys who build robots like “BigDog” for America’s armed forces. What exactly does Google plan on doing with a company that focuses on manufacturing robots designed to carry ammunition through the mountains of Afghanistan? Something tells me that when we find out in 10 to 15 years, we’ll looks back at the 1984 film “Terminator” and cry.