Weekend news roundup: All the best Android news from the week starting December 2

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It’s been a busy week filled with bad news for Motorola and even worse news for HTC.  Android 4.4.1 also made the rounds last week, with server log spottings, rumored rollouts and details spilling out everywhere. Check out our round up below of all the best Android news you may have missed this past week.

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Samsung working on 20 megapixel camera sensors, they might end up in phones in 2014

According to the Korean website ETNews, Samsung is having issues producing camera modules with optical image stabilization in sufficient quantities. That’s going to make them look bad next year when everyone else has optical image stabilization while Samsung does not. So what’s the solution? More megapixels.

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Koush’s AllCast is now on the Play Store; Let’s you cast just about anything to your TV

Over the months, Koush from the CyanogenMod team has constantly teased us about AllCast – an app that would allow Android users to stream content from their device to just about any TV connected device. This includes Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Google TVs and other such devices.

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Moto Maker tool still offline as Motorola swings and misses with its Cyber Monday sale

Motorola had big plans today — it was going to take Cyber Monday by storm with an incredible deal on its Moto X handset. The thundering opening to its handset sales quickly fizzled out when Motorola’s website went down under what was likely a crushing load of eager customers.

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Two weeks with Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra yeilds two conflicting opinions on this mega-phablet

Tomorrow morning is going to be hard. I need to format the Xperia Z Ultra I’ve been using for the past two weeks and return it to Sony PR’s gorgeous downtown Helsinki office. I’ll be the first to admit, when I pulled this 6.44 inch beast out of its box, I laughed. Even now, when I pull it out of my pocket, I often giggle at its absurd proportions, but I’ve developed feelings for this smartphone that I can’t ignore.

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HTC’s November revenues are down 27.1%

Taiwanese handset maker HTC just can’t catch a break. The company’s latest revenue numbers show that HTC took in just $522 million during the month of November. While that’s up 3.2% compared to the month of October, it’s down 27.1% year over year. If you combine all 11 known months of revenue for this year, they’re down 28.6% from the same 11 months in 2012. Analysts at TrendForce expect HTC to ship just 5.2 million smartphones during the current quarter (Q4), which is down 16.2% from Q3 2013.

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HTC One mini banned in the United Kingdom thanks to Nokia

Earlier this year, Nokia forced HTC to change the HDR microphones that the company was using on its flagship handset – the HTC One. Now, Nokia has won a key ruling, which bans HTC from selling the One mini from December 6th in the U.K.

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Reversible USB connector similar to Apple Lightning will show up on devices in H2 2014

The “USB 3.0 Promotor Group” has just announced a brand new connector called “USB Type C”. The current microUSB port you see on all your Android devices is known internally as “Micro B”. So what’s different with this new standard? I’m not going to sugar coat this, it’s basically a rip-off of Apple’s Lightning connector. And by that I mean you’ll be able to insert this new USB cable into your device without having to check which way is up. It’ll also be roughly the same size as microUSB, though it’s hard to tell since no photos of this new plug have been released.

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Surprise: Android 4.4.1 shows up in server logs

Google, Apple, Microsoft, they’re always working on the next big thing. Part of developing new hardware, software, and services, is testing them to make sure they actually work. So it’s with little surprise to anyone that some websites have started noticing that devices running Android 4.4.1 are accessing their content. Specifically the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and the Nexus 7.

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Any.do’s Cal lands on the Play Store; Android finally gets a Calendar app it deserves!

While there are a bevy of beautiful Calendar apps for iOS devices, things are unfortunately lacking on the Android front. The makers of Any.do – the popular To-Do app for Android and iOS – are trying to change that today with the release of Cal.

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Google’s YouTube-based music service delayed

Apple has iTunes, Microsoft has XBOX Music, and hell, even Nokia has their own music service. This is why Google launched “Play Music All Access” this year. One flat monthly fee, consume as much as you want. Oddly enough, YouTube, which is absolutely a part of Google, but technically their own separate division, plans to launch their own music service as well. The latest version of the YouTube app for Android actually confirms that, with hidden text strings that clearly call the service out. But according to AllThingsD, this service has now been delayed.

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Android 4.4.1 improves Nexus 5 camera performance dramatically; Rolling out over the next few days

It is no secret that Google has been working on Android 4.4.1, which according to rumors and statements from Google spokesperson, suggest is meant to improve the Nexus 5 awful camera app and experience. Well, it looks like Google is done with the update and will start rolling out the update over the next few days.

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New Play Store update brings an activity feed, layout tweaks and IAP indicators

Along with Android 4.4.1, Google is also rolling out an update for the Google Play Store app. Play Store updates are automatically done in the background so the user does not really know when it is generally updates. Anyways, the folks over at Android Police have managed to get their hands on the latest update to the Play Store – v4.5.10 – that brings with it quite a lot of changes.

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What’s new in Android 4.4.1

The Android 4.4.1 update from Google contains a lot of other minor changes, apart from the huge jump in camera performance for the Nexus 5. There are a lot of small bug-fixes and minor UI tweaks that should please Nexus users.