Weekly Android Wrap-Up: Issue 008

This week’s Android news brings more information on Android L, expansion of the Android One program and hints at the future of Google Now. Here is your AndroGeek Weekly Wrap-Up for the week of September 15th.

#News

Youtube to Offer Offline Video Downloading in India ~ Androidandme
YouTube is one of the most popular video sites on the web. Enjoying it on your mobile or tablet can be tricky however without unlimited data or Wi-Fi access. In the next few weeks, India will be able to flag videos on YouTube for offline viewing. While there are no official releases on when to expect this in other areas of the world, the fact that it’s finally happening somewhere is promising.

Android L Will Turn on Encryption by Default ~ Greenbot
From stolen devices to unwanted surveillance, there are plenty of reasons to encrypt your Android phone or tablet. While the option has been available since Jelly Bean, it is something that you have to configure. Starting with Android L, device encryption will be enabled by default on all Android phones and tablets for added security.

#Devices

HTC, Lenovo, ASUS, Alcatel, Panasonic, Xolo, Lava & Intex to Create Android One Phones ~ UnleashThePhones
Android One’s aim is to bring affordable Android phones to the masses. Tech Times recently called the program the future of smartphones. (http://www.techtimes.com/articles/16015/20140919/android-one-future-smartphones-heres-why.htm) With a bevy of OEMs lining up to help bolster the number of phones available, it looks like the program might just succeed and strengthen the hold that Android already enjoys over the world-wide smartphone market.

Amazon Announces the New Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Fire HD 7 and Fire HD 6 ~ Android Police
While not everyone loves Amazon’s take on Android, if you’re invested in the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire series of tablets are capable little tablets. It looks like three new designs and a kid-friendly model will be hitting the market just in time for the holiday rush.

#Rumors&Leaks

An Exclusive Early Look at The Google Play Store’s 5.0 Update ~ Android Police
Google is starting to push forward with its new Material Design aesthetic. While it is unconfirmed as a final release, Android Police recently obtained a look at what the new design could look like in Google Play.

Google “Active Watching” Patent Aims to Track and Identify Everyone in the Room ~ Phandroid
Google has applied for a patent that could add some serious chops to Google Now and other voice activated services on Android. By combining visual cues and additional information from apps on your phone, it can determine the intent of your questions or commands with greater precision and opens up a whole new world of voice commands. For those worried about privacy, it appears that most features will be opt-in.

#Games&Apps

Why Most People Aren’t Downloading Apps Anymore ~ QZ
We recently highlighted an article stating that the average smartphone user doesn’t download any apps. While the numbers were easy to back up, many have been debating the reasons. Quartz teamed up with Localytics to provide a deeper look into the issue and make some predictions.

Cosmos for Android Lets You Browse the Web via SMS ~ Engadget
While it might seem a little odd to users in areas with prolific data coverage, this new approach to web browsing could really open doors in developing areas and provides a new way to look at mobile web browsing. By parsing the site into a series of text messages, Cosmos will allow anyone with an unlimited text messaging plan to browse the Internet on their phone.

Microsoft Gives OneNote the AndroidWear Treatment ~ SmarterWatching
A recent update to the OneNote Android App has added Android Wear to the list of supported devices. If you’re a fan of this popular note organization suite, you can now activate it with voice commands and dictate notes using your smartwatch.

What the ‘Bleep’; Private and Secure Voice and Text App Goes to Public Alpha from BitTorrent ~ Android Spin
Bleep has been making waves on Windows and Macs for it’s decentralized, secure messaging platform that allows for nearly anonymous voice and text messaging. The Android version is now in open alpha and brings a load of updated features.

#Deals

That’s the big news in Android for this week! We’ll be back next weekend with a new list of bits and bytes for you to enjoy.