Android this week: KitKat quickly on Moto phones; Samsung’s gamepad; a $38 Android tablet

A $38 tablet and Kitkat on Motorola phones. What?!?


Motorola(s goog) announced a pair of KitKat upgrades this week, making it the handset maker to deliver Android 4.4 the soonest. First the new Verizon(vz)(vod) line of phones — the Droid Ultra, Maxx and Mini — received the new software and as the week ended the Moto G followed suit. Motorola promised KitKat to the latter phone in early 2014. So what’s going on?

A welcome change in the Android world is what’s going on.

Moto G home screen

Motorola is doing something with the platform that has been desired for a long time. The company is keeping the user experience and interface fairly standard, like the Nexus line of phones, but engineering ways to add useful new features. This helps the handsets stand out from the crowd, keeps them simple to use and perhaps most importantly, makes it easier and faster to build software updates.

I called this approach a “Nexus for…

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