Weekly News Round-up: What You May Have Missed in the World of Android

Independence Day is swiftly approaching for those of us living in the United States, and today marks the Canadian celebration of Canada Day. Hope everyone is well and enjoying their summer. Here’s the news:

  • The Droid Guy has a great review of a new app (playing with it now) called, MaxiKeys. The post compares SwiftKey, “for butter fingers,” and MaxiKeys, “for bigger fingers.” At $3.50, MaxiKeys is pricier than SwiftKey, but offers a lot of great features for guys/gals like me with “carnie hands.”
  • Google’s flagship tablet, the Nexus 7, is available for order on Google Play for $199. While I still think a 7 inch tablet isn’t big enough for “real lawyer work,” its compact design is great for an e-reader or similar device.
  • Wondering what your next Android device should be? How about the Samsung Galaxy S III? Better hurry though, because you might find an injunction against the sale of the device.
  • One of the coolest features of Android 4.0 is facial unlock. At first, it was easily fooled. Now however, Google’s added a “liveness test” to validate the user. The feature will be available in phones running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), so unfortunately, don’t look for it too soon on any device.
  • If you’re tracking the visitors to your law firm blog with Google Analytics, then you’ll be happy to discover they’ve released an Android app. My biggest criticism is that some of the most useful features of the Analytics site don’t translate to the app, yet. It’s a good start, with a lot of room for improvement.
  • The National Weather Service will now send you severe weather text alerts. This sounds like the emergency alerts feature I discussed earlier. This is good news for folks like myself who live in “Tornado Alley,” and depend on weather alerts for safety. Unfortunately, every news station, at least here in Oklahoma, already offers this service, and a couple offer live streaming of their broadcasts on your smartphone. So NWS, gotta work harder.
  • This week was Google I/O. Google’s showcase of all things Google. The focus, or at least a large one, was Android. Specifically, Jelly Bean. Google unveiled Android 4.1, and offered discussion on it’s capabilities. If you want to feed your geek, check out some pictures from Google I/O 2012.
  • Look to see unified Google communication services in the future. Although there’s no solid platform to merge Google+ Hangout, Google Talk, and Google Messenger, Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal admits that “[Google has] done an incredibly poor job servicing our users here.”
  • Speaking of poor service, Google is finally giving its Google+ tablet users a native, tablet-optimized app.
  • Adobe announced that August 15, 2012, is the date of death for Flash, at least on any new devices. According to the announcement, Adobe will only update older devices already running the app.
  • And the coup de gras this week, Asus presented us with its newest Transformer tablet, the Transformer Pad Infinity. The tablet will drop sometime after July 16, priced at $499. Android Central has this walk-through video:

Have a great week, be safe, and enjoy your July 1st or July 4th celebrations.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.