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

The big news this week is that HTC and Apple have kissed and settled their differences. This won’t mean the patent battles are over, it just means that Apple will use the agreement in its war with Samsung. That fight looks like it will continue for awhile. Now, here’s everything else you should know:

  • This chip looks way cool, and could add a new element to the smartphone/tablet gestures market. This follows on Microsoft’s Kinect technology, but in miniature version for smartphones.
  • Here’s a pretty interesting story about how Android is becoming the new Windows. The analysis is based on sales, not so much the system, but compares Windows’ rise to fame with Android.
  • To show Google is serious about becoming the Windows phenom, it’s tackling the fragmentation problem with updated terms for Android SDK. Google’s new terms of service for developers explicitly “prohibit[s] them from taking any action that could lead to a fragmentation of the operating system.” Yeah, right. Good luck with enforcing that agreement. But I like the idea.
  • Yapp is the most recent in the line of many companies offering you the ability to make your own Android app. Except Yapp’s niche is the ability to make an app from an app. Interested to see how it works and more importantly, how good the apps are.
  • One of Android’s biggest problems right now is malware; namely unsafe apps stuffed with juicy goodies ready to steal personal information. This post from Forbes gives a good list of ways to tell whether an app is safe. Unfortunately, the post is a walking advertisement for some app called, “ZAP.” What’s worse, ultimately, the app is “a bit complex for the average user.” My suggestion: check the security archives of The Droid Lawyer. I recommend Lookout for protection, and that you always thoroughly review an apps permissions. Quite simply, the more permissions, the more risky. Second, download only trusted apps from Google Play or Amazon Appstore for Android.
  • The Galaxy Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 devices from Google went on sale this week, and a lot of folks have the “backorder blues.” Apparently, Google oversold the Nexus 4 device, and now some buyers who thought they’d have a device now have to wait. I’m sure some class action lawyer somewhere is looking to capitalize on this.
  • Here’s a scary story straight from Google about the increase in government surveillance. Watch out for “big brother,” because Google just confirmed that the United States leads the world in data requests.
  • Facebook, if you still care, updated its services to include sharing via Android. Not sure there’s much I want to share with the public on Facebook, but at least now I have an option.
  • Verizon announced that beginning with the new Droid DNA, it will pre-load Amazon App Suite on all phones. This replaces Verizon’s go-nowhere app store, but still adds useless bloatware. Here’s how you can remove the bloatware, or at least freeze it.
  • And finally, here’s a good comparison of Google Now versus Siri. In case you don’t know Google Now, it’s the latest addition to Android 4.2, which allows a variety of things, including speech search:

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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+.