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

Android NewspaperVerizon Samsung Galaxy S III owners, there’s a BOLO coming your way: today is the day your phones get Android 4.1. Dang, now I really regret letting Mrs. The Droid Lawyer use the upgrade for her SGIII. Fortunately, somewhere in the pipeline Motorola has my Droid Bionic slated for a Jelly Bean upgrade. Let me know when you get it and what you think of Android 4.1 (as if you haven’t already installed a custom ROM). And now, here’s what else you need to know:

  • I use Google+ for social connections and marketing far more than Facebook, or even Twitter. The reason: Google+ is easier to use, doesn’t contain a lot of crappy promotions, false “likes”, and has great features like Hangouts. The guys at Google also do a great job of giving how-to sessions on using Google+ effectively.
  • Facebook is doing a lot to improve its status on Android, because the 2.0 version updated on my phone. The app seems faster than before and contains a new, good-looking UI. I like it. GoAndroid also points out that Facebook SDK 3.0 is in the open, which signals further development of the Facebook for Android app.
  • Disney is rocking and rolling in the app development game. Apparently, they’ve realized that apps mean money. Here are 16 apps discussed by the Android Guys and some new ones shared by The Droid Guy.
  • With more and more people using their phones or tablets in the bathroom, this video on rescuing your drowning device is quite handy. I sure hope that you clean your device off well before putting the device back to work.

  • There’s a lot of hype about the release of Google Maps for iOS users, but I think it’s really a no-brainer fact. Apple’s iOS 6 mapping program failed; users need maps; Google is awesome. Now, Apple can quietly revamp its own maps app without scrutiny from behind. Wired has this great smackdown between Android’s Google Maps and iOS’ Google Maps. Spoiler: there’s no winner in the post, just a rundown for iOS users of what you’ve been missing for years.
  • Guy Kawasaki, Apple fanboy extrodinaire finally ditched iOS and ran to Android, here’s why: NFC, better multitasking, alphabetical app arrangement (and some nice alliteration - that’s all mine), and a universal cable.
  • I haven’t seen my Google Calendar update yet, which adds more support and customization to the interface. Though the native calendar app and Google Calendar are significantly similar, I prefer the Google Calendar app over the native one because of its constant improvements and updates.
  • I highlighted this post this week, but I wanted you to remember it. There’s some good Android newbie advice there.
  • Tired of advertisements on your Android device? No? Me either. Apparently though, some people hate the fact that some apps send advertising notifications to their Android phone or tablet, so now there’s an app for removing those ads/apps. I wouldn’t advise installing something to remove the sanctity of phone advertising though. What else is there to get bombarded with?
  • Here’s great news that Google Now is coming to Chrome. I’m still curious how speech-to-text-to-search will work on my desktop though. Can I just yell at the screen? Don’t tell me I’m going to have to wear one of those ugly gaming headsets.
  • Need some quick tricks to bring life into your new or old Android device? Check out some right here.
  • I use my phone in the car a lot. I listen to Pandora, talk via Bluetooth, and use Waze navigation to get where I’m going. Since I got my Ingress invite, I’m also “Ingressing.” All that to say CNet’s Car Tech has this post about using your Android device in the car.
  • I love Android and Me’s on-going series of apps for rookies. Sometimes I have no interest in their listed apps, while at other times, the apps look great. I’m interested in trying a couple of the new ones listed, like Notif and SnoreClock (just to prove Mrs. The Droid Lawyer wrong).
  • Even though I’m getting sick of seeing all of my Facebook friends post their naughty Elf on the Shelf pictures (another reason I’m tired of Facebook), the kids never seem to bore of the idea of a “house elf” at Christmas. We don’t have a creepy doll to move around and arrange each night, we have an imaginary one the kids can’t see. Her name is TwinkleToes. It’s much easier to rearrange the kids’ toy mess into something TwinkleToes “played” with than to spill milk, Cheerios, or arrange a triple-X show each night. All my gripes aside, my kids love playing the Elf on the Shelf Slide-n-Glide (free) game. This puts wits and physics together to create fun interaction. Here’s a video:

  • Finally, as we get closer to the Christmas holiday (yes, I’m selectively leaving out other religions), here’s a great video from ThePianoGuys. Merry Christmas. You can grab the song on Google Play or on Amazon.

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