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

Android NewspaperAre you noticing more and more people with Android phones? I can identify pretty much any Android phone based on a few, key external characteristics: usually size and style. I always want to shout out to them and ask if they like their Android phone. I’ve seen a couple of friends with negative Android phone reviews this week, and these people actually switched from Android to iPhone. Ironically, the reason was because of bloatware, which is removable. Which is a great segue into this week’s Android news:

  • The Washington Post ran this article discussing why fragmentation hurts Android in a security sense. Of course, TWP’s summation was because of security and malware vulnerabilities. I think this is a good reason, but I think a better reason is that fragmentation provides a poor customer experience. Users become trapped on outdated software (anything below Android 4.0), and frustrated with the possible features and especially that their iPhone buddies have the next big thing. There’s always rooting and custom ROMS, but some phones and aren’t capable of running that fix. I’ve advocated for a long time about strict enforcement of upgrades like Apple, so I fully support that idea.
  • The Post article also mentions the number of devices running Android 4.2 with its “smishing” feature. This feature takes a prominence in the article, but really only means a slight importance in everyday usability. The simple fact is, just like the email scams, text messages saying that you’ve won some large prize aren’t real; Don’t click. Remember the cliche: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • However, more and more devices are running a newer version of Android. According to the Android Developers, roughly 43% of devices run Android 4.0, or higher. Consumers will demand that carriers and manufacturers make regular upgrades to their Android systems.

020413 Android OS Distribution

  • Speaking of Android distribution, I wasn’t too keen on T-Mobile’s decision to erase contracts in favor of higher-priced phones, but I’ve changed my mind. In light of the fact that Google’s Nexus 4 phone lacks LTE, so it can’t run on the big 2 networks, the phone is compatible with T-Mobile’s blazing-fast 4G network. At $399, this might be a good option for someone seeking an awesome device with the most recent OS. I just checked T-Mobile’s site and new customers can get a Nexus 4 for $49 through 2/18/13 . . . with a new 2 year agreement. So much for that idea . . .
  • Thanks to everyone for filling out last week’s poll. Some great responses, with a majority going to 21-30% of attorneys using Android devices. I don’t know the real amount, but I suspect we’re hovering at 30%. Just for some kicks, take a look in court to see how many of your colleagues are using Android.

Website Poll - Lawyers and Android

  • Futurelawyer mentioned Office 2012: Presentations, and since I’m writing this late, I can too, though I’m also writing a more in-depth post about the other Office 2012 apps, including a nice one for Word.
  • Brazilian phone-maker IGB scored big by seizing control of the iPhone brand in Brazil. Their upcoming “iPhone” is actually an Android-based device. Apple’s failure to trademark its most successful brand internationally (granted there may be some preclusion I don’t know about) shows its arrogance. Suffer the consequences for your own mistakes.
  • If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you’re going to love the new Simpsons: Tapped Out game from EA. This took awhile to get ported to Android, but it’s finally here, for free. Of course, if you hate games like Farmville, where you spend your entire day waiting for events to occur, you probably won’t like this game. Also be aware that this game consumes a lot of disk storage space (300 MB).

Screenshot_2013-02-07-20-04-18

Andy LEGO Bugdroid

  • If you’re in the sub-$200, good Android tablet market, you might want to hold off on purchasing your Nexus 7. Apparently, Intel and ASUS are joining forces to create a cheaper tablet. Then again, you probably ought to buy your Nexus 7, since it’s tough to say when this is going to come to market.
  • Want Android 4.1.2 on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III phone? Try this. Be careful though, it’s still slightly buggy.
  • If you didn’t catch my post at Small Firm Innovation blog, here’s a link. Check out the comments. I wrote a longer-than-usual response, which I’ll elaborate on in an upcoming post.
  • If you’re new to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), you’re probably not as excited about Google Now as I am. I’m lazy and love saying, “Google”, so I use it for everything. Mrs. The Droid Lawyer is more “ho hum” about the feature, and prefers to actually type her searches into the browser’s search bar. Here’s “an oldie but goodie” video showcasing some great voice searches in Google Now.

  • And finally, a little non-Android humor via “the ghost car.”

Hope you have another great week!

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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+.