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

Well, what do you think? Will the Samsung Galaxy S4 be the next phone to revolutionize the smartphone world? How about Samsung’s presentation? Were you impressed? In case you missed the “Unpacked 2013” event, here you go:

Personally, I was disappointed. The event was poorly executed, with bad acting and poor execution. I don’t know who Will Chase is, but you’d better do something to wow an audience. And honestly, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t understand a word that Mr. Shin was saying.

Overall, I’m excited about the Samsung Galaxy S4, but for all of the hype, the “pomp and circumstance” fizzled into oblivion. In fact, Mrs. The Droid Lawyer quit watching after 15 minutes – truthfully, I’m surprised she lasted that long.

The Galaxy S4 is going to be a cool device, especially with some of the add on features, such as dual camera mode, hover, group play, and eye-tracking. If you want the watered-down version of all the cool features, check out this video:

Let me know what you think in the comments.

In other news:

  • Google’s head of Android, Andy Rubin, is out (by his own choice), and succeeded by Sundar Pichai. In case you don’t know Sundar, he’s the head of Chrome at Google. Say what? Yes. Rumors abound about the possibility of meshing the two projects. Personally, I think it’s a great idea to try and incorporate more Chrome in Android, or vice versa.
  • Speaking of Chrome, Sam Glover of Lawyerist has some big praise for Chromebook (check out his updated review here). I’m not really surprised by Sam’s revelation. I’ve tried the Chromebook, and actually almost pulled the trigger on one last week (hesitated because Mrs. The Droid Lawyer has the common-sense to spend the money on our kids’ much-needed wardrobes). Sam’s three concerns are mine, but I can live without concern number 2 and 3, and it’s easy to work around number 1. Plus, in a worst-case scenario, there’s always programs such as LogMeIn to access my office desktop.
  • Foursquare (if anyone still uses the service) updated its app (apparently they do), and added locale advice to give recommendations based on your location.
  • Todd Hendrickson, a litigator in St. Louis, wrote a great review of JuryPad for iPad, and I’m only suggesting you read this Apple app review for one reason, Todd’s money quote: “JuryPad focuses inordinately on juror demographics: race, age and sex. It isn’t that these things aren’t irrelevant, it is just that, at least in the civil trial work I do, they simply aren’t the most relevant information. And therein lies the “why.” JuryPad seems to assume that this information will be very important and puts a lot of its resources, and consequently your time and focus, on demographics.” This was my chief concern when I discussed iJuror.
  • A word of warning: don’t use Chinese apps. At least not while you’re in China. Apparently, “35% of Android apps in China steal user information.”
  • Do you use LibreOffice for documents, presentations, etc? If so, you’ll be interested in helping bring LibreOffice to Android. Of course, your assistance assumes some knowledge of Android coding.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook, couldn’t wait to steal Samsung’s thunder, or at least try, before the big unveiling event. I guess when you’re fading into oblivion, you have to do something to remain relevant.
  • Apparently, or at least according to this source, Samsung Galaxy S3 users could be seeing some S4 features in the near future. Unfortunately, if you’re using a carrier-specific phone, you won’t likely see the update.
  • Google announced the closure of Google Reader, and a petition to save Google Reader was deleted by the White House. I guess that means so much for people’s rights.
  • Speaking of alternatives to Google Reader, I assume many people will surrender over to Feedly. I won’t be one of them, as I discussed here. I downloaded, installed, and moved everything to Fever. There are a couple of slight annoyances with Fever, which I’ve emailed to the developer, but generally, I’m still pleased.
  • Congratulations to Margaret Powers, a newsletter subscriber, who answered this month’s special question. She won a mouse pad. Thanks to everyone who submitted their comments. Now it’s your turn to win again. Here’s how, and some rules: 1) Answer this question: what’s your top tip for newbie Android users?; 2) Your answer cannot include “subscribe to The Droid Lawyer blog” – while flattery is nice, it won’t help you win this contest; 3) your answer must be attached as a comment to this blog post; 4) random drawing will be held on Thursday, so entries must be in by 11:59 pm CDT on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. No purchase is necessary.

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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+.