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

With ABA TECHSHOW behind me, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of events. If you’d like to read some great reviews of all things TECHSHOW 2013, check out this post by Niki Black or this one by Robert Ambrogi. I also wanted to mention this ABA Journal post discussing John Simek’s presentation on the WiFi Pinapple Mark IV. There’s a lot of buzz on this device, which confirms why we don’t want to us public WiFi connections, ever. Now, the rest of the news:

  • Here’s an interesting post about a NYPD pilot program that is testing a new Android smartphone and app that will allow offices to “do everything from look up a criminal history to seeing if the area has any surveillance cameras.” Fortunately, I know officials in NYC would never misuse the app or device. We might have some new 4th Amendment concerns upon further development.
  • Speaking of police, it’s now illegal in California to check maps on your phone while driving. In other words, don’t get lost, or pull over. Does the law still apply if you’re not moving?
  • If you’re into the patent wars and reforms discussions, you’ll probably be interested in this post from Patently-O Blog, titled Shortcomings in the Patent System. The four suggested reforms are: 1) Publish all patent applications immediately, not waiting 18 months; 2) Severely limit changes to claim language in pending patents; 3) Have a richer and more transparent prosecution history; and 4) Mandatory disclosure of ownership.
  • Groklaw summarizes the extra briefs filed by Apple and Samsung. Not too much news or information.
  • I’m going to expound on this post from the Official Android Blog, but needless to say, you should look forward to the new Google Play.
  • Rosetta Stone Ltd, makers of the popular Rosetta Stone language learning software released Rosetta Course for Android, which allows you to take your Rosetta language course with you on your mobile device. Rosetta Stone already has a TOTALe Companion app.
  • Ever late to the game, Microsoft will apparently release Office for Android in 2014. By then, you’ll be using something else.
  • Also from Microsoft comes Microsoft Lync 2013 (free). I saw a demonstration of Lync’s services at TECHSHOW and thought it’s a pretty great service, if you’re into Microsoft.
  • One of the messaging services we have rumors about is Babel. This Google service will apparently tie Google’s messaging platforms into one communication tool, accessible from a number of locations. “The Borg” as Google was affectionately (perhaps non-affectionately) referred to at ABA TECHSHOW, just got more information about you.
  • Want to see more about hacking risks? Then check out this story showing how hackers can use an app, PlaneSploit, to exploit vulnerabilities in commercial aircraft. Of course, the hack requires technical knowledge and methodologies, but that didn’t stop the 9/11 attackers.
  • The latest snapshot from Android Developers shows that users of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and Android 4.1.x and 4.2.x (Jelly Bean) has increased to over 50% of devices. There are still a significant number of Android devices running Android 3.2 and below. I’d encourage you to upgrade your device, either by custom ROM or new purchase, to take advantage of the Android 4.1/4.2 system. You’ll have a much better user experience.

Android Dashboard Installs

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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+.