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

Well, thankfully I didn’t blow myself up in my hillbilly, Fireworks Extravaganza 4.0 event last night. I hope your Independence Day celebrations were meaningful.

We had another adventurous week in the world of Android:

  • The Moto X ad debuted in several national newspapers. I found a copy of USA Today and took a peek. Looked just like the one showcased by Ad Age.
  • Where Motorola’s innovating, HTC seems intent on pissing off customers. The company announce that it’s no longer updating the HTC One S. To give you some perspective, the phone is 15 months old. Talk about hating your customers, HTC is ridiculous.
  • A lot of folks are jumping on news that Verizon won’t be offering the Moto X as a Droid-branded phone. Some people even speculated that meant that Verizon wouldn’t carry the phone. I read the comment for what it truly means: Verizon isn’t the exclusive dealer. Of course, we already knew that since we’ve seen the Moto X at the FTC for several carriers.
  • If you’re not a Moto X fan, perhaps you’d like the Galaxy Note III? The device will purportedly come with 3 GB of RAM. Wow.
  • And, if you really want a phone now, how about a Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition for the price of a regular edition? DroidModderX published a video showcasing a regular S4 running a flashed Google Edition ROM:

Incidentally, you can grab the files and tips here. Obviously, you’re at your own risk, and this isn’t a project for weak or faint hearts.

  • Or . . . how big are you willing to go with a phone? Marques Brownlee has a review of the Samsung Galaxy Mega:

  • Apple’s European share of the smartphone market is swiftly diminishing. Granted, Apple’s iPhone still leads in US sales. Not for too long, though.
  • I’m looking forward to testing Android 4.3, and especially playing around with Android’s new notification system.
  • Some people are experiencing delays on the Nexus 7 tablets. The report is that there’s a problem with the Android 4.2.2 code. I haven’t experienced this problem, but if you are, here are some suggestions that might help.
  • Will Android and Google be able to overcome the “in bed with the NSA” perception? This post shows that Android might make a good security-enhanced device.
  • Maybe after seeing this news story, you’ll reconsider that Skype app. Although the hack seems convoluted, it’s a confirmed security flaw that could expose your mobile device.
  • And if a Skype flaw wasn’t bad, perhaps a true Android flaw is. Blubox, a mobile security company, discovered a “vulnerability . . . due to ‘discrepancies’ in how Android apps are approved and verified . . . allowing hackers to tamper with application code without changing the app’s cryptographic signatures. That means that an app — any app — which looks perfectly safe and legitimate to an app store, a device, an engineer, or a user actually could actually have malicious code embedded within it.” The hack will be discussed at this year’s Black Hat conference at the end of this month. What does this story prove? Get your apps from a trusted source, and don’t download crap.
  • If you want to really tweak out your Android homescreen, check out this video for some ideas. No special tweaks or custom coding, just Nova Launcher, a skin, and some widgets.
  • Are you interested in visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, but you live thousands of miles away? No worries. Google Street View makes it possible. Look for more of these special places.
  • I’m playing with some HDR photo apps, but here’s a good post on the best photo apps for Android tablets. Spoiler: the article’s more about editing apps, not so much picture taking.
  • If you’re looking for a good picture-taking, camera app, check out the recently-released Android 4.2.2 camera app.
  • Here’s a good peek at some sweet projects in the Google R & D department.
  • The Motley Fool asks whether you’d rather have an ounce of gold or 1 share of Google. Me, I’d pick the gold.
  • Lawyerist has a good post on computer encryption.
  • And finally, if you’re ever going to conduct a witnesses live testimony via Skype, make sure the testimony’s not being broadcast to 25 million+ people with the username in full view:

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+.