A Year in Review: My Top Posts of 2013

With the end of each year, I throw in a “top posts” post because I’m lazy and it’s an easy way to publish a post without doing real work to show you the hot Android topics this year. Of course, the best place to start any review is by familiarizing yourself with Android jargon, and learn to properly use “Droid” and Android

Droid versus Android 2

Android saw a number of innovations in 2013, including the introduction of Android 4.4 and the release of the much-anticipated, Nexus 5 phone.

During the summer, Google gave us a new way to experience media with Chromecast.

Chromecast

This HDMI dongle provides a way for users to watch Netflix, Google Play Movies, and listen to music, from their Android devices. As one attorney I know puts it, “Chromecast is the shiznizzle.”

Chromecast Shiznizzle Twitter

Please check out my discussion of what Chromecast means for lawyers. Unfortunately, and despite some efforts, Chromecast isn’t doing mirroring, which is what a lot of people want. I know a lot of lawyers who would be very happy with a mirroring enhancement. Don’t forget that you can get close with your Chrome browser.

But you don’t necessarily need Chromecast to watch movies from your Android tablet or phone. Many devices are Miracast-enabled, which means they’ll work with Miracast devices. Many tablets can output to HDMI through micro-HDMI ports. This enables you to connect your television through a HDMI cable to your tablet or phone. Remember also if your Android device’s operating system is Android 4.0+, you can’t watch Flash content so you’ll need a work around.

Chromebooks are becoming hot items for “Googlephiles,” even though Microsoft is actively attacking them as “not laptops.” Although I’m a heavy advocate from Android devices for lawyers, a Chromebook might be a better option for your law practice. You might even choose a Chromebook over a tablet.

Google Play Chromebooks

 

The new Acer C720p features a touchscreen and retails for $299. Chromebooks aren’t right for everyone because they operate from Chrome browser and don’t install programs like desktops. Thus, you’re mostly constrained to “cloud” programs or Chrome extensions.

Despite Google’s many good things, there are plenty of dark clouds. One particular dark shadow has been the revelation of the NSA’s extensive intrusion into our digital lives.

NSA Spying

I discussed the implications of the NSA’s spying in law practices. One of the best practices for protection is encryption. That’s not always too feasible, but there are a number of apps and companies trying to help.

This year, I also got more familiar with two of my favorite group conferencing programs: Hangouts and Zoom Cloud HD Video Meetings. I even held my first Google Hangout.

And I couldn’t have done or built this website without your help, especially in the form of your questions. I was able to create a several how to posts addressing common issues. Here are some of my favorites:

Your questions also led to other great posts in my “You Ask” series. These posts gave me the chance to explore the best Android device, the age-old issue of a law firm’s mobile app, and whether ABA Techshow is worth attending.

I spent a significant amount of money on Android apps (some were also donated) in 2013. This gave me the chance to review plenty of great ones and a few duds. If I had to pick 2013’s best app review, I’d choose this one where I obliterated the Sidley Austin app. I still chuckle when I read it, even after 5 dozen times through. I think the app captures everything that’s wrong about lawyers, SEO, and mobile devices. Of course, that doesn’t mean that law firms aren’t doing mobile apps correctly.

Overall, 2013 was a great year with some great devices, some great apps, and some other great milestones (and here). I’m excited about 2014’s prospective developments and innovations coming to Android, especially for lawyers. I’m also very thankful for your support, and hope that 2014 will be significantly productive for you.

2 Responses to A Year in Review: My Top Posts of 2013

  1. Felicitaties van Amsterdam op een fantastisch jaar met The Droid Advocaat Blog. Echt genieten van uw werk, artikelen en tips. Maar, als we kijken terug op 2013, ik denk dat dit zal bekend worden als het jaar van Google Glass en soortgelijke draagbare technologie nam over de hele wereld 🙂 Je vriend, Mitch Jackson

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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+.