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

Another week filled with a bounty of big announcements. Perhaps the biggest announcement of all is the mass vulnerability of HeartBleed. You pretty much need to change every password you’ve ever used, including the password hints. Yes, it looks like you’re going to browse the internet for a very long time.

Incidentally, if your device runs Android 4.1.1, it’s vulnerable to the HeartBleed flaw. You can check your device version by clicking Menu > Settings > About phone. Google sent manufacturers the patch information, but don’t expect too many to act too quickly. Thus, this is just one more reason to upgrade your device.

And in other news:

  • On April 15th everyone will have a chance to get their hands on Google Glass:
  • Unfortunately for Google, a new survey confirms that most people don’t want Google Glass. I suspect price is the factor, more than “privacy.”
  • Google’s boosting Google Play’s security when looking for malicious applications by adding constant on-device app verification process to Android OS. Confirm that the Verify apps box under your Security settings is checked.

verify apps android os

  • Google is working on Android TV, a media device to compete with Apple TV. I’m not really sure what Android TV means for Chromecast, though I suspect Google’s going to focus a lot more on Android TV in the future.
  • The announcement of Android TV also coincides with Amazon’s new Fire TV.
  • Here’s a comparison of Amazon Fire TV versus Chromecast:

  • Koush already has his Mirror and AllCast apps working with Amazon Fire TV

Also, FWIW, Koush really like Fire TV, and the system seems to have better performance capabilities.

  • Golf fans will want to grab The Masters Golf Tournament (free) app to follow the first “Major” of the PGA Tour.
  • A new ASUS Chromebook, the ASUS C200, is very much in production as new leak photos show. I’m a big fan of ASUS devices, and if you’re in the market for a new Chromebook, perhaps this is the model you’re waiting for. That is, if you can wait until an official announcement.
  • If you can’t wait for a new Chromebook, then Samsung’s Chromebook 2 is available for preorder from Amazon. There are two models: 13 inches and 11.6 inches.
  • CyanogenMod 11.0 M5 is ready to roll.
  • If you’re in the U.K., the BT Sport app supports Chromecast streaming. Would someone in the U.K. please let me know if BT Sport is a big thing?
  • Here’s the third post in a series (1 and 2) that gives 5 apps you won’t find on iOS.
  • According to Consumer Reportspriceflexibility, and versatility are three reasons you need to buy an Android tablet over an iPad. At least, that’s what I got from the post.
  • We’re apparently 2 years away from 30 second device charging.

Shut up, take my money.

  • Here’s a cool post about Google’s new licensing agreement with Room 77, Inc., the hotel booking system. Expect, “Okay Google, find a hotel room in . . .” as a Google Now voice command in the near future.
  • Livestream announced a new Google Glass app that brings “in-the-moment” experiences to millions of viewers. I like the concept, especially in terms of being able to use Glass to actually accomplish ideas like remote jury consulting. Basically, Livestream allows remote viewers to experience an event in real-time, and comment on the experience. I like the concept, just not the very public nature of the experience. I’d love to see a Hangouts-type app with the same functionality. Then I might be convinced that Glass has a future for lawyers.
  • This post examines the concept of whether Android is good enough to power a laptop, or at least become a laptop OS. Uhhhh, with a keyboard and a larger tablet, you already have something akin to a laptop. So, yes.
  • You’ve probably seen the Dropbox Carousel announcement for storing your photos. I think for now, most people are sticking with Google+.
  • I know a lot of Android users in America’s Bible Belt will appreciate the update to the Bible app.
  • The United States Air Force is getting into the Google Glass game.
  • The folks at iFixit have a teardown of the new Samsung Galaxy Gear 2.
  • Microsoft OneNote allows you to create notebooks and sections directly from the app. I like Microsoft’s new approach to convincing people to stay with what’s familiar — open the systems, create a good Office 365 product, and let the consumers stick around.
  • Aereo is a cool concept: watch TV on the internet without the hassle of getting a TV antenna. Beginning May 29, Aereo users will get Chromecast compatibility. The only problem, Aereo’s only available in a select number of cities and the company’s involved in legal battles with broadcasters over the right to use the service.
  • Look for a new update to Chromecast in the future, which will bring some user-enabled customizations to the homescreen.
  • And speaking of updates, Chrome Beta for Android now allows you to view video in full screen and “undo” a closed tab. Awesome.

Undo Closed Tab

  • Play Music is now compatible with Sonos systems, so you can fill your entire home with sweet vibrations.
  • Streaming of live YouTube content to Chromecast is a new feature I noticed this week. The feature’s only available from your desktop Chrome browser (hopefully we’ll see YouTube app support), but if you visit a live broadcast, you can send the live feed to your Chromecast for big screen viewing.
  • And future versions of Google Now might be able to tell you exactly where you parked your car. Of course, you could just use Google Maps’ drop pin feature and a reminder note to tell you the same thing.
  • Expect an update to Google Calendar and Gmail. The update will radically change the UI and appearance of the two apps. The leaked screenshots look very cool.
  • This post gives 4 accessories every Android owner should have, except then he adds in an iPad suggestion to make 5.

Finally, here’s The Droid Tots’ newest obsession: Action Movie Kid.

And you thought your dad was cool. If you want some back story, check out this video.

Have a great week!

 

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

  1. BT Sport is a fairly big player in the UK if you like football, they screen a fair few Premier League matches but not as many as Sky. The advantage of BT Sport is that it is free to all BT broadband customers whereas Sky is a paid for service. The Chromecast compatibility is good news as you can’t watch BT Sport online via Chrome browser or Chrome OS as Pepper Flash is not supported. Hopefully sometime soon BT will ditch Silverlight and make it’s online service available to all.

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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+.