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

This week, I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. I have one dedicated session called, The Google Powered Law Office. You can check out my slide deck here. I’m taking an existential approach to this presentation, so you probably won’t get any of the pictures. Search the blog for the stuff I’ve written on Google and law offices. Now, the other news:

  • Jeff Bezos finally introduced his Amazon’s new Firefly phone. It’s available exclusively at AT&T, and you can pre-order the phone (64GB) now. Personally, I’d wait until we’re closer to the launch (I will get a peek). You can, and should, watch the press event (warning: Bezos speaks very sloooooooooooooow; skip to 13:30 to see the phone introduction):

  • The one issue with Amazon’s devices is that they’re not running Google Play services, which used to mean you couldn’t get Google Play Store or apps like Gmail, Google Maps, or Calendar. More and more, that’s not the case. Google’s normal deluge of Wednesday updates also saw the release of Android’s stock Email app (download APK). Users report some limited functionality right now, but you should see more device compatibility come on line. Otherwise, just upgrade your device.
  • Google’s pretty cool when it comes to making employees happy. We’ll probably find out that the dad already scheduled that week off. Kidding!
  • Canadian owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 should see the Android 4.4.2 update this week.
  • And even more insulting is the fact that AT&T’s Galaxy SIII owners are getting Android 4.4.2. Talk about waiting.
  • And just when those guys got their outdated version of KitKat, we have Android 4.4.4. The factory images are available, and Nexus devices should receive an OTA shortly.
  • Ahead of I/O 2014, Google’s giving us a look at its design philosophy, particularly when dealing with Android wear:

  • Speaking of Android Wear, there are 10 finalists in Motorola’s Moto 360 design contest. Some of the designs are pretty cool. I think my favorite is this one, a “vanishing face” design that reveals the minute ticks as the hour hand makes its way around the watch face.

vanishing hour2

  • T-Mobile’s running a new “Uncarrier 5.0 & 6.0” event. The biggest announcement is free music streaming for particular music services. Basically, you’re not going to use data if you’re streaming music on your T-Mobile device.
  • ATARI is bringing its collection of classic games to Android and iOS devices.
  • I may write a full post about using bookmarks in Google Docs.
  • YouTube’s bringing a paid music service. Expect a lot of big-name music labels, and not too many independents. Your next web search might bealternatives to YouTube“. I’d expect Vimeo to become a little excited.
  • If this rumor holds true (and I have no doubt it’s reliable), then we should see an announcement about Google’s new “Auto Link” system at I/O 2014.
  • For a summary of Google I/O 2014 rumors, take a look at this short post.
  • Another establishment, this time a movie theater, banned Google Glass. It’s piracy related though.
  • Here’s a good rundown on the best streaming music apps for Android. Personally, I like Pandora or Google Play Music.
  • LEGO lovers are soon able to interact virtually with their LEGO bricks.
  • Live streaming of YouTube live events on Chromecast is now available from your mobile device. I thought this was a feature, but live streaming was only available from Chrome browser.
  • Speaking of YouTube, 1080p streaming might be a future feature.
  • Futurelawyer talked about Towelroot, a one-stop shop for rooting your Android device. Aside from being able to run Mirror on your Nexus 5, I’m not really sure we need Android device rooting.
  • There’s a new Parallels Access app for remotely connecting to your Mac. I think I’d still use Chrome Remote Desktop.
  • A “kill switch” is coming to Android and Windows phones.
  • Personally, I’m kind of shocked that more local news stations and anti-Android sites haven’t run with this post about “secret photos.”
  • If you’re looking for some differences between Android and iOS, this is a pretty good list of some top Android functions that aren’t available on Apple’s devices.
  • Want to know why Samsung’s Touchwiz interface sucks the difference between Touchwiz and stock Android? Check out this post.
  • And here’s a review of Tizen.
  • And finally, I have trial on Monday, so this is how my life feels right now:

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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+.