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

This edition comes off the presses one day later than normal, because I’m enjoying my Christmas presents, especially Cardboard. But never fear, these “pages” contain the same great feature stories you enjoy. So here’s this week’s news:

  • If your house is filled with tiny tots, then 2014’s also been one of those Frozen years, too. You can add one more Frozen momento to your collection because the Frozen soundtrack is free on Google Play.

Google Play Music Frozen

  • Will Google’s autonomous cars put personal injury lawyers out of business? This post got a mention in The Wall Street Journal’s law blog. Certainly, I get the concern about safety for other drivers, but until there’s an actual announcement for retail versions, let’s just keep living our lives. Moreover, I don’t see mass market, consumer appeal for these fully autonomous cars, since part of the driving experience is the actual driving experience. I like driving. But I do see more appeal in larger cities as taxi replacements, or to add safety enhancements to current vehicles.
  • Don’t get scammed by “Google.”
  • The Droid Lawyer received a “Blawggie” from Dennis Kennedy. Well, not really, but this blog did get the honorable mention as The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
  • Remember that antitrust lawsuit that claimed Google “illegally monopolized and financially and creatively stagnated the U.S. Internet and mobile search market.” It’s done, almost.
  • Google revealed its latest transparency report, which discloses the stuff governments want to know about you.
  • Android Auto is making its way to new vehicle in 2015, but apparently you won’t need to tether your phone to operate the system.
  • Golfers rejoice! The Nike Golf 360° app is available on Google Play. Combine this app with the Swingbyte 2 and you have a decent way to improve your golf game.
  • If you got a new Android phone or tablet for the holidays, perhaps you want to get rid of your old one. Here are some great ways to make money from your old device.
  • Walt Disney World is accepting NFC payments. I would expect the other Disney resorts to follow suit.
  • You can take screenshots with Android Wear. I’m not exactly sure why you’d care, but for techies (and developers) this is a good thing.
  • Maybe you’re looking for A Better Camera for your phone. Yes, it’s called A Better Camera and it’s supposed to improve your device’s camera. I like Fast Burst Camera for speedy pictures.
  • Here’s a great suggestion for improving Google Now and Gmail. I do this regularly.
  • RAW image format is available in Android Lollipop, but not yet.
  • Still using a Windows Phone? Come to the “dark side.”
  • But maybe Android isn’t so dark”

  • I generally agree with some of these suggestions for improving Android.
  • But you’re probably not using the features you already have.
  • Android 5.0.2 is finally available for Nexus 7 (2012) devices. Here’s “the skinny” on installing the new OS. Also, the download should be available OTA for most users.
  • How often do you check the offers tab in Chromecast? Perhaps you should.
  • Well, this is a cool Android Wear hack.
  • Here’s a simple way to add the sun, moon, and stars to your Google Calendar.
  • MIT has an interesting look at how Google’s cracking the house number code.
  • And finally, if you use Google+ for photos and videos, then you should see your “Year in Review.” I’m sharing my year with you.

Incidentally, your “Year in Review” is private unless you make it public. This isn’t the case with Facebook, which started filling folks’ feeds with their friends’ “awesome” photos. One more reason I prefer Google+ for sharing photos.

Have a 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+.