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

MyCase invited me to join in on their webinar series and present information on Android. If you missed the webinar, you can catch the recap:

I also answered some post-webinar questions along the way. I really enjoyed giving this presentation, and I hope I was informative. I know a number of people get upset that the information I sometimes present is much too basic for their liking. Unfortunately, the reality, or trend, I see is that most attendees are basic users without a lot of advanced experience in Android. Obviously, if you’re looking for advance usage, that’s what the blog is here for.

In other news…

Android for Work officially launched without much explanation or information on how to incorporate the program into enterprise services. The official site has a “contact us” link, but Google is notoriously bad about responding, and I haven’t heard anything by my request. Incidentally, AFW looks like a feature available in Android L preview, but which worked horrifically bad. I’m hoping this isn’t the case for Android for Work’s official release.


YouTube Kids is available for download. The new app presents a “safe” way to view YouTube videos, with parental controls. Personally, I was underwhelmed by the app — which is one reason you haven’t seen a review — and spotted several flaws that make the app less appealing — an easy-to-crack password, for one.

YouTube Kids doesn’t support Chromecast — another glaring flaw and oversight — and isn’t available for installation on Nexus Player — why did I keep this thing? But if you have little ones who use your tablet or smartphone to watch YouTube — and they can’t read — then YouTube Kids is probably perfect.


Here is a great tutorial on adding Google Drive files to Google Calendar events. I love this trick, and it’s so simple.


Speaking of Google Calendar, a recent update adds 7-day view back into the features. This is a much needed feature, and now it’s back. If you haven’t used Google Calendar, or you’re not using it because of this problem, welcome back.

N6_weekview

Other features like pinch-to-zoom are also included in this update.


I’m a fan of Allcast, and I like following its developer, Koush Dutta. Recently, Koush joined the folks at Lifehacker to answer some questions and give us a behind-the-scenes look at Allcast’s development.


I want home automation just so I can do this:


Some devices experience serious battery drain, mostly as a result of applications. Here is a list of 10 apps that are known battery hogs — full report (PDF).


A lot of attorneys use Prezi for presentations. The Prezi app is available for Android.


I don’t know a lot of Android users who also use Mac, but there are some, and this is a good review of how to use your Android device to control your Macbook.


New York Times’ video software architect, Maxwell Da Silva, gave a presentation on building Chromecast apps, if you’re so inclined.


iOS users rejoice! You can wait to buy an Apple Watch for $399 in April (or later), or you can buy an Android Wear device now for less and run it on your iPhone. No jailbreak required.


And finally, to make you feel real good about your choice to go to law school, accept $150,000 in debt, and have miserable job prospects, I found this job posting for an Android Developer with Pangea. Starting salary: $70,000 (to $90,000 DOE).

job description

We’re an early stage startup engineering team seeking another passionate polyglot. As an Android Developer, you’ll be a passionate and unrelenting individual willing to brave the storm of learning. We’re a startup with assumptions to validate and continuous products to build, refine and improve. Your expertise and input is what you have to offer.

Mobile is the core of our consumer offering. We’re looking for someone to support Pangea in the mobile landscape and work alongside our Android and iOS development team.  Ideal candidates would be flexible enough to lend a hand on the backend (.NET) development when needed.

We believe innovation is a result of collaboration across teams, especially in an industry like ours. As such, this position will require flexibility, regular coordination and effective communication with the operations, business development, technology and marketing teams.

Our team is a diverse yet like minded group of individuals. Our educational background spans pre-med, pre-law, physics, mathematics, computer science, and computer engineering. Our technological background spans Mac, Windows, Linux, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, C#, Android, iOS, and even PHP! Our gaming background ranges from Counter-Strike and Starcraft to foosball and basketball. The engineering team works in a semi-private space of our office giving us an easy platform for collaboration and discussion. We run Agile with week-long sprints. Everyone on the engineering team has a maxed out Retina Macbook Pro with dual screen monitors.

QUALIFICATIONS

·       2+ years Android development

·       4+ years professional software development experience

·       Deep knowledge of the Android ecosystem and successful track record in launching Android apps

·       Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of information security related to Android apps and mobile devices a plus

·       Strong understanding of Internet and mobile technologies (e.g. JavaScript, HTML5, XML/JSON web services)

·       You’ve integrated third party APIs and have experience parsing RESTful web services in JSON / XML

·       Intimately familiar with Version control systems such as SVN and Git

·       You are an expert in Java and the Android SDK

·       You can put yourself in the shoes of the user: you understand how UI affects UX

·       Working knowledge of full-stack web development (.NET/C# experience a plus)

·       Currently, our backend is mostly .NET (C#) running on Amazon Web Services (using ElastiCache with Redis, RDS with MySQL, SES, SQS, RabbitMQ). We use git (on Bitbucket), Chef, TeamCity, JIRA, and HipChat. The keyword here is ‘currently’. We believe in using the right tool for the job. Your input will help shape the future of our tooling and the business.

BENEFITS

·       Fortune 500 level health, dental, and vision insurance

·       27 days off a year

·       Commuter benefits (monthly CTA pass or up to $100/month for Metra/parking)

·       Intramural sports teams including beach volleyball, bowling, and others!

·       Creative work environment. We are lucky to work in a place that is full of intelligent, talented and innovative folks. Although most hours the place is quiet (we’re a focused bunch), this is punctuated with dogs playing/running/chasing/barking (we have several in the office), hilarious outbursts and general merriment, which makes a nice way to spend the day

·       Free food. Every week, we stock our kitchen with free and sometimes healthy snacks

·       Easy transportation. We’re really close to the Chicago ‘L’ stop and various bus routes

·       Foreign Worker Sponsorship available on a case-by-case basis (TN Visa, H-1B, etc.)

I guess you might have a problem with grabbing 2 years experience.

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+.