Welcome to the Android Police Weekend Poll and News Roundup. We're introducing this as a combination of two previously separate features - the weekend poll and the week in review. Just think of it as the weekend poll with the added bonus of some stuff to read at the bottom. A Sunday super-post, if you will.
Since the launch of the Nexus 4 and its glass back, there's been even more hullabaloo in the Android world about the need for a smartphone case, bumper, or skin. I've found this is actually a question people have some pretty strong feelings about. And the market for cases is as big as ever - if you head to Amazon, for example, you'll see there are already over 3000 dedicated listings for iPhone 5 cases.
Of course, the question of a case doesn't stop at a simple "yes" or "no" - there are a variety of ways to protect and personalize your smartphone. You can go all the way from the least invasive end of the spectrum - invisible stick-on skins - to battle-tank style barriers like the the Otterbox Defender. Having tried both extremes myself, my personal belief has always been that the best part about smartphone cases is removing them - the idea just never resonated with me.
The Otterbox Defender
For most people, though, the answer to the "case question" is not going be rooted only in aesthetic philosophy. If we all felt comfortable running around with our smartphones in the proverbial nude, Otterbox wouldn't be in business. So, with that in mind - how do you protect your device (if at all)?
And as always, feel free to explain your answer in the comments.
The Weekly News Roundup
This section should give you the condensed version of what's been going on in the Android universe in the last week, but if you want your news at a more leisurely pace, you can always listen to our weekly podcast.
- Ron tears down the latest Google Search APK and, as usual, has found things you'll want to know about.
- Ron also showed us a bunch of weird leftovers he's been saving up from all his other APK teardowns that you'll probably want to know about even more.
- Three weeks with the Surface: An Android perspective on the Windows slate.
- The "Steve Jobs" touch heuristic patent has been preliminarily invalidated, examiner apparently was able to put his finger on it.
- Google Chrome is going to start showing Google Now cards at some point, increase Google's "creepy ability to give you what you want before you knew you wanted it" factor seven-fold.
- Google+ Communities are a thing now, though we're not sure why.
- Google Search for Android received a major update with a lot of awesome new stuff.
- The Play Store Private Channel lets you distribute apps... in private.
- Google I/O dates were announced.
- Android's platform distribution numbers were updated, because who doesn't love a good pie chart?
- Photo Sphere and Google Maps have new APIs.
- Gmail 4.2 is finally here, and you can swipe away email to your heart's content.
General Device News
- The Verizon Galaxy Camera is basically official at this point.
HTC is releasing the J Butterfly / DNA internationally, and they're going to call it the Butterfly. I can't imagine how that could backfire.
Archos: 101 XS.
- Our Five Favorite News Apps To Check Out From November 2012
- Tasker's going to look a lot prettier pretty soon.
- Snapseed for Android is out now, and you need to get it immediately.
- Heroes of Order and Chaos is out now, if you like throwing your hard-earned money at Gameloft.
- SwiftKey Flow wants to make you even more absurdly efficient.