Posts Tagged Android

[New App] Popular iOS App Retrica Comes To Android For The Selfie Lovers Who Are Not Yet Sick Of Filters

Retrica-ThumbRetrica’s popularity can be summed up in one word: selfies. If somebody – let’s call her Sue – needs a picture of herself right this moment, she needs an app with a minimalist interface that doesn’t get in the way. And since Sue Somebody is working with less than optimal circumstances and a mobile phone with a crappy front-facing camera, she wants a wide range of filters that could mask how bad of a photo she’s about to take.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New App] Popular iOS App Retrica Comes To Android For The Selfie Lovers Who Are Not Yet Sick Of Filters was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Xperia firmware check website keeps tabs on available Sony Xperia updates

Android 4.4 has been rolling out to some Sony Xperia devices, and even some older ones are just getting updated to Android 4.3. If keeping track of which update has arrived for which device has your head spinning, then this new online tool might just help to keep you from going insane.

Keeping track of Android updates is no easy job. Keeping track of manufacturer-specific firmware updates is even more so. While the former is more often than not reported on Android sites like this, the latter, especially minor updates, are usually given a pass. But for Xperia users who are interested or just even curious about the latest firmware available for their device, or someone else’s, this website from XDA member pascalbrax can help you find out that information.

The site won’t win any design awards, but it tries to get the job done, somewhat. Users can enter pick their device from a long list of Xperia devices, including regional variants, and optionally enter their Customization number. This will then return the version of the latest firmware available for your device. It even offers a link to the exact model for you to bookmark as well as an image that gets automatically updated with the correct build number, which you can then use in sites like forums or blogs.

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This firmware check site is still quite rough around the edges, though hopefully it will improve as time goes by. For one, users won’t be able to download the exact firmware that they want. For that, they could use a Windows-only tool to check for firmware updates and download them too. But more importantly, it only gives out the firmware version, which is useful for only checking if you’re device is behind on updates. To find out other details about the firmware, even something as basic as Android version, users will have to cross-reference it with other sources of information. Not exactly the most convenient process, but it’s definitely a start.

SOURCE: firmware check
VIA: XDA

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Android 4.4.3 for Sprint Nexus 5? Sense 6 Coming to Original HTC One! – Device Updates

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It is Monday, so let’s see what devices are getting updated. Seems that there is a nice little update rolling out to the Sprint Nexus 5, which just might be the first Android 4.4.3 rollout, but no one seems to no for sure. Let us know if you see a “3″ in your update settings.

Device Updates
Original HTC One getting Sense 6
Verizon HTC One Max gets Android 4.4.2


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TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 14, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Guides

Best Android keyboard replacement apps [April 2014]

Apps

Samsung Group Play updated to version 3.0

Dailymotion’s Chromecast support exits beta and is open for all

Carriers

T-Mobile says no to overage charges, and John Legere starts petition for all U.S. carriers to do the same

Verizon extends latest More Everything discounts to those that bring their own 

Chrome

Office Online makes its way to the Chrome Web Store

Chromecast

Dailymotion’s Chromecast support exits beta and is open for all

Google

Google to update Android icons to more resemble web icons

Document reveals Android’s pre-touchscreen development

Google purchases drone company Titan Aerospace

Google wants more eye real estate with camera-embedded contact lenses

Google Glass

Glass user has Glass pulled off his face and smashed

Plastic surgeon aided by Google Glass while operating on patients

Google Glass update to come this week with Android 4.4 KitKat

Phones

HTC One M8 Mini May release rumored again

HTC One (M7) will receive Sense 6.0 next month

Pictures of Huawei Ascend P7 leaked

Motorola’s 2012 DROID devices still slated to get KitKat in a few more weeks

Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a cameras get taken out for an Ultra HD showcase

Samsung to announce the Galaxy S 5 Zoom on April 29 with a new name

ZTE teases upcoming ZTE Star 1 smartphone

Updates

Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

Motorola’s 2012 DROID devices still slated to get KitKat in a few more weeks

HTC One (M7) will receive Sense 6.0 next month

Wearables

Samsung Gear Fit goes through a bunch of scenarios in latest commercial

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 14, 2014

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Google Glass update to come this week with Android 4.4 KitKat

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Google Glass hasn’t been updated in a while now, but the next update is set to be released later this week. The update will bring a number of things to Glass, including Android 4.4 KitKat!

KitKat isn’t the only thing that will be added in the update. The update will also feature photo bundles, allowing users to view their timeline in a more organized, bundled fashion. It will also allow users to reply to a message in Hangouts with a photo.

Other new features include voice command sorting, making it easier to view voice commands in an organized fashion, and video calls.

Source: +Google Glass

Come comment on this article: Google Glass update to come this week with Android 4.4 KitKat

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Leaked icons indicate Android may enjoy a redesign soon

The Google I/O developer conference is just over two months away, but it’s never too early to start opining about what the software giant is planning to show. Try not to be overwhelmed with excitement, kids: according to documents leaked by Android Police (seemingly confirmed by Google’s own Partners page) new icons are coming. The new style is apparently referred to as Moonshine, and this flatter look is likely just a portion of an upcoming redesign. We’re still awaiting details on what else may change, but for now, all we can do is look forward to new icons for Play Music, Books, Movies, and Games; as well as Google+, Calendar, People, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, Camera, and the Play Store. Each of the icons appears to be more in line with what Google uses on the web. So is this just a foreshadowing that all of Android’s design guidelines will see a similar overhaul? Hang tight — we’ve got another couple months before we find out. In the meantime, feast upon a few more icons (the new ones are on the right).

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Via: 9to5Google

Source: Android Police

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25 Best (And 2 WTF) New Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (4/2/14 – 4/14/14)

gameroundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Passport Photo ID Studio

This week’s roundup is brought to you by Passport Photo ID Studio from Handy Apps.

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25 Best (And 2 WTF) New Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (4/2/14 – 4/14/14) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

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We already know that Google is readying an update (4.4.3) to squash a number of bugs. The only question is when will will land? Well that day just might be today.

Turns out that Sprint has announced an update to their version of the Nexus 5. This update (KTU48F) does bring Sprint Spark bands 26 and 41 to the phone, but it doesn’t appear that’s all. There is no changelog yet, but “miscellaneous Android updates” were mentioned.

Is this the expected Android 4.4.3 update? We don’t know for sure just yet, but we suspect that it is. Why would Sprint want to push two updates so close together?

If this is Android 4.4.3, then expect an announcement from Google later today regarding all Nexus devices. Stay tuned.

source: Sprint

Come comment on this article: Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

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Android 4.4.3 (Build KTU84F) For The Nexus 5 Should Start Rolling Out Today, According To Sprint

unnamedWhat a day for an OTA – specifically, Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5. Sprint has updated its support page to indicate KTU48F is dropping today, which we understand to be the rumored 4.4.3 release. There is a Sprint-specific tweak in this update, but the software should also be hitting N5s that aren’t connected to the Sprint network at the same time.

The changelog is pretty straightforward. Here’s what we’ve got.

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Android 4.4.3 (Build KTU84F) For The Nexus 5 Should Start Rolling Out Today, According To Sprint was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rumor: Google’s Android App Icons To Get A Moonshine Makeover [Updated]

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Included in Android’s design guidelines is a section regarding iconography. The guidelines give very specific instructions on how to design a launcher icon for Android – it should have a unique silhouette, it should have a slight downward perspective, and it should be clearly visible no matter what wallpaper is behind it.

Many have opined, however, that it’s odd that Google maintains different iconography for its apps on Android and their corresponding web services.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Rumor: Google’s Android App Icons To Get A Moonshine Makeover [Updated] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android 4.4 for Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S 3 could arrive by May

Samsung_Logo_02_TA_CES_2014While most of the newer devices have already received Android 4.4, owners of slightly older devices have kept waiting. For owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S 3, that wait might not be much longer. A Samsung customer managed to get a hold of someone from tech support, who confirmed that Samsung is expecting to launch the Android 4.4 update on the Galaxy Note 2 somewhere in mid-April, and for the Galaxy S 3 by early May.

These time-frames are for the Korean variants of these devices, but devices in the rest of the world shouldn’t be that far behind.

Source: Daum.net
Via: G for Games

 

 

Come comment on this article: Android 4.4 for Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S 3 could arrive by May

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Android 4.4 for Samsung Galaxy Note, Galaxy S 3 could arrive by May

Samsung_Logo_02_TA_CES_2014While most of the newer devices have already received Android 4.4, owners of slightly older devices have kept waiting. For owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy S 3, that wait might not be much longer. A Samsung customer managed to get a hold of someone from tech support, who confirmed that Samsung is expecting to launch the Android 4.4 update on the Galaxy Note 2 somewhere in mid-April, and for the Galaxy S 3 by early May.

These time-frames are for the Korean variants of these devices, but devices in the rest of the world shouldn’t be that far behind.

Source: Daum.net
Via: G for Games

 

 

Come comment on this article: Android 4.4 for Samsung Galaxy Note, Galaxy S 3 could arrive by May

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[Bonus Round] Mikey Hooks, SideSwype, And Dream Chamber

nexusae0_bonusicon_thumbWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn’t get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can’t wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don’t want to wade through a whole day’s worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we’ve got an old-school platformer with a few new tricks, an interesting take on the 2048 standard, and a detective noir adventure game.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[Bonus Round] Mikey Hooks, SideSwype, And Dream Chamber was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Community Weekly Wrap-Up for April 12, 2014

We’ve had some slow weeks in terms of Android news lately, but things appear to be picking up. And naturally, as we move closer to Google I/O we expect this to continue. Samsung and HTC have both released their latest flagship devices, plus there are some others we are still waiting to see. There was also quite a bit of talk about Heartbleed this past week.

Heartbleed isn’t something anyone should necessarily be ignoring, however Google did let everyone know that only one specific version is vulnerable. That version is 4.1.1 and it looks like a fix is in the process of being pushed to devices. A few other random highlights from this past week include the following;

We also got a nice surprise last evening when a video showing live gameplay of Portal on SHIELD was shared. Speaking of SHIELD, the latest update also arrived this past week. That one brought devices to Kit Kat, and perhaps more important — added quite a bit in terms of new features and improvements for GameStream.

Another item that seems to be coming up more and more often lately is Glass. We’ve seen a few new apps including Livestream and Timelapse, and Google introduced the Glass at Work initiative. Coincidentally, we also saw a bit on how Glass is being tested by the US Air Force and has been put to good use in the emergency room. For those still hoping to get Glass — remember Google will be selling a limited amount without invitation on April 15th.

Shifting from the news, we do also want to highlight some of our non-news coverage from this past week. Presented in no particular order, here are some examples from this previous week;

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The Android Community Team: mixed opinions on utility apps

For this latest ‘Android Community Team’ post we are talking about apps that help you manage your device. This can include everything from tools that help you track battery life or manage your storage space. There are also the tools for remote tracking. But putting the examples aside for a moment; as you are about to see — we actually have a pretty mixed opinion on using these tools. One of us avoids them, one of us regularly uses them, and one of us is sort of in the middle and may be headed to using them on a regular basic.

Nate Swanner

So, here’s the thing: I don’t use “file explorers”, and I don’t use SD cards. I don’t necessarily understand the use for them in 2014, to be honest. We’re in an environment where many OEMs leave SD card slots off their device, instead opting for cloud storage — which they do include. I like cloud storage because it syncs across devices and I can access it anywhere, any time. I find keeping files stored locally to be fussy, and it doesn’t work for me in my multiple device world.

For cloud storage, I use Drive almost exclusively. It’s simple for uploads, easy to use, secure, and I can use it across platforms. All I need is a connection to the web, and I can access my files any time. I’ve never found myself needing a file when I didn’t have a connection, and I’m not suspicious of Drive’s security.

Sharing is also incredibly simple, and I’ve never gone wanting with Google’s cloud storage. My pics automatically upload to Google, too, so I’m never going to lament not having a file. I get why people use these types of apps, but it’s a workaround I don’t need or want.

Juan Carlos Torres

I have something to confess. I am not as concerned with CPU, RAM, or battery usage as your regular Android power user. However, I am a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to disk space usage. Even when there’s a microSD card present, there will always be occasions when you need to make room for more. For this, I always install two tools in any Android device I get my hands on.

week-tools

Disk Usage scans your storage, either internal or external SD card, and visually shows you the amount of space they occupy. It doesn’t show it in some fancy pie chart or bar but instead uses horizontally stacked boxes that go deeper into folders as it flows to the right. One advantage of this convention is that you have everything presented to you at a glance, letting you use pinch to zoom to focus in on more specific folders. It even lets you search for files or, if needed, delete them directly from the app itself.

For more fine-grained file management, I turn to ES File Explorer. It is definitely not the prettiest app out there, but I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of beauty in exchange for features. It goes beyond showing you your local files and data. It can let users display and manage files stored remotely, via SSH, FTP, LAN, or even the cloud, with support for services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and more, as if they were simply local files and folders as well. It even has tools, some of which require other ES apps, that help you manage not just files but your system as well. The App Manager’s backup feature is something more enterprising users might be interested in checking

Robert Nelson

So far we’ve seen two different opinions on device management tools. Nate doesn’t see any need, and JC has a few favorites that see regular use. Me on the other hand, while I pay attention to certain apps for the purpose of being an Android blogger, I tend to avoid using them myself.

In all honestly, I am actually pretty terrible when it comes to device management. I run apps and notifications the way I want, and let battery life suffer. I stream all my media (music and video), which means the only items I have stored on my device are the images I take and the actual apps.

Similar to the battery life, I tend to avoid looking at free vs. used storage and just use my phone the way I want. Sort of an ignorance is bliss situation. Of course, as I recently learned — you can sometimes be surprised. I recently switched from using Slacker Radio to Google Play Music All Access and found storage to be an issue.

This is a time when tools came in handy. It seems a setting in Play Music caused me to quickly fill a bunch of storage space. As it turns out, the app had the “Cache during playback” option checked. This ‘temporarily’ stores music while streaming. And well, an 8 hour listening session added an extra 0.99GB of storage on my device.

Maybe not the biggest number, but as it turns out — even a guy that that relies solely on the cloud can fill a device. That 0.99GB combined with roughly 2.5GB of cache and a 16GB (with much less usable) Moto X can actually be filled up. That all having been said, I’ll admit to not yet having settled on a set of tools, however this does have me reconsidering my decision to live in ignorance.

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On another front, there is one tool I feel is a must have — something that can track my device. As someone that is all in with Google and Android, I naturally went to the Android Device Manager setup. And as I ranted about back in early March, it is a setup I try to make sure all my friends and family are using.

We’ve mentioned how we do things — now you can fire away in the comments and let us know how you do things.

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Chrome Beta 35 for Android Update Brings in Chromecast Video Support

Chrome Beta for AndroidChrome Beta 35 became available yesterday for desktop PC users and brought a heck of a lot with it. It is full of more developer control over touch input, new javascript features and unprefixed Shadow DOM. Basically a lot of great stuff for those that know what is going on, for the average user, you are better off with sticking to the regular Chrome browser build. Following up with the Chrome Beta 35 build release is a new update for Chrome Beta for Android.

Chrome Beta for Android is the app where Google gives you a sneak peak at features they are working on for the standard Chrome for Android app. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail and other times they eat your neighbors dog. (Which might not always be a bad thing.) Needless to say, the Chrome Beta for Android is one you might want to install along side the traditional app for experimenting purposes.

In today’s update there are the usual stability and performance fixes to make it faster and more stable. It also has an “Undo Tab Close” which will let you restore and accidentally closed tab. I know you have done it, I certainly have. You will also find fullscreen video with subtitles and HTML5 controls, support for some multi-window devices (Samsung primarily) and, probably the most notable change, support to directly cast some videos to your Chromecast.

If you want to poe around the new build then head into the Play Store and pick it up. Just click the “Get it on Google Play” button below.


Get it on Google Play

Source: Google Blogspot

Via: 9to5Google


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Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner Checks Your Android Device For OpenSSL Vulnerabilities

The latest news that is causing quite a stir on the Internet lately is the discovery of the Heartbleed bug. This security vulnerability affects the OpenSSL software library and allows a hacker to steal information directly form an application. What’s even more astounding is that this vulnerability has been in existence for two years now which has a lot of people concerned.

heartbleed bug

Android users are not exempt from the Heartbleed bug as Google announced that devices running on Android 4.1.1 are vulnerable. If you own any device running on this platform then your best course of action is to find out if a software update is already available. Unfortunatley, software updates on Android devices do not come immediately unless you are using a Nexus device or a Google Play edition device. So what’s the next best thing to do in order to protect your data from being stolen?

You could get the Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner which is now available for free at the Google Play store. This app does not fix the Heartbleed bug however it can do the next best thing which is to scan your device for any app that uses a version of the OpenSSL that is vulnerable to the bug. According to Bluebox “Android devices ship with OpenSSL library by default. In addition, many apps will bundle their own copy of the library. The Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner from Bluebox Labs will check all of these copies and let you know if any appear to be vulnerable to the Heartbleed vulnerability.”

Bluebox also announced that “Bluebox has released a tool into the Google Play store called Heartbleed Scanner. The application will scan your device and recognize if your are running a vulnerable version of OpenSSL.  We currently only recognize the version reported back from OpenSSL to check for possible vulnerability.  Additionally we scan all of the applications on your device and present you with ones that contain their own openssl library — you should follow up with those app developers to confirm they are using a safe version of OpenSSL.”

The app does not need any permissions to run and is has only a 35kb file size. Once installed, you can let it scan your device and in a few seconds it will list down the apps that uses a version of the OpenSSL library (1.0.1 through 1.0.1f) and if heartbeats is enabled.  In my case I let it scan my smartphone and the only app that it found that was vulnerable was the Facebook app.

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Once the results are in it is up to you to either uninstall the affected app, not use it, or check and see if there is any new update that may have already plugged the vulnerability.

via google play

The post Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner Checks Your Android Device For OpenSSL Vulnerabilities appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Android 4.1.1 Devices Vulnerable To Heartbleed Bug

The recent discovery of a security flaw affecting OpenSSL, a data encryption standard, could allow hackers to get our personal data from the services we use every day from sites that we think are secure. The Heartbleed bug is not a bug in an app that can simply be updated to fix it. It actually affects the servers that transmit secure information and has affected sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo Mail, and more. Most of the popular websites have already issued patches to protect its users.

heartbleed bug

While most of the attention lies in computers, those who are using the Android operating system are also affected by the Heartbleed security bug. Smartphones and tablets running on Android 4.1.1 in particular are vulnerable to the bug.

Google announced on its online security blog that “All versions of Android are immune to CVE-2014-0160 (with the limited exception of Android 4.1.1; patching information for Android 4.1.1 is being distributed to Android partners). We will continue working closely with the security research and open source communities, as doing so is one of the best ways we know to keep our users safe.”

Google has not given any figures on exactly how many devices around the world are running on Android 4.1.1 however the company’s latest figure places the number of devices running on Android 4.1.X Jelly Bean at 34.4 percent. This places the estimate in the millions of units running on this version. Popular manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, and Sony just to name a few have released devices running on this version of Android.

While most of the Internet properties worldwide have already issued a fix to the Heartbleed bug it is not easy to do on Android devices. Even if Google has already released a patch it will still take some time to arrive on the affected devices since it depends on the device manufacturer or the wireless carrier to push the update.

This has been one of the constant problems of the Android system as updates take a long time to arrive (except of course for Nexus devices).

Verizon Wireless made a statement regarding this issue stating that “Verizon is aware of the OpenSSL security vulnerability referred to as ‘Heartbleed,’ and we are working with our device manufacturers to test and deploy patches to any affected device on our network running Android 4.1.1. Other mobile operating systems we offer are not affected by this vulnerability and we have no reason to believe that the issue has resulted in any compromise of Verizon customer accounts, websites, or data.”

via googleonlinesecurity

The post Android 4.1.1 Devices Vulnerable To Heartbleed Bug appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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[Deal Alert] Unified Remote, Our Favorite PC Remote For Android, Celebrates 3 Years In The Business With A 75% Off Sale

UnifiedRemote-ThumbUnited Remote is a phenomenal app that can turn your Android device into a remote for your PC, giving you control over your mouse, keyboard, and media apps (Hulu, iTunes, VLC, and the like). It’s awesome. Seriously, here’s Artem’s reaction from when he first came across the app. It has the ability to change your life. Now Unified Remote is available for 75% off in celebration of its three-year anniversary, meaning it can be yours for just 99 cents.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[Deal Alert] Unified Remote, Our Favorite PC Remote For Android, Celebrates 3 Years In The Business With A 75% Off Sale was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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This week’s sidebar poll: What version of Android are you using?

It’s that time again. Right around the beginning of this year I decided we were going to start a little bit of quarterly fun and poll you, the readers of Android Central, about what version of Android you were using. It’s by no means scientific, and there’s not much we can’t find out other ways — like checking the website stats — but it is a great way to get a discussion going. And that’s what we do, or try to, is start discussion.

I’m a huge data nerd, even when the data is gathered in less-than-optimal ways. I got a lot out of our last look at who is using what version, and I like to think plenty of you all did as well. It’s fun to compare a cross section of the tech-savvy against general numbers gathered from the big G each month. I’ll stop yapping, see the poll below.

What version of Android are you using? (April 2014)



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Mobile Roar Podcast 40: Project Ara & Android TV

Project Ara was a cool concept, but we were skeptical of it becoming a real thing. This week Google showed us that this is much more than just a concept. We’re very excited. Also, Android TV got leaked and it looks like the idea of Google TV is dead. We also talk about the 5 types of Android users, Samsung’s craziest devices, Wins and Fails of the Week, and our App Picks. Thanks for listening!

Big News

5 Types of Android Users
7 Most WTF Samsung Devices

Quick Hits

  • iTunes overhaul: spotify-like streaming, Android app
  • Apple considered acquisition of Square
  • iWatch could launch with a range of pricing and design options
  • Galaxy S5 launches on Friday
  • Windows Phone 8.1 dev preview coming next week

Wins/Fails

App Picks

Follow Us

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9 things to do when you first get your Android phone [Android 101]

android-101

Whether you’re new to this whole Android thing or whether this is your third or fourth device running Google’s mobile OS, there are certain steps you can take immediately to get the most our of your new smartphone. From syncing your Google account to finding the perfect apps and games, the below list aims to get you up and running as quickly as possible so you can start enjoying your Android phone.

Note: Many of the below items require making adjustments under the Settings menu. Quickly access Settings by swiping down from the top of the screen, revealing the notifications shade, and tapping the gear icon.

Set up your Google account

account-sync

Your Google account is the heartbeat of your Android device, and syncing the two is central to accessing services like Google Play, Gmail, Google Now, and more. You most likely will have taken care of this during initial setup of your device, but in case you skipped this step you can add your Google account (and a number of others) via the Settings menu.

Simply navigate to Settings > Add Account (located under the Accounts heading) then click Google from the list of options. If you do not have a Google account you can create one at this time by tapping New when prompted. Otherwise, tap Existing and enter the credentials of the Google account you wish to sync with your Android phone.

Once you have signed into your account you will be asked to choose which items to sync with your phone. At a bare minimum we recommend checking the boxes next to ContactsCalendar, and Gmail, which will keep your address book, Google calendars, and email synced across devices using the same Google account.

Add your contacts

people

The quickest way to add contacts to your phone is by syncing with your Google account. Contacts stored in Gmail will automatically populate your device’s address book. If you need to add a bulk address book, a single contact or edit an existing entry, do so using the People application.

If you do not have your address book synced to your Google account but wish to add contacts in bulk, do so by importing a vCard (.vcf) file. You can create a vCard file using applications like Outlook or (for Mac users) Apple’s Contacts app. This card can then be transferred to your phone’s SD card storage (this will not be available for all Android phones). Alternatively, if transferring a SIM from an old device, your address book might be stored on the card.

In the People app, tap the Menu button (three vertical dots), then tap Import/export and choose either Import from storage or Import from SIM card.

To add a single contact, tap the Add contact button (represented by a cartoon head and shoulders with a ‘+’ on top). Fill in information for the contact’s name, phone number, email, address, and other info then tap Save.

If transitioning from an iPhone, there may be a few more steps. See our guide for transferring contacts from iPhone to Android for full instructions.

Create a passcode

pattern-unlock

If you want to keep the data on your phone safe from prying eyes, avoid butt-dials, and maintain peace of mind that sensitive information is safe in case your phone is lost or stolen, it’s always a good idea to create a passcode for your Android device. Users have a few options here: a 4-digit PIN, an unlock pattern, a password, or Face Unlock. You can edit passcode settings by navigating to Settings > Security under the Personal subheading.

From the Security menu, tap Screen lock to access lockscreen passcode settings. From the next screen, choose the passcode method you wish to use. The two recommended methods are Pattern and PIN, as they tend to be easily remembered, quickly entered, and reliable. Face Unlock is a fun way to access your device, but it can be a bit clumsy. 

Tap the passcode method of your choice and follow the instructions on the next screen to create a new unlock PIN, pattern, or password.

Customize your homescreen

homescreen

You Android device’s numerous homescreens can be customized with applications, widgets, and folders, personalizing the look and feel of the operating system while making it easy to access the services you use most.

To arrange items on a homescreen (or move them to a different homescreen), simply long-press the icon or widget and drag it to its new location. Drag icons on top of each other to create folders, a great way to organize apps and services.

Removing a homescreen item is easy. Simple long-press the icon or widget and dragging it toward the top of the screen. Drop the item on Remove to delete it from the homescreen. 

To add an item to your homescreen, open the Applications menu and long-press the app shortcut you wish to add. Drag it our of the app drawer and on to the desire homescreen. The same can be done for widgets.

Certain widgets are resizable. After long-pressing the widget, release it. Resizing handles will now be highlighted. Drag the edges of the widget to bring it to its new desired size.

Change your background

wallpaper

To change the background of your Android phone, simply long-press a blank area of your homescreen. The Choose wallpaper from dialog will appear. Choose a new wallpaper from your Gallery or from Google’s collection of standard wallpapers. Animated wallpapers are available from the Live Wallpapers gallery. When you have settled on the perfect background, tap Set wallpaper.

Alternatively, you can change your background by navigating to Settings > Display > Wallpaper. You will be presented with the same options as listed above.

Personalize sounds and ringtones

sounds

To edit device sound settings, navigate to Settings > Sound under the Device subheading. From the Sound menu you can adjust volume levels for ringtones, notifications, and other system sounds as well as edit vibration settings and more.

Choose a ringtone by tapping Phone ringtone. You can choose from the default options presented by Google or from your personal audio library stored on the device’s internal memory. Likewise, you can choose a notification sound by tapping Default notification.

From the Sound menu you can also choose other system sound and vibration settings, such as haptic feedback, screen lock sound, and dial pad touch tones.

Enable Google Now

google-now

Google Now is one of the best features to come to Android since it first launched to the public in 2007. If you have an Android device and don’t have the predictive information service and personal voice assistant activated, you are missing out. You can enable Google Now through the Google Search app. Note that you will need to have your Google account synced to your device before doing so.

Open the Google Search app by tapping the search bar at the top of any homescreen. Tap the Menu (three vertical dots) button in the lower righthand corner (the keyboard may initially obscure this portion of the screen — close it), then tap Settings. Toggle Google Now to the On position.

Google Now’s cards offer a variety of information gathered from your Google account, including shipment tracking notifications, sports scores, calendar events, local attractions, and much more. Google Now will also respond to voice input, answering search queries (try asking “How old is the President of the United States?”) with the help of Google’s Knowledge Graph and speaking the results back to you. Just tap the microphone icon to initiate voice input.

Get apps and games

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That shiny new Android phone might as well be a dumbphone without the apps and games that go along with it. When you quickly grow tired of your phone’s pre-installed software, visit Google Play to find more.

You can access Google Play via the Play Store app. You can browse apps and games by category, get recommendations and suggestions from Google’s Play Store curators, and view the top paid and free apps. While there is no perfect answer to the question of which apps to get first, the Home tab is a good place to start to find the newest and most popular items from Google’s applications catalog.

The Play Store app is also when you will manage the applications already installed on your device and update previously purchased and downloaded software. Tap the Menu button then My apps to manage apps and games.

A note on cloud storage…

While not absolutely necessary, setting up cloud storage for your device will provide some extra space to store files and enable backups of your photos and other important information. It will also make it possible to access your data across devices synced to the same cloud services.

Google Drive is easy enough to set up if you already have a Google account. You will want to make sure Google Drive sync is checked under the account options located by navigating to Settings > Google under the Accounts subheading. To get full use of the service, you may need to download the Drive app from the Play Store.

Other recommended options include Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

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The above is merely scratching the surface of what your Android phone can do, but we won’t spoil all of the fun of exploring your shiny new toy. Discovered any tips or tricks for other new Android users? Share them in the comments below!

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Vodafone Smart 4 Mini – £50 budget newcomer

Vodafone has today started taking orders for the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini, a new super-budget Android model the network is selling for just £50 with a PAYG SIM. It’s not disastrous on paper either, offering Android 4.2.2 running on a 4-inch screen that manages to output at a resolution of 480 x 800. A bit low, but not bad for a £50 model.

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is powered by a dual-core MTK6572 chipset running at 1.3GHz, so ought to be a vast step up from previous models in the Vodafone Smart range, although don’t go capturing any life firsts on the 3.15MP camera.

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You can have it in black or white from Vodafone UK right now.

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Vodafone UK launches new entry level Smart 4 Mini for £50

Vodafone UK sends word this morning of a hot new Android phone added to its lineup. No, it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S5, say hello to the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini. OK, so it’s not that hot, but it does occupy an important part of Vodafone’s lineup, being a truly entry level Android phone at just £50.

Specs are exactly what you’d expect of such a cheap phone. 4-inch display, dual-core 1.3GHz CPU and just 512MB of RAM. It’s running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which isn’t exactly current but will be more than ample for the sort of buyer picking it up. With phones this cheap running Android, is there even a point to buying a feature phone anymore?

11 April, 2014: The latest addition to the Vodafone Smart range has landed, bringing you top-notch performance and functionality at an unbelievable price. For just £50 the Smart 4 mini outperforms its predecessor with a highly responsive 4” capacitive touch screen, dual core 1.3Ghz processor supported by 512Mb of RAM, and the latest version of Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.2.2).

Designed to bring you the full Vodafone experience at an affordable price, and with a simple user interface it’s easy to get to grips with all that the Vodafone Smart 4 mini has to offer. With just a click or a swipe enjoy everything from high-speed internet browsing and access to the latest news, entertainment, maps and transport apps while you’re on the go as well as email and social networking services.



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TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 10, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Guides

How to create perfect Video Highlights on the HTC One (M8)

Apps

Sonos just got a lot better today

Amidst power struggle before Supreme Court, Aereo ready to release Chromecast support

Cameras

Nikon releases the Coolpix S810c, this time running Android 4.2.2

Carriers

T-Mobile reduces LTE tablet pricing with Operation Tablet Freedom, free data too

Verizon offers 1GB of bonus data for tablets on More Everything plan

Chromecast

Amidst power struggle before Supreme Court, Aereo ready to release Chromecast support

Gaming

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is now available in the Play Store

Google

Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

Sonos just got a lot better today

Google Glass

Anyone can buy Google Glass on April 15 at 9am EST

Survey shows that over 70 percent of people don’t want Glass due to privacy worries

Hardware

[Rumor] LG working on SoC that will enter mass production soon

AU Optronics stake claim to world’s first Quad HD AMOLED display

Phones

HTC training material shows why the One (M8) is better than the Galaxy S5

More carriers add HTC One (M8) to retail locations starting today

Samsung Galaxy S 5 repairability not looking so hot 

Amazon offering Galaxy S 5 with trade-in program

Verizon, Sprint join AT&T by removing Download Booster from their GS5 while T-Mobile keeps it

Security

Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

Tablets

T-Mobile reduces LTE tablet pricing with Operation Tablet Freedom, free data too

Verizon offers 1GB of bonus data for tablets on More Everything plan

Miscellaneous

Amazon acquires popular e-comic book company ComiXology

 

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 10, 2014

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Age of Empires: World Domination is going to be conquering Android in Summer 2014

Age of Empires: World DominationI fondly remember many a night in my younger years playing Age of Empires II on PC, one of the best strategy games of its time. Well, Microsoft and KLab have decided to revive the strategy series on mobile, calling the game Age of Empires: World Domination. Following the historical themes of its predecessors, World Domination will let you play as some of the world’s greatest historical armies such as the Celts, Vikings and Huns. Check out the trailer that was released today:

The game is supposed to be released sometime in Summer 2014 for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and looks like it will be inheriting the real-time strategy gameplay of its forefathers. The mobile platform doesn’t usually lend itself to strategy games very well, however it looks like they may have adopted sufficiently simple game mechanics to allow it to be played on the smaller screens. There aren’t may more details than that at the moment, but you can sign up for any updates on the World Domination website (link is down below).

Are you excited to hear that Age of Empires: World Domination is going to be on Android? What are your fondest memories of playing Age of Empires games? Share your nostalgia with us in the comments.

Source: AOEWD via TalkAndroid


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Chrome For Android Beta Version 35 Adds Undo Tab Close, Better Fullscreen Video, And Samsung Multi-Window Support

unnamedTime keeps marching forward, and Google keeps improving the mobile version of its Chrome browser. Those who want to see the new goodies before everyone else can check out the official Chrome for Android Beta, which updates to version 35 today. The official changelog mentions some interesting additions, including at least one that was there already: support for Chromecast on HTML5 videos.

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Videos on your device have gotten better too, with better HTML5 controls and subtitle support (for those clips that include them).

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Chrome For Android Beta Version 35 Adds Undo Tab Close, Better Fullscreen Video, And Samsung Multi-Window Support was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

verify_apps_beyond_google_play

Security is something very important these days. And Google is taking the extra step to give the massive amount of Android users it has safe. Android already has the ‘Verify apps’ feature. What this does is scans applications from outside sources and not from Google Play. But now, Google will make the ‘Verify apps’ feature continually scan your device for applications that are rather suspicious.

Chances are you will not ever be affected by a suspicious application, though. Google says “that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.” So if you are downloading applications from somewhere other than the Play Store, just proceed with caution.

Source: Android Official Blog

Come comment on this article: Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

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Google updates Android security, app scanning

Google has announced an update to their app security protocol for Android, which will now continuously scan your devices for nefarious app activity. Prior to the update, Android verified the security of an app on install, but this update will keep scanning your device for any strange activity. It’s a measure to thwart malware and other odd app behavior.


We previously reported on this change, which has rolled out just as described. You install an app, and Play Store Services checks to make sure it’s a safe version. Malware and suspect code can sneak past the gate, though, further damaging your device. In a time when nefarious black-hat hackers are finding ways to manipulate a device and bypass permissions, this update is timely.

Much like you see if/when you download apps outside of Google Play, the warning message will alert you to any apps that Google feels may be acting out of line. From there, you’ll have the option to remove the suspicious app.

Should you be concerned? Not too much. Google says “the good news is that very few people have ever encountered this; in fact, we’ve found that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.” Downloading from the Play Store is always your best bet, but this is another stopgap to keep your device safe. Let’s hope it’s a lasting one.

Source: Google

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Google will protect your phone by looking for sketchy apps you’ve already installed

Got an Android device with access to Google’s Play Store? Congratulations: It’s about to become even more resistant to malware, and you’ll barely have to lift a finger. You see, for around two years now, the folks in Mountain View have been able to throw up red flags when users try to install apps of questionable provenance on their devices. Now they’re taking it a step further — Google will soon be able to check up on your apps after you’ve already installed them.

Why? Well, it’s possible that you downloaded some sketchy apps before Google’s verification feature went live in 2012. A bad app that previously managed to fly under the radar could also be rooted out as Google continues to learn more about mobile malware. Those situations may seem a mite outlandish, and Android Security Engineer Rich Cannings admits that most people won’t ever see one of those notifications. Still, there’s no denying this is a solid tool to have in the ol’ arsenal, and ComputerWorld previously reported that it’ll come in the form of an update to Google’s Play Services; so devices running Android versions as old as 2.3 should get that added security without a headache.

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Source: Official Android Blog

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