Posts tagged with: android power user
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    "Now that microsd cards of 200GB are available, let's make sure our devices don't have slots for them." - Google Despite dropping sdcard slots from its Nexus lineup years ago, Google quietly included a feature in Android Marshmallow 6.0 that makes sdcards infinitely more useful. Most of the time, adding an sdcard simply means you have a bunch of extra room for pictures, videos, and (if you're dedicated enough) a bit more wiggle room into which you can install your apps. The benefits for apps haven't been quite as cool due to some limitations: not all apps support being installed to the ...

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    "'OK Google' is the magical key-phrase that unlocks all the wondrous potential of your Android-powered device - and drives you nuts when someone on a podcast says it and all your Android's wake up and wait for your instructions." Now that my new house is built, my daily commute is over an hour long - each way. That's okay with me. I love to drive, the scenery is beautiful, Waze helps alert me to upcoming hazards, and thanks to Audible I'm "reading" more now than I ever have before. When a phone call comes in, thanks to the Bluetooth hands-free functionality built-in to my Prius, all I have ...

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    Back in 1994, Ericsson (who would later merge with Sony) "invented" Bluetooth. Back then out devices were connected by one of a few technologies: RS-232 "COM Ports", Parallel Ports, and SCSI. USB was still being worked on. Ericsson's vision was to replace the serial RS-232 cables with a new, wireless standard. Bluetooth was born. Bluetooth is a wireless communication standard using the 2.4GHz band (which competes with WiFi and other signals) and is sometimes referred to as 802.15.1. In addition to exchanging data over short distances (typically 30- to 300-feet, though the spec allows for ...

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    There used to be a time when, if you lost your phone, that was it - it was gone. You'd get in touch with your carrier and report it lost or stolen so any calls or texts wouldn't be added to your bill, but your options beyond that were pretty limited. A little later on, recovery options were added to help you find out where you phone was (just in case you lost in the couch or at the restaurant). If it was heading down the interstate at 70MPH, you could probably assume that it had been stolen - and you could remotely wipe it. While these tools can be very helpful, all a thief needs to do is ...

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    Chrome is the web browser at the center of Google's empire - both on desktops as well as mobile devices. In addition to being just a standalone app (which may or may not be preloaded on your smartphone), the Chrome engine also drives the component that displays web content inside apps. As you might expect, a vulnerability in that engine could cause significant problems for the device running it. Such is the case with a particularly troublesome Android Google Chrome exploit. During the recent PacSec conference in Tokyo, Qihoo 360 developer Guang Gong showed off a vulnerability which takes ...

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    You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who would turn down a phone with a bigger battery than a smaller one, all things being equal. Unfortunately, phones with bigger capacities generally mean thicker dimensions and heavier devices. Even a few dozen mAh can add significant costs to the bill of materials. The solutions to this conundrum come in four varieties: OS and SoC optimizations to reduce battery use, and wireless and quick charging schemes to help keep the battery full. Targeting the latter, and following up from a successful 2.0 release, Qualcomm's solution is Quick Charge 3.0. To ...

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    Today's smartphones and tablets are significantly more useful than phones and laptops of yesteryear. Most of that centers around the availability of today's devices to access the Internet from virtually anywhere. These days we use our phones more to text and interact with web-based services than to make phone calls, and our tablets consume media (streaming audio and video), let us play web connected games, and keep us in touch with our friends via social networks. All of these are enabled by a ubiquitous, wireless connection to the Internet. However, not all wireless connections are the ...

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    I was one of the first people in my area to adopt Google Wallet. Everywhere I did business soon knew me as "the guy who pays with his phone" - so long as they were equipped with a compatible terminal. I helped train cashiers how to use this "newfangled" payment method, and even helped identify when terminals were installed - but not configured - to use NFC payments. Google Wallet I was also one of the folks who was burned by the "Secure element not responding" bug in Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus. For those of you who don't know (or have forgotten), back in 2011 Google Wallet was just ...

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    Unless they're made by Apple, when you think about smartphones and tablets, chances are they've got a Qualcomm Snapdragon powering them. Generally speaking, when we rank devices they typically fall into one of those three categories: entry-level, entry level, midrange, and high-end. Oddly enough, Qualcomm's SoCs are also segmented by device class, but Qualcomm opted for four tiers (rather than three), this can make it a little confusing to tell which category a device falls into - such is the case with the Snapdragon 6xx family. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon 6xx processors are ...

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    If you're an Android power user you're probably familiar with the name Francisco Franco. The franco.Kernel updater app (and associated Franco kernels) have long been a favorite among rooted users - myself included. But what happens when a developer turns their attention and talents away from kernels and governors and optimizing for thermal thresholds? In this case, they turn their attention to your pictures. Not long ago Google updated (or "replaced", depending on who you ask) its Gallery app with "Photos". Don't get me wrong, Photos is an awesome app with cloud integration, zooming, and ...

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    You've read the headlines and heard the rhetoric: 97% of mobile malware is on Android, Android malware threat rears its head again, Android malware spies on you even after phone is shut down, and more. Based on those headlines, you'd think that Android is a cesspool of filth and simply having a phone powered by the OS opens you to a host of problems - problems that might be solved by switching to another platform from another company. Unfortunately, the headlines are fantastical, and the "problem" with Android malware doesn't really exist - and never has. "But Joe, Google says it just cut ...

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    One of the things we all like about Android is the ability to customize our smartphones and tablets to suit our personalities and the way we each use our devices. Out of the box, stock and unrooted, Android is a very powerful operating system. With just a couple taps you can enable sideloading of apps, and you can even install any of several app stores. However, if you're brave enough and with a little technical know-how, you can OEM unlock and root your device. From there, the sky is the limit! In the past we've talked about various hacks, apps that require root, custom ROMs, and more. ...

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    There was a time (not that long ago) when Power Users needed to root their Android-powered smartphones to do anything really powerful with them. Primary among those reason was to flash a custom ROM. These days stock Android includes many of the features and functionality that were previously the exclusive realm of custom ROMs. Sure, there are still ample reasons to flash a custom ROM, but for an increasing number of us Power Users, "stock plus root" is good enough. Here's why I went with a Nexus 6 root, but kept the stock ROM. Tethering I'm one of those people who doesn't tether a lot, ...

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    When we talk about root or "rooting" your smartphone or tablet, we're talking about bypassing the built-in securities and permissions that come prepackaged on your device so you can obtain "privileged control" or "root access". Our Apple-toting friends often call this "jailbreaking", which, in a manner of speaking, it is. OEMs lock our devices down "for our own good", to keep us from breaking them or allowing malicious software to get inside and do damage. A secondary objective is to make sure that we can't do anything that the OEM, carrier, or OS vendor don't want us to do - which makes ...

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    Regardless of how large the batteries in our portable electronics are, or how efficiently their SoCs power them, we never seem to have "enough" power. Thankfully, Android lets you see what apps and processes are using your battery, so you can take corrective measures and (ideally) get the most out of the limited mAhs in your LiPo cell. Take a look at your own stats. Open Settings and tap on Battery. Depending on which version of Android you're running and how heavily your OEM has skinned your device, you'll probably see a chart with a list of apps and processes beneath it. The ...

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    As Android users, most of us have the ability to sideload apps directly onto our smartphones and tablets - no app store needed! People who use other operating systems on their mobile devices aren't always so lucky. To load apps on their devices from sources other than those officially sanctioned by the company that makes their phone, many have to go through a jailbreaking or unlocking process. While not necessarily a "bad" thing, jailbreaking brings with it many other implications that reach significantly deeper than simply installing an app. Most Android-powered devices provide the ...

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    There are many reasons why you'd want to root your phone, but  an LG G Watch root via a custom ROM? Yup. And it's awesome! Smartwatches powered by Google's Android Wear operating system are starting to show up on wrists across the world. Right now people are starting to get used to the idea of notifications showing up on their watch, and beginning to see the utility of talking back to it to get things done -- even though it still looks a little weird. With a relatively limited number of apps in the Play Store, Power Users everywhere are itching to see what the hardware can do. As such, ...

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    In our last episode we talked about the glass that covers our smartphone screens. Today we're diving into the types of displays under that glass, the pros and cons of both types, and which you'll want in your next smartphone or tablet. Touch Screens Screens recognize touch by one of two technologies: resistive or capacitive. Resistive touch screens all but require a stylus or similar device be used to register accurate touches. These are the types of screens that we had back in the Palm, Newton, and Windows Mobile days. They're not terribly expensive to manufacture, but they aren't that ...

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    Root and SuperUser access ("su") are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Essentially, if you have Root access, you can modify and replace system files. With this access level a user can run an app that will automatically sync the clock on their smartphone or tablet with the Atomic Clock, tweak the color settings of their display, or make a complete backup of their device. Users can replace radio firmware, or even swap out an entire ROM with something that's been customized by the community. It's just as easy for a malicious user to utilize Root as a vector for attack - running ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our daily routine. What's inside them that gives them the power to do so many amazing things? On today's episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about the brain that powers your device: the CPU. The Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short, has been around for quite some time, but has changed significantly over the years. Traditionally the CPU has been the "traffic-cop", the component that handles and routes all the commands flowing through the system to the place where they need to go. It's backed up by ...

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    We live in a day and age where our phones, tablets, and wearables are an integral part of our regular routine. Metal versus plastic, megapixels, screen size, battery capacity, CPU cores, RAM, storage capacity, and more all get thrown around by marketers when trying to convince us their product is somehow superior to that of their competitor. Sure, all those all important, but what do all the numbers really mean? How does each item on the spec sheet translate into value for your dollar? If you're interested in the nuts and bolts, the hardware that powers your devices, you're probably lost ...

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    Tethering is one of those things that many of us got really excited about way back in the early days of cell phones. Here we had a little phone that we could connect to our laptop which would let us access the Internet or closed network (the office, university, etc.) without having to plug into a land-line to do so. Speeds weren't all that great, but being able to work from anywhere often trumped that. Today we have our choice of various high-speed technologies offered by any one of a handful of cellular carriers. We also have numerous ways to connect our laptops to our phones -- and we ...

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    Over the last little while we've heard that various devices (typically tablets) may be released that have the ability to dual-boot into your choice of operating systems. Some may know what dual-booting is, and others may not. The majority are probably scratching their heads and asking, what is dual-booting, and what are the pros and cons. What is dual-booting? Let's start with something basics. What is "booting" when it comes to smartphones, tablets, and even computers? The basic explanation is "turning on" or "starting up".  In more detail, "booting" is loading a set of instructions ...

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    The original Nexus 7 was quite a piece of work when it was originally released back in 2012. Pocketnow's own Brandon Miniman even rated the device an 8.7 out of 10 in his review. Not bad for a tablet that cost less than US$200. What starts to happen almost immediately after we get our fancy new devices? They start to slow down. At least that's what it feels like, right?  Usually this perception is caused by installing a whole bunch of apps that take up more space in the system's RAM, apps getting bigger and slower, and updates to the operating system taking up more space. All of these are ...

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    Power users will likely recognize the name +Chainfire as one of the developers who brought superuser to Android and helped make rooting achievable for countless others. As you might expect, he's still very much into the "guts" of Android, and recently came across something a little troubling. When some power users pointed out a recent commit to the AOSP master tree, Chainfire found a significant amount of Android root changes -- which could break the majority of today's root apps. The change AOSP is the "core" Android code that developers use to create ROMs for their devices. Rooting is ...

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