Posts tagged with: how-to
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    Android 4.4 KitKat is literally days old, so how can you get it on your Android-powered smartphone or tablets? Luckily, Google released the code into the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and developers have been working non-stop to bring the latest goodness to otherwise unsupported devices. Are you feeling a little daring and want to give KitKat a try on your device? If so, here's what you'll need to do: 0. Assume the risk Doing this sort of thing could render your device useless -- or awesome -- but don't continue unless you're willing to assume the risk. 1. Prerequisites Next, you'll ...

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    At long last, Apple released iOS 7 to the masses today, bringing all newer iOS devices up to speed with the latest features. Visually, the software is quite different than before. Though, fundamentally, it's the exact same software as iOS has always been. We've shown you what's new in this version of software with a tour of last week's GM release. The task switcher looks and operates differently, Control Center is a settings toggle panel that can be access from within virtually any application, and home screen folders no longer have a 16 app limit. The changes, although minute, are quite ...

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    How many times do you turn your smartphone on each day? Wouldn't it be nice if you could simply swipe your finger across the screen to wake it up? I'm not talking about "swipe to unlock", this is "swipe to wake" -- or "sweep to wake". I've heard it both ways. The concept is simple: you pick up your phone and swipe your finger across the screen. As if by magic the screen turns on and you're either looking at your lock-screen or your homescreen -- however you've got your phone configured. The "swipe" takes the place of finding and pressing your power button. If all this sounds somewhat ...

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    Our mobile devices are becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. We use them to store everything from our credentials for social media to our calendars and email. Some of us even use them as our everyday wallet. With all this personal information, and access to almost every intimate detail of our lives, we should all be taking special care with our smartphones and tablets. Above all, you should lock your Android. Locking can be something as easy as sliding your finger across the screen. No, that doesn't secure your device from unauthorized access, but it does reduce the ...

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    Android 4.3 was announced and released earlier this week with an OTA update promised to start rolling out immediately. Like many of you, I still haven't gotten my OTA update, and I'm getting antsy. Luckily, Google has released the system images for all the Nexus devices that support Android 4.3, and with just a little bit of tech-know-how, you're on your way. Here is how to get Android 4.3 on your Nexus today! How-to get Android 4.3 The first thing you'll want to do is backup anything that you don't want to lose, this process will return your Nexus 7 to factory defaults. After that, ...

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    When Google Maps for Android was originally announced, it lacked one very important feature: offline mode. On the surface this wasn't a big deal, after all, we are always connected to the cloud when we're on our smartphones, right? Unfortunately, no, we're not, especially when it comes to navigation. Driving through rolling hills in the middle of Nowheresville, USA or even through urban canyons, cellular data can be slow, or absent completely. For people depending on their smartphone's navigation suite to get them from point A to point B, they could quite literally be lost. We needed a way ...

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    Infrared (IR) has been used in various consumer electronics since the 1980s. It was even used in smartphones and PDAs in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But IR abruptly died off in light of newer smartphones, mobile operating systems and better methods of transferring data between two mobile devices. This year, several OEMs have come forward with flagships bearing IR blasters along their top edges. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, for example, both come with infrared capabilities. And using the respective applications on each, you can point towards your entertainment system and control ...

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    As mobile experts, we do everything we can to look at every new device subjectively. You may hear us cracking jokes on a live show or voicing our personal opinions in editorials. But when it becomes time to get serious, when it's review time, we look at a phone (or tablet) from not only our own perspective, but as many others as possible – the perspective of the target demographic, the perspective of the general consumer, the standpoint of a power user, a modder or even a first-time buyer. We all look at a new phone differently. When we pull it out of the box and tear the plastic off, ...

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    Everybody likes to customize their home screen to fit their style and personality. It's one of the things that makes Android so great! Your ability to customize your home screen is almost limitless! CodeG: Google Doodle Widget, for instance, lets you put the latest Google doodle on your home screen. Doing so adds some whimsy to your smartphone or tablet, and keeps your device looking fresh with content that changes daily. But CodeG doesn't stop there. In addition to being able to pick which geography you'd like your doodle to be pulled from, tapping on the widget opens Google Now. Some ...

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    Android users aren't forced into a life of running just one ROM forever like owners of some "other" devices are. Users can change the way their device looks by changing wallpaper, widgets, and even the launcher (the app that is used to start every app). But Android takes that one step further: after rooting, users can flash almost any ROM they want on their device. The reasons for flashing a custom ROM are as varied at the people doing the flashing. Perhaps they want to change the look and feel of their device. Maybe they want to get rid of bloatware. They might want to get rid of their ...

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    As applications and games are updated to support 1080p graphics (and beyond), file sizes have increased exponentially over the last year, making inbuilt storage worth its weight in gold. Just two years ago, 2GB and 4GB was not uncommon for built-in storage. Now the standard – or minimum, rather – is 16GB, yet that still is not enough for every scenario. It forces users to have to choose between what applications, games, music, pictures and videos they store on their device. What's worse is microSD card support, or expandable storage, is becoming a rarity for some OEMs. Until 32GB ...

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    Battery life is one thing we constantly have to battle, especially on many high-end Android smartphones. The combination of quad-core processors, 5-inch 1080p smartphones, LTE connectivity and dozens of other specifications and connections sipping at your battery all day long, lasting an entire day on a single charge is becoming more and more difficult. Fortunately, some manufacturers have chosen to fight waning stamina by simply cramming more milliamp-hours inside their high-end options. Sadly, that still isn't always enough. But there are lots of things you can do to improve your battery ...

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    The more integrated smartphones become with our daily lives, the more we tend to store on them. We store everything from pictures, music and movies to documents, PDFs, and a plethora of other content. I often find myself needing a quick way to get a single file – and sometimes everything – stored on my smartphone over to my computer. Generally, it's as simple as plugging up your phone to the computer via USB. But USB cables aren't always handy, and sometimes it just not convenient to have to use one. It's the 21st century – almost everything is wireless, and so shall be your data ...

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    Yesterday, the Ubuntu 12.10 Touch developer preview was released. Canonical provided a method for the public to flash a preview build of the new operating system to the most recent Nexus devices: Galaxy Nexus (GSM), Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Eventually, I was pointed in the direction of this xda-developers thread, which makes the install much more quick and simple. The instructions in the thread are pretty straightforward, but they lack some details – details that are important for novices in the Android modding world. Check out the video below to see how to get Ubuntu for Tablets ...

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    Canonical released its developer preview of Ubuntu for Phones yesterday, and it provided a method for the public to flash the preview of the platform to their personal Nexus devices. After trying to the better part of two hours to get apt-get working on my MacBook Air, I turned to someone for help. I was pointed in the direction of xda-developers, where I learned that flashable images were hosted on Ubuntu's site. The instructions, however, were a little scarce, particularly for anyone who isn't well-versed in the world of Android modding. If you're wondering how to get Ubuntu on your ...

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    After almost a solid year of keeping its customers waiting, it looks like Samsung is finally gearing up for a North American release of the wireless charging product it promised way back at the Galaxy S III announcement. That's a good thing, and we're eagerly awaiting some hands-on time with the official inductive-charging pad ... but we're not exactly the patient sort. Fortunately, the popularity of the Galaxy S III, combined with an abundance of old Palm charging accessories, means a wide array of mods are available that allow users to bring inductive charging to their Samsung ...

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    First we showed you how to get it done on the iPad, and now it's the iPhone's turn. For those of you fans of the Jailbreak underworld, the time has come. Evasi0n was finally released today for all iOS 6 compatible devices, and it’s as easy and stable as the most popular Jailbreaks we’ve seen in the past. Jailbreaking will allow you to side-load applications and services to iOS 6 that Apple has either not intended or not considered for your device. And as we historically know, many of these solutions have served to make iOS what it currently is since Apple has hired a couple of the ...

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    For those of you fans of the Jailbreak underworld, the time has come. Evasi0n was finally released today for all iOS 6 compatible devices, and it's as easy and stable as the most popular Jailbreaks we've seen in the past. Jailbreaking will allow you to side-load applications and services to iOS 6 that Apple has either not intended or not considered for your device. And as we historically know, many of these solutions have served to make iOS what it currently is since Apple has hired a couple of the developers behind some of the apps being offered. It's hard to answer the question: Why ...

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    If your phone or tablet is in Google's Nexus family you can quickly and easily restore your device to the latest, stock image. If you've already applied a custom ROM and don't want it anymore, want to force an update to the lastest version of Android, or even convert your YAKJUxx Galaxy Nexus to a TAKJU or YAKJU version for faster OTA updates, this is how you do it. Before we get started, following these instructions will wipe what's on your device, and anytime we talk about flashing there's a risk (albeit slight) that your device may never wake up again. Proceed at your own risk. Next, ...

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    For some reason carriers like to load up "their" phones with apps that they think you want. These apps take up space on an already limited storage partition, they occupy screen real-estate in your app drawer, and in most cases you can't remove them. We affectionately refer to these apps as "bloatware" because just like after eating a big holiday meal, they leave our phones feeling lethargic and overweight. Because OEMs and carriers install bloatware as system apps, you've got to have root permissions to remove them. Most of the time that means unlocking, rooting, and installing a custom ...

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    Auto-rotation is one of the thing I either love or hate. When it works right, it's wonderful! The gyroscope/accelerometer inside my device recognizes that I've turned it and quickly switches the display from portrait to landscape -- or vice versa. Luckily, this process usually happens fairly quickly. Unfortunately, rotation does take a second or so from the request to rotate until the screen is fully rotated and usable, which can seem like a long time -- especially if you didn't mean to rotate the screen in the first place. When I'm laying down or leaning against something, very often my ...

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    The sugar rush of candy canes and chocolates is beginning to wear off and you're finally starting to go through all the gifts and gadgets that you received this holiday season. You probably got something shiny and new, but with smartphones and tablets being capable of doing practically everything, you're probably asking yourself: what next? Before you go installing every version of Angry Birds in the Play Store there are a few more "practical" tasks you might want to address to keep your phone safe, charged, and ready to take you wherever you want to go. Setting up During the setup ...

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    Another of my favorite features in Android Jelly Bean 4.2 is the new Quick Toggles panel. It's sort of like the Power Widget that some custom ROMs include in the notification shade, but devoted to its own panel. You get to it by pulling down on the notification bar with two fingers on smartphones (or by pulling down on the right side of the notification bar on tablets). Inside the Quick Toggles panel you're able to quickly check the status of various components like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and easily toggle them on or off. Unfortunately, there's currently no way for you to change what shows ...

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    Updated: Alternate method to flash from a custom Recovery Image, and video showing the final result. Android Jelly Bean brought with it a whole new way to search and get up-to-date and location relevant information: Google Now. Search results are fast, beautiful, and usually pretty accurate. When compared against Apple's Siri, Google Now wins in many regards. The bad news? Officially Google Now is only available on tablets and smartphones running Google's latest operating systems (4.1 and 4.2). Sure, there are ways to hack the feature in, we even reported on one such method back in July. ...

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    You'll be hard pressed to find someone who will argue with the fact that the Nexus 4 is one of the fastest smartphones on the market today. With a quad-core processor running at 1.5 GHz one might think there aren't many ways to speed it up. Luckily, there are a few ways we can make our experiences with the Nexus 4 even faster! Let's take a few minutes to look at some "technical" methods of squeezing out some more speed, as well as a couple other more traditional tweaks to shave some seconds off common tasks. Face Unlock Most Android users that I know personally have set up either a pin or ...

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