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Showing posts from January, 2014

Strengths and weaknesses of Android OEMs

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One of the best things about the Android ecosystem is that as consumers, we have plenty of choice. We have a variety of manufacturers to choose from, as opposed to iOS where you only have the iPhone, or WP8 where the only good option is Nokia's Lumia devices. Or even BB10 where you only have phones from BlackBerry to choose from. With Android, there is pretty much a phone for every type of person. Each OEM that makes Android devices is good at something different, which is why we have different devices made suitably for different types of people. They each have their own strengths, and of course weaknesses. That is what this post will be about - highlighting what I think is each Android OEMs strengths, and weaknesses.

How it feels to lose your phone

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Well, my one-month old Nexus 5 was stolen earlier today. Snatched right from my hands by a snatch thief on a motorcycle. I was gutted, understandably. It all happened so fast it was like I was in shock for a few seconds. Once it finally set it what had happened, I quickly got on my laptop (luckily I had it with me) and got on Android Device Manager. I tried locating it first, but no luck. Not sure why though, had tested it before with the phone and it worked. Anyway, after that I set a remote lock on the device and called my carrier to disable my sim card. Unfortunately they couldn't deactivate the phone with the IMEI number, so that's that. I'm resigned to the fact that I will most likely never see the phone again, so I sent a remote wipe via ADM to remove all my data from the phone. Also changed all my passwords just in case. So after having a few hours to think about what happened, here's my thoughts after losing my first phone in more than 10 years.

5 tips for new Android users

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Before I turned into a very vocal advocate of the Android operating system, I was a long-time iOS user. At the time, my reasoning was that iOS was just so simple to use, while Android was too complicated. I didn't want to make the effort to learn how to use Android. Now that I have, I still think iOS is easier to use than Android, but that doesn't mean Android's too difficult to use. All you need is some guidance and Android will be a breeze. That's ultimately why I started this blog in the first place - not to report on mobile tech or spread rumours and such, but to provide the average consumer (who won't usually visit sites like Android Police or Pocketnow) with basic knowledge on how to make the most of their Android device. I already wrote a beginner's guide to smartphones, as well as highlighted a few of my favourite apps, and now I will give 5 tips that I think every new (or less-informed) Android user should know.

Making the most of your Google account

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If you are any level of a Google power user, even a "light" power user, you'll probably already know all of the things I'm about to share. But it's quite surprising really, just how many of my friends and colleagues are unaware of the perks of owning a Google account. Some of them don't even know what a Google account is, or that they have a Google account. So before we move on, if you have a Gmail account, or if you use Android, you have a Google account. In case anyone wasn't sure. One of the greatest strengths of having (and using) a Google account is the connectivity we can enjoy. We can have multiple devices in our arsenal - a smartphone (or two), a tablet, and a desktop/laptop, but thanks to our Google account, all our devices will always be connected. And if you use iDevices don't worry, you can have a Google account on your devices as well. There are many benefits of connecting our devices with our Google account, and here are just a few of th…

App Spotlight, Episode 6 - Gravity Screen - On / Off

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It's been quite some time since I did an app spotlight. This time I'm highlighting an app which I think, is one of those apps that puts the "smart" in "smartphone". If you read my post about the things I like and dislike about the Nexus 5, you'll remember that I said one of the things I disliked was the power button being on the right side of the device, because I'm left handed. However that wasn't a huge problem, largely due to this app I'm using, called Gravity Screen - On / Off. I started using it on my One X, and continued using it immediately once I got my Nexus 5. What it does is basically turn your screen on or off, depending on the situation your device is in. In the couple of months I've used it, it's been an excellent experience, which I will share with you in this post.

Trends I wish will stop in 2014

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If 2013 taught us anything about the mobile industry, it's that when someone has a good idea an idea which people perceive as good, competitors will follow. Some of these ideas really are good, like HTC's front-facing BoomSound speakers, or Motorola's near-stock skin which allows for quick updates, but for some reason, nobody else seems to be following these ideas. But other ideas, which turned into trends within the industry didn't really make much sense to me. Which is why I wish they would stop as we enter 2014, or at least be changed in a way so that they do make sense. Most of these trends are "me too" trends, where OEMs do what others are doing just so they can say "we have that too!", without actually putting much thought into their products. I hope OEMs actually think for themselves in 2014 instead of carrying on with these trends.