Android app: Y5 - Battery Saver

 

Recently I did a factory reset on my Android phone and I noticed an app, that I had taken for granted, was missing.  Every time I stepped into a hot-spot my WiFi would turn on and when I left it would turn off.  This app had worked so well that I though it was feature of Android. I guess not. I had installed the app Y5- Batter Saver.  This app simply did what was mentioned above. Turn on your WiFi when you had saved a hotspot to the phone and when it was out of range it would turn off WiFi and turn on your wireless carries data.  Simple as that! Also it worth mentioning that your phone wastes less battery on WiFi than on 3G/4G connection.

 

Tune in to Blackfriday.fm

 

This upcoming Black Friday will have many of the large retailers opening at Midnight instead of the early morning. If you would like to get a head start or possibly avoid leaving the family earlier then you need visit http://www.blackfriday.fm/

Blackfriday.fm is a great resource to plan ahead and save yourself time as well as money.

The site has a plethora of information on Black Friday Deals in particular has BlackFriday ads before they have been revealed to the public.

This Black Friday utilize technology to save yourself money and time.

Verizon Wireless is collecting your information

 

It looks like Verizon Wireless will be pushing out a new privacy policy as reported by a few reputable technology websites like: PCMag, International Business Times and others. Verizon has been sending out email in regards to this change. If you have not received that email here is a link to it.  Verizon will be collecting:

  1. URLs of website you have visited
  2. search terms
  3. app and device usage
  4. consumer information about the use of  the product
  5. demographics in age, gender, pet owner, and other similar  demographics
They will be using this data for marketing purposes and targeting content.
If you do not agree with these changes you can op out by Calling them at 1-866-211-0874 or visiting www.vzw.com/myprivacy.

App of the Week: Gesture Search (Android)

Each Tuesday we will feature a smartphone app of the week either iOS or Android compatible. Gesture Search by Google is an application that enables the user to search their phone's contents via writing, using your fingers instead of the conventional typing.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="124" caption="Image from Android Market Place"][/caption]

After installing via the Market the application indexes the contents on your phone. The time required to index may vary depending on the amount of content on your phone. You may also have it index the contents of your phone in the background when using the Gesture Search for the first time. Gesture Search utilizes image processing amongst other technical details to recognize what letter you are writing and provides list of potential  content that may match up what you are trying to spell.

For example,

Step 1: Draw a letter, let's say 'H'

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Image provided by Google"][/caption]

Step 2: Write the next letter. Note as you write the second letter, a list behind it is visible where you could select content that matches what you are looking for.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Image provided by Google"][/caption]

 

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until the content that you are looking for on your phone is available for selection.

I found Gesture Search easy to use and prefer it over searching manually via multiple screens or using the on-screen keyboard. Note: My phone does not have a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

Gesture search is great for searching for contacts, website book marks, apps and more. I definitely recommend you give it a try.

Unfortunately, you need to launch it each time to use it, which is a good reason to have it on your home screen for easy access. Hopefully, in future releases you will be able to simply "Gesture Search" from your home screen.

 

Download via Market :

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.google.android.apps.gesturesearch

How to get the full potential from your batteries - Lithium Ion

This tip is not about what habits to change with your phone/device but the maintenance for your device on how and when to charge your battery. This only applies to batteries of type of Lithium Ion. Now with older batteries it was always recommended that you always discharge your battery to reset the "memory"  like in nickel metal hydride and NiCads but it is the opposites with Lithium Ion. Like Steve Gibson says

"What lithium-ion batteries want is to stay charged. This allows you to get the most battery life."

Now what kind of devices have a  Lithium Ion batteries?  The three of the top of my head are iPad, iPhone and the Kindle. I bet there are many more but that ill leave that to you. Another thing to add is that all three devices I mentioned do not have a removable battery which doesn't allow you to buy an extra one.  In the end. this leaves you with just one solution.  To extend that battery life of your Lithium Ion battery is a good idea to always keep it plugged in when you can.

 

Security Now 321

photoby[marioanima]

Want To Know Your Cell Phone Raditaion level?

In the last year, there are many debates on the question: "Do cell phones cause cancer?" This unanswered question is scary to think about because we all use cell phones day in and day out. Even our cell phones become alarm clocks. We can just hope that cell phones don't give us cancer.  If you are one of those people who are alert to this discussion, you can take some very simple steps of precaution.

1) Don't use a cell phone (Okay maybe not totally possible ).

2) Use headphones when talking to somebody.

3) Use the speaker phone.

4) Get a phone that has a low radiation level.  Below is a link to a CNET article on Radiations levels  from cell phones. Great source!

Cell phone radiation levels

Get Your Laptop Back With Prey

Did you know that every week in Unites States airports more than 12,000 laptops are lost. That is an outstanding number. Could you be the next person to lose your laptop or even get it stolen? Why not prevent it now . There is a free open source software program that can be installed to track the thief or location.  This software is called Prey. It's very simple.  First, install the software on your PC, Mac or even Linux machine. Then, go ahead and log into your online account at www.preyproject.com to make sure that you have successfully added your device.  Below are links two links:

1.)An introductory video on how to install and what features are available to recover your device.

Prey Project introduction Video

2.) Prey's frequently asked questions.

Prey FAQ

Andriod Keyboard MOD

I love my HTC Evo, rooted with Cyanogen's latest ROM. The one drawback to my Evo and many other android phones is the keyboard. I have tried many different types and styles from Swype to Swiftkey and the stock HTC Sense keyboard but there was always something I didn’t like. I couldn’t change the language with out going into the settings, the emoticons were difficult to get to or  the  manually typed, keys that I wanted where missing and had others that I didn’t care much for. I wanted to be in control of my keyboard and customize it like I did to my Android device. With the new keyboard, I can use swipe commands to shift, change language, hide the keyboard, or delete the last word, I can also add custom emoticons, and much more.So enough small talk lets get to the goods. The customizable keyboard is called HTC IME (input method) MOD, based off of the HTC's Sense keyboard but so much better.  This is what you’ll need: HTC_IME.apk Clicker.apk (needed ONLY if you don’t have a phone with HTC Sense) Applications Manager (I use Astro File Manager)

First you’ll need to download Astro or some other File/App manager from the Android market. Next download the zip with both apks here. Place the apks on your sd card and install them with Astro. Once installed all you have to do is go to the Android settings -> Language & keyboard, under Keyboard Settings you’ll see HTC_IME mod and a check box next to it, check it to make it your primary input method. Below the check box you’ll see the settings menu click on that and customize to your hearts desire.

Try it out if you don’t like it you can always go back to what you had before but if you do like it and would like to donate to the developer jonsil please visit: http://android.hallerud.se/donate.html

If if there is something you don’t like and are feeling up to the challenge here’s the source code: http://www.hallerud.se/htc_ime_mod_dev27.zip

Want an Easy Way to Root Your Andriod Phone?

As Android phones get more popular people get interested in pushing their phones to the limit.  Like Apple's iOS devices you may in a form "jailbreak" to gain full access.  In Android it is not called Jailbreak . The word "root" is used.  This allows you to back up your Android phone, put custom ROM's and basically fully customize it.  Unrevoked allows you to download some software that will "root" your phone in one click.  I have done this with my Android Droid  Incredible. It was a simple step to gain access to the root structure and modified its contents. Below are the cellphones that are supported by Unrevoked. Have fun and enjoy  but I am not responsible for any damage to your phone.

  • Evo4G
  • Hero
  • Wildfire
  • Aria
  • Desire
  • Incredible

 

Invent Beyond Scratch!!

In previous post, I briefly discussed Scratch as a great way to learn about programming concept and principles without learning the nitty gritty. If you are an educator or just a common user it's a great way to be introduce to some basic programming knowledge. If you delve into the Scratch website, you would notice that one of the companies contributing to the development of Scratch is Google!!

Now if or when you are ready to make a jump from Scratch to something bigger, consider APP Inventor by Google. Inventor utilized the same interface as Scratch and would feel right at home. Inventor's purpose is to enable those with out the background knowledge to develop applications for the Android OS. Sure, I will admit that initially I figured that there would be influx of not so great Android Applications, but I could see how it could be used to introduce users to mobile application development.

Fortunately you do no need an Android Powered phone to test any applications you make since Inventor enables you to download an emulator to use and test out your application. Subsequently, the Inventor has an online tutorial with a a step by step on how to make HelloPurr, which is equivalent to hello world program that many programmers are familiar with. HelloPur is a simple introductory app that enables you to create an Android application in which when you touch the picture of a cat on the phone and it purrrs.  Application Inventor has a bit of a learning curve but you could make some complex applications with the right intiative.

You will need a Gmail account to access Application inventor.

App Inventor for Android

The More G's the Better ?

 

[caption id="attachment_2670" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="courtesy of phandroid.com"][/caption]

The past few months i am sure you have heard a lot about how wireless cellular data 4G is the successor to 3G. Today, I would like to advise my not so savy tech people as well as the tech people against 4G despite the growing market for 4G.

For starters, when you acquire a 4G phone you must have 4G service from which you cannot opt out of. This would not be a problem if only wireless companies did not charge at the minimum $10 extra for the 4G service.

Subsequently, 4G is not everywhere, yet. Although I have had a few friends contemplate purchasing a 4G phone; unfortunately, the area we currently reside only provides up to 3G!!! Sure there are places where 4G is probably great but in most places at this present it is sporadic.

In addition, what are you paying for? Faster downloads? Better service? Well, for the most part you are paying for an increase in download speed but not necessarily for better service. Another important question to ask as well is, do you need the faster download speed? Do you use your cellphone as your modem or as  a replacement computer? If not, maybe an extra G may not be as great, especially if you have to shell out an extra $10. You may say it is only an extra $10 but have you seen the changing of price on your phone bill?

Hopefully within the next year or so, consumers would not have to pay extra for the service as it becomes widespread and the standard for all cellular purposes.

How to fix an iphone/ipod?

I will be straight forward with the answer to the following question. How do I fix an iphone/ipod?. The answer is plainly don't! I have heard many and I mean many cases of the Apple's Genius Bar replacing iPhone/ipod for free. Here is the key: Be NICE and explain to them, how you broke. Even with Apples new policy, it states "If a customer disputes whether an iPod with an activities LCI has been damaged by liquid contact and there are no external signs of damage from corrosion, then the iPod may still be eligible for warranty service." We have heard that Apple employees can and have been using this loosely and have been replacing iPhone/ipod for free. If there is no luck with this tip try iFixit.com

The Next Generation Portable

Have you heard of the Nintendo 3DS? You probably have if you are an avid gamer, but have you heard of the Next Generation Portable by Sony? Today's tip will be more of a brief discussion on my view on both but more on the NGP. Each portable have some feature that stands out. The 3DS promises eye glasses free 3D Gaming, which is the future of 3D TVs (which there are already but priced beyond the consumer level). The NGP actually has two unique additions, it is the successor to the Playstation Portable, two analog sticks and the trackpad on the back. There are other, what I consider upgrades for both portables but I feel the hardware additions bring something new to the table.

 

While the 3DS is really more of the same I feel except now in 3D!!!!!! The NGP will be changing things up and I actually interested in the track pad on the back therefore putting as much available hardware surface to use.

What does this mean for you as a consumer? Well the 3DS presents a cheap effective way, and maybe right way to do eye glass free 3D viewing. Nintendo has yet to release any details about how they are achieving this effect but be sure television makers are taking note. Here's a tip if you already have an HD TV there really is now hurry to acquire a 3D one, there is not enough media taking advantage of anyway.

 

The NGP actually is an example of the directions phones are taking specs wise. The NGP runs on multicore processor and is stated to be almost as powerful as the PS3. By the end of the year, there will be phones that will have enough processing power to compete with some low end netbook/notebooks, so you may want to wait if you can till the summer to upgrade to a new phone - no I am not talking about the Iphone 5- you will not regret it.

 

Control Your Computer from a Land Far, Far Away

Ever needed toaccess your computer to do some work from afar? LogMeIn enables the user to access their computer from another computer with the remote access software LogMeIn. Why would you want to do this? Perhaps your on vacation and you need to access your computer for a business related emergency or you do not want to be carrying your notebook computer everywhere you go.

LogMeIn Free includes:

  • Access from any Internet-connected web browser
  • Access to a Windows PC or Mac
  • Remote control and desktop viewing
  • Copy and paste between computers
  • Wake on LAN
  • Reboot/reconnect (including safe mode)
  • Basic reports (remote access sessions and user access)
  • Chat
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • SSL/TLS intrusion detection
  • IP address lockout
  • No need for firewall, router or proxy configuration
  • No requirement for remote PC admin rights

Subsequently, there is a premium version that enables you to do more while accessing remotely.

Have Santa Call a Friend or a Family Member

Have you ever wanted Santa to call you? Well now you can offer that which you could not hear to someone else, kids would really like this. There is a site set up by Google called Send A Call from Santa. The site enables the sender (you) to compile a personalized messaged using the template and options they provide. In addition they allow you to preview the message. You may send this message via e-mail, phone or Facebook. If you are using the phone option you must provide your number and the person whom you wish Santa to call. Although note there is a bit of advertising for Google Voice following the message.

http://www.sendacallfromsanta.com/

Why.. Why! ...Autocorrcet!

Today's world can have ups and downs.  One day you might be on top of the world then next not wanting to talk to anybody. Sometimes we need to cheer up. I believe I have heard that a laugh a day keeps the doctor away? Not sure. Correct me. lol. I will present to you a funny site that might be interesting.  Have you heard about auto DamYouAutoCorrect.com? Yes it's that site that reminds you of those times when you curse at your cell for auto correcting what you wrote. Here is an example:

 

Lets Make A Deal!!

That time of the year has arrived once again. The time in which the majority of the population begin spending great amounts of money and causing businesses to make more money. Before going out on Black Friday in hopes of getting a good deal, there are actually several deals on a daily basis going on for different items. Instead of you searching for the best deals, why not let some other people do the searching for you?  Below are some of the sites I frequently search for with good deals in technology, promotion and FREEBIES!!!!!

Bye Goog-411, Hello Bing-411

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Image via CrunchBase"]Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBase[/caption]

About a month ago, Google shut down Goog-411, a free 411 service that gave you directions and numbers to business. Bing, Google's competitor came out with a similar service. Bing addrd extra handy features.

You can dial 1-800-BING-411 or 1-800-225-5411.

It works very similar to Google's former service. You call the number and pick from various options. Some are:

  • Numbers to business
  • Driving directions
  • Move information
  • Traffic reports
  • Weather information

It automatically detects your zip-code or you may change it.

I believe the most handy feature is Cheap gas info and Traffic reports.  Give it a try. Just save it on your phone and you will see it comes handy. See more info at BING Mobile.

Black Friday Ads

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image by Ian Muttoo via Flickr"]Best Buy, Toronto[/caption]

Black Friday is around the corner and it's that time of year when people go crazy over low prices. I have some friends who are doing a tailgate to gather some cheap electronics: flat screen TV's, hard drives and much more. I smell some very good deals. How would I know where to go? Some individuals leaked some ads  to some major stores. Below are some: