Now that smartphones have been around for a while, and the technology is starting to plateau, it’s interesting to see how people are using them. In my observation (no research to back this up,) smartphones have really become a distraction, time killing, entertainment device, occasionally used for communication. Think about it. When smartphones first came onto the scene, it was all about productivity paired with connectivity. Now, we’re primarily using our phones to browse through Twitter, scroll through Facebook, get sucked into a Reddit rabbit hole, play games, etc. This is something I haven’t paid attention to until I downloaded the Food.com app for Android and realized, “Hey, this magic device along with this app can actually make my life easier.”
It appears I’ve been blinded by ignorance when it comes to web browsers for my Android phone. Somehow last week, can’t really remember how, I stumbled upon an app called Opera. Upon first glance, I almost scrolled right past it thinking the “O” stood for Oprah, or that the non-stylized red character represented the Overstock shopping app – that’s just the vibe I got from the icon. But, as it turns out, this is actually a popular (50 million downloads popular) alternate browser that I’ve come to realize may likely become my new daily driver. Here’s why.
If you use Google Now, you know that by enabling location services, you can automatically receive updates on weather, traffic and more based off of your home, work and frequently visited locations. But, what happens if you move or get a new job? Google Now won’t be as accurate in its information, continuing to give info based on the old address. Don’t worry – you can easily change your ‘Home’ or ‘Work’ location in Google by following these steps. See below for screenshots.
Last night while indulging in the latest episode of my favorite NBC television series, The Blacklist, a new TV spot from Google aired and caught my eye. The one-minute spot circled around the idea of “A question is the most powerful force in the world.” Overtaking the TV screen, the commercial demonstrates in full animation the search possibilities of the Google App, highlighting such features as song identification, maps integration, audio feedback, speech translation and reminders.
Is it just me, or does it seem like Google always has something up their sleeve?
This week (April 22nd) a press release from Google announced “A new way to say hello” with Project Fi. What is Project Fi, you ask? Project Fi is a new “service plan” in which Google is combining the best of both worlds when it comes to WiFi and cellular data. Starting as an exclusive to Nexus 6 owners, Project Fi will allow users to seamlessly transition between WiFi and cellular data while on the go, no user interaction required.
So, as promised, here is the second installment for the 10 Free, but Awesome Android Icon Packs. Add these to your Android device to spice things up a bit and to give your phone a refresh.
As you may have guessed, Min is a minimalistic Android icon pack that features solid white icons, but using only “the meat” of the icon. No circles, no squares, just icons.
Another, flat, circular icon pack (noticing a trend here?), Notro offers a clean, black & white design that will ad some contrast to your screen. Some people aren’t into so much color in their icons, so this is the pack for them.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love Android. I don’t hate Apple, but I love Android and though it’s for many reasons, one huge reason is customization. If you get bored of your device (which tends to happen to me) just change it up! Install a new launcher, throw on an icon pack, switch out the font, and bam! You have a new (feeling) device! If you want to get a little more crazy, you have the option to root, and from there, the possibilities are endless. But for now, I just wanted to highlight (in no particular order of rank) some of the icon packs that I’ve run across in a quest to freshen up my device – and by the way, they’re all free! Below are the first five of ten icon packs. I’ll be posting the second half later so the post isn’t so long!
If you’re looking to really stray away from the OEM look, maybe try out an icon pack that offers a super-clean, minimalistic look with solid white icons. I like this one particularly because the opaque background helps the icons stand out on almost all backgrounds.
Flat is the new black. Flat + circles = “whew, that’s good looking”. The Zolo icon pack will give your device some character with the vivid colors and included 450 “cloud-based” wallpapers!
It’s been a while since Android Lollipop was announced, and some of us (myself included) still haven’t seen the 5.0 release come to our devices. Well, now the 5.1 update is floating around and here are 10 new features that you will find if it ever comes to your device.
Original post found on RGSComputing.com.
I’m going to be honest. Since using Android devices, I haven’t come across a single OEM SMS app that I’ve actually enjoyed. A pure generalization from my personal experience is that they are bloated, slow and just plain unattractive. As a matter of fact, I am currently trying to use the LG G3 messaging app and I can’t manage to get the keyboard to display for me to compose a message.
The good news is, as Android users, we have plenty of messaging app options out there. My favorite by far has been Google Hangouts. Hangouts works especially well for me because my full-time job uses Gmail as our primary email client, and Google Chat as a primary means of inter-office communication, so messages from co-workers filter through the same app as my SMS.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: “10 Free, but Awesome Android Icon Packs (Part 1)“
Recently I came across the lesser popular Google Messenger App, and with its recent updates, I decided to give it a try and compare it to Hangouts. I’ve been using Messenger as my daily driver on my LG G3 for about a week now, and here are the unique features, similarities and downfalls I’ve come across.
Do you ever wish you could do more with your phone’s lock screen? With Locket, a lock screen news feed app for Android, you can now get a little more functionality out of it. Locket is a lock screen app that allows you to find news articles of your interest as soon as you light up the screen of your device.
Upon installing the app, you are prompted with the ability to select your particular interests. If you’ve used Flipboard, this is a very familiar process. You can choose from 13 broad categories, and after that, you’re all set. The next time the screen is turned on, you’ll be greeted with a full screen cover photo of a story that fits into one of the categories that you’ve selected. One thing that I’ve noticed is that there can be some lag between the time you hit the button to power on the screen and when the app actually kicks in.