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February 27th, 2014

AndroidTab_Feb24_BAndroid is the most popular operating system in mobile technology, with millions of users throughout the world. This also means that there are a great number of potential threats facing users. Luckily, there are ways to protect your device from lurking dangers and outright attacks. Our guide will show you how to safeguard your device from physical and digital risks.

Protecting your Android device from digital risks and theft should be a priority as most hackers continue to take advantage of Android’s vulnerability. However, you don't need to purchase the best and latest software app in order to protect your device, as most of the best protection against common Android threats can be established through your device's settings.

Create multiple accounts on your device for different users

This feature is incredibly useful for shared devices. It's like having three devices in one as each user can download their own apps, customize wallpapers, and set settings according to their personal preference.

While sharing a device is useful, it can lead to an increased risk that personal and sensitive information stored in your device be leaked or seen by someone you don't want to. If you have more than one person using the same tablet, then adding a new account for them is a great idea.

Make use of the different screen lock methods

Android devices have multiple ways you can lock and unlock them, which are commonly called lock screens. These provide an extra layer of protection as they require you to unlock a device with either a unique code, pattern or even face recognition before gaining access.

Just as you would with passwords, it is wise to update your screen lock methods periodically. Just make sure that you remember the unique combination you’ve set or you might find yourself locked out of your own device.

Don’t use third party alternative sites to download apps

Google Play is the safest place to download apps for your tablet. Third party alternative sites might appear to have an interesting line-up of downloadable apps, but be wary as these could be malicious apps disguised and posted by hackers looking to gain access your device. It's not worth the risk.

As an additional tip, always read reviews before downloading apps, even in Google Play. These reviews often tell you more about the app and whether it is legitimate or not.

Be cautious about sending sensitive information over a public WI-Fi hotspot

When connected to public Wi-Fi there is always a possibility that everything you are sending, whether you are filling out an online form or uploading images, is being captured by somebody else on the network. When using public Wi-Fi, make sure to only browse sites that you won't be logging into and do not fill out personal information in online forms.

Activate Android device manager

This feature is a tool that can help you locate your device by using your Web browser or another mobile device. You can activate it by going to Settings > Device > Administrators and selecting “Android Device manager”. If your device has been stolen or is missing you can also use the manager to remotely wipe data.

Download an antivirus app

There is no excuse not to have antivirus software on your tablet as there are a number of great apps that provide full protection for free. There are even apps that automatically take a picture using your device’s front camera whenever the unique combination of your screen lock method is wrongly entered several times.

Keep an eye on your device as you would valuable items

Android tablets are considered a hot device in the market today, which means that thieves are always on the lookout for potential victims. Treat your device as you would your cash, jewelry, and other valuables. Avoid using your device in crime-prone areas so as not to attract attention and be robbed.

Continue to exercise vigilance in opening emails and avoid going to shady websites, as hackers may be phishing for your personal data such as log in information or credit card details.

As long as you keep these tips in mind, you can safeguard your device from both physical and digital risks. After all, nobody wants their tablet and the sensitive information stored on it end up in the wrong hands.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions about your Android tablet, call us now, we are here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 29th, 2014

AndroidTablet_Jan27_BAndroid is one of the most popular mobile systems available, with an increasing number of business users relying on Android devices, including tablets. There is a wide variety of Android tablets available, which users often download over 50 plus apps onto. With so many apps available, there is a chance that you will eventually install apps that do the same thing as apps that are already installed. If so, you might wonder how to change the default app on your device.

How do you set a default app?

When you install a new app that does the same thing as an already installed app, you will not usually be asked to make it your default app for that task. Instead, you should be asked when you first open the new app.

You can usually select between different apps that do the same task and confirm your choice. Take for example your email. If you install a different app than the email app that came installed on your device and open it, you should be asked if you want to make the latest app the default for email instead.

How to change the default app?

Because there are so many apps out there, we seem to follow a pattern where we use an app for a time then switch to another, either because we miss a feature, would like to try another app, or would just like to move back to one we've used before, etc.

Sure, you could just open the app manually, which is what many people do, but this can sometimes be tedious. The other alternative is to change the default app, which can be done by:

  1. Opening the Settings app on your Android device. This can normally be done by opening the app drawer and scrolling to Settings.
  2. Selecting Apps and scrolling to the app that is currently set as the default app.
  3. Tapping on it and scrolling down to Launch by default.
  4. Selecting Clear defaults.
The next step is to select the new app you would like to set as the default, and then open it. You should be asked whether you would like to make this the default app.

If you would like to learn how to get more out of your Android tablet, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 3rd, 2014

AndroidTablet_Jan02_BAndroid has become one of the top two mobile operating systems, and is arguably the most popular if you look at the number of devices it is installed on. In 2013 we saw a number of new high-end Android devices released along with two versions of Android and new Nexus devices. Will 2014 top this great past year?

So, what can we expect from Android in 2014?

1. Android beyond phones and tablets

We started to see this trend in the last quarter of 2013 with companies like Samsung introducing the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that syncs with your Samsung phone, along with cameras that run the operating system too.

While the smartwatch wasn't overly popular, the cameras that use Android are catching on. In fact, many companies, including Google, are actually developing other gadgets and devices ready for release in 2014. These will either run Android or sync with an Android device.

The other development to look out for could be the Google Glass. These wearable computers have been in testing by a select few users and the consumer version is currently rumored to be due for release in 2014. It is highly likely that Google will mention or even introduce them officially at their annual I/O conference, or a special conference in the early summer.

2. Wireless charging

The Nexus devices of 2013, Nexus 7 and 5, both came with the ability to charge wirelessly. If you purchase a small charging base e.g, Nexus Wireless Charger, that plugs into a wall socket, you can place the device on top of it and have it charge without having to plug it in.

We believe this will become a standard feature with most new devices released in 2014. Beyond that, it is highly likely that the efficiency of this method of charging will increase, making it more viable.

3. A new version of Android

It is pretty much guaranteed that there will be a new version of Android in 2014. Most believe that the next version released will be version 5.0, which will likely be an overhaul of Android. It's hard to say what will be included in the next version, but it's highly likely that the OS will see new features and even a new layout, perhaps one focused on making the system even easier to use.

If the most recent release of Android 4.4 is any indication, it is highly likely that the version Google releases this year will also work on older devices, which could encourage manufacturers to upgrade devices to the newer version.

4. Higher quality, lower costs

With the release of the Nexus 5 at the end of October 2013, Google showed that you can produce a high-end device at a mid-range price. There is a good chance that the big device manufacturers are working on devices that have powerful hardware and an affordable price tag.

This is already evident with many carriers offering phones that are not high-end price wise, yet have hardware that was considered bleeding edge last year.

5. Moving away from carrier-centric devices

Historically, mobile carriers around the world offered exclusive phones and went to great lengths to ensure other carriers didn't get to utilize these devices. With the release of more Nexus devices and Google Play edition phones - phones bought from Google, not from your carrier - we are starting to see the same devices offered by most providers.

This trend is likely to continue in 2014 and beyond, with the potential of users being able to pick their phone first then their carrier, not having to worry whether a specific mobile company will support their device or not.

6. Decreased fragmentation

The current nature of the Android market is that there is a wealth of devices running different versions of the system, which has led to a fairly fragmented market. You have devices released last year that are still running an almost two year old version of Android, and will likely not be updated.

Google appears to be taking steps to encourage developers and manufacturers to update devices. The first step taken was to ensure that the latest version of Android can be supported by older devices. This will likely continue with future versions of the system, and should result in more devices being on the same version of Android. In other words, the market should become less fragmented. This will be good for business users who need to ensure that devices are secure. Instead of developing solutions for each version of Android, they can develop a strategy for just one version, used across the board.

2014 will be an interesting year for Android, so be sure to stay tuned to learn more. If you have a question about how this system can fit into your office, please contact us today for a chat.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

December 4th, 2013

AndroidTablet_Dec02_BThe holiday season is upon us, and many people are starting to purchase their gifts. This year, as with the past few years, tech devices like tablets are among the most popular gifts. Throughout 2013 a wide variety of tablets were introduced, many of which are excellent. The most sought after are those that run Google's operating system Android.

To buy the best Android tablet, either for yourself or to give as a holiday gift this season, follow our simple guide:

What will it be used for?

When looking to buy a tablet, come up with a list of what the user will be doing with it. Some tablets are geared more towards those who watch movies and play games, while others are more suited to business users. If you come up with a list of potential uses it will be easier to pick the best tablet.

This is also a good time to do some preliminary research, like searching the Web for various review sites and comments on different tablets. Try looking at the bigger electronic sites like Amazon for positive reviews that compliment the functions you expect the tablet will be primarily used for.

What version of OS does the tablet have?

As you look at different Android tablets you will begin to notice that not every tablet has the same version of Android. The most recent version of Android is 4.4 - KitKat, which is currently only on a few different tablet models like the Nexus 7 and 10.

You will find a higher number of tablets running Android 4.2 and 4.3, which both came out last year. These versions are similar enough to 4.4, so much so that most users won't notice a difference. However, there is no guarantee that they will receive an update to newer versions of Android.

If the person who will be using the tablet doesn't care about having the latest and greatest, then a device using a slightly older version of Android should be just fine. Having said that, it is not a good idea to purchase a tablet that is running a version of Android older than 4.1. This is because some apps may not run properly, and any tablet running older versions than this will not see any updates.

Those that like the latest and greatest, should try looking at tablets created by big name manufacturers like Samsung or the Google Nexus line. Nexus devices are guaranteed to receive updates almost as soon as they are released, while many newer devices also eventually see updates.

What size do you want?

Tablets tend to come with either 10 inch or 7 inch screens. Some users prefer the smaller 7 inch screens because they are more portable and easier to use with one hand. Others prefer the larger 10 inch screens because you can see and do more.

When trying to decide which size suits best, think about what the device will be used for. If the user will be traveling lots and usually prefers to watch movies or read books on the plane or once they get to where they are going, then a device with a 7 inch screen may be better, because is it more portable. Most business users who will be connecting with the office, doing light emailing or even working from a tablet, and will likely prefer the 10 inch screen.

The best plan is to go to an electronic store and take a look at the tablets available. See how they are to hold in the hand and how big the screen feels. Some devices are made to be held in landscape mode which may make it awkward to hold and operate comfortably in one hand. Playing with different tablets will also give you a good overview of what the device's display is like and whether it looks good enough for the intended use.

Are there any specific features you would like?

Unlike the iPad, Android tablets come with a wide variety of features. Some have expandable memory slots that allow you to stick SD cards into to increase storage space, while others come with pens for easier use, or decent speakers.

The most popular features users look at however are:

  • What processor does the device have? - The processor is the brain of the device and is an essential component. The faster the processor, the more tasks the tablet will be able to handle. As a benchmark, look at the Google Nexus 7 2013 which has a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor. This device is what Google deems to be the perfect Android tablet (At least until July next year!).
  • How much storage space? - Almost all tablets come with two options for storage: 16GB or 32GB. Some tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 allow users to stick an SD card into the device for extended storage - up to 64 extra GB in this case.
  • What is the battery life? - This is an important issue for many users. They expect tablets to last longer than their mobile phones and one with good to great battery life will almost always see better sales. To see how long the battery in a device will last, look at the various review sites and even retailer sites for customer submitted reviews mentioning battery life.
  • What is the camera like? - If you know that the person you are buying the tablet for will be taking pictures, look for a device with a better camera. As a general rule of thumb: The higher the megapixels, the better quality of images. This isn't always true however, so be sure to look at the reviews and comments.

What is your budget?

Finally, the big one. Before you set out to buy a tablet, you should think about how much you want to spend. While you can find tablets for under USD$100, you get what you pay for. Somewhere around USD$200-250 for a 7 inch tablet and USD$300-400 for 10 inch tablets, is what you might be looking at.

If you are looking for help finding a tablet that will make a great gift, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

October 8th, 2013

AndroidTab_Oct07_BIn late July, Google introduced the latest version of Android - version 4.3. This was rumoured to be a completely new version of Android but turned out to be a smaller incremental update. While not massively different, the update brings some beneficial features that enhance the overall usefulness of Android tablets.

While Android 4.3 was officially released in July by Google, it is just now making its way onto many Android tablets and phones. So what are the new features and updates it brings?

Keyboard Typing using the stock Android keyboard on some devices isn't too difficult, but on smaller devices it can be a little tough, with users often missing keys. The recent update brings a tweak to the Android keyboard which makes tap-typing easier and more accurate.

Many users will notice a slight improvement in tap-typing - individually selecting the letters instead of swiping a finger over them.

Location based Wi-Fi A wide variety of apps rely on your device's location to ensure accurate maps, updates, etc. There are two main ways your apps can find your tablet's location - by GPS or Wi-Fi. If you leave your Wi-Fi radio on, the tablet will continually search for connections to connect to and to report locations. This will actually drain your battery at a fairly fast rate.

The new update brings a change to the way Wi-Fi is used to report locations. Instead of Wi-Fi being turned on all the time to report, it is now selective, and will turn on the radio only when a location update is needed.

Bluetooth Bluetooth devices like the Jawbone or Fitbit rely on Bluetooth connections in order to report information to your phone or interact with various features e.g., answering and making calls using the Jawbone and recording of exercise with Fitbit. These devices use a lower-power version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth Smart), which older Android devices were not capable of supporting.

Newer Android devices, like the Google Nexus 7 can support Bluetooth Smart - they are commonly referred to as Bluetooth Smart Ready - and in 4.3 they will be able to connect with devices that use the Smart connection.

Restricted profiles Possibly the biggest feature introduced in 4.3 is the ability to restrict profiles. This feature lets you restrict individual user profiles and access to apps and content. If you want, you can set it so that a user can't actually access any apps, or you can select what apps they can access.

This feature is currently only available for tablets using Android 4.3, and is great for users who share their tablet with others or are looking for a way to limit access to certain users.

Autocomplete dialer One feature that while not incredibly useful for many tablets is useful for mobile devices, is autocomplete in the phone dialer. This has been a feature of other mobile systems for a while but it has been largely absent from Android.

When you begin typing numbers on the dialer you should see suggestions related to the numbers. When you press on one of the suggestions you will dial automatically. If you have updated your device to 4.3, you can activate this feature by opening your device's dialer, pressing on the three vertical squares, selecting Settings and tapping on Dial pad autocomplete.

If you would like to learn more about Android and how a tablet or phone would fit into your organization, please contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

September 11th, 2013

AndroidTab_Sep09_BTablets can do almost everything a computer can these days, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. One of the more common issues people have with these devices though is the battery life. Some simply don't make it through the day. If you have an Android tablet, there are actually a number of steps you can take to extend how long your device lasts between charges.

Below are five tips on how you can extend the length of time you can use your Android tablet without having to recharge.

Before you start you need a benchmark Before you do anything, you need to know just how much power your tablet is actually using. What you should do is create a benchmark. This can be done by:

  1. Unplugging your device from any power source.
  2. Opening Settings and scrolling to DEVICE.
  3. Tapping on Battery and noting the % your battery is at.
  4. Using your tablet as you normally would for 2-3 hours.
  5. Looking at the % again to see how much of the battery has drained.
Below the percentage is a list of actions and power draining processes, along with how much of the battery drain each process is contributing. Once you have noted how much power is being used, try these power saving tips:

1. Reduce the brightness of your screen Believe it or not, the screen can be a massive drain on power. If you have the brightness level cranked to max you will notice a drastic drop in the time your battery lasts. Try turning down the brightness as low as possible. You can adjust the brightness by going to your device's Settings, tapping on Display followed by Brightness. Slide the slider to the left to lower the brightness or the right to increase it.

After each change, use the tablet for the same amount of time as you did in the benchmark and see how much of a difference there is. You may be able to get an extra hour, or more, out of your device by simply decreasing the brightness.

2. Manage your data connections Many tablets now come with mobile data like 3G or even 4G. While being able to access the Internet from anywhere is great, being always connected can really drain the battery, especially if you live in an area with spotty connection.

Unless you are streaming content, you don't really need to be connected to 4G. You can turn it off by going to your device's Settings, tapping on More… under Wireless & Networks, followed by Mobile Networks, and then Network Operators. You should then be able to pick between CDMA or LTE. Select CDMA and 4G will be turned off. Note: This will only work if your tablet supports 4G/LTE.

Also, some users leave their tablet's Wi-Fi radio on even while they are connected to a mobile data network. This has been known to drain your battery as well because your tablet will always be searching for a Wi-Fi network. If you are using mobile data, say on the way into the office, turn off Wi-Fi on your device. This can easily be done by opening Settings and looking for Wi-Fi under Wireless & Networks. Slide the button beside Wi-Fi from On to Off.

3. Turn off unimportant notifications It seems like nearly every app you install comes with notifications. Many of these are likely less than important. On top of that, they also cause battery drain because the program is constantly telling your tablet to go online and look to see if there are any new notifications. It is a good idea to turn these notifications off.

The easiest way to do this is to go into your device's Settings and look for Apps under Device. Tap on it and you will see a list of all apps installed on your device. Tap on one and look for a box that says Show notifications. If there is a check, this means that it is telling your device to look for updates, etc. Uncheck it to turn off these notifications.

4. Turn off the GPS A popular use for tablets is as a navigation tool in the car, largely because of the bigger screen and the fact that most tablets have a GPS receiver. While useful, it can be easy to forget to turn off the GPS when you aren't using it. Android currently allows apps to get location information from GPS satellites, and this means that they will likely cause an increased power drain.

If you don't need your tablet to provide accurate location based information, you can turn off the GPS connection by going to Settings and looking for Location access or Location in the Personal section. Ensure that GPS Satellites isn't ticked.

5. Watch out for widgets Widgets are a feature of Android that many users love. These smaller versions of apps provide detailed information with usually on one or two features. For example, one of the Gmail widgets shows your main Inbox. When you tap on an email, the app will open. While these are useful, they can drain the battery.

It is therefore a good idea to get rid of widgets you don't really use. This can be done by pressing on the widget for a second or two until it lifts off the screen a bit and you see Remove appear at the top of your screen. Drag the app over Remove and let it go. This will take it off of your screen.

In order to get longer battery life out of your device, try playing around with different settings. Compare this to the benchmark you established earlier and see if battery life increases. If you optimize correctly there's no reason why your tablet shouldn't last for up to 10 hours with normal use.

Looking to learn more about Android tablets and how they can help your business? Contact us today, we'd be happy to have a chat.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

August 14th, 2013

AndroidTab_Aug09_BThere is little arguing about the rise in popularity of mobile tablets. These devices have enabled business owners, managers and employees to work while mobile. One of the popular tablets of the past year has been Google’s Nexus 7. In late July, Google announced and subsequently released a new version of the tablet.

Here is an overview of the new version of the Nexus 7 – commonly called the Nexus 7 2 or the Nexus 7 2013.

What is the Nexus 7?
As you may know, Google’s Nexus brand of mobile devices are what Google considers to be the benchmark devices running Android. They are what Google envisions as being the ‘best’ tablet or phone for Android at the release of the device. These devices come with a version of Android most users refer to as ‘Vanilla’ or ‘Stock’. There are no fancy overlays like those added to Samsung or HTC devices, it’s the most basic, or ‘stock’, version of Android.

Aside from having top of the line, or near top of the line components, these Nexus devices are the first to receive Android updates, usually within a day or two of when they are released by Google. This means Nexus devices are always running the latest and greatest. In this case, Android 4.3. Compare this with some older phones that are still running a two year old version of Android.

The Nexus 7 is Google’s mid-size tablet. At slightly over 7 inches from the top-left to bottom-right side, the tablet is designed to be more mobile than the bigger ones, while still offering the same functionality. Since the release of the 7 in 2012, and indeed slightly before that, in terms of size, 7 inch tablets have been the fastest selling ones.

Business users who are looking for a powerful tablet that they can easily take with them to be able to keep in touch with the office, answer emails and do light editing of documents, will find this tablet useful. Those who want a more powerful solution, or to be able to access their computer and systems, may want to look elsewhere. Think of the Nexus 7 2013 as the perfect tool for the commute, or short trips where you don’t need a full laptop.

Important Tech specs
As with any tech device, the manufacturer – in this case Asus – and Google love to tout a wide spectrum of technical specs to wow and dazzle the user. Here are the specs that many business users should be aware of:

  • Screen - The new display on this device measures in at 7 inches (top left corner to bottom right corner) with the total device being 7.87 x 4.49 inches. Most users will be able to hold it in picture mode in one hand, but it is better held in landscape mode. The display itself has a pixel density of 323 which puts it well ahead of any other tablet currently on the market. Images, text, video, etc. will be sharp and easy to read/view.
  • Battery life - From tests and reports, the device will last at least 9 hours with moderate use (email, multimedia, etc.) This should be more than enough to get you through the work day, but you will need to charge it at night.
  • Hard drive size - The Nexus 7 currently comes with 16 or 32GB of storage.
  • Processor - There is a 1.5 GHz processor which is more than powerful enough to run every app currently available.
  • Connectivity - The current models have Wi-Fi only connectivity, while there is an LTE version that can connect to 4G mobile networks coming out in the near future. As of the writing of this article, the date hasn’t been announced, but it should be sometime in the fall of 2013.
  • Operating system - With the release of the Nexus 7, Google also released an updated version of Android – 4.3. This update introduces a number of smaller fixes that improve the functionality of Jelly Bean (Android’s current operating system)

Cost
The Nexus 7 2 is currently available in the US and will soon be available in more countries including Australia, the UK and Canada. There are two main versions: One with 16GB of storage space that costs USD$229. The 32GB version costs USD$269. There is no difference between these two models, aside from the amount of storage. The LTE version will come with 32GB of storage and cost USD$349.

If you are looking to learn more about the Nexus 7 and how it can be used in your business, why not call us and see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

July 17th, 2013

AndroidTablet_July15_BThere are numerous tech devices that are useful to business owners and managers - one of the most being tablets. While there are many different kinds of tablets, those running Android are among the most popular. One reason for their popularity is the apps, which can be found on the Google Play store. While Play is great, there is a bit of optimization required if you want to get the most out of it.

The main way you can optimize Google Play is to go into the Settings panel, and tinker with the options available. This article is an overview of that panel, along with some recommendations on how you should set it up.

How to access Settings in Google Play

Settings can be accessed by opening Google Play on your tablet and logging in if need be. From the main screen you can tap on the three vertical squares in the top-right of your device's screen. In the drop-down menu that opens, select Settings and you should see the below screen:

The Settings panel can be accessed from anywhere in the Google Play store, as long as you are on your device. Here's an overview of the three main sections of Settings and each option.

General
  • Notifications - When ticked will notify you when you have updates available for installed apps. You will see the Google Play icon in the black bar at the top of your device. When you pull it down, you should select the apps and update them. It would be a good idea to tick this, as it makes it easier to upload and control your apps.

  • Auto-update apps - Tap on this to enable auto-update of apps or set when auto-update will run. When you tap on this option you should see a pop-up window with three options. If you are on a data plan, we strongly recommend that you select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only, as this will not take up any of your data.

  • Auto-add widgets - Some apps have widgets - mini apps that go right on your device's home screen, e.g., Gmail has a widget that allows you to read your email directly from your home screen. If you tick this, any app with a widget will automatically be added to your home screen. It would be a good idea to turn this off if you have lots of apps, as you could quickly find your home screen full of things you don't use.

  • Clear search history - Pressing this will clear your Google Play search history. It would be a good idea to clear this on a regular basis, say once a month if you download or search for a large number of apps.

User Controls
  • Content filtering - Tapping this allows you to set or restrict what apps can be found. Because Google rates the apps, you can limit them by this. The ratings include apps for: Everyone, Low maturity, Medium maturity, High maturity and Show all apps. Tick which apps you feel are appropriate; we recommend unticking High maturity at the very least. When you select OK you will be able to set a pin you will need to enter the next time you want to change the filtering settings.

  • Password - Allows you to set a password that you will need to enter in order to purchase apps. Essentially, every time you spend money on Google Play, including in-app purchases, you will need to enter your password. When you enable this, you will have to enter your Google Account password, and press Ok. You will also need to enter your password to disable this.

About
  • Open source licenses - Because Android is open source (meaning anyone has access to the code that built it), developers need to include the license when they use it. Think of this option as similar to a Terms of Service that users have to agree to (and should read, but don't) when they install new software.

  • Build version - Is the current version of Google Play. If you are having problems with the app, and need to contact Google's Support desk, you will likely need to give them the build version of Google Play.

If you are looking for more information on Google Play, or any other Android tablet apps please contact us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

June 19th, 2013

AndroidTab_June18_BThere are nearly 800.000 apps in the Google Play store, many of which appeal to business users. One of the most important app types is email and the most popular app for this is Google's Gmail. Gmail users know that the app is updated on a fairly regular basis. The latest update however is a big one.

Here is an overview of the two major changes that have been made to the Gmail mobile app. These changes apply to Android devices running Android 4.0 and newer, as well as the iOS version.

A new layout When you upgrade to the new version of Gmail on your mobile device, you'll notice that the layout has changed drastically. Sure, your emails still take up the majority of the screen space, but the change is in how they are presented. Along the top of the screen you will now see the name of the folder you are looking at, an envelope with a plus symbol, (pressing this will allow you to compose a new email.), and a magnifying glass symbol which allows you to search your email and three vertical squares through which you can access the settings.

If you look at your emails, you will notice that each email now takes up slightly more space and shows a preview of the first few lines. At first glance, you see that the square box you used to use to select multiple emails, which was located beside each email, has been replaced by a bigger picture, (if the sender of the email has a profile picture), or the first initial of the sender. The picture, or letter, now functions as the multiple select box. Tapping on it will allow you to select as many emails as you wish.

When you select more than one email, (by tapping on each picture), you will notice that the menu bar at the top of the screen changes to display five icons:

  1. Checkmark - will uncheck (deselect) the emails.
  2. Box with an arrow - will archive selected emails.
  3. Open or closed envelope - will change all selected emails to either unread or read.
  4. File - will allow you to move the selected emails to various files or tabs.
  5. Three vertical squares - will bring up the options, which include: Delete, Add star, Change labels, Mute, etc.
These labels also appear when you open a single email. The compose email window has not been changed.

When you are on the main inbox screen, you will notice three horizontal lines at the very top-left of the screen. Tapping on these will cause the inbox and label menu to slide open, allowing you to select different inbox tabs and labels.

Tabbed inbox The recently launched tabbed inbox for the browser based version of Gmail has also been introduced to the mobile app. If you activated this, you should see the tabs pop up in the main Gmail screen when you have a new email. You can tap on the tab to be taken to that category and view the emails that Gmail has moved there.

As with the browser version, Gmail will organize your inbox and emails into five different tabs:

  1. Primary - emails that are person-to-person and usually important.
  2. Social - emails related to the various social networks you subscribe to.
  3. Promotions - emails from promotion websites or those offering deals.
  4. Updates - emails from auto-senders that are meant to be updates e.g., bank statements, bill payments.
  5. Forums - emails from various forums you may subscribe to.
You can view emails in these tabs at any time by tapping on the three horizontal lines in the top-left of the screen and selecting the name of the tab from the menu that slides in.

If you would like to change the settings and layout of the new app, you can do so by:

  1. Pressing the three vertical squares and selecting Settings.
  2. Tapping on your account.
  3. Changing desired settings. e.g., which tabs are shown can be changed by selecting Inbox Categories.
  4. Pressing the back button on your phone until you are on the main Gmail screen. Your changes should be automatically applied.
The new version of the Gmail mobile app brings about some interesting changes that will definitely take some time to get used to. If you would like to learn more about this app, or how any Android tablet or device can help with your business, please contact us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

April 24th, 2013

AndroidTablet_April24_BAs technology continues to invade every aspect of our lives, the number of devices we own keeps increasing. Having both a tablet and a smartphone is not uncommon for many business owners today. If you have an Android tablet, you likely can't connect to a mobile network, but did you know that there is a way you can get your tablet online when there is no Wi-Fi available? It's called tethering, and it can be extremely useful.

Here is an overview of tethering. It focuses on Android tablets, but this process be applied to almost any Android device.

What exactly is tethering? You've probably seen this term mentioned in marketing collateral or contracts from your mobile provider, or heard users talk about it. In the most basic sense, tethering is sharing one device's Internet or data connection with another. The most common type of tethering you will see is someone using their smartphone's data connection to surf the Internet on their computer or tablet.

When it comes to tethering on Android devices, there are three main options:

  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot - Turns your device into a Wi-Fi router, allowing it to share its data connection with up to five other devices.
  • Bluetooth - Shares the device's data connection with one device over Bluetooth.
  • USB - Shares the device's data connection with one device, usually a computer.
A word of warning: As you share connections, the speed of the data will be diminished. Some devices are also data hungry, and if you have a set amount of data each month, you will likely use it up. If you go over the amount, you may be in for a bit of a shock when you see your next bill.

Can I tether on my tablet? Technically all Android tablets and devices can share their connection as long as they can connect to mobile data. The ability to tether actually hinges on the provider of the data connection - some allow it, others don't while some will apply extra charges. Before you try to tether any device, you should check with your device's data/mobile provider to ensure tethering is allowed. As a rule of thumb: If you are already paying for a data connection with a set amount of bandwidth (e.g., 2GB a month), tethering is likely ok.

Because many Android tablets don't have a mobile data connection, most users will likely share their smartphone's connection with their tablet. If you have a smartphone with a data plan, tethering will depend on your phone as the tablet just sees an Internet connection.

How do I share my data connection? If you have a smartphone with a data connection and would like to share it with your tablet, you have a couple of options:

For iPhone/iPad (with a data connection) users

  1. Open Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on General followed by Network.
  3. Select Personal Hotspot followed by Wi-Fi Password.
  4. Set the Wi-Fi password and select Done.
  5. Slide the button beside Personal Hotspot from Off to On.
  6. On your Android device, open the Wi-Fi settings and look for the network with the iPhone's name. Tap on it and enter the password you set above. It should connect within a few seconds.
For Android users
  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Press More under Wireless & Networks (Android 4.2)
  3. Tap on Tethering & portable hotspot.
  4. Select Set up Wi-Fi hotspot and enter a network name under Network SSID.
  5. Enter a password under the Password section and press Save.
  6. Select Portable Wi-Fi hotspot and the device will create a wireless network.
  7. On your tablet, open the Wi-Fi settings and look for the name you have set in the Network SSID field above. By default it's Android AP.
It would be a good idea to use a password when setting up tethering to ensure that no one will be able to connect to your network without your permission.

If you are looking for more ways to get your Android tablet online or wondering how a tablet can help you, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.