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How to Back Up Data on Your Android Smartphone
November 06, 2013
We all back up our PCs, right? Okay, well, we should back up our PCs, right? Well, smartphones and tablets have become so ubiquitous that we need to back them up now too. It's time. Important photos, videos, contacts and music are now strewn across small, easy-to-lose, easy-to-break, highly pilferable devices. Fail to back up this stuff at your peril.
Niantic Opens Ingress to AR Gamers Hot to Trot for Exotic Matter
November 05, 2013
Google's Niantic Labs on Monday announced that it was lifting the invitation-only restriction on its augmented reality game Ingress. The game launched in beta about a year ago, and interested players needed an invitation code to participate. Now all Android users can download the free massively multiplayer game from Google Play. The game will officially exit beta status on Dec. 14.
Ode to Project Ara
November 04, 2013
Ever since Burger King hit the proverbial nail on the head with its famed "Have It Your Way" slogan back in 1974, everyone has known that people like to -- well, have it their own way. Customization has been a growing trend, but until recently, smartphones were a glaring exception. Linux Girl can no longer even count the number of times she's asked for a big "L" and an image of Tux emblazoned on her device.
Google Debuts Nexus 5, KitKat Combo
November 01, 2013
Google has unveiled the highly anticipated Nexus 5, its flagship smartphone running the new KitKat release of the Android OS. The Nexus 5, manufactured by LG, has a 5-inch 1080p display. At 4.59 oz., it is lighter and thinner than its Nexus predecessor. It's also faster -- it runs on the speedy Snapdragon 800 processor. It comes with an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.
Google, Partners Caught in Patent Lawsuit Blizzard
November 01, 2013
A consortium of technology companies is suing Google and Android manufacturers in its first patent lawsuits after it outbid the search giant for thousands of patents previously owned by Nortel. Rockstar, owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Sony and EMC, has accused Google of infringing on seven patents relating to technology that matches search terms to advertising.
Sprint's Spark Starts Flying
November 01, 2013
Sprint announced Wednesday that it had demonstrated 1 Gbps over-the-air speed on its new Spark network at a Sprint lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. The company is just beginning to roll out the super-high-speed network, targeting customers who run data-intensive applications. It will start by offering peak speeds of 50-60 Mbps in five markets and will increase those speeds over time.
Apple Takes a Bruising in Tablet Market
November 01, 2013
Android tablets outsold iPads in the calendar quarter ending in September, according to IDC. Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market also declined compared with the same period in 2012, the firm said. Although Apple sold slightly more units into its retail channel during this year's third quarter compared with last year's, its market share slipped to 29.6 percent from 40.2 percent a year ago.
Ashton Kutcher Joins Lenovo, Keeps Day Job
October 30, 2013
Lenovo's newest product engineer got a higher-profile introduction to the world than many of the company's other employees. That's because he's also famed actor and investor Ashton Kutcher. Lenovo announced its multiyear partnership with the Two and a Half Men star at the launch event for the company's latest tablet. Kutcher will work with engineers on the Yoga Tablet product line, Lenovo said.
Motorola Launches 'Have It Your Way' Smartphone Project
October 29, 2013
Motorola's making a big splash with the launch of Project Ara, an ambitious, open source hardware initiative that allows consumers to customize their entire phone, down to the specific components and display. Ara's approach centers around an endoskeleton, or "endo," that is the core frame holding the other components together. Consumers will be able to swap modules however they like.
LG Introduces Caressable Smartphone
October 28, 2013
LG has swung into the curved smartphone market with the launch of its LG G Flex. Surfacing on the heels of Samsung's Galaxy Round, which curves horizontally, the LG G Flex curves vertically; the shape is optimized for the average face. The design apparently boosts voice and sound quality while improving grip. The G Flex is the first smartphone with a self-healing coating on the back, LG claimed.
How to Tease the Best Photos Out of Your Android Phone
October 23, 2013
Recently I wrote about some of the best ways to take, keep and share photographs with an Android smartphone. We looked at some physical aspects, like how to hold the phone, and how to zoom. This week, we're looking at some of the tweaks you can make to squeeze out the best shots. First, build an arsenal of apps. For an investment of a few dollars, you can up your game.
LG Goes Chrome-Crazy at Trademark Office
October 21, 2013
LG last week filed for trademarks on three names that contain the word "Chrome," sparking widespread speculation that the company is planning to launch an array of devices that run Google's Linux-based Chrome OS. "ChromeOne," "ChromeDesk" and "ChromeStation" were the names LG snapped up, and for all three LG listed the device class as "laptop computers; computers, convertible computers; tablet computers."
Sony's US Mobile Strategy: Whatever
October 16, 2013
Sony's SmartWatch 2 and its Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra smartphones, introduced in Europe and Asia earlier this year, are now available in the U.S. Sony beat rivals Apple and Samsung to market with its SmartWatch, and is now selling an updated model. At a price point of $200, the Sony SmartWatch 2 offers NFC technology for one-tap pairing with devices running Android 4.0 or later.
HTC One's Big Brother Shows Up
October 15, 2013
HTC on Monday announced the HTC One Max, a supersized version of its flagship HTC One Android device. It sports a 5.9-inch full HD 1080p touchscreen, a fingerprint-scan feature, and an upgrade to HTC's Sense skin -- Sense 5.5 -- among other things. "At this size, it appears they're breaking into the phablet market," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "They need to do something."
How to Take, Keep and Share Great Android Smartphone Photos
October 09, 2013
It's not all photo apps and more apps when it comes to taking photographs with an Android smartphone -- there are some basics that you need to know, unique to smartphones, that have nothing to do with imaging apps. If you're finding that you're migrating from a dedicated digital camera and taking more photographs with your phone but are disappointed with the results, here are some pointers.
HP Seeks Chromebook Sweet Spot With $279 Device
October 08, 2013
Google and HP on Tuesday unveiled the latest addition to the Chromebook family: the HP Chromebook 11. Like its earlier counterparts, this Chromebook weighs next to nothing -- roughly 2 pounds -- and runs Google's Linux-based Chrome OS operating system. This new one, however -- priced at $279 -- comes with some high-end touches and enough power to stake out new ground in the low-cost mobile computing space.
Windows and Android Sitting in HTC, K-I-S-S-I-N-G?
October 05, 2013
Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system may become an option on HTC's Android-based smartphones, Bloomberg reported. Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating systems unit, made the request to HTC last month, according to unnamed sources, and will meet with senior HTC executives in Taiwan later this month to discuss the idea. Further, Microsoft may be trying to line up new OEMs.
LiveHive Offers Plenty of Pros for Collaborators on the Go
October 04, 2013
If you've ever been involved with any kind of work-related group project, you'll know what a nightmare it is to collaborate via email. The management of file versions alone is enough to introduce ambiguity and quickly hiccup the whole thing. Plus, if you're not careful, it's possible to start an entire email thread questioning what file version you're supposed to be looking at.
No Gold Star for Galaxy Gear
October 02, 2013
The first reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch have hit the Internet and they are generally tepid. However, "I'm not sure how anyone can give it a rating of anything until it is put through its paces over time by consumers actually using it in real-life situations," said Larry Chiagouris, a professor at Pace University. Many reviewers expressed concern over the Gear's $300 price tag.
MeteoEarth: Enjoy the Graphics, If Not the Weather
September 27, 2013
You know those fancy, animated weather visualizations that you get on the local television news broadcasts -- the ones with the 3D drill-down dynamic graphics that make it appear as if the meteorologist is directing the clouds? Well, you can now get something similar on your Android device. MeteoGroup is a European producer of weather-in-motion graphics that it supplies to broadcasters.
Google Adds Remote Locking for MIA Androids
September 25, 2013
Google on Tuesday rolled out a feature for its recently launched Android Device Manager that lets users lock down a stolen Android device from anywhere, via the Web. "This is something that should be built into the OS and the platform because it's an inherent security feature," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. Google is late to the game in rolling out its remote lock capability.
Google Keep: Note-Taking and Checklists, Done Well
September 20, 2013
Some years ago I decided to eschew paper. It was part of an effort, with which I was obsessed at the time, to become more nomadic. I felt then, and still do to a certain extent, that accumulations of paper were restrictive, because they forced you to always return to the place where the paper was in order to refer to things -- and live your life. One reason we have offices.

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