Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Additional Android Adventures…

I have been using my HTC “android” smart phone for a while now, and I can report to you, Dear Reader, that I have not experienced “buyer’s remorse”, nor a case of “the honeymoon’s over” – but, in fact, can say my little ‘droid has “grown on me”. I appreciate it a little more each day. (For those interested, I wrote a 3-part series; which starts here: My First Look At Android, part 1)

I have also a better sense, now, of what I do not like so much (though that has remained fairly consistent). Those things are:
1) bigger screen, please.
2) better battery life (yes, I understand phone maker’s are not responsible for battery technology. And I understand those two requests are counter — a bigger screen drains the battery faster.).
3) Made in America. (Yes. I would pay more.)

As much as I like my little ‘droid, I have not had the time to really explore the universe of “customizations” available that separates the Android operating system apart from the competitors. But I am intrigued, and may even – one day – “root” my phone and take total control. But for now I am just perusing articles such as today’s reading reco: 4 methods to customize Android phones and tablets

One of the strengths of the Android platform is the level of customization that owners can use to tailor the user experience in every way. Here are my top customizations for Android devices.

Related: For those thinking of upgrading phones – now that 4G is here .. 4G Wireless Speed Tests: Which Is Really the Fastest?

By now you’ve seen all the ads pitching wireless companies’ new 4G mobile broadband services and devices. But beyond all the buzzwords and hype, which companies can reliably provide next-generation speed? We decided to find out by testing each of the four major national carriers–AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon–in 260 locations spread among 13 U.S. cities.

Related (sorta): I am still looking at tablets. But I have decided to hold off, and see how the current fierce competition shakes out (as well as let the prices drop), but I pretty much decided that a 7″ size is my ‘sweet spot’. And, that Android will be my OS.

The weekend’s here. Yay!

Today’s free download: For those of you who like to download Flash games, or YouTube videos, Orbit (a download manager) will simplify your tasks. From site: “It is a free all-in-one downloader which can download streaming media, social music or video from anywhere include youtube, myspace, imeem, pandora, etc. It is famous for its super light, great speed and rapidshare supported.” (Today’s link also includes the review [and video] on C/Net.)

News: WordPress hacked

Security Incident

“Tough note to communicate today: Automattic had a low-level (root) break-in to several of our servers, and potentially anything on those servers could have been revealed.

We have been diligently reviewing logs and records about the break-in to determine the extent of the information exposed, and re-securing avenues used to gain access. We presume our source code was exposed and copied. While much of our code is Open Source, there are sensitive bits of our and our partners’ code. Beyond that, however, it appears information disclosed was limited.

Based on what we’ve found, we don’t have any specific suggestions for our users beyond reiterating these security fundamentals…”

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


April 16, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, cyber crime, gadgets, how to, Internet, mobile, News, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Look At Android, part 1

What?! No Netflix?!

Loyal friends of Tech – for Everyone will know that I generally write about Windows PC’s, specifically, and computers and the Internet, generally. (A ‘special theme’ here being cybercrime and Internet security.)

They will also know that I really have not talked about mobile devices: smart phones, like the iPhone; and tablets, like the Galaxy Tab and iPad. Except maybe to say that pedestrians and bicyclists who have their heads down, and are ‘texting’ instead of looking where they are going really ‘frosts my cookies’. (I won’t tell you what I think about drivers who text.. but maybe you can guess..)

click to see how this image was made in Photoshop (tutorial)

Well this past year, Apple’s iPad caused many folks to label 2010 as the “Year of the Tablet”. And this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was – surprise! – all about new tablets and smart mobile devices (the object formerly known as “cell phone”). And we are bent on moving to the “cloud computing” model. So.. my guess is these units are here to stay.

My exhausting and thorough, in-depth analysis and research (ahem) led me to believe that the main players of the operating systems for these ‘smart’ mobile devices are Apple, Android, RIM Blackberry, and Windows.. kinda in that order.

I won’t bore you with the reasons, but I am avidly not an “Apple guy”. I repair and support them at Aplus Computer Aid, sure. And I give the iPod, iPhone, and iPad due credit for being ‘revolutionary’, sure. (There are plenty of Apple-enthusiast websites out there already.) Short version: when it became time for me to go shopping, I tried really hard to avoid Apple.

I will come back to this subject, but for now, I only have time to say that I am currently putting through its paces an Android 4G smart phone that, it seems to me, has all the bells and whistles. Here are some of my initial impressions of Android. Quickly:

My first “pros”:
* Lots of free “apps” and kewel ‘widgets’.
* Intuitive. Snappy. Easy. (Haven’t had to look at the manual yet.)
* Seems to do everything, and .. if it doesn’t, quick as a blink, I can download “an app for that”.

My first “cons”:
*
For my getting-older eyes, I think I want a larger screen than the smart phones have.. perhaps a 7″ tablet. Unfortunately, my understanding is, the ‘phone tablets’ are not available in the US.
* Netflix ‘streaming’ is not available for Android
(iDevices and Windows 7 Mobile only).

That last was, you may be surprised to learn, a fairly big disappointment to yours truly. I put in a call to Netflix, and was told that I am not the only person on Earth who wants a Netflix app. I was told that because of the difference in the nature of Android, and because of DRM issues, Netflix has work to do, and cannot release a single app, but has in the pipeline – and coming “very soon” – device specific apps. The more popular your phone, the sooner you will get an app.. is the way it sounds to me.

However.. this fact does make the iPhone appear more attractive. At least to Netflix users.

To read Part 2, click here.
And also, Android Adventures – Part 3

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


February 14, 2011 Posted by | Android, Apple, cellular, computers, gadgets, hardware, Internet, mobile, PC, Portable Computing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments