Posts Tagged ‘android’

Parental Controls for Apple, Android and Windows Mobile Devices

selfieYahoo has a good article on how to set up parental controls on that new phone or tablet your child may have gotten as a Christmas present.  If they had them even before Christmas, it’s just as valuable.  Here’s the link:

Deal: 16GB Nexus 7 Tablet for $199

imageThe Nexus 7 is probably the best 7” tablet on the market today, and Walmart has the 16GB version on sale for $199 ($50 off.)  It runs the very latest version of the Android operating system (Jelly Bean.)  It has a quad-core processor, wi-fi, bluetooth, can display 720p HD video and weighs a little under 12 oz.

Here’s the link:

A Reminder for Free Android Apps

imageThis is just a reminder that Amazon has a free app everyday (that you normally would have to pay for.)  I’ve downloaded apps that cost as much as $5.00 for free just by checking out Amazon’s site each day.  So if you have an Android-based phone or tablet be sure to check it out:

Bad News for Doughnut Lovers

imageIf you love Krispy Kreme doughnuts, especially when they are freshly made and the “Hot Now” light is on in the windows, then I have very bad news for you – it will now be even harder to keep your sugar intake down because they have apps for iOS, Android and your computer that will tell you when the Krispy Kreme near you has freshly made and still warm donuts.  Just what you need following a month of holiday meals and desserts.  If you hurry and get it now, you’ll have time to make a New Year’s resolution to REMOVE it from your phone.  iOS and Android users can go to their respective app stores, for the desktop app go to

Get PrinterShare for Android Free Today

imageIf you have an Android phone and would like to be able to print to your printer at home, then today is the day to get PrinterShare.  With PrinterShare you can print to many wi-fi or Bluetooth printers directly when you’re nearby by (as in at home and connected to your home network) but you can also download their software onto your PC or Mac and then you can print from anywhere over the Internet through your computer at home onto your printer (of course your computer will need to be turned on.)  This is normally a $13 app, but today you can get it FREE at the Amazon App Store.  If you have the Amazon app on your phone already, just open it up and download PrinterShare.  If you don’t have the Amazon App Store app yet (and why don’t you?) then go to and get it.

Protect Your Android Phone With SeekDroid – Free Today at the Amazon App Store

image SeekDroid is normally $.99, but today you can get it free at the Amazon App Store.  SeekDroid will let you track your phone on a map if you misplaced it, sound an alarm to help locate it, and if necessary you can lock the phone with a new code and even wipe the phones memory and SD card to protect your data.  One cool feature is that it will also show you the most recent calls made on the phone.  If your phone was stolen and they made calls you can see the numbers.  It’s easy to use and with the price of a replacement phone costing between $400-$600, even $.99 is a no-brainer.  If you have an Android phone and you’re reading this the day I post it then you can get it for free.

Free Golf Rangefinder App in Amazon App Store

imageIf you have an Android-based phone and like to play Golf, Amazon’s free app of the day is Golf Frontier GPS.  Some of the features are: Calculate carry and reach distance from anywhere on the map, approach the next hole and the Auto Hole Transition adjusts with you, measure using yards or meters, choose to download from a library of nearly 15,000 courses and you can add a course using the online map editor.  This is normally a $5 app, but today’s the day to get it for free, so don’t wait.  Here’s more info at the Amazon site:

Plants vs. Zombies for Android – Free Today Only

imageIf you haven’t set up your Android phone or tablet to use the Amazon App Store yet, here’s a really great way to kill time with your phone – PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES!  This is a silly yet fun game that just has a way of making minutes turn into hours.  Normally it’s $2.99 but today it’s the free app of the day at the Amazon App Store.  I’m guessing that because of its size the download is wi-fi only, and apparently it doesn’t work on the original Droid, but it you have a Droid-2 or Droid-X you should be good, as well as most other Android phones.  If you have the Amazon app on your phone, then just launch it and get the game, if you don’t have the app yet, go here to Amazon’s site to get the Amazon App Store app on your phone or tablet:

Android Goes “Oops”

imageWell, it had to happen, but a HUGE flaw has been found with the Android operating system that only affects about 99% of the Android devices currently out there.  The bad news is that the flaw can allow someone who is watching the data traffic from your phone can capture the login tokens to sites you may visit and be able to impersonate you online.  The good news is that this can only happen if you connect your phone to an open, unsecured wireless network.  As long as you’re using your phone’s data connection (3G or 4G) or a secure wireless connection like your home network, you’re fine. 

The flaw has been fixed in the latest version of Android (2.3.4), but unlike Windows where you can just go out and get the fix (or Microsoft pushes it to you), you’ll have to wait for your cell carrier to provide it, which if history is any indication may take months for current phones and possibly never for older phones.  So my advice to you is to just not connect to unsecure wireless network, use your phone’s data network and you’ll be fine.   By the way, this advice goes for you laptop as well, don’t connect to unsecure wireless networks.  Why, because they are UNSECURE!

Over 50,000 Radio Stations and Live Internet Feeds – Free!

imageTuneIn Radio is a great free app for just about any mobile device you may have.  With it you can stream just about any local radio station, as well as live streams over the Internet.  I have a great stereo in my car but the AM radio is HORRIBLE – doesn’t even pick up the local Austin stations in a way that is listenable.  I open TuneIn Radio on my smartphone and  bingo – instant local radio nice and clear.  Is you favorite sports team in another city, there’s a good chance you can now listen to the games with your favorite announcer from that city.  I have a favorite tech network that I like to listen to (how do you think I keep up with all this stuff?) but I’ve tried 3 different apps including directly over the web browser and none of them work anywhere near as well as this one does in a moving car going from cell tower to cell tower.

You can find your favorites and save them so they are easy to find, and whether it’s music, talk or anything else on the radio you should be able to find it on TuneIn Radio.  TuneIn Radio works on Android, iPhone and iPad, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Palm.  It’s also available on the Roku box, Google TV and Yahoo TV.

Like Music? You’ll LOVE AudioGalaxy!

imageIf you have a large music collection, you may not be able to (or want to) get it all on your smartphone.  If you use all the storage on your phone for music, you won’t have room for photos or videos.

Well, if your phone is based on Android or is an iPhone, then you can have your entire music collection available wherever you are without taking up any storage space at all on your phone.  AudioGalaxy is a free app that lets you STREAM your music collection from your computer at home to your phone over either wi-fi or 3G.  If there is any catch at all, you just have to make sure your computer is on when you want to listen to music (not a problem for me, mine is always on.)

All you do is go to and create a free account.  From the computer with your music collection, download the AudioGalaxy Helper onto your Windows or Mac machine – it will start indexing your music collection.  Then go to the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace and download AudioGalaxy onto your phone, launch the app and login – you now have immediate access to all your music, cool huh?  Another nice feature is that you can access your music from any other computer as well.  Just login at and you can play your music there, from a friends laptop or (shhhhh!) even your work pc at the office without having to install anything onto the computer.

So go it.  It’s free, it’s fast and it works great.

New Android App Store at Amazon, Get a Free App Every Day

imageNow in addition to the Android Marketplace (and other various 3rd party locations) Android phone users now can go to Amazon for apps.  In addition, Amazon is giving away a paid app for free each and every day.  Right now it appears most of the apps are the same ones you’ll find in the Marketplace, but of course the free apps are what will keep you coming back.

To get the Amazon Appstore on your Android phone, go to this link on your computer or just point your phone’s barcode scanner at the QR code below.  Enter your phone’s number and a text message with a link will be sent to your phone.  Click on it and the Appstore will download onto your phone.  In addition to the free daily app, Amazon is also giving Angry Birds Rio for free (for a limited time I imagine.)  So get out your Droid, Evo, Incredible or other Android phone and add the Amazon Appstore to your phone.


Foodspotting – Cool App For Your Android or iPhone


Do you like to sometime try new restaurants in your area just to see if they’re any good or not?  Now people in your area can be the guinea pigs for you (or maybe you for them.)  Rather than just a description of your dinner, you can take a photo with your phone and post it to Foodspotting so the world can see what is served before they even go there.

On your phone (or computer’s browser) you can go to Foodspotting and see photos of actual meals served to actual customers (not specially prepared and possibly inedible plates prepared just for photographers.)   I live in Austin and there are LOTS of restaurants to visit – Foodspotting helps me decide because frankly some plates just look too good NOT to try.  Next time I’m in Sacramento, I’m going to Sol Azteca in Folsom to order and take a photo of their tamales, the best ever.  I’ll get to eat them, if you’re lucky and live in the area you’ll see them, go there and order them too.  In all fairness, Mesa Rosa in Austin has pretty good tamales also (order it with the Fire-Roasted Chipotle Sauce.)

Search the iPhone app store for Foodspotting, on Android you can go to, enter your Google login and install it directly to your phone from there (yes, from your PC.)

Find Cheap Gas With Your iPhone (and Android too)

imageMashable has an article on three apps for your iPhone that help you find the best price on gas in your area.  One of the apps mentioned in the article (Gas Buddy) is also available in the Android Market.

Here’s the link to the article:

Here’s the link to Gas Buddy in the Android Market (don’t forget, you can now install apps onto your Android phone from your computer’s web browser completely wirelessly, just log in using your Google account that you set up your phone with and the app will automatically install on the phone without you having to touch it):

Best Android Phone Interface

The GREAT thing about an Android phone is that the operating system is open source, meaning a phone manufacturer and service provider can do pretty much anything they want to do with it.  The BAD thing about an Android phone is that the operating system is open source, meaning a phone manufacturer and service provider can do pretty much anything they want to do with it (and yes – except for one word those two sentences were identical.)

The Android operating system (which is what the phone needs to even run) is provided by Google for free.  The problem is when the cell phone makers (Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, etc.) “customize” it.  From there, it goes to the service providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile.)  They add they own special touches on top of what the manufacturers have already added.

HTC by far has the nicest interface I’ve seen on any carrier.  Sure, it’s nice if you’re a raving fan of a particular genre or feature (for example Sprint has an exclusive deal with Nascar, and a tailored app just for you football fans,) but the day-to-day use of the phone is what counts.

I’ve used and dealt with the Samsung, HTC and Motorola interface versions of Android, and I have to tell you, if you’re considering an Android phone as your next smartphone, get one built by HTC.  I know you’ve probably never heard of them, but the “HTC Sense” (the name of the interface HTC puts on their phones) is by far the nicest and most featured filled of all of them.

Buying a phone used to be simple, but as their power and capabilities increase, so do the complications in choosing which one is right for you. 

So the next time you walk into a phone store, don’t feel bad about spending an hour or two figuring out which one YOU like.  If the sales person is impatient or rude, get another salesperson or go to another store.  Spend as much time as you like before buying the phone you want – after all, it will end up costing you a couple thousand dollars.

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