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Posts Tagged ‘ Android ’

Turn an old smartphone into an in-car entertainment system

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Dashboard satnav

We’ve all got an old smartphone that’s keeping a box of matches and the instruction manual for the washing machine company in a kitchen drawer. Why not put the thing to good use and turn it into an in-car satnav and entertainment system?

You can use pretty much any last-generation smartphone for this project, either Android or iPhone, although there are a couple of specialist pieces of equipment you’ll need for the perfect set-up.

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Cover: the Android lock screen that’s transformed my HTC One

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Screenshot_2014-01-09-14-12-01

As regular readers will know, I jumped from iPhone to Android a couple of months back. This hardly qualifies as breaking news, but one of the best things about Android is how customisable it is. Don’t like the lock screen on an iPhone? The best you can do is email Jonathan Ive and wait for your auto-reply. Don’t like the lock screen on your HTC One? Just download another one.

Which is what I did. Cover, to be precise. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s transformed my HTC One. Cover makes it a doddle to quickly access your most commonly used apps. The software quickly learns which apps you use the most, and places a shortcut for them on your lock screen. To open that app, you simply swipe right and enter your passcode (if you have one); the app opens right away.

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Posted in: Software

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Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 review: first look

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

DSC05698

Asus yanked the covers off a stack of new laptops, tablets and smartphones at today’s CES 2014 press conference in Las Vegas. Out of them all, one product stood out: the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300, which seamlessly combines Windows 8.1 and Android, and swaps between the two in a matter of seconds.

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Acer Iconia A1-830 review: first look at £139 iPad Mini rival

Monday, January 6th, 2014

DSC05603

If you don’t fancy paying £249 for the Apple iPad Mini, we think you could be tempted by the Acer rival we played with at a pre-CES briefing: the Acer Iconia A1-830.

The most compelling reason is the price. At a suggested retail cost of £139 inc VAT, that’s a whopping £110 less than the iPad Mini.

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Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

HTC One top

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, wrote a much derided 900-word guide to switching from iPhone to Android the other day. I should have read it more closely, because in there – aside from the slightly eccentric suggestion that you email your photos from one phone to the other – is a very useful nugget of information about iMessage.

I made the switch from the iPhone 4s to an HTC One at the weekend, and while the transition has been remarkably smoothly, one thing I didn’t notice until I switched my iPhone back on last night was that I’d been missing out on text messages, because I neglected to switch off iMessage on my old handset.

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Lenovo Yoga Tablet review: first look

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

DSC09372Under the jubilant “#betterway” hashtag, Lenovo has revealed its latest brainchild, the Yoga Tablet, in synchronised events in Los Angeles and Milan.

Running a lightly customised version of Android 4.2.2 and coming in 8in and 10in variants, the Yoga Tablet resembles nothing so much as an oversized Apple Magic Trackpad. Across most of the screen area it’s an exceptionally slim 3mm deep, but with a cylindrical protrusion of around 8mm bulging out along one edge.

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Twitter for Android: how to stop unwanted alerts

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

TwitterNotifications

The official Twitter app on my Android phone has started popping up a new sort of notification. Every so often, it’s taken to buzzing and vibrating to advise me that some people I know have started to follow someone I don’t know.

Clearly, it’s an attempt to get me to “engage” more with Twitter – as if I don’t enough already – and it’s not a wholly brainless approach. It stands to reason that if my friends like a certain Twitter feed then there’s a fair chance I might like it too.

I really don’t appreciate the intrusion, however. And based on the comments I’ve seen popping up on my own feed it looks like I’m not alone. I won’t be surprised if Twitter ends up backtracking in short order – but in the meantime, it looks like we’ll just have to live with the unwanted interruptions, or uninstall the Twitter app entirely.

That’s what it looks like; but in fact it is possible to disable these unwanted notifications. Here’s how.

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Posted in: Hardware

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Windows 8 on an Android tablet. Wait, what?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Pipo tablet

Novatech is currently working with Chinese manufacturers to find a white-label Windows 8 tablet it can sell under its own brand. It hasn’t been an easy task, and as yet the British PC maker hasn’t found one it’s happy to put it’s name to.

Novatech has tested dozens of white-label tablets so far, few meeting the grade for build quality or features, but the one on tester Steve Kerrin’s table when I visited the company’s factory was certainly intriguing: an Android tablet running Windows 8.

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Samsung Galaxy NX review: first look

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Samsung Galaxy NXSamsung made quite a stir when it launched its 3G-enabled Android-based Samsung Galaxy Camera earlier this year. Now the Samsung Galaxy NX is here to take the concept upmarket.

From the front it’s nothing special, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the company’s existing range of NX cameras. It looks like a shrunken DSLR, with a small hump on the top for an EVF (electronic viewfinder), a large grip to one side and a number of knobs and buttons on the top plate.


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How to move from iPhone to Android

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

HTC One top

For the past three years – since the launch of the iPhone 3GS – I’ve been firmly in the iOS camp. For the past week, however, I’ve been testing the HTC One (you can read my verdict on the device in our HTC One review).

Making the move from iOS to Android was a damned-sight less painful than I anticipated. Within a matter of minutes, I had all of my contacts, music and other data transferred or accessible from the HTC One.

If you’re thinking about making the move from iPhone to Android, here’s how to make the transition as easy as possible.

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