Christmas morning is here and we all feel the same excitement while rushing to check the gifts under the tree. As geeks and technology addicts, we’re hoping for gadgets and more gadgets, especially the Android kind. We’re not picky either, we’ll take anything from a phone to a tablet, an NVIDIA Shield, or an Android TV Stick.
If you’re lucky enough to be a recipient of such gear, you’re certainly excited to set it up and load it with excellent apps and games. Or maybe, this is your first foray into the Android ecosystem and you have no idea how and where to get started. That’s why we’ve combed through the hundreds of posts we published this year to roundup the best content for you.
From apps to games, how-tos, and opinions, you’ll find enough articles here to last you weeks. So get your browser tabs ready for an onslaught of articles, press that power button on your shiny new gadget and follow us down this wonderfully geeky journey. But keep in mind that we are not responsible for the amount of time you spend glued to your screen and away from your family today!
While the first few years of the tablet’s life as a new consumer product category were rife with various screen sizes as the market was still being established and our demands and habits weren’t as well understood and stable as they are now, manufacturers have currently gravitated toward two different sizes or segments of tablets: the 7″-7.9″ small and compact one, and the 9″-10″ bigger and more couch-oriented one.
That left the whole 8″ bracket of the spectrum almost untapped, which is exactly where LG decided to focus their first tangible effort at the tablet market. At 8.3″, the G Pad sits comfortably in the middle between the two segments, but does that make it an ideal one-size-fits-all tablet or a neither-this-nor-that tablet? I’ve had the G Pad for review for a few days, and I tried to answer that question.
Over the past two years, I have transformed into an online shopper. Not only did I discover that some eBay vendors deliver to Lebanon — where I currently live — but I also came across Borderlinx and their shipping services, and I fell for the excitement of Indiegogo and Kickstarter product backing.
As my habits changed, I tried manually tracking my payments and shipments, but I soon had to give up as it was too much work. I eventually resorted to simply hoping I wasn’t paying a lot instead of using personal finance apps, and relied on good ol’ Google Now to track some of my shipments while manually checking the ones that Now didn’t smartly detect.
But I was recently introduced to Slice, an app which sole purpose is to simplify the life of people like me, who shop online quite frequently. Not only does it keep track of how much I’m spending online and organize my purchases by type and vendor, it also notifies me when any of my purchases is shipping and lets me track its progress. The app also just got updated with a fresh tablet-optimized interface, making it my ultimate shopping companion.
For almost two years now, I have owned both an Android phone and tablet but I have almost never felt like the two devices were working together. Notifications plague them both and still don’t get dismissed from one after I’ve checked them on the other, I have to install third-party apps to get notified on my tablet of new SMS and calls on my phone, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of smart communication between both devices.
Well, that was my opinion until yesterday. I was given an LG G Pad 8.3 review unit and I saw something called QPair on it. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to manually install the app on my own LG G2 to get it to work, but once that was done and the initial setup completed, I was pleasantly impressed. QPair is what I’ve dreamed should happen when I switch between using my phone and tablet. It is not perfect, but it is the most seamless integration I’ve seen so far between two separate Android devices.
The 7 inch tablet market is probably the fastest growing in the mobile arena. While phone manufacturers are still experimenting with all manners of sizes for handset screens, there seems to be a general consensus that for a tablet, 7 inches is the sweet spot. Larger tablets are still popular, but for the most part, 7 is where it’s at.
I was recently alerted to the existence of the GOCLEVER Aries 7o. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s a fully capitalized company name followed by a mode name incorporating a sign of the zodiac, and then a number and a letter. Yep, that’s seven oh, not seven zero. But that’s by the by. Having just taken ownership of a Nexus 7, I was keen to see how it compared.
How much do you love Android? Do you love it so much that you’d like to use it all the time, even when you’re sitting at your PC? This might be taking the idea of being an Android fanboy a little too far, but there are lots of reasons why you might want to have Android running on your PC.
Just as you may emulate a second copy of Windows in a virtual environment for testing purposes, so you can do the same with Google’s mobile operating system. Not all that long ago I looked at how this can be achieved with VirtualBox and a freely downloadable ROM, but now I have another more impressive and stable option to share — Genymotion.
Coming out to either support or attack an operating system, company or piece of hardware almost inevitably leads to accusations of fanboyism. My choice of headline here may make it sound as though I’m on the attack, going out for Microsoft all gun blazing… But that’s not the case.
While this is an Android site and I spend a huge amount of my time playing with Android apps, tablets and smartphones, I actually spend the vast majority of my time using — ironically — a first generation Surface Pro… and I love it. So I’ll preface this article by saying that I love Android, and I love Windows and the Surface platform. But I’m not foolish enough to think that Surface will ever overtake Android — or even become its equal. Why? There are various reasons.
Email is essential these days. Virtually anyone who owns a smartphone can be accused of being a Crackberry addict, regardless of the particular phone they own. And although it’s great to be able to get emails no matter where you may be, there’s a downside to this level of connectivity.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll receive a huge volume of email each day. If my phone was to audibly notify me of the arrival of each new message, I would go insane — so I’ve disabled sound notifications. This means that I have to keep looking at my phone to see when I have a new message. Sometimes every hour, sometimes every couple of minutes. It’s infuriating. It drives me mad … almost as mad as constant sounds would do. It’s Catch 22.
What does this have to do with Boomerang? Well, aside from the fact that this is an app that can be used to send and receive emails, not a lot! My point is that email is something we can’t do without. But for too long we have all been constrained by the way email works. Boomerang has been designed to wrestle control out of the hands of email clients and place it back under your command.
The idea of learning a new language may bring back horrible memories of chanting aloud amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant, and discussing whether the vocative form is indeed a case — but there is a better way to learn. If you’ve always loved the idea of picking up a second — or third, or fourth — language, your phone and tablet could help you out.
Having an Italian girlfriend spurred me into attempting to learn the lingo. I am essentially monolingual — I know enough French to get by, a smattering of German, and sufficient Latin to satisfy my love of etymology. I needed something to help me become fluent in Italian. Duolingo seemed to fit the bill.
The New Nexus 7 is upon us. With significantly updated specs compared to last year’s model and an appealing price point, along with Android 4.3, it’s going to be difficult to say no to this new gadget. Since many of you have already received their New Nexus 7 — or Nexus 7 FHD as Amazon is calling it — or have ordered it and are waiting patiently for the delivery truck, here are our best articles that should help you prepare before the arrival of your shiny new toy and fill it up with interesting content after it’s in your hands.
There are thousands of apps and ideas to try so you have your work cut out for you. We’ll also keep this list updated with any new content we publish later, so bookmark this page, come back to it later, and share it with friends.