Tablets are quickly becoming the most popular mobile device. Almost every major mobile device manufacturer makes tablets. One of the more intriguing tablet models is Google’s 7 inch tablet, the Nexus 7. It has proven to be a popular device, and in late July Google held a breakfast meeting where they introduced a new version of tablet.
Here is an overview of the new version of the Nexus 7 – commonly called the Nexus 7 2 or the Nexus 7 2013.
What is the Nexus 7? As you may know, Google’s Nexus brand of mobile devices are what Google considers to be the benchmark devices running Android. They are what Google envisions as being the ‘best’ tablet or phone for Android at the release of the device. These devices come with a version of Android most users refer to as ‘Vanilla’ or ‘Stock’. There are no fancy overlays like those added to Samsung or HTC devices, it’s the most basic, or ‘stock’, version of Android.
Aside from having top of the line, or near top of the line components, these Nexus devices are the first to receive Android updates, usually within a day or two of when they are released by Google. This means Nexus devices are always running the latest and greatest. In this case, Android 4.3. Compare this with some older phones that are still running a two year old version of Android.
The Nexus 7 is Google’s mid-size tablet. At slightly over 7 inches from the top-left to bottom-right side, the tablet is designed to be more mobile than the bigger ones, while still offering the same functionality. Since the release of the 7 in 2012, and indeed slightly before that, in terms of size, 7 inch tablets have been the fastest selling ones.
Business users who are looking for a powerful tablet that they can easily take with them to be able to keep in touch with the office, answer emails and do light editing of documents, will find this tablet useful. Those who want a more powerful solution, or to be able to access their computer and systems, may want to look elsewhere. Think of the Nexus 7 2013 as the perfect tool for the commute, or short trips where you don’t need a full laptop.
Important Tech specs As with any tech device, the manufacturer – in this case Asus – and Google love to tout a wide spectrum of technical specs to wow and dazzle the user. Here are the specs that many business users should be aware of:
Cost The Nexus 7 2 is currently available in the US and will soon be available in more countries including Australia, the UK and Canada. There are two main versions: One with 16GB of storage space that costs USD$229. The 32GB version costs USD$269. There is no difference between these two models, aside from the amount of storage. The LTE version will come with 32GB of storage and cost USD$349. If you are looking to learn more about the Nexus 7 and how it can be used in your business, why not call us and see how we can help.
When asked what the most useful new tech device is for managers and business owners, many will answer the tablet. While still gaining in popularity, it’s not uncommon to see a busy manager holding a tablet. One of the more popular systems is Android, which offers a robust app store – Google Play. If you have an Android tablet, you likely have used Play, but to get the most out of it, you may need to optimize it.
The main way you can optimize Google Play is to go into the Settings panel, and tinker with the options available. This article is an overview of that panel, along with some recommendations on how you should set it up.
How to access Settings in Google Play
Settings can be accessed by opening Google Play on your tablet and logging in if need be. From the main screen you can tap on the three vertical squares in the top-right of your device’s screen. In the drop-down menu that opens, select Settings and you should see the below screen:
The Settings panel can be accessed from anywhere in the Google Play store, as long as you are on your device. Here’s an overview of the three main sections of Settings and each option.
Notifications – When ticked will notify you when you have updates available for installed apps. You will see the Google Play icon in the black bar at the top of your device. When you pull it down, you should select the apps and update them. It would be a good idea to tick this, as it makes it easier to upload and control your apps.
Auto-update apps – Tap on this to enable auto-update of apps or set when auto-update will run. When you tap on this option you should see a pop-up window with three options. If you are on a data plan, we strongly recommend that you select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only, as this will not take up any of your data.
Auto-add widgets – Some apps have widgets – mini apps that go right on your device’s home screen, e.g., Gmail has a widget that allows you to read your email directly from your home screen. If you tick this, any app with a widget will automatically be added to your home screen. It would be a good idea to turn this off if you have lots of apps, as you could quickly find your home screen full of things you don’t use.
Clear search history – Pressing this will clear your Google Play search history. It would be a good idea to clear this on a regular basis, say once a month if you download or search for a large number of apps.
Content filtering – Tapping this allows you to set or restrict what apps can be found. Because Google rates the apps, you can limit them by this. The ratings include apps for: Everyone, Low maturity, Medium maturity, High maturity and Show all apps. Tick which apps you feel are appropriate; we recommend unticking High maturity at the very least. When you select OK you will be able to set a pin you will need to enter the next time you want to change the filtering settings.
Password – Allows you to set a password that you will need to enter in order to purchase apps. Essentially, every time you spend money on Google Play, including in-app purchases, you will need to enter your password. When you enable this, you will have to enter your Google Account password, and press Ok. You will also need to enter your password to disable this.
Open source licenses – Because Android is open source (meaning anyone has access to the code that built it), developers need to include the license when they use it. Think of this option as similar to a Terms of Service that users have to agree to (and should read, but don’t) when they install new software.
Build version – Is the current version of Google Play. If you are having problems with the app, and need to contact Google’s Support desk, you will likely need to give them the build version of Google Play.
If you are looking for more information on Google Play, or any other Android tablet apps please contact us today.
The modern tablet is designed to do almost anything. The internal components of some even rival low-end computers. While this is great news, there is one serious drawback: the battery. While our tablets are becoming increasingly powerful, battery life has remained generally the same – some tablets don’t even last a day. If you have a tablet running Android however, there are some steps you can do to get more out of your battery.
Below are five tips on how you can extend the length of time you can use your Android tablet without having to recharge.
Before you start you need a benchmark Before you do anything, you need to know just how much power your tablet is actually using. What you should do is create a benchmark. This can be done by:
Below the percentage is a list of actions and power draining processes, along with how much of the battery drain each process is contributing. Once you have noted how much power is being used, try these power saving tips:
1. Reduce the brightness of your screen Believe it or not, the screen can be a massive drain on power. If you have the brightness level cranked to max you will notice a drastic drop in the time your battery lasts. Try turning down the brightness as low as possible. You can adjust the brightness by going to your device’s Settings, tapping on Display followed by Brightness. Slide the slider to the left to lower the brightness or the right to increase it.
After each change, use the tablet for the same amount of time as you did in the benchmark and see how much of a difference there is. You may be able to get an extra hour, or more, out of your device by simply decreasing the brightness.
2. Manage your data connections Many tablets now come with mobile data like 3G or even 4G. While being able to access the Internet from anywhere is great, being always connected can really drain the battery, especially if you live in an area with spotty connection.
Unless you are streaming content, you don’t really need to be connected to 4G. You can turn it off by going to your device’s Settings, tapping on More… under Wireless & Networks, followed by Mobile Networks, and then Network Operators. You should then be able to pick between CDMA or LTE. Select CDMA and 4G will be turned off. Note: This will only work if your tablet supports 4G/LTE.
Also, some users leave their tablet’s Wi-Fi radio on even while they are connected to a mobile data network. This has been known to drain your battery as well because your tablet will always be searching for a Wi-Fi network. If you are using mobile data, say on the way into the office, turn off Wi-Fi on your device. This can easily be done by opening Settings and looking for Wi-Fi under Wireless & Networks. Slide the button beside Wi-Fi from On to Off.
3. Turn off unimportant notifications It seems like nearly every app you install comes with notifications. Many of these are likely less than important. On top of that, they also cause battery drain because the program is constantly telling your tablet to go online and look to see if there are any new notifications. It is a good idea to turn these notifications off.
The easiest way to do this is to go into your device’s Settings and look for Apps under Device. Tap on it and you will see a list of all apps installed on your device. Tap on one and look for a box that says Show notifications. If there is a check, this means that it is telling your device to look for updates, etc. Uncheck it to turn off these notifications.
4. Turn off the GPS A popular use for tablets is as a navigation tool in the car, largely because of the bigger screen and the fact that most tablets have a GPS receiver. While useful, it can be easy to forget to turn off the GPS when you aren’t using it. Android currently allows apps to get location information from GPS satellites, and this means that they will likely cause an increased power drain.
If you don’t need your tablet to provide accurate location based information, you can turn off the GPS connection by going to Settings and looking for Location access or Location in the Personal section. Ensure that GPS Satellites isn’t ticked.
5. Watch out for widgets Widgets are a feature of Android that many users love. These smaller versions of apps provide detailed information with usually on one or two features. For example, one of the Gmail widgets shows your main Inbox. When you tap on an email, the app will open. While these are useful, they can drain the battery.
It is therefore a good idea to get rid of widgets you don’t really use. This can be done by pressing on the widget for a second or two until it lifts off the screen a bit and you see Remove appear at the top of your screen. Drag the app over Remove and let it go. This will take it off of your screen.
In order to get longer battery life out of your device, try playing around with different settings. Compare this to the benchmark you established earlier and see if battery life increases. If you optimize correctly there’s no reason why your tablet shouldn’t last for up to 10 hours with normal use.
Looking to learn more about Android tablets and how they can help your business? Contact us today, we’d be happy to have a chat.
In July of this year, Google released the latest version of Android – Android 4.3. What was expected to be a massive update, actually turned out to be an incremental update with seemingly minor changes. That being said, there were some features introduced that Android users can definitely benefit from.
While Android 4.3 was officially released in July by Google, it is just now making its way onto many Android tablets and phones. So what are the new features and updates it brings?
Keyboard Typing using the stock Android keyboard on some devices isn’t too difficult, but on smaller devices it can be a little tough, with users often missing keys. The recent update brings a tweak to the Android keyboard which makes tap-typing easier and more accurate.
Many users will notice a slight improvement in tap-typing – individually selecting the letters instead of swiping a finger over them.
Location based Wi-Fi A wide variety of apps rely on your device’s location to ensure accurate maps, updates, etc. There are two main ways your apps can find your tablet’s location – by GPS or Wi-Fi. If you leave your Wi-Fi radio on, the tablet will continually search for connections to connect to and to report locations. This will actually drain your battery at a fairly fast rate.
The new update brings a change to the way Wi-Fi is used to report locations. Instead of Wi-Fi being turned on all the time to report, it is now selective, and will turn on the radio only when a location update is needed.
Bluetooth Bluetooth devices like the Jawbone or Fitbit rely on Bluetooth connections in order to report information to your phone or interact with various features e.g., answering and making calls using the Jawbone and recording of exercise with Fitbit. These devices use a lower-power version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth Smart), which older Android devices were not capable of supporting.
Newer Android devices, like the Google Nexus 7 can support Bluetooth Smart – they are commonly referred to as Bluetooth Smart Ready – and in 4.3 they will be able to connect with devices that use the Smart connection.
Restricted profiles Possibly the biggest feature introduced in 4.3 is the ability to restrict profiles. This feature lets you restrict individual user profiles and access to apps and content. If you want, you can set it so that a user can’t actually access any apps, or you can select what apps they can access.
This feature is currently only available for tablets using Android 4.3, and is great for users who share their tablet with others or are looking for a way to limit access to certain users.
Autocomplete dialer One feature that while not incredibly useful for many tablets is useful for mobile devices, is autocomplete in the phone dialer. This has been a feature of other mobile systems for a while but it has been largely absent from Android.
When you begin typing numbers on the dialer you should see suggestions related to the numbers. When you press on one of the suggestions you will dial automatically. If you have updated your device to 4.3, you can activate this feature by opening your device’s dialer, pressing on the three vertical squares, selecting Settings and tapping on Dial pad autocomplete.
If you would like to learn more about Android and how a tablet or phone would fit into your organization, please contact us today.
Android tablets are proving to be valuable tools for business, with an ever increasing number of users. Many of these productive Android users also utilize Google Apps such a Docs and Sheets, which can be found in Drive. In an effort to make these apps even more useful, Google has introduced standalone versions of the popular Drive apps.
While the number of companies using Google Apps is certainly on the rise, there is a slight issue with the way the office productivity apps are set up. In order to access them on your mobile device, you have to first either open Drive in your browser or open the app. From there you can access the different files and open and read or edit them.
If, for example, you want to create a new spreadsheet, you have to open the Drive app and then create the spreadsheet on there. While this setup is great for many users, if you are a heavy user of Drive, and want to find this spreadsheet later on down the road, you are possibly going to have to search for it in Drive, potentially wading through hundreds of files.
This makes the productivity suite on mobile devices like tablets slightly less efficient, and could extend the time you need to take to work on a project. To many tablet users, this is counterintuitive to the main reason people use tablets in the first place – the device and the apps are meant to speed up work or at the very least accelerate efficiency.
Google has realized this issue and set out to fix it. Their simple solution was to create standalone versions of their popular productivity apps. What this means is you can now download the Docs, Sheets, and in the near future Slides, app. Opening each individual app will show all of your related files.
When you open the Docs app, for example, you will be presented with a list of all of your Docs, with the last opened or edited at the top. At the top of each app is a menu bar. Pressing the magnifying glass will allow you to search for a Doc while the other buttons rearrange the viewing order of your files.
Press the file folder and the folders on your Drive that contain Docs (if you are in the Docs app) or Sheets (if you are in the Sheets app) will be displayed. Finally, pressing the plus sign will allow you to create a new file. The files that you open using this app can be read and edited just as they would be in Drive.
While these apps are ideal for mobile users, the best feature of the standalone versions is that support for offline creation and editing of files is built in. This means that if you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still open the app and create a new file or even edit existing ones. This is regardless of whether you have selected them to be available offline from the browser or mobile version of Drive. If you open the app, it should update all documents automatically to their last backup.
The apps are currently available for free on the Google Play store. You can find the Docs app here, and the Sheets app here. Keep your eyes peeled for the Slides app, which Google has noted will be out soon. Looking to learn more about Google’s mobile products? Contact us today to see how we can help.
When compared to desktop machines or even laptops, tablets like those running Android have the advantage of great mobility and ease of use, which is why they’ve become the ultimate convenience over the last few years. And because more and more people have come to rely on them for work and communications, the security of tablets has become an increasing concern. As Android tablets run with apps that collect its users’ data, this potentially leaves the device open to threats and other damage, and can inadvertently reveal users personal details, especially if the apps are malicious.
So, how can people protect themselves and make sure that their tablet is only running applications that are safe and secure?
Downloading an app from well-known and legitimate sources, like Google Play, Samsung or Amazon, used to be good indicators that a site could be trusted. Since these sites are routinely monitored and scanned for fraudulent apps, you can feel assured that any app you buy from these stores are safe to use. But a recently isolated incident involving an app called “Virus Shield”, which sold on Google Play, has lead users to reevaluate their downloading habits.
“Virus Shield” became a top selling app with several 5-star ratings on Google Play. It was bought and downloaded by over 30,000 Android users, who went on to discover that the app offered no functionality whatsoever. Dubbed as fake and a scam, the app has since been deleted from the store.
To avoid becoming a victim in situations like this, there are several effective ways you can make sure your tablet is not vulnerable to fake applications.
Because the market for tablets is growing, companies offering effective anti-virus solutions are increasingly becoming more reliable. If you are not too sure about downloading free anti-virus software from stores like Google Play, for example, then you should purchase separate third-party software for your Android device, from well-established companies that offer good after-purchase customer service.
Third party anti-virus software may come with monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as different premium rates for different types of security measures. But do consider the benefits versus the cost carefully, before you make any purchase.
If you are looking to learn more about protecting your Android tablet, contact us today to see how we can help.
Outlook is a Microsoft application that lets you access different email accounts and Microsoft’s own email service from one program. Aside from being included in the Microsoft Office Suite, it can also be accessed using your Web browser by going to Outlook.com. For those who would like to access their Outlook.com account on the go an official app is available for download on the Google Play Store.
The Outlook.com app was developed through a partnership of Microsoft and SEVEN Networks. If you wish to install it on your Android tablet, you may download the application from the Google Play Store for free. You may also access the Web version of Outlook using your tablet’s browser by going to Outlook.com. However, if you are looking for a better mobile experience, then the app is a good option.
Here’s how you can add an Outlook.com e-mail on your tablet:
It’s also possible to add more email accounts on Outlook.com. Here’s how: If you’re in your Inbox, swipe to the right to show your list of folders. You may also tap the arrow pointing left to go to the same screen.
The Outlook.com app had several enhancements added with its updates, improving user experience. Here are some of the more popular features.
If you don’t have Outlook.com app on your tablet yet, why not give it a try and start accessing your account anytime, anywhere. For inquiries or any concerns that you may have with regards to the Outlook.com app, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our support team is always ready and happy to help.
Protecting your Android device doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Since you’ve already spent a considerable chunk of money on purchasing your gadget, why spend more for its protection when there are a few free ways to do it? Our guide will help you find ways to safeguard your device without having to invest unnecessarily.
Protecting your Android device from digital risks and theft should be a priority as most hackers continue to take advantage of Android’s vulnerability. However, you don’t need to purchase the best and latest software app in order to protect your device, as most of the best protection against common Android threats can be established through your device’s settings.
This feature is incredibly useful for shared devices. It’s like having three devices in one as each user can download their own apps, customize wallpapers, and set settings according to their personal preference.
While sharing a device is useful, it can lead to an increased risk that personal and sensitive information stored in your device be leaked or seen by someone you don’t want to. If you have more than one person using the same tablet, then adding a new account for them is a great idea.
Android devices have multiple ways you can lock and unlock them, which are commonly called lock screens. These provide an extra layer of protection as they require you to unlock a device with either a unique code, pattern or even face recognition before gaining access.
Just as you would with passwords, it is wise to update your screen lock methods periodically. Just make sure that you remember the unique combination you’ve set or you might find yourself locked out of your own device.
Google Play is the safest place to download apps for your tablet. Third party alternative sites might appear to have an interesting line-up of downloadable apps, but be wary as these could be malicious apps disguised and posted by hackers looking to gain access your device. It’s not worth the risk.
As an additional tip, always read reviews before downloading apps, even in Google Play. These reviews often tell you more about the app and whether it is legitimate or not.
When connected to public Wi-Fi there is always a possibility that everything you are sending, whether you are filling out an online form or uploading images, is being captured by somebody else on the network. When using public Wi-Fi, make sure to only browse sites that you won’t be logging into and do not fill out personal information in online forms.
This feature is a tool that can help you locate your device by using your Web browser or another mobile device. You can activate it by going to Settings > Device > Administrators and selecting “Android Device manager”. If your device has been stolen or is missing you can also use the manager to remotely wipe data.
There is no excuse not to have antivirus software on your tablet as there are a number of great apps that provide full protection for free. There are even apps that automatically take a picture using your device’s front camera whenever the unique combination of your screen lock method is wrongly entered several times.
Android tablets are considered a hot device in the market today, which means that thieves are always on the lookout for potential victims. Treat your device as you would your cash, jewelry, and other valuables. Avoid using your device in crime-prone areas so as not to attract attention and be robbed.
Continue to exercise vigilance in opening emails and avoid going to shady websites, as hackers may be phishing for your personal data such as log in information or credit card details.
As long as you keep these tips in mind, you can safeguard your device from both physical and digital risks. After all, nobody wants their tablet and the sensitive information stored on it end up in the wrong hands.
If you have any comments, suggestions or questions about your Android tablet, call us now, we are here to help.
Android as a mobile operating system is getting better and better with each successive version. It’s become a viable platform and many manufacturers are releasing new devices, including tablets. One reason for the popularity of the tablet is the app, with many apps often doing the same thing e.g., opening documents. The problem is, these different apps often make themselves the default app for a certain task, something which can confuse users when they want to make a change.
When you install a new app that does the same thing as an already installed app, you will not usually be asked to make it your default app for that task. Instead, you should be asked when you first open the new app.
You can usually select between different apps that do the same task and confirm your choice. Take for example your email. If you install a different app than the email app that came installed on your device and open it, you should be asked if you want to make the latest app the default for email instead.
Because there are so many apps out there, we seem to follow a pattern where we use an app for a time then switch to another, either because we miss a feature, would like to try another app, or would just like to move back to one we’ve used before, etc.
Sure, you could just open the app manually, which is what many people do, but this can sometimes be tedious. The other alternative is to change the default app, which can be done by:
The next step is to select the new app you would like to set as the default, and then open it. You should be asked whether you would like to make this the default app. If you would like to learn how to get more out of your Android tablet, contact us today to see how we can help.
Looking back, 2013 was a good year for Android. A number of powerful devices and tablets were released, making the platform the most popular of the year. This platform also saw two new versions of Android – 4.3 and 4.4 – released, making devices work that much more better. As we start 2014, many are wondering what they can expect from Google and Android in 2014.
So, what can we expect from Android in 2014?
We started to see this trend in the last quarter of 2013 with companies like Samsung introducing the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that syncs with your Samsung phone, along with cameras that run the operating system too.
While the smartwatch wasn’t overly popular, the cameras that use Android are catching on. In fact, many companies, including Google, are actually developing other gadgets and devices ready for release in 2014. These will either run Android or sync with an Android device.
The other development to look out for could be the Google Glass. These wearable computers have been in testing by a select few users and the consumer version is currently rumored to be due for release in 2014. It is highly likely that Google will mention or even introduce them officially at their annual I/O conference, or a special conference in the early summer.
The Nexus devices of 2013, Nexus 7 and 5, both came with the ability to charge wirelessly. If you purchase a small charging base e.g, Nexus Wireless Charger, that plugs into a wall socket, you can place the device on top of it and have it charge without having to plug it in.
We believe this will become a standard feature with most new devices released in 2014. Beyond that, it is highly likely that the efficiency of this method of charging will increase, making it more viable.
It is pretty much guaranteed that there will be a new version of Android in 2014. Most believe that the next version released will be version 5.0, which will likely be an overhaul of Android. It’s hard to say what will be included in the next version, but it’s highly likely that the OS will see new features and even a new layout, perhaps one focused on making the system even easier to use.
If the most recent release of Android 4.4 is any indication, it is highly likely that the version Google releases this year will also work on older devices, which could encourage manufacturers to upgrade devices to the newer version.
With the release of the Nexus 5 at the end of October 2013, Google showed that you can produce a high-end device at a mid-range price. There is a good chance that the big device manufacturers are working on devices that have powerful hardware and an affordable price tag.
This is already evident with many carriers offering phones that are not high-end price wise, yet have hardware that was considered bleeding edge last year.
Historically, mobile carriers around the world offered exclusive phones and went to great lengths to ensure other carriers didn’t get to utilize these devices. With the release of more Nexus devices and Google Play edition phones – phones bought from Google, not from your carrier – we are starting to see the same devices offered by most providers.
This trend is likely to continue in 2014 and beyond, with the potential of users being able to pick their phone first then their carrier, not having to worry whether a specific mobile company will support their device or not.
The current nature of the Android market is that there is a wealth of devices running different versions of the system, which has led to a fairly fragmented market. You have devices released last year that are still running an almost two year old version of Android, and will likely not be updated.
Google appears to be taking steps to encourage developers and manufacturers to update devices. The first step taken was to ensure that the latest version of Android can be supported by older devices. This will likely continue with future versions of the system, and should result in more devices being on the same version of Android. In other words, the market should become less fragmented. This will be good for business users who need to ensure that devices are secure. Instead of developing solutions for each version of Android, they can develop a strategy for just one version, used across the board.
2014 will be an interesting year for Android, so be sure to stay tuned to learn more. If you have a question about how this system can fit into your office, please contact us today for a chat.