Search Results for Category: Smartphones

HooToo 3-in-1 Wireless Router/NAS/Power Bank (HT-TM01)


DSC00003After my review of the RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01) I was asked to take a look at another, similar product, the HT-TM01 (from now on, just HT) – this time the promise of actual ROUTER ability was added, making this device useful in all new situations.

The HT promises four main functions; a 5200mAh power bank for refueling your USB charged devices, a wireless access point/bridge to share one wifi connection with multiple people, a router (R-45 connector) for wired connectivity and finally a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution – allowing you to wirelessly share a portable USB drive wirelessly.

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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Taotronics Bluetooth Speaker TT-SK01


I wasn’t really in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, but my wife was interested in something for her classroom.  Something small, cheap, portable and easy to use – something she could take to school (she’s a teacher) and use to listen to music when class isn’t in session.  Since her students have light fingers, she really wanted something she could afford to lose.

Of course – she wanted all this AND it needs to sound great.

CIMG3554Looking for something under $30, I ran across the TT-SK01 at Amazon. The TT-SK01 (just TT from now on) comes in a box smaller than you think.  When you open the small box, you find a little black “egg”.  It’s little, solid but not too hefty and rather attractive as cheap electronics tend to go.

Further inspection of the box reveals a short, multi-language manual that actually tells you exactly what you need to know – in honest to goodness English.  Finally, there is a flat, USB cable included – again, remarkably decent quality for a cheap Chinese piece of electronics.  Mine is even red.  Nice compliment to the black egg. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Google’s “Breakfast with Sundar” Wrapup


Everyone is being like Nintendo these days; forgoing the “all in” during big conferences – instead, setting up multiple, smaller conferences and demos regularly spaces throughout the year.

On July 24th, Google presented “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” to reveal new hardware, software and services. Let’s take a quick look at everything in a nutshell, and we’ll give you our two cents too. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Samsung Galaxy S4 (Verizon)


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Recently I moved “up” from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (just Gnex from now on) to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (just S4 from now on) – both on Verizon. You can read my write up on the Gnex here.

I’ve been asked to give my opinions on the new S4 and while I covered it on my podcast, Passenger Seat Radio – I think a written review is in order.

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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01)


I can barely contain myself long enough to write this review.  For the longest time I’ve been searching for the ultimate, portable solution for storage for my non-microSD slot Nexus phones and tablets.

We need more storage.  No matter how much memory your device has on board, you need more; movies, documents, music, personal files – whatever it is you need – there is never enough room for it all.  So you turn to cloud services to help ease the pain.  Of course, there is a problem with that.  What if you have no 4G?  No WiFi?  What if you’re on a plane?  The cloud doesn’t help you. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

X-Plore File Manager (Android)


This is what passes for file management on Win 8

This is what passes for file management on Win 8

File management is not a part time gig for me. If there is a storage medium attached to the device I’m using? I want the most power possible in accessing and manipulating it. It doesn’t matter if it is a local drive, flash drive, network drive, FTP site, Google Drive … if it stores files, and I have access to it – I want the best experience possible.

Let me start off by saying I am not a typical user. Not a typical cell phone user, not a typical tablet user – and certainly not a typical computer user. For you to understand this review from my point of view, you’ll need to understand my feelings on file management. If you are in a hurry, you can jump down to “Enter X-Plore” below. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Nyko PlayPad for Android Devices Review


When it comes to hardware – “software is king”; after all – who wants a great piece of hardware with poor (or no) software available for it? Nintendo has proven that they can take low spec machines and pump out great software for it – and make a killing. Microsoft is combating the “end of cycle blues” by releasing updates to their Xbox software to extend the life of the aging console. The greatest games of all time … are the greatest games of all time BECAUSE software is king.

If “software” is king – then it stands to reason that controls are queen in the royal marriage of entertainment technology. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Nexus: Learning to Live Without an SD Card


While Apple users are quite used to (and apparently content with) not having a microSD card slot on their phones and tablets, a lot of Android users consider it a God-given right. Unfortunately, the latest (and greatest) devices coming out seem to be bereft of removable storage solutions. This includes the beloved Nexus line from Google and its affiliates.

In this article, we’ll examine the hows and whys of this phenomenon, then we’ll help you cope with the loss – which just doesn’t give any indication of ever coming back. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Smurfberries: Understanding IAP and Why Free Isn’t Free


There is a new cancer out there. It doesn’t invade your body nor does it take your life. While it is 100% treatable, people are happy to be burdened with it. Some people don’t even know they have it – and many who do have it don’t seem to care. But like a biological cancer, it is growing throughout the realm of mobile device gaming – and until people are willing to shake it off – it is here to stay.

The cancer is In App Purchasing (IAP). In “common speak”, we call it “Smurfberries”.

Take a look at this screen shot of Google Play’s Android store. These are the top fifteen TOP GROSSING GAMES on the store. You might notice … they are all “Free”. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Smartphones, Tablets

NFC Tags: Novelty or Ready for Prime Time?


A couple months ago, I ran across something from Samsung called “TecTiles”. Coupled with Samsung’s Android app, you could use these stylish $3 each “tiles” to cause your phone to perform functions – just by waving your phone over the tag. From placing a call to opening a web page … turning on GPS to dimming the screen … it seemed like an endless supply of possibility.

I got excited. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+