Search Results for Category: Android Phones

The 2014 New User’s Guide to Power Apps on Android


Around the holidays, a lot of people get new technology.  As the prices come down and availability goes up – it is more and more likely that some folks got their first Android device this very Christmas.  But just because they are new to Android doesn’t mean they are new to technology.

This article isn’t for the new casual user of Android.  We’re not going to list Flipbook here.  You’re not going to find Candy Crush Saga, Instagram, Netflix or HBO to Go on our list.  In fact, there will be no games listed here at all.

Instead, we’re going to take a look at the “power” apps for Android – presented for the first time or new Android user.  If things like FTP and RSS are foreign to you or you don’t know why you need a file manager on a phone – this article isn’t for you.

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About Shane Monroe

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

Smart IR Remote – Android Universal Remote App


Perhaps you just got your first Android device for Christmas; a nice HTC One Smartphone or maybe a gorgeous new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.  Sure, you’ve been scouring the internet for hot apps, fun games and some Android sites (like our very own Green Robot Gamer site) but what you may not have noticed about your hot new toy is that it comes with an IR (infrared) Blaster built in.

Hmmm … what COULD you do with THAT?

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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+

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+

Five Reasons Why Everyone Should “Root” Their Android


Often incorrectly referred to as “jailbreaking your Android”, “rooting” your Android device can offer a wealth of new options and applications that can seriously enhance and enrich the time you spend with the little green robot.

ROOT is a Unix term for the “ultimate privilage user” on an operating system. Windows users can think of ROOT access as logging in as an Administrator level user. You aren’t actually “cracking” anything – you’re simply allowing apps you install “system level” access as a “super user” or simply put – “ROOT”.

The process for “rooting” or enabling root access varies by device. Some devices, like Google’s Nexus line (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, etc.) are designed to have root enabled very easily. Some devices are locked down hard by the carriers – making it practically impossible to enable root access. The good news is – nature (and the developers at XDA) will always find a way. Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE Phone Review


On December 15th, there were two types of people in the world; ones that had never even HEARD of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone and ones that were ready to burn down the nearest Verizon store if there were any other delays in releasing this device.

The consumer’s anger toward Verizon’s handling (or mishandling) of this phone is actually mitigated and completely understandable – especially as the story began to unfold.  The phone’s release dates were leaked by “reputable” sources, only to come and go without release.  Some dates appeared to be purposefully changed immediately after they were leaked; as if Verizon was saying “Now now now … no peeking .. and just for that, we’re going to delay it another week – just to teach you a lesson”. Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

Filed under : Android Phones, Smartphones