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June 19th, 2014

androidtablet_June18_CMost businesses rely on tablets and their apps to help increase productivity and work output. Android tablets are one solid option with countless work apps which many people opt for. Still, without their knowledge, most tend to give permission screens no more than a cursory glance when installing apps. This can be a big mistake as checking app permissions and being aware of common permissions is vital in keeping your Android tablet safe, secure, and efficient.

Checking app permissions

Head into Settings on your Android tablet, go to Apps and then tap on any app and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the permissions that have been granted. Note that you are not able to switch individual options on or off, so it’s all or nothing.

However, there are various third-party apps you can install to give you a better look and more control over app permissions. One of those apps is SnoopWall, which once installed will set itself as an administrator to comprehensively audit and manage the security setup on your tablet.

Common permissions 101

Modify, delete, and read storage: This gives an app permission to access the storage on your device in order to save and edit files. Most apps will require some kind of access, if only to keep temporary logs on your device. Keep in mind that any app with these permissions can also access your public folders like your photo gallery as well as your music folder.

Find and use accounts on devices: Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts are often integral to the way you use your phone, letting you send a Tweet from anywhere and upload photos onto your Facebook account at any time. This permission simply gives an app the ability to tap straight into these accounts to make life easier for you. Bear in mind that the app can potentially access any information stored in the account in question.

Full network access: Most apps require some kind of Internet access, whether it’s for software updates, syncing, or retrieving data from online sources. Full network access is used when retrieving adverts to display, but as with most permissions, you’re relying on the app in question to use this privilege responsibly.

Phone status and identity: This permission enables apps to recognize when a call comes in and gives you the chance to answer it by pausing the current app in the background.

Prevent tablet from sleeping: When your tablet goes into sleep mode, it can interrupt certain processes such as data being written to the internal storage. This permission enables an app to keep your device awake while important system tasks are being carried out. It can also be used by video players to keep the screen on.

Read and send text messages: There are countless apps that want to replace your tablet’s SMS functionality, and this permission is used to automatically scan your incoming texts for authorization codes (used where two-step authentication is involved). This is another classic example of a permission that can be very useful or very worrying. It is vital that you make sure that the app asking for this permission has a clear use for it.

Read your contacts: While a whole range of apps ask for it, this isn’t something you want to give away without good reason. The ability to share content with your friends in some way is often the underlying purpose for this permission, but also so that the app can quickly auto-complete the names of your contacts whenever required.

Sticky broadcasts: This permission is all about the way apps communicate with each other. Android treats each app as if it were a separate user: broadcasts enable these apps to talk to one another (sometimes without your knowledge), and the stickiness controls how long they hang around in the device’s memory for. If an app wants to communicate something to other apps or to Android a long time after the event, it then uses a sticky broadcast.

There are plenty of other permissions to consider but these are the ones you’ll run into most frequently on your Android tablet. It’s important that you pay attention to app permissions in relation to new apps as well as apps you’re already using to ensure your tablet’s security.

Looking to learn more about app permissions? Get in touch today and see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

June 4th, 2014

AndroidTablet_June02_CAndroid tablets are among the most feature-rich tech devices currently available. One of the most basic requirements is being able to connect, and often this is using a data network. While being able to connect to the net over a data network is great, many subscription plans limit the amount of data you can use each month. Because of this it can be easy exceed this limit, leading to some people having to pay substantial amounts.

Here are three things you can do in order to minimize and track the amount of data you are using on your tablet.

1. Turn off your data when you aren't using it

All modern tablets have the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network, and many of us have these in the office and at home. While many tablets have the ability to switch between connection types automatically, there is always the chance that you may loose connection and switch to a data network without knowing.

If this happens, you could see your data allowance quickly drained. Therefore, it's worthwhile turning off your data when you aren't using it. On most devices, you can do this by:

  1. Going to your device's home screen.
  2. Swiping down from the top and either selecting Settings or tapping on the profile image (usually a person icon) and tapping Settings.
Under Wireless & Networks tap on Data usage. Next, slide the tab Mobile data from On to Off. On some devices you may see Mobile Data right on the Settings menu, and sliding it to Off will turn off your device's data connection.

If you are going on vacation or out of your data provider's service area this is useful thing otherwise you may incur roaming charges which are usually costly. Note, that when you do turn your data off you will still be able to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.

2. Set a limit on the amount of data used

On Android devices using newer versions of Android there is actually a built in data tracker that allows you to see how much data you have used in a given period. You can access it by:
  1. Going to your device's home screen.
  2. Swiping down from the top and either selecting Settings or tapping on the profile image (usually a person icon) and tapping Settings.
  3. Selecting Data usage.
Note, this may be in a different location on your phone, it depends on the manufacturer. It can be found in the device's settings menu, just take a look at the options related to mobile and data.

With Data usage open, you should see a graph that displays the amount of data you have used during the current month. If you tick Set mobile data limit you can manually set a limit for your data. If you go over that limit, your device will automatically disable mobile data. We suggest setting it for around 10-20MB below the limit on your contract. You can also set a warning limit that will let you know when you are approaching a certain amount of data.

If your billing cycle doesn't begin at the start of each month, press Data usage cycle and select Change cycle… to set the dates to fit with the monthly charge cycle.

3. Audit the amount of data your apps are using

If you open the data usage part of Settings and look under the chart that displays the amount of data you have used you should see a list of apps that have used data, ranked by the amount each app has used.

You can see which app is using how much data and from here you can adjust how you use an app. For example, if you see that YouTube has been using a high amount of mobile data, it may be a good idea to restrict viewing videos to when you are on Wi-Fi.

If you see that apps are using data despite the fact that you aren't actually using the apps you can restrict the app from using data in the background. Many apps use data to keep their content up-to-date or available for the next time you open them. Try tapping on the app names in the list below the graph and a new window will open.

Take a look at the pie graph and you will see two sections: Foreground and Background. Foreground indicates how much data the app is using when it's open while Background shows how much is used while the app is closed.

If you tick Restrict background data at the bottom of the window, the app will not be allowed to use data while it isn't open.

Looking to learn more about your Android tablet? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

May 21st, 2014

AndroidTablet_May19_CAndroid has become a far-reaching system, found on almost every type of mobile device. Tablets are among the most useful of these devices, and many Android tablet owners use Google's apps like Drive. In an effort to make Drive even more accessible, Google has recently released standalone versions of Drive's productivity apps.

A tiny problem with Google 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's solution

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.

The best feature of these apps

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.

Where can I get these apps?

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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

April 25th, 2014

AndroidTablet_Apr22_BAndroid tablets are one of the more popular mobile devices for business and Google Apps users. A popular reason for this is because of the large variety of apps available to users. The number of apps will only continue to grow and criminals know this. One thing criminals do is they create fake apps that look like legitimate ones, but contain malicious code, potentially exposing important data or more.

So, how can people protect themselves and make sure that their tablet is only running applications that are safe and secure?

Downloading from a trusted source

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.

Taking more vigilant measures

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.
  • Be informed when downloading from a trusted source, read about and research the application before making a purchase. Most people tend not to bother reading the small print and reviews that are published online, or on the store's site itself. These will give you the information you need to protect yourself risk.
  • Change the security settings of your tablet, and enable or disable features as you see fit. The Android operating system is supposed to come with built-in features that will help detect or prevent any threats. If activated or set accordingly, the system will usually alert users when there is abnormal behaviour from the apps installed in the device.
  • Update your software. Some users may find this an inconvenience and forego updates when they come in. But patches from these updates can fix any bug or vulnerabilities of the tablets, which is why it is highly recommended. Sometimes, updates don’t come automatically, so to check online for this, you can simply go to the setting and find the option for system update.

Use third party anti-virus software

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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 27th, 2014

AndroidTablet_March24_COutlook allows users to conveniently check e-mail messages from various accounts, including Microsoft Outlook accounts, without signing in to different email clients. As you likely know, this is one of the applications that comes with Microsoft Office. Did you know that it can also be accessed while on the go by installing the Outlook.com application on your Android tablet.

Add Outlook.com to your tablet

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:

  1. Go to Google Play Store and search for Outlook.com.
  2. Tap Install to download and install the application.
  3. Launch the app once installation is complete.
  4. Sign in with your Outlook account. If your company uses Outlook in your office, use your usual email address or login name and password and it should work.
  5. Tap Yes to allow app permissions.
  6. Choose a nickname for the account and choose how much of each email you wish to see on your device, then tap Next.
  7. Select if you wish to sync your device’s contacts and calendar by tapping on the box next to this option. Tap Next. You should now be able to access your Outlook account.
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.
  1. Tap the up arrow on the left side of your account name.
  2. Select Add Account.
  3. Enter your new email account and save.

Outlook.com app features

The Outlook.com app had several enhancements added with its updates, improving user experience. Here are some of the more popular features.
  • Server-side search - the original Outlook.com app required that emails were downloaded on your phone first before being able to be found when doing a search. An update has been made allowing you to search for emails. even if they aren't downloaded to your phone.
  • Supports alias - messages can be sent to a different email address and come into the inbox of your primary account. Outlook's alias feature is available with the app.
  • More themes - blue is no longer the only color option for the app’s theme. There are now 11 color themes to choose from, letting you personalize the application to your taste. These colors include pink, dark red, orange, light green, green, teal and light blue.
  • Unlimited mail download - downloading all messages in one tap is also possible so you don’t have to select each message one by one, making it faster and more convenient to access your emails..
  • Vacation reply - managing vacation replies can be done from your app too, which is useful if you are away from the office and offline and need to reassure contacts that you haven't just gone off radar.
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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

February 27th, 2014

AndroidTab_Feb24_CYou don't need advanced technological know-how to provide the best protection for your Android tablet. Our guide shows some simple ways you can safeguard your device from digital and physical threats. All it takes is a simple tweak with your device settings and downloading the right protection software and you should be secure.

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.

Create multiple accounts on your device for different users

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.

Make use of the different screen lock methods

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.

Don’t use third party alternative sites to download apps

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.

Be cautious about sending sensitive information over a public WI-Fi hotspot

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.

Activate Android device manager

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.

Download an antivirus app

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.

Keep an eye on your device as you would valuable items

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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 29th, 2014

AndroidTablet_Jan27_CThe app is one of the more essential pieces of software for Android devices, including Tablets. There are nearly a million apps on Google Play, and many users have installed at least 25 apps on their devices, if not more. This means that there is a good chance that you will have more than one app that does the same thing. When this happens, you are often asked to select a default app, or even change it.

How do you set a default app?

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.

How to change the default app?

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:

  1. Opening the Settings app on your Android device. This can normally be done by opening the app drawer and scrolling to Settings.
  2. Selecting Apps and scrolling to the app that is currently set as the default app.
  3. Tapping on it and scrolling down to Launch by default.
  4. Selecting Clear defaults.
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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 3rd, 2014

AndroidTablet_Jan02_CIn 2013, mobile devices were once again the top tech gadget, largely due to Android. From new high-end devices to two versions of Android, and new Google Nexus devices, it was a solid year for the world's most popular mobile operating system. Now, all eyes are turning to 2014 and whether it will be an equally productive year of new developments.

So, what can we expect from Android in 2014?

1. Android beyond phones and tablets

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.

2. Wireless charging

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.

3. A new version of Android

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.

4. Higher quality, lower costs

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.

5. Moving away from carrier-centric devices

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.

6. Decreased fragmentation

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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

December 4th, 2013

AndroidTablet_Dec02_CIt's time to start thinking about purchasing gifts as the holiday season is upon us. This year, as with previous years, devices like the tablet are going to be popular, especially Android devices. A common issue with Android however is that there are so many devices using it that it can be a real challenge picking one that will work as a great gift.

To buy the best Android tablet, either for yourself or to give as a holiday gift this season, follow our simple guide:

What will it be used for?

When looking to buy a tablet, come up with a list of what the user will be doing with it. Some tablets are geared more towards those who watch movies and play games, while others are more suited to business users. If you come up with a list of potential uses it will be easier to pick the best tablet.

This is also a good time to do some preliminary research, like searching the Web for various review sites and comments on different tablets. Try looking at the bigger electronic sites like Amazon for positive reviews that compliment the functions you expect the tablet will be primarily used for.

What version of OS does the tablet have?

As you look at different Android tablets you will begin to notice that not every tablet has the same version of Android. The most recent version of Android is 4.4 - KitKat, which is currently only on a few different tablet models like the Nexus 7 and 10.

You will find a higher number of tablets running Android 4.2 and 4.3, which both came out last year. These versions are similar enough to 4.4, so much so that most users won't notice a difference. However, there is no guarantee that they will receive an update to newer versions of Android.

If the person who will be using the tablet doesn't care about having the latest and greatest, then a device using a slightly older version of Android should be just fine. Having said that, it is not a good idea to purchase a tablet that is running a version of Android older than 4.1. This is because some apps may not run properly, and any tablet running older versions than this will not see any updates.

Those that like the latest and greatest, should try looking at tablets created by big name manufacturers like Samsung or the Google Nexus line. Nexus devices are guaranteed to receive updates almost as soon as they are released, while many newer devices also eventually see updates.

What size do you want?

Tablets tend to come with either 10 inch or 7 inch screens. Some users prefer the smaller 7 inch screens because they are more portable and easier to use with one hand. Others prefer the larger 10 inch screens because you can see and do more.

When trying to decide which size suits best, think about what the device will be used for. If the user will be traveling lots and usually prefers to watch movies or read books on the plane or once they get to where they are going, then a device with a 7 inch screen may be better, because is it more portable. Most business users who will be connecting with the office, doing light emailing or even working from a tablet, and will likely prefer the 10 inch screen.

The best plan is to go to an electronic store and take a look at the tablets available. See how they are to hold in the hand and how big the screen feels. Some devices are made to be held in landscape mode which may make it awkward to hold and operate comfortably in one hand. Playing with different tablets will also give you a good overview of what the device's display is like and whether it looks good enough for the intended use.

Are there any specific features you would like?

Unlike the iPad, Android tablets come with a wide variety of features. Some have expandable memory slots that allow you to stick SD cards into to increase storage space, while others come with pens for easier use, or decent speakers.

The most popular features users look at however are:

  • What processor does the device have? - The processor is the brain of the device and is an essential component. The faster the processor, the more tasks the tablet will be able to handle. As a benchmark, look at the Google Nexus 7 2013 which has a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor. This device is what Google deems to be the perfect Android tablet (At least until July next year!).
  • How much storage space? - Almost all tablets come with two options for storage: 16GB or 32GB. Some tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 allow users to stick an SD card into the device for extended storage - up to 64 extra GB in this case.
  • What is the battery life? - This is an important issue for many users. They expect tablets to last longer than their mobile phones and one with good to great battery life will almost always see better sales. To see how long the battery in a device will last, look at the various review sites and even retailer sites for customer submitted reviews mentioning battery life.
  • What is the camera like? - If you know that the person you are buying the tablet for will be taking pictures, look for a device with a better camera. As a general rule of thumb: The higher the megapixels, the better quality of images. This isn't always true however, so be sure to look at the reviews and comments.

What is your budget?

Finally, the big one. Before you set out to buy a tablet, you should think about how much you want to spend. While you can find tablets for under USD$100, you get what you pay for. Somewhere around USD$200-250 for a 7 inch tablet and USD$300-400 for 10 inch tablets, is what you might be looking at.

If you are looking for help finding a tablet that will make a great gift, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

October 8th, 2013

AndroidTab_Oct07_CThe last week of July was a big one for Google. They introduced a new version of their popular 7 inch tablet and a new version of Android 4.3. This update turned out to not be a completely new version of Android but more of an update with some newer features. These features and updates, while minor, make improvements for tablets and phones.

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.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.