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16 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy S III to be available for $49.99 from Best Buy on December 16


Samsung Galaxy S III Marble White

Best Buy has been the source of several Samsung Galaxy S III sales in the past, and this weekend the retailer is planning to kick off yet another promotion. On Sunday, December 16, Best Buy will be offering the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S III for $49.99 with a two-year contract on ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. The deal will be available at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide and will only be good on December 16.

The Samsung Galaxy S III began hitting U.S. carriers this past summer and features a spec sheet that includes a 4.8-inch 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.9-megapixel front-facing shooter and a microSD slot for added storage. These four carrier models were all recently updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which includes Google Now and its information cards as well as Project Butter for a smoother experience throughout the OS.

All of those features make the Galaxy S III (which is still in the top five of both the People’s Choice and Editor’s Choice lists in PhoneDog’s Official Smartphone Rankings) a worthwhile consideration for anyone in the market for a new smartphone, especially at Best Buy’s promotional $49.99 price. If you’re thinking about taking advantage of this offer tomorrow, give us a shout in the comments below!

 

One Day Special: Best Buy Offers Samsung Galaxy S® III for $49 on Sunday, Dec. 16

Best Buy will be bringing back a popular Black Friday offer to consumers for one day – this Sunday, Dec. 16 – when Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide reduce the price of the Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB model to $49.99.

For this one day, customers will be able to save $150 with a two-year activation on Sprint, Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile and stay connected with what is arguably one of the hottest Android™ smartphones on the market.

The Samsung Galaxy S III features Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED™ touchscreen display, Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 1.5 GHz dual core CPU and 2GB of internal RAM. Customers can choose between two popular colors – Pebble Blue and Marble White (additional colors available online).

Best Buy offers consumers the ability to compare and choose between any carrier, any phone and any plan with lots of unbiased advice at all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. In addition, Best Buy offers an array of services aimed at improving customers’ experience, including Walk Out Working, Upgrade Checker, Happy 24, and a full assortment of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their new mobile devices.

Article source: http://www.phonedog.com/2012/12/15/galaxy-s-iii-for-50-at-best-buy/

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16 Dec 12 Tablet features war: Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 4 vs Nexus 7 vs iPad mini


The best way to compare different devices is to subject them to a series of tests. These tests are known as benchmarks which are used for determining the processing speed of the CPU, along with the navigation, and the performance of the graphics unit, GPU, for each of them. On Dec. 15, Itproportal released there comparison between the Nexus 10 and iPad 4, but now there is a recent video in which you will see interesting results in addressing the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, the iPad 4 and iPad Mini.

The first thing that should be noted is that these devices are facing very different price ranges. The Nexus 10 and iPad 4 prices can’t be compared with those of Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini, but still it’s interesting to see the speed of each because this can help you decide which one to buy.

The first test that appears in the video compares the processing speed of the CPU, the central processing unit. For this test there is a a clear winner: the Nexus 10 with a score of 2,761 points. The best thing about this issue is to compare it with its main rival, the iPad 4 that scores 1767 points. However, the most curious thing about this test is that the Nexus 7 reaches a score 1659 points with its Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which is very close to the A6X iPad 4. The smallest of the Apple tablets, iPad Mini, falls far short with 758 points.

The second test determines how the CPU performs when browsing. For this test, the lower the score the better, and the iPad 4 wins with 839 points, followed by Nexus 10 with 1396, iPad Mini comes in at 1440 and Nexus 7 at 1690.

The third test, which has already been mentioned, is to see what the performance of the graphics processing unit, the GPU. This test is very important due to the popularity of graphics software applications such as games. This time, the iPad 4 again surpasses the rest, and by far, achieving a rate of 42 fps. It is followed by the Nexus 10 with 26 fps, iPad Mini with 24 fps and 14 fps for the Nexus 7. What happens in this test is that you have the screen-size as a factor, because the larger screens are supposedly penalized by size.

Although all the aforementioned tablets make a good choice for the holiday shopping season, the winner is the iPad 4. However, some may choose to go with cheaper options such as the Nexus 10, iPad mini or Nexus 7, which still offer a lot of power.

Article source: http://www.examiner.com/article/tablet-features-war-google-nexus-10-vs-apple-ipad-4-vs-nexus-7-vs-ipad-mini

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16 Jun 12 ARM Preps Mali GPU for Low-cost Android Tablets


ARM has developed a new, entry-level version of its Mali graphics processor that could help expand the market for low-cost Android tablets.

The GPU, called the Mali-450, is designed to help manufacturers build tablets that cost less than market-leading products like Apple’s iPad, which starts at $399, but provide good enough graphics performance to keep most users satisfied.

With touchscreens and high-definition video now fairly mainstream, the GPUs in tablets and smartphones account for a bigger share of the cost, and take up more space on the CPU on which they’re integrated.

Some manufacturers want cheaper parts, however, that offer reasonable graphics performance and occupy less die space. That’s where the 450 is targeted, said Ian Smythe, director of marketing in ARM’s Media Processing Division.

The new GPU is offered with up to eight cores and offers double the performance of its predecessor, the Mali-400, which has up to four cores, Smythe said. The Mali-450 is expected to appear in tablets in the first half of next year, he said.

Tablet makers are demanding a wide range of price and performance characteristics, so ARM is essentially bifurcating its GPU road map. It will offer the Mali-T600 family for higher-end devices, and the Mali-400 family, including the 450, for the low end.

Both can do gaming and video playback, but only the higher-end parts do “computational graphics,” Smythe said. That includes tasks like matching points on two images to do facial recognition, or stitching photographs together into a panorama.

ARM supplies the CPU designs used in most tablets and smartphones but it’s a relative newcomer to graphics. ARM entered the GPU market in 2006 when it bought Norwegian chip maker Falanx. It’s since built the team in Norway from 20 to about 80 people, Smythe said.

The GPUs in Apple’s iOS devices are based on a design by ARM’s U.K. rival Imagination Technologies. ARM does better in Android-based devices, supplying GPUs for about 20 percent of the smartphones and more than half of Android tablets, Smythe said.

ARM expects its licensees to sell about 100 million Mali GPUs this year, up from 48 million in 2011. “We’ve not quite caught up to our CPU colleagues who are shipping several billion units per year, but we’re making progress,” he said.

The best-known smartphone with an ARM GPU is the Samsung Galaxy SII, which uses the Mali-400. The Galaxy SIII, expected later this year, will use the higher-end T604. The Mali-T658, announced in November, should start appearing in phones and tablets in the first half of next year.

Further out, ARM is developing a high-end part code-named Skrymir, named after a giant in Norse mythology, which is due in 2014.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James’s e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/257744/arm_preps_mali_gpu_for_lowcost_android_tablets.html

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13 Jun 12 Michael Gartenberg: Google polishes Chrome OS


Computerworld - A year ago, I wrote that the first Chromebooks felt more like a science project than a strategic product. They were interesting but of little practical value. A lot has changed since then, and while I wouldn’t say that Google has developed a truly compelling device, it has shown that the Chromebook and its underlying Chrome OS are evolving.

Chrome OS is Google’s attempt to create a new class of Web-based operating system, designed to work on special devices, the first of which were last year’s Chromebooks. Since then, Google has refreshed Chrome OS (the actual version number is 19) and with partner Samsung has introduced both a new Chromebook and a desktop device called Chromebox. After using both for the last few weeks, my impression is that Google did a nice job of polishing Chrome in ways that help it shine much better than it did a year ago.

The new Chromebook, called the Series 5, has a 12.1-inch display and 16GB of built-in flash storage. You can add a Verizon Wireless 3G radio, with 100MB free per month for two years. There’s a much-improved trackpad (the trackpad on the first Chromebooks was all but unusable), and the device is now powered by an Intel Celeron processor, which dramatically improves performance, especially for things like streaming high-definition video. Pricing is $449 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $549 for the 3G models.

The Chromebox Series 3 is a small, sleek box that takes some design cues from the Mac Mini. It has the same CPU and memory as the Chromebook. It doesn’t include a monitor, keyboard or mouse, but it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for keyboards and mice, along with DVI and HDMI output. It costs $329.99.

Both devices are good-looking and solid pieces of hardware, though I’d argue that 3.3 pounds is too much weight for a laptop that isn’t really a laptop at all. I could give you more specs, but specs don’t have that much to do with what you’re buying here. What really matters is the updated Chrome OS experience, and the newest version shows just what a difference a year makes.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Chrome OS was that an offline Chromebook was pretty much a brick with a monitor. Google has worked to address that, adding offline access for Google Docs and Gmail. Both are a little rough around the edges, but they do work. Originally, Google eschewed the idea of a file system in its operating system, but it has now abandoned that stance. The current version of Chrome OS is integrated with Google Drive, giving users a convenient way to access, store and sync content across devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and, of course, Chrome.

Opinions

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227947/Michael_Gartenberg_Google_polishes_Chrome_OS

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07 Jun 12 Google Chrome Speeds Up Fancy CSS Filter Effects


Meet Fuzzy Brown Monkey, WT Monkey’s CSS Filter-laden cousin. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

CSS filters offer web developers some very powerful tools, powerful enough that it wouldn’t be too hard to create a web app capable of producing the kind of effect-laden photos popularized by Instagram. There’s just one problem: CSS Filters can be hard on the CPU.

Few things on the web get your PC’s fan spinning quite like CSS Filters — just give Google’s abstract painting demo page a try to see for yourself. Filters alone can send your fan spinning, but combine them with some CSS transitions or animations and you’ve got a recipe for battery draining excess.

That, combined with the fact that so far they only work in WebKit browsers, means right now you should use CSS Filters with caution.

Fortunately the roaring sound of your fan may soon be a thing of the past, at least for Google Chrome users. The Chromium blog reports that CSS Filters with GPU acceleration have landed in Chromium. It will be some time before the acceleration makes its way into the stable version of Google Chrome, but it is coming and that’s good news for the future of CSS Filters. Stephen White, a Software Engineer at the Chromium project, writes, “GPU acceleration of these filters brings their performance to the point where they can be used for animating elements in conjunction with CSS animations powered by -webkit-transition or even HTML5 video tags.”

It might be a while yet before Adobe launches a web-based version of its Premiere video editor, but expect other browsers to follow Chrome’s lead in supporting and speeding up CSS Filters.

It’s worth noting that, while the Instagram use case tends to get all the press, CSS Filters can do a lot more than just sepia toning images. In fact potential uses go far beyond just images or video. For example, CSS Filters could be used to blur backgrounds (or make them black and white) thus highlighting foreground content in online diagrams, charts or educational apps. CSS Filters could replace image sprites in navigation elements (less to download means faster page load times) and could also be used in conjunction with some animation to let users know that something on a page has changed.

For more info on CSS Filters, check out our earlier coverage and have a look at the HTML5Rocks site, which offers a nice overview of CSS Filters along with some example code.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-chrome-speeds-up-fancy-css-filter-effects/

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07 Jun 12 Google Chrome Speeds Up Fancy CSS Filter Effects


Meet Fuzzy Brown Monkey, WT Monkey’s CSS Filter-laden cousin. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

CSS filters offer web developers some very powerful tools, powerful enough that it wouldn’t be too hard to create a web app capable of producing the kind of effect-laden photos popularized by Instagram. There’s just one problem: CSS Filters can be hard on the CPU.

Few things on the web get your PC’s fan spinning quite like CSS Filters — just give Google’s abstract painting demo page a try to see for yourself. Filters alone can send your fan spinning, but combine them with some CSS transitions or animations and you’ve got a recipe for battery draining excess.

That, combined with the fact that so far they only work in WebKit browsers, means right now you should use CSS Filters with caution.

Fortunately the roaring sound of your fan may soon be a thing of the past, at least for Google Chrome users. The Chromium blog reports that CSS Filters with GPU acceleration have landed in Chromium. It will be some time before the acceleration makes its way into the stable version of Google Chrome, but it is coming and that’s good news for the future of CSS Filters. Stephen White, a Software Engineer at the Chromium project, writes, “GPU acceleration of these filters brings their performance to the point where they can be used for animating elements in conjunction with CSS animations powered by -webkit-transition or even HTML5 video tags.”

It might be a while yet before Adobe launches a web-based version of its Premiere video editor, but expect other browsers to follow Chrome’s lead in supporting and speeding up CSS Filters.

It’s worth noting that, while the Instagram use case tends to get all the press, CSS Filters can do a lot more than just sepia toning images. In fact potential uses go far beyond just images or video. For example, CSS Filters could be used to blur backgrounds (or make them black and white) thus highlighting foreground content in online diagrams, charts or educational apps. CSS Filters could replace image sprites in navigation elements (less to download means faster page load times) and could also be used in conjunction with some animation to let users know that something on a page has changed.

For more info on CSS Filters, check out our earlier coverage and have a look at the HTML5Rocks site, which offers a nice overview of CSS Filters along with some example code.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-chrome-speeds-up-fancy-css-filter-effects/

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29 May 12 How to Benchmark Your Android Device


How To Benchmark Your Android DeviceHow powerful is your phone? The question would have been nonsensical a decade ago, but as we increasingly depend on smartphones and tablets for some of our everyday computing needs, paying more attention to their performance makes sense. Until recently, choosing a smartphone was mainly a matter of aesthetic taste and mobile OS preference. Today, however, most of the devices available prioritize their display and use similar slate or candy-bar designs. As a result, performance has become a much more prominent differentiator.

Unfortunately, many mobile device owners are falling into the same trap that desktop PC consumers did years ago: They look at a list of specifications, see that a smartphone’s processor is clocked higher or has more cores, and assume that the device is faster than one that has what appear to be lower specs. It’s as though the MHz myth of the 1990s is back to confuse buyers in a totally new market segment.

The standard SoC (system on a chip) powering one of today’s mobile devices, however, is advancing at a rapid pace. A device produced just a few months ago may have the same numbers of processor cores and be clocked at the same frequency as a brand new device, but its underlying architecture may be far less efficient. In addition, the two devices’ SoCs may be outfitted with different GPUs, different amounts of memory, and different versions of the mobile OS. Because of these hidden variables, a vendor’s list of specs doesn’t reveal the whole story. As is true with desktop and laptop PCs, establishing the relative performance of mobile devices requires testing.

Getting Started

Since Android’s ecosystem is far more diverse than its mobile OS rivals’, we’ll focus on testing an Android-based device here. A handful of the tests that we’ll be covering here are cross-platform or run within a Web browser, meaning that they’ll work on iOS or Windows Phones-based devices–or even on desktops and notebooks–as well.

In evaluating the performance of an Android-based smartphone or tablet (or any other modern smartphone or tablet), it’s best to think of the device as a tiny PC. When benchmarking a full-fledged desktop PC, we don’t declare that system faster or slower than another after running a single test that stresses a particular component. Instead, we run a host of different tests to gauge how well various individual components work, then we weigh the results, and finally we reach a judgment about overall performance. The same approach is appropriate for Android-based devices.

A number of benchmark tools are available online and in the Google Play market for testing device performance. We’ll discuss a handful of free tools here, but many other benchmarking tools are available, too. Some (like Vellamo from Qualcomm) are offered by hardware manufacturers; others are created by students. We recommend using established tools whose makers have demonstrated a capacity and willingness to issue updates; ultimately, however, you should tailor your benchmark suite to your unique usage habits. If Web browsing is your highest priority, use apps that test browser and JavaScript performance. If you spend most of your time on mobile devices playing games, be sure to run graphics/GPU-centric tests.

Benchmarking Procedures

As with PC performance testing, there are some standard procedures to follow when running benchmark tests on Android-based devices. Apps or utilities running in the background on an Android-based device can sap system resources and interfere with the benchmarks, resulting in inconsistent or misleading scores that don’t accurately reflect real-world performance. To eliminate this variable, your best course is to shut the background apps down. Many Android-based devices include built-in Task Managers that will turn off unnecessary background apps, thereby freeing up memory and processor resources. Restart your device, wait a few minutes to ensure that everything has loaded completely and then use the task manager to kill unneeded apps and maximize available memory. Wait a few moments longer, and then begin a fresh test.

Processor, Memory, Storage, and Overall Performance Tests

Linpack for Android (available at Google Play store, free)

Linpack for Android; click for full-size image.Linpack for Android measures the CPU’s computation speed.Linpack for Android is a quick and easy-to-run benchmark that measures how fast an Android device can solve a dense N by N system of linear equations. Linpack is purely a CPU benchmark, and it can run in either single-thread mode (to assess the performance of a single CPU core) or multithread mode (to tax all of the available processing cores in a device). To start running the tests, you simply launch the app, choose the single-thread or multithread test, and then click the appropriate button in the main menu.

AnTuTu System Benchmark (available at Google Play store, free)

AnTuTu System Benchmark; click for full-size image.AnTuTu System Benchmark tests an Android device’s CPU, GPU, memory and storage performance.AnTuTu System Benchmark is an all-in-one benchmark designed to run tests on your device’s CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The CPU benchmark evaluates both integer and floating-point performance. The GPU tests assess 2D and 3D performance. The memory test measures available memory bandwidth and latency. And the storage tests gauge the read and write speeds of a device’s flash memory. To run AnTuTu, swipe to the Test tab, select the tests that you’d like to run, and then click the Start button. When the tests are complete, the results will appear on the Scores tab.

CF-Bench (available at Google Play store, free)

CF-Bench; click for full-size image.CF-Bench tests both native and managed Java code performance.CF-Bench is another all-in-one benchmark, created by respected Android developer Chainfire (hence the CF). Chainfire originally built the tool for his own use, but a couple of years ago he released it to the public. CF-Bench is a CPU, memory, and storage benchmark tool that can exploit the additional computing resources of multicore SoCs; and it produces consistent, repeatable scores, while testing both native and managed Java code performance. To run CF-Bench, launch the app and click the Full benchmark button. Results will appear at the bottom of the screen, along with a handy comparison to other popular devices.

Next: GPU/graphics, network, and browser performance

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/255977/how_to_benchmark_your_android_device.html

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20 May 12 Are Android Tablets Dead?


First quarter numbers from IDC showed that Android tablet shipments declined in Q1-12 from Q4-11, while Apple cruised ahead, reasserting dominance of the tablet market. Looking a bit deeper, we see that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, a deviation from Google Android, is becoming dominant, and all the tablets from Samsung, Moto/Google, and other mainstream CE and PC manufacturers are losing share. This looks like a disaster for Android.

Android Tablet Market Share: Dec-11 to Feb-12; Data via Comscore.

It is a disaster for Google’s Android tablet strategy, which seems to boil down to producing a better product with much the same value proposition as Apple’s iPad. The high-end Android tablets that are positioned right against the iPad (Moto Xoom, Samsung GalaxyTablet) are losing ground. Asus, Acer, and Toshiba, which have more of a value strategy, are hanging on. The others have failed to make a mark.

However, Amazon has created a whole new market with the Kindle: defined by simpler hardware and software, $200 price point, and linkage to the Amazon content platform and brand.

There’s more to this market than the Comscore numbers show, because Comscore does not consider Barnes Noble’s Nook to be a tablet, although it’s functionality is similar to the Kindle. Other sources indicate that Nook sales are a large fraction of Kindle sales.

And, the lower-priced market is seasonal (more of a gift market) than the iPad. Analysts expected a Q1 dip in sales; it does not indicate that the category is going away.

Most important, there is a wave of competing tablets coming at the sub-$200 price point. Amazon has shown that there is demand for this class of product. The open source code for Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) was released in late 2011. OEMs are working hard to launch new sub-$200 products based on the new OS. This produced a pause in Q1 and Q2 but will bring forth a surge of new offerings in the summer. A new wave of Chinese ODMs and CPU chip companies are entering the market with cost structures that are lower than the Taiwanese and Korean OEMs and ODMs who produce the bulk of products in the market today. They will offer products that retailers can sell well below $200 with a normal margin.

And, Amazon has created an app store and content services that many of these products will use. Amazon is, after all, primarily a content company; the Kindle is a platform for selling content. Google/Android has limited access to its content platform (“GMS” = Google Mobile Services) to a select few OEMs, the ones losing share in the chart above, in its attempt to raise the quality of Android products and directly attack Apple. This held the second tier Android OEMs back, until now.

I’m disappointed that Android tablets are not having more success in the enterprise. I expected that the highly functional and open Android OS would attract developers to build enterprise applications. This has not happened yet, and Apple has done a great job in this segment.

But, don’t count Android tablets out. A wave of new, lower-priced products are coming for the fall selling season, and the game in the enterprise is far from over.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2012/05/18/are-android-tablets-dead/

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20 May 12 How to make Android faster, more productive and more secure than iPhone


IPhone users love to brag about their phones. They line up around the block and stand in line for hours when a new one is released. Yet, for many users, Android is clearly the superior platform. Yes, its Achilles’ heel is a big one: security. Android’s openness and large market share mean that it’s a juicy target for attackers.

iOS vs. Android in the enterprise

[ Free download: The mobile security survival guide ]

Yet, Android’s openness also provides serious benefits. It allows for more customization; its apps are usually cheaper and various handset manufacturers are able to offer significantly different form factors, such as the smartphone-tablet hybrid, the Samsung Galaxy Note.

With a little tweaking, you can speed up and optimize Android in ways that will make iPhone users’ heads spin. Here are 10 ways to make Android faster, more productive and more secure than iPhone:

Make your Android faster

1. Get a better browser.

One of the major benefits of using the popular browser Opera Mini is that its cloud engine compresses data by as much as 90%. It features tabbed browsing, support for widgets and the ability to set advanced privacy features, such as the ability to automatically clear passwords, cookies and browsing history.

The advantage for Android users: the ability to use Opera Mobile instead of Opera Mini. Opera Mobile supports Flash and 3D graphics, has an HTML 5 engine and has a device-side web rendering engine for higher fidelity browsing. You can set up the rendering engine to work locally when on a Wi-Fi network and default to the cloud-based rendering engine when on a 3G or 4G network to minimize expensive data usage (if you’re not on an all-you-can-eat data plan). It also allows you to access your camera from your browser. Expect cool new widgets to start using this feature soon.

2. Install an Android optimizer.

Apps like Android Booster and Android Assistant give you the power to automatically kill apps that run in the background, gobbling up battery life and draining CPU. You can set a monthly data limit and monitor exactly how much data you’ve downloaded over 3G and 4G networks, and you can purge your cache, history, etc.

3. Conserve your battery.

Nothing slows you down more than a dead battery. One advantage Android phones have over iPhones is that you can swap out your battery. But proper power management can save you from that trouble. Apps like JuiceDefender and Battery Stretch help you regulate your power use.

With more than 7 million downloads, JuiceDefender is the most popular of these apps. It offers three different profiles: “Balanced,” “Aggressive” or “Extreme.”

The Balanced setting is the default and requires no configuration on your part. If you bump it up to “Aggressive,” the app will automatically disable data connections when the battery is low. If you’re really worried about a dead battery, the “Extreme” setting disables data connections by default. You can turn them back on manually, and you are able to whitelist apps that you want to have connectivity.

Make your Android more productive

4. Dig deeper into which apps hog data.

If you constantly go over your data limits, an app like Android Assistant may not be enough. Sure, you will be alerted when you are nearing your limit, but what exactly is causing the problem?

Is it Facebook, podcasting software, the MLB Gameday app? Who knows?

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/software/276921/how-make-android-faster-more-productive-and-more-secure-iphone

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14 May 12 How To Root Android Phones


With hundreds of Android devices on the market, many users are curious about how they can root their phones to have full control of their phone.  If you’re thinking about rooting your phone, let’s see how you can benefit from it, the pros and cons and even how you can do it for the phone you have now.

FAQs

What is rooting?

Rooting is a procedure where the user can gain access to the operating system of the phone.  For a second, picture your phone as a desktop computer.  If you were to log on your desktop computer as a guest, you wouldn’t have a lot of options, would you?  When you root an Android device, this is going to give you the freedom of changing anything in the system that the default system generally doesn’t allow you to do.  In desktop terms, you’ll now gain access as an administrator user.  Rooting is very similar to the iPhone jailbreaking situation.

Will I lose data and apps?

One of the biggest concerns that Android users have is if data and apps will be destroyed.  Thankfully, all of your apps will stay intact.  In fact, you probably won’t see much of a difference since the rooting process will just shift a few files around.  Yes, serious problems can happen, but it’s very rare.

Why should I root?

Rooting is a great way to have more freedom with your phone.  Wouldn’t it be cool to change the colors on your wallpaper?  What if you could download apps that make your Android faster?  By pushing the restrictive permissions aside, you’ll have full control of your phone.

The Pros of Rooting

Freedom – While the Android already gives you freedom to download just about any app on the Android Marketplace, rooting will take you one step further giving you complete control.  With a rooted phone, you’ll be able to disable permissions, use FTP clients, customize your home screen, over clock the CPU and tether your phone to treat it like a hotspot.

Backing Up Data – There are many great apps that work solely with rooted phones.  One of the biggest reasons that people root is based on the backup functions.  With certain apps such as Titanium Backup, users can click a button and backup their data from anywhere.

Moving Apps – The problem with a standard Android phone is that when apps are downloaded, it can take up a lot of internal memory.  With a rooted phone, users can have move apps to the SD card and not have them eat up that memory.

Carriers – Don’t want to be locked in with the cell phone carrier that you have now?  Rooting can give you the freedom of choosing any cell phone carrier that you want.

The Cons of Rooting

Warranty – One of the main reasons that people shy away from rooting their Android is because it can potentially void your service provider warranty.   Keep in mind that most rooting processes can be reverted though if this were to happen.  In certain circumstances, there have been reports where users have damaged their data due to rooting improperly.  As long as you follow directions step-by-step, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have this kind of problem.

Data Loss – As touched upon earlier, you can risk the chance of losing all of your data and apps.  To prevent this from happening, just make sure that you backup all of your data ahead of time.  That way, if the worst case scenario does happen, you can restore all of your previous settings.

Buggy – Again, this is not common but some roots can cause the phone to be buggy and glitchy.  This will solely depend upon what route you’ll take when rooting your phone.

How to Root

Rooting can be done through several applications that run directly on your desktop.  One application in particular named SuperOneClick is by far the most popular application used by root junkies.  This application can be run either on Windows or Linux operating systems.  There are other software programs that can be used aside from SuperOneClick such as Unlock Root, Universal Androot and Z4Root.  No matter what software you use, most work the same way with the instructions noted below.

Now, before we start with this process, there are some models that don’t work with this software.  The phones that don’t work are listed below:

  • EVO 4G
  • Incredible by Droid
  • HTC Desire GSM, CDMA and Aria
  • Eric
  • Wildfire

If your phone isn’t on that list, you can follow the directions listed below to successfully root your phone.  If your phone is on the list, you’ll have to take extra steps.  The best way to find these steps is by searching your model plus the word root via a search engine query.  Be forewarned that you should do this at your own risk!

  1. Install the SuperOneClick software online.  This can be done by searching online as there are many resources available.   When found, download it directly to your desktop.  Make sure that you’re running the latest .NET Framework v2.0.
  2. Enable the USB debugging from your Android device.  This can be done by tapping menu, clicking settings applications settings.  On the settings menu, click “enable USB debugging.”
  3. After debugging, make sure that your SD isn’t mounted.  Tap your menu button, and click “SD Card Phone Storage.”  Look for “Unmount SD Card” and click this.
  4. Once these settings have been changed, it’s now time to run the SuperOneClick software on your desktop.  This can be done by double-clicking the SuperOneClick.exe file.  A dialog box should pop up.
  5. Once this box is up, plug your Android into your computer using the USB line.  Click the “root” button on your desktop.  Wait for it to root.  If successfully rooted, you’ll get a success message.  If you receive an error, there’s a good chance your phone isn’t compatible.

Apps Recommended

Your Android phone should successfully be rooted by now if you followed the prompts above.  Now that your Android has been rooted, it’s recommended that you download apps so that you can successfully play around with your phone and files.  Listed below are some apps that most download in order to manage files, execute scripts and manage apps.  It’s highly recommended that you download the apps listed or find an alternative that performs the same job.

  • ES File Explorer:  This file manager app is designed for heavy root users.  You’ll be able to get access to an entire file system, change permissions and even explore data directories.  Beyond file management, this app also has a security manager, SMB client and FTP to transfer files from your PC.
  • Silent App Uninstaller:   Silent App allows you to remove unwanted apps with a click of a button.  The problem with an Android that isn’t rooted is that files can be left on your phone unknowingly.  This app will make sure that every file associated with that app is wiped off your phone.
  • CPU Tuner:  CPU tuner will help regulate the CPU speed and connections.  It will also help save battery power.  With sophisticated features, you’ll be able to create options based on your battery level and can even toggle WiFi and CPU settings.
  • SSH Tunnel:  SSH Tunnel will make sure that no one can drop in and eavesdrop while you’re on a public WiFi network or hotspot.  Since there are a variety of apps that can hack Android devices on hotpots, you’ll want to make sure that you’re protected.

 

When rooting your phone, just make sure that you do your homework first.  You’ll want to make sure that it is something that you’ll truly enjoy.  Remember that even if you don’t like what you’re seeing, you can always change your phone back to the way it was.  If you’re having a hard time with the instructions working above, or you’re finding that your phone doesn’t root, it probably means that your phone isn’t meant for that software package.  Instead, it’s recommended that you search your exact phone model online to see exactly how you can root your phone.  No matter what Android device you own, you can root it some way or another.

Article source: http://thedroidguy.com/2012/05/how-to-root-android-phones/

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