How to: Enable GPS and Other Location Services [Beginners' Guide]

android gps

When you first turn on your smartphone and you are taken through the setup process, you will undoubtedly be asked if you want to turn on location services. As you read the screen that talks about these location services, one that mentions GPS tracking, locations, and the accessing of information you may not want the world to know on a minute-by-minute basis, you may skip right over it, hoping to reconsider activating them later. And you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. But in case you do that, we figured you should probably know how to turn them back on, as many of the applications you use will be crippled if location services are not turned on.  (more…)

How to: Setup Lockscreen Widgets in Android 4.2 [Beginners' Guide]

lockscreen widgets1

When Google introduced Android 4.2, they announced an old feature, but in a new way. Once you were running this new version of Android, you had the ability to add select widgets to the lockscreen of your phone. In the past, you had always been able to utilize the widget power of Bugdroid on home screens, but expanding to your lockscreen gave you a new world of possibilities. Funny thing is, that third party lockscreen replacements have allowed this for years, so some of us were already used to the idea. For those not, this guide is for you.  (more…)

How to: Setup Isis Mobile Wallet on Verizon

isis verizon

Having realized that your phones can be used for things other than making calls, like paying for goods on the go, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile teamed up to create a joint venture called Isis Mobile Wallet. It’s goal is to become your one and only NFC-based mobile payment system. While the service hasn’t rolled out nationally, it is being tested in two markets:  Salt Lake City and Austin. For those who live in these two cities, you can test the service to your heart’s desire this very minute as long as you have a phone with an NFC chip inside. The rest of us, we have to wait until it gets the thumbs up for a bigger rollout.

In the mean time, we thought we’d put together a little tutorial on the app since we were able to get a hold of one of Isis’ requirements, an NFC SIM card. We typically like to do our best at preparing the DL community for what’s to come. So let’s talk about it. (more…)

How to: Scan Your Device for Malware or Potential Threats [Beginners' Guide]

android malware

Depending on who you talk to, Android as an operating system may or may not have an issue with malware, spyware and viruses. We typically operate under the idea that it in no way has a problem, but that there are plenty of security companies out there willing to tell you otherwise. To be fair, though, there have been cases of malware or viruses in Android apps, most simply aren’t found anywhere near the Google Play store. If they are found, it’s usually through alternative 3rd party markets or pirated apps.  (more…)

Backing Up Your Android Apps and Other Phone Info [Beginners' Guide]

app backups

When you first buy a new smartphone or tablet, thinking about installing an app that backs up things like apps, photos, texts, and other information is recommended. Since many new users aren’t 100% familiar with the inner workings of a smartphone operating system and how it handles your phone’s data, 3rd party apps that automate processes like backing up are a great idea. In this mini-tutorial, we’ll tackle the benefits of backing up and some of the apps worth a look.  (more…)

How to: Track Your Phone If It’s Stolen or Lost [Beginners' Guide]

find phone

When you first turn on your new phone, one of the last things you want to entertain is the idea that there may be a time when it becomes lost or stolen. As much as we cherish our smartphones and keep them by our sides at all times, there is always a chance that it gets left behind somewhere or that someone grabs it while you aren’t paying attention. Thanks to a number of Android applications, you can help reunite yourself with your phone in a matter of minutes.

If you head into the Google Play store and search for “find my phone,” you will be flooded with more options than you can probably digest. The good news is that most of them are simple, free, and work incredibly well. Let’s talk about the service and how it works.  (more…)

Quick Tip: Use Nova Launcher to Access Google Now [Beginners' Guide]

Nova 1

For owners of a device with hardware keys instead of onscreen buttons (Galaxy S3, Note 2, DNA, etc.), accessing Google Now with a simple swipe up from the “Home” button just isn’t possible. Some people either have to long press their Home button or access it from the up-top Search widget. This quick tip will help anyone using Nova Launcher or other third party launchers to assign a simple swipe gesture to their app drawer button for easy access to Google Now. (more…)

How to: Enable Pinch-to-Zoom in Gmail [Beginners' Guide]

With Google’s update of Gmail today, everyone running Ice Cream Sandwich and above can take advantage of the new pinch-to-zoom and swipe-to-delete features. The feature does not come automatically enabled and must be turned on manually in order to be used, which seemed to confuse a few people who were trying to pinch on every email in their inbox.

Don’t worry, it’s an easy process and we have detailed it below so even our new Android-using readers can take advantage of this.  (more…)