Android L Features: Battery Saver Tries to Extend Battery Life

One of the many new features introduced with Android L is Battery Saver, a setting that attempts to lengthen the single-charge life of your phone when a charger or outlet is nowhere near. Other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC (Extreme Power Saving Mode) have built battery saver-like features into their phones for quite some time now, but this is the first time Google has done it with stock Android.  (more…)

Android L Features: Keyboard Switching Now Happens in the Navigation Bar

If you have ever installed a third party keyboard on an Android device, like the new Android L keyboard, then you have probably seen the input menu that appears in the notification area that allows you to change keyboards on the fly. This menu shows as a notification that when tapped, will let you quickly choose a different keyboard than the one you are currently using. Thankfully, this menu only shows when you have activated or tapped inside of an input box. It is a handy shortcut, though probably not the best location for it.

Guess what? It has moved in Android L – for the better too.  (more…)

Android L Features: Interacting With the New Lock Screen

Up next in our tour of new features in Android L is a detailed, on-video look at the revamped lock screen experience.

If you have used Android at all over the years, a lot of the new concepts will make sense once you see them in action. There are quick swipes to launch into the camera or dialer, ways to expand out notifications, and access to your settings toggles should you need to adjust brightness or get on a WiFi network.  (more…)

Android L Features: Do Not Disturb Mode

Our series on new Android L features kicked off moments ago with Battery Predictor, but now it’s time to move on to an addition that probably should have been built into Android long ago. This is Do Not Disturb mode.

For those not familiar with a feature like DND, think of it as a way to shut off phone calls and notifications during the night or other times where you would rather not have a “ding” or buzz go off. We are talking during meetings, funerals (whoa!), or anything else in life that would require some quiet time.  (more…)

Android L Features: Battery Predictor Tells You How Long Until Your Phone is Charged

The Android L Developer Preview has only been available for a little over an hour, yet we have already gone hands-on with it. But after whipping through a quick preview, it’s time to start really looking at the newest version of Android. What’s new? What has changed? Are there any awesome little tweaks that Google has made that you can’t live without? The first we want to talk about is Battery Predictor.

As the name suggests, your phone can now predict how long it is going to take to fully charge if it is running Android L. There isn’t much else to say, other than once you plug your phone in, the estimate will show up on the lock screen. You can also head into Settings>Battery to see the estimate as well.

The days of wondering about and stressing over how much longer you need to stick to a charger. Pretty sweet, right?  (more…)

Tip: Do a Google Search for Artists, Tap Quick Links to Apps to Listen to Them

If you are looking for one of the quickest ways to listen to your favorite artists, Google has you covered. A simple Google Search for the artist name will bring up not only information, images, and news for that artist, but there will also be a list of apps on your device capable of playing that artist immediately. Tap your favorite music  service, and bam, you are taken to the artist page or list of results within the app to get you listening away.

As you can see from my screenshots, apps like YouTube and Google Music were both listed, but other services like iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Rdio should also be supported.

Give it a try, if you are in the US.  (more…)

Securing Your Passwords with an Android Password Manager [Beginner's Guide]

Let’s just get this out there: remembering passwords is the worst. We all know that we are supposed to have complicated, long passwords that have nothing to do with our history. We are supposed to have a new password for every site and the list goes on from there. Unless you are a human supercomputer, doing all that is not very easy.

Luckily for us, there is a growing market out there for password managers and lockers that make the whole process very easy. Let’s take a look at few of these services that are out there and discuss just how you can use them to keep your accounts and passwords safe.  (more…)

LG Highlights G3 Features in Series of Videos: Smart Keyboard, Dual Window, and More

Our full-time LG G3 coverage is only beginning, but as you wait patiently for a couple of reports from Tim after a full weekend with the device, we thought we would share a handful of tip videos that LG posted this morning.

In the videos below, you will get tutorials on how to use features like the new Smart Keyboard on the G3. From resizing the keyboard on the fly to swiping to quickly delete words, LG is really bragging about its improved keyboard design. But the videos also talk about using the QuickCircle case, setting up a Guest Mode, and customizing your unlock pattern with Knock Code. LG even talks about using Dual Window, which is very similar to Samsung’s Multi Window feature.

If you plan on picking up a G3, if it ever arrives here, then these would be good videos to watch.  (more…)