Reminder: The Nexus 5 has a Beautiful Multi-Color LED Notification Light, Take Advantage of It

nexus 5 notification light

One of the most underrated features we have come to love over the course of the last 3 Nexus phones happens to be embedded just under the glass, centered in the chin area of each device. Yes, we’re talking about the multi-color LED notification light that Google is also quite fond of. Yes, it’s also present on the Nexus 5. With that big beautiful light in play, there are apps out there that will let you decide how and when it is displayed. Do you want Sky Blue to show for emails? Red for calendar reminders? Purple for Twitter DMs? Yellow for Hangouts? You name it and it can happen.  (more…)

Android 4.4 Tip: Screen Recording Takes Screenshots to a New Level

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Does anyone remember how long it took for the Android team to include native screenshot taking without root in Android? I believe it wasn’t until Android 4.0 that one could take a screenshot without needing root and a 3rd party application or the Android SDK. We never really could figure out why it lacked such functionality, but now you can take one on most phones by hitting Volume Down + Power at the same time for a couple of seconds. On Samsung devices, I believe it’s Volume Down + Home. Either way, it’s there and has been there for some time now.

Guess what? You now have even more screenshot power thanks to Android 4.4 and its new “screenrecord” functionality. It’s glorious, by the way.  (more…)

How to: Remove Galaxy Note 3 SIM Cards (Updated)

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This morning, I attempted to remove the SIM card out of my international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variant and struggled mightily until giving up and going with a pair of pliers to snatch the little guy out. You see, Samsung chose not to spring-load their SIM slot on the Note 3, so you can’t use a nail to press the SIM in to release it. It’s a weird move, since almost every other phone on the planet has a spring-loaded SIM Slot. It definitely threw me for a loop, causing way too much stress over something as minuscule as a SIM card.

As it turns out, I’m not alone in struggling with the Galaxy Note 3 SIM removal process. I took to Twitter to see if there was a personal lack-of-SIM-removal-DNA on my part or a wide-spread dealio and was told that many have struggled to remove the SIM from their Note 3. Some used paper clips, others used mighty amounts of pressure from their now-purple fingers, and a couple worked with extra sticky tape. As much as it makes me feel better than I wasn’t alone in the process, I need to point out that we are all fools. Samsung had us covered from day 1, we just needed to dig a little deeper in the boxes that our phones arrived in.  (more…)

30+ Galaxy Note 3 Tips and Tricks

samsung galaxy note 3

With the imminent release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on carriers across the U.S., today seemed like the perfect day to push out our tips and tricks video for the device. In past episodes of this series, we stuck to a “20+ tips and tricks” limit, but there are so many new features in the Note 3 that we had to extend it beyond 30. And truthfully, these 30+ quick hitters are just the tip of the iceberg – this phone is packed full of features that would probably require two or three more videos to cover.  (more…)

How to: Upgrade Phones at Verizon and Keep Unlimited Data

moto x verizon

What’s the number one worry around these parts when it comes to upgrading to a new phone? Keeping unlimited data on Verizon, of course. Over the last couple of years, we have seen wireless carriers realize how important data is to their bottom lines and future earnings potential, which has in turn allowed them to start charging you a premium for every single GB you consume. With that realization and price hike, we also saw the death of unlimited data and the introduction of tiered or shared data plans that offer you less for a steeper price. Yes, you are now getting screwed by most carriers. They are finding ways to take away your unlimited data, while offering up services and phones that beg you to consume more, so that they can continue to nickel and dime you. It’s a terrible situation for consumers, but since you have chosen a carrier more than likely because they offer you superior coverage in your area, you are stuck taking it.

Thankfully, there are a few ways for you to work the system to continue to enjoy that unlimited data that you locked into years ago. We have a couple that we’d like to go over to, so that as you approach contract end dates, you’ll know the proper steps to take to not give up your freedom.  (more…)

Tip: To Order the Moto X (or Any Phone) From Verizon at Full Retail With No Hassle, Use the Iconic Portal

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Since Verizon’s website has become a disaster of shopping experience, especially for those who want to keep unlimited data and not get robbed with the industry’s overpriced data bucket scams that you are constantly being forced into, we wanted to point out the easiest way for you to order all of your off-contract, full retail phones from Big Red. This includes the Moto X, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, and almost any other phone of theirs that you have always dreamed of owning (outside of the new DROIDs for some reason). It’s called the Iconic Portal, a spot in Verizon’s site that typically is reserved for pre-orders of phones. However, you can order full retail phones without the fuss through here as well.

And when I say “without the fuss,” I’m not kidding. If you follow the steps below, at no time will you be asked to change plans, join a Share Everything scam, or use Verizon Edge. You find your phone, see the full off-contract price, add it to a cart, jump through a couple of confirmations, and then order. It’s that simple.  (more…)

20+ Tips and Tricks for the Moto X

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Shortly after we got our hands on both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, we put together a couple of 20+ tips and tricks videos to help new users know all of their best features. Both videos were well received, so a similar tutorial for the new Moto X seemed like it was needed as well. This phone could be the next big thing (Samsunged!) if Motorola can market it right and MotoMaker can ditch its AT&T exclusivity. As you all know, we’re big fans of the phone after having spent a couple of weeks with a Verizon variant. We really can’t wait for it to launch to hear what your thoughts are on it, even with its “mid-range” specs.

If you do decide to pick on up, this lengthy tips and tricks video should help you take it to its full potential. Also, don’t forget to read our Moto X review if you haven’t already. Oh, we also unboxed one of the first custom Moto X devices to date, which you can see pictured above.  (more…)

How to: Cut a Micro SIM Into a Nano SIM for Your Moto X

Today, you are going to learn something you probably never knew you could do. OK, that’s probably not 100% true. I’m sure many of you knew that you could cut down a SIM to a micro SIM, but with nano SIM cards on the horizon, we thought we should point out that the same procedure can be done from micro to nano as well. Phones like the Moto X (and yes, the iPhone 5 too) use nano SIM cards, so should you choose to buy either of them, you’ll either need Verizon (or your carrier of choice) to provide you with a new SIM or you can perform surgery. We tend to prefer surgery (because it’s fun), which is why this tutorial has been born. Also, I have an NFC SIM for use with Isis and didn’t feel like dealing with the process of getting a new one when beginning my Moto X review. I figured the least I could do was show you some action.

Ready to do this?