How to: Grab the OTA File URL for Nexus Updates

Every time a new update surfaces for a Nexus device (like Android 4.4.3), there is a mad dash to find the OTA URL from Google’s own servers so that those who were not lucky enough to receive the update over-the-air can sideload the .zip file. You know, because none of us have any patience whatsoever these days.

The problem is, we often see users get prompted with the update who don’t know how to capture that URL for everyone. So we thought we would put together a quick tutorial on how to do just that – capture a Nexus OTA URL. That way, should Android 4.4.4 or 4.5 or 5.0 show up some day, we will all be prepared to bring update love to the rest of the world.  (more…)

10 Ways to Make Your HTC One (M8) Awesome

Your new HTC One (M8) is a really great phone straight out of the box, we said as much in our review. But this is a phone that runs Android, which means it can only get better assuming you find ways to use it to its fullest potential. From 3rd party launchers to memorizing Motion Launch gestures and setting up a custom camera, the One (M8) is begging for you to personalize it and become more efficient with its features.

Below, you will find a list of 10 ways for you to make your HTC One (M8) more awesome. Similar to the list we put together for the Galaxy S5 earlier in the week, we will walk you through lock screen widgets, why you should take advantage of HTC’s TV app, the benefits of using a micro SD card, and of course, help you customize the device to your liking.

Let’s do it.  (more…)

Hangouts Voice Calls Via Mobile on Android Sort of Works Already

So, this is interesting. A user over at reddit figured out how you can jump on a voice call through Google Hangouts on Android. This minute. Right now. Using your phone (with a little help from your computer). It works, for the most part, but clearly needs some final touches.

This is the deal – we have been waiting for Google to fully build voice calls into Hangouts on Android for some time. We know it’s coming – Google has said as much. In March, a report claimed that within a couple of months, Google Voice should be fully killed off in favor of Hangouts. Unfortunately, until Google flips the switch or releases an update with call integration baked in (like it has been on iOS), this feature will remain on our list of must-have features.  (more…)

How to: Setup Paypal Fingerprints on the Verizon Galaxy S5

Remember how on launch day of the Galaxy S5, we realized (to no one’s surprise) that Verizon had completely disabled one of the phone’s better features, Paypal fingerprint support? Well, some things appear to have happened behind the scenes with the apps required to make this work, so you can now at least register your fingerprint to login to the payment app. It takes the sideloading of the Samsung Apps store, since Verizon doesn’t preload it, along with the a couple of app installs from there.

I should point out that this method enables Fingerprint logins for the Paypal app, but that could be it. I have not been able to test whether or not you can actually verify payments too.

Ready to do this?  (more…)

Galaxy S5: 25+ Tips and Tricks

A new flagship has landed, so as always, we want to make sure you know how to use all of its best features with 25+ tips and tricks. Actually, most would consider the Samsung Galaxy S5 to be the flagship of the year, that is, until someone comes along and dethrones it. So since this device is as important as any, we spent some extra time running through this series of feature highlights. 18-minutes worth, to be exact.  (more…)

How to: Quickly Disable Bloatware on the Galaxy S5

If you picked up a Samsung Galaxy S5 today from a carrier partner in the U.S., then you are more than likely already overwhelmed by the amount of bloatware installed on your device. For example, on the Verizon variant alone, we’re pushing 20 pre-installed apps that I will never use. From Big Red’s ever-growing list of VZW apps to the pre-loaded suite of Amazon products, it’s a bit much.

Thankfully, Samsung keeps making it easier and easier to disable these bloatware apps, since many can’t be fully uninstalled. Below, we’ll talk about the two ways you can quickly disable/hide those unattractive carrier-branded apps.  (more…)

How to: Setup the Samsung Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Scanner

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner, yep, it does. It’s not as slick as Apple’s on the iPhone 5s, but it’s there in case you want to give it a spin. You can use it to authenticate in your Samsung account, potentially pay for things with Paypal, and even set it up to be used for unlocking your phone. In my brief time with it, I’ve found that it works for the most part, but is indeed a bit particular in where it wants you to swipe, much like other fingerprint scanners that require a swipe. (more…)