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…)

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…)