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: 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…)

How to: Disable Android Application Notifications [Beginners’ Guide]

We have received a few requests to create a post explaining how to disable a certain application’s notifications. Lately, some apps that are downloaded from Google Play utilize a certain type of advertisement that appears in our notification bar. For some, this is inexcusable and is a complete eye sore. Like them, I feel the same way. Down below we go over just how to get rid of those pesky notifications.  (more…)

How to: Quickly Access Google Now From Any Screen [Beginners’ Guide]

When Google introduced Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) at Google I/O this past summer, the most popular new feature was Google Now, by a landslide. Google Now, combined with Search, turned your phone into an automated and incredibly intelligent tool. There were the beautiful cards for weather, sports, travel, and appointments, plus the knowledge graph displayed in a crystal clear way. With Google Now on your phone, you instantly became the best trivia night cheater in the building. But how can you access it?  (more…)