An Overview of Android Lock Screen Security Options [Beginners’ Guide]

android lockscreen

Since your phone is with you at all times, the likelihood of it getting left behind at a bar, restaurant, gym, or other location that you previously visited is probably pretty high. And since we live in a world that isn’t always filled with angels, the chances of that left-behind-phone getting stolen and fondled deeply without your approval is probably even higher. Your first line of defense against evil doers is your lock screen.  (more…)

How to: Set an Alarm on Your Android Phone [Beginners’ Guide]

alarm3

(Samsung alarm)

Does anyone actually own a physical alarm clock anymore? You know, one of those big boxes with glowing lights, the worst radio speaker in history, and that likely has a broken limb thanks to being knocked off your night stand a time or two? For many, you could put these in the same category as dinosaurs as most have switched over to their phone full time as an alarm replacement. After all, your phone is with you every step of the day, including during times of travel, so why not make it your bedside and morning companion?

In this quick guide, we’ll look at setting up an alarm in the simplest of ways. This isn’t rocket science, but it’s definitely something you should all know how to do. The only tricky part depends on the type of device you have. Motorola, stock Android and Samsung all do things slightly different, so we’ll take a look at each.  (more…)

How to: Setup and Use Mobile Hotspot [Beginners’ Guide]

hotspot1

One of the most important features to Android smartphone owners, especially for those who travel regularly or want to take full advantage of high-speed LTE networks, is mobile hotspot. It’s also called “tethering,” but carriers have done their best to move away from that word for the most part and onto “hotspot” which is much more marketing friendly. With a mobile hotspot, you can turn your phone into an on-the-go WiFi router for your other WiFi enabled devices to connect to. No longer are you stuck with fingers crossed, hoping that you next location has free WiFi or a password available. With your phone, and hotspot enabled, you can be connected from anywhere.  (more…)

How to: Factory Reset Your Phone [Beginners’ Guide]

Reset

Whatever the circumstances may be, sometimes we need to wipe our phones of all of their content. Maybe you are getting ready to sell it through eBay or Craigslist, and whoever is buying your phone certainly doesn’t need to see all of your stuff on their new phone. So, how do you factory reset an Android device? This guide will serve as a brief look into how to rid your phone of all of your personal pictures, documents, contacts, and more with the help of the built in reset option that Android offers.

Let’s get to it. (more…)

How to: Quickly Kill Off or Switch to Recently Used Apps [Beginners’ Guide]

android task killer

When the Android team first unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), one of the flagship features shown off was a new way to quickly switch between recently used apps or remove those same apps from running. On stock Android devices, or devices that use on-screen navigation keys, the button to access this new app switcher menu looks like two rectangles on top of each other (see image above). On devices like the Galaxy S3 which utilize a physical home button, a simple long press on that button will bring up the same menu.  (more…)

How to: Quickly Uninstall Android Apps [Beginners’ Guide]

uninstall apps

Beginner or not, we are always looking for ways to accomplish tasks faster on smartphones and tablets. One area in particular would be in app management. How often do you install a new app or game only to realize after a couple of minutes that it has no place on your device? As someone that installs multiple apps per day, I can tell you that it happens to me on a regular basis, so uninstalling quickly has become more important. And thanks to updates in Android, this task is now easier than ever to do.  (more…)

How to: Disable Mobile Data Usage [Beginners’ Guide]

mobile data android

If you didn’t have a chance to lock into unlimited data back before most carriers killed it off, then you are likely on a tiered data plan that forces you to constantly monitor your usage. With limits as low as 1GB on some carriers, there may be times when you reach your limit and need to toggle data off to save yourself from overages and penalty fees. Thankfully, the Android operating system has made this easier than ever to do with just a few quick steps. Even better, though, they allow you to set data limits, so that your phone will warn you as you approach your monthly data allotment.  (more…)

How to: Disable System Apps and Bloatware on Android [Beginners’ Guide]

system apps disable

With the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), Google gave users the power to disable system-level apps on an Android device. At first, you may think, “Why would I ever need to do that?” But if you look at it from a control perspective, you’ll quickly realize that this move could be perceived as a slap in the face to carriers and their need to install bloatware, or apps that they have installed on your phone through partners which cannot be removed. It’s also a way to disable rogue system apps that may be gobbling up battery, are running too often in the background, or that you wish were unavailable to users of your phone or tablet.  (more…)