First 15 Apps I Install on Every New Android Device

As a part of this job, I have the (depending on how you look at it) pleasure of setting up new Android devices more often than any normal human should. The process, which has become much easier and more automated on Lollipop, can be both tedious and exciting. On one hand, you have to sign-in to every single app all over again, but on the other, you get to start playing with a brand new phone or tablet. For the most part, the joy of using a brand new phone outweighs the 20-30 minutes it may take to set it up.

Over the years, my setup process has become much tighter, leaner, and more efficient. Instead of installing a hundred or so apps with each new device that comes across my desk, I often only install a select few apps that I can’t live without. Since I tend to spend only a couple of weeks with a phone during a review period before sending it back to its owner, I’ve realized that I probably don’t need three different Twitter apps and a package tracker and credit card managers and four different photo editors.

These days, when I setup a device, I can get get by with a group of specific apps that you wouldn’t typically find pre-installed on a phone. Obviously, I’m a huge Google services user, but those related apps are all installed before I boot a new phone for the first time. If we look outside of those (Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, etc.), here are the first 15 I install every time.  (more…)

More Deals: Lytro for $99, Jawbone Up24 for $113, Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB for $199

Along with the Nexus 7 (2013) deal we highlighted this morning through Woot!, we have a handful of discounted tech goodies for shoppers to consider over at eBay.

We are talking the original Lytro 8GB camera for $99, a camera that originally arrived at around $300. Not familiar with Lytro? Think of it as one of the cameras that started this whole refocus-after-the-fact trend that most smartphone cameras are trying to mimic these days. Lytro uses light from all angles to capture shots that can be refocused countless times or have their perspective tweaked. The original Lytro is certainly a niche product, but the technology could become something major in the future. At $99, this seems like a steal.

If cameras aren’t your thing, fitness seekers can pickup a Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker for $113 (I just did!), which is close to a $40 discount. Finally, tablet buyers who want more than 16GB of storage have the option of choosing a Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB for $199. This is a refurbished model.  (more…)

Jawbone Up App for Android Receives Update, Now Features UP24 Wireless Syncing

Jawbone UP24 owners, rejoice! Jawbone announced today that the companion app for the company’s UP line of fitness bands has been updated to support wireless syncing via Bluetooth 4.0, a feature that was previously exclusive to iOS devices.

The UP app is packed to the brim with wellness tools like a physical activity tracker, workouts log, and nutritional info notebook. The new Bluetooth 4.0 wireless syncing feature aims to make everything a little more convenient; UP24 users don’t have to worry entering most information manually, as the band will use low-power wireless to continuously populate the app with updates. In addition, the UP app can be used to schedule a vibrating alarm on the UP24 to wake or alert you.  (more…)