Android Tips and Tricks

Backing Up Your App/Game Data on an Android Device by Kelly Lynn

Gamer or non-gamer, every Android user dreads the day that he will need to part with his app data. Whether it is an OS upgrade or a new phone purchase, it can be difficult to wrap things up on one phone and move up. While apps can always be installed again, numerous personal settings on various apps and hard-earned accomplishments on games can be hard to get back. While Google Drive offers cloud backup for some apps, it only helps a little. Many people feel forced to make a choice. They make a pros-and-cons list for what they feel they gain upgrading their phone versus keeping their app data. With a new class of backup apps today, though, you no longer need to make a choice. Finding a backup solution … Continue reading

3 Ways Viruses Infect Your Android Device by Kelly Lynn

  Have you ever accessed your bank account through your Android device? There is a virus that can harvest your banking credentials from your phone and forward it to cyber-criminals in a neatly formatted email. The FakePlayer virus will hijack your phone's SMS functionality and send text messages to expensive premium-rate phone numbers. NickiSpy listens to your discussions with friends and family and forwards them to a remote server. British Telecom once said that most Android phones are infected with some sort of malware. But how does someone get these viruses? Repackaging Over 80 percent of Android malware piggybacks on legitimate apps. A malware author downloads an app, dissects it and inserts malicious code. He then reassembles the app and uploads it to the Google appstore or an alternative market. … Continue reading

How to Encrypt Your Android Device by Kelly Lynn

  Encryption is the process of encoding data to make it indecipherable to anyone who doesn't have access to the original encoding method. Encryption keeps data safe from unauthorized parties. How does encryption work? Myriad encryption formulas exist. It could be in elementary encryption formula, for instance, to replace every letter of a word with the letter that would follow it and the alphabet. By this method, the word phone would become qipof - which clearly won't make sense to anyone who doesn't have access to the formula used. The encryption algorithms in use in personal computing today are nothing like this simple formula - they tend to be so complex, even supercomputers wouldn't be able to break them. Do you need encryption? For casual users, encryption isn't necessary - … Continue reading

Regain Gigabytes of Space on Your Android Device by Kelly Lynn

  When you're struggling along on the 8GB or 16GB of storage space that your Android device allows you, an opportunity to reclaim up to 2 GB of additional space can be welcome. Where does this free space come from, though? To find out, you should first head to the Storage section in Settings on your device. It should tell you how much space the image folder takes up. You're likely to find that it hogs way more space than your photo collection alone would need. The problem lies in your device's collection of thumbnail files. What about the Thumbnail files? For every image file that you store on your device, the Android OS creates a thumbnail to make sure that your thumbnail gallery loads quickly. Third-party apps like WhatsApp … Continue reading

Has Your Android Device Slowed Down Since You Got It? by Kelly Lynn

  Owners of Android phones and tablets tend to complain about slowdowns over time. If you experience such a slowdown on your device, here's what's going on. Operating system updates and power-hungry apps You're likely to go through a number of operating system updates in the time that you own any Android device. While these updates aim for better features or improved performance, they often actually end up degrading performance on many older devices. The problem is that these OS updates are usually built for the latest hardware. If your device is more than a few months old, it can have a hard time keeping up. Updates can slow down your phone for other reasons, too. They may not be optimized for your device or may come with carrier-added bloatware, … Continue reading

How to Get Your Android Data Usage Under Control by Kelly Lynn

  Phones and apps get more sophisticated by the day. Yet, they run up against the same old real world problem as always – data caps. If you like to snap pictures and share them on Facebook, watch a high quality YouTube video clip or two each day and try out a couple of new apps sometimes, you can burn through your monthly 5GB data allowance (if you have an unlimited plan) in no time . Simply listening to a half hour of streaming music on Pandora each day can knock nearly a gigabyte off your data package. You can use up your data even without actively doing anything. Your apps often go on the Internet on their own and download updates and other data. When your data allowance does … Continue reading

Controlling an Android Device With a Computer by Kelly Lynn

  If you want to use your Windows computer to do things on your Android phone or tablet, all it takes is installing a Virtual Network Computing app on the Android device and a controller program on the computer. Controlling Android through a computer doesn’t offer a responsive user experience. When you press a key on your keyboard or move your mouse, it can take up to a quarter second to get a reaction out of the Android device. Still, it’s worth putting up with the lag for the conveniences that you get. Why you would want to use your computer to control your Android device? If you don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard to pair your Android device with, using your computer’s physical keyboard to enter long passages of text … Continue reading

Is Your Android Phone as Good as the Ads Say? by Kelly Lynn

  Not long ago, aesthetics played an important role in what phone you chose. These days, practically every smartphone out there is a simple slab of glass. The fit and finish are about the only appreciable aesthetic qualities there are to judge in a phone until you turn it on. After that, it just comes down to how well the phone performs and how good the screen is. How do you judge how well a model performs? It can be difficult to judge a phone’s performance by its specifications. Just as with computers, processor speeds are very difficult to help judge what your user experience will be like. A cheap no-name phone with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor can be irritatingly slow and a well-made 800 MHz single processor … Continue reading

Keep Your Smartphone Safe From Spies by Kelly Lynn

  Our smartphones hold more personal information on us than any other device that we use. It is information that could easily fall into the hands of a con artist if the phone is stolen one day. The thief could quickly learn a great deal about you by looking at your address book, your messages, images and browser history. He could learn where you live, where you work, who your friends are and so on. Since a phone is easily misplaced or stolen, it is important to plan in advance for the day it happens. You need to protect yourself from the havoc that the con artist can wreak on your life. Fortunately, a good degree of basic protection isn’t hard to come by. All you need is to tweak … Continue reading

Five Android Apps You Didn't Know You Needed by Kelly Lynn

Although you might be thinking that you have all the apps that you need on your Android phone, there are some really useful apps that you might have never found the need for. But they are going to be real useful when you start using them. Here are five great apps that will enhance your Android experience:   1. Grooveshark: Your Android phone is one of your primary music devices. It's great to listen to music on your phone, but wouldn't it be awesome if you didn't have to download every song and stream them instead? In fact, wouldn't it be totally mind-blowing if you could listen to every song in the world for free? Grooveshark.com lets you do exactly just that. The mobile app for the site, however, isn't … Continue reading