Gadget Grave Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lenstag Camera Protection Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:05 +0000 If you’re a seasoned photographer or like to protect your gear have I got a solution for you! Keeping your valuable camera gear safe is a must, I really wouldn’t want my gear stolen and this will help. Lenstag camera protection is a free security service that was created in response to raising photography gear thefts. So far it seems to be working really well, so now it seems like a good idea to start using it for sure.


With Lenstag recovering stolen technology has never been so easy. Like so many of our devices, like smartphones and computers they either come with built in GPS, or Wi-Fi to locate their position. This is similar to Apple’s find my iPhone it helps track where your phone is and, if it gets lost or stolen, you can be able to recover it.

All cameras are different. Even the with the models that come with built-in GPS can only use it to add that information to photos, but cannot broadcast the camera’s actual position. What all cameras do have is a serial number that gets embedded in every photo they take. In all high-end cameras with interchangeable lenses, the lenses are also embedded with a serial number. This means that every photo can be traced back to the gear that took it.When you are setting up Lenstag, you will add your gear’s serial number to your account. Now If any of your gear gets stolen, you can inform Lenstag and they will add it to their database of stolen gear.


How Lenstag works is it uses a browser extension to automatically check the images on all webpages for serial numbers. If even one of them is in Lenstag’s database of stolen gear, the owner gets notified. At this moment Chrome is the only browser with the extension, but it should be coming to other browsers soon. If you are interested in helping to stop camera theft, you can join us and download the Lenstag browser extension from the Chrome Store.

To use Lenstag you need to create an account and register your gear. You can use either the Lenstag website or the Lenstag app which is available for iOS and Android. Now to add your gear, you enter each item’s make, model and serial number. To confirm you own it, you have to take a picture of the serial number and it is compared with the one you entered at Lenstag. When it gets the OK, that piece of gear is assigned to you in their database.

If your gear does happen to get stolen, you can use the app or the website to report it. Lenstag will then add the serial number to their list of stolen gear. If you want to sell any of your gear, you can use the Lenstag app to transfer your gear to another Lenstag account. If the person buying your gear does not have one, they’ll need to create one and you can transfer your gear to them.


Lenstag is an awesome service that helps make gear theft unprofitable for any thief. If you’re a photographer, you need this, so get on over to Lenstag and get registered.

]]> 0
Fujisawa, The Sustainable City Sun, 30 Aug 2015 14:00:35 +0000 Panasonic has done something that no one else has; built an entire city that is sustainable. The city still uses water, fuel and electricity but efficiently. Panasonic built a sustainable city just outside Tokyo that is experimenting with sustainable designs. You should look at this town; it could become the wave of the future. What does this town offer? Every house and business in the town has solar panels and batteries for storing extra energy. The lights are LED and there is a ride-sharing service to promote commuting with your peers. Fujisawa, the sustainable city, also offers a kitchen with workshops and events that is centralized; the idea was to have a place for meetings with residents and guest that was centralized and everyone had access. Fujisawa is not just a sustainable city but also a smart-town. Fujisawa is one that combines lifestyles with technology to improve life for the people living in Fujisawa and for the land.



The sustainable town has just opened up and residents are just now moving in and there was a ceremony at the community center- this is also where the town management company’s office is as well. The sustainable city will be studied and data collected to see what is working and what is not so that adjustments can be made- if needed. Prominent banks, businesses have joined Panasonic in the building and support of Fujisawa as the first sustainable city.


December embarked on another part of the sustainable city’s life, it will introduce electric cars. The cars are to be test-driven and to work with the solar power generated within the city. The major point of this, is to see and show that you can make and store your own electricity and do not need electricity from coal produced plants or even nuclear.


Panasonic did leave land to be developed, as the Fujisawa needs to be expanded. With the support Fujisawa has, it will be no time that expansion is needed. The development of Fujisawa will, hopefully, lead to more futuristic cities and will increase the energy efficiency of other cities like New York. Building sustainable cities is not a new concept, but there are none at the magnitude of Fujisawa.


In other countries, sustainable cities have become real life labs to test out different technologies and to see what will work and what will not work.


As it becomes necessary to try and find sustainable resources, having the technology built into one town is a great idea. Building sustainable cities that use less outside resources and offer choices that do not comprise your lifestyle is something that people want. As Fujisawa develops, grows and becomes (hopefully) a fully sustainable city – the future of cities will change and soon, we can add this technology to big cities such as Houston.


Fujisawa has just recently opened its town to individuals to move in, I hope that the Fujisawa grows, does not use electricity from an outside source and follows through with limiting the resources used by one city. The more we learn what works and what does not work, the easier it will be for the world to become sustainable cities.

]]> 0
Galaxy S6 Tips Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:00:30 +0000 With the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone, there are some things you should know. This article will begin with some basic tips to help you get the best that the Galaxy S6 has to offer. First, the Galaxy S6 is the “flagship” device that the Galaxy S5 should have been. It is metal and glass- with the new Gorilla Glass 4. The battery is not removable anymore- but do not worry, Samsung has your back. Review the tips below, the great thing with Android, you can use the features you want and ignore the ones that you do not like or want to use.


The first tip is about charging. The Galaxy S6 allows for wireless charging. The great thing is that there are no wires to worry about breaking and you do not need extra “things” to charge wirelessly. If you need to charge the battery quickly- then Samsung has you covered there as well. Another tip is that the Galaxy S6 can charge for 10 minutes on the fast charger and you can turn around and watch a two-hour movie! Leave it on the charger and have a full charge in less than two hours. This is a great feature that is also available for the Galaxy Note 4/Edge and I love it!


Another great tip for the Galaxy S6 is that you can get 100GB of OneDrive storage from Microsoft. The 100GB requires you to sign up for a Microsoft OneDrive account but then you will access to the storage- which is great since the Galaxy S6 does not have external memory. BUT before you freak out- do not worry- the Galaxy S6 offers fast flash memory with the new built-in UFS flash memory card that is FASTER than any memory card.


With the new design, there is no more removable battery- so please do not try and remove the battery- and this brings us to another tip. This tip is how to reset your phone without removing battery. If your Galaxy S6 freezes up, do not panic. What you need to do is perform a soft reset. How is that accomplished? You will hold down the button along with the button at the same time for ten seconds. THIS WILL NOT ERASE YOUR DATA but will power off the device and allow the device to reboot.


A new, really cool tip is how to use the Smart Manager app. This is a new feature for Samsung and it allows you to see battery usage, RAM, storage and security information in one spot. The battery manager will tell you how long your battery is will last AND let you know what features are draining your battery. The storage section of the Smart Manager app lets you see what is taking up storage and gives you an option to clear useless data. Lastly, the security screen lets you see if there have been any changes made without your knowledge and you can enable KNOX and use your phone for work through the Smart Manager app.


These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. With all the new features of the Galaxy S6, look for more Galaxy S6 tips. As with anything, use what you want and works for you and toss out all the rest.

]]> 1
Qualcomm Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:00:09 +0000 Qualcomm is the manufacturer of the famous Snapdragon chipset that is found in high-end smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy series. Qualcomm is not stopping with its dominance over mobile devices but is trying to infiltrate your life. Qualcomm is working on chipsets for wearables, cars, appliances and many more. So what does this mean?


Qualcomm started out as a behind the scenes type but Qualcomm beat out Texas Instruments in- not just powering your smartphone but running your CPU, GPU and connectivity to your carrier- all in one package. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon technology helped spring other smartphones into the market to compete with Apple.


From this, Qualcomm’s next step would be to power anything that works with the smartphones. The step into Qualcomm powering cars, wearables and other necessities in your life is because Qualcomm wants to dive into mew markets; these new markets not only are already being bought and sold but with the right technology could eventually connect your stuff together.


Qualcomm has developed a smartwatch called the Toq. Qualcomm’s Toq combines what you like about health trackers with color screens that are always on and still lasts several day PLUS Qualcomm’s watch charges wirelessly. Qualcomm’s wirelessly charging is slowly showing up in smartphones. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 is used in Samsung, LG and even Asus Android devices. Soon wearable smartwatches are likely to follow but there are not specific chips for these devices yet- they are using the same chipsets as the smartphones.


Qualcomm’s idea is to change- let’s say your car. At the moment, Qualcomm connects you to OnStar but Qualcomm wants to take it farther. Qualcomm wants to modernize dashboards, backseat entertainment centers and connect the whole car as you would your phone with your smartwatch. Connecting your car to your smartphone will be even better than through Bluetooth or changing movies on your DVD system for small children.


Another facet that Qualcomm is working on is virtual reality. Qualcomm is the chip set in the Oculus VR as well as Samsung. In the Samsung Note 4, Qualcomm helped Samsung obtain a frame rate of 60 FPS that was smooth and it balanced power efficiency. Qualcomm helping smartphones reach virtual reality and then 4K will be next on smartphones.


Qualcomm has helped the Android phones gain momentum in the smartphone market. Qualcomm has taken its chipset from just ordinary to extraordinary. Now, Qualcomm will try and help revolutionize the other parts of your life. From wearables to items in your home, Qualcomm will continue to try and make your stuff work better and faster.


Qualcomm is focusing on creating integrated chipsets for your wearables (instead of using mobile devices chipsets), in your vehicle to try and make life easier there and eventually into your kitchen. Placing a Qualcomm chipset in your appliances could allow you to connect to your stove from your smartphone. This could mean pre-heating your stove from work or on your way home OR even starting the stove from your bedside so you can cook breakfast.


Qualcomm has come a long way and will continue to not only lead in the smartphone business but will infiltrate other aspects of our lives integrating our lives even more.

]]> 0
Features that you should turn off on a Samsung Smartphone Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:00:26 +0000 Features that you should turn off on a Samsung Smartphone…

Samsung and its TouchWiz has SO many features that there is not another device that can match it. Getting the latest Samsung smartphones means there are features that come out of the box you should turn off or change. There are six common features that come standard and how to turn off these features.


First, is the “water droplet” sounds that Samsung smartphones. The water droplet sound was introduced on the Samsung Galaxy SIII and has carried on through all the newest smartphones. This feature is can be turned off by doing the following steps. First, go to your settings, then click sound. From there pick touch sounds and then toggle the switch to off.


Secondly, we all know that whistle notification alert. How many times have you heard the Samsung whistle go off and check your Samsung smartphone in a restaurant, department store or at work? Well, it is really easy to change the notification sound. Complete the following steps to change your notification sound on your Samsung smartphone. First, you will go to settings and then sound. Choose “Notifications” from the menu and choose another sound for your notification.


Next, you should learn about the S voice. Introduced in the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the S voice has improved drastically but if you do not use it, then you do not need to short cut. The S Voice shortcut on Samsung smartphones is to long press the home button. This can be disabled making the home button more responsive. To disable the S voice short cut, long press the Home button until the S Voice pops up. From there, select the Menu key and then select settings. Next, you will uncheck the box that states: “Open via the home key.” This will cause the Samsung smartphone Home button to respond immediately instead of wait to see if you want the S Voice.


Next, you can remove the Magazine from your left home screen page. The My Magazine is on all Samsung smartphones and is Samsung’s version of Flipboard. If you do not use, you can long-press on an empty home screen space and then pressing the “Home screen settings.” When the menu pulls up, uncheck My Magazine.

Another one is that wonderful Samsung smartphone lock screen sound. If you do not like this sound, then you can turn it off. It is easy and requires you to once again, access Sound from the Settings widget. From there, select screen lock and turn it off.

Lastly, you can choose what is displayed in your Gallery on your Samsung smartphone. Samsung Smartphones automatically select to display all pictures from Picassa as well as other apps. You can easily decide what to display. First, you hit the menu button and then select “content to display” and then you uncheck all the places you do not want to display pictures from. This will speed up your Gallery as well as de-clutter your pictures.


There are so many features that you can change on your Samsung smartphone. Start playing with your device and work on customizing your Samsung smartphone to fit your personality and lifestyle and love you Samsung smartphone even more.

]]> 0
Corning Gorilla Glass Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:00:19 +0000 Corning Gorilla Glass- everyone has heard about Gorilla glass but what is it? Gorilla Glass is a “registered trademark for an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet of toughened glass” that is made by Corning Inc- a U.S. glassmaker. Gorilla Glass combines thinness, lightness and resistance to scratches and breaks. It is used to cover digitizers on smartphones and other forms of media. Gorilla Glass is made “through immersion in a Molten Alkaline Salt Bath using ion exchange to produce a compressive residual stress at the surface.” This is supposed to prevent cracks for beginning by overcoming the stress.  (  The new Gorilla Glass 4 is made of a new composite material but has not released any other details, but here is what we know.  (


Corning has just revealed its latest version – Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Gorilla Glass 4 will replace Gorilla Glass 3 on all smartphones and tablets making it even harder to crack than Gorilla Glass 3.


The marketing director for Corning believes that Gorilla Glass is the best glass out there but that it always needs improvement to be even better than before and that is what Gorilla Glass 4 is supposed to be. Gorilla Glass 4 is expected to overtake the hardened-display glass business. Last year, Corning Gorilla Glass was on over 80 percent of the market and is used on the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 plus as well as the Galaxy Note Edge. The Corning Gorilla Glass is also found on a myriad of smartphone, tablets and smartwatches. Gorilla Glass is facing pressure from the newest edition to hardened glass; the synthetic sapphire glass. With competition narrowing in on a great new product, Gorilla Glass needs to tweak its product and improve the quality.


The Gorilla Glass 4 is in full production and should be on all new smartphones due out. Corning is not stating what cellphone manufacturers will have the new Corning Glass 4.


Corning has reviewed many broken Gorilla Glass 3 screens to determine how to improve their product. Corning noticed that more that 70% of the screens broke due to sharp objects- such as asphalt or concrete but less likely to break on a smooth surface such as marble or tile.

Imos Solid EX 3D Corning Gorilla Glass for iPhone 6+: Front View with Screen On

When drop testing the new Gorilla Glass 4, the material doubled its chances of surviving a fall onto a rough surface. When Gorilla Glass 4 hit a rough surface, it survived about 80 percent of the time. This is better than glass that is found in windows and glass bottles, which broke about 99 percent of the time. The new Coring Gorilla Glass 4 is less often to break on a rough surface than its predecessors or regular glass.


Smartphone manufacturers are always trying to take the glass on the screens and make it thinner. You can make Corning Gorilla Glass 4 25 percent thinner than it is but doing so, you have reduced its protection to the same as a normal piece of Gorilla Glass 3.


Corning Gorilla Glass believes that Gorilla Glass 4 will help Corning keep its competitive edge and if smartphone manufacturers did not want the thinnest possible glass that the Gorilla Glass would be stronger and hold up better than ever. Keep your eyes out for the new Corning Gorilla Glass 4 as it is coming to a new smartphone near you.

]]> 0
Computer Repair Sat, 15 Aug 2015 14:00:04 +0000 Computer problems can be super frustrating. Even if your computer is under warranty it can seem like the manufacturer is only interested in selling you something else like an extended service plan etc… We technicians have been in the computer repair business for 20+ years and we know what your going through as we have had to repair our own from time to time.


The answers to problems are not always simple and sometimes a simple issue can require multiple troubleshooting techniques to resolve. There are an infinite amount of problems out there that can keep you from getting school, work or just relaxation done and we can solve most of them! Our goal is to be the best computer repair around.


Computer repair is by far a specialized field. While there are many issues that can be solved by a simple Google search, this isn’t accomplished easily if the problem is that your computer can’t access the internet, again with the frustration! So why not just take that crazy computer of yours down and get it repaired somewhere? The fact is that many computer repair shops are expensive or they take forever to get it back to you. The great thing about Gadget Grave computer repair is that we specialize in customer service and we can typically get your computer back to you in a couple of days barring any parts orders. Most of the computers we see that have miscellaneous software issues can be solved in a matter of 48hrs and most times even quicker than that.

Hands installing computer parts

Hands installing computer parts

So whats the big secret, doesn’t it seem like computer repair is an easy thing to do. I mean we probably just sit in a big leather rolling chair all day and watch youtube videos and surf facebook and occasionally actually repair a computer. The truth of the matter is that computer repair can consume quite a bit of time, mostly because of the time it takes to rebuild damaged areas of an OS that can be caused by a million different things. When we aren’t working on your computer we are learning new things, developing new tools and putting together the best used computers around for sale, you know the ones with 180 day warranties that we have in the front of the store! We know what we want in a computer and the only ones we sell in the store are perfectly up to par with those requirements.


If your computer is not doing exactly what you think it should be or is just behaving strangely bring it in. Our service fee starts off at $29.99 and it goes towards the cost of whatever computer repair we do. We strive to keep our prices competetive and our computer repair second to none. Our philosophy is to take care of our customers and the rest will come naturally. So for the price of that service fee you get a diagnosis and we will tell  you up front how much its going to cost up front.


]]> 0
Arduboy Retro Gaming Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:00:09 +0000 The Arduboy Retro Gaming is a new pocket sized 8-bit game device that has started a firestorm of interest on Kickstarter.With only 25 days to go, it has far exceeded the goal almost eight times the $25,000 goal. This could spark a miniature retro revolution! The handheld Arduboy has so much potential to sway gamers from smartphones and tablets. The Arduboy is a throwback of the Game Boy of years past, but it is packed with modern technology to make it relevant for pocket gamers and developers.



The Arduboy gaming system is no bigger than a credit card. It will play classic 8-bit games and it encourages programming skills and users can make and swap games. Arduboy is an open source platform and built on the Arduino chipset. The end-user can play, create  and share game. The Arduboy will ship with a couple of games pre-installed with the option to download more games from the Arduboy Arcade. What’s even way more cool is the Arduino platform software make it way cool to learn to program.


The 8-bit games are displayed on a black and white 128×64 1-bit OLED screen. The games they will include are Ardumon, Space Rocks, Cascade Path, Alien Attack,Maruino and Tank Battle. The game Arduboy runs on an ATmega32u4 processor with 32 KB Flash, 2.5 KB RAM, 1 KB EEPROM memory and USB 2.0 with built-in HID profile connectivity.


The programming side is accomplished by using the Arduino IDE, Codebender, GCC and AVRDude. The Arduboy has an integrated 180mAh thin-film polymer lithium-ion battery that should give you 8 hours of playtime before you have to recharge it. The charging is done by a standard micro-USB cable. The Arduboy also serves as a digital business card and a QR code holder and an 8-bit audio synthesizer. whats even more coo is you can connect a keyboard or a mouse controller through the USB port. Sound comes from 2 channel Piezo speaker.


Arduboy is designed to remind you of a simple time back in the old days of gaming. “If you think back, we have a tendency to throw features at elegant and simple products, making them painful to use and learn over time. The Arduboy is a back-to-basics handheld game system that takes people back to the day when you could just sit down and play a game — not download, then find an app, then worry about going broke from in-game purchases,” Enderle told LinuxInsider.


The design and retro appeal helped contribute to the overwhelming success and major funding and development. The Arduboy is made of metal and a polycarbonate with a stamped metal back. The front has six buttons a tiny display and resembles the classic Game Boy in very way in my opinion. the biggest thing for me is that it is small inexpensive, retro like feel and being on Kickstarter seals it for me. The first 1,000 Arduboys are gone to the first 1000 backers that got them at a special buy-in price of $29.95. The good news is you can pre-order one now for only $39 dollars, still a great deal for a newer device with a old school touch. I myself have the craving for some old school fun!

]]> 1
A surprisingly daily driver! The new Android M Preview. Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:00:24 +0000 I just got the Nexus 6, first thing first for any Android user is to unlock the boot-loader. Easy peasy, boot into bootloader mode and run “fastboot oem unlock” then done deal. Next is to download the Android M developer Preview,


You will need to extract the tarball and inside is the complete system. You will also need the correct driver and there are errors that are encountered that you must run “mfastboot” to complete. (These links will be at the bottom.) I am not responsible for anything that happens, the apocalypse, your cat grows horns, your wife leaves you and so forth, you take full responsibility if you brick your phone or tablet.  You will need to download the correct images and the links will cover that. So now on to my review, so far I am so excited with this build!


Well first things first, for being a preview it doesn’t make a totally bad daily driver. Now don’t expect all the bells and whistles that was at Google I/O, this is not perfect by any means hence the title preview. Android Pay , direct share, and all the rest aren’t there. The thing that I really wanted to play with is the Now on Tap, a simple feature that will provide an informational Now Card that is based on what you say or what is on the screen.


So why would I like or want to try on this unfinished Android M Preview? Well let’s see, there’s a new revamped app launcher. Instead of cards displaying your apps you swiped through in Lollipop, you are now scrolling through a list with all the apps listed in alphabetical order. The top row is listed with your 4 most recent apps, and does a very good job at that. Android M’s other big feature is a smarter take on app permissions. Gone are the days of agreeing to permissions before you even used an app are way over, well maybe down the road for sure.


The most noticeable feature that is a revamped version on Lollipop is the improved sound and notification controls. Before you could crank the volume all the way to vibrate then one more click and it would go into silent mode. Now with Android M Preview that one last click puts you into a “Do Not Disturb” mode, which you can play with from the quick settings. Even though Android’s original implementation was near perfect, Androids M Preview is most definitely a step in the right direction. Playing with it I just leave it in Priority Only Mode so I can filter everything but what I want to come through.


Other than that there are mostly minor changes and I touched on some of the things that wow’d me. If your uncomfortable with an unfinished product you shouldn’t play around with Android M yet for sure. Even though it is far from finished I am enjoying the new features, and the whole Material Design aspect. That being said I will run it for a while and report my good and bad aspects and whatever I might find. Until then this will be my daily driver.

This is the easy way to install Android M Preview

This is the “mfastboot” file needed to flash the system.img. (You will need this or it will error out!)

]]> 0
Humble Bundle Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:00:59 +0000 Ever heard of Humble Bundle? How about Humble Indie Bundle? I hadn’t either until my son asked if he could “buy a set of games” with the proceeds going to a children’s hospital of his choice. I was concerned about this but soon realized that it is a great place to get game downloads at great prices.   You can download in Steam as well. The games are high quality and they have added books as well.


Humble Bundle is a site that offers a “series of digital collections” several different ways. There are games that are “name your own price,” games that cost $10 and you get certain game titles and other “games” that are downloaded and the proceeds help charities. You get to determine what charities receive money from you “donation.” Also, there are “marathon games” where you gather donors and stay up and play all-night to earn money for charities. My son did this Fundraiser for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.


Humble Bundles started in 2010 and is still privately owned company out of San Francisco, CA. At first, Humble Bundle made strictly PC downloads but has expanded to include MAC, Linux and Android platforms. The company has earned more than $50 million to date and has donated over $20 million to charities.


The Humble Bundle “weekly Bundle” tab has a list of games. There are a couple of games that if you pay at least that amount- they are added to the download. At the bottom, of the page, there is a payment with listed amounts or a custom amount. You enter your email and then select a payment method.


The Books Bundle tab at Humble Bundle is set up the same way. The books are audiobooks and you can listen to them on any MP3 device. As with the games, you can pay as little or as much as you want. There are audiobooks on the site that – if you pay over a certain amount, they are added to your selection.


There is not much information given about the Mobile Bundle coming soon to Humble Bundle . I am sure it will be great and full of awesome apps that my kids are going to want. And with part of the proceeds going to great causes, it will be easy to purchase apps for mobile devices from Humble Bundle.


The Humble Store offers games for a price. Some on sale, some full price but all are great quality. There are thousands of games to choose from, ranging from Assassin’s Creed Unity to Costume Quest 2.


Humble Bundle is a safe and secure site. Humble Bundle offers weekly deals on games with bundles at GREAT prices, “name your own price” and donates about one-third of its profits to charities. It is a great way to introduce your children to raising money for charities as well as getting games for good prices. It is great to see a company with profits around $50 million donating over $20 million to organizations such as Feed America, Children’s organizations and Red Cross.


If you are looking for an inexpensive option to receive LEGAL digital downloads, Humble Bundle is a place for you. The games and books are cool, it is not overly expensive AND a good portion of the profits goes to great causes. Hurry and head over there and check it out:

]]> 0
Android Apps on your PC Part Two Mon, 03 Aug 2015 14:00:04 +0000 Hi folks in this second installment we will talk about the next series of Android emulators to play games on your Windows PC. In the first part we talked about Bluestacks, That was a simple setup and go application. These require a little legwork to get going and they might be a little unstable. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

The Android emulator

Android-Emulator (1)

One of the most “basic” ways to get your Android apps running on a PC is to use the Android emulator released by Google that is part of the official SDK. This emulator can be used to create a virtual device running almost any version of Android you want along with different resolutions and hardware configurations. The biggest downside of this process is the complicated setup process.


First you’ll need to grab the SDK package from Google’s site and use the included SDK Manager to download the platform you want, probably whatever the most recent version of Android that happens to be at the time. The AVD manager is where you will create and manage your virtual devices. Google makes some pre-configured options available in the menu for the Nexus devices, but you can also set the parameters manually too. Once you boot your virtual device, you’ will need to get some apps installed, but the emulator is the bone stock plain Vanilla open source version of Android . (no Google apps are included.)


Be prepared there is no Play Store, you’ll need to do some file management. Take the APK (app installer) you want to install and put the file into the tools folder in your SDK directory. Then you will use the command prompt while your AVD is running and enter (in that windows directory) adb install filename.apk. The app should be added to the app list on your virtual device.


The upside here is that the emulator is pure Android right from the source. The way apps work in the emulator will be the same as they work on devices. This is great for testing app builds before loading them onto test devices. The biggest drawback is that the emulator is slow and lacks the hardware acceleration to make games run acceptably.


Android PC ports

Now here is one that will take a little work. How about running a complete port on your PC? Support will be somewhat limited because of the many different hardware configuration options for PCs. The top two choices for a full Android installation on PC are Android on Intel Architecture (UEFI-equipped devices) and the Android-x86 Project. The problem is that neither one of them is perfect, and you’ll need to make sure you have a supported piece of hardware. You could install them over top of Windows, but that’s not a great idea. The smart way would be to create a separate hard drive partition and install Android there, or maybe run a virtual machine, which is even better. Neither of these solutions might not be good enough for games, but most apps should install and run correctly. Also you’ll have to install the apps you want manually because there’s no Google Play here either.

Android x86 grub

So there you have it, There are many options to run Android apps on your pc. Although neither one is perfect it is fun to play with for sure. And if you are into app development this is a good way to test them.


]]> 0
Android Apps on your PC Part One Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:00:26 +0000 Today we are going to run Android apps on Windows. Android might have started of slow but it has evolved and grew into a proven OS with a developer friendly OS. Since it’s first inception Android has always been Open Source and it is free to develop apps and put them on the play store. This has led to a surplus of really cool Android apps, some of which aren’t available on iOS or other platforms. With this being said Android apps usually requires an Android smartphone or tablet but not today! So, with a little legwork, we will run Android apps on a Windows PC. On the other hand I ran Bluestacks on my Mac and I had problems with some games but it seems to be device specific. What works for me just don’t work for others. There are a couple of different ways to go about it, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.



OK if you want to run some Android apps on your PC with minimum effort this is the first option. The BlueStacks App Player is an application itself, what it is is a very heavily modified version of an Android OS. Not only that, it has the Play Store built-in so you can have instant access to all of your free and purchased content. It actually adds an entry to your Google Play device list, impersonating as a Galaxy Note II. The BlueStacks client will load in a desktop window with different apps like games, social, productivity and so on. Clicking on an app or searching brings up the Play Store client as on tablets. You can actually navigate just as you would on a real Android device, which makes it clear there’s a lot more to BlueStacks than the “App Player” front end. You can even install a third-party launcher like Nova or Apex from the Play Store and set it as the default. The main screen in BlueStacks with the app categories is just a custom homescreen, so by replacing it makes BlueStacks feel almost like a regular Android device.


By having the full Play Store access means you won’t be messing around with side-loading apps. Most games are playable, but keep this in mind as you’ll have trouble operating many of them with a mouse. If your PC has a touchscreen that would be helpful, but you can still use apps and games that rely on more than one touch input. BlueStacks can essentially make a Windows 8 tablet PC into a part-time Android tablet. The only real issue with BlueStacks is that it’s not running your so-called standard Android build. All the modifications the company made to get apps working on a PC can cause some issues. Some apps simply fail to run or crash without warning


If you’re interested in getting Android apps running on your PC so you can actually use and enjoy them, BlueStacks App Player is one of the best solutions. It’s fast, it has Play Store access, and it also works on multi-touch Windows devices. The Android to PC ports are most definitely fun to play with, and performance is also solid when you get apps running, but they can be finicky. If you just want to play Clash of Clans or Battleheart on your Windows machine, try BlueStacks. In the next installment we will talk abut Android emulators, functionality, and drawbacks with using these. Until then have fun!



]]> 1
4K Smartphones Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:00:01 +0000 We all love our new Quad HD screens on our smartphones. The display is gorgeous and you think wow… is there anything better? Qualcomm says yes and it will be coming soon. Get ready for the next big thing in smartphones- 4K screens and it will take you to a pixel size that no man has gone before. Qualcomm has not said exactly when but that it is coming real soon- just right around the corner.


When Apple debuted its iPhone 4, apple introduced Retina display, which means that the screen is good that the pixels disappear. With this technology, the smartphone industry has developed ultra high-resolution displays- such as the newest Quad HD.


4K resolution in smartphones are rumored to hit the market in 2015. The 4K display will make you think that Quad HD is nothing. At the moment, flagship smartphones are coming out with the Quad HD and next year, they will come out with 4K. What does all this mean? Quad HD means that on an average screen, there are 3.7 million pixels and you cannot see the pixels with the naked eye. 4K will not be about the amount of pixels on the screen as much as it is the new standard for video- this involves everything from the chipset, to compressing the file to how it is transmitted in the file system.


Qualcomm Technologies Co-president Murthy Renduchintala says that 4K “will take off when you think of it being enabled by an ecosystem.” What Renduchintala means is that it is not about the phone screen that makes 4K the next best thing but about how your data is captured and what your phone does with this data. This “ecosystem” is already taking shape in the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as they are able to video in 4K. This quality can be seen on 4K televisions but there are not many other devices that you can watch 4K videos on.


4K smartphones will help mobile devices keep up with consoles. As games become more complex and are in 4K quality, smartphones will need to stay up with the technology t stay competitive with the consoles. Also, 4K smartphones will help with virtual reality. The resolution in 4K for virtual reality will be clear and you might be able to see pixels if your phone was within a inch of your eyeball.


Qualcomm believes that when 4K becomes the standard for videos, you will be able to see the difference between Quad HD and 4K screens. The difference may seem minute to the naked eye but it will change the quality for everything. 4K smartphones will be coming soon and they will not completely low your mind away but it will definitely show you a better picture.


4K smartphones are set to be the wave of the future for mobile devices. There are already 4K video-recording, 4K televisions, so it is time for 4K to come to the smartphone industry. There is a difference and the difference will be seen in the gaming and virtual reality world. Keep your eye out for the next best thing.

See video below:

]]> 1
LG G Flex 2 Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:00:26 +0000 The LG G Flex 2 brings back the curved “banana” shaped smartphone. The LG G Flex 2 that came out recently- is still curved but the screen has shrunk to a more manageable level- it is a 5.5 display. The display is a curved P-OLED capacitive touchscreen and is a 1080p screen. The glass is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (which I am unsure why LG did not use Corning Gorilla Glass 4).


The processing chip in the LG G Flex 2 is a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 and it has a Quad Core 2 GHz. Of course like all new Android smartphones, the LG G Flex 2 has Android Lollipop v5.0.1 installed. The LG G Flex 2 does have a microSD slot that allows for a microSD card up to 128 GB. It is 16 GB of internal storage with 2 GB of RAM. You could pay extra and get the LG G Flex 2 with 32 GB of internal storage and 3 GB RAM.


The LG G Flex 2 has a nice camera. The rear camera is a 13-megapixel camera with laser focus, optical image stabilization and dual LED flash. The front facing camera is 2.1 megapixel with 1080p@30fps.


The LG G Flex is much better than its predecessor. The LG G Flex 2 has a better, but slightly smaller screen. This helps the LG G Flex 2 seem less of a gimmick and more of a nice looking phone. The Upgrades on the LG G Flex 2 makes this phone more desirable.


The reviews over the LG G Flex 2 discuss how well LG did- with making the display slightly smaller, adding a better display plus speeding up the processing speed. But, there are times the processing speed is lack-luster and seems to drag.


Another complaint, but I actually like it, is the self-repairing back of the device. Some critics do not like the feel or the look- it is a bit hard to clean, BUT it is cool to “scratch” it and watch the scratch disappear. I think this makes the LG G Flex 2 pretty cool. Another con is that the battery is not swappable. People LOVE to be able to change out the batteries – when they quit holding a charge. The LG G Flex 2 will require professional assistance to change the battery and if your phone freezes up, you will have complete a soft reset.


Also, the curviness of the LG G Flex 2 does not add anything to the device. There are no special uses, there is no special apps- it is just a curved screen. The screen does “fit” your face and seems to “cradle” your face and does seem to add to the quality of sound during a call.


Some pros are that it is a decently priced smartphone. You can buy the LG G Flex 2 outright for about $600 with a contract- it is about $250 although this is more expensive then LG’s flagship device. If you love LG, loved the LG G Flex or just want to try a new style of phone- go try it and tell us how you like the LG G Flex 2.

]]> 2
Microsoft Surface 3 Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:00:24 +0000 Microsoft is trying it again; they just introduced a new Surface. This is after Microsoft introduced its first “most compelling” model of its hybrid laptop/tablet concept and now it is releasing a cheaper version- the Surface 3. The Surface 3 is cheaper and supposed to be completely different from its predecessors- it looks similar but is a different machine altogether. The Microsoft Surface 3 does not just run Windows 8 apps but can run all traditional programs that you are used to using. The cheaper Microsoft Surface 3 still runs about 499 dollars and does not come with the keyboard- it is about 130 bucks more. The Surface 3 is the lightest Surface so far, is extremely versatile as a tablet and a laptop. The Surface 3 has stylus support as well.


The Surface 3 contains the new Intel Atom x7 processor- this allows you to use traditional Windows programs unlike the previous processing chips used. The Microsoft Surface 3 weighs in at 1.37 pounds, is ¾ of an inch thick and has a 10.8-inch screen. A great new feature of the Surface 3 is that you can charge the device over a microUSB cable as well as the standard USB cable. This means that you no longer need to cart around an extra cable to charge your Surface 3. The Microsoft Surface 3 has a full-sized 3.0 port, Mini Display Port, headphone jack and a microUSB port (where you charge your Surface 3).


Taking photos on the Surface 3 got better; it comes with the 8-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing camera that is 3.5 megapixel which is great for those selfies.


The display is a 10.8-inch LCD screen with 1,920 x 1,280 resolution that is bright, colorful and crisp but falls short of the iPad Air 2’s display and the Quad HD screen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series. The display is still good for watching movies, reading or viewing photos. One blogger stated that the text size had to bump up the size in order to read the webpages displayed. Also, the screen quality is not the best outside- you can still see on the Microsoft Surface 3 but when compared to its competition, the Surface 3 does a decent job and even surpasses some of its competition.


The Surface 3 comes with a “Surface Pen.” The Surface Pen is part of the Surface 3 but it is a separate purchase and costs about 50 bucks. The Surface Pen is great for people who love to write or even draw. The Surface Pen connects to the Surface 3 through Bluetooth and after it is connected, it is smooth. The Surface 3’s Intel Atom processing chip is not the same as the old chips. The Surface 3’s new Atom x7 is a step above the previous Atom x7, so do not be scared of this processing chip. The processing chip comes with intelligent power management and this allows the system to NOT overheat without the use of a fan- making it more tablet-like.


Overall the Surface 3 is well worth the money, if you are in the market for a tablet that works well as a laptop. The Surface 3 is great for daily life things, school work and for general processing. If you are thinking about making the purchase, go ahead- it will be worth the price.


]]> 0
Microsoft Office Lens Sun, 05 Jul 2015 14:00:55 +0000 What in the world is Microsoft Office Lens? Well, it is a new app that will turn your phone into a scanner- how cool is that? Microsoft Lens has been limited to Microsoft Windows phones but it has launched on iOS and has a preview for Android users- you can get the beta. So for those of us without a Windows phone, what does this mean? It means that you can now scan receipts, business cards, sticky notes and place it into a OneNote account as well as other locations.


For iOS users, it is quite simple to use and install. First, go to iTunes and download Microsoft Lens (it is free). Then install and start the app. You will have to give the app permission to access your camera. When you begin the app, the default view is a live camera viewfinder. You can select on of the following options: photo, document or whiteboard as your image type. After you select the image type, you point the camera and “capture” the image you want to see. When you are using the app, it will try and frame the image as you move the phone around the image, document or whiteboard. Once you have the image you want, you hit the shutter button. After you hit the shutter button, you can preview the image. In preview, you can crop or save if you are ready. You choose your destination- if you use OneNote, you will either need to setup account or sign into your account. If you want to use EverNote, you will have to use another “scanner.” Also, you can save the file to OneDrive or to another program such as Word. Also, you can export the scanned file to email it or turn the image into a PDF file.


A drawback to Microsoft’s Lens is that you cannot scan more than one thing at a time. Also, there is no way to classify your scans. You can set up individual folders to help you with classification and you can just scan each one individually. The reviews for the app are decent, with just a few complaints- like the fact you can only scan one receipt at a time.


Most liked the ability to edit right then and there and not having to wait to edit the image, or not being able to edit the image at all.


Microsoft Lens seems easy to use and could be a great asset if you have a small business or travel for business. With technology today, it is about time for a good scanner/smartphone camera app to appear on the market. As the use of smartphones for all aspects of our lives, it will be necessary for apps such as Microsoft Lens. I just hope that the apps will expand to accept scanning of grouped items in one scan, the ability to categorize your newly scanned files as well as automatically filing the information based on file name. No matter what, Microsoft Lens’s venture into the world of iOS and Android will benefit Microsoft and users alike.



]]> 1
Samsung Smartphone processing chips Sun, 05 Jul 2015 05:27:58 +0000 Conquering the world of smartphones is a top priority for all smartphone makers. Samsung is not leaving any stone unturned. Samsung is the world’s largest maker of smartphones and televisions but Samsung does not want to stop there. With the quest to become the best of the best, Samsung has spent about $15 billion to open a semiconductor factory so that Samsung can begin to work on processing chips for smartphones.


Samsung is proving that Moore’s Law- that processing power improves leaps and bounds over previous models- every two years by making sure that it continues to climb the success ladder- and to become the World’s best processing chip maker. Samsung already is the largest vendor of memory chips but when it comes to processing, Samsung falls short- under Intel.


Processing chips of the future, are expected to become smaller while becoming faster. The company that can develop the smallest, fastest processing chip at the time, can gain the most customers thwarting the competition.


Samsung plans on spending money to become the first to build the smallest and fastest processing chips for smartphones. When you are first in technology, it means that you can have an advantage at excelling and improving the processing chip you have made. Samsung wants its processing chips to surpass Intel and to become the most widely used processing chips in the world.


The problem with becoming the best of the best when processing chips are in the cross hairs is that it is extremely expensive and you must stay on top of what is what in order to stay competitive with the processing chips. The cost can limit businesses from being able to develop the most cutting edge product.   Semiconductor factories start out at about 10 billion dollars to build and fund but is a must in order to gain the lead in processing chips.


With Samsung smartphone processing chips gaining another competitor, development will quicken and techies worry about a chip processing bubble. It has happened in most aspects. At the moment though processing chip sales have jumped 16 % to over $45 billion dollars in sales for 2014. Samsung has surpassed TSMC for 2nd place, but in the tech industry, 2nd place is still losing.   Samsung used its 14-nanometer chip in the new Samsung Galaxy S6, and the phone is set to possibly be the fastest phone on the market as well as the most popular phone out in the market. Samsung is focused on continuing to surpass the competition and due to this desire; Nvidia has contracted Samsung for their chips, dumping TSMC.


Samsung wants to dominate the smartphone market and is doing so in many ways. Samsung not only has produced one of the best phones on the market- with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge- but also has now successfully developed a GREAT processing chip. If Samsung continues to push the processing chip envelope, then not only will processing chips get better but also Samsung will live its goal of conquering the smartphone world. What will be next?

]]> 0
Asus Zenfone 2 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:00:49 +0000 Asus has been a name for computers, laptops and tablets. Asus is also developing smartphones, with several listed on the best smartphones of 2015. The Asus Zenfone 2 is one of those smartphones. What does the Asus Zenfone 2 have to offer? Well, lets take a look at all the buzz.


First the Asus Zenfone 2 is thin, sleek, and resembles something you would see if the Moto X had a baby with the LG G2. The body is thin on the edges and thicker in the middle like the Moto X but has buttons on the back like the LG G2/3. The Asus Zenfone 2 supports two SIM cards and the display is the IPS capacitive touchscreen. The screen is a 5.5 inches and has a Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. The Asus Zenfone 2 has Android Lollipop v5.0, an Intel Atom Z3580 with a Quad Core 2.3 Ghz processor – if you get the 4 GB of RAM model- or an Intel Atom Z3560 with a Quad core 1.8 GHz processor- if you get the 2 GB RAM model. The Asus Zenfone 2 comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot that supports a microSD card up to 64 GB.   As noted above, the Asus Zenfone 2 has either a 4 GB of RAM or 2 GB of RAM.  Just wondering if there is a reason to have so many choices, I understand that for people who can’t pay a lot, you can the smaller amount of RAM with the smaller amount of internal storage, but why not just offer a 2 GB version with 16 GB of internal storage and the 4 GB RAM with the 32 or 64 GB of internal storage?



The Asus Zenfone 2 camera is 13 megapixels and has autofocus, dual LED flash and HDR technology. The Asus Zenfone 2 can video in 1080p and has a nice 5 megapixel front facing camera for selfies. One of the best things about the Asus Zenfone 2 camera is that even in low light, the PixelMaster camera takes stunning pictures as it boosts contrast by 400 percent. If the camera works this great, this could help the Zenfone 2 with sales since everyone always wants a better camera.


The best part about the Asus Zenfone 2 is the price tag. The Zenfone 2 will retail around 200 bucks! With the nice features that are higher end, you would have expected a bit higher price tag. With the price alone, this phone should be on the top of many lists. If you are in the market for a nice phone but cannot afford the major brands, then I would be giving the Asus Zenfone 2 a try.


For Asus, they usually have great products. Asus is known for their performance as well so the Zenfone 2 is on the top phones of 2015 list for a reason. Asus isn’t just stopping with the Zenfone 2, Asus has taken a tip from Samsung and there is also a Zenfone 2 Zoom. The Asus Zenfone 2 Zoom has an external lens to zoom in extremely far- it changes your smartphone to the digital camera just with a touch of a button. For those who love to take pictures with your smartphone, do not have a digital camera or for those who only want to carry one- you get both in one device. The Asus Zenfone 2 and Zenfone 2 Zoom, it is no wonder these 2 phones have hit the top 2015 smartphone list.


]]> 0
Cyanogen Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 Have you heard of Cyanogen? If you love to root your Android phone, you no doubt do but for those that do not, they are a company that made an Android that was not attached to the Google Play Store or other Google services. Cyanogen is an open source form of Android allowing developers to build, tweek and make a better operating system.


Cyanogen is working on having its version of Android on smartphones and wants to be the Android people want. Cyanogen has now partnered with Microsoft and this could mean something big for both companies. The partnership with Microsoft will add Microsoft products in Cyanogen devices, sometime this year.


Cyanogen teaming up with Microsoft has allowed products such as Skype, Office and Outlook to be part of the Cyanogen programing in smartphones. Microsoft will develop versions of these apps along with other apps for the Cyanogen operating system- similar to the apps it created for the Amazon Fire operating system.


Cyanogen has stated that the smartphones will not have every app as bloatware on its smartphones, but many will need to be downloaded. A representative for Cyanogen has stated that with Cyanogen being “user choice” open operating system, that Cyanogen needs to provide the best apps available but the Microsoft apps will be apart of the system but users will be able to pick and choose which apps to download and install.



Cyanogen is possibly getting a $70 million investment from Microsoft but did not name where all of its $80 million funds have come from. With Android, it is usually synonymous with Google but with Microsoft backing Cyanogen- then the tides are turning and it adds creditability to Android as not only being a “Google” thing.


When you go the Cyanogen home page, the first thing you see is this: “What Matters to Us. Under “What Matters to Us,” there is “Openness” and to Cyanogen, this means that with openness, it benefits everyone and the growth and possibilities increase. Cyanogen wants to revolutionize the mobile operating system to an open platform. Next is Community. Community to Cyanogen is a group of makers, modders and freethinkers, and that this is Cyanogen’s foundation. Lastly, is Experience; and Cyanogen sees the mobile experience as being fluid and intuitive in the upcoming years. Cyanogen believes that with more openness then you excel progress.


With Cyanogen beginning with its own Android on smartphones, it has the potential to take over the market. Cyanogen went from almost nothing to being one of the top “roots” for Android devices. The company, Cyanogen has been around for just a few years but is vastly popular among Android users. Cyanogen is pure Android and allows even MORE customization because you are stuck with the bloatware from carriers, phone makers and Google.


Cyanogen partnering with Microsoft is a big deal. It is a big deal for Cyanogen- as it gets much needed funds, access to cellphone makers and gains creditability. For Microsoft, Cyanogen helps Microsoft gain access to Android users, gives Microsoft another platform for their apps and maybe gives them a future in which to build a lasting, mutual partnership.


]]> 0
Samsung Galaxy S6 tips part 2 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:00:43 +0000 The great thing when you got an Apple device was iCloud and the ability to locate your Apple device from your computer. There are some amazing features on the Samsung Galaxy S6 now that helps Samsung compete with rival smartphones. First, there is a way to track your phone, erase it over the Internet as well as lock it down. This feature started in the Galaxy S5 and continued into Samsung’s new smartphones. With the Galaxy S6, you need to go to Android Device Manager. This is located under settings, the security, then Android Device Manager. You will need to toggle the “switch” from off to the on position on the following:   “Remotely locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and factory reset.” If you go to the following website: you can locate your device. (When I did this, with my Note Edge, it located my exact location at the hospital- as in where I was inside the hospital.). At the website for Android Device Manager, you can “ring, lock and erase” your phone.


Another security feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6, is the fingerprint scanner. If you choose to set-up the Fingerprint scanner, then you can use your fingerprint to unlock your phone. This makes your phone pretty secure. According to bloggers, the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a definite improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner. In order to register your fingerprint, you have to go to “Lock screen and Security” under Settings. From there, you touch “Fingerprint” and then hit the plus sign to add your fingerprint. Follow the directions to “record” your fingerprint into the device. When you set up your fingerprint, you will have to set up a backup password- just in case the fingerprint scanner quit working or you are in a freak accident and burn off your fingerprints. Unlike previous Galaxy S models, the Galaxy S6 fingerprint scanner just requires you to hold the home button with the appropriate finger.


Another cool tip is Private Mode. Private Mode allows you to hide any information that you do not want others to see. To use Private Mode, you first select your files- from photos, videos to music and even information found in your browser and files. You can select multiple items that you want to hide from others. In the upper right corner, you select move to private. When you get everything placed into Private Mode, you have to go and turn on Private Mode. You can do this by going under settings, then Privacy and Safety. Look for Private Mode and toggle it to on or off, as needed.


Another security feature for the Samsung Galaxy S6 is that you setup the SOS function. This function, on command will send your emergency contacts a SOS message, When this function is on, you can tap the power button 3 times consecutively and it will send a message to your listed emergency contacts.


Lastly, there is Emergency Mode. Emergency Mode places your phone is power saving mode- it is better than the Ultra Power Saving Mode and in a pinch, you can use it to save battery life. It turns off the screen as well as background data so that you can still have service. To access Emergency Mode, long press the power button and select Emergency Mode from the menu that pops up.


Remember, these are just tips to help you understand your Samsung Galaxy S6’s features. Use the one that work for you and forget the ones that don’t.

]]> 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Rumors Sat, 20 Jun 2015 14:00:04 +0000 Samsung Galaxy Note 5, YES PLEASE!!   Being a lover of Samsung devices- I have had the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S5, Note 3 and now the Note Edge (which is AWESOME!!)- I am WAY too excited for the release of the Galaxy Note 5.   What will Samsung do to continue to climb and corner the market for phablets? Lets take a look together, and do not look at me, as I drool..


One thing Samsung has learned from the release of the Galaxy S5 then the Note 4 Note Edge and Galaxy S6 is that it is either go BIG or go home. With the disappointing sales on the Galaxy S5 (I do not know why, it is a GREAT phone), Samsung made a rebound with the release of the Galaxy Note 4 and the Note Edge as well as the success of the Galaxy S6/Edge. But this girl cannot wait to get her hands on the up and coming Note 5! Why you ask? Because the Note series, beginning with the Galaxy Note 3, has offered some great features that you cannot get with just any smartphone or phablet. PLUS the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 5 pictures put this phone on top.


It is rumored that the Galaxy Note 5 will be upgraded from the UHD display to a real 4K display! The Galaxy Note 5 Edge is rumored to have 4K dual edge screen. The Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a slightly larger screen as well. Other rumors note that the Galaxy Note 5 will boast wireless charging technology, an upgraded camera that is supposed to be a “professional” camera plus an improved battery life! The pictures show a sleek, possible unibody design and are thinner than the predecessors. I cannot wait to see and touch this phone.


Other possible features include an Exynos chipset or it could be the upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset (or maybe both). The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 may even include 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Another rumor is that since the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will not come out until after September, then it may include a new edition of Android that Google is planning on releasing sometime mid-year.


The Galaxy Note 5 will continue to Samsung’s Note legacy as well as continuing the success of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge sales. If the Note 5 is anywhere near what the rumors state, then the Galaxy Note 5 will send its competition to the corner and Samsung will continue to dominate the phablet world.


With all this technology advancements, I do wish the rumors discussed some of the features- such as the dual curved screen and the S Pen. Both features on the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge are GREAT and I love these features. I love the convenience of the menus on the edge, controls of music, caller ID as well as the ability to read my text – maybe with the Note 5 Edge, you will be able to answer text messages of the edge part of the phone and maybe the S Pen features will increase and make it more valuable to the Samsung Note line. Either way, this girl CANNOT wait to see and test out the new Galaxy Note 5. Hurry up to the end of the year!


]]> 1
LinX Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:00:42 +0000 With the smartphones playing the “who has a better camera” it seems Apple has done something to try and propel itself “over the top.” Apple has recently purchases a camera tech company out of Israel named LinX. LinX most recent projects include multi aperture cameras that can do things like background blurred, 3D picture capabilities and other features that you can only get with a digital DSLR.


LinX works specifically for camera that will be small enough for smartphones and tablets, which is one of the reasons Apple purchased the company for around $20 million. LinX’s cameras could help with low light performance issues by making it easier to take photos indoors or outside when it is dusk or nighttime. You may, even, be able to take photos without a flash at night. One of the biggest features that LinX has been working on is selective focus after a picture has been taken. This is something that has become increasingly popular with modern devices and Apple will be able to use this technology in its future devices. Another feature Apple has from LinX is that its multi aperture design that produces the best results in low-lit environments, in HDR mode and maintaining the color fidelity of every day pictures.


What will Apple do with this technology? For one, the small, slim sized module is great for everything Apple makes- from Notebooks to tablets to smartphones. The camera’s technology will enhance the picture quality of Apple’s products and propel its products to the frontline. Also, by purchasing LinX, it earns all the rights of LinX and this can keep competitors, such as Samsung, from owning the technology or gaining access to the technology. Since Samsung produces cameras, it is probably safe but LinX has done something other camera makers have not, and that is making- for right now- the best camera for smartphones on the market.


So why does all this matter? LinX has made picture-taking sharper, prettier and the lens on the smartphone or tablet (or even computer) is smaller. This means that the camera lens will NOT be sticking out. Wow, you will not have to worry about the lenses breaking if you drop your camera. If you are not following, it will mean no more protruding cameras on Apple products. The sleekness of the LinX cameras will fit into the new slim design of the Apple iPhones.


Last year, LinX released its first SLR camera for smartphones. The LinX camera is a 8mpix, with dual aperture and two 4-megapixel sensors with a 2.0 micron backside illumination pixels. When you compare this camera with the iPhone 5/5S camera- the LinX camera- even with smaller megapixels, was brighter and clearer and did not have as much noise. Also, the LinX camera had great detail even when you zoom in. LinX is also working on using its technology to take “3D” pictures, and do depth mapping.


LinX is a great buy for Apple. Not only does LinX have great technology and ideas, but it will help Apple prefect its cameras in its device. LinX cameras are coming soon and I cannot wait to see this technology in action.

]]> 0
We Buy Your Used Electronics Sun, 14 Jun 2015 19:44:25 +0000 Sell us your old devices!  We pay top dollar for used and broken electronics.  We use websites like and to find common market values.

Give us a call at (479) 431 – 6091 or swing by one of our locations.

]]> 4
LeTV Sun, 14 Jun 2015 14:00:13 +0000 What is Le TV? Le TV is a Chinese company that has developed the first USB Type-C “Superphone.” Who would have thought a unknown company out of China would beat big time players like Apple. Le Tv introduced three new Android based “superphones” that feature a reversible socket. Le TV’s flagship “superphone” has Android 5.0, a 6.33 inch Quad HD display, snapdragon 810 chip that is 2 GHz- octacore 64-bit processing chip. Le TV’s Le Max comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, either 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage and a 21-megapixel f/2.0 camera that has Sony’s new IMX230 sensor. The camera has optical stabilization and a dual tone flash as well as a bright 5-ultrapixel selfie.


The Le TV’s Le Max has an ESS HI-Fi chip with an AKG’s audio tuning. The Le Tv’s Le Max also boasts one-touch fingerprint reader that is on the back, infrared remote, dual LTE SIM support, wireless HD display link and a 3500 mAh battery.   Le TV took its design cues from the iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One Max and the Huawei’s Mate 7 and made a sweet looking phone.


Le TV has several other smartphones. One is the Le 1, it is a normal smartphone but still has great features. The Le TV’s Le 1 has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a MediaTek Helio X10 2.2 GHz octacore 64-bit processing chip. The Le TV’s Le 1 has 3 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and you can pick from the following internal storage options: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. The back camera is 21-megapixels and almost identical to the camera on the Le Max. The battery is the same as well. There is no Hi-Fi chip in the Le 1 and it is not uni-bodied as with the Le Max but for a less expensive version, it is a great value for the price.


Le TV has come out knocking on the competition’s door. LeTV is a new Chinese company making smartphones for the first time. Unlike other smartphone makers, Le TV has decided to go big or go home and that approach, along with advertising, has allowed Le TV to become a contender in the smartphone market in China.


Le TV’s Le 1 retails for approximately 1,499 yuan 9this translates to approximately $240 American dollars). The Le Max price has yet to be released but I am sure it will be competitively priced. Le TV is going to be crowdsourcing for a price for the flagship superphone. This marketing tactic should cause worry among competitors such as Xiaomi and Huawei. Individuals who live in China can preorder the superphone as well as the less expensive options from Le TV and the Le TV is planning on beginning production on the Le 1 and the Le 1 Pro soon.


If this smartphone turns out to be as good as it seems, the people around the world will be salivating for a Le TV smartphone. Le TV is not a company to be taken lightly as its first phones have come out ready to fight and take its competition down.  Le TV is going somewhere and I hope Samsung, Apple, LG and others are taking note.

]]> 0
Google Cardboard Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:00:45 +0000 When you first read the name Google Cardboard, you wonder what in the heck Google is doing now. Google is working on a way to bring virtual reality to the “common folks.” Google Cardboard is trying to provide more people with a cheap, easy device and is a big hit among early adopters.


What exactly is Google Cardboard? It is a foldout piece of cardboard smartphone mount, which you add things like lenses, magnet, a fastener and rubber band to hold it to your face. You use the Google Cardboard to turn your Android phone into a virtual reality headset. Google Cardboard was a project from the 20% projects- where employees can work on side project ideas as long as they work on their work most of the time. The success of this project has led other companies to look at the design and use it to create cheap, easy to construct virtual headsets that will work other smartphones like Apple.

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

You build with cardboard, you can use your own, add 40 mm focal distance lenses with magnets, Velcro and a rubber band to hold your phone in the right place. After you build your Google Cardboard, you place your phone in the right slot and then look through the lenses. Google Cardboard places your phone the perfect distance from the lenses to create a 3D effect. You can use compatible apps and place the virtual reality Google Cardboard and place it up to your face.   You can move your head around that the image on your smartphone responds, with the demo Street Vue, you can walk around Paris while moving in your actual surroundings – because it interacts with your surroundings.


Google Cardboard comes equipped with an NFC chip and it can launch your “Cardboard app” when you place your phone into the cardboard headset. The magnet inside the cardboard is used to help you touch the screen and it is like a button since you cannot access your screen when your phone is inside the cardboard.

What can you do with Google Cardboard? For one, there are plenty of apps out there that is compatible with Google Cardboard- and this includes games. You can access demos such as Google Earth and “fly” around the world. Another thing you can do with Google Cardboard and watch YouTube movies or videos like you are watching on a big screen. One of the games is Lamper. It is built for virtual reality and works with Google Cardboard and makes you feel right in the game. There is an app called VR Cinema and it is for Google Cardboard. VR Cinema takes MP4 files and splits up the screen to give you a 3D experience with any movie (you got that right ladies- Magic Mike can be in 3D).


While Google Cardboard cannot change everything into 3D, Google has made it easy for developers to create games and apps to use with Google Cardboard. Games and apps should increase giving you more options in the future.

What is the exact cost of Google Cardboard? It will set you back about twenty bucks. You will have to follow the directions and “put it together.” There are cheaper versions, but make sure that your phone will fit properly in the slot in order to get the best experience necessary. If you do not want to purchase the kit, you can download instructions on building your own Google Cardboard virtual reality headset instructions- but remember you will have to buy the 40 mm lenses as well as the other items needed.

I cannot wait to order me a Google Cardboard and try this experience……

]]> 0
The S Pen Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:00:50 +0000 Do you have a Samsung Note 4 or Note Edge? Have you ever wondered what to do with the S Pen and if it even has any use? The S Pen is a GREAT feature and I love mine. There are so many different features to the S Pen than just the usual ones that you may/may not know. Exploring the S Pen known and hidden features is a great way to discover what features work best for you and which features do not work for you. When you remove the S Pen from its cradle, there is a menu that appears. The menu has several features: Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip and Screen Write. Have you ever selected the wrong feature with your S Pen? It is ok! You can push the button on the S Pen and the menu with pop back up.


Have you asked yourself what the purpose is of the Action Memo feature? I find the Action Memo as a great utensil for writing down important information, phone numbers quickly and even a grocery list. The Action Memo allows you to convert your information from the memo-into a contact- for those numbers you jot down quickly- to taking an address you scribbled down and finding it on Google Maps. You can “pin” the memos to your home page as well! This is one of my favorite features of owning a Note!


Another favorite feature is Smart Select. I use this S Pen feature to save tidbits of information or to send my employees select pieces of information that pertains to that specific employee. The Smart Select will even adds where you copied the information from in the text so that you can go back to the website.


Image Clip is useful as well. Have you ever come across a picture on the web that you wanted to share? With the Image Clip and your S Pen, you can form a rectangular, circular or magnet selection of the picture. After you select the picture, you have the option of saving the image, sharing or both. There is no need to screenshot an entire screen for just one picture!


Screen Write is the last S Pen feature in the S Pen menu. The Screen Write allows you to screenshot what is on your display and then write all over it. The Screen Write option has a wide variety of “pens” and formats to choose from. This is a great feature if you need to jot something down with a screenshot you are saving- like if you see something you want to make for your friend, you can screenshot the website with the S Pen, then jot down your friend and her favorite colors.


These four options are not the limit of the S Pen! There are so many other things that the S Pen can do. If you do not like texting, you can use the S Pen to write the text and it will convert your handwriting to typing. You can use this feature with emails as well!


]]> 0
Samsung Note Edge Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:00:55 +0000 There are many reviews about the Samsung Note Edge. I have had my Note Edge for four months now and let me tell you- it is an AMAZING phablet! If you are in the market for a phablet- this is the phone to get, especially if you love the Note 3. What makes this phone so much better than the rest and what about the newest Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge?


First and foremost, the Samsung Note Edge has the S Pen and all its features- something the newest (and really awesome) Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge does not come with. If you do not use the S Pen and it is the Note 3 or better, then you are missing out but if it something you do not or would not use- then skip to the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. As for the Note Edge, it is said that the Edge on the Note Edge has more features than the Galaxy S6 Edge.   What I can tell you about the edge on my Note Edge, is that the edge part has controls- for camera, video play, to answer the phone when the cover is closed and I can read text messages without opening the phone (it would be nice if I could respond without opening the cover). The edge encompasses my menu and I am here to tell you, that I LOVE having the menu on the edge part. The edge also has several different panels and you can add/subtract to the panels – and you can add and change the color, names and setup of your menu. It holds more than the old menu spot.


Another great thing about the Note Edge is the beautiful display. The Quad HD Super AMOLED screen is GORGEOUS! The color saturation and clarity will turn heads- just go play with one on display- go to YouTube- watch the 4K videos and see GORGEOUSNESS of the Note Edge display! Do not stop there; you can video in Quad HD and UHD! This means that you can get GORGEOUS videos on your phone (you may need a nice sized SD card for that video!).

Not only are the videos beautiful but also the picture quality is wonderful. My pictures displayed are clean, crisp and vibrant. The display does not degrade pictures taken professionally and it also takes great pictures (if you use your smartphone camera, this camera is a GREAT camera with good quality pictures!).


The Note Edge is an improvement of the Note 3 but ten times better and it surpasses the Galaxy S5. The Note Edge is quick, loaded with similar features to the Galaxy S5- such as Samsung’s new security system. With the Note Edge, you can make/sign into your Samsung account. There is nothing that can be done with the device when it is logged into Samsung.   Also, you can go to and locate your phone, erase your device as well as lock it down so it cannot be accessed without a 4-digit pin.


I am (admittedly) a phone junkie. Reading the scoop on the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge, I have momentarily stopped and thought about changing. But the differences are minimal- the Galaxy S6 is just a beefier version of the Note Edge- without the S Pen. I highly recommend the Note Edge and I do not think you will be disappointed in your purchase of a Note.


]]> 0
Samsung Galaxy S6 Camera Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:00:55 +0000 Samsung heard the camera woes and worked to improve these woes with the Galaxy S6. The camera boot time is down to under a second to help catch those quick pictures. Samsung also brightened the camera with infrared white balance detection, which leads to better picture quality and less yellow. On top of this, you can read the following tips about the Galaxy S6 camera. Choose and use the ones you like and toss the ones you don’t like.


One feature is that you can choose the “Quick Launch” feature in the camera settings. When you select this, it allows you to double tap the “Home Button” and the camera will pop up quickly and allow you to shoot the picture.

Another new feature is Tracking AF. Tracking AF you to select an object or persona dn the smartphone will keep up with the subject if it moves or if you move. To enable the feature, you can go to the settings menu in Camera app and switch the Tracking AF on. Another cool feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera is that you can set up the camera to automatically pull up the picture you just took instead of hitting the little picture below. This is great and all you have to do is turn on the “Review Pictures” option in the Camera app’s setting menu.


Another feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera is voice control. The voice controls commands do not have to just be shoot or capture. It can be smile or cheese and you can get your friends involved in the picture taking experience. If you prefer, you can have the settings recognize the volume buttons to take pictures, to video or to zoom I or out. To do this, all you have to do is go into the Camera settings and set the volume controls to be whatever you want it to be.

Do you struggle with taking selfies? The Samsung Galaxy S6 has an answer to trying to snap a selfie. There are two different approaches to taking a selfie with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 camera. The first one is to hold your finger over the heart senor for two seconds; if you do not like that way- you can wave your had in front of the camera and the camera will countdown. Both will help with blurry pictures or trying to take the selfie with just one hand instead of two hands.


Another great new feature are for those individuals who love to take pictures and know how to do it professionally. The Samsung Galaxy S6 camera has added a professional mode. Under this mode, you can adjust the ISO, white balance, exposure and focus modes. These features will give those who love their digitial DSLR an experience with their smartphone and enhance their ability to take great photos with their smartphone.

Lastly, Samsung has added MANY awesome apps that you can download for your Samsung Galaxy S6 camera. These include a surround shot- that takes a 360 degree picture, sound and shot- that records audio at the time the photo was taken. Also, there is a rear-cam selfie – that uses the rear camera and voice cues to take picture, a dual camera mode- where you can take a selfie and a picture from your rear camera, food shot- that is a macro-focus mode to bring out fine details and a sports shot- that selects focus and uses exposure settings for fast moving scenes.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 has an amazing camera and awesome features to boot. When you get your new Galaxy S6 or if you own one now- get into those camera settings and see all the possibilities for some of the best photos you can get on a smartphone.


]]> 0
Drippler Sat, 30 May 2015 14:00:10 +0000 Have you ever wanted to have tips for your device, specifically, at your fingertips? Or how about the best games and apps for your phone? Have you heard of Drippler? If not, go directly to either Google Play or iTunes to download. This app is one of the coolest apps for your phone. Drippler compiles information about your type of phone into one location. You can see reviews, tips, tricks and cool games/apps for your smartphone. But how does it work? Let’s read further to discover how Drippler works.


When you download and install, the first screen that you come to- is of course- the sign in screen. You can sign in with Facebook (like most apps) or using Google+. Then Drippler analyzes your device. Drippler will show you, the make, model and carrier of your smartphone as well as the version of software your smartphone is running. So mine says Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Android 4.4.4 (KitKat), Verizon Wireless. At the bottom, there is a question: Do you like games. After you read the analysis and make your selection to the question, you hit get started.


From there, Drippler populates apps pertinent to your device, games that work well with your smartphone as well as tips to help your smartphone reach its full potential. On any given day, I get several tips on using Note Edge, as well as neat tricks, which leads me to play and change my smartphone all the time. Without Drippler, I could do many of the tricks with time- but in this day in age, who has time? Also, don’t you hate going to a site looking for something about your smartphone and it is for a different smartphone? I do not have to worry about any of that with Drippler.


Another great thing about Drippler is that every time you like/dislike something, the app learns and gets smarter. The Drippler app uses all the data to become more efficient at bringing you the information that you want for your device. Everyday, it refreshes with new articles and you get to see what is new for your phone. Another great thing is that, with Drippler, you learn when you will get the next update or how to fix bothersome glitches.


Drippler is not just for Android either; you can get it from iTunes for your Apple smartphones. The Drippler app will detect your iPhone and tell you what model, GB of storage as well as the software version you have installed. As with Android’s Drippler, the app will be customized to suit your Apple device and as you like/dislike articles, tips and tricks; the Drippler app gets better at finding articles, tips and tricks that you will enjoy.


Drippler is a must for any techie out there or even for those, who are learning their smartphone for the first time. Since I have downloaded Drippler and used it, I have to admit it has been a great addition to my smartphone. The first time I downloaded Drippler, I had the Samsung Galaxy S5, when I changed to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it downloaded and detected I had a new smartphone- now it is on my Note Edge and I love the tips, tricks and even some of the games that Drippler suggests. Go ahead and try it, You will not regret it!



]]> 0
Cortex A72 Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:54 +0000 ARMs new High-end CPU, The Cortex A72


ARM has announced a new high-performance CPU: Cortex A72. To put it in simple terms , the Cortex A72 is a smaller, efficient, and a smaller version of the Cortex A57. The first shipment of the 16nm FinFET mobile SoCs will more than likely ship in 2016. Mike Filippo, ARM’s chief architect for the Coretx A72 “Our focus on A72 was to achieve next-gen performance and pull a ton of power out of the design. We did that is spades.” The Cortex A72 is a beast of a chip! Depending on the on the workload, The Cortex A72 is claiming around 20 to 60 percent increase in instructions per clock over the Cortex A57.
While the reduced latency on functional blocks would supposedly make for higher frequencies harder to hit, the reduced area and power consumption mean that the Cortex A72 (2.7 GHz) can actually clock in around 10 percent higher than the Cortex A57 (2.5 GHz). Power efficiency wise the Cortex A72 is around 18 to 30 percent better than the A57.


Arm Cortex A72 Rundown:
3.5x performance in Cortex A15 in smartphone
Maximize sustained device performance
75% less energy for same workloads enabling slimmer and cooler devices
Compelling scalable solutions
Smartphones to large-screen compute solutions
16nm FF POP enables high frequency designs
Designed with the system in mind
CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect
Mali-T880 GPU, V550Video, DP550 Display
MMU-400, NIC-400, ELA-500


The Cortex A72 is primarily targeted at 14 and 16nm next-gen processing, Arm touched upon the performance side of the Cortex A72 at 28nm. Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 618, and 620 and also the Mediatek MT8173 are bringing the 28nm Cortex A72 to the market this year.
On the naming side of the equation, moving from the ‘A57 to A72 rather than A59 or something similar, ARM explained it like this “it is a marketing decision as we wanted to give better differentiation between its higher performance cores from the mid-tier and low=power cores.” There seemed to be some confusion between the more power efficient A53 and some powerful A57, where users would assume that are similar thus moving its new big core into the A7x series.

After those astounding performance stats what does those figure really mean? If the Cortex A72 really is that fast how does it stand against the Broadwell? According to ARM very well indeed! The Broadwell still out performs the Cortex A72 when there is plenty of power on hand. But when you constrain the power and thermal envelope, like in the Core M, the Cortex A72 comes close to catching up. WOW you would think that this has the same processing power as a Broadwell and a Core M! Well these stats are coming from Arm themselves. We’ll hold off on further analysis until the CPU comes out, but with the 16nm Cortex A72 processing power I could see it in server applications, some are comparing it to Xeon processors. I cant wait until this hits the market, The power and low power consumption are going to be phenomenal! We should be seeing this hit the new devices later this year and early next year, and if it true on the hype that is circulating, I most definitely will be keeping an eye on this.

]]> 0