Gadget Grave http://gadgetgrave.com Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro http://gadgetgrave.com/lenovo-yoga-tablet-2-pro/ http://gadgetgrave.com/lenovo-yoga-tablet-2-pro/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6129 The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has been released and on the surface, this is the best thing since the invention of chocolate. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a 13-inch tablet with a built-in projector. Yes, that is right, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a built-in projector and it is slim and beautiful.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with an Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal flash storage and it has a microSD card slot that you can expand the memory to 64 GB.   The rear camera is a bit lack luster with just a mere 8 megapixel and no flash. The front facing camera is not too shabby though with a 1.6 megapixel camera.  The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with JBL 2.1 speakers and a 5W subwoofer.  The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will come with KitKat installed as well.

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The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is not going to be the fastest or best tablet on the market BUT it is slim with a built-in kickstand so that you can watch movies and videos without holding the device. The thing that makes this tablet one to consider buying is the projector feature.

There are some issues with the tablet though. First, Lenovo has its own version of Android. The Lenovo version of Android does not offer an   app drawer- so all your apps are on the screens. Also, there is a lot of bloatware on the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. This tablet may be easier for Android newbies as it is easy to navigate due to the simplicity of the software and all the pre-loaded apps but those experienced with Android maybe a little turned off by the features.

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Do not overlook buying this tablet. Remember, it maybe a decent tablet but it is also a projector. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is great for those who need to do presentations- business or school. Also, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is great for those in college- you can watch movies and other shows from your tablet onto your wall. What is the projector like? Well, it is not in HD and it is a bit lack luster, with complaints that the picture is a bit dim BUT just remember, you could spend 300-400 bucks on a decent projector and still spend more money getting a decent tablet. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will dent your pocketbook by $400 or so. This make the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro a great buy!

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The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a beautiful, sleek design, which fools you because it is a bit heavy. The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro offers good specifications and adds the bonus of a built-in kickstand as well as a projector. For work or play, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is worth a look. For novice Android users, it is easy to use and comes with many pre-installed apps. For those who love Android, the simple, striped down version of Android may be a struggle. The projector is a good feature. For those who do business presentations, no more need to hook up to a projector as you will have one. For those who want to watch movies from a tablet, push a button and you can watch on your wall. Go check out the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro- it will be worth the dough!

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Win a iPad Mini or a Xbox One http://gadgetgrave.com/win-ipad-mini-xbox-one/ http://gadgetgrave.com/win-ipad-mini-xbox-one/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:15:41 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6221 Enter to Win a Free iPad Mini or Xbox One – Your Choice! (Read and share!)

It’s simple! Like and Share the Facebook Post (http://on.fb.me/1sHuT8t) for your chance to win a iPad Mini or a Xbox One!

How to get your name in the drawing for a better chance to win? For every $25 you spend in the store, ask the sales associate assisting you to enter your ticket number for a chance to win a FREE iPad Mini or Xbox One – your choice!  The drawing will be held on the 2nd of January, 2015!  Entering the drawing only requires your name, phone number, and email address!  Like us on Facebook to keep track of our amazing deals coming at the first of the year!

The holiday seasons can be such a rush to find some of those perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Sometimes it is just as simple as getting some clothes, or as complicated as deciding which phone to purchase!  Gadget Grave has the best customer service in the area and is ready to meet all of your smartphone, tablet, and computer repair needs!  With the finest technicians in the area, we provide quality, same-day repair on most of the world’s newest portable technologies.  If we don’t have your part in stock, we will order it!  We also sell new and used devices that are backed with the most honest warranty in the area.

Merry Christmas from Gadget Grave, and Happy New Year!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 tips http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-note-4-tips/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-note-4-tips/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:34:12 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6209 The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is not just a beautiful phone but it is one that has some great features. We will look at some tips to help you get the most out of your Note 4. Some are known, while others are not. I will discuss these tips and explain how to enable or disable the features.

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Don’t you hate when you are out and cannot charge your phone.   This happens to me all the time, especially when I work all day and then go to straight to a sporting event. Well, the Note 4 has a great feature. You can turn on Ultra Power Saving mode. This is a great tip because when you turn Ultra Power Saving on your Note 4, you can extend the battery life exponentially. You can access the Ultra Power Saving Mode 2 ways. First, you can go to Settings, Power Saving and then select Ultra Power Saving Mode. When you turn this on, it restricts the phone, does not allow apps to access the Internet. You can add apps or whatever you want to the power saving mode screen- if you need them. At about 50%, you can last 7 days in ultra power saving mode.

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Another tip is that you can take pictures with you volume keys. Since the Note 4 is large. Taking pictures can be a little difficult. Using the volume buttons to take pictures will make it easier. To do this, go to the camera app and select settings. When the setting menu is open, select advanced settings by pressing 3 little dots. There is a section labeled “The Volume Key.” You can select the take a photo, start a video or zoom with the volume keys.

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The next tip is in the same location!   It is all about how to work the camera settings on the Note 4. In the camera settings, you can adjust your picture and video quality. Also, you can enable HDR as well as image stabilization and a pleather of other settings to help you become a professional smartphone photographer.

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Lastly, another tip is to adjust the vibration on the Note 4. The Note 4 vibrator is strong enough to move the Note 4 off the table. You can adjust the vibration to match the level you need. Adjusting the vibration can help save the battery as well. To change the vibration settings, go to the settings and then select sound. From there, select vibration intensity to change the intensity or to turn off.

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There are so many more tips to personalize your phone. You can go to the Personalization in Settings and look at all the cool stuff there. Your Note 4 has a Guest Mode, you can backup and there is a blocking and private mode. Start looking at all the options available to you. The best tip I can give you is to explore your Note 4, test each of the features, play with settings and make it yours. The best part of owning an Android is that you can it exactly what you want it to be and exclusive to you.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet http://gadgetgrave.com/sony-xperia-z3-tablet/ http://gadgetgrave.com/sony-xperia-z3-tablet/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6146 Sony has done it again. Sony has developed a great new tablet that will rival the iPad Mini and it is the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.   The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will become the slimmest and lightest tablet to date. Sony has already developed the Xperia Z1 and Z2 that are large but the Xperia Z3 will have an 8-inch screen and weigh less than 10 ounces. Let’s look at the specifications of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

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First, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset that is a quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait processor plus an Adreno 330 graphics card. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 16 GB internal storage and has a microSD slot that supports up to 128 GB microSD card. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has 3 GB of RAM as well. The rear camera is 8.1 megapixels while the front is a 2.2 megapixel both video in 1080p at 30fps.

What is great about the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact? It is dust proof and water resistant up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes! Yes, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is waterproof! This is a great asset to have with children. But it gets better. The display is TFT LCD that has shatterproof glass and an oleophobic coating. This means that this screen should not break!

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The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact still has some of the same features that Sony products are known for. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact can be used as a controller for the Playstation 4. Also, even though the camera is only 8 megapixels, there is software that adds to the camera’s value. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact combines an extremely thin base with a shatterproof and waterproof build. If this holds true than the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is not just the World’s thinnest and lightest tablet but it is the strongest.

Sony has not added the very best features into its Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet but it has added features that could be just as important. When shopping for a tablet, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, who is it for? You do not want to get a tablet that is easily broken to a kid or a cheap tablet that will not run anything within a year or two- but one that can last through the test of times. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is one of be better tablets on the market.

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While there are tablets that have better features, there is not a tablet that is as thin as the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet or as light as the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet. Also, consider the fact that it is nearly indestructible. That means that you should not be able to crack it or get water in it- up to a point. Do not push these features too far as the water resistant is only for 30 minutes up to a meter deep and I have not seen anything that could not be cracked. Go and try out the Sony Xperia Tablet Compact- it is worth your time and your money.

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5 online Programming Resources for Beginners http://gadgetgrave.com/5-online-programming-resources-beginners/ http://gadgetgrave.com/5-online-programming-resources-beginners/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6078 There is a point in time where everyone wants to learn program, especially when you’re a geek, nerd or whatever. People put those labels on us all the time. We are just technologically adept. But if you want to learn to code here are some sites to help. Whether you want to learn Java, HTML or CSS. Even if you don’t plan on being a developer these should be enough to wet your whistle. So lets get started!

Zach Sims is the co-founder of Codecademy says that learning code is easier for beginners especially if you’re under 18. The key to programming is “learn by doing”, start off easy and learn by repetition, there are many sites to help with your journey for programming.

 

  1. Scratch

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Scratch is a MIT project that has a graphical interface. It’s graphical processing language (“Scratch”) makes animated characters on the screen move. Scratch isn’t something you can build a website or a program with, but it does teach algorithmic thinking also the basic concepts of computer language, and it can smith out the transition to HTML and CSS for sure. This is also great for children to start with as it is fun and they learn from doing cool things.

 

  1. Code.org

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The mission with Code.org is to expand the number of students, with acess to the learning tools it has for programming languages. There are exercises available that are formatted lile games with drag-and-drop tiles, also users can see the code as they are building it during the many challenges and when they are done.

 

There is one where you can make Elsa from Frozen walk 90 pixels, turn left 90 degrees and walk back, just by typing “moveForward(90);turnRight(90);moveForward(90);” this in Javascript!

 

  1. Codecademy

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As soon as you sign up with Codecademy, you can learn to design your own website with CSS and HTM, and make your name animated by using Javascript. Codecademy helps by letting you write a line of code, and see what happens instantly, instead of having a instructor watch you. You will also benefit from being asked to build lnown websites like Etsy, with a program called Ruby on Rails.

 

  1. CS50

CS50, Harvard University’s intro to computer science course currently enrolls more that thousands of online students and more than 800 in-class. The syllabus includes general concepts and languages, and has videos and problem sets online to let students everywhere around the world follow along. This is not hands-on as some of the others but it is more traditional as in computer science, but you should check it out anyway.

 

  1. Treehouse Club

Ok Treehouse is not free, it costs $25 bucks for the basic plan and $49 bucks for the pro. If you are into a more in-depth learning environment with access to workshops and interviews this is for you. Treehouse has special tracks for web design and iOS development for those users have specific interests in mind for their programming education.

 

Ok, there you have it! This should get you started on programming. Remember to have fun, and don’t get frustrated. You will quickly learn to code and have another skill under your belt.

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Nokia N1 http://gadgetgrave.com/nokia-n1/ http://gadgetgrave.com/nokia-n1/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:00:31 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5053 You may think that Nokia is completely owned by Microsoft but in fact, Nokia only sold its phone making division to Microsoft and is now hitting the tablet market. The Nokia N1 is coming soon to a store shelf near you and it is a nice tablet- if you have ever wanted an iPad Mini Android version.

Yes, Nokia is entering the tablet market and YES the Nokia N1 is set to be a great tablet with a nice design. Nokia’s N1 has improved the Apple iPad Mini design. The Nokia N1 has a slightly larger screen than the iPad Mini: 7.9-inches verses 7.87-inch. The Nokia weighs slightly less at 318g and is slightly thinner at 6.9mm verses 7.5mm.

 

 

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The Nokia N1 will have an IPS LCD screen that will be Quad HD as well as the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 plus an Intel Atom Z3580 Quad core 2.3 GHz processor. Also, the Nokia N1 comes with 32 GB of internal space and 2 GB of RAM. The storage that the Nokia N1 has is not too bad but it would be nice to have a microSD card slot to expand your memory, if you wanted. At least it is higher than some other models that have just 8 or 16 GB and not external storage options.

The rear camera on the Nokia N1 is just an 8 megapixel but it does have autofocus and geo-tagging. Also, you can video in 1080p HD. The front camera is a nice- at 5 megapixels. The 5 megapixel front camera is becoming the standard on tablets and smartphones and with the world of Selfies, having a good front camera is a bonus.

One thing the Nokia N1 has that is a first on tablets is the USB Type-C socket. The Nokia N1 will have a reversible USB ports. The technology is a great asset to the industry and will be quite useful.

Nokia-N1

Another thing that will be a first on the Nokia N1 is Nokia’s Android launcher, Z Launcher as well as Google’s Lollipop. The Nokia Z Launcher has simplified the home screen with the way it displays apps and allows for you to completely customize your home screen.

Critics believe that the Nokia N1 will be a great competitor for the iPad Mini. The Nokia N1 was similar shape, size and even meets the hardware standards of Apple. The Nokia N1 is Android and a great tablet. The specifications are outstanding and the Nokia N1 will cause rival tablets to take a second look. The Nokia N1 will come in two different colors: Natural Aluminum and Lava Gray.

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What does the Nokia N1 bring to the tablet market? The Nokia N1 brings a great looking device, similar to the look of the iPad Mini. The Nokia N1 has a great processor, sufficient internal storage and a fair amount of RAM. A great thing about the Nokia N1 is that the tablet will have a 5-megapixel front facing camera for selfies or using Skype. The Nokia N1 was just announced and will release in China first- around February and will finally release in the United States soon.

I believe that the Nokia N1 will give tablet fans another great choice and decisions will become increasingly hard.

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Google X: Nano Pill to seek Cancer Cells and other diseases http://gadgetgrave.com/google-x-nano-pill-seek-cancer-cells-diseases/ http://gadgetgrave.com/google-x-nano-pill-seek-cancer-cells-diseases/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:19 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4755 Google X announced that it is working on a Nano Pill that will seek out cancer cells as well as detect other diseases earlier than we do now. The Nano Pill will revolutionize the medical industry as we know it and possibly end deaths from cancer and other diseases.

 

Google X plans to use tiny elements that are coated in magnetized antibodies to catch the cancer cells before modern technology can detect the cancer. The elements will be programmed to distribute through the body and search for abnormal cells.   You will have a wearable device that calls the cells back to a destination and reports back if there is any abnormal cells that could be cancerous or possibly detect other diseases. http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/28/googlex-reveals-nano-pill-to-seek-out-cancerous-cells/

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The Nano Pill is like Kit from Knight Rider. The Nano Pill will drive around your body seeking your abnormal cells and reporting the results back to the device you wear.   Andrew Conrad, head of Life Sciences team at Google X stated that the way we detect cancer and other diseases now is like taking your car, after it breaks down, to get the oil changed.

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Once swallowed, the particles separate and travel through the body using antibodies. Google X will have the cells programed to search the body- and they will be able to focus on an area, such as prostate or breast for those with family history.   The Nano pill could emit a fluoresce so that the cells in question can be seen on an MRI well before it is a ball of cancer cells.

Google X has discussed the implications of the Nano Pill on the medical community. In the future, the Nano pill could end the need for lab work. One would just swallow the Nano Pill instead of having to give a urine sample or have blood drawn. The Nano particles would search out diseases and other issues; possible detect heart attack and strokes well before they happen.  http://www.slashgear.com/google-x-nano-pill-will-seek-cancer-cells-in-your-body-28352810/

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The Nano Pill is still in the beginning tests and has not been introduced into the medical community nor has the Nano Pill been tested. Google X is hoping to begin clinical trials in a few years.

 

The Nano Pill will produce fear in those who do not understand the technology. I am sure the technology could cause debates on the legality as well as moral value in having Nano particles within your body. I feel that the Nano Pill that Google X could save people’s lives and possibly end cancer deaths. The Nano Pill has the ability to catch cancer before it ever begins to overtake the body, end the cancer and allow a person to continue to live their lives – instead of months of chemotherapy, surgeries and then screens to make sure the cancer does not come back.

 

The Nano Pill will not only help the world of cancer detection, but the plan is to program the Nano Pill particles to look for signs of heart attacks, strokes and possibly find clots that will cause death before it is too late.

 

 

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Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 3 http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-three/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-three/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 14:00:40 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5050 OK folks here is part 3 of Android tips and tricks, enjoy!

Screen Pinning

 Also See: Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 2

Your smartphone is full of personal information and sensitive data. It is difficult to let people use your phone without you being over their shoulder so they don’t look at your personal data. “Screen Pinning” is a feature that will let you lock your phone to only one app. Here is an example, someone asks to use your phone to make a call. You can “pin” the phone app so the person cant do anything else. To enable this feature got to Settings > Security > Screen Pinning. Open the app you want to pin, press the Overview button, scroll to the app and tap the blue thumb tack icon on the bottom right corner of the most recent app and there you go. To disable this when they are done unpin it by long pressing the back and overview buttons at the same time.

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See How Long Until You Are Fully Charged

One Android Lollipop tip is super simple. Have you ever wondered how long it will take for your phone to be fully charged? Well, now Android can tell you. When your device is charging the hours and minutes until fully charged are displayed at the bottom of the lock screen. Now you know how long until you can play more Flappy Lollipop.

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Customize Your Notifications

Android Lollipop now gives users control over all notifications now unlike before. All apps installed on your device can be configured to send a notification only when you want to see them. There are now 3 options available for each application: block, priority, and sensitive.

  1. Block– Will never show notifications from the application.
    2. Priority– Will show only notifications at the top of your list and only let them through when in Priority Mode.
    3. Sensitive – All Content will not be displayed on the lock screen notification

There are only two ways to adjust these settings. You have to long-press any notification and select the (i) icon to go to the settings for that application. Also if you don’t want to wait for the notification you can go to Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications.

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Restore to a Previous Android Device

Android Lollipop’s Setup Wizard has never been great I can attest to that. First you sign into your Google account, opt in or out on a few things and you’re on your way. Every so often all your previously downloaded apps would begin downloading from the Google Play Store, but sometimes they wouldn’t. The problem has It’s always been hit or miss, and there was no real sure fire way to actually manage what was being restored.

That has all been changed in Android Lollipop. There is a new option that will let you to restore to any previous Android device found in your Google account. It will restore all of your settings, wallpaper, and even launcher icon arrangement. Of course it also restores apps, but only the ones you choose. These cool new features are game changers for sure. Setting up your new phone will never be the same again.

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Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 2 http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-two/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-two/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:44:02 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5047 In part two of our Android Lollipop tips and tricks we will show more cool ways to show off this amazing lollipop treat.

New Search for Settings

 Also See: Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 3

Android Lollipop has a lot of settings. If you love to customize everything about your phone this is really cool feature. However it can be a nightmare for average users to navigate. So here comes Google to the rescue, It has done a lot to make it easier to navigate the settings application, by revamping the search feature. When you go to the Settings app you will see a new magnifying glass search icon in the top right. It will appear on most pages in the Settings app. You can use it to find settings without going through each page to find what you want. The search results aren’t as robust as I’d like to see, but it does a darn good job at it.

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Smart Lock

It is always a good idea to have a little layer of security on your device. But the biggest problem with using a password or pattern lock is that it ends up slowing me down way more than anyone else. Android Lollipop has a new feature called “Smart Lock” it lets you tell your phone when it’s safe. Android Lollipop has three ways to make your phone trust you.

  1. Trusted devices– If you have any Bluetooth or NFC device it can be added here. When those devices are connected your lock screen security is disabled.
    2. Trusted face– This is Google’s better implementation of “Face Unlock.” After you scan your face it will look for you every time you unlock your device. If it recognizes you the lock screen security will be disabled.
    3. Trusted places – With this option you can see any location you’ve added to your Google account. You can also toggle these on or add a new place manually. When you are at those locations the lock screen security will be disabled.

With these three options Android Lollipop can make it so you don’t have to constantly enter passwords or patterns, also if your device is stolen or left somewhere it will know to lock others out. These options can be accessed in Settings > Security > Smart Lock.

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Hiding Sensitive Data

You can hide sensitive notifications. With all notifications now shown on the lock screen, anyone can read them even if you have a password or pattern lock on your screen. Now you can pick apps individually as sensitive, or you can let Android Lollipop do it for you.

Go to Settings > Sound & notification > When device is locked. There you’ll see 3 options to choose from “show all, hide sensitive content, and show none.” You will need to select the second option and hide sensitive content. Now when your app that you’ve marked as “Sensitive” displays a notification on the lock screen you will only see the app name and “contents hidden.” Sweet huh?

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Quick Flashlight Finally

The days of having to install flashlight apps from the Play store are over. Android Lollipop has added a Flashlight toggle to the Quick Settings. To access the Flashlight toggle you can swipe down from the top of the display with two fingers (or pull down on the notification shade) and tap “Flashlight.” Your LED flash should immediately turn on.

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Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 1 http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-one/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-tips-tricks-part-one/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5034 If you are lucky enough to get Android Lollipop 5.0 on your device, you are more than likely overwhelmed by all the new features. I am bringing you a three part series to show you some tips and tricks to get you started. So lets get this show on the road.

 Also See: Android Lollipop Tips and Tricks Part 2

New Battery Saver

One of the awesome new features in Android Lollipop is battery saver mode. With Battery saver it can help you squeeze out extra time when you really need it. When this is enabled it will reduce your device’s performance, it turns off vibrations, and blocks most of your background data. Android Lollipops Battery saver can be turned on manually or set it to automatically kick on when your battery is at 15% or 5%. You will know when it is working when the status and navigation bars turn orange-red. To set up battery saver go to Settings > Battery > tap the menu button.

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Do Not Disturb

I’ve already talked about Priority mode notifications, but Android Lollipop also has a “Do Not Disturb” mode. The iPhone has had this for a long time (even a dedicated physical button), but now Android Lollipop has implemented this cool feature. Do Not Disturb is like silent mode on steroids.

When you press the volume buttons you will see the option for NONE. That is what we’re calling “Do Not Disturb.” When you are in this mode you will not be disturbed or interrupted by anything. Even alarms will not get through this mode. Like Priority mode you can set it indefinitely or for a few hours at a time. Cool huh?

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Who Gets Priority

Android Lollipop can set apps as “priority.” This puts notifications for those apps at the top of the list, but it also allows those apps to get through when you’re in Priority Mode. You can also choose what people you would like to get through in Priority Mode.

Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions. in the section titled “Priority Interruptions” you can choose who will get through Priority Mode. You can also choose calls/messages from anyone! starred contacts, or only people in your contacts. This is great for those instances you really don’t want to be bothered, but still want to be in touch.

If you are unfamiliar, Priority Mode is a new way to allow only alarms and certain notifications to bother you. By pressing the volume buttons and choosing PRIORITY you can enable it.

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Play Flappy Lollipop

Did you know all Android releases come with an Easter egg in the settings. Sometimes it is a simple splash screen with some interactive features, but this year they put in a full Android-themed Flappy Bird clone. Here’s how to get to the game:

  1. Go to Settings > About phone/tablet > tap “Android version” 5 times quickly
  2. Tap the lollipop a couple of times > long-press > tap once more

Have fun! And don’t throw your phone!

 

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Nokia’s Z Launcher http://gadgetgrave.com/nokias-z-launcher/ http://gadgetgrave.com/nokias-z-launcher/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5058 Nokia may have sold its smartphone division but Nokia is continually developing new tablets and items such as apps. Nokia has released the Launcher Beta version and to say the least- it is interesting and could be a great addition to your smartphone. The Z Launcher had around 10,000 testers and when the beta was released to all android users, the Z Launcher was downloaded 100,000 times and Nokia had to temporarily stop new users. What is the fuss all about? Lets find out.

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What is the Z launcher? The Z launcher is Nokia’s first Android app that is another “Home Screen.” The Z Launcher though is much more than just another home screen but offers you so much more. The Z launcher will change everything about home screens in smartphones. If you have a Samsung smartphone- you are probably using TouchWiz. Touchwiz is Samsung’s way of setting up and running Android and you can change this by installing home screen apps such as Z Launcher.

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I downloaded the Z launcher onto my Galaxy S5. The first thing, after the Z Launcher was installed, the Z launcher did was pull up my most used apps and contacts onto my home screen. If you know me, you know that this – to me- is a downfall. I do not like anything on my home screen and that is my favorite part about my Android: the ability to have all apps in the app drawer. Do not get me wrong, the Z Launcher is laid out beautifully and is great for anyone who like icons on their home screen.

The Z launcher offers a tutorial on how to use the Z Launcher. It is quite easy. When I want to call or text my son, all I have to do is start writing his name. When I write on the screen with my finger- S it immediately pulls up the top six apps and contacts. I can select my son from the list of items. This feature is awesome and it beats finding his name in my contacts, recent call list or within my text message app.nokia-z-launcher-gadget-grave

Another feature of the Z Launcher is that the Z Launcher is intuitive.   What does this mean? It means that your home screen is ever changing. The Z Launcher learns what you do the most with your smartphone and uses this information to customize your home screen. If you call/text the same people over and over again, these people will be on your home screen as well as any apps you use on a regular basis. The Z Launcher will place other apps and contacts that you do not use at the end of the list but do not worry- if you need them, all you have to do is start writing the name on the screen and it will come up.

I do like many of the features of the Z Launcher but it will not be for me unless I can remove everything off my home screen. For those who have icons and widgets on your home screen, the Z Launcher will be one that will be great for your smartphone! Go try the Z Launcher, it will not let you down.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s5/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s5/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:00:30 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4334 I pondered the thought of getting the Galaxy S5 or the Note III and in the end picked the Galaxy S5.  Why you ask?  Well…one is that the Galaxy S5 is a tad bit smaller and I have LOVED this phone since I started playing with my phone.  Let me tell you, the phone is sleek, fast and beautiful.

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What makes the phone so awesome?  Well first, the style is great, thin, large – but not too large- and smooth running.  The device loads pages quickly and seamlessly.  It has great features (some I did not think I would use) such as the fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor and the Samsung account functions.

 

The display is 5.1 inches with 1080p HD AMOLED display that boasts an “extremely high pixel density screen.  The phone is water-resistant, dust-resistant, NFC and a 16 MP high-resolution camera.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-Galaxy-S5_id8202).

 

The camera has autofocus, phase detection autofocus, touch to focus as well as manual focus and high dynamic mode (HDR) as well as image stabilization.  The pictures are great as well as the “beauty” feature.  I use my camera at work all the time and love the picture quality.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-Galaxy-S5_id8202)

 

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A great part about this phone is that with the 3.0 USB and the 2 AMP block, my phone is fully charged from less than 3% to 100% within two hours; that is the fastest charging ever and the battery lasts about a day and a half with a lot of usage (not that matters with a 2 hour charge time).   (http://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-galaxy-s5/specs/)

 

Another addition to the device that no one talks about is the security features.  You can sign up for a Samsung account and then setup the phone to be “locked” (like iCloud).  Basically, the only way to use the device- even factory reset, is to re-sign into your Samsung account.  You can find your phone, lock it down and send a text, allow the phone to dial one number- a number you choose- by yourself, erase the device as well as make it ring as loud as possible, no matter the status of the sound.  These features make this phone not worth stealing!  It can’t be used or sold.

 

The phone has an Easy Mode.  This mode has large icons and allows you to place favorite apps, people and other important information right at your fingertips.  This is great for older people who like the ease of an iPhone but wants a bigger screen.

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This phone is beautiful with some great features and worth the money.  It takes less than 2 hours to charge from less than 5% and the battery lasts anywhere from the usually 8-10 hours to well over 36 hours- depending on use and settings.  If you are in the market for a new Android- then this is the device for you!

 

With the improvements made to the Galaxy line-up,  I cannot wait for the next device to come out, until then, I will continue to use my Galaxy S5 because I love this phone and its features!

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Large Phone http://gadgetgrave.com/large-phone/ http://gadgetgrave.com/large-phone/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4312 With many large phones in the market, it leaves one to wonder what is the best “phablet (phone +tablet) out on the market.   The most popular brands include Sony, Nokia and Samsung- with Samsung giving you 2 choices!

Up first- is Sony.  Sony phones have not penetrated the market like other phones- but their Sony Xperia Z Ultra.  This phone is water resistant for up to one meter, and is dust proof.  The display is a 6.4-inch screen made with shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass.  Also, it has 10-finger multi-touch.  This phone has an 8MP camera with a 2MP front camera.  This phone is a great buy for those who tend to be hard on phones.  (http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z_ultra-5540.php).  This phone has 3-color choices- black, white and purple.  The internal storage is 16GB with the option to expand to 64GB with the micro SD slot.  (http://www.sonymobile.com/us/products/phones/xperia-z-ultra/specifications/#tabs).

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Up next, we have the Nokia Lumia 1520.  This phone has a 6-inch screen with scratch resistant glass.  The Lumia has a Windows 8 – but with the new updated App store, this phone is great especially for those who love to take pictures with their phone!  The back camera is 20 MP!  This camera is amazing.  The front camera is only 1.2MP, which is lack luster.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Nokia-Lumia-1520_id8109).  The phone is beautifully made in yellow, red, white and black.  The phone is PVC free, made of recycled metals and free of nickel on the surface.   This device comes with either 16GB or 32GB internal memory with the ability to expand to 64GB with the micro SD card slot.  Also, there is 7GB of cloud storage.   (http://www.nokia.com/us-en/phones/phone/lumia1520/specifications/).  If you like Windows 8- this phone is a great find!

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Lastly are the two Samsung devices.  Both devices have a beautiful design- which is similar to all the newer Galaxy S devices (beginning with the Galaxy SIII).  The first is the Samsung Galaxy Mega.  The screen is 6.3 inches.  It is not resistant to scratches but does have a “super clear LCD.”  The camera is 8MP and the front-facing camera is 1.9MP.  The processor is not too bad and it contains 16GB of internal memory expandable with SD card slot up to as high as 64GB.  The phone is popular with individuals wanting a nice less expensive phablet.   (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-Galaxy-Mega-6.3_id7805

).    Some benefits is mulit-window and split/tablet view- allowing multitasking.

(http://www.samsung.com/latin_en/consumer/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/smartphone/GT-I9200ZKATTT-features).

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The second Samsung phablet is the Note 3.  The Note 3 is a slightly smaller screen- 5.7-inch but is a HD super AMOLED screen.  The camera is 13MP with a 2MP front camera.  The processor is better than the Mega.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3_id7984).  The color choices for the Note 3 include:  black, white, red, pink and gold.  The device is has 32GB internal memory with SD card slot – expandable up 64GB.  (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote3-gear/spec.html).

 

With the most known phablets listed- one may not know what phone to choose but it is easy.  If you want a budget friendly large screen phone- then the Samsung Mega is the phone for you.  If you want a phablet that will (hopefully) last through all the drops, swims in the toilet- then the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is the phone for you.  For the best pictures-  Nokia Lumia 1520 is the phone for you.  Lastly, for a good overall phone that is not too big, has a good camera and is nice- Samsung Note 3 is for you.

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Assassins Creed Pirates http://gadgetgrave.com/assassins-creed-pirates/ http://gadgetgrave.com/assassins-creed-pirates/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4330 The new game by Ubisoft successfully captures the imagination of the Assassins Creed Pirates series on a new format braving the open seas as an up and coming pirate. This series has never ceased to amaze and has gone a step further by making a fantastic iOS game that’s free to play. The gameplay is fluid on my iPhone 5 and there aren’t any loading sequences that last over a few seconds. The graphics do not disappoint and are elaborately designed to match each scenario you find yourself in. Whether your navigating the open sea under the virtual stars or sailing in to battle against a massive man of war the developers seem to have an answer for each situation.

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The game is divided up by level maps that are groups of islands. The map can be quite big so you must attack ships protecting fast travel locations to get around quickly. Otherwise you have two modes of travel, by guiding the ship with your finger on the island map, or actually navigating from the deck of the ship which is much slower but really awesome looking. I was able to level up to 21 in a very short amount of time and reach the Grand Bahamas a very large map with big rewards.

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The more treasure and supplies you collect the more crew members and perks you can add or even buy more ships! The game is about being a pirate and you will find plenty of opportunities to do so. There is also a unique fishing and dicey whaling hunting interface in the game. While the main mission is an exclamation point on the map there are many other eye catching side missions to run that will gain you great fortune. As I mentioned earlier, leveling up is easy. I obtained level 21 only playing about 3 hrs total over the course of about 3 weeks. There are many in-app purchases that can speed this along as well, but I’m a pretty cheap gamer.

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In battle you switch between two different modes of defense during a turn based exchange. The enemy either begins by blasting its full array of cannons in various directions that you must dodge, or attempts to sink you by throwing barrels that must be finger-slashed without hitting explosive crates next to them in a fruit ninja-esque moment of the game. Battle interface for other vessels varies based on what kind of side mission you’re on. I must admit blasting the evil slaving ships into the deep is quite satisfying as the offer no defense. Encountering anomalies while navigating from the deck is a regular as well. You will see many opportunities to grab treasure chests and drowning sailors at sea. 

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This game is one of the most impressive I’ve seen to play without devoting a whole lot of time to it. Assassins Creed Pirates    has added to its already marvelous portfolio with an unlikely smartphone game. If you have an iOS or Android device I highly recommend you check this game out. The game is designed with history in mind and inspires with its impressive graphics and gameplay. Pirates is well worth a try!

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Android Problem http://gadgetgrave.com/android-problem/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-problem/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 14:00:09 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4741   Android problem 1.

Stop using data when abroad.

One option is an app called APNd on/off from Google play. This turns off your data connections from a widget on your home screen. This method is way easier than going through your settings.

 

Android problem 2.

My phone has frozen

Usually a soft reset will solve this issue. There is an app from the play store that will do this for you. Fast Reboot is an app that simulates a soft reset and closes all running processes with one tap of your finger.

 

Android problem 3.

Why can I download any app from the play store?

The problem is some apps are made for certain resolutions that your phone cannot handle. And there are apps that are not made for your particular phone or tablet. The higher end devices tend to support more apps by default. But fear not there are plenty of apps that are capable of running cross platforms.

How-to-Speed-Up-Android-Phone

Android problem 4.

My WiFi doesn’t stay connected.

Here is the fix, go to Wireless & networks / WiFi settings and press the menu key. Choose ‘Advanced’ and change the sleep policy to ‘Never’. This will usually solve most problems for a majority of the people who have these issues.

 

Android problem 5.

Why is my phone/tablet running out of memory?

There are so many reasons this is happening. The usual is the cache gets full, that’s where the apps data is stored. I have used App Cache Cleaner with excellent results. The   other option is to remove apps that you are no longer using, or move them to your SDCard.

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Android problem 6.

How do I see how much data I am using?

There is a setting that all android phones have to check your data. Go to settings/and Data usage there you will find the amount of data you are using and actually set data limits. Even turn it off if you must.

 

Android problems 7.

Keyboard problems?

There is an app for that! There are actually quite a few. There is even one built into newer devices. The apps are Slideit and Swiftkey, the let you use your finger to slide across your keyboard and with the help of autocorrect spells the word out for you.

 

Android problem 8.

Why is my SDCard not working?

Sometimes these cards can get corrupt. The most effected solution is to try and format the card on a PC. Using Explorer in Window you can right click the SDCard and chose to format to fat32. This seems to work better than using your phone.

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Android problem 9.

I can’t see my screen in the sunlight.

There is a way to take care of this. You could use an anti-glare screen protector on the screen. What is sad is there is really no way to actually remedy this problem. I have turn up the brightness has helped me under certain circumstances.

 

Android problem 10.

Why are games running slow on my device?

Well first some of the budget phones have sower processors and graphics chips. The only solution is to test the device out before buy it because some phones are better than others and specs are not the end all on how it will play a game.

APN on/off

App Cache Cleaner

Slideit

Swiftkey

 

 

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Maxwest Gravity 5.5 and Gravity 6 http://gadgetgrave.com/maxwest-gravity-5-5-gravity-6/ http://gadgetgrave.com/maxwest-gravity-5-5-gravity-6/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4391 Maxwest smartphones are a great alternative to spending a lot of money for an unlocked smartphone.  Maxwest was established in 2001.  It is an upcoming brand of phones that are affordable and sleek.

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We carry the Maxwest Gravity 5.5 and 6.  Both are phablet devices that are beautifully made.

Maxwest  Gravity 5.5 was released in June of 2014.  The Maxwest Gravity 5.5 has a 5.5” LCD capacitive touchscreen, dual SIM card slots and can be used on any GSM network!  The device has a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex- A7, a 13 MP camera and a 2 MP front facing camera.  The device comes with KitKat installed.  (http://www.gsmarena.com/maxwest_gravity_5_5-6417.php).

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The Maxwest Gravity 5.5 offers Google Search, Maps and Talk as well as Gmail, YouTube and Picasa.  It comes in Black, White, Blue, Red and Yellow.  (http://maxwesttelecom.com/index.php/products/phones/gravity-5-5.html).

There is a small downfall for the Maxwest Gravity 5.5.  The internal memory of this device is only 4 GB.  That is not a lot of room, but you can add up to a 32 GB microSD card.  So even though there is not much internal storage, you can always add more so it should not be an issue.

The phone is quite fast and the display is great.  The phone is definitely for anyone who wants a large screen phone without the price.

The Maxwest Gravity 6 is similar to its little brother.  The device has a 6-inch screen that is a IPS LCD capacitive 16M colors.  It is beautiful and contains 3D features so that you can play 3D games.  It has a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and only 4 GB of internal storage.  There is a microSD card slot that expands the memory up to 32 GB so the lack of internal storage should not matter.  The device, also, has dual SIM card slot and is unlocked so that it can be used on any GSM network.  (http://stuffkey.com/maxwest-gravity-6-full-specifications-features-price/)

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The Maxwest Gravity 6 has a 13 MP rear-facing camera as well as a 2 MP front-facing with stability.  The Maxwest 6 has the newest version of Andriod- KitKat and contains all the features of android.

The Maxwest Gravity 5.5 and 6  are user-friendly and beautifully designed.  The Maxwest Gravity 5.5 and Maxwest Gravity 6  are a great addition to the phablet world and are a great value.  All their phones are factory unlocked which means each device can be used in any country.  (http://maxwesttelecom.com/index.php/products/phones/gravity-6.html).

The Maxwest Gravity 6 comes in three colors:  Black, White and Pink.  (http://maxwesttelecom.com/index.php/products/phones/gravity-6.html).

Another downfall for the Maxwest Gravity 5.5 and 6 is the lack of accessories.  There are a few cases and each new phone comes with a small case.  If you are not a heavy dropper, then there should be no problem for you.  Also, as with all new phones, parts are not as readily available.

A big reason to buy and use these phones is that they are brand new and comes with a one-year warranty.  (As with all warranty devices, warranty covers any issues not caused by end-user damage).

If you are looking for a phablet without the phablet price, come check out the Maxwest Gravity series.  They are a great phone for the money.

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Water Damaged Phone http://gadgetgrave.com/water-damaged-phone/ http://gadgetgrave.com/water-damaged-phone/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4377 What to do if your phone gets water damaged:

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It is a smartphone owner’s biggest fear – dropping the phone into water.  It happens often, especially the phone falling out of the pocket into a toilet.  What you do after your phone is water damaged, may help save the device.

 

First, try and get the device out as fast as possible.  The less time the phone is in the water, the higher the probability that your phone is not a total loss.

 

Next, take the battery and SIM card if you have one.  If the battery cannot be removed, do not panic – you could still be ok.  Do NOT turn on the device, plug device in or play with the device as this could cause further damage.

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The next piece of advice is to avoid rice.  Rice may actually increase corrosion in the device.  I know there are many website claiming rice absorbs water (and we use it in salt containers to prevent moisture causing clumps) and will suck the water out of your phone.  Also, rice gets caught in audio jacks, crevices and connectors causing more issues.  (  http://blog.jcdrepair.com/speed-is-the-key-to-saving-a-water-damaged-cell-phone).

 

Also, you may hear to use a hair dryer.  Do not do this either.  The hair dryer may help dry the phone out, but it will also warp sensitive parts causing further damage.  (http://www.iosdoc.com/poured-liquid-on-your-ipad-iphone-or-ipod-touch-heres-what-to-do/ ).

 

So, how do you fix your water damaged device?  First and foremost, after battery and SIM Card is removed, take the device to a local cellphone repair shop.  We offer a liquid damage cleaning.  With a liquid damage cleaning, your device is completely taken apart and soaked in a solution for up to 3 days.  After three days, the device is removed and any corrosion is cleaned off the device.

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Next, a technician assembles the device and tests to see if the device will turn on.  If there are any issues, the technician calls with a list of possible repairs to repair your device.

 

With liquid damage devices, there are some things one should know.  First, there is the possibility that the device will not ever work again, even if you bring it in functioning.  Second, the device has been water damaged and with this, it may last 1 day to 100 years.  There is no way to guarantee that the device will not have problems in the future due to the fact that water and electronics do not intermingle.  Consider whether the device is worth the money.  If the device is an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S – it is worth the risk, but a non-smartphone, iPhone 4, 3G, 3GS are not worth the risk – the cost of repairs can outweigh the cost of a replacement device.  Lastly, if your device is functioning, back it up and do it frequently to prevent loss of any important information.

 

There have been many phones come in working, just got wet or barely water damaged and they never work again but on the hand, there are phones that are dead and come out working.

With any water damage electronic device, it is important to speak to a professional so that you can discuss your different options and make the best decision for you.

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Moto X 2nd Generation http://gadgetgrave.com/moto-x-2nd-generation/ http://gadgetgrave.com/moto-x-2nd-generation/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4744 moto-x-2nd-generation-gadget-grave

Motorola has taken its Moto X to the next level with the Moto X 2nd generation. The Moto X 2nd Generation is water resistant, weighs just over 5 ounces and has an AMOLED 5.2 inch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass3 that is bigger than the 4.7-inch screen from the previous model. The colors in the Moto X 2nd Generation deep, crisp and bright stunning the critics. The screen is a big improvement over the Moto X. The Moto X 2nd Generation is about the same size as the HTC One M8 but continues the traditional slightly curved back – that is comfortable in the hand.

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The Moto X 2nd Generation does not come with an external SD card slot, but does come with either a 16GB of internal memory or a 32 GB. Motorola did end the 64-GB version of their Moto X series.   There is 2 GB of RAM as well. The Moto X 2nd Generation comes with Andriod v4.4.4 (KitKat) but will be able to upgrade to the newest Android L – when it is released.

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The Moto X 2nd Generation processor is a Snapdragon 801 Quad Core 2.5 GHz Krait 400. This doubles the speed of the Moto X 1st Generation.   The Moto X 2nd Generation has an upgraded rear-facing camera – from 10 MP to 13 MP with a front-facing 2 MP camera.

 

You can customize your Moto X 2nd Generation through the Moto Maker. The Moto Maker allows you to choose from 10 trim colors, either a black or white front, 17 back covers or for $25 extra – you can choose from an additional 8 back designs – Wood or leather. You get to choose whether your Moto X 2nd Generation is a 16 GB or 32 GB as well as adding an engraving on the outside (just be careful what you put, as this will affect resale value!).

 

While designing your Moto X 2nd Generation, you will be able to add your own greeting as well as have it shipped with your Gmail already installed – ready to go with all your information in the device. This means, all you have to do is activate and go! I LOVE this idea. I love the option to have a fully customizable phone!

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There are not too many additional changes. The Moto X 2nd Generation will continue to have active listening – so that you can text, call, listen to messages or set alarms, reminders without ever touching your phone. The Moto X 2nd Generation continues the tradition of NOT having to say OK Google. The active listening-even when the phone is “asleep” is great but my mom has called my daughter with this feature (on accident, a new form of butt-dialing!).  (http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/11/moto-x-review-2014/)

The Moto X 2nd Generation will be as close to stock Android as a phone can get but will still have a little bit of the carrier bloatware.   This can deter some people but it is still less than the bloatware found on Samsung, HTC and LG devices.

 

The Moto X 2nd Generation is a great improvement that propels Motorola into the arena with the big boys. If you are looking for a device that is a great smartphone- then look no further and come test drive the Moto X 2nd Generation.

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Android Lollipop http://gadgetgrave.com/lollipop/ http://gadgetgrave.com/lollipop/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 23:20:29 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4773 If there is anyone as excited about Google’s new 5th version of Android “Lollipop” it would have to be me! Besides a total revamp of the OS there are some really useful features to make your Android experience totally awesome. Now lets get down to the nitty gritty!

Not long ago, Google officially announced Android 5.0 Lollipop.  Lollipop is going to be huge for a lot of reasons. One, it is the first OS to launch that Google has used as an “open-book” policy. What this means is Google will allow Developers to have early access to the Beta in order to give feedback; this will improve the system. Not only is this new ground for Google; it will benefit the telecommunication industry as a whole. With this method, Lollipop is now going to be the most important Android update to hit the market. Lollipop will make Android the ultimate, and more superior OS to date. While Lollipop will come to only Nexus devices at first it will slowly make its way to other Android phones. Here are some major changes making up Android Lollipop.

Lollipop will bring a powerful OS with a look that is pleasing to the eye

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Lollipop, to be honest, is very pretty. It uses the standard colors Google uses for all their systems, but using a minimalist style that is aesthetically pleasing. The setup is colorful and streamlined. Google replaced the black colors users had to look at when doing the device setup. The setup gives you a preview of what the Lollipop system has to offer as a whole. Lollipop also has an improved keyboard and images so sharp you can actually focus. Under the hood Lollipop has been overhauled if you will. Speed improvements up to 4 times faster than previous versions. Lollipop has compacted background apps so you can do more at once. Another cool feature is that you will be able to back up your information from your old device by touching the backs together using their NFC feature during setup.

Improved notifications deliver the ultimate user experience

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Lollipop offers new and improved notification settings this is what will make Lollipop a truly great operating system. New messages will appear directly on your lock screen, like iOS. But unlike iOS, Lollipop can respond to any message from the lock screen. Even better you have the option to hide sensitive information through settings. Lollipop also borrows some ideas from Windows Phone. This is called Priority mode, like Cortana a user can setup times when they do not want to receive notifications. This can also be customized to allow only important notifications to come trough when needed. Lollipop is so advanced, as it will automatically rate any notifications based on importance without any input from the user. Lollipop is going to be the OS that learns from its user.

Exceptionally longer battery life

devices

Lollipop is also making strides to improve battery life. Lollipop will now include a battery saver mode that can extend your phones battery by at least 90 minutes. While charging, the user can see the estimated time it will take to completely charge your device. Google has also taken major strides to improve battery life. Lollipop will now automatically include a battery saver mode that can extend your phone’s life by 90 minutes. While charging, users will also be able to see the estimated time it will take to complete. What is also cool the battery settings will give users an estimate time before they have to charge again. All in all this is a preview of what’s to come from Android Lollipop that is to be released soon. With all the enhancements and aesthetically pleasing interface I cannot wait to give this puppy a try! Stay tuned here and when I get a developer preview on one of my devices I will go into more detail and actually give some pro and cons and what to expect.

 

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HTC One M8 http://gadgetgrave.com/htc-one-m8/ http://gadgetgrave.com/htc-one-m8/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:00:36 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4404 When deciding on the next phone, it may seem easy – in the beginning, but with all the great choices, which phone should you choose?  One to consider is the HTC One M8.

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HTC took a design and upgraded every bit of the design.  The HTC One M8 builds on the past models, improving the smartphone in every way.  The first notable difference is the feel of the phone.  HTC One M8 has a 5-inch screen but still feels small in your hands.  This could be because the phone is 5.76 inches tall, 2.78 inches wide and JUST .37 inches thick!  The weight is less than 6 ounces.  That makes the HTC One M8 one of the lightest and manageable phones.  (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/htc-one-m8-1357).

The slight curve in the back fits in your hand falsely.  The backside is an all aluminum frame available in Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold.  The HTC One M8 screen is a five-inch Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen with corning gorilla glass and HTC sense.  The HTC One increased its processor to quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801.  (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_(m8)-6074.php).

The HTC One M8 has built-in stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers but the best upgrade is the introduction of a microSD card slot.  The HTC One M8 comes with 32 GB of internal storage and the user can increase the storage up to 128 GB.  This is a great addition to the phone.   The HTC One M8 has 2 GB of RAM and 50 GB of cloud storage.  You should not ever run out of space with this phone.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/HTC-One-M8_id8242).

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Even though the camera is dual 4- ultra mega-pixel for the rear, it takes crisp pictures in amazing detail.  It also has a dual-LED flash and autofocus.  The best upgrade in the world of selfies is the 5 MP front-facing camera.  This is the best front facing camera available on the market.  (http://www.engadget.com/products/htc/one/m8/)

HTC M8 Flat Infographic

There are mixed reviews about the device.  Some believe that the improvements are not enough to compete with Galaxy S5 or the upcoming iPhone 6 but I disagree.  The HTC One M8 has a great light feel that beats the Galaxy S5 or the current iPhone.  The slightly rounded back feel comfortable in your hands and the phone does not seem to have a “Large” screen feel.  (http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/htc-one-m8-1235307/review).

Another feature is the rear camera is just as good as any of the smartphone cameras available.  The camera may just be 4 – mega-pixel but it packs a lot of punch and in tests, it actually takes great pictures.  The HTC One M8 has the best “selfie” camera on the market and this alone will bring a following of people who want a great front facing camera.

 

How to choose the best smartphone for you?  First you decided on what features you love, want and must have.  Next, read reviews, specifications and go test the phone in stores.  When you begin, you may realize just how much the HTC One M8 fits your style, must-have list and have a design that you love.  I must admit, I love my Samsung but the the HTC One M8 tops the chart of  my list of phones.

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Technophobia http://gadgetgrave.com/technophobia/ http://gadgetgrave.com/technophobia/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4332
  • Technophobia (from Greek τέχνη technē, “art, skill, craft” and φόβος phobos, “fear”) is the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers.
  • A vast ocean of dangerous opportunity lies before us due to the seemingly limitless catalyst that is technology. The world is certainly getting smaller around us and increasingly scary as well. A few happenings lately have led me to believe that unchecked, we could become a society much like that portrayed in the movie Minority Report with companies as familiar as Google getting the gears turning.

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    A society where horrible people can be caught before they do horrible things might not sound like a bad thing, unless you are remotely aware of human nature. Does this make technophobia a real thing? Too much power can lead to bad things and your privacy is of utmost of importance. This is why some people might experience technophobia Who gets to draw that line? How could we surrender the priviledge of our privacy for the hope that other humans will treat it as their own? Google seems to be first in line to provide their opinion as they tip off Houston Police to illegal content in a man’s Gmail account. While this man deserves to be in prison as the content was the worst kind, it is controversial that they even had the right to do so.

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    The world of drones is rapidly developing and changing daily. Drones have even  affected our local economy recently as the 188th acquired it’s new unmanned drone mission. BP has received a permit from the FAA to begin using drones commercially to survey equipment, pipelines and roadways in Prudhoe, Alaska. While the commercial use is exciting, it can also be quite scary. Drones provide a fantastic scope of surveillance that was previously unavailable.. It is widely believed that heavy drone activity in cities could lead to injuries and deaths from crashes. While drones will likely save many lives there are some potential sacrifices to our privacy to be mindful of.

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    Its scary to think that our location is so easily attained these days but Facebook thinks its an awesome idea. This blog isn’t supposed to be doom and gloom, these are things that are right out in the opening and outright concerning. Facebook has developed a Nearby feature that shares your current location with all your friends. The need to be available at all times and be part of a constant online stream of consciousness type conversation is incredible and unlike anything else in our known history; at least Facebook thinks so. We all want to be more and more connected right? Call me old fashioned I enjoy a little privacy in my life and my location is just none of your business. Maybe I’m technophobia. Facebook does turn this setting off by default so it’s not the worst thing they have ever done.

    It’s not wise to fear technology, you have to embrace it in this day and age. Privacy is a hard thing to get back once it is lost and the tech giants don’t seem to see an issue with bruising it up a bit. While I love the fact that criminals can be caught more easily, I don’t like the fact that Google would share my information so readily with law enforcement such as email. What if someone obtained your email information and framed you? Suppose we should all just change our passwords often.

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    Acer Iconia Tab A100 http://gadgetgrave.com/acer-iconia-tab-a100/ http://gadgetgrave.com/acer-iconia-tab-a100/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4641 acer1

    OK folks say hello to the Acer Iconia Tab A100, This was the company’s first 7 inch tablet. Currently running Android 4.0.3 it’s specs are run of the mill but nice for an economical 7 inch tablet. Running a Nvidia Tegera 2, a five and two megapixle cameras, and micro-USB and HDMI ports make this a must have budget tablet. I tested the 8GB Acer Iconia Tab A100, the retail price when they came out was $329.99. So lets get to the nitty grtty and check this bad boy out.

    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is no cheap plastic lightweight for sure. Weighing in at 0.92 pounds the Acer Iconua Tab A100 is heavier that most 7 inch tablets. In my opinion, it feels solid and comfortable in my hands. The back is stylish with the logo and cool ribbons flowing from one side to the other. The five megapixel camera on the back and the flash next to it actually accents the tablet. On the front of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 you will find the 2 megapixel camera and the capacitive home button. On the same end of the front camera the side houses a glowing power button and a Headphone jack. On the other end of the tablet there is the HDMI, Docking connector, micro-usb port and the speakers. In ladscape mode on the top is where the Micro-SDCard slot, volume controls and a lever to lock it into landscape mode (neato) finishes up the asthetics

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    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 has a wonderful display at 1024×600 youtube videos are crisp and clean, but when the tablet is flat the angle washes out the video. This no big deal as even the sound is amazing! Unlike other tablets the Acer Iconia Tab A100 has a sharp clear sound. A real plesure to listen to. I will not sound tinny? Like other tablets I have listened to, but it could use more volume. The camera on the Acer Iconia Tab A100 isn’t mediocre by any means. I was surprised at the rear camera, and it did a great job of rendering natural colors. Now by no means is this better than my phones 13 megapixle camera but is was really good. The front camera is also not bad, for a 2 megapixle camera the stills are very good.

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    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is no slouch in processing power either. Packing a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor I would have thought there be some performance hits and that is not the case. Apps open and close fast display responds smooth to taps and swipes with no lag. In from my experience this performs as well as some of the high end tablets. I decided to try and slow this down by playing a newer game. I loaded Mass Effect Infiltrator, to say the least amazing! The only hiccup the Acer Iconia Tab had so far is when doing tutorials. The game ran pretty darn smooth for me. The battery life was decent, not phenominal but I thought it was fine. It has a 1,530mAh battery which gives around 5 hours of life, not the best but hey I found it definitely usable and on par with the average tablet.

    To finish up, what do I think of the Acer Iconia Tab A100? For a low cost tablet I would buy one for each of my children and have no regrets. This is a great tablet, great performance, excellent graphics and speed to match! Gadget Grave has these for 90.00 each and that my friends is a great deal not to pass up.

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    Half-Hacked http://gadgetgrave.com/half-hacked/ http://gadgetgrave.com/half-hacked/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4310 It is estimated that in the past 12 months roughly half of the American adult population has had their information exposed by hackers. That is a ridiculous number and kind of a testament to how far we have come in the digital crime era. It’s not because we are ignorant to bad stuff on the internet because we aren’t. Many of us have had our information stolen simply by visiting a store during the holidays (that was scary). The point I’m making is that protecting yourself 100% is simply not possible throughout day to day life but there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself on your computer and online in general

    Computer-Code

    We don’t want to see ad’s therefore we ignore them, its a phenomenon called ad-blindness that can get us into hot water at times. How often have you clicked through several prompts just to get a game installed? Back in the golden days when you installed software of just about any kind it was exactly as packaged. These days just about anything you download, (including tools we like) have stuff that you probably don’t want on your computer attached, to it. PUP’s, or potentially unwanted programs are a common annoyance when installing any kind of software that you download on the internet. While these little programs aren’t typically malicious they can be a drag on system resources. Some are packed with nasty browser redirects (takes your internet browser to targeted shady links) that can further pack your computer with more serious malware that phones home to a worker computer somewhere just waiting on your call.

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    Don’t even visit questionable websites. If you don’t know if a site is questionable that means its questionable. I recommend using a search engine like Google to avoid getting sidetracked by ad-plagued results pages. These ads are targeted to look like what you just searched for; for instance if you search for CNN.com, you come up with CNN.org/news/specialoffer/dentalwhiteningcouponsdeluxe or some garbage like that. If when you search with Google you are still getting too many fake items on top of your search results then something is wrong. Browser redirects and ill placed clicks are two of the most common ways you open yourself up for attack. That ad-blindness we talked about earlier comes back into play when your brain turns off after reading CNN. Dot ORG is not going to cut it for this famous news networks URL. Be alert and stay far away from questionable websites

     

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    Change your passwords often or you will regret even owning a computer. Long sentences make great passwords. Mix a few caps in there and maybe a symbol here or there and you have yourself a password that will take years to crack (good thing you’ll be changing it every 6 months). The thing is its annoying to change your password and nobody wants to do it. You want your simple, easy to remember password that you’ve had for years to remain the same. Think about all the photos on our Facebook, all those years of pictures that likely you have accumulated already on just that one social networking platform. Now imagine all of that gone because you didn’t change your password…ever. It can happen to you and your images could become someone else images, even your private messages to friends and family. Hope you’ve never sent financial information over Facebook or email because its not a great idea. Those archives are often searchable even after deletion if a hacker is really savvy. If you’d like to find out more on how to protect yourself and your family from being attacked come see us!

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    Ebates Review http://gadgetgrave.com/ebates-review/ http://gadgetgrave.com/ebates-review/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 14:00:19 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4308 Ebates Review – I am a frugal person- raising 3 teens and 1 almost 10 year old; being thrifty means more nice clothes for the kids needing to stretch every dollar.  This site gives you cash back for using their links to maneuver to stores.

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    When you first register, you get a free gift card to your choice of venues (such as Target, Walmart, Amazon plus one for Ebates.)  On the left side of the screen, you can either select a store or select a category.  In the top middle are vendors offering double cash back and the in the middle are “deals of the Week.”  The bottom lists featured stores and coupons.  The right side contains a welcome video, your account information as well as few ads- such as an app for you smartphone or tablet!  (Ebates Website)

    Sign-ups are easy, you just type in your email and the password you want to have for the site.  Under My Ebates, you will type in your shipping address and Notification settings – to either receive or to not receive emails.  You can check for your cash back in about 48 hours from the purchase.  If you do not see a cash back owed, contact customer service- with the transaction number and amount and it does not take long to get the credit.ebates-review-gadget-grave-2

    The money is distributed 4 times a year – May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15 and Feb 15.  Purchases for the first distribution must be made by March 31, the second by June 30, third by Sept 30 and Lastly by Dec 31- and it is disbursed several different ways.  The money can be mailed by check- no fee to you, through PayPal or you can send the money to a charity, family member or another organization.

    ebates-review-gadget-grave-3According to Cam Secore, (Ebates Review) the company is affiliated with many stores- online sites only which the site receives a commission for every dollar you spend- thus they pay you a little percentage for using their site.  The site is not a scam and I have gained approximately 2% back on my earnings.  That may not sound much but when you spend around 400 just in clothing for kids- you are getting $80.00 back; that $80.00 means that you truly spend about $80 for your children’s clothing.  Add this to name brand places such as Aeropostale- and it is a great deal.  Plus, when you visit the site, you can check for the deals- such as double the percentage of cash back as well as free shipping AND using coupons that you get and the amount of clothes that you can get increases.  With Journey’s- I was able to buy 4 pairs of shoes for the kids- a pair of Sperry’s, and 3 Converse shoes for 149.00 and received $6.00 cash back.  It is not much but it added up – and buying Christmas for 4 kids and 2 grandkids, We saved 15.00 and spent around $300- which is 5% (half of the sales tax in the area).

    Some stores listed on Ebates are Best Buy, Target, Areopostale, GameStop, Forever 21, Journey’s and Weight Watchers.  Go try it, the savings can add up and a penny saved is a penny earned.

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    Recording music with your iPhone and iPad http://gadgetgrave.com/recording-music-with-your-iphone-and-ipad/ http://gadgetgrave.com/recording-music-with-your-iphone-and-ipad/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4306 Recording music with your iPhone and iPad has never been easier.  There is an app for that- a little high you need to purchase a few things- unless you have the items already- then you just need an app.

    First for the iPhone 4/4S/5- you need to purchase a Apogee Jam guitar interface (Apogee Website).  This device will set you back  $100 unless you can find it cheaper (Click here to buy).  For the iPhone 5 and above- you need to a lightning to 30-Pin adapter.  With both- you can record using a garage band app.  If you want to record vocals- you need to buy a Blue Mikey or something similar.  These tools allow you phone to become a recording booth.recording-music-with-your-iphone-ipad-3

    For your iPad you need to get an Apple camera connection kit and a Behringer Guitar Link UCG102 USB interface to connect the guitar to your tablet.  To add vocals, you will need an USB microphone.  For the iPads, you will need to add the lightning to 30-Pin adapter.  (Recording with iPhone and iPad).recording-music-with-your-iphone-ipad-1

    GarageBand ’11 is a great studio app.  This app cost $14.99 and interfaces between devices well.  You can use the app to learn how to play the piano and/or guitar.  There are two windows open and it is easy to maneuver.  There are many menus with hidden less used features that are easily accessed.  The ratings are 4 out of 5 stars from CNET (Download Garage Band Here) and the same for iTunes.  It is a good beginner program.

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    Music Studio is a step up from GarageBand ’11.  This app contains more options and it has an extensive interface that is instinctual and recognizable.  There are tons of stock instruments plus you can purchase other tones adding to your possible options.  This also recognizes a mic and other plug-in to allow you to add your own instrument and vocals (see above for plug-ins.).  For the price, it is a good app if you are ready to get your music out there without a studio.  The rating for this app is 5 out of 5 stars.

    MultiTrack DAW is a less expensive recording app.  The app allows musicians to record up to 4 tracks – with 8 tracks live recording is coming soon- with an USB input.  This app is great for those who want to record their rehearsals or their shows.  You can upgrade the recording ability for extra money.  This app is for the iPad though.

    The last app is cheaper but will leave you wanting more.  First is the Imachine.  This app has some great features- playing velocity scale in real time for each drum pad- that is fun to play.  The drum machine syncs with music, it sounds okay and is relatively easy to use.  You can import music or record your own samples.   It is not extensive as the apps listed above and mixing music is not quite as easy but is great for individuals practicing and improving.

    If you want a true recording studio feel- GarageBand is a great choice for Recording music with your iPhone and iPad and the Multitrak DAW is great for the iPad.  Of course if you do not want to spend 14.99, the Imachine is a good choice for both the iPad and iPhone.

     

     

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    Top 5 Teenagers Apps http://gadgetgrave.com/top-5-teenagers-apps/ http://gadgetgrave.com/top-5-teenagers-apps/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 18:12:10 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4302 With the smartphone boom, it is great as a parent to be able to track your teenagers and know where they are and what they are doing.  These are the Top 5 Teenagers Apps currently on the market.

    1. instagram-logo-vector-download-i14Instagram- this app reminds of what Twitter would be if people only posted pictures or vidoes and they can be shared on social networking sites like Facebook.    Teenagers take pictures of themselves, their friends and daily activities and post- using hash tags.  You can comment on the pictures and there are many little “games” played on the like TBH (To Be Honest) and DRH (Date, Rate, Hate).  If you ask this mom, this app is monitored quite regularly to make sure pictures are clean and there is no bullying (whether from my kids or others toward my kids.).  On good thing- parents need to know- is that the “profiles” can be private and even if someone follows you, unless you accept their request- the person cannot see your pictures.  I have gotten onto many of my “adoptive daughters” (mine KNOWS better) for posting their phone numbers on pictures.  Instagram is free on iTunes as well as the Google Play Store. (http://reviews.cnet.com/software/instagram-ios/4505-3513_7-35416720.html)  you can login to the app from the computer but you can do anything from the computer- it is strictly an app.
    2. Snapchat-flashy-featuresSnapchat- My daughter and her friends LOVE this app.  She spends her time “snapchatting” her boyfriend while she is texting him or her friends.  With Snapchat, you can take pictures and send them- they disappear and cannot be viewed again after up to 10 seconds.   Snapchat has its good points but I am not a big fan of this app because I am really nosey about what my kids say, send, post and this app does not allow me that luxury.  I limit the people she “snapchats” to limit problems or issues from arising PLUS I am constantly looking into her room and keeping my eye on my kids.  (http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fathers-social-media/p/Snapchattm)
    3. tumblr_logotype_white_blue_512Tumblr- another popular app that teens visit.  Teenagers love to go and look at sayings, get ideas for hair and makeup plus post their ideas.  I have seen funny items and have taken “Tumblr” pictures- you know the pictures where 2 friend’s hands make a heart among other ideas.The app is not too bad but does require monitoring like any other site.  Reviews discuss the pros and cons.  Pros are that it is easy to use, mostly visual, free and great for beginners.  The cons are that there is learning curve, a tin text field and the domain names have to be registered with another provider.  As long as it is monitored it is as harmless as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2195458,00.asp).  The app is free on iTunes as well as Google Play Store.
    4. We<3it- this app collects pictures and seems to be similar to Pinterest.  You can browse items others have added, plus add your own.  Also there are “canvases” that you can reorganize as well as add categories.  Teens visit this site more than Pinterest probably because it gives ideas and has sayings that teenagers are looking for.  The site does not seem to be dangerous since there are little “personal” pictures and more items people find they love from the Internet.  http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.weheartit.com rates the site 4 out of 5 stars.
    5. Ask.fm is another popular site among teens and is banned from this house.  The site allows questions and answers to be posted “anonymously”.  The problem with this site is that many questions tend to be personal and there are circumstances of cyber-bullying on this site.   Many of my daughter’s friends use this site and post on Instagram a “link” to their Ask.fm and encourage individuals to post questions and answers to questions.  I have seen bullying take place within this “social network” site and as a parent, do not allow its use.  I encourage other parents to review this app, what their child is posting and what is being posted about the questions asked.  http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/askfm

    Parents need to understand the popular apps their kids are on and what happens on these apps.  There are so many ways that our children are exposed to different people’s ideas, taste and cultures through these sites but at the same time, it can allow bullying, sexting and other unhealthy ideas to take place.  As a parent, knowing, understanding and being involved- even nosey- in your children’s affairs will help you protect and know what your children are doing when you are not looking.

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    Game Console vs Mobile Devices http://gadgetgrave.com/game-console-vs-mobile-devices/ http://gadgetgrave.com/game-console-vs-mobile-devices/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:48:40 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4300 With cellphone technology jumping leaps and bounds, one question pops into my mind:  Will gaming consoles lose ground?  The portability of the mobile phone coupled with the new technology allowing for gameplay is gaining a strong following.  Games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Birds have captured followers plus popular games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have mobile versions but the mobile world is not quite ready to conquer the console world.

    It is true that gaming on mobile devices are increasing at an alarming rate – 126 million players expected to rise to 144 million http://tiny.cc/773fmx and mobile gaming devices like the PSP Vita has not topped expected sales but there are pros and cons to mobile gaming.

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    First, lets review the pros.  Mobile devices have added great features to their cell phones – with increased RAM, CPU speeds and graphics.  Another great asset with gaming on the cell phone is cost.  There are tons of free games and most other games do not run more than about ten bucks apiece.  Some games have decent story lines, taking its cues from classics- such as the old Warcraft, or developed a version for the cellphones like Grand Theft Auto.  These games have brought lots of money to the gaming industry and the cellphone industry has introduced us to Clash of the Clans, and Grand Theft Auto has several mobile versions available.  The number one top paid game is Minecraft- started out on PC, went to mobile devices before it hit the console market.

     

    One con that mobile devices have against taking over the console world is graphics.  Consoles have great graphics- that increase with each device.  Phone graphics are better than they were but not quite as good as consoles .   Also, cellphone are limited with space.  Great games have great graphics that require speed, space and memory- all are limited (At the moment) with the cell industry, Game consoles still produce fast- little lag- gaming.   Smartphones have HDMI capability (requires extra purchases) but it still does not compare to the console connected to the television http://tiny.cc/qa4fmx.

    With the increased mobile gaming industry, the next wave could be games that cross paths- play on your Xbox or Playstation and while out and about- check in with you mobile device.    It is completely feasible to begin a game on the computer and continue on your mobile device.

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    With the increase of mobile devices being used for games, one begs the question- is the console dead?  I do not think that the smartphone will kill the console. Computer gaming use to rank high- higher than consoles.  Over time, consoles seem to have overtaken the gaming world, but there are still games such as- Diablo, Everquest and World of Warcraft that dominate the computer world and keep computer gaming alive.  Consoles may need to adjust and change but mobile devices will not kill the consoles- bruise them- but there will always be those games and followers that keep gamers glued to consoles.

     

     

    With cellphone technology jumping leaps and bounds, one question pops into my mind:  Will gaming consoles lose ground?  The portability of the mobile phone coupled with the new technology allowing for gameplay is gaining a strong following.  Games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Birds have captured followers plus popular games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have mobile versions but the mobile world is not quite ready to conquer the console world.

    game-console-vs-mobile-devices-2

    It is true that gaming on mobile devices are increasing at an alarming rate – 126 million players expected to rise to 144 million http://tiny.cc/4b4fmx and mobile gaming devices like the PSP Vita has not topped expected sales but there are pros and cons to mobile gaming.

    First, lets review the pros.  Mobile devices have added great features to their cell phones – with increased RAM, CPU speeds and graphics.  Another great asset with gaming on the cell phone is cost.  There are tons of free games and most other games do not run more than about ten bucks apiece.  Some games have decent story lines, taking its cues from classics- such as the old Warcraft, or developed a version for the cellphones like Grand Theft Auto.  These games have brought lots of money to the gaming industry and the cellphone industry has introduced us to Clash of the Clans, and Grand Theft Auto has several mobile versions available.  The number one top paid game is Minecraft- started out on PC, went to mobile devices before it hit the console market.

    game-console-vs-mobile-devices-1

    One con that mobile devices have against taking over the console world is graphics.  Consoles have great graphics- that increase with each device.  Phone graphics are better than they were but not quite as good as consoles.   Also, cellphone are limited with space.  Great games have great graphics that require speed, space and memory- all are limited (At the moment) with the cell industry, Game consoles still produce fast- little lag- gaming.   Smartphones have HDMI capability (requires extra purchases) but it still does not compare to the console connected to the television http://tiny.cc/2c4fmx.

    With the increased mobile gaming industry, the next wave could be games that cross paths- play on your Xbox or Playstation and while out and about- check in with you mobile device.    It is completely feasible to begin a game on the computer and continue on your mobile device.

    With the increase of mobile devices being used for games, one begs the question- is the console dead?  I do not think that the smartphone will kill the console.  Computer gaming use to rank high- higher than consoles.  Over time, consoles seem to have overtaken the gaming world, but there are still games such as- Diablo, Everquest and World of Warcraft that dominate the computer world and keep computer gaming alive.  Consoles may need to adjust and change but mobile devices will not kill the consoles- bruise them- but there will always be those games and followers that keep gamers glued to consoles.

     

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    Fake Samsung Devices http://gadgetgrave.com/fake-samsung-devices/ http://gadgetgrave.com/fake-samsung-devices/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:39:29 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4298 How to keep from getting a fake Samsung Galaxy!

    With the increasing popularity of Samsung devices, it’s no wonder there are clones.  These phone seem to be a Samsung device but if you know what to look for, then you can spot the fake.  These cloned Samsung devices have become increasingly hard to spot.  These devices are increasing adding original features.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-3

    So, you wondering how to spot the clone and avoid paying what is a lot of money and seemingly a good deal? Recently, we have had several individuals enter into the store with imitation Galaxy SIII and Galaxy SV.  Both were brought into our store due to small issues and as we inspected these devices- our techs spotted the fake phones and we had to break the news to the customer.

    What did we see in the phones to tell they were not real?  First, examine the back.  The back of the clone has the “Samsung” name only.  The real Samsung has “galaxy S(III, IV or V) and usually the carrier name (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular).  Also, the LED light on the real Samsung is white while the fake LED light is yellow.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-4

    Also, boot up the phone and look at programs that are on the phone.  The clones usually have apps that are not standard to the real Galaxy phones.  Some of the layout of apps as well as general look of the android system is different.  If you do not know what to look for, check YouTube for videos to help you determine what the phone should look like booting up and the way it’s laid out in the system.

    for the SV

    for the SIV

    for S2, 3, and 4.)

     

    While the phone is on, the resolution of the fake is not as good as the original.  The images taken by the fake Samsung is dull and lackluster compared to the original.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-1

    Another way is to open up the back and examine the back.  The screws are different, sometimes the battery, SIM and SD card layout is different.   The Samsung original battery contains a serial number and “production numbers” while the clone batteries do not.

    The USA is not the only country flooded with fake devices.  International Business Times reported that Germany seized over 250 fake Samsung S4 phones that had shipped from Hong Kong.  http://tiny.cc/a2yfmx

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-2I am not saying that buying Chinese “clones” is a terrible idea- if you know it is a clone, they may make decent phones (you will get what you paid for).  If the person selling the phone is selling you a fake Galaxy S device- then buyer beware.  There are several “Android” devices that copy the Samsung theme which work well but on thing to consider is, what it will take to fix that device.  It is hard to get access to the parts and most times, the great deal phone- cannot be fixed.  Sticking to the original will save time and money in the long run.

    http://tiny.cc/22yfmx

    http://tiny.cc/s3yfmx

     

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    Plants vs. Zombies 2 http://gadgetgrave.com/plants-vs-zombies-2/ http://gadgetgrave.com/plants-vs-zombies-2/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:30:55 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4314 I started playing Plants vs. Zombies to just relax my mind but realized this game takes some brainpower.  If you have played the game- here are a few details.  Your purpose is to plant different plants.  These plants attack using different types of weapons – with a few “barrier” plants.  I wish it was as easy as planting the plants, growing them and they attack but no.  When you first begin the game- you have to plant sunflowers- these increase “sun” production and you collect the suns (they work as money) in order to buy the plants to defend your “house” from the zombie attack.  Each level gets harder- requiring strategic planning- this game works your brain a little; it can be fun and frustrating all at once.

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies-2The sequel holds the same charm but the style is slightly different.  Instead of defeating zombies with increased strength and complex, the sequel offers different challenges that must happen- such as protecting “endangered plants” or defeating zombies with plants given to you.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).

    The characters and worlds have increased in difficulty.  The Pirate Seas, you fight to defend your brains from attacks from zombies hot in cannons, swinging in by rope and being carried by birds and parrots that attack and carry your plants off into the sky.  (http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/17/plants-vs-zombies-2-review).   The Wild West takes up “planting space” with railroads and zombies that jump behind your plants to eat them.  The Ancient Egypt is the first and has zombies that create sand tornadoes and tombstones that protect the zombies from your plants.

     

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies-3

    The plants are cute.  There are boomerang plants, lettuce heads that throw lettuce and these cute “spring beans” The “string beans” send pirates off the deck and into the water.  Another difference is the ability to “feed” your plants special “leaves” which allows you “super strength” temporarily.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).  Experimenting with different plants and their “special powers” allows another step into the plan of saving your brains.

     

    One downfall is money.  The game is free to download and play but if you want the cool plants, more sun or any extras- you have to pay for it.  I am not opposed of spending money but do not have extra money to spend on game “accessories.”  Unlocking every plant will set you back $20 and the different worlds about $5.  Not a bad price for a free app.  Of course you can purchase this game for the PC or gaming console as well.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).

     

    The game has highly rated with an iTunes rating of 4.5 out of 5 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies-2/id597986893?mt=8) and a 4 out of 5 stars from the Google Play store.  (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.game.pvz2_na&hl=en).

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies

    This game has taken China by storm.  The sequel is the top-ranked game with over 4 million downloads for the first 6 months of its release.  Plants vs Zombies is a game for all ages as I was introduced to the game by my 2 year old nephew (do not worry Tim, I have a few games to introduce to Noah when he is older) and a good way to deal with the stress of the day.

     

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    Sea Salt Solar Panels http://gadgetgrave.com/sea-salt-solar-panels/ http://gadgetgrave.com/sea-salt-solar-panels/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:00:43 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4316 Solar panels are a great way to conserve fuels, use a free natural source for energy and is great for the environment.  One problem with solar panels- they are great for the environment EXCEPT for one of the ingredients used in making the panels- cadmium chloride.  The substance is highly toxic as well as expensive.  The cadmium chloride is used to boost efficiency of solar cells.   Scientists have discovered that magnesium chloride (as known as salt) boosts the same cells as the cadmium chloride with greater benefits.  For one, salt costs a fraction of the cost – about 0.3% the cost of cadmium chloride.  Another benefit is environmental impact- salt has little safety concerns as well as environmental.  The cost of sodium free magnesium salt is $1 for a kilogram – far less expensive than the $300 for a kilogram of cadmium chloride.  (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/).    Magnesium Chloride- Salt without the sodium can be found in Tofu as well as salt-free salt.

    images

    The cost to buy cadmium chloride is a drop in the expensive of the material.  Manufacturers spend millions of money- not to produce the solar panels with the material but to protect its workers from the toxicity of the chemical and to dispose of the chemical remnants per safety procedures.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

    solar-salt-head-590x330

    Sea salt  (with sodium) can be harvested from places like the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake.   There is an abundance of salt and with its price and little negative effects on the environment- it is a great choice to build cheap solar panels that can become a power worldwide (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/).   Not only is the cost cheaper to buy but there are little toxicity issues leading to cheaper cost for manufactures.  Plus disposal costs will be almost nonexistent due to the fact it is a basically salt.

    solar-salt-2

     

    The technology was developed at Liverpool University what have been trying to find a safer alternative to the toxic cadmium chloride.  According to Dr. Jon Major- the discovery could drive the cost of solar panels down to the cost of fossil fuels.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).   With the cost of the solar panels declining, the idea of solar panel farms and solar panels on more houses is feasible.

     

    The downfall to this discovery is there needs to be more discoveries.  With the cadmium chloride replaced, the technology can only expand so far.  Another key ingredient is that the panels require tellurium- an extremely rare element.  There is not enough of this element to outfit every house with solar panels.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

     

    The great thing about solar panels is that there is enough sunlight on Earth- every hour to generate enough electricity for the planet for a year.  Sunlight is a great way to cut our independence on fossil fuels.  Each step forward increases our chances of becoming more environmentally friendly.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

     

    Our continuation to better our planet will help increase the longevity of Earth for many years to come.  With the progress science is made, solar panels will (hopefully) gain momentum and become a great source of renewable energy.

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