Remain calm. We are not going to talk about the features of Apple’s new Watch. Enough ink has already been spilled there to float this newspaper for the next thousand years. And the watch isn’t even out yet! Let’s talk about smartphones instead; hardly anybody ever talks about those.
The worst feature of a smart phone is its fast-draining battery. As we’ve written before, an app like the free “Battery Doctor” helps with that. But the most important thing, we’ve found, is to tap “settings” and turn off Wi-Fi. After that, decrease your screen brightness. And use a program like the free “Clean Master” to get rid of junk files.
What are smart watches good for? Not much. The dirty little secret of smart watches is that you have to have a smart phone in your pocket or bag or they don’t do much. Sales, as you might expect, have been less than torrid. For the forthcoming Apple Watch, next year, for example, you’ll have to have an iPhone too.
Here’s an app for those who get a lot of calls on their cell phones and hate to be interrupted in the middle of an email or a fun game. “Call PopOut,” for Android phones, mutes the call or rejects it while you keep reading or playing. Disable PopOut when you want incoming calls.
Interesting new android tablet from a company we never heard of: Astak. It’s called a Neos, costs a bit under $500 and is permanently mounted on an inclined stand. The whole thing is much heavier than a tablet alone, and you wouldn’t want to hold it in your lap. In fact, our initial reaction was negative. Like: who needs this? Now we love it. It’s like having a small TV in the kitchen. Listen to music, watch news and lectures, display recipes as you work, play games. It seems to be waterproof, though we don’t want to try dunking it in the sink. Many apps are available offline, others require the Internet, cabled or wireless. It also takes camera cards […]
“Front Flash,” a free Android app, lets you take “selfies” in the dark. A “selfie” is a picture you take of yourself with a smart phone. There’s no flash on a phone’s front-facing camera, so selfies taken in the dark are dark. But a sophomore at the College of Charleston, S.C., figured out how to use a phone’s bright screen as the flash. It’s new but already has had a couple hundred thousand downloads.