ANDROID TIPS AND TRICKS

Consumer Reports ranks the Samsung Galaxy Android S4 as better than the iPhone, and 52 percent of U.S. smartphone owners have an Android phone. Here are some Android tips for that silent majority:

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KEEPING IT CLEAN

“Clean Master” is a free app for clearing out junk files and restoring privacy to your Android phone.

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MUTE THAT CALL

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.

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A NEW KIND OF COMPUTER

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 […]

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ORGANIZING STUFF ON YOUR ANDROID PHONE

Stuff on an Android phone tends to pile up. We hardly ever delete photos, apps or text messages. “SnapPea,” a free app, came to the rescue.

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TAKING A “SELFIE” IN THE DARK

“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.

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ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS

One of the nice things about Android phones is the ability to set up separate accounts for each user. That way, you see your work screen when you’re doing work, and your personal screen when you’re at play. And, you can set up personal accounts for the kids.

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APP HAPPY EXERCISE

“Daily Arm Workout,” “Daily Ab Workout” and “Daily Leg Workout” give you five to ten minute work-out sessions. The instructor doesn’t see what you’re doing, but you see her and that’s enough. Joy likes them and is still trying to talk Bob into them.

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JOY LOSES HER SMART PHONE

Joy lost her Samsung “Galaxy Relay” smart phone. She chose it initially because it has a tiny slide-out keyboard. But that proved awkward to use, so last night we faced the loss of the old phone and went out and bought a new Samsung Galaxy S3. Very nice.

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ICE CREAM

We found a bug in our Android Ice Cream Sandwich. All we wanted to do was transfer photos from our camera to the web. But since we didn’t have Jelly Bean, the latest Android system, things didn’t go sweetly.

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