The latest Android operating system, “M,” isn’t out yet, but here are the features getting the most buzz. — “Permissions.” One of the scariest things about downloading an app today is having to tap “Accept” to give the app permission over a dozen different areas. That won’t happen with M. The app will only ask permission for something when it needs it. — “Doze” notices when your phone is at rest and shuts down unnecessary programs running in the background. According to Google, this makes the battery last 50 percent longer before a recharge. — “Android Pay” is now more like “Apple Pay.” It’s easier to use. After signing up with a credit card, you can buy things by holding […]
After we temporarily lost our cell phone, we added a lock code. Now, no one can get in unless they know the code, but it’s frustrating to have to type it in every time the screen goes dark, which happens in just one minute of idleness. With the new Lollipop operating system, available on phones with Android 5.0, the phone is more responsive to your environment.
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 […]