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1 year ago

How to share Instagram pics on Google+ (or anywhere else)

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Here's one we get asked quite often: How do you share from Instagram to Google+? After all, there's no way to automatically post to Google+ from Instagram like there is to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr. And while that's a shame, it's also indicative of how tightly Google continues to run things with its fledgling social network. And with Facebook having purchased Instagram earlier this year for the paltry sum of $1 billion, it's also something we're not likely to see change anytime soon.

But you can share your pics (and only yours) from Instagram to Google+. It's quite simple, really, even if it's a tad hidden. In fact, you can share Instagram pics to any other app that accepts sharing intents from Android. And it's just one extra step.

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1 year ago

Nexus 7 gets thorough teardown and repair video

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The Nexus 7 has been out for a while, plenty long enough for some to have accidentally dropped and possibly broken it. It's terrible, but not all accidents can be avoided. We've seen the teardown pictures before, but sometimes you need a video walkthrough to help if you're interested in having a go at fixing the device yourself. Luckily, the folks over at DirectFix have taken the time to thoroughly tear down to Nexus 7 on camera and point out the important parts of repairing the device.

After watching the video, the Nexus 7 looks surprisingly easy to disassemble, but probably isn't something you should be doing just for fun. Remember, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Source: DirectFix YouTube

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1 year ago

Prepaid: Not just for burner phones anymore

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My phone works just like yours. It makes calls, sends texts and has a high-speed data connection with nationwide coverage. As a matter of fact, I have the same device as many of you, a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That’s all run-of-the-mill, so why’s this important? I pay $45 every month to use my phone.

“That’s crazy,” you might be saying, “I pay more for my data plan than you pay for your entire phone bill”. You’re right, it is kind of crazy. The cost of cellphone service in the United States is quite astronomical when compared to services around the world. The common misconception, however, is that there are no other options if you want to pay less for your service.

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1 year ago

Weekend project: DIY USB on-the-go from old cables

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USB on-the-go cables are handy as heck with Android devices. They're a specially wired cable that allows the same USB port you use to charge or communicate with a computer to be used to connect USB peripherals right to your tablet or phone. That means things like game controllers, mice or keyboards, USB thumb drives, or even USB hard drives if you have access to an older model one with a separate power supply.

There are no set and fast rules about what USB gadgets you can and can't use, or if you'll need root to do anything with them but in general "standard" Android devices won't allow you to mount a USB thumb drive without being rooted and having a way to send the commands to mount the device, and Samsung devices running Android 4.0 or higher will. Most devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher will recognize game controllers, mice, or keyboards. For more information about your particular device, head into the forums and ask the hackers -- they know everything in there.

Before we get started, know up front that this is not the best way to get a USB OTG cable. The easy way is to order one from Amazon for a buck or so, and wait for it to be delivered. But I know I'm not the only smartphone geek who has cables laying around and would rather do-it-myself. It's fun, it saves a buck, gets some of that junk you just can't bring yourself to throw away used up, and offers instant gratification. If you're semi-handy with a soldering iron, have the parts, it's fun and it's for you. Read on past the break.

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1 year ago

Headset controls on the Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean

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Headset controls are something that iPhone users have taken for granted all of these years, with standardized volume up/down and play/pause buttons that work universally if the accessory is "made for iPhone". Poking around on my Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean and using the included Samsung earbuds, the in-line mic and button seem to work just as gracefully. Join me after the break for a quick video showing many ways the Galaxy Nexus’ headset can be used.

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1 year ago

Latest Dropbox beta adds 2-step verification

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Many of us use Dropbox in varying capacities (see what I did there?), and when we do, we often use it as crucial backup storage for data that's important to us. If it wasn't important, we probably wouldn't bother backing it up now would we? If you take your security seriously, and by now we hope you all do, you should be jumping for joy that Dropbox has added 2-step verification sign in to its latest betas.

The latest Dropbox beta follows the same principle that Google's 2-step verification does. In order to access your account you need two things: 1) something you know -- your password and 2) something you have -- your phone. And there's really no reason not to take security into your own hands and add that second level in order to help prevent the worst from happening. If you haven't already, go pick up the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store at the link above, and if you're interested in setting up 2-step verification for your account, see us after the break for a better in-depth explanation

Source: Dropbox forums; via The Verge

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1 year ago

From the Android Forums: Managing recovery versions

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Shiny Top asks in the Android Central forums,

I have two Galaxy Nexus phones, bought 3 weeks apart. I have uninstalled Rom Manager from both.

One, when I reboot into recovery, has CWM Recovery version 5.8.0.2 and the other has 6.0.1.0.1. The 5 version has larger letters and can be controlled by touch or volume and power button. The 6 version can only be controlled by the volume and power buttons. I don't know how to change the version and wonder if anybody can enlighten me. I prefer the 5 version if that matters.

We're glad you asked. There's two ways to install ClockworkMod recovery on your G Nex -- an easy way and a less-easy way. Let's hit the break and have a look at the methods.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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1 year ago

From the Android Forums: Multiple Google accounts on one device for Google Play

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Super Turtleman asks in the Android forums,

My kids are getting to the age where they're about to start having Android devices. I'd like to create a master account I can have on my phone (separate from my current google account) that I can use to download apps onto my kid's devices. Is there a simple way to do this? Can I have two different google accounts on one device and have them not interfere with each other?

Lucky kids! We think it's great that you're exposing your children to Android, and even better that you're exploring options to provide them with awesome games and apps. The good news is, what you want to do is easy!

Open Google Play on your device, and tap the action bar (or menu button, as the case may be), and select "Accounts" from the list. A new window will open, listing the current active Google accounts in use on your phone or tablet. If the account you want to use is not listed, tap the "Add account" button and follow the prompts to add a new or existing Google account. Make sure this account is selected when purchasing an app, and the app will be available on any Android device using the account in question.

Add this account to your child's Android devices, select in in Google Play, then download and install all the apps you have purchased. It's worth noting that you can tell the Google Play app that you only want to purchase apps or media, or make in-app purchases, by using a PIN. This keeps the kids from being able to charge up your account, and allows you to monitor applications being bought.

It's not quite device profiles, but it's a good way to do what you're looking for. 

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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1 year ago

Kies for Mac and Mountain Lion not working? Here's a solution [From the Forums]

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If you're on a Mac and frequent using Kies for syncing your device, you may have noticed it doesn't really play well with Apple's latest and greatest OS, Mountain Lion. Sure, it'll find your device when attached but when you go to synch your device it'll never work. Samsung has yet to update Kies for Mountain Lion but if you're in desperate need to use it, Android Central Forums member Nashstruck has a work-around that is fairly easy to make use of:

Solution :

  • Download Samsung Kies: http://j.mp/dlkiesz
  • Open the DMG
  • Right click on the "kies20mac_s9218.pkg", then open it with "The Unarchiver"
  • You should see a file named "kies20mac_s9218", open it.
  • Right click on the "contents.pkg", and click "Show Package Contents"
  • Double click "Payload", it will create a folder named "Payload 2 2", double click it.
  • Double click "Applications" and then you will see Kies, drag it to the application folder, installation complete!

After that is all done, you'll want to go into the Kies settings under preferences and disable the 'Notify when updates are available', this will prevent Kies from updating and giving you OS errors once again. Restart Kies once that is done and then, enjoy syncing your device. Hopefully, Samsung will get their butts in gear and update Kies to include Mountain Lion support but for now, this will work fine as kind.

Discuss: Android Central Forums

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1 year ago

What are delta updates (and why you'll forget about it tomorrow)

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You're probably seeing a bit of news that the delta updates for Play store applications that Google talked about at I/O 2012 have went live today. Coders, web developers, and Android geeks love this sort of thing, but I'll imagine quite a few of you are asking yourself what these new delta updates mean for me, and do I need to do anything or worry about it? Let's try to answer that.

A delta update is a broad term that means only changes to a package will be downloaded and the changes will be merged into the existing files inside the package. In this case, the package is the apk file that's installed on your phone. To try and keep things simple as possible, let's use an imaginary app called Cool Widget. If you already have Cool Widget installed on your phone or tablet, and the developer makes a change that gives it a new background, you won't have to download the whole thing. Google will do a version check, then send out a patch that merges changes the developer made with the files you already have. Besides the obvious -- the new background image itself -- there may be changes to some of the code, or in the manifest file, so you'll get a delta update that copies the new image to the apk file, erases the old, and merges those code changes in. It's new for applications in Google Play, but it's how Google has been sending out OTA updates for Nexus devices (and a few others) for a while now. In the end, it means less data is used and sent.

For users (that's you and me!) it's not a big deal. Sure, we'll save a little bit of bandwidth by only downloading parts of a big file, but the really big downloads (think game assets) are usually hosted elsewhere and installed after the app is loaded the first time. Every byte saved counts though, especially if you don't have unlimited data. Just don't go thinking this will make a difference in your monthly allotment -- keep using Wifi to download big stuff if you need to monitor your usage. The real benefit is to Google, who serves millions of files through Google Play every day. Small amount add up quickly when you're talking millions, and less data being sent means less bandwidth and server time used. 

As for what we need to do, that one's easy -- nothing. This was a server side change. Keep on installing and using apps from Google Play as you always have, and update them just like you're used to doing. The best changes are transparent to the users, and this is one of those cases. Nothing about the way you install or update your apps has changed. Google does a lot of things that confuse (and infuriate) us, but this time they did it right. In fact, if it weren't for all the eyes of some smart people on the Internet, we wouldn't even know it was changed. 

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