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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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2 years 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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2 years 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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2 years 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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2 years 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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2 years 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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2 years ago

How to manually install Adobe Flash Player on your Android device

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​New devices will soon be unable to get Adobe Flash from Google Play. Here's how to install it manually.

From today, for some new devices, Adobe Flash Player will no longer be available from Google Play, marking the end of Flash’s brief flirtation with Android. That means if you want to get hold of Flash on an Android device that doesn't ship with it, you’ll need to resort to a little bit of trickery. Fortunately, though, it’s pretty easy to get Flash up and running manually, assuming you understand the risks.

Join us after the break to find out how to manually install a legacy version of Adobe Flash Player on your Android phone or tablet.

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2 years ago

How to hack your Nexus 7 the right way

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For many, the Nexus 7 will be their first experience with one of Google's own branded Android devices. If you're interested in hacks of any sort on your phone or tablet, there really is no other option than to go Nexus. As we like to point out, we're constantly amazed by the posts our forum members put up when it comes to hacks, rooting and loading custom ROMs. This one is no exception.

Forum moderator dmmarck has put together a fantastic guide to help you along the path of all things Nexus 7, with step-by-step tutorials for all of your hacking needs. From the basic bootloader unlock and root, to more advanced flashing of custom ROMs and mods, it's all covered here. The best part about having a guide like this is the continued discussion and support after the first post. Any questions or comments you have can go right there to be answered. The sky is the limit when it comes to hacking a Nexus device, but remember it's always nice to have a way to get back to stock when things get a little out of hand. Thankfully, there's another fantastic post in the forums to help you do just that.

So let's go hit the forums and hack the Nexus 7 -- and even learn a thing or two along the way.

[GUIDE] Release the Kraken! Rooting & Hacking Your Nexus 7

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2 years ago

How to: Sync OS X 10.8 Notes with your Android device

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While we're all about the little green robot in this part of the Mobile Nations, when it comes to computers there are a good few of you out there rocking an Apple desktop or laptop. The latest incarnation of OS X, 10.8 Mountain Lion -- check out our sister site iMore if you haven't already -- brings a number of iOS flavored additions to the desktop environment. Using iCloud, new apps such as reminders and notes can sync with an iOS device so you have all of your stuff, all of the time. But, what if you use an Android phone or tablet, and a Mac? Can you get some everything everywhere syncing too? Of a fashion, yes.

The stock calendar, contacts and mail apps built into Mountain Lion will still continue to sync your Google stored information to your desktop. No issues there. But what about Notes? Despite having possibly the worst font ever put onto a computer screen, the stock Notes app is pretty handy. It's always there, or not far away at worst, and is as good a way as any of just jotting down some quick points. Everyone has a different preference, but personally I haven't found a total all-encompassing note taking solution that I like. So I make notes everywhere, including on my Mac. We're never in front of a computer for that long though, so it'd be pretty swell if we could take our notes with us and luckily Apple has made it really straight forward. It only works one way though, so while you can edit notes on your Mac and sync them with your Android device, it won't work the other way. Still, it can be done, so we'll show you how. 

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2 years ago

From the mail bag: Managing two-step authentication for the ROM addict

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Jean15paul writes,

I just read the article on using 2-step and I want to start using it, but I'm a ROM flasher.  How do I manage?  I think this could make a great article.

We think it could make a great article, too, Jean15paul. And it goes for users with more than one mobile device as well as flashers and ROM-a-holics. As safe as two-step authentication is, it was clearly designed for folks with one phone, and one computer, who don't like to erase and re-install either one. Unfortunately, this is a hard hurdle to cross.

The easy way, and the way I'm lucky enough to be able to do it, is with an old Android phone that's a dedicated authenticator. I reverted my Nexus One back to stock, and installed the authenticator app. I also use an authenticator for Blizzard games, so this worked well for me. I keep the phone charged, and any time I need a code I can start it up and get one -- until the power button goes out again, that is. This way I'm not ever locked out of my Google account, which can happen when flashing ROMS or jumping to a new phone.

Of course, that's not a good solution for most folks. If you have an old Android device laying around, I really recommend you try it (as well as printing out your 15 one-time use codes). If you don't have access to another Android phone, which is going to be most of us, things are a little bit rougher. The best solution I can find is to disable two-step authentication from the web (in your Google account settings) before you wipe and flash a new ROM. Once you're satisfied that it's worth keeping for a few days, re-enable it and go through the set-up with application specific passwords again. It's a lot of work, and adds a good bit of time to your set-up every time you flash a ROM. But it's also the best way to guarantee you're not locked out of your Google account.

Of course, since it's a pain in the you-know-what, most folks aren't going to do it. Never mind what you know, or what you've heard is best for your online safety, people always like to take the easy way out. With that in mind, I want to share a little nugget of wisdom passed on to me by a teacher about passwords. Long passwords with upper case and lower case letters are very difficult to crack. They are also difficult to remember. To make the remembering part easier, use the first line from a favorite song all in one word. For example, ItsAllRightIfYouLoveMeItsAllRightIfYouDont is a password that probably won't ever get cracked, but is easy for me to remember. It's just a pain to type out on an on-screen keyboard. But it's still better than being hacked.

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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