Nokia is taking itself down a new path in the lower end of the market with the Nokia X, but is it any good?
Back on Feb. 24 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the press – including us – were gathered around the Nokia booth to listen to what Stephen Elop was about to introduce. What came after that was the Nokia X. (And its siblings, the better-spec'd Nokia X+, and the larger and better Nokia XL.) At long last, a Nokia smartphone powered by Android. Only, not quite.
Sure, it's Android running on the Nokia X. But it's Android in a form unlike any other we've seen before. What Nokia introduced that day was its own take on how an Android smartphone should look and feel. The short version; a Windows Phone-inspired homescreen and absolutely no Google anywhere to be found. And not since the Moto G did a low-end handset create such discussion.
Elop emphasized during the presentation that the Nokia X was for Microsoft's cloud, not Google's. It's all about getting folks into Microsoft's services. So this isn't an Android phone like most that cross our paths, but it's still a potentially important device. So we've tracked one down and spent a little time getting to know it. Head on past the break and take a look.
Don't deal with bad public wifi, just use your Galaxy S5's connection instead
Turning your smartphone into a mobile hotspot can save you from painfully slow public WiFi or the crappy free internet your hotel provides. With a battery that can last hours, the Galaxy S5 is the perfect companion for times when you need your own dedicated wireless connection. You may need to make sure you've got a proper plan with your carrier, though.
Here's how to use the mobile hotspot feature:
How to turn the Samsung Galaxy S5 into a wireless hotspot
Swipe down from the Home screen of your Galaxy S5 to pull now the Notifications shade.
Tap on the Settings icon in the top right.
Now find Tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot and tap on it to select it.
In the next menu, tap on Mobile Hotspot.
Turn it On at the top by tapping on the On/Off toggle.
Hit OK on the Attention screen advising you that WiFi will be turned off.
Follow the directions at the bottom of the screen to connect another device to your Galaxy S5.
How to change the password and security type for wireless hotspot on the Galaxy S5
By default your Samsung Galaxy S5 adds a password to the mobile hotspot feature. It also defaults to WPA2 for security. If you want to change either of these settings, follow these steps:
Swipe down from the Home screen of your Galaxy S5 to pull down the Notifications shade.
Tap on the Settings icon in the top right.
Now tap on Tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot.
Choose Mobile Hotspot.
Tap on the three dots in the upper right to view more options.
In this screen go ahead and change the password or any other settings you'd like, including security type and then tap Save.
Keep in mind that some data plans may not work with mobile hotspot if your carrier doesn't allow it. If you run into issues or have problems, the first thing you should do is make sure you're on a compatible data plan with your carrier.
Continuing its recent trend of releasing its apps into the Google Play Store, Sony has now made the background defocus camera app available to download, too. Of course, you'll still need a Sony Xperia phone to use it – it plugs into the camera rather than being a standalone app – and you'll have to be on Android 4.2 and up.
Previously background defocus has been exclusive to the Xperia Z1s and the Xperia Z2. We've confirmed it's showing as compatible with the Z1 and the Z1 Compact, too. If you're curious, be sure to check out our hands on video up top.
TheScore is a sports app for Android and is getting a beefy update today which adds a new section to My Score called Feed. The new section will have a continuous update of new items you care about in one spot: leagues, teams, players, final scores, video clips, and relevant news items. This way you can track multiple games at once, and drink from the firehose of sports news.
OK, OK. Wireless charging isn't really wireless charging. At some point you have to actually plug it into something. We get that. And the Zens Qi USB wireless charger — as you might have guessed — does things just a little differently. It's powered by a USB port.
Google Street View kicked things up a bit today, now adding the ability to travel back in time. Starting today, Street View in Google Maps on desktop allow you to view historical images dating back to 2007. That's seven years worth of history for you to explore — be it in your own hometown or around the world. You can view construction projects, past events or even just the changes in seasons.
HBO and Amazon have struck up a multi-year agreement which makes Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription service for HBO's shows. As a part of the deal, the recently-launched Fire TV will get HBO Go by the end of the year.
Samsung has today announced US availability for the Galaxy Tab 4 family of Android tablets. The Tab 4 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 will be available on May 1st with pre-orders kicking off as early as tomorrow. If you're looking for rather decent hardware with some interesting features, the Tab 4 lineup is worth checking out.
Samsung has run through some of the major features of the display on the Galaxy S5. These include some subtle things like contrast enhancement in bright conditions, which improves viewing in outdoor conditions, and being able to adapt saturation and sharpness to meet the color range of ambient conditions so, for example, the screen gets a bit more yellow under blue lighting. We can see both of these qualities demonstrated in the animated GIFs below.
You'll notice in just about every non-Nexus device review we've done over there past few years that there are comments about the pre-installed apps that come on these device, and we've always wondered why they're there and who really uses them. Turns out the answer to the second part of that question is "just about nobody." Strategy Analytics dug into their AppOptix data to look at the usage patterns of real world more than 250 users of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4, and found that usage of Samsung's custom apps on these devices lags far behind that of Google's apps.
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