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4 years ago

How to change the keyboard click volume on the Nexus 7 (2013)

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Loud Nexus 7 on-screen keyboard clicking grinding your gears? You're just one setting change away from a quieter typing experience.

One of the areas in which the new Nexus 7 improves upon the original is its audio -- the new model is equipped with loud, rear-facing stereo speakers. Compared to the first Nexus 7, they're capable of generating a great deal of volume -- and that's great when you're watching a movie or listening to music, but less so when you're typing.

The Nexus 7 also lacks a vibration motor, so the built-in Google Keyboard defaults to audio feedback when you press a key. And when you combine this with those two loud speakers, it can make for a rather noisy typing experience.

Fortunately there is a setting to control the click volume, it's just hidden away a little. So here's how to make things a little quieter --

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4 years ago

Belkin WeMo light switch review: Easy, fun and worth the $50

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Off, on. Off, on — Belkin's WeMo makes controlling things fun

I think more that a few of us have plans of using our Android smartphones to control everything in our homes. You can already control things like your television, your thermostat, your car's door locks and now your lights and small electrical appliances thanks to Belkin's WeMo line of smart home automation equipment. It's easy to use, fairly easy to install, and won't cut too deep into your wallet.

The idea is simple — install Belkin's smart switches or receptacles, connect them to your home Wifi network via the Android app, and go. Belkin doesn't give away their secret sauce, but from the looks of things you're connecting your switches to the cloud, and sending commands to it from your Android. The commands come down to the always-connected switches in turn. They install like standard residential electrical products and while the Android app is still new and has a bug or two, they generally work really well. They can also connect to IFTTT, which opens up a huge library of online apps for folks who want to get really serious about automating their house.

We picked ours up from Amazon for $49 or so. Read on, and see how they worked out for me.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 FHD travel cover - it's cheap, and it's cheap

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Here's a quick look at the Nexus 7 FHD Travel Cover from ASUS — and, frankly, it's not really worth more than a quick look. What you've got is a very basic "light but durable polymer" in a folio style that gives the tablet some basic protection while allowing full access to the microphones, speakers and ports, along with the power and buttons.

This is a no-frills cover — it feels like soft-touch rubber, and the glossy ASUS logo on the back stands out nicely against the matte finish on the rest of the cover. It's plenty easy to slip the tablet inside — too easy, really. The fit leaves a bit to be desired. The front cover flips over with no resistance whatsoever, but there's no magnet to turn the display on when it's opened. 

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4 years ago

Is GPS broken on your new Nexus 7?

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Word is definitely spreading about GPS problems that a number of folk are having with the new Nexus 7 — mainly that you'll be locked on for a while, only to see the signal drop and not return until a reset, and sometimes not even then. Supposed causes are all over the place, from Google Play Services to Google Maps, Wifi on, Wifi off, to too many apps calling in a GPS signal at one time, to aliens and Area 51.(OK, maybe not that last one.)

A good seven pages (and counting) in our forums point to this being more than a localized problem at this point. We've got an e-mail in to Google to see what's what. 

In the meantime, hit up the poll after the break and let us know what you're seeing.

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4 years ago

Goal Zero solar charger review

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Off the grid and your battery's in the red? No problem.

The summer’s not over yet! If you’re finally getting around to that camping trip you’ve been putting off the last couple of months, or have the last in a long string of outings to finish off the season, odds are you’re mindful of keeping your phone and tablet powered. Never mind  those guys that keep harassing you to put away the technology and enjoy the great outdoors; you’ve got an e-book to enjoy, music to listen to, pictures to take, and hikes to navigate.

To that end, I’ve been trying out the Goal Zero Nomad 13 solar charger and Sherpa 50 Power Pack. You can also get an optional inverter and cable pack to charge your laptop or other gadget - say, a mattress inflator. The solar panel is built extremely well, surrounded by a tough canvas material. A wide array of loops all over provide plenty of fastening options. I’m not a huge fan of the mesh backing used to contain the charging cables. If you’re outside, you want to keep that stuff good and dry. Also, the front is kept shut with a rather flimsy magnet. Velcro or some kind of mechanical latch would make me feel more confident.

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4 years ago

ASUS-made Nexus 10 refresh reportedly arriving this year

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ASUS is to manufacture this year's 10-inch Nexus tablet, according to reports from Geek.com

In addition to being behind the highly-praised second-generation Nexus 7, ASUS might be about to replace Samsung as the manufacturer of a refreshed Nexus 10. That's according to Geek.com's Russell Holly, who has a pretty reliable track record in pinning down unannounced Google hardware.

Holly reports that "multiple sources" have confirmed the arrival of an ASUS-built Nexus 10 before the end of the year. Like the current Nexus 7, the new device is to be available on the Google Play Store and brick-and-mortar retailers "in time for the holiday season," according to the report. Given the success Google and ASUS have had with the Nexus 7 line, an ASUS Nexus 10 makes a lot of sense, and shows that the relationship between the two is in good health.

There's no word on what's to come in terms of internal hardware, but we'd expect an equally dazzling high-resolution display in the upcoming tablet, along with a suitably beefy CPU. It'll also be interesting to see whether ASUS is able to offer a 10-inch Nexus tablet at a lower price point than Samsung's 2012 Nexus 10.

So would you be in the market for a larger ASUS-made Nexus tablet? Be sure to shout out in the comments!

Source: Geek.com

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4 years ago

Google bringing 'relevant ads' to Maps search on mobile

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Google recently rolled out a new look for Maps on Android, bringing it in line with other Google properties and focusing on search, with a prominent search bar at the top of the screen. Now the company says it's going to start displaying local, "relevant" ads at the bottom of the screen after users search within the Maps app for Android and iOS. The new ad system, Google claims, will be "attractive for users and more effective for advertisers."

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4 years ago

New Nexus 7 hitting the UK from August 28

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We've been seeing UK Nexus 7 pre-order dates for a while, but today we have confirmation that Google and ASUS' latest 7-inch tablet will be arriving on British shores around the end of August. The Taiwanese manufacturer has confirmed to Android Central that the official UK launch date is Aug. 28, which ties in with what some retailers have been saying. (Though curiously, PC World and Currys are still listing a Sep. 13 release date.)

Retail prices for the new Nexus 7 are set to be £199.99 for the 16GB model and £239.99 for 32GB.

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4 years ago

Could NVIDIA be preparing its own-branded 'Tegra Tab?'

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Leaked images from China show tablet with camera, microHDMI, stylus slot

In the absence of major tablet design wins for its Tegra 4 chip, it seems NVIDIA might choose to follow up the Shield gaming handheld with an own-branded Android slate. The images, which have appeared on Chinese site MyDrivers, show a concave chassis which shares some design cues with the NVIDIA Shield, with "Tegra Tab" branding. Around the back there's a camera — supposedly a 5-megapixel unit — headphone jack, microUSB and microHDMI ports Interestingly, there's what seems to be a stylus slot in the top left corner. A close-up of the top right corner reveals what could be a SIM slot or some kind of secondary button.

Based on the relative size of the ports in the image, it'd seem we're dealing with a smaller tablet — something around the 7 to 8-inch mark.

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4 years ago

Google Wallet pulling support for gift, loyalty cards

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A little bit of bad news tonight if you use Google Wallet for gift cards and loyalty cards. According to an e-mail that just went out, support for NFC redemption of gift cards and loyalty cards will end on Aug. 21. Any remaining balance will have to be spent by then.

Google stresses that all other Google Wallet features remain — including the NFC tap-to-pay functionality — and even hints that "other options for gift and loyalty car redemption within Google Wallet" might be on the way.

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4 years ago

Facebook beta updated, adds a couple new options

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The beta track for the Facebook app got an update tonight. 

New in Version 3.6 is the ability to cancel a photo upload while it's in progress, and you'll like and comment on Pages recommendations.

You'll need to join Facebook's beta group if you've not done so already — and be sure to follow the instructions. (By the way, that's the same process you have to go through to take part in the beta track for our app, too.)

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4 years ago

Light Flow update adds a bevy of new features, including remote notification clearing

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Notification support added for 72 new apps, including the new Skype app

One of the most popular notification light apps, Light Flow, has received a major update today. Along with new features to support the latest version of Android, more support has been added for multiple new apps, including device-specific support:

  • Swipe away notifications
  • Remote clearing of notifications read on other devices (e.g. hangouts, email)
  • Handle restricted profiles for users
  • Support for new Gmail folders (e.g. promotions, social, updates etc)
  • Exclude notifications from sleep mode
  • Support for incoming calls
  • Samsung multi-window support
  • Better support for HTC one root users

While many of these new features are great, the most notable is surely the ability to (finally!) remotely clear notifications. This feature was made possible by a new API that was made available with the Google Play Services update.

Previously, getting a new email meant triggering Flow Light to activate an LED notification that would persist even after clearing that notification via the web or another device. Now, once that email has been checked elsewhere, Light Flow can turn off Android's LED notification, giving some clarity about new versus old notifications.

Click through the Play Store link up top to download the newest version of Light Flow.

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4 years ago

Shameless self-promotion time ...

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It's shameless self-promotion time here at Android Central. (Which is any damn time we please, actually.) If you're running Android 4.x and have yet to try out our app, now's a really good time. We're getting ready to ramp up on Version 1.4, which should bring some new features as well as some much-needed improvements in stability. 

So hit that link above, give it a go — and know that we're hard at work making it better with each version.

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4 years ago

Watch the LG G2 event all over again

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If for some reason you missed our LG G2 event liveblog yesterday, well, you missed a lot. You missed a 5.2-inch superphone that's gone and moved allt he buttons to the back, for starters. You missed a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. You missed 24-bit audio at 192 kHz. 

And that's just for starters.

Peep the full video after the break. The meat starts at 1 hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds in. The event starts at about 1:20.

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4 years ago

Best Buy finally looks to have Pebble smartwatch in decent numbers

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If you've given up hope on Pebble actually fulfilling your Kicksktarter reward, it's worth swinging by Best Buy's site today. The big-box retailer appears to actually have the smartwatch in stock — and indeed our order is already showing as having shipped. 

You can have any color you want, too, so long as it's black. And at this point, Best Buy may be your best bet. 

More: Pebble at Best Buy

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