We get it (and IT!)

Phone: 1300-728-259 or .

Category Archives: Android

6 smart ways to gain more storage on Android

“Insufficient storage available”, we all dread to see this message popping up right before taking a picture or installing a new app. Limited storage on Android device is frustrating to say the least. But it doesn’t have to be if you know how to manage storage space wisely. Here are some tips on how to free up space on your device ensuring the message doesn’t rear its ugly head.

1.Buy a microSD card

The easiest fix is to buy a microSD card, if your device is compatible that is. Do keep in mind that you cannot use the extra storage for apps or system files but only for music, videos, photos, and other media files.

2.Erase apps you don’t really use

Downloading apps are like snowballs, because before you know it there are too many of them and your device just freezes over. If that’s the case, simply delete the ones you don’t need. Deleting an app doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, you can always download it again. Normally, gaming apps take up a huge chunk of storage space. You can go to Settings > Storage and tap Apps to see how much space each app uses so that you can decide which apps to get rid of, for now.

3.Clear app cache

Apps that remain on your device will still have loads of cached files, so it might be a good time to do some spring cleaning. Don’t worry since clearing app cache will not delete important files on your device. Go to Settings > Apps then go through each app to clear its cache. Or if you want to erase all the cache in bulk, you need to go to Android’s recovery mode and choose to wipe the app cache. Since each Android device is different, you’d better google to see how to enter the recovery mode for your model.

4.Make use of the cloud

Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud and more. You name it. These are services that allow you to send your media and document files to the cloud and free up space on your device. Google Photos gives you unlimited storage for both photos and videos. The only limitation is that the size of the photos must be smaller than 16 megapixels and less than 1080p for videos. It also has an option that allows you to delete files that have been sent to the cloud. In order to do so, open Google Photos app and go to Menu > Setting, then hit Free up device storage and all the backed-up files will disappear from your device.

But for privacy’s sake, note that by using these services, you’ve granted the cloud service providers access to your files. Make sure you know which photos or videos you should sent to the cloud, since the cloud is essentially other people’s (or in this case, your cloud service provider’s) computers. It’s best that you keep naughty photos to yourself.

5.Stop storing and start streaming

Unless you are heading somewhere with no internet connection, there’s no need to store all your music files on your device. Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Napster, Tidal are some examples of music streaming services you can use, at a certain price of course. So if you’re a fan of freebies, Plex might be another viable option. Plex is a media server software that runs media content from a personal library and streams them on your device.

6.Add external storage

This option might be a little bit bulky and might require prettiness to give way to functionality. External storage comes in two forms: a plug-in drive similar to USB flash drive, and a wireless media hub. The first one enables you to download files from your device to your PC so you can have some more space left on the device. Or you can just stick the plug-in drive to your device and play files from it directly. Wireless media hubs like Western Digital MyPassport Wireless orRavpower Filehub can be used to backup your files and let you access them wirelessly. Noted that you cannot play DRM-protected music or videos with this external storage–only your own media files.

Dealing with limited storage is just one of the numerous issues regarding Android devices. Compared to its iOS counterpart, Android gives users a lot more flexibility, which means there are many more functions to be explored. Why not get in touch with us today? Our experts are ready to advise you on how to boost your overall productivity.

4 ways to print from your Android device

There was once a time when a broken laptop meant your life was flipped upside down. That’s not the case anymore as long as you have an Android device with you. Everyone knows that you can check emails, edit documents stored in the cloud, and make video calls as well. What few seem to realize is that you can also print from your Android too. If that’s what you’re looking to do, here are four options to choose from.

Google Cloud Print to print from your Android

The wonder that is Google Cloud Print allows you to send documents and files from your device to your printer without you being on the same network. To utilize this, make your printer available to Google Cloud Printing by activating it in the Chrome browser settings of the computer it’s attached to. Then, just by connecting your printer and mobile to the same Google account, you can print any document or photo by tapping the share button on your phone or tablet, and choosing Google Cloud Print.

Prynt to print from your Android

If your SMB has any photography needs, this option might be the way to go. Prynt comes in the form of an instant photo printer that connects to your Android device’s charging port. Simply place your smartphone in the Prynt case, snap a picture, order Print, and that’s it. If you feel the need to spruce up your prints, the printer’s native app includes frames, filters, stickers and the addition of text before printing.

Manufacturer apps to print from your Android

Most popular printer manufacturers have their own apps that make printing from an Android device possible. HP has HP ePrint, Samsung comes with itsSamsung Mobile Print, and Epson has Epson iPrint. Make sure to check the Google Play store to see if your printer has an app companion before trying any of the third-party options listed below.

Third party apps

Although it’s not our favorite option, there are third party apps that make it possible to send items from your Android device to your printer. Some apps — like PrinterShare and PrintHand Mobile Print — restrict mobile printing to Bluetooth or local wifi networks. Others — like Cloud Print Plus — untether local requirements so you can print from anywhere. However, it’s always better to try apps owned by hardware manufacturers and Google first. These third party apps should be considered a last resort when other options aren’t available.

Aside from printing wirelessly, Android devices can do just about anything a desktop computer can. If you’re looking for more tips and in-depth guidance on how Android can improve productivity at your business, get in touch with one of our Android experts today. We’re here to help you achieve your mobile technology business goals.

Windows gets desktop Android notifications

Smartphones aren’t even ten years old, and they’re already one of the most essential pieces of our daily routines.In many ways they’ve actually surpassed desktop computers in their ability to keep us connected 24 hours a day. But they’re still a separate device, and that means awkward transitions when you get notifications while working on your PC. Those annoying interruptions were the impetus for Microsoft to introduce a new method for syncing Android notifications to your Windows 10 machine. Sound interesting? Here is how to make it happen.

The first thing you need to do is to wirelessly pair your Android phone with your Microsoft desktop. From the Google Play store, download and install the Cortana app and sign into the Microsoft account you use on your computer. Once you’ve signed in, select the Menu button in the upper-left-hand corner and select Settings. After that, select the option for ‘sync notifications’ and toggle which you would like to see on your desktop.

Notifications are broken down into four categories: calls, texts, battery alerts, and third-party apps. Although an option to answer the phone from your computer hasn’t been added yet, you can read and respond to text messages. When deciding on third-party app settings, remember the goal is to manage your interactions, not create more. Make sure to disable any notifications that will create annoying redundancies like doubled-up Facebook alerts between your Android pairing and previously-enabled desktop notifications.

And just like that, you’re all set. As long as you have Cortana enabled on your desktop, all your Android alerts will automatically display in your Windows 10 Action Center. There is no need to interact with the app on your mobile device, and we recommend removing the shortcuts from the clutter of your homescreen. Gone are the days of needlessly checking your phone every time it vibrates, just to find out it’s another telemarketer or unimportant Instagram notification.

As technology reaches the hands of more and more people, and hardware and software options increase exponentially, there are few problems that can’t be fixed with a little ingenuity. Our staff has that ingenuity, and they’re waiting to impart it on you and your business. Call us from your phone or text us from your desktop. Regardless of how you reach us, don’t wait for more problems to sneak up on you.

Uses of the Android phone/Chrome combo

Not only is the efficiency of a Mac/iPhone combo well-known but it’s also quite hard to beat. That being said, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other dynamic duos that can give them a run for their money. Enter Android phones and Google Chrome, the technological team with some pretty decent tricks up their sleeves. Here are five useful things you can do on your computer with the Android phone and Google combination:

Before getting started, you must make sure that Google Now is activated on your Android phone and the same account must be logged in for both the phone and for Chrome.

Send directions from Google Maps to your Android phone

You’re taking your time looking up directions for a restaurant on Google Maps, but your friends called to tell you everyone’s already there; fear not. You can send the location details directly to your phone. Start by typing in the destination on Google Maps and look for the Send to your phone option in the center left, click on that and click on your phone’s name. Et Voila! Co-ordinates should appear in your phone’s notifications.

Sync your computer’s Chrome tabs to your phone

This is especially useful when you are working on or researching something on your computer and need to continue on your phone after work or when heading outside. Tap on the Settings icon (3 vertically aligned dots) on the top of right of the Chrome App in your Android phone, go to Recent tabs, and you’ll see all the devices when you’re logged into Chrome.

Finding your phone

Simply typing “find my phone” in the Google search bar prompts Google to look for the last known location of your phone. On top of that, you can also ring your device in the hopes that someone will pick it up and tell you where you can come pick it up.

Use your phone to control your computer

Start off by installing the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Google Play Store on your Android phone and the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Chrome on your computer. With this you can see and work on your Mac via Android phones as if you were sitting right in front of your desktop. This also works for Windows computers as well!

Set reminders for yourself with Google Search

If calendar entries aren’t doing the trick, this alternative is perfect for you. After activating Google Now, type in “remind me X to Y” in the Google search bar then click the blue “Remind on Google Now” nestled at the bottom of the reminders box. Google Now will then remind you of whatever you need reminding at that time – you can also set reminders to alert when you reach a certain location as well.

Now that you know that Android has more than just cute names for operating system updates, you should look into investing on a new device for yourself. Especially when there are so many things it’s capable of doing when paired with Google Chrome, expand your tech horizon and make the most of both Apple and Android. For any questions regarding the Android/Chrome combo, feel free to give us a call anytime!

How to use Android data more efficiently

You rely on your Android’s mobile data plan to read and send emails, keep up with local news and stay in touch with business colleagues. That’s why it’s so frustrating when your data runs out. You feel disconnected from the world and your business while on the go. So what can you do to reduce your data usage without disrupting your normal Internet activities on the go? Here are some ideas.

Data Saver for Chrome

We all know surfing the web sucks up data. But did you know there’s a way to reduce the amount of it used while riding the Internet waves? Google Chrome enables you to do just that by compressing Chrome pages, reducing data use by 30-35%. To activate this feature, press the three dots on your Chrome browser >Settings > Data Saver. Switch it on here, and start saving data now.

Video Compression on Opera

Google Chrome isn’t the only browser with a compressing feature that saves data. The Opera mini browser also compresses data, but with video instead. Of course, if you’re trying to save data it’s a good idea to avoid streaming video while not connected to Wi-Fi, but if you must do so, follow these steps on your Opera mini browser to load videos faster while saving data: go to Settings > Data Savingsand tick the video compression box.

Eighty-six Facebook and other data-draining apps

This extremely bloated app has caused multiple problems for Android users. Not only has it been linked to causing Android phone slowdown, but it also consumes a ton of data. A few alternative ways to access Facebook sans the application are to use the web app Tinfoil or via your Google Chrome web browser.

And while we’re on the subject of applications, consider deleting other apps that consume high amounts of data. Of course you likely have dozens of apps on your phone, so how do you know what’s consuming the most? Simply go to Settings >Data usage. From here you can see what apps are consuming the most data and delete them if you so choose.

Restrict background data

If there ever was a nemesis to data usage, it would be background data. This pesky feature of Android consumes data when you’re not browsing the web or using an app. To prevent this from happening, click Settings > Data Usage >Restrict Background Data.

Mind your auto-updates

Just because a new version of an app is available doesn’t mean you should update it right now. Doing so when not connected to Wi-Fi eats up a lot of data, which is why it’s important to turn off auto-updates because when switched on your apps will update automatically regardless of whether you’re connected to a Wi-Fi signal or simply using data. So set your Android to only update in the presence of Wi-Fi by going to Google Play Store > Settings > Auto Update Apps> Auto-update Apps over Wi-Fi Only.

Hold-off on streaming music

We know you love streaming music on YouTube, Spotify, and similar sites but, let’s be honest, this is killing your data. There’s nothing wrong with streaming music from these sites in and of itself, simply wait till you can connect to Wi-Fi to do so. In the meantime, listen to music you have stored on your phone to get your tunes in.

Take your apps offline

Many apps provide an option to access them offline without consuming any data. Google Docs is a prime example. You can choose which documents you’d like to access while not connected to the Internet. Make it a habit to check which of your apps have offline access options and enable that setting whenever possible.

Saving data on your Android device is not rocket science. Most of the time you simply need to be a bit more conscious of your online activities, and you can save a tremendous amount of data in the process. Hopefully these tips will help you do just that.

Android Marshmallow update – what’s coming?

Sorry M&M fans, but the codename Android M doesn’t stand for your favorite chocolate after all. Android 6.0, or Android Marshmallow, as it’s officially called, was more than just enhancing user experience with Android Lollipop. Although it looks a bit similar to Lollipop by retaining the Material design theme, the new features that come with it are apparently smarter and well, sweeter. We have rounded up a list of new features that you can expect when your tablet finally updates to Android 6.0.

Now on Tap

Google’s digital personal assistant is being made more efficient in giving you quick answers and in figuring out what you may want to do next. Now On Tap can be activated by pressing on your tab’s home button, which works for both onscreen and the physical button. A short animation or a card will appear that will give you quick information based on the context of what is currently on your screen. For example, you are chatting with a client regarding a new restaurant, Now on Tap can give you directions to the restaurant, its contact information or Yelp review. This deep-linking technology also includes shortcuts to apps on your tablet and is also applicable to voice searches. It’s designed in a way that it appears when you need it and disappears so you can resume what you were previously doing.

Android Pay

With the increasing popularity of mobile payment, Google is trying again after the dismal performance of the Google Wallet. The latter is being changed for peer-to-peer payments only, while Google Pay allows you to pay for both in-store and in-app purchases. Google’s newest mobile payment system lets you purchase goods from 700,000 participating stores by using your tab’s NFC technology. Also, checking out in mobile shopping apps is a walk in the park using Android Pay.

Doze

Don’t you just hate it when after a few hours of taking the tablet off the charger, you’re left with just 2% battery life? With the Doze mode in Android 6.0, it promises to make your tablet last even longer. This new power-saving feature even uses a lot less power than the current Standby mode. In Doze mode, your tablet hibernates when you put it down for a lengthy period. That means your tab will not be disturbed by power hogging apps, but will still be receiving incoming messages, phone calls and important alarms.

Redesigned App Drawer

Marshmallow comes with a new design for the app drawer – that part in your tablet where all your installed apps are located. A search bar at the top makes it even easier to find an app. Google also remembers your app-opening frequency or periods and can make suggestions on what apps you might want to use. Instead of scrolling left and right, the app drawer now scrolls up or down which is reminiscent of older Android versions.

Android for Work

This may not be a very appealing addition to many but for those who bring their tablet as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) device at work, this is definitely sexy. Android Marshmallow improves the way it handles security, notifications, VPNs, access and storage. So much so that one device can be used for both home and work purposes.

Fingerprint API

This update may not be all that apparent, but now your Android tab comes with support for a fingerprint reader. This allows you to unlock your tab and its apps, and also to easily verify payments.

App Permissions

Now you can have greater control over the security and privacy of your tablet by approving permission requests on a need-to-use basis. Previously, these apps required carte blanche permission to look at parts of your tablet you actually didn’t want them to. With Android Marshmallow, WhatsApp may not ask for permission to access your photos until you try to take and send one.

However, keep in mind that some apps may not function optimally if you restrict it to resources that it actually needs. Not sure how to proceed when it comes to app permissions? Having problems in updating your tablet’s software? Or are you finding it difficult to integrate your BYOD device with technology at work? Get in touch with one of our experts to assist with any of your technology issues.

New Android malware can erase your phone

People easily get riled up over online security. With a quick Google search, you can find dozens of articles warning about Trojans, viruses and other security threats. But how many of them do you actually need to worry about? Really, it all comes down to threats that cause massive damage and affect your unique technology. So if you’re an Android user, there’s a new type of malware that fits both these categories. With the ability to wipe out all the personal data on your phone, this terrifying security threat is something all Android users should be aware of.

How does it work

Mazar, as the malware is known, spreads exclusively via links in a text message. Once the user clicks on the link, Tor software is downloaded, which hides the source of the malware by allowing anonymous Internet connections. Then with little chance of being noticed, mazar is downloaded onto the phone.

What’s the risk?

Not only can mazar erase all your personal data, but it can also wreak havoc on your phone in other ways. If your Android is infected, the malware can secretly monitor your device, send text messages, and take control of your settings and keys. Similar to trojan malware, mazar creates a backdoor to your smartphone for cyber criminals to enter. Once the hacker is in, he can control your Android as however he sees fit.

How can you protect your Android?

If the language setting of your phone is set to Russian, you are safe. So unless you’re looking to take up a second language, the best security measure is to be cautious of all text messages you receive on your phone. Just like your mother taught you not to talk to strangers, you should also avoid clicking on their links. But you should also be wary of texts from friends because, as most of us know, hackers can easily disguise themselves as those close to us.

Lastly, there is one small, practical step that may help prevent mazar from infecting your Android. Simply switch off the security setting that allows apps from unknown sources to be installed on your phone.

As an MSP provider, we know how stressful security issues can be. The worry can cause you to lose focus and be less productive. That’s why we want our customers to know that we’re always there to offer security tips and solutions to keep your data safe. Whether you’re looking for a security solution for your Android or for your business, give us a call and we’re happy to give you some peace of mind.

Best Android tablet apps you should have

Choosing a Android tablet apps

Choosing an app for your Android tablet can be daunting. Whether you’re looking for a document reader app or a new web browser, there are many options out there that offer similar features. So how do you know which ones are the best fit for your device? We’ve compiled a list of powerful applications that will help you make the most of your Android tablet. Check them out and save yourself from browsing through hundreds of thousands of Android tablet apps in the store.

Adobe Android tablet apps

Adobe offers a suite of Android tablet apps, including the Acrobat Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Clip, AIR, and so much more. These are all very useful for processing images, opening documents, and editing files. If you happen to be a user, most of the Adobe apps also work well with Creative Cloud.

Flipboard

Flipboard is a popular news application that uses a magazine-style interface. This app allows you to stay up-to-date with news and topics you’re interested in. You can easily customize your news digest from your favorite sources, such as Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, The New York Times, and more.

Google Drive

With Google Drive, you gain access to a suite of powerful Android tablet apps including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Keep and much more. Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, which you can use to store all kinds of digital files and access them from anywhere.

Kindle

There are tons of ebook reader Android tablet apps out there, but few can measure up to Amazon’s Kindle app. Kindle provides you with more than a million ebooks to download and read on your Android device. You can also manually download different books in various formats, and then transfer them to an external storage device.

CamScanner Android tablet apps

This nifty application allows you to use your Android tablet’s camera to scan documents such as invoices, forms, and receipts, and have them exported in PDF format. You can store, sync, and collaborate on these documents across any number of web-enabled devices. The app also comes with support for fax sending, OCR, printing, and more.

LastPass Android tablet apps

We get it – you have numerous accounts for social networks, Android tablet apps and websites, and memorizing all of your passwords can be confusing. LastPass is a password management application that will securely store your passwords, and automatically log you into various Android tablet apps and websites. With LastPass, you don’t have to remember every password you use.

Zedge Android tablet apps

Zedge is a search engine for downloading ringtones, notification sounds, wallpapers, and themes. It is a good place to start if you’re looking to customize the look and feel of your device in order to give it a personal touch. It’s super popular among Android tablet users, with millions of freebies available and a simple user interface.

These applications are far from being a comprehensive list, but they can help optimize the performance of your device. If you want to learn how to use Android tablet apps to boost your business’s efficiency, give us a call today.

The $50 Android tablet

The Android tablet with a $50 price tag

Buying a top-of-the-range tablet for personal use can be expensive enough – it’s likely to set you back a good few hundred dollars. So imagine the cost of kitting out your entire team of staff with new tablets; it’s what holds back plenty of businesses from doing just that, despite the obvious benefits to efficiency and productivity from employees who can work flexibly and remotely. But Amazon’s new $50 Android tablet could be about to change it all.

The seven-inch Amazon Fire tablet is due to launch on September 30, meaning it will be available just in time for the holiday season – great for individuals looking to treat themselves or loved ones, but also good news for businesses looking to use technology to increase efficiency ahead of the busy peak period.

Given the tablet’s budget positioning – with likenesses to Google’s stripped-back Chromebook, which performs basic functions but is of only limited use without an internet connection – it’s not surprising that it isn’t as powerful as more popular options. While its software is based on Android, the device actually runs on Amazon’s Fire OS 5 Bellini operating system. That means it does not support the Google Play apps used on the vast majority of Android tablets – which will be a drawback for some users – but it does work with the Amazon app store. Other key specs include a 1,024×600 pixel display, a 1.3Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage that can be increased further by using a microSD card. According to Amazon, the Fire supports seven hours of battery life during moderate usage.

Perhaps most interesting, though, is the fact that the Fire comes with built-in advertising-based screensavers displaying Amazon promotions; a small additional payment is required to switch these off. Again, it’s hardly a shock to hear that there’s a semi-catch of this kind when the tablet itself only costs $50. It might also represent a shift in the market positioning of tablet devices, with more focus on business models similar to those of no-frills budget airlines and hotels, where extra payments are required for meals, seat selection, windows, towel rental and so on.

Either way, the Amazon Fire could be the way into tablet use for companies that need their employees to have the ability to work remotely and flexibly, but which don’t require the more intensive capabilities of pricier higher-end devices. To learn more about adapting mobile technology in your business in order to boost efficiency and productivity, give us a call.

This entry was posted in General Articles C, Mobile Tablet – Android and tagged Amazon, android, Budget, fire, Mobile, mobile working, Tablet, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Now you can backup WhatsApp on Drive

WhatsApp just got a bit better, with the introduction of integration with Google Drive.

The feature, which was added as part of a new release back in April, allows you to backup the contents of the App – meaning your messages and more – to your Drive account, ready to retrieve at a later date should the need strike. It should serve as some reassurance if the thought of losing everything WhatsApp-related gives you the chills. Here are the facts.

The introduction of Google Drive as a backup option within the app will prove a relief in the event that you need to reinstall your existing WhatsApp account – either on your existing phone or a new one. Once activated, a backup takes place at 4am at the frequency selected in your app’s settings; it’s also possible to manually force a backup at the time of your choosing.

WhatsApp makes its backups locally before moving the data across to Google Drive. Each backup is incremental, meaning that the first one WhatsApp makes will be of all your account’s data – including messages and photos but not, for the time being at least, videos – and will subsequently update that backup with any new files and changes to existing data. This is presumably intended to keep the size of each backup transfer to a minimum; though you should still anticipate that first attempt taking quite some time, and chugging through a lot of data if you’re doing it over your cellular connection rather than wi-fi.

Once the data is safely within your Google Drive account, it’s hidden and only accessible from within WhatsApp, in order to populate a new account. In the event that you need to use it, after logging into WhatsApp with your phone number the app will search for backups both locally and on Google Drive. Assuming it finds something, it will then give you the opportunity to transfer it back across.

Google Drive integration has been available since the release of WhatsApp version 2.12.45 for Android, which debuted in April. The feature isn’t yet available on Apple devices, however. It’s simple to enable – just follow these steps:

Enter the app’s Settings menu.
Select Chat Settings.
Select Chat Backup.
The screen will display your last backup time and a selection of grayed-out Google Drive settings. Adjust the frequency from Off to the option of your choice.
Select the Google account you’d like to use, and whether to use your wi-fi connection alone to conduct the backups, or combined with cellular data.

Want to learn how to implement messaging services like WhatsApp in your business, as well as how to protect your organization’s data? Give us a call to find out more.

This entry was posted in Cloud – Web Trends, General Articles C and tagged Backup, Business Continuity, Cloud, Data, Google Drive, whatsapp. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.