Archives for

Productivity

Best business-friendly Android tablets money can buy in December 2014

Once upon a time deemed harmless toys incapable of challenging the conventional laptop’s productivity, tablets have grown in mainstream popularity of late not only because they’re smaller and, often, easier to master than computers.

tablets-and-business

They’re also slowly but steadily moving up the enterprise ranks, becoming safe, functional and, most of all, cheap enough to use in business environments. Besides, tablets allow professionals and entrepreneurs to take their work with them wherever, whenever, with increased comfort.

Juggling between one’s relaxation and entertainment needs, and office endeavors is a walk in the park, and a slew of optional accessories and add-ons like keyboard docks or stylus pens often bring tabs perfectly on-par with larger PCs as far as productivity goes. Sometimes, higher.

Business tablets

Granted, many tablets, especially in the Android ecosystem, remain focused on light tasks, gaming, or multimedia playing. Which is why you may need a little guidance into picking the pads that mean business the most. Here are seven top options available today, each one fitting a different enterprise profile:

Google/HTC Nexus 9 – starting at $400 on Amazon

At first glance, there’s nothing businessy about the latest entry in the “pure Google” Nexus franchise. Quite on the contrary, if we’re talking strictly from a software standpoint, as Big G is never keen on adding software optimizations or security “enhancements” in the mix.

What makes the N9 a sensible choice for corporations and corporation workers is the dedicated keyboard folio, up for grabs on Amazon at $88. Sure, most tabs support third-party docking stations and keyboard cases. Many of which might be larger and thus more productive than Nexus 9’s accessory.

Nexus 9

But this one is specifically made for Google’s 8.9 incher, and you’re guaranteed perfect compatibility and a smooth user experience close to the one offered by a traditional laptop. All for less than $500, in a package weighing under 800 grams in total. Nice!

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – $549 in 32 GB configuration

It’s perhaps needless to point out why a stylus could come in handy for a graphic artist, or just a scribbler always attending meetings and always in need of easy note-taking tools. Well, the Note Pro 12.2 is one of the easiest and best all-around, along with its beautiful, greatly prolific S Pen.

Galaxy Note Pro with keyboard

A fantastic multi-tasker and a bona fide powerhouse, the Note Pro 12.2 offers all the screen real estate you’ll need to create and tweak spreadsheets in comfort, and of course, an Office Suite built with your enterprise requirements in mind.

Plus, Knox security, a wireless printing-dedicated app and a bundled keyboard if you’re willing to cough up $720 and up. Not exactly a bargain, but it could be money well spent.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C – $299 (keyboard included)

Looking for a bargain tablet/laptop hybrid, and don’t mind cutting a few performance and productivity corners? This aging Transformer Pad is a smart buy no matter how you look at it, even if it’s smaller than the Note Pro and doesn’t come with a stylus in tow.

Asus Transformer Pad

Not quite a speed champion, the TF103C can last for a full day’s work on a single charge, and the bundled keyboard is particularly impressive, touting a decently sized trackpad and as such replicating to the letter a notebook’s typing experience.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition – $449 and up on Amazon

Something for everybody. That’s our motto today, and the 10.1-inch Note aims to meet the desires of those who see the Note Pro as too uncomfortable to lug around, and the Transformer Pad as underwhelming in the performance department.

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Not too pricey, and not too cheap, if you know what we mean, this baby comes with Polaris Office pre-installed, S Pen support on hand, the same exquisite multitasking abilities as the 12.2 incher and an optional case/stand. No keyboard love? Afraid not, although there are numerous external choices.

This $26 Newstyle, for instance. Or this “premium” $47 ProCase. This $37 Supernight? Your call.

EVGA Tegra Note 7 – up for grabs at $159

If your employer is not the generous kind, and you’re simply looking for an inexpensive, light, sleek travel companion instead of a top-of-the-line laptop replacement, the Tegra Note 7 is perhaps the safest bet.

EVGA Tegra Note

It ain’t extremely productive, obviously, but it’s decent for note-taking, courtesy of the intuitive Nvidia Direct Stylus experience, and will let you answer a few urgent e-mails on the move. Oh, and don’t tell your boss man, but the Tegra Note 7 is a bitching gaming device. Almost like an oversized Shield console.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet – $530 on Amazon

Pencil pushers (no offense) make up merely a tiny portion of the target audience addressed by business tablets. A solid business tab should handle itself in the wild outdoor too, and in need, fight off water dips and dust contact.

Enter the waterproof, dirtproof Xperia Z2 Tablet. Perhaps not the ideal gadget to visit a construction site without a helmet on, the 10.1 incher is incredibly easy to carry, tipping the scales at 439 grams and measuring 6.4 mm thick.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

Now, elegance may not be the prime concern of enterprise slate users, but if you’re to be available for your business partners and execs at all times, at least do it in style. Speaking of all-times availability, the 10.1-inch Z2 can be had with just Wi-Fi connectivity, or Verizon LTE speeds. The latter, high-speed connected around the clock, costs $500 with two-year contracts, and $600 outright.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active – $563 on Amazon

Meet the Terminator of business-friendly tablets. This thing can take a beating without flinching, and needs no helmet in its construction travels. The Tab Active is the protection helmet, its rugged exterior ensuring security against four-foot drops.

Also, against accidental water immersions up to 30 minutes, and interaction with dust. Basically a Tab 4 8.0 squeezed into a protective case, the Tab Active is “enterprise-ready, productivity-ready and solutions-ready.”

Galaxy-Tab-Active

How so? With Knox security, NFC, C-Pen support, a bundle of special apps to crank up productivity, various data encryption methods and, last but not least, a daylight-readable LCD screen.

Do we have an enterprise champion? Maybe, although we’d like to stress again each business user is different, and has a very particular set of skills in need of polishing and support. All considered, is anyone thinking of purchasing one of the above? Which one and why? Sound off in the comments section below.

Best Android hybrids, convertibles, laptops and multi-purpose PCs

They said Android is limited. Impractical to use on a larger than 10-inch screen. Worthless with physical keyboards, and utterly inoperable on “full-on” computing machines. They scoffed at the idea of mainstream Android laptops, which was filed under megalomaniac fantasies from overly imaginative, reality-disconnected nerds.

ASUS-Transformer-Pad

Well, we showed them. And by we, I mean a handful of visionaries that left no obstacle get in the way of unlocking Android’s true potential. Sure, Google’s “mobile” OS is still light-years away from becoming a Windows challenger in the PC décor.

But the first steps have been made, and most often than not, what comes next is far easier. One thing leads to another, and boom, before we know it, we’ll start viewing Android smartphones as abnormalities.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, and stay in the present. A present where Android aficionados have a bundle of hybrids, crossbreeds, convertible devices, full-fledged laptops and PCs to choose from.

Here are a few of the top options, arranged in no particular order as comparing them wouldn’t really be fair. They’re each different and unique, and they’ll all contribute to a better, more diverse tech tomorrow:

HP Slatebook 14 – available at $430 on Amazon

The freshest of our magnificent seven, HP’s Slatebook 14, finally began shipping earlier this week after months of making the rumor rounds and slowly building hype. The first full-fledged, non-convertible Android laptop in history isn’t half bad in terms of processing power and battery life, but suffers in the RAM and storage departments.

HP Slatebook 14

With an estimated 9 hours of continuous juice on a single charge, the Slatebook can outlast most Windows 8 rivals around, however the 16 GB SSD is minuscule. Ditto for the 2 GB RAM. Thank God for Full HD screen resolution, touch technology and Tegra 4 oomph, although we must say, we’re disappointed to see gadgets, especially pioneering ones, debuting with pre-loaded Jelly Bean in August 2014.

Asus Transformer Pad series – starting at $196.50 on Amazon

Look, we appreciate HP’s courage and its healthy marketing push for what’s ultimately an extremely nichey product, but the Slatebook 14 could have never happened were it not for Transformer Pads. These neat tablet/mini-laptop mongrels planted the seed in the minds of everyday Android buyers and manufacturers that maybe, just maybe, you can incorporate the best of both worlds into one versatile device.

Asus Transformer Pad

Several years after the inauguration of the Transformer Pad line, the hybrids are doing better than ever and cater to the needs of more users than ever, covering multiple price points and ranges. The cheapest TF Pad is $196.50 (the entry-level 2012 TF700T without a keyboard docking station), whereas the costliest is $534.99 (the 32 GB TF701T-B1 bundle).

In between, you have a $289 TF103C-A1 tablet/keyboard bundle, and a $310 TF300T-B2 slate-only option. Meanwhile, docks can be had at $85 (in red), $100 (white/champagne), and $120 (blue), for the TF300T family, or $140, for the TF701T.

Asus PadFones – as low as $0.00 with AT&T contracts

Android’s versatility isn’t striking only when talking tablet/laptop hybrids, and smartphone/tablet transformer devices may actually be more impressive and handy for present-day tech consumers. Besides, the possibilities of the PadFone line are limitless, as first-gen gizmos proved back in the day.

Asus PadFone X

Before the laptop part of the ensemble makes a comeback, the most intriguing PadFone around is the X, comprised of a 5-inch Full HD handheld and 9-inch FHD tablet. It’s not the punchiest PadFone ever, but it’s one of the most affordable, going for nada with AT&T pacts and $599.99 outright.

Alternatively, you can score the lower-end PadFone mini combo at $543 free of any contractual obligations, or $729 the Padfone Infinity 2 phone only, which you can then bundle with a $79 station dock. Yeah, no, the PadFone X is still the best option.

Lenovo Yoga – $206 in 8-inch flavor; $238 for the standard 10 incher; $350 for the 10 HD+ version

I have a dream. That one day, Lenovo, probably the all-around heavyweight Windows convertible champion, will deem the Android market as important and alluring and bring all of Yoga’s magic over to the Google camp.

lenovo-yoga-8

Some of it is already here, courtesy of this 8-inch/10-inch pair, but fancy advertising talk aside, the “multimode” tablets are only that: tablets. The built-in kickstand is neat and all, but it’s no detachable keyboard. That said, if you want to buy an Android Yoga, don’t be chintzy, get the $350 model. It’s got a breathtaking Full HD display, beefy quad-core Qualcomm chip, and, yes, 18-hour battery life.

And if you care to spend a little extra to turn it into a laptop, $44 buys you a nice, spacious, light Bluetooth keyboard cover.

HP Slate 21 all-in-one – $349

As much as I love Android (and I do, to death), I must admit, it’s pretty pointless on a gigantic AiO. Unless you keep this baby around as a backup computer. Or you don’t do much on it. Of course, there’s always the option of rocking it as a tablet, but that’s even stupider crazier.

HP Slate 21

So why am I “recommending” the Slate 21 in the first place? That’s the thing, I’m not. I’m just signaling it exists, and hoping Android can evolve up to the point it can do all the things Windows 8 can on a 15, 17, 21-inch touchscreen. Fingers crossed.

Asus Transformer Book Trio – $965

In a way, all gadgets on this list are, or started out, as experiments. But the Transformer Book Trio has that experimental vibe written all over it. Google officials themselves are skeptical about the whole Windows/Android dual-booting concept, so I can’t see it going anywhere in the future. Near or distant.

asus-transformer-book-trio

But hey, in case you want to own something that people will believe was never possible in ten years, the Transformer Book Trio is not that expensive. Not for a device that pulls triple duty, as an 11.6-inch Android tablet, Android laptop and Windows laptop. With Intel Core i5 heat, 4 GB RAM (in laptop mode), and Full HD screen resolution.

HP Slatebook 10 x2 – $370

Basically an Asus Transformer Pad clone, the Slatebook 10 x2 (such an uninspired name, by the way) somehow refines and polishes the 2-in-1 concept, looking much better and feeling much natural when used as a 10-inch mini-laptop.

HP Slatebook 10 x2

The keyboard is beautiful, state-of-the-art, productive and functional, and it can attach and detach to the tablet body at the flick of a switch. Under the hood, you also get plenty for the sub-$400 price point, a Tegra 4 chip and 2 GB RAM included, and the display is Full HD. The Achilles’ heel? Aging Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Come on, HP, step your software support up and fulfil your destiny as Android’s biggest innovator.

Best Android tablets and deals for back to school season 2014

Sorry to break it to you, kids, but summer is nearly finished and the start of the new school year is upon us. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, parents, however like it or not, your monthly spending budget will skyrocket in the coming weeks.

Tablet in school

Tuition fees aside, you have textbooks to take care of, new, hip clothes for your offspring to show off his or hers unique fashion style, plus the ultimate marker of the continuous 21st century education advances: gadgets.

Whether we’re talking smartphones, tablets or laptops (or something in between, like a hybrid), your children need gizmos to handle their homework, keep up with their friends and relax during study breaks.

Kids using tablets

But what to choose to deliver a perfect multi-purpose learning/entertainment experience, and not cost an arm and a leg? A MacBook? An iPad? A Microsoft Surface? Nah, Android is, as always, the answer to all your prayers, with the following magnificent seven providing solutions for every possible desire or need:

The budget champion – Google Nexus 7 2013

Ah, the classic second-generation Asus-made, Google-promoted N7. Always a crowd pleaser, and especially when you work hard for every penny you make. The Nexus 7 2013 is mom and dad’s safest bet in terms of compact, easy to carry slates with plenty of punch to handle both gaming and quick Wikipedia research for, say, chem papers.

Nexus 7 2013

And kids, we know you really, really, really wished for an iPad Air because the football team’s captain and the lead cheerleader each own one, but come to think of it, aren’t the two glorious d-bags? Be unique, be smart, and don’t talk back to your old man when he buys you the N7 2013.

At $218 in a 16 GB Wi-Fi-only variation, it secures a healthy college fund boost. Or, better yet, get a certified refurbished (read like new) 16 GB-er, and only spend $165. In the mood for spoiling your “heir”? The 32 GB model is $262, and LTE versions start at $340.

The ultimate gamer – Nvidia Shield Tablet

Tread carefully here, parents, and make sure you know what you’re getting yourselves into. The Shield Tablet is a highly addictive console-type device, with “extreme” performance, power and portability. By itself, it’s $299, but if you really trust and want to spoil your spawn, the $60 wireless controller and $40 tablet cover are also must-buys.

Shield Tablet

And yes, in theory, the Shield is a multi-purpose 8 incher, being just as fitting for mundane tasks like online research, e-mail or homework dispatch like any standard, non-gaming-focused Android tab. It’s just that, once it gets in your blood, you won’t feel like doing much reading or calculus.

The productivity hero – Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1

Technically, we really could have picked any one of Asus’ countless Transformer Pad family members to nominate in this category. Every last one of them can seamlessly convert from a tab to a mini-laptop and offer optional physical keyboards, opening up a sea of possibilities for classroom, home and on-the-go use.

asus-transformer-pad-tf103c

But the TF103C-A1 is not just productive and versatile, it’s damn cheap too, at $289, with the docking station included. To be clear, less than three Benjamins buy you a KitKat-running, quad-core Intel Atom-packing 10-inch slate which you can turn into a KitKat-running, quad-core-packing 10-inch notebook whenever, wherever.

The kiddie favorite – Fuhu Nabi 2

Guess there’s not a whole lot left to say about the OG Nabi 2 after it topped our kid-friendly Android tab charts, despite recently celebrating its two-year anniversary. Except that it’s now even cheaper than before, at $155.88.

Fuhu-Nabi-2

And your 3, 4, 5, possibly 6 and 7-year-olds will love you to death when you give it to them. Even when you’ll insist on restricting their light gaming time and cranking up their learning-through-gaming.

Best for reading – Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Say what you will about Amazon’s Android fork, or its stubbornness to ban Google Play access, but buy your kid a Kindle Fire HD or HDX and trust me, you’ll get them reading in no time. Amazon’s library is gigantic, and there’s such a multitude and variety of free titles that a normal person would need ten lifetimes to go through them all.

Kindle Fire HD

The amazing display of even the most affordable Fire HD, the $139 8 GB 7 incher, makes the experience that much harder to forget, and the beefy battery makes sure you aren’t interrupted just as the big twist starts unraveling. Oh, yeah, and the HD and HDX are pretty cool for gaming, multimedia or browsing too, particularly the 8.9 inchers that start at $320.

Parents’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Look, it’s good to be modest, self-conscious and look out for the best interests of your children first and foremost, but hey, you deserve a little treat once in a while too. Or a big one, if you don’t mind coughing up $650 for the 32 GB Note Pro 12.2.

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

It’s well deserving, what with its mouth-watering screen real estate, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution, 3 GB RAM and Snapdragon 800 oomph. Alternatively, if you hate being a big spender, or just can’t afford to spend that much, the Dell Venue 7 is nowadays a pithy $128.

That’s an incredible 100 bucks off the mid-ranger’s list price, which makes it the kind of bargain parents live for. Besides, the Venue 7 is nowhere near as technically humble as the discounted retail value suggests, carrying a whopping on-board 2 gigs of RAM among others.

Teachers’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

This wouldn’t be a complete back-to-school guide without a recommendation for educators, who need to stay in touch with the latest technology trends themselves. And what better way to balance work and fun than purchasing a gizmo designed specifically for quick, easy note-taking?

Granted, that’s why the Note Pro 12.2 is around, and the Note 10.1 2014 Edition caters to the same exact needs as well. Only the Note 8.0 does it at the best price, $270, also allowing for the easiest transportation, which is a key factor for a teacher whose satchel is always full and heavy.

There you go, toddlers, tweens, teens, parents and teachers. Seven (mostly affordable) ways to make back-to-school season more easily digestible. Come on now, September 4 doesn’t have to be such a sad, sad day, does it?

These apps will help you fight the post-holiday blues

Holiday Dog

The holidays are over, and it’s the start of a new year. For many, this means starting the year right with a few resolutions. For some, the period after holiday season could be a time of post-holiday blues. Are you an avid smartphone user? Here are a few apps that can help you manage.

The post-holiday blues are often considered to be post-holiday “fatigue” because of all the stress and tiredness we experience during the holiday rush. For many, the holidays were about getting ready with the festive season, which includes decorating one’s home or workplace, buying presents for loved ones, traveling for family reunions, or even going on vacation (perhaps to somewhere warmer). The holiday spirit is great, although sometimes people feel the pressure of having to meet expectations that come with the season.

For some, it means quiet contemplation, especially those who are into a deeper understanding of the meaning behind Christmas, Hannukkah, Eid, New Year’s Eve or whichever relevant holiday that comes with the year end. The coming of January means getting back to work in full-force after the usual lull at work during the year-end festivities. But this can sometimes mean a difficult re-start, especially if you’ve slowed down a bit to relax for the holidays. The extreme weather conditions — the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere and the heat waves in the southern hemisphere — only make it worse!

Productivity experts and life coaches give us a few recommendations on how to address the post holiday blues, and these include taking stock of our finances, re-organizing (or actually organizing) our workflow, improving our health, and keeping in touch with friends and loved ones even after the holidays.

Here are a few apps and trick to help fight the blues.

Finances

No money

The holidays are usually when people go on spending binges. You might want to impress your friends and colleagues with great presents. Or, you probably upgraded your gadgets — home entertainment systems, laptops, smartphones, tablets or even your car — during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and various gadget sales during the season. Or, you may have spent some money on decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or the New Year’s Eve.

The post-holiday season is usually the time for taking stock of our finances and making sure we will not start the new year in the red. Useful apps include Mint.com, which interfaces with your bank accounts for easy planning, management and bills payment. You can also try Expensify, which automatically scans your receipts and generates expense reports so you can keep track of your spending. If saving money is part of your new year’s resolutions, SmartyPig lets you set up goals, and will automatically set aside pre-defined amounts from your bank account, which correspond to your goals. Aptly named after the piggy bank, the app even gives users rewards for reaching goals.

Health and fitness

Health Buff

Yet another area for concern after the holidays is our health. With all the parties, binge eating, drinking and stress during the holidays, we’re bound to gain a few pounds. We can address this through a mix of discipline in eating, exercise and a few changes in habits.

LG’s Fitness Tracker has been previewed at CES, although we may have to wait a few months more until the Korean company formally launches the product, which should work with the LG Fitness app. You can also try the Nike+ fitness app. It does not require any additional accessory, although the fact that Nike has not made an Android app for its latest Nike+ FuelBand SE might be disappointing to fitness buffs.

Elsewhere, you can try Pocket Yoga, which is basically a mobile instructor for Yoga poses. MyFitnessPal‘s calorie counter has a database of about 1.5 million food items, which helps you keep track of the calories you consume day to day. Of course, with the food you’ve probably eaten through the holidays, you would probably want to trim down by visiting the gym. You won’t be able to escape, with GymPact. The app is run by a community of gym rats who ensure (or even enforce) attendance by having non-compliant users pay actual dollars for missing their workout schedules. Users who go to the gym faithfully earn  from the pool of funds.

Productivity

Back to work

If you slacked off on work during the holidays, then this is the time to shape up. Productivity experts say it’s okay to step back and relax a bit so you can look forward to what lies ahead for the whole year. But we still need to recognize that the holidays may have put our work into disarray. Here are a few apps that can help keep things organized.

Any.DO is a great task manager app, and synchronizes across Android, iOS and web app. It also plays well with Cal, the partner app built by the same developers. Any.DO helps you plan your day with a two-minute outline each morning, during which you can prioritize tasks. The app also has geo-location reminders, which are pretty useful when you need to reminders for tasks when you reach a certain place.

Asana is a project tracking app famously known for being used by the Twitter team internally. The app primarily runs on the web, but iOS and Android versions come in handy for keeping your project tasks accessible on your smartphone or tablet. Third-party alternatives also exist, such as Hill88 for iOS and MyAsana for Android, which promise a better native app experience, as opposed to the official app, which is actually an HTML5 implementation.

If you’d like to stick with Google’s own applications, you can go for Google Keep, which syncs sticky notes, to-do items and clips across Android and web. There are also alternatives for use with Google’s own Task system (built into Gmail), such as Tasks Free and GTasks.

Planning for the next party?

Party person

We often get to meet our distant relatives and friends once in a while, and the holidays are usually the time when folks drive or fly for get-togethers that are otherwise difficult to coordinate in the middle of the year. Fortunately, messaging applications help keep us in touch through the cities and continents. We do have our fair share of instant messaging, VoIP and video-conferencing applications. Among my personal favorites are Facebook Messenger (because of the ubiquity of Facebook friends), Viber (because of speed) and Telegram (for privacy), but any mobile user would probably be using a combination of these already. The choice is up to you and what your friends are already using.

Planning your next vacation or get-together can also help reduce the post-holiday blues. This comes with varied difficulty, of course, depending on whether you plan to travel across cities, countries or entire continents. Either way, TripIt’s Travel Organizer can help you plan and execute your trip. You can also find good deals on airline, cruise and hotel reservations via Kayak and Hipmunk or Virgin Holidays‘ augmented reality brochure app. Traveling on the cheap? You can check out short-term rents at AirBnb or last-minute booking service HotelQuickly. If you’re planning your summer cruise or vacation months ahead, then  Of course, you can check out TripAdvisor for establishment reviews.

It’s yet another year of gadget launches, apps and technologies. What does 2014 have in store for us?

Do you have more app ideas? Get in touch with us.

Featured images: Shutterstock

Samsung Galaxy Note II Multi-View Functionality Comes Packed With An Update

A recent official update for Samsung Galaxy Note II dubbed as XXALIJ1 comes with few fixes, a new baseband and Google Chrome update. The most notable functionality that comes packed with this update, however, is the split-screen or multi-view capability that we have previously seen from the Galaxy Tab, only this time it’s better both in performance and aesthetics.

Image: GSM Arena

Samsung Galaxy Note II Multi-View is more than just splitting the screen it allows users to run two compatible apps simultaneously. This same feature can also be found in Galaxy Note 10.1 and either you’re using the smaller or bigger Note II, you’d be getting the same functionality. However, there are only a handful of apps that are compatible with this feature. The Galaxy Note II split-screen function supports all native Samsung apps and Google apps such as Gmail, Chrome, YouTube and Talk.

Galaxy Note II owners, albeit this feature is far more advanced, cannot enjoy it to the fullest as there are no reported compatible apps aside from the ones mentioned above. The good thing is the device is so popular with millions of users around the world, so it is just a matter of time before developers would update their apps to make them compatible.

One developer I was able to talk to regarding this matter said that the update needed to make an app compatible with this feature would include adjusting screen size and arrangement of buttons on top of few line of codes to make things run smoothly.

“Obviously, the update should contain screen size or resolution adjustment… buttons or other components on screen should be rearranged. But that’s the easy part… a few lines of codes are needed to make an app perfectly compatible. Apps designed for Gingerbread OS may need a bit more time. But overall, it is an easy job that could be done in a day or two.”

Some owners who have already updated their devices reported that Google Chrome loads way faster now and while it’s not included in the change log, Gmail app also syncs faster after the update.

Source: GSM Arena

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B0099LATZ2″ locale=”us”]

[easyazon-cta align=”center” asin=”B0099LATZ2″ height=”42″ key=”amazon-us-tall-orange” locale=”us” width=”120″]

Adobe Reader XI For Tablets Introduces New Productivity Features

An announcement from Adobe was made just yesterday. They’ve now taken the curtains off their next version of the Acrobat and Reader software. Of course, that is all nice for the desktop and all, but along with the new desktop software, Adobe has promised updated mobile applications. These updated applications bring some major enhancements to the software, such as the capabilities to edit PDF files, modify paragraph layouts and images, along with other objects through a newly-introduced design tool.

Adobe is also boasting of their new cloud applications, including EchoSign, which is Adobe’s own electronic signature service. With this service, users are now capable of digitally signing PDF documents directly from their devices, which means we can finally get rid of those annoying printers and fax machines. Well, I wish we could, at least. You are always going to have that “one guy” that is not very tech savvy. Additionally, annotation and comment support has also been added in the update. Compatibility has served as a major focus for Adobe, as the company has engineered a lot of their new software to allow users to fill in forms using check boxes, radio buttons and text boxes, along with the ability to save these edited documents.

We’ve been able to digitally sign things on our desktops and laptops for quite some time now, but we really haven’t been able to do this from a mobile device. I’m pretty happy that we can now easily do this on the go, instead of having to wait to sign something until you get back home on your desktop or even find somewhere to unpack your laptop. While this isn’t “major” breaking news, I think that being able to sign things on the go is going to increase productivity a lot, as most people are using their mobile devices these days.

While these new features have only been integrated into various tablets, it’s entirely possible, and we should be seeing them coming to smartphones in the hopefully near future. Besides, everyone and their Uncle owns a smartphone, so I’d say it’d be a stupid move not to eventually offer that feature to the various smartphones. Adobe hasn’t provided any further details on an exact release date, but we are expecting that this new software will be launching later this month.

Is anyone excited for this new update from Adobe?  It’s awesome that they are working towards improving their reader on mobile devices as opposed to the desktop versions. Adobe definitely sees a lot of promise in the mobile area, especially with the most recent sales statistics (e.g. Google overtaking Microsoft as third most valuable company and some 20 million Galaxy S III sales). There’s definitely a lot of promise in this area and it’s awesome to see Adobe increasingly take advantage of that.

If your looking forward to the new software update, would you use it a lot on your tablet, or would it be one of those features that just sits on the sidelines? Let us know in the comments below!

source: talk android

Quickbooks For Android Launches

Quickbooks has been a trusted name in small businesses across America for years. Now, Intuit, the creator of Quickbooks, has announced that users can access Quickbooks via their Android phones.

Intuit has assessed the needs of their users on the go and has incorporated that into their Android app. Quickbooks users can use the Android app to create estimates on the go, manage invoices, view customer details, enter new customer transactions and more from the Quickbooks for Android app.  Quickbooks for Android syncs with the customers existing desktop version to insure that the most up to date data is available on their phones.

More after the break
(more…)

Future Report – Angry Birds causes worldwide shutdown!

That’s what the title of the only newspaper that will still be publishing next week, because they all own Blackberries, after the full version of Angry Birds hits the Market. The release, due within the next 24 hours, will stunt productivity across the globe with it’s strangely addictive nature.

The full version, being released after months of great beta gameplay, should go off without a hitch. Bugs have been collected and sorted by the guys at Rovio, and my experience so far with the full version has been nothing but pleasant. If fact, I am not even writing this article right now. I am still playing Angry Birds, and am dictating this to my daughter, who doesn’t get a turn because I havent beaten the first stage yet.

That’s right, Stages. More than one. Tons of levels to beat and try to perfect, as well as “Golden Eggs” and various other goodies wait for you. I would tell you more, but really you have all stopped reading because you are in the market right now refreshing until the game gets there. If you are still reading, you haven’t played the beta, and therefore are one of the last remaining productive humans on the planet.

In celebration of the end of humanity, The Droid Guy will be running a contest. The first 25 people who email [email protected] with screenshots or pictures taken of three stars on each level in the game will win a special prize. Enjoy!