Now that Google has released its latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, the rollout will come in stages as each smartphone and tablet manufacturer optimizes its respective software overlays to work with it. For the moment, only the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and HTC One A9 run Marshmallow, but in time, a much wider range of devices will, and there are a number of new features that go with it.
Nexus smartphones have usually required accepting a compromise or two. A clean, untouched version of Android, and among the first to get the latest updates. Good design with solid all-around performance, at the expense of great battery life and an impressive camera. The Nexus 6P represents an end to the enduring concessions that characterized these phones in the past, and stakes a claim to being one of the best Android phones of 2015.
Smartphones can have a fairly short shelf life, given how quickly new models come out to replace them. Even after moving on to a new handset, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the old one if it’s still functional. Outside of selling or pawning it off on someone else, there are some great ways to give an older phone a second life.
on 10-01-201511:08 AM - last edited on 10-01-201511:11 AM by BBYMartin
The Toronto Blue Jays may be winning and poised to make things interesting this fall, but sports always kick into high gear with the other major pro leagues getting underway while the leaves fall. Watching the big games or catching up on highlights has never been easier with the unfettered access currently made possible by streaming services and apps delivering the content to mobile devices and streaming TV boxes.
on 09-30-201512:24 AM - last edited on 10-16-201505:35 PM by BBYMartin
Google unveiled its latest smartphones—the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X—and while they don’t deviate too much from their predecessors on the outside, they are considerably different on the inside. With new cameras, faster processors and bigger batteries, plus the latest version of Android, both phones look to be interesting options for anyone shopping for a new smartphone this fall.
Samsung likes curves enough to put them on almost any screen they can find. Curved TVs are one thing, but this year, the company has really pushed the idea of curved displays on smartphones. The Galaxy S6 Edge, when it launched in the spring, was the first smartphone to have a dual-curved edge display. Now, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ offers a bigger screen with a lot of the same functionality.
on 09-18-201512:46 PM - last edited on 09-18-201501:23 PM by BBYMartin
There’s a new update for your phone, or a new app or game you want to try, but you can’t download it because you’ve run out of storage space. Situations like this are becoming more routine, and in cases where internal storage isn’t expandable, some maintenance is necessary to make room. If storage, or lack thereof, has been an issue for you, there are options for creating some breathing space for your data.
Losing a smartphone, or having it stolen is a terrible feeling. For such a personal device, a smartphone is highly susceptible to either scenario, and as such, some precautions should be taken to mitigate the fallout from it. Each mobile platform has some form of protection in place, but they usually aren’t on by default. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to for preparation and response.
on 09-08-201510:10 PM - last edited on 09-16-201511:28 AM by BBYMartin
Motorola is back and so is the Moto X, this time with the ‘Play’ moniker as a play on the phone’s longevity. The mid-range smartphone is Motorola’s newest flagship in Canada, packing in a huge battery into a frame that sports a larger display than last year’s model. A new camera has also been added to address the limitations of the prior Moto X handsets, pitting this device in a unique place that aims to capture the attention of consumers looking for a dependable smartphone that does everything.
Chances are, your smartphone is your go-to point-and-shoot camera. Whether it’s a slice of life or a slice of food, the compunction to capture those moments means that more people are taking more photos than ever before. The level of sharing on social media only drives things further. Not all smartphone cameras are created equal, yet there are some basics to snapping better images that will not only improve image quality, but also make you a better mobile photographer.
The kids' backpacks are packed, their lunches are planned, and you've argued out who's going to be taking the kids to their first day back … but there's always something that gets forgotten.
I have a cousin who had a tendency to leave his toothbrushes and shoes (how???!) behind when he was a kid, like a travelling Hansel & Gretel, but in August, it's way more likely that you've forgotten something far less dire. Like, say, to update the kids' (and your own!) phone and tablet cases for back-to-school.
on 08-30-201507:51 PM - last edited on 08-31-201510:29 AM by BBYMartin
It is a gnawing feeling to not only lose a smartphone, but to also lose all the data contained within it. A key part of good smartphone maintenance includes protecting the data you have stored on it, especially the kind that is personal and priceless. The good news is that it’s not really difficult to do this on a regular basis, regardless of which phone you’re using.
on 08-27-201501:20 PM - last edited on 08-27-201504:20 PM by BBYMartin
Samsung helped start the current trend of bigger phones with bigger screens when it first unveiled the original Galaxy Note back in 2012. The screen has since grown, while the phone’s body has trimmed down, turning what was once one of the largest handsets into one that fits in with much of the pack. The Note 5 isn’t a big leap from its predecessor, but it does have some new features that make better use of its constituent parts.
on 08-14-201510:06 AM - last edited on 08-24-201511:20 AM by BBYMartin
Samsung raised the curtain on its two newest smartphones, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, both of which sport large displays. Staying true to their predecessors, they are designed to be premium handsets that don’t diverge very much from each other. The specs are nearly identical between them, though one is flat while the other curves.
on 07-29-201501:51 PM - last edited on 08-24-201511:24 AM by BBYMartin
Keeping your smartphone safe can mean more than just ensuring it doesn’t fall into a toilet or hard concrete and meet an untimely death. It also means taking proper steps to protect the data—your personal data—stored on that phone to keep the wrong people away from it. If smartphone security is a concern of yours, then you may want to consider these methods for ramping your privacy and protecting what’s yours.
It might seem a little far-fetched when thinking of a smartphone attached to an object of considerable size, like a DSLR camera lens or even a pair of binoculars. Products like that are out there, amplifying the focal length of the phone’s camera, and thereby changing the very scope (pun intended) of images it can capture. Carson doesn’t have a DSLR lens, but it does make monoculars and binoculars with adapters for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices.
on 07-27-201507:37 AM - last edited on 08-24-201511:28 AM by BBYMartin
Maybe it’s Murphy’s Law, but dropped calls usually happen at the most inopportune times. An important or engaging conversation cut short by a sudden drop in reception can be annoying—even more so if it happens with any sort of regularity. Cell phone signal boosters are designed to amplify sending and receiving those signals, and weBoost has products that cover both your car and home.
on 07-22-201501:25 PM - last edited on 08-24-201511:26 AM by BBYMartin
A smartphone camera may be limited by its size, but it doesn’t have to be when accessories can enhance and take things further. Carson makes a number of different magnification products, including lenses for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices that turn them into true macro cameras and microscopes.
on 07-09-201503:31 PM - last edited on 07-17-201509:07 AM by BBYMartin
Whether you realize it or not, your smartphone keeps tabs on your location almost all the time. That may not be an issue for you under most cases, but if you’re connected to an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network, or you just like flying under the radar, using a VPN (virtual private network) is one way to make that happen.
on 06-28-201506:38 PM - last edited on 07-09-201510:58 AM by Graham
If the term “never leave home without it” applied to any one material item or product, it would have to be the smartphone. Some estimates suggest the average user looks at their smartphone screen as many as 1,500 times per week. Travelling without a handset in tow seems to be getting increasingly difficult, simply because of everything it can do. From taking photos at some exotic locale, uploading them to Instagram and messaging friends and family back home, the smartphone is a versatile tool anywhere and everywhere.
on 06-19-201502:18 PM - last edited on 07-03-201501:53 PM by BBYMartin
The code of conduct the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) set down for the wireless industry ensures that consumers can cancel their three-year contracts after 24 months without paying a fee, meaning that as of June 3, three-year cell phone contracts are effectively dead. If you signed a contract on June 2, 2013 or earlier, then you are free to renew or go without a contract. You have options to consider now that you’re on your own to decide, and here’s a look at some of them.
Having trouble connecting with your honey? Is technology getting in the way of your relationship? Here are five cool smartphone apps speficially deisgned to help couples get to know each other better, improve their communication and get back to being all lovey-dovey.
on 05-29-201502:17 PM - last edited on 05-29-201502:44 PM by BBYMartin
Battery life is one of those bugaboos that’s always a concern with smartphones, and the iPhone 6 is no exception. Protecting a phone from a nasty fall is another thing altogether, so when a case comes along that can take care of both, it may be worth a look. LifeProof’s pedigree has usually been in making quality waterproof cases, and the Fre Power takes that and adds a large battery to keep the iPhone going double the time.
on 05-28-201503:11 PM - last edited on 06-04-201502:32 PM by BBYMartin
LG has proven that it can manufacture a really good smartphone, much like it already did with devices like the Nexus 5 and G3. Last year’s G3 made considerable improvements on the software side of things, improving the user experience in tangible ways, yet it still didn’t go far enough in standing out from the crowded Android pack. The G4 deviates little from an overall design standpoint, but offers an excellent camera upgrade and simpler software for a compelling contender.
on 05-21-201504:13 PM - last edited on 05-21-201504:22 PM by BBYMartin
When Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop, it was designed to not only give the mobile operating system a new coat of paint, but also add some neat additions to make usage easier. Eventhough it initially rolled out last fall, many changes have been introduced—it is currently in version 5.1.1; the changes and fixes found in the current version have helped make Android smartphones and tablets easier to use.
on 05-14-201512:53 PM - last edited on 05-14-201501:04 PM by BBYMartin
Which smartphone apps do you use most, no matter where you are? Arguably nothing changed the usability of smartphones more than apps. Your music, photos, maps and web browser were in your pocket, along with all your contacts, messages and phone history. The explosion of apps and their sophisticated capabilities have since given rise to the concept of a “killer app.” These are some of the elite that really change how you use or think about your smartphone.
BlackBerry isn’t ashamed to promote its latest offering, the Leap smartphone, to anyone who will pay attention. Proudly positioned as a cost-effective, updated version of the Z10, the Leap is targeted at the busy professional who has very specific demands—namely performance and security—from the device they use, without needing the bells and whistles that come with higher-end models.
on 04-27-201504:22 PM - last edited on 06-26-201508:42 AM by BBYMartin
When you think of cybersecurity or cyber safety, are you more likely to think of hackers targeting big corporations or governments rather than your own personal vulnerability. The wide open world of cyberspace is something you regularly interact with every time you browse a website, click a link, post on social media and chat online. But your online risk extends beyond those things because you can leave behind a digital footprint without realizing it, or expose your data in ways you didn’t intend to. This article is part of a series of articles that my Plug-in Blog colleagues and I are publishing over the next few weeks offering helpful tips and information about many topics related to cybersecurity. Today I will explore personal smartphone security.
on 04-27-201508:23 AM - last edited on 05-12-201512:17 PM by BBYMartin
If you had to choose only one device to take with you, be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop, which would you go with? There is perhaps no more personal—or versatile—a device as a smartphone. I would argue that the increasing power, screen size and app selection make it hard not to consider it as the go-to choice above all others.
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