A Software (App) Solution For The Nexus 5 Power Button Problem

May 22, 2015

I started experiencing an issue on my Nexus 5 Smartphone where the phone would enter into a reboot loop, rebuild the app list, etc… (common problem with the Nexus 5 when the power button is failing). If you perform a search on this problem, you will find multiple solutions, including one (last resort solution) where you take the phone and hit it against a table to cause the power button to release itself (which actually worked in my case). Once I did get the phone back to where it was functioning (power button and all), I knew I needed another solution before the power button failed again…

The solution that I found, that has worked for me so far, is an app called Gravity Screen. Gravity Screen will automatically turn “on” your screen when you need it and turn it “off” when you don’t. For example if I lay the phone down on a table or put it in my belt case, the phone will go to sleep. When I pick the phone back up, depending to the length of time it was asleep, the phone will awaken. Pretty neat…

Gravity Screen uses the sensors that are already built into your smartphone. This app, from what I researched, is one of the best out there for what it does; AND, as with any app that controls hardware features, the results can be mixed (depending on the phone, Android OS, etc…).  So far, on the Nexus 5, it has performed superbly and has given me a level of automation where I should never have to touch the power button again, other than on occasions to reboot the phone, etc… This app is not just for broken Nexus 5 phones, but is for any Android Phone; and, if it continues to perform as good as I have experienced, I can see me installing this on my next Android smartphone….

Below is a video explaining how Gravity Screen works and its’ associated features…

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Level

May 19, 2015

iHandy Level Free may be a handy app to keep on your phone for those times you are hanging a picture on the wall (to get things straight). Not only handy, but a beautiful app as well.

iHandy Level Free

 

NOTE: Because the sensor inside every individual device could be built slightly differently, to make the level more accurate for your device, you need to calibrate before use.

To calibrate:

1. Find a flat surface.

2. Hold your device upright , put the bottom edge of the device on the flat surface, then press Calibrate button (the one with a target image on it) to calibrate the portrait mode.

3. Turn your device 90 degree clockwise , again keep it upright, and put the current bottom edge (long edge) on the flat surface, then press Calibrate button to calibrate the landscape mode.

4. Put the back of the device against the surface, then press Calibration button to calibrate the face-up mode

5. You are ready to go!

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Send Notes and Send Directions To Your Phone From Google Search

April 26, 2015

This week’s hot Google news is similar news from last week, with a different twist, where you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type in “find my phone” (see article here).

This week Google revealed you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type  “Send Directions” (to push driving directions to your phone) or “Send Note” (to push a note to your phone). Appears you have to be signed into your Google account through your web browser (Google Chrome) to make this work. READ MORE…

Send Directions

Send Note

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A Must Have Android App

April 24, 2015

Probably one of the most underused functions on computers, by the everyday computer user, is the copy and paste function. I am sure this is probably true when it comes to using our smartphones. As a matter of fact, I randomly asked some of the my friends if they knew how to copy and paste text on their Android phones??? As usual when I ask these geeky type of questions they sort of look at me with that deer in the headlight look and wonder what planet I am from. Every single person I asked this question did not know that was even possible on their phones.

Copying and pasting text from one app to another on our phones is a function you need to learn and if you want to get a good start on this I suggest that you take a look at Easy Copy.

Easy Copy - 1-Tap Copy Paste - screenshot

Easy Copy is an Android app that is better than the standard built-in copy paste function in that it has the following features that makes using the copy paste function a more powerful function. After you tap on copy, a pop-up menu will be displayed and allows to:

  • locate in Google Maps
  • call the number
  • translate with Google Translate
  • create an event
  • modify the text you copied (very useful in Hangouts when you only want to copy part of a message!)
  • send by text
  • share (when not already developed in the given application)

I found that when the menu appears to perform these function, you can drag the order of the menu around to fit your personal needs. For example, on top of my menu list is the “share” function, due I use that function the most.

This app appears to be relatively new app in the Google Play store, so expect some bugaboos; however, my geek senses is telling me that this app will improve and become very, very popular…

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Turn Your Android Phone Into A Pocket Document Scanner With Microsoft Lens

April 7, 2015

Currently circulating around in the tech world is news about Microsoft’s popular and free Office Lens app, which turns a smartphone into a pocket document scanner, NOW being offered in Android and iOS versions.

I did take this for a spin and found that it does a nice job of using your camera on your phone and/or tablet to capture a document and saving it to Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, Word, Powerpoint, or as a PDF or as an image file… One option that I would like to see, is an option to directly share my scanned docs to other services.  You can share to other services, but you have to jump through some hoops to make this happen.

Features in a nutshell:

  • Identifies printed text with optical character recognition (OCR) so that you can search by key word for the image in OneNote or OneDrive.
  • Converts images of paper documents and whiteboard notes into Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and PDF files for easy editing and reformatting.
  • Captures business cards and generates contacts you can add to your phone.
  • Inserts images to OneNote or OneDrive (as DOCX, PPTX, JPG or PDF format) and gives you options to save, export and share the image.

READ MORE ON THIS NEWS

Microsoft Lens

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An Intelligent Android Voice Recorder App (with no advertisements)

April 6, 2015

Voice recording on our Android smartphones and tablets is a built in feature; however, a clumsy feature to find, get to and use. I wanted a voice recorder that acted and functioned similar to a real standalone voice recorder that we typically use to record a class instruction or lecture; business meeting; etc… I went on the hunt, found quite a few and then settled for the intelligent voice recorder called Skyro. As a matter of fact, I like Skyro so much, I have it set as one of my main apps on my home screen.

Skyro

Skyro is very easy to use. Simply launch the app, hit the record button and Skryo does the rest (such as timestamping the recording in various formats). You can also set Skyro to upload the recording to your Dropbox account. I am not a Dropbox user, but this app gave me a reason to use the Dropbox account that I never used. Another cool feature is that you can add pictures and notes to your recording(s) and Skyro will tie this all together with a slideshow presentation.

In the end, this app is very good looking, worked flawlessly, and is very easy to use… AND, guess what, NO ADVERTISEMENTS.

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