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  • How to backup your Android device

    Nowadays, our phones have become our own miniature computers. We store or photos, videos, files and passwords all on our handheld devices. But what happens to your data if you drop your phone into water or if your drop your phone on the ground? Your data’s all gone. But, if you backup your data, you won’t have to worry about losing your personal information. Here’s how to easily backup your Android's data.

    Google Backup When it comes to Google, you’ll be able to backup all your contacts and email information. You can sync your photos, calendar, Gmail, contacts, etc, all with Google’s servers. Now, you make this is complex, however, Google made it a two or three tap procedure. To backup your data you’ll want to go to Settings on your Android. Once there, tap Accounts and select Google. You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be able to select all the data you’d like to backup. Once that’s done, you’ll have all your selected data in sync with your Google backup. Google also has the ability for you to backup your passwords and other device settings. In order to enable this feature, you’ll want to go back to settings. Then, click on Backup & reset. You’ll want to click on “Backup my data” and “Automatic restore”. This will make sure that important information such a passwords are backed onto Google’s server.

    Photo Backup You’ll want to backup your photos. Now there are an endless amount of apps to use to backup your photos which is also a big problem. With all these options, how do you know which app to use? Many people simply opt with Dropbox or Google Photos as it will your Gmail account and it’s highly reliable for data backup. You may have the Google photo app automatically on your phone, if not, you’ll want to go to your Google Play app and download Google photos. If you’d rather use Dropbox, you’ll have to 24download the app as well. When you download the app, you’ll connect it to your photo and it’ll automatically backup your photos. With Dropbox, you’ll be able to have the app on your computer as well, so if you want another copy of your data on your computer, you can just click and drag.

    Manual Backup If you’re not a fan of using a cloud service to hold your data, then you can manually copy and paste all your photos and videos from your Android to your computer. You’ll have to connect your phone to your computer via a micro-USB cable which should be included in your Android's package. When you connect your phone to your computer, it’s going to show up as an external hard drive. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll have to download the Android File Transfer Tool. Once you connected your phone to your computer, you’ll be able to click and drag anything photo or file you want onto a folder on your computer.

    Texts Backup

    Though many people aren’t using SMS as much as they used to, you may want to backup important text messages that you have on your phone, including your call log. For this, you can use an app such as “SMS Backup & Restore”. It’s very easy to use and can have your information backed within minutes. In addition, you have the choice to either store texts on a cloud or to have them saved directly to your Gmail or Dropbox. You’ll be able to backup your texts manually, bi-weekly, or customize it.

    Backing your data is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that all your information is kept safe. Since we use our phones for almost everything, if you lose all your data on your phone, you’ll have to start from scratch. Backing your data can easily be done and you’ll be able to have peace of mind knowing that your information is being stored and secured off your phone. Whichever way you choose to backup your phone, whether it be manually, or through Dropbox or Google, it’s a smart choice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Android O Rumors

    The technological world is buzzing with the new release of the Android O which is just around the corner. Yet, there’s been no news about its release, keeping the Android O a mystery to the Android community. Now, Android's SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has commented here and there about the name, however, he hasn’t leaked out any information on what we can expect.

    However, just because he hasn’t said anything, doesn’t mean the rumor mill hasn’t been speculating the features of the Android O. From what people are saying, there’s going to be an update on notification, camera mode and more. So, let’s get to it and show you what people are speculating will be featured in the Android O.

    App icon badges This update was one in the waiting. The iPhone has had this for years, so it’s about time Android jumped on the bandwagon. Rumor is, the app icons in Android O will have badges for active notifications. Through these badges, you’ll be able to quickly look at your active notifications without having to open the app. So, this will appear directly on your home screen which users are going to love.

    Picture-in-picture mode Now, the details on this are slightly murky, however, from the title, it’s somewhat straightforward. The picture-in-picture mode is going to resemble that of Android TV. The picture-in-picture mode from Google was a part of Android TV. Since it’s already on Andriod TV, it only makes sense to offer this on other Android devices such as tablets and smartphones. We’re crossing our fingers for this one!

    Adaptive icons Think of adaptive icons like Google Pixel. This feature is still quite vague on what it really means, however, it’s most likely connected to dynamically changing icons which will probably be used with the Google Now Launcher, if it’s included in the Android O smartphone.

    Smart text selection floating toolbar The smart text selection floating toolbar is rumored to come with Assistant integration. This feature is rumored to be called “Copy Less” which automatically copies the information you need from apps when needed - so it’s probably going to be a smart text floating toolbar. It’ll come with recognition of texts such addresses and finger gestures. But, this is still a rumor that has yet to be confirmed.

    Improvement to MediaRecorder API MediaRecorder API works in permitting apps to take video and audio clips, saving this data to persistent storage. Rumor has it, that Android O is going to be improving on this feature. In addition, Google is focusing on working with improving audio latency, so we’ll probably see this in the Android O.

    New notifications Now, there is no solid information on what the notifications will look like in the Android O. However, there’s news that the notification system, but in the past, there were rumors about Andromeda and Android 8.0 merging, so this could be it. Or it could simply mean that Google is updating the graphics of the notifications. Though we know what Google is capable of doing, so they may be syncing your notifications to your Google account, making all your accounts in sync on any device.

    Restricted background activities Google has recently come out with Chrome 57 with one of its best features being power saving of background tabs. This means that Google is going to be restricting the activity of background apps in the Android O. So, your battery is going to last much longer than it already is right now, which you’re probably happy about. Plus, who needs background apps to be working when you’re not using them anyways? Just a waste of battery. It’s nice to be given some control over phone and not let apps run things.

    Sadly, there isn’t as much information leaking out as we would like. On one side, this builds up the excitement for when it’s released, however, for the time being, we’re all sitting here wondering what they’ve come up with! As it gets closer to being released, more information about the updated features will leak out to the community. So, stay tuned as we try to find out more information about the Android O.

  • What to Do When Your Phone Fell in the Water

    Phone-in-water

    It’s happened to the best of us: you’re just getting done using the toilet when whoops — your very expensive smartphone just fell inside the bowl. Or, maybe still, you’ve been having a drink with your mates when all of a sudden you’ve spilled a whole pint of beer on your device. Whatever the case, when liquid gets in your phone’s most sensitive electronics there’s not a whole lot you can do. Still, there are some steps you can take that might get your phone to work like new.

    Don't Fret

    Just because it’s in water doesn’t mean your phone is a lost cause. Acting quickly can actually prevent your phone from any water damage. Though, please note, if your phone is connected to a wall charger, do not take it out of the water. If you remove it from the water, you may get electrocuted! However, if it’s not connected to a wall charger, then you’re free to remove it as quickly as you can.

    Start by Removing the Phone from the Water as Quick as You Can

    This might seem like a no-brainer but you really don’t want your phone to be sitting in a liquid for hours on end. Even if you think your device is protected by a case or plastic cover, it’s not. Not really, anyways. Water has a way of finding itself into your phone’s insides via your headphone jack or charging port. What’s more, keeping the phone on can actually cause more damage to your phone! So, removing your phone from whatever liquid its in and turning it off immediately would be the best course of action.

    Place Your Phone on a Paper Towel or Soft Cloth to Remove the Battery (Android only)

    This is one of the most important steps that you need to follow as doing this can actually save your phone from lasting damage. By removing the battery, you’re preventing water from enter into your device’s power source and thus eliminating the risk of a short circuit. To check if your phone has water damage, take a close look at one of the corners where your battery sits. There’s should be a white square or circle. If the square or circle is white, then there’s no damage. However, if it has pink or red lines, you have water damage.

    Remove the SIM Card, If You Have One

    If your phone has a SIM card then you’ll want to remove it as well. For many devices, the SIM stores all kinda of important information, so removing this from your phone can save yourself all sorts of headaches down the road. SIM cards can survive water damage, but you’ll want to remove it immediately in order to maximize your chances of it being undamaged. Dry it off gently and leave it somewhere safe in the open air.

    Remove Other Accessories

    If you have headphones plugged in, a phone case, or whatever then you’ll want to remove them as well as they’ll only serve to get in the way. You’ll want to leave all the slots and gaps of your phone exposed to the open air. This will allow for air drying.

    Remove as Much Water as Possible

    Your going to want to remove as much water as you possibly can. One drop of water can destroy a circuit which is what you don’t want. Use a soft cloth to gently wipe down the surface of your phone. Try not to move the phone around too much in case there’s water inside. If you removed the battery quickly after the incident, try dabbing the inside of your phone with rubbing alcohol.

    After that, use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any excess liquid that’s in your phone. You’ll want to do this for about 20 minutes. It’s the most effective to remove liquid from your phone. But whatever you do, do not use a hairdryer.

    Use Rice

    Leave your phone is a bowl of rice overnight. You can also use desiccants which can absorb water better than rice. Rotate your phone every couple hours until you go to bed. After that, lay your phone down on a towel to allow water to evacuate your phone.

    For best results, try leaving it in the bowl for at least a week.

    Test Your Phone

    After doing all these steps, try trying on your phone. Does it work? Perfect! If nothing is happening, try plugging it into your charger. If nothing happens after that, then you’ll have to go get your phone looked at by a professional.

    Luckily for you, MySCREEN has three convenient locations in Queensland. Just drop us a line and we'll work out the most convenient way for you to have your phone repaired.

  • GIPHY Android Review

    GIPHY Android Review

    GIFs have certainly changed the way we look at images on the internet. After all, why look at a boring old still picture when you can have a movie clip shown to you without having to turn the sound down on your computer? (We’ve all had that thing happen to us where the video is playing while we forgot to mute our computers, causing everyone to look at us afterwards. So awkward.) Well, luckily, GIFs are more accessible on our mobile devices than ever thanks to apps such as GIPHY. Wait a second, this is an app for GIFs and they misspell the world GIF? That’s a little odd, isn’t it? Am I overanalyzing this? You’ll have to read the review and find out. Let’s take a look at GIPHY for Android devices.

    58.2 58

    What Is GIPHY?

    GIPHY is an app to find any kind of GIF. And I know what you’re thinking, “who does this app reviewer think they are, making such a bold claim as that?” Well, first of all, I appreciate you asking so kindly. And secondly, there is seriously a ton of different GIFs available on this app. Allow me to explain.

    58.1

    How Is The App?

    What’s interesting about GIPHY isn’t so much the number of GIFs available. OK, it is, but allow me to make my point. GIPHY offers tons of different categories of GIFs, from those reflecting different emotions and actions to even those specifically from movies and TV shows. And they’re all very easy to share on everything from your basic messenger to Facebook messaging. Needless to say, they made sending a GIF of Batman eating a cookie pretty simple.

    58.2

    The Bottom Line

    If you’re looking for a fun way to express something outside of your basic emojis, GIPHY is the way to do it. Want to wish your grandmother a happy birthday? Use GIPHY! Want to tell somebody you’re mad? Use GIPHY! Want to just send someone a picture of Spongebob Squarepants dancing? Use GIPHY! OK, I’ll stop. This is starting to sound like some kind of GIPHY commercial...

  • Spreaker Android Review

    Spreaker Android Review

    I’ve made it no secret that I’m a big fan of podcasts. It’s always so nice to go for a long walk while listening to the sound of other people talking. I mean, it’s definitely better than thinking, right? Thankfully, in the smartphone age, there are tons of options when it comes to ways to listen to podcasts. Between iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher, taking your internet talk shows with you has never been easier. But does the Spreaker app bring enough to the table to compete with the best of the best in podcast apps? Well, I wrote an article discussing just that. What a coincidence! Let’s take a look at Spreaker for Android devices.

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    What Is Spreaker?

    As I (pretty much) explained in the intro, Spreaker is an app made primarily for listening to podcasts. However, I’ve reviewed podcast apps in the past and they’ve done very little to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd. Most of them just seemed like weaker versions of the more popular podcasting apps already available. However, Spreaker does offer some interesting twist on the tried and true podcast formula. Allow me to explain..

    57.1

    How Is The App?

    Spreaker actually exceeded my expectations quite a bit. Unlike many apps that are simply watered-down versions of basic podcast systems, the app offers quite a few unique options. A perfect example of this is the ability to listen to live broadcasts, effectively blurring the lines between podcasting and radio. Additionally, the app offers much more detailed category system, going far beyond the basics of “Entertainment” and “Sports”. Considering there are so many different subgenres of podcasts out there, I’d say that’s a good thing.

    57.2

    The Bottom Line

    Spreaker is definitely an app I would recommend for not only listening to podcasts, but discovering new ones. With some wonderful features such as live broadcasting and downloading for offline listening, I’d say the app is definitely worth a download. It is free after all.

  • How To Use Lifesum (Android)

    How To Use Lifesum (Android)

    Health apps have definitely grown in popularity over the past few years. Perhaps it’s because we, as a society, are starting to become much more healthy. Or perhaps it’s because mobile technology is beginning to really help us when it comes to our health needs. Or perhaps it’s because we’ve all done that thing where you download an app and really think you’re going to use it...even if you don’t really end up using it at all. I may or may not have done that a few times with health-related apps. But that’s besides the point. Let’s take a look at Lifesum for Android devices.

    44

    What Is Lifesum?

    Lifesum is an app to help keep track for your various health needs. Trying to eat healthier? Lifesum can help you with that. Trying to exercise more? Lifesum can help you with that. Trying to build a robotic arm so that you can defeat your enemies? I’m not sure if Lifesum can help you with that. Maybe the Premium version?

    44.1

    How Do You Use It?

    Lifesum is a pretty simple application to use. You begin using the app by choosing your objectives, such as if you’d like to eat healthier, lose weight, or even gain muscle. You then give the app some basic information such as your height, weight, and gender. From there, you’re free to begin tracking your various habits, such as what you eat, what you drink, and how often you exercise by tapping the proper sections.

    44.2

    The Bottom Line

    Lifesum is a very well-designed app for tracking your fitness needs. Not only does the application make tracking your dietary behaviors very simple, it also tells you how healthy your habits are. For example, while inputting the food you’ve eaten, it will give you an actual grade of the item. And, to my shock and awe, triple pepperoni double cheese pizza is not all that healthy for you. So I learned something today,

  • Out Of Milk Android Review

    Out Of Milk Android Review

    It’s happened to all of us. You go out on a special trip to the grocery store for one simple item, come back with bags of stuff, and realize you didn’t even get the one thing you went to the store for. It can be a cruel world sometimes. Well, some app developers must have felt this exact pain and decided it was time to make a stand. No longer shall we go to the store for a pack of gum and come home gum-free again. Let’s take a look at Out Of Milk for Android devices.

    51

    What Is Out Of Milk?

    At first glance, Out Of Milk seems to be your usual run-of-the-mill grocery list app. However, it’s actually got some useful additions to it. For starters, the app allows you to not only add in items you are in need of, such as bread or cereal, but scan barcodes of products you really enjoy to add them right in. Additionally, you can organize the items already in your pantry and determine how much you have left. After all, there’s nothing worse than the grim realization you’re low on peanut butter.

    51.1

    How Is The App?

    Out Of Milk is one of those apps that really surprised me. It’s not that I didn’t think the app would be any good or anything, I just thought I’d be getting one of your regular listing apps. However, I believe this app really innovates the classic grocery list in a number of ways. The barcode scan is simple and intuitive, and the pantry idea is pretty novel. Even though I’m not nearly organized enough to keep all of that together.

    51.2

    The Bottom Line

    Out Of Milk definitely exceeded my expectations, offering a grocery experience unlike my usual process of “writing something on a sticky note and bringing it to the store”. Even if my absolute lack of organization probably means I won’t be able to fully take advantage of the app.

  • Cold Turkey Android Review

    Cold Turkey Android Review

    We’ve all had that friend that just can’t seem to stay off of their phone for more than a couple minutes at a time. While you’re trying to have a conversation, they’re Instagramming, Twittering, and AOL chatrooming (do people still do that?) away. And we’ve also all had those times where we’re trying to get some work done but can’t help from checking for texts or playing a few levels in Candy Crush. Heck, I’ve had some of my reviews take all day because of that. I probably should have kept that a secret, huh? Well, maybe there’s a certain app that can help with all of that. Let’s take a look at Cold Turkey for Android devices.

    48

    What Is Cold Turkey?

    Cold Turkey is an app with the main focus of keeping you off of your phone. Well, not so much off of your phone, just not using any of the fun and addictive things a smartphone can do. Which is everything. You begin by setting the amount of time you’d like to be phone-free, and a timer starts. And then, until that timer hits zero, your mobile device is useless. You’ll just have to wait to see how many likes you got on that Facebook photo.

    48.1

    How Is The App?

    I must say, I am very impressed with the Cold Turkey app. Not only is it a spectacular idea, it’s executed very well. The simplicity of the application is perfect for keeping focused, and I almost enjoyed the frustration of being able to open different apps...only to be redirected right back to the Cold Turkey screen. Bold move, designers.

    48.2

    The Bottom Line

    Whether you have trouble focusing because of your mobile device or just want more time with the outside world, Cold Turkey is an amazing application for any mobile device user. It’s designed well, executed well, and...oh! My time’s up! I can use my phone again!

  • Vevo Android Review

    Vevo Android Review

    I’ve always been quite a fan of music videos. There’s something that’s always so interesting about seeing a visual addition to your music listening experience. While this used to be a feature only seen on television, music videos have grown to be more of an online experience, with on-demand music videos readily available. And, the past few years, Vevo has made their name as a major distributor of these music videos. Let’s take a look at the dedicated Vevo app for Android devices.

    47

    What Is Vevo?

    My earliest memories of Vevo were in the earlier days of YouTube, when I would watch tons of music videos. However, suddenly various musician music video channels had the name “Vevo” added onto them. And started adding ads before the video. Well, as you can imagine, this was a bit tough for some people to deal with, and they made this very apparent in the comments section. But don’t worry, it’s the only time that a comments section has ever been angry. Well, frankly I didn’t mind it, and Vevo has lived on, releasing their very own dedicated music video app.

    47.1

    How Is The App?

    Vevo is actually a pretty well-designed app. The entire look of the application is very approachable, and is actually one of the better designs I’ve seen for a video-streaming app. You can simply search around for any artist or song you’d like to see or check out the suggested songs. But there’s the only problem with the app: you can pretty much already do all of that with the YouTube app. Plus watch millions and millions of cat videos.

    47.2

    The Bottom Line

    Vevo is not a bad app by any means. I really enjoy the basic design of the application and it does offer a more focused music video experience. However, there’s simply not much that makes it different from the main YouTube app. And, like I said, there’s no cat videos. Trust me, I looked.

  • Sorting Hat Android Review

    Sorting Hat Android Review

    I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. But can you blame me? They’re so much fun to read and watch! Plus they have that cool spell that works like a mini flashlight. Even if you do pretty much just do with your phone. Or a flashlight. Whatever, it’s still cool. Well, one of the most iconic parts of the Harry Potter franchise is the Sorting Hat, which examines your personality and decides which of the school’s houses you belong in. And now that talking hat has been made into an app! (Wow, I never thought I’d type that.) Let’s take a look at Sorting Quiz for Android devices.

    42

    What is Sorting Quiz?

    Much like in the books and movies, the Sorting Quiz decides which of the four Hogwarts houses you belong in by taking a look at your personality. This is done by answering ten questions about what you seek in life, your best quality, and more. So for me, pretty much just food and sleep.

    42.1

    How Is The App?

    I must say, I had a very good time playing around with the Sorting Quiz app. The application had some pretty interesting (and oftentimes tough) questions and actually works very well. How do I know this? It placed me in Hufflepuff, the house I’ve been placed in every single time I take a Sorting Hat quiz of this kind. Man, somebody reading this that doesn’t know about Harry Potter must be pretty lost, huh?

    42.2

    The Bottom Line

    The Sorting Quiz app is very fun. In fact, even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, it still works as a quick personality test. But, I must admit, as a person that bought Harry Potter-looking glasses right after the first movie came out, I must say the app is much more fun if you’ve been a longtime fan like myself. Whether you have the glasses or not.

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