As the Fire Phone goes on sale this week, we ask the experts whether it’s primed to take over the smartphone world, or is Amazon set to be yet another company to get its fingers burned
As the Fire Phone goes on sale this week, we ask the experts whether it’s primed to take over the smartphone world, or is Amazon set to be yet another company to get its fingers burned?
Nearly three years after Amazon kick-started the Android tablet market with the Kindle Fire, it has launched its first smartphone. The Fire Phone runs on Fire OS, the company’s forked version of Android based – presumably, but not confirmed – on KitKat. The phone is available from 25 July, in the US only at first, and exclusive to AT&T.
The smartphone market is notoriously difficult for newcomers to make any kind of impact, with even a company as large as Facebook suffering a high profile and embarrassing failure with its first handset last year. Amazon has equipped its device with a few attention-grabbing features, including an innovative ‘Dynamic Perspective’ function that combines a 3D-like effect with gesture controls, and the Firefly software that provides users with an even quicker way to shop online, but will it be enough to convert to sales?
Delete data and unwanted apps to keep your Android device from slowing to a crawl
Android devices are a lot like cars (bear with us on this one). Although they require effectively zero user maintenance aside from putting fuel (power) in them, using a little bit of technical knowledge can help keep them in tip-top condition and running smoothly. You look after your car, er, phone, and your phone will look after you, as the saying goes.
After months of use, there are a number of things that can impact the performance of your device. Whether it’s apps that sit in memory or take up space on the device, data from long uninstalled apps or just an outdated ROM, there are a number of things you can do to give your device that brand new feeling again. Not only that, there are almost certainly some new tips and tricks you can use to help eke the most out of your smartphone or tablet.
Follow our spring-cleaning steps to make your device feel as fresh as – nay fresher – than the day you walked out of the store! Most of our tips are pretty self explanatory, but some are more in-depth so it’s a good idea to take a full backup (and store it off your device) before you break out that virtual feather duster.
The LG G3 is big and packed with features, with an astonishingly good screen the highlight from the premium end’s new flag bearer
The new LG G3 is quite simply the most feature-rich handset to be launched in the UK. It has a stunning array of features that put it right at the head of the pack in terms of technical capabilities, and for the most part, we are very impressed indeed.Design
LG has put a lot of thought into the design of this handset and worked hard to keep it as pocket-friendly as possible. The 5.5-inch screen is just a few millimetres away from the long edges and very close to the short edges too, so that the overall size of the phone is relatively small. Yes, it is still difficult to reach across for one-handed use, but as handsets with large screens go the overall size is impressively svelte.
The Android buttons take up screen space rather than being on the chassis, so that there is a loss of screen area for apps, but a gain in terms of keeping the chassis size small.
You can run an Android window on your desktop computer.
Andyroid.net is a program that you can install on your desktop or laptop that lets you run an Android window on your PC. In a few steps you can essentially have an Android tablet running alongside the other programs on your computer. It’s pretty resource heavy, so you’re going to need a reasonably powerful computer to get it running in any useful way, but once you do you’ll be able to sign in with your Google account and install the apps and games that you have on your Android devices and access them direct from your PC.
It’s great if you want to use messaging apps without having to keep picking up your phone, or to play games on a bigger screen. You can even use your phone as a controller. It’s a pretty simple process to get the program up and running, and if you follow the steps in this tutorial you shouldn’t go wrong. Obviously you’re going to need to be sat near your computer for this one.
The Google Play store is one of the first apps to get the Material L treatment.
One of the thing we were most excited about at the recent I/O event was how Material Design was going to shape the way Android looks for the foreseeable future. One of the first apps to get the Material Design look is the Google Play store.
Although you’ll find all the same features present, the look of it has changed dramatically. There’s an array of new animations, a unique header and each page has been changed to fit the Material Design guidelines.
Google has confirmed that the rollout of the redesigned app is happening right now. It might take a few days for it to reach all devices, but you should soon have your hands on a beautiful new app.
Source: +Kirill Grouchnikov
Get your email inbox into shape with a series of intuitive swipes and gestures
Looking at your email inbox can sometimes be a daunting affair. It only takes a couple of days of not keeping a close eye on the messages piling up in there to turn it into a quagmire of unread adverts, unchecked work contacts and ignored missives from friends. Luckily, there’s an app that can help you get your hundreds of unread messages down to zero in no time flat.
Although it’s a bit more complicated than just tapping ‘mark all as read’. The app in question is called Mailbox. It’s from the company behind Dropbox, and is a clever and simple way to take back control of your email. With a few simple swipes and some clever automation you can make sure you’re reading the mails you need to read, and getting rid of some of the chaff that can build up before you’ve even noticed it’s there. The app is free to download, and once you’ve grabbed it it’s time to start getting to grips with that messy inbox.