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MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE

Backing up our PCs is something we are all used to. It’s not something many people relish, but once an automated task has been set up, it is something that can be forgotten about until your suffer from hard drive failure or another disaster and need to think about restoring files. But things are not quite so easy when it comes to Android.

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Whenever Google releases a new version of Android for its Nexus devices, it doesn’t roll out to everyone at once. It may take several days before your device receives the update, but you don’t have to wait.

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Wireless internet connections are far more prevalent than they used to be, but there are still times when you may find that you are stuck using a wired connection and want to use it wirelessly — for instance, at a hotel with only wired internet but you want to get your tablet online.

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Using the stock backgrounds for a bit when you purchase a new Nexus 7 is fine, but sooner or later you will definitely want something new to look at. Add a unique look to the screen of your Nexus 7 with the first in our series of Abstract Mix Wallpaper collections.

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Widgets are wonderfully versatile additions to your Android home screen. They can provide access to various features of the apps you have installed, make it easier to access settings, display information about your device, and much more. Using Ultimate Custom Widget, you can turn dev and create your own widget without the need to code a single line.

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So, you want to head to bed… time to power down the PC and call it a night. But wait… that download hasn’t finished yet. You could stay up and wait for it to finish, but then you will miss out on sleep. You could leave it running, but that’s a waste of electricity. Or you could do is turn to Shutter, which gives you a couple of alternative options.

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Android users have not been dealt a great hand when it comes managing their devices from Windows. Different manufacturers provide device management tools ranging from the mediocre to the just plain bad – Kies, I’m looking at you. But I have discovered SnapPea, one of the easiest ways to manage, control and backup Android from Windows.

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Now that the holidays are over and your shiny new iPhone has had time to get settled in, you are likely tired of the default wallpapers and ready for something fresh. Bring the beauty of the outdoors to your iPhone’s screen with the first in our series of Views of Nature Wallpaper collections.

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Compared to a PC, phones and tablets are fairly locked-down devices. Jailbreaking, rooting, and unlocking are all ways of bypassing their limitations, and doing things that manufacturers and carriers don’t want you to do.

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Previously, we have covered what VPNs are and how you can easily connect to them in Windows. Android also supports VPNs – if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can easily connect it to a VPN.

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There are tons of great retro game emulators for the Android platform, put using the touch screen as a game controller is a lackluster solution. This fun electronics hack turns an old Game Boy into a case/controller for your phone.

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We’ve written about rooting your Android smartphones and tablets before, but why don’t they come rooted? Google argues that rooting is a mistake for security reasons, as it subverts Android’s security model.

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In a world where you can have 3D scenes rendered in real time as your smartphone’s background, plain black wallpapers aren’t the most eye-catching option. However, they can offer battery life improvements over colored wallpapers on some displays.

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Have you had any issues with your Nexus 7? We’ve run into quite a few problems and fixed them all – from bad performance and touch-screen responsiveness issues to tablets that won’t power on and separating screens.

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Android has decent multitasking, but the missing piece of the puzzle is the ability to have multiple apps on-screen at the same time – particularly useful on a larger tablet. Floating apps fill this need.

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Most of the app data on your Android is probably synced online will automatically sync to a new phone or tablet. However, your Google Authenticator credentials won’t — they aren’t synchronized for obvious security reasons.

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Safe mode can help you troubleshoot your Android, but sometimes you’ll need to wipe everything and restore your device to its factory state. You can even perform a factory reset when your Android phone or tablet won’t boot normally.

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A newer, stronger Droid cometh…

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On your Windows PC, you can boot into safe mode to load Windows without any third-party software. You can do the same on Android with Android’s safe mode. In safe mode, Android won’t load any third-party applications.

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The media is full of reports saying Android malware is exploding and that Android users are at risk. Does this mean you should install an antivirus app on your Android phone or tablet?

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The Nexus 7 may not have a lot of storage space – especially the original 8 GB model – but you can connect a USB drive to it if you want to watch videos or access other files.

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In Android 4.2, the Developer Options menu and USB Debugging option have been hidden. If you need to enable USB Debugging, you can access the Developer Options menu with a quick trick.

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If you’re just getting started with Android, its customizability can seem a bit daunting. We’ll walk you through customizing your Android home-screen, taking advantage of widgets, and getting third-party launchers with more features.

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Several times a year, Google releases a new version of Android with new features and performance improvements. Unfortunately, most Android devices in the wild will never get the update.

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Android has taken huge strides since Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but many devices are still using it. If you can’t upgrade your old device, there are ways to make it feel more modern.

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