Once a week we dip into the reader mailbag and answer your tech questions. This week we’re looking at mobile credit card processing for Android, resizing hard drive partitions, and tethering your Android phone to your laptop.

Mobile Credit Card Processing for Android

Dear How-To Geek,

I am an independent business owner that does all of my work in the field. I currently can only accept cash and checks as payment from my clients. I think being able to accept credit cards would help expand my business. I was wondering what the best, most secure and cost effective app for Android is that will allow me to accept credit cards over my phone?


Seeking Better Business Strategies

Dear Seeking,

Since we don’t use mobile credit card readers around the HTG office, this would be a great time for readers with field experience to sound off with their Android-based solutions. That said, we can point you in the right direction.

While there are a smattering of credit card processing applications in the Android Market we’re going to direct you towards Square. Square, Inc. has been making waves for years now in the mobile payment processing market with their iPhone app + free mobile reader combo. They’ve brought the same application and reader to the Android market. Not only can you accept credit cards through the mobile interface but with the free reader you can even swipe them. The fee structure is a basic and straight forward 2.75% per transaction with no additional fees, service charges, or other maintenance costs. You can download the Android app here and read more about the service on their main site here.

Resizing Your Windows 7 Partition

Dear How-To Geek,

I’ve outgrown the primary partition on my Windows 7 machine. Is it possible to resize it and it and siphon some of the space off the secondary data partition?


Squeezed in Syracuse

Dear Squeezed,

First, make sure all your data is properly backed up. Fiddling with partitions has gotten easier over the years, but better safe than sorry. After that you can opt to approach the problem one of two ways. You can use the built-in partition resizing tools in Windows or you can use the GParted Live CD to enjoy finer control over the process.

Use Your Android Phone as a Data Modem

Dear How-To Geek,

My buddy just got a new Android phone with a built-in Hot Spot feature. I’m jealous… my phone has no such feature. I don’t really care about the whole “can serve up to 8 Wi-Fi devices” bit he’s bragging about, I just want to hook my Android phone to my laptop when I’m out and about without having to void any warranties or break anything. What can I do?


Mobile Data Envy in Delaware

Dear Envy,

You’re in luck. If you wanted to emulate the Wi-Fi Hot Spot functionality you’d need to root your device in order to enable it. Since all you want to do is tether your Android device to your laptop all you’ll need is to do is get a USB cable sync cable for your phone and follow along with our guide to tethering Android phones using PDAnet.

Have a pressing tech question? Send us a email at tips@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer them.


Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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