Seven Mistakes That Could Jeopardize Google’s Mobile Future

Last update: May 26, 2013

Five years ago few thought Google could ever challenge Apple when it came to mobile technology. Now Android is leading the way in many areas. Google got where they are today thanks to a well-executed strategy and lots of help from Apple, but mistakes they are making now could jeopardize the future of Android.

The top three U.S. Big Box retailers produce almost 600 billion dollars in revenue

Traditional retailers are still important. The top three big-box retailers produce almost $600 billion in revenue a year

1. Largely Ignoring the Traditional Retail Channel

E-commerce sites like Amazon.com might be the future, but big-box retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Costco produce 12 times more revenue than Amazon does today. Apple understands the importance of retail and sells huge quantities of smartphones and tablets through this channel. Google has met with companies like Best Buy before, but most retailers don’t like them because they sell devices direct to consumers for less money than the retailers need to make a good profit. Google also doesn’t spend millions of dollars on retail end-caps, marketing and product training like Apple and Samsung do. I believe Google needs to hire someone who understands how to work with traditional retailers and expand their presence in brick and mortar stores.

One explanation why Google has been ignoring traditional retailers could be they are planning to open their own stores. Although Google originally denied this, there is now evidence they may be going ahead with this. I suspect we’ll see them start with only a few stores however. It would take years and lots of money to expand their reach into most major U.S. cities.

2. Having One of the Worst e-Commerce Sites

Many Google products are not available from major retailers. If you want to buy a product like a 16GB Nexus 10, there is only one place to get it today: the Google Play website. Although Google Play works well for app sales, it gets failing grades in the area of physical fulfillment of products. Their first launch of of Nexus One was understandably a disaster, but the company has had years to fix these problems and they have not done so. All three of their recent Nexus launches were horrible in every way. Even the e-commerce areas of their Google Play website were unable to support the traffic. That’s really surprising. I haven’t seen a site fail so badly since the early days of the Internet. I believe Google needs to fire the people in charge of their current e-commerce and fulfillment operations and start over, or farm out the business to someone like Amazon, who understands how to do e-commerce right.

3. Making Better Apps for Competitive Platforms

Some of Google’s apps are now longer better on iOS than Android. Examples include Google Mail, Google Maps and YouTube, which all have advantages on iOS currently. While this could be temporary, it makes no sense to favor a competitor’s platform over your own. More details.

Update: Since this article was first written, Google has improved their Maps and YouTube apps, so I believe their Android apps now have advantages in some areas.

Over-dependence on the cloud can be a bad thing

Overdependence on the cloud can be a bad thing

4. Forcing Consumers to Use the Cloud

It’s clear Google wants everyone to use the cloud, but shipping one of your flagship smartphones with only 8-gigabytes of local storage was a poor decision. Especially in light of the fact the Nexus 4 doesn’t have a memory expansion slot, like the Samsung Galaxy S III, and many other Android phones. An 8GB Nexus 4 has less than 6GB of free space available out of the box. Since my apps alone occupy over 3GB of space, that leaves only enough room for a single movie download. Even if you don’t download movies, you might still have problems. Popular games like Modern Warfare 3 and 9MM use almost 2 GB of storage space. Sure you could delete a few large apps to free up space, but you shouldn’t have to.

Google expects us to store our movies, music, photos and documents in the cloud, but what if we want watch a movie on a plane, or we need to access an important file at a location with no cellular or Wi-Fi access? This could be a big problem. Apple downloads its media and doesn’t stream it like Google does. Google does allow you to download (or pin) media from Google Play, but you need free space on your device to do so.

Storing all of you media the cloud can also be problematic because Google Drive and all other cloud-based systems occasionally go down. Google claims 99.948% uptime, but that corresponds to 7 minutes of downtime a month, which is a big deal if a Google service is down when you’re trying to access data from it. That’s why you should always try to carry essential files on your device (or ‘pin’ them so they are accessible).

Less than 1% of all Android users were running the newest version of Android on 12/3.

Only 1.2% of all Android users were running the newest version of the OS on January 3rd

5. Allowing Others to Seriously Weaken Your Platform

Carriers and handset manufacturers unintentionally hurt the Android platform by insisting on customizing the software on their mobile devices. This causes OS fragmentation, support issues and customer frustration, because users have to wait so long to get bug fixes and new features. Apple has a “take it or leave it” attitude with carriers, and forces them to limit customization, so users can download updates on the first day they are available. This is one of the strongest advantages iOS has over Android today. Google has made progress on this issue with their line of Nexus phones, but even those devices have carrier bloatware and don’t always receive OS updates when they are first available. Just how bad is OS fragmentation on the Android platform? As of January 3rd, only 1.2% of all Android users were running the newest version of Android, while over 60% of Apple users were running the newest version of iOS. 59% of Android users are stuck using an OS that is now over two years old. Google decided to call Android 4.2 Jelly Bean so they could say that 10% of all Android users run that version, but that’s far from a solution. Google must address this issue in 2013.

Android 4.2′s calendar bug is evidence that Google is rushing products to market before they are ready

Android 4.2′s calendar bug was evidence that Google was rushing products to market before they were ready

6. Releasing New Products Before They Are Ready

Lately it seems Google is trying to do too much at once, and is releasing new technologies before they are ready. For example, proper testing would have exposed the December bug in Android 4.2. That issue was fixed in a software update, but there are other Android 4.2 bugs like the Auto-brightness bug, which should have been caught. In addition, key Android 4.2 features like Miracast steaming don’t work on the Nexus 10 and other devices. Google’s haste has also broken some of the biggest advantages of Android 4.1 on some devices and has some saying Android is becoming too complex for its own good. Not all of Android’s issues are software-related. Some of Google’s newest Nexus devices were released without a single accessory (e.g. dock, case, etc.) This caused frustration among some users. There is simply no excuse for this type of poor planning. Google needs to slow down and take the time needed to do things right.

7. Eliminating Some of Android’s Biggest Advantages

Hardware choices are good, but Google should strongly encourage manufacturers to make Android devices with Android’s signature features like slots for removable memory, removable batteries, standard micro USB and micro HDMI ports. Expandable storage, standard ports and removable batteries are some of the key selling points of the Android platform and the reason why many people are switching from iPhone to Android devices. Removing these advantages from Nexus devices and allowing manufacturers to remove them from their devices seriously weakens the Android platform.

Final Thoughts

Google has come a long way in the past five years, but it seems like their phenomenal success is going to their heads. Apple may be down right now, but stupid mistakes like these are what allowed Google to steal so much market share in such a short time period. I hope Google can address some these issues before it’s too late.

Do you agree Google is making some big mistakes, or am I just overreacting? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks.

- Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

More Great Tips & Tricks for the Nexus 10

Last update: October 17, 2013

This article has had over 110,000 views! Although it was written for the Nexus 10, many of these tips apply to other Android tablets as well. Enjoy!

Because my original Nexus 10 tips and tricks article was so incredibly popular, I’ve decided to write a follow-up. This time I’m including a few outside sources, however I assure you these tips will be every bit as good as the original ones and there will be no duplicates.

  1. Improve lag and choppiness – Some other Nexus users have found a simple fix to lag, choppiness, and stuttering performance that occurs when swiping across the home screens, opening the app drawer, typing on the keyboard, scrolling in the browser or even simply unlocking the device. I haven’t experienced too many problems like this, but still recommend you make the following change to see if it improves things. First, locate Google Currents in All Apps and open it. Tap “Settings” (the three dots) and uncheck “Enable Background Sync.” Reboot your Nexus 10. Source: TalkAndroid
  2. Ad-blockers can be useful utilities

  3. Unblock ads – There are several good Android ad blockers, but most require a rooted device. Adblock Plus is free and removes ads on a stock Nexus 10. Important note: One of my readers reported some serious problems after installing this app (see the comments section of my original tips article if you want details). For this reason, I’m recommending everyone hold off on installing this app until the company releases an update which addresses this issue. Source: Phandroid
  4. Maximize your battery life – To increase the battery life of your Nexus 10, try these suggestions:
    - Turn off your tablet when you go to sleep and charge it all night.
    - Set your screen brightness at 50% or lower. To do this go to Settings > Display > Brightness
    - Uninstall power hungry apps – Go to Settings > Battery and look at the top battery users . On my Nexus 10, Yahoo Weather consumes as much power then the screen and the OS combined! To uninstall go to the All Apps folder and drag the problem app on top of the Uninstall label at the top of the screen
    - Turn off your GPS when you don’t need it. To do this go to Settings > Location Access and set ‘Access to my location’ OFF. If you do this, any app which requires the GOS including Google Now will not function correctly.
    - If you rarely use Bluetooth or NFC, make sure both are off. To turn off NFC, go to Settings > More…
    - Check the Sleep setting (under Display) and make sure it is set to 1 minute or less.
  5. Tether your tablet to your phone for free – As long as you have an Android smartphone, there’s no need to purchase a tablet with cellular support, or pay extra to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Just download and install FoxFi on your phone and check ‘Activate WiFi Hotspot.’ Then go to Settings > Wi-Fi on your tablet, and connect to ‘FoxFi14.’ Now you’ll sharing data with your mobile phone. Make sure to keep tabs on the data usage shown in the upper right hand corner of the FoxFi app, and do not use this app if you sometimes come close to using all of your available mobile data. I cannot be held responsible for any extra data charges you incur because of the use of this app. Other caveats: The free version of FoxFi now has a usage limit that requires you to restart FoxFi at some point. You can purchase the full version key to unlock this. Currently WiFi mode does not work on most phones with Jelly Bean and most HTC phones (except for HTC One). However, Bluetooth mode works for all phones.
  6. Import contacts from other sources – If you have contacts stored in Outlook, Yahoo or another source, export them as a comma-separated value or CSV file. For contacts from Apple’s Address Book, expert as vCard. It’s not essential, but is a good idea if you open this file using a spreadsheet and make some edits on your computer to clean up things. Now you’re ready to import your contacts. Open Google Contacts on your computer and click on ‘More.’ Select ‘Import’ and select the file you exported. After your contacts have been imported, you should go to ‘More’ again and select ‘Find and merge duplicates.’
  7. Scrubly cleans your contacts for free

  8. Clean up your contacts and add photos to them – If you have problems with duplicate contacts or contacts with missing info, you should go to Scrubly.com. Scrubly is a free service for people with less than 250 contacts. In addition to cleaning your contacts, Scrubly will import photos, birthdays, company, job title and more. Make sure to link Scrubly with your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, so it can pull from those sources as well. I’ve used this service and was very impressed, but if you don’t like it, you can revert back to the way things were.
  9. Send SMS texts directly from your tablet – There are several different ways to send SMS texts from your Nexus 10, but one of the better ones is an app called Tablet Talk. This app uses Bluetooth to talk to your Android smartphone. This app is nice because the person you’re texting does not need to install any special software and all texts are sent using your mobile number. With Tablet Talk you can have a text conversation on your tablet just like you would on your phone. This is a paid app ($3) but I think it’s worth it. Install it on your tablet first and then connect to your Android phone via Bluetooth. Once you do that, you can download Tablet Talk on your Android phone for free. Tip: If you’re having problems connecting your Nexus 10 with your phone using Tablet Talk, make sure the Tablet Talk app is open on your phone first and then press the orange button in the lower-left hand corner of the Tablet Talk app on your Nexus 10. If you live in the U.S. and don’t want to mess around with Bluetooth, Google Voice allows you to easily send SMS texts as well and it’s free. The only negative is the fact that your texts will come from your Google number, and not your normal mobile number. Update: Mysms is now my favorite app for this purpose because it’s available in a tablet-optimized version for Android and can send texts to iOS devices, Windows phones, Macs, Chrome devices and Windows PCs. The tablet-optimized Android version is $2, while most other versions are free.
  10. Kingsoft Office is one of the best free office apps

  11. Install an office app – At some point you’re going to need to open a file which was created with Microsoft Office. There are many apps that do this. Consider Kingsoft Office (free), Quickoffice Pro HD, OfficeSuite Pro, Documents To Go or Google Drive (which replaced Google Docs). Most of these apps also create Word or Excel-style docs as well.
  12. Try another web browser – Chrome is good, but there are other good third-party browsers as well. Check out Firefox Browser for Android, Dolphin Browser, Opera (Mobile or Mini web browser), Puffin Web browser Free and xScore. Each have advantages over the others. You can read more about them in Google Play.
  13. Speed up animations to make your tablet feel snappier – There’s another quick way to make your Nexus 10 feel snappier. By speeding up (or disabling) the animated fade-in effects you see when switching between tasks, you’ll see a boost in performance and faster screen transitions. Start by unhiding “Developer options” as described in Tip #11 here. Once in “Developer options,” scroll down to the “Window animation scale” and “Transition animation scale” options and set both to .5x. You can even turn each of these off and transitioning between apps and pages will be almost instant. If you ever want to go back, remember the defaults for both of these settings are 1x. Source: Cult of Android
  14. Learn how to use your camera – Because there is no information about using the camera in the Nexus Guidebook, I’m adding some info here. You’ll find the ‘Camera’ app in the All Apps folder. Long press its icon and drag it to one of your home screens. To take a picture using the rear camera, press the big blue button. You’ll hear a sound which indicates you’ve taken a photo. To view the photo you’ve just taken, swipe to the left. Swipe back to the right to return to the camera. To switch to the front camera, press the circle to the right of the blue button. Then click on the camera icon with the arrows under it. In a few seconds you should see yourself on the view finder. The +/- controls are for exposure. To make a photo less bright press -1, -2 or -3. Next to that is the Settings button. From here you can access presets for things like action shots, night photos and sunset photos under ‘Scene mode.’ ‘Store location’ tags your photo with GPS info. Next to that are the white balance settings for different types of light. Next are the flash settings, To turn off the flash, touch the lightning bolt with an ‘x’ next to it. Press the Back button when you’re finished. To switch to the video camera, press the camera button to the left. From top to bottom, the buttons are ‘Photo Sphere,’ Panorama, Video, and Still Camera. Here is the most comprehensive guide to using the Android 4.2 camera that I’ve seen so far.
  15. Get a stylus for more control – Although the Nexus 10 doesn’t have the same level of sensitivity of a Galaxy Note II, a stylus will give you more control and make it easier to take shorthand notes. Make sure to check out the reviews before you buy any stylus and never buy the cheapest one available, because you probably won’t be happy if you do.
  16. You can quickly send photos or videos to another device using Wi-Fi Direct

  17. Transfer files quickly using Wi-Fi Direct – Wi-Fi Direct lets you send any type of file from your Nexus 10 to another Wi-Fi Direct device like a Samsung Galaxy S III. To send a photo or movie over Wi-Fi direct from your tablet to your phone, go to the ‘Photo Gallery’ app and select the file you wish to send. Then touch the item so the Share button appears. Next, select an app from the list which you know has Wi-Fi Direct support. I use the ‘OfficeSuite Wi-Fi Direct’ app. If you don’t have that, try Wi-Fi Shoot. Now, select the device you want to send your file to from the list of available devices. Photos only take a few seconds to transfer. Sending a 200MB movie took less than 5 minutes. Note: The receiving device may be sluggish while a file is being sent to it. On the sending end, you can swipe down on the Notification bar to see the transfer progress of the file. After the file transfer is complete, select the app on the receiving end that you want to view the file with. The file sent/received notifications cannot be cleared manually. They will go away after you restart your devices.
  18. Long press a notification for app info – If you long press a notification, an “App info” button will appear and you will be able to find out more about the application that sent it. You can clear its cache, data, stop it, uninstall it or disable sending notifications. Source: Android Geeks
  19. You can speak into your Nexus 10 and it will translate just like the Droid commercial shown here

  20. Speak and translate – You may have seen the new Droid RAZR M commercial where the girl speaks into her phone and it speaks the words back in a different language. You can do that with your Nexus 10 as well. Just launch Google Translate. Touch the microphone icon, and speak the words you want translated. Touch the speaker next to the translated words to hear them back.
  21. Fix problems with some apps – If you find an app that is giving you trouble, try wiping its cached data. To do this, go to Settings > Apps, then pick the problem app from the list which appears and tap the ‘Clear cache’ button. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you want to try the ‘Clear data’ button as a last resort. But keep in mind if you do this you could lose stored data like photos. Source: Android Geeks
  22. Scribble and your tablet translates for you

  23. Scribble and translate – You can scribble on your tablet’s screen and Google Translate will translate the words into to any language.
  24. Try these tablet charging tips – For best results, power off your Nexus 10 and let it charge all night. If you do this, you should be able to get through an entire day of normal use without running out of power. On peak usage days, charge your tablet for an hour during lunch or early afternoon.
  25. Turn your tablet into a media server – Although the Nexus 10 is not pre-loaded with a DLNA media server like Samsung’s AllShare Play, there are free alternatives this work even better. Download and install Twonky Beam. It will let you access media on your tablet from your Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Roku box, connected TV — or any of the 13,000 other DLNA-certified devices. [Disclosure: I used to work for the company who makes this software]
  26. Enable auto-fill on third-party browsers – Although Chrome has an ‘Autofill forms’ setting, there are other apps which give you more control over this. Install Dolphin Browser and the Autofill Form add-on for it.
  27. Lower your screen brightness even more – If you sometimes like to use the Nexus 10 in a room with all lights off, you may find that the screen is still too bright even when brightness is turned all of the way down. Apps like Screen Filter allow you to adjust the brightness of the screen as dark as you like.
  28. Yopu can beam media from your phone to tablet

    You can beam media from your phone to tablet (or vice versa)

  29. Beam something from your phone to tablet – If you have another Android device with NFC support like a Samsung Galaxy S III you can beam browser pages, YouTube videos, contacts and more from your phone to your tablet (or vice versa). Start by finding the media you want to beam and make sure both devices are unlocked. Next place your phone on the Nexus 10 as shown in the photo. In a few seconds you should feel each vibrate and hear a sound. Touch the screen after you see the image get smaller and the words ‘Touch to beam’ appear on the screen. If you’ve done it successfully, the image will continue to get smaller on the screen until it disappears. More info. In case you’re wondering where the two NFC sensors are on your Nexus 10. One is on the back to the right side of the camera near the top. The other one is by the front camera.
  30. Transfer files from your Mac to your tablet – If you’ve got a Mac, you’ll want to download and install the Android File Transfer app. Then plug your tablet into your Mac and the transfer app should automatically launch. Now can copy or move files by simply dragging and dropping them into the folders on the Nexus 10.
  31. Control your computer's mouse

    Control your computer’s mouse with your tablet

  32. Control your Mac or PC using your tablet – When I first read about this tip, I didn’t think I would like it, but I was wrong. This may sound like a gimmick, but it’s really useful. First install WiFi Mouse on your tablet. Next, download mouse server software and install it on your computer. Launch the WiFi Mouse app on your tablet and touch ‘Auto Connect.’ You should now be able to control your mouse using your tablet. You can even right-click, but in order to type using your tablet and have that text appear on your computer you’ll need to upgrade to the full version. Source: Redmond Pie
  33. Disable notifications on a single individual application – If you want to turn off notifications for a single app, follow these steps: First swipe down the notification bar. Then long press the notification until a box appears that says, “App Info.” Touch that and then uncheck the “Show Notifications” checkbox. Then touch OK to approve the change. Source: Droid Life
  34. Boot into Safe-mode to troubleshoot problems – If you are experiencing a problem with your Nexus 10 and you want to determine whether they are being caused by a third-party app, press the power button for seven seconds until your tablet reboots. Then press and hold both the volume up and down keys until you see the words ‘Safe mode’ appear in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. If the problem goes away when you’re in safe mode, you should reboot your tablet and start removing recently installed apps until the problem goes away. Source: How-To Geek
  35. Upload your music to the cloud – Since the Nexus 10 has a limited amount of internal storage and is not expandable, you should upload all of the music on your computer to the cloud. Google Music allows you to store up to 20,000 songs for free. Using the Google Music app, you’ll be able to access all of them as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. To upload your music, download Google’s free Music Manager software to your computer.
  36. Canon users can preview photos and change camera settings using their Nexus 10

    Canon DSLR users can preview photos and change camera settings using their Nexus 10

  37. Control a DSLR with your tablet DSLR Controller is a popular app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Nexus 10 with only a USB cable. Use your tablet to control, Live View, Image review, Auto Focus, Manual focus, Zoom control, HDR, Timelapse, Wi-Fi Passthrough, Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO speed, White balance and much more. It’s $8, so make sure your camera is on its supported device list before you buy. If you have a Canon camera like the 6D with Wi-Fi support, check out Canon CameraWindow and EOS Remote. Both of these apps are free.
  38. Download USA-restricted apps & media anywhere – If you have rooted your Nexus 10 and want to free access territory-restricted apps and media, download and install Droid VPN and follow these instructions. I do not recommend that you root your tablet for this reason alone, because it may prevent you for getting OS updates directly from Google. Also, as one of my readers points out in the comments section below, this tip may only be helpful on content that does not require a credit card, because Google Play restricts purchases by country. Source: One Click Root
  39. Sync your tablet with iTunes – It’s easy to copy music or videos from your iTunes library to your tablet. However, I recommend that you don’t move everything – unless you have a 32GB Nexus 10 with lots of free space. You can find detailed instructions how to do this here. Source: CNET
  40. Here are just a few of the free wallpapers available on Google Images

    Here are just a few of the free wallpapers available on Google Images

  41. Upgrade your screen background and save battery life – Upgrade your screen background and save battery life – Most of the stock Wallpapers that come with your Nexus 10 tablet are not great. They use bright colors and do not take advantage of the full resolution of your display. Although you can download wallpaper apps, your best bet is to find some images you’ve taken with your DSLR camera or do an advanced search on Google Images. Enter a description in the first box, if you’re not sure what your looking for try “HD wallpapers”, “high resolution images” or ‘2560×1600 wallpaper’ in the first box. Select ‘Larger than 4 MP’ as the image size. If you want the best quality available, search for images above 12 MP. You’ll see a wide range of images to choose from. Click on a few that you like, and make sure to click ‘Full-size image’ on the right-hand side of the screen.

    You’ll find there are a lot of decoy images, which are smaller than they are supposed to be. If it doesn’t say 2560×1600 or larger under ‘Full-size image’ you should go back and select another image. If can’t find anything good on Google Images, try Google+ Communities or Picasa Web Albums. There are some good dark Nexus 10 backgrounds on this Google+ page. Now right-click on the large image and select ‘Save image as…’ Move all of your saved images into a folder called ‘New wallpapers’ and copy that into the ‘Pictures’ folder on your Nexus 10 using a USB cable. You could select your images from the Gallery, but you’d be asked to crop them and that would lower their resolution. Although the Nexus screen is 2560×1600, I’ve been told that the size of the wallpapers that Google includes with the Nexus 10 are 3966×2560. That’s because they pan when you change home screens. I use an app called ‘Simple Image Wallpaper Free’ which displays your wallpaper at its full resolution, doesn’t require cropping and doesn’t pan when you move to another home screen.

    If all this seems too hard, try a wallpaper app from Google Play like Wallbase, Interfacelift or Wallpaper Wizardii. Just make sure to select images which are 2560×1600 or higher, (3966×2560 is even better if possible).

  42. Transfer files wirelessly from an iPad to your Nexus 10 – You can send or receive, photos, videos, music, contacts or notes over Bluetooth from any iOS device to any Android device. In order to do this, you need a jailbroken iOS device, and the AirBlue Sharing app which you can purchase for $5 from Cydia. See it in action here. Source: Redmond Pie
  43. Here are some nice Live Wallpapers (Lonely Tree, Mystic Halo, Ocean HD)

    Here are some nice Live Wallpapers (Lonely Tree, Mystic Halo, Ocean HD)

  44. Install a better Live Wallpaper – All of the Live Wallpapers that come with the Nexus 10 are poor quality. You should install a good Live Wallpaper like Light Grid, Mystic Halo LW, Blue Skies Free, PanoPlanet, or Ocean HD ($1.99). My current favorite Live Wallpaper is Lonely Tree. It really shows off the Nexus 10′s screen with its 60fps motion and extreme detail. If you watch carefully, you’ll notice the clouds, tree branches, snow all move independently. Avoid most wallpapers in Google Play which claim to be HD. Most do not look good on the Nexus 10′s display. Once you’ve installed your new Wallpaper, go to Settings > Display > Wallpaper > Live Wallpapers and select the one you wish to use. Then touch Set Wallpaper and press the Back button to return to the Home screen.
  45. Stop Google from reading your email – Google Now is able to do some cool things by scanning your Gmail. If this bothers you and you want to turn it off, open the Google Search app, go to Settings > Google Now and uncheck “Show cards based on Gmail.”
  46. A tablet-optimized website

    A tablet-optimized website

  47. Bookmark some tablet-optimized websites – More websites are starting to update their layouts so they look great on the Nexus 10. Checkout sites like Engadget, Google News, TNW (The Next Web) and BGR to see great examples of this.
  48. Maximize your screen’s contrast – Because the Nexus 10 uses a different screen technology than the Samsung Galaxy S III or iPad, you can’t set the brightness as high if you want the best contrast between black and white. I recommend that you set your screen brightness at 50% to 60% — unless you’re outside.
  49. Quickly review your photos and delete the bad ones – Within the Gallery app, touch where it says ‘Grid view’ to change to ‘Filmstrip view’. In this view, you can swipe right to move from photo to photo, or swipe down to delete any photo you don’t like. If you accidentally delete a photo, touch ‘Undo’ in the lower-right hand corner, but do this quickly because this option goes away after you go to the next photo.
  50. Expand your storage with an external Wi-Fi drive – Companies like Kingston have solid-state drives that add 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of additional storage to your tablet. These drives are small and communicate over Wi-Fi.
  51. Transfer files, photos or contact info using Bump Bump is a free app which lets you transfer files wirelessly between any two devices (Android or iOS) — even if they don’t support NFC. To use, open the ‘Bump’ app on both devices and select the file (or files you wish to transfer). Then tap the two devices together and press the blue Connect button on both of the devices. You can bump photos to your computer by going to http://bu.mp and bumping your spacebar with your device. Bump works with videos, docs, spreadsheets, presentations are more.
  52. Stream full high-definition movies directly to your tablet using VUDU

    Stream full high-definition movies directly to your tablet using VUDU

  53. Stream a high-definition movie directly to your tablet from VUDU – You can now stream or download an HD movie or TV show from VUDU . The Nexus 10 is one of only four devices that support VUDU currently. All you need is the free VUDU app and a VUDU account. Vudu has a number of advantages over Google Play including on-the-go access to your UltraViolet Digital Collection of Blu-ray movies. [May not be available to Nexus users outside the U.S.]

  54. Fix auto-brightness problems – Android 4.2 has an auto-brightness setting, but it doesn’t work very well. You should download Lux Auto Brightness to fix this problem. Lux automatically adjusts the brightness of your display based on your environment. When you go into a dark room, Lux will automatically lower the brightness of your display after you unlock your screen to make reading more enjoyable.

    To setup Lux you need to go through their setup wizard. I suggest you leave the factory default settings as is. After you do that, you’ll need to go back and launch the app again and touch ‘Press to enable Lux.’ Lux will adjust every time you unlock your screen. Although there is a dynamic setting, it doesn’t work as well, because it’s possible for your finger to occasionally block the light sensor when you hold the tablet in Portrait mode. If you sometimes use your tablet in a totally dark room, I suggest you go to the settings page and set ‘Night Mode’ alpha to 10.

  55. A Bluetooth keyboard allows you to type much faster

    A Bluetooth keyboard allows you to type much faster

  56. Get a Bluetooth keyboard – You can hook up a wired keyboard to the USB port on the Nexus 10, but a Bluetooth keyboard is much more convenient because its wireless. One of the best keyboards for the Nexus 10 is the Logitech keyboard for Android devices. It’s only $51 and is easy to setup. Just turn it on and press the Connect button on the button of the keyboard. Then go to Settings > Bluetooth on your tablet, touch Search for Devices, and select the Logitech keyboard. Next, type the number which appears on your tablet and press the Enter key to pair it. Now anytime the Bluetooth keyboard is on, you can type on it instead of your tablet. This keyboard comes with a carrying case which doubles as a tablet stand.
  57. It's easy to increase your Wi-Fi signal strength

    It’s easy to increase your Wi-Fi signal strength

  58. Improve your Wi-Fi signal strength – If you have a few spots in your residence where you’re not getting a strong Wi-Fi signal, you should consider purchasing a $40 Wi-Fi booster like this one. It’s easy to setup and designed for use with tablets. Just plug it in and wait for its LED to turn green. Then press the WPS button on the extender and your router and you should be ready to go. The new Wi-Fi network will be called the same as the old one, but end with “_EXT”. Make sure to select that network when you’re having signal strength issues. After connecting to a Wi-Fi Extender, I’m getting speeds that are almost 4 times faster than I was before.
  59. Create your own photo albums – You can use a file explorer app like ES File Explorer to make new photo albums inside of the Pictures folder. This is done by going to the Menu and selecting New and Folder. If you do this, your newly created albums will appear when you open the photo Gallery app. You can also delete any albums you don’t want by pressing Select and then touching the items you wish to delete. When you are finished touch the trash can.
  60. Get cut and paste to work every time – Several people have written to tell me they are having problems with cut and paste, so I thought I would try to help with this. To select a word, touch and hold on a word until the highlight and arrows pop up. When you do this on a text document, you’ll be presented with the following choices at the top of the screen: Select All, Copy, Cut and Paste. Drag the two blue region selection handles around the desired text and select Copy (or another one of the available commands). Then touch where you want to insert the copied text and hold until the word Paste appears. Press Done when you’re finished.

    If you do this on a Web page or most other screens, you’ll be presented with the following choices: Select All, Copy, Share, Search Web or Find. If the handles are orange and you don’t see Select All, Copy, Cut and Paste at the top of the screen, you should long-press the selection and Copy, Select All and Share will appear in a pop-up menu. Once you cut or copy the desired text, you’ll be able to paste it — after you long press where you want to insert it. If the paste option goes away, just touch one of the region selection handles again and it will reappear.

  61. Left your wallet at home? No problem. Use your tablet to buy lunch.

    Left your wallet at home? No problem. Use your tablet to buy lunch.

  62. Use your tablet to buy things without a wallet – Since most U.S. carriers block Google Wallet on their smartphones, Nexus devices are the only way for most of us to use NFC to purchase things. Before you go to the store you need to run the Google Wallet app once to link it to your credit card and enter a PIN for security. You do not need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to Tap and Pay. Just tap the back of your tablet near the camera on the cash register. You do need to be connected to setup a card or switch between default payment cards however. You can use Google Wallet in-store anywhere contactless payments are accepted, at over 300,000 merchants across the United States. Learn more about Google Wallet here.
  63. Use NFC to change settings – Another nice application for NFC is automatically changing settings when you move your tablet from one location to another. You can purchase low-cost sensor tags like these that can be placed anywhere and programmed to do many different things using an app like NFC Task Launcher. For example, when I set my tablet on my desk, it turns Bluetooth on so my keyboard works, changes Wi-Fi to a nearby 5GHz access point and turns up the system volume. When I go into to my bedroom, and touch my phone on the night stand it changes to my Wi-Fi extender network, and turns Bluetooth and system volume off.
  64. Simply tap your Nexus 10 to enjoy your music playlist through your home stereo speakers

    Simply tap your Nexus 10 to enjoy your music playlist through your home stereo speakers

  65. Stream music directly to your stereo speakers – Even though the speakers in the Nexus 10 are much better than other tablets, they are not as good as the ones that come with your stereo. By purchasing Belkin’s low-cost HD Bluetooth Music Receiver you can stream music wirelessly from your Nexus 10 (or the cloud) directly to your stereo up to 30 feet away. This works with Google’s Play Music app as well as other great free music services like Spotify, Songza and Pandora’s Internet radio app. Setup is made easier because it uses the Nexus 10′s NFC chip for “tap-and-play” pairing. I want this.
  66. Get 50GB of free cloud storage – You can never have too much storage. That’s why I use SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and MediaFire. MediaFire isn’t as flexible as the other storage lockers I mentioned above, but it’s the only one that gives you 50GB of FREE storage. You’ll need to first go to their website and create an account, then you can download the MediaFire app from Google Play.
  67. Changing your download directory – Several people have asked how they can change the default Download directory. You can do this with Dolphin Browser by going to Menu> More> Settings> Privacy & Personal Data> Download Directory.

- Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged

Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

What Is The Best Smartphone of 2012? (Q4 Update)

Last updated: January 5, 2013


Since this article was first written, an updated version has been posted here. Check it out. A lot has changed.

These were the top six phones back in September. Only four make the cut this time.


A lot has changed since I last compared smartphones back in September. Back then, the top six smartphones were the Apple iPhone 5, LG Intuition 4G, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III and the Sony Xperia V. Surprisingly, four of these phones retained their place on the list of finalists, but they were joined by four new phones which were introduced earlier this month.

The Runners-up

To create the list of candidates for smartphone of the year, I made a spreadsheet containing the specs for the best smartphones on all platforms. I then separated the chart into finalists and runners-up – which you can see below.

Click on the chart below to make it readable

Blue text indicates the winner in each area. Red text indicates areas of weakness

In case you’re wondering why none of the phones above made the list of finalists, each of these have a deficit in one or more areas. I want to stress that many of the above phones are good phones. Some, like the Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL, LG Intuition 4G, Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia T, Sony Xperia V, and Samsung Galaxy Nexus are great phones, but they are not the best phones of 2012.

The Finalists

Each of eight phones below have significant advantages over the phones in the above chart. Our finalists are Apple’s iPhone 5, HTC’s Droid DNA, HTC’s Windows Phone 8X, HTC’s One X+, LG’s Nexus 4, LG’s Optimus G, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Here are the best smartphones of 2012

You can see all of the key specs for the top eight finalists below. Items which appear as blue-faced text show the winner in each area. Items which appear in red-faced text indicate an area of weakness compared to the other phones in this chart.

Blue text indicates the winner in each area. Red text indicates areas of weakness

Before we try to pick a winner, let’s go through each component, starting with the processor.

The Processor

The processor is like the engine in your car and plays an important role in its speed. Today, most of the best smartphones have quad-core processors running at 1.5GHz or higher. Having four different cores allows your phone to do more things at once without slowing down. Quad-core processors are also more efficient and have better battery life than some dual-core CPUs. When it comes to the fastest processor speed, the HTC One X+ wins, with its overclocked 1.7GHz quad-core processor, However, it’s running a year old Tegra 3 processor while the Droid DNA, Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G are running a more advanced Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The Exynos 4412 processor in the Galaxy Note 2 is also overclocked to 1.6GHz and comes close to the S4 Pro in performance. It’s worth mentioning while the S4 Pro-based phones win when it comes to processor, the Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One X+ also perform very well. Apple is clearly behind when it comes to the CPU alone. It has a much slower processor speed and it’s a dual-core processor, instead of quad-core processor. Although the iPhone 5 has a processor clock speed that is 70% slower than the HTC One X+, it does pretty well in some graphics-related benchmarks. You shouldn’t read too much into mobile benchmarks however, because they rarely translate into real-world performance.

Winner: Tie: Droid DNA, Nexus 4, LG Optimus G

The HTC One X+ has the fastest processor speed (1.7GHz), but uses an older quad-core CPU

Memory and Storage

Both the Samsung phones and the iPhone 5 are available in 16, 32 or 64GB sizes. Five of our finalists have 2GB of RAM, which can speed things up when multiple apps are running. But, only the Windows Phone 8X, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy S III can have their memory expanded because they have a memory card slot.

Although this category is close, the LG Optimus G wins because it is the only phone here that starts with 32GB of memory and has 2GB of RAM.

Winners: LG Optimus G

The Droid DNA has the world’s first 1920 x 1080 display

The Screen

When it comes to overall specs, the 5.0″ inch screen in the HTC Droid DNA is second to none. This screen is an inch bigger than the iPhone 5′s, but easier to hold than the Galaxy Note 2, because it’s not as wide (70.5mm vs. 80.5mm). The Droid DNA easily beats the iPhone 5 in both total pixels (1920×1080 vs. 1136×640)) and resolution (441 PPI vs. 326 PPI).

However, the iPhone 5 does have a high-quality screen which does well in areas like color accuracy and brightness, but it get beat by the Galaxy S III in areas like color gamut. Color gamut is the range of color a display can reproduce. IHS says the iPhone 5′s display only reaches 72% of the NTSC color gamut, while the SIII sits at 100%.

Winner:
Size: Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Resolution: Droid DNA
Color accuracy: iPhone 5

The LG Optimus G is the only phone here with a 13MP camera

The Camera

When it comes to megapixels, the current leader is the LG Optimus G which has a 13-megapixel camera. Although all of the other phones here have 8 megapixel cameras, the cameras in the Apple iPhone 5, HTC One X+ and Samsung Galaxy S III are quite good, but each have issues. For example, the camera in the iPhone 5 has issues with noise in low light situations and over-sharpening which adds distortion. The Galaxy S III beats it in both of these areas. The camera in the iPhone 5 often beats the others when it comes to color accuracy in good light. When it comes to front cameras, the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are the worst performers here.

Winner: LG Optimus G

You can beam almost anything from phone to phone using NFC

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, every phone here has 4G LTE support, although the Nexus 4 only supports this feature in some areas.

When it comes to Wi-Fi support, every phone here but the HTC One X+ and LG Optimus G support dual-band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wi-Fi. The 5GHz band is not near as susceptible to interference from cordless telephones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and wireless keyboards. It’s also a much less crowded band which should be used when possible.

Every phone here except the iPhone 5 has support for Near Field Communications or NFC. NFC allows two devices to communicate when they’re moved close together. This allows you to buy things at over 300,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled terminals as well as beam, music, photos, web pages, contacts, maps, YouTube videos and more, from one phone to another. NFC is a very important feature which will one-day change the way we shop and transfer data from phone to phone.

Winners: Tie: HTC Droid DNA, Windows Phone 8X, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III.

The new iPhone 5 is incredibly thin and light

The Case

When it comes to the case, the iPhone 5 does well. It’s thinner and lighter than all of the other finalists here and constructed entirely out of aluminum and glass.

Winner: iPhone 5

The Galaxy Note 2 has an incredibly powerful battery

The Battery

When it comes to the battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 easily wins. Its battery has over twice as much power as the battery in the iPhone 5.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Operating System

When it comes to the operating system, you can make strong arguments for iOS 6, Android 4.2 and Windows Phone 8. You can read more about how Android and iOS compare in my other blog posts.

Winner: Tie: iOS 6, Android 4.2 and Windows Phone 8

And the Winner is…

Back in September, the best smartphone award went to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This time around it’s not so easy to pick a winner. Best is a subjective term. What I’m really talking about is the smartphone with the best overall hardware specs. Based on that definition, neither the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S III can be considered the “phone of the year.” Both are great phones, and both are extremely popular, but they are not the best phones available today. So what is the gold medal winner? For me, it’s a toss-up between the Droid DNA, LG Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G. The Droid DNA wins when it comes to the display. The Optimus G wins on paper when it comes to storage and its 13MP camera — however not all reviewers love its camera. And last, but not least, the Nexus 4 is the only phone here which runs Android 4.2 and has a new-gen quad-core processor — however you shouldn’t buy it if you live in the U.S and LTE support is essential to you.

What About the iPhone 5?

Some of you are probably wondering why the iPhone 5 wasn’t a more serious contender because it’s so popular. As you can see above, the iPhone 5 lags is almost every area. It just can’t compete with phones like the Droid DNA, or even the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is much older. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Consumer Reports recently said the iPhone 5 is the worst of the top smartphones. They ranked it below the LG Optimus G and Samsung Galaxy Note II, as well as older phones like the Droid RAZR MAXX, Droid RAZR HD, Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One S. You can read more about this when their February issue hits the newstands and Internet.

How to Pick Out the Perfect Phone

In the end, your definition of the perfect phone depends on what’s most important to you. This article should help you narrow down your options to only a few phones. Since most of us are on two-year contracts with a carrier, you need to determine which of the phones you are intereted in are carried by your carrier. I suggest you then read the full reviews for each phone you are considering. Finally, it’s essential that you go to a retail store and actually try the phone before you buy it. Happy shopping!

- Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged


Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

Is the Nexus 10 Good Enough to Replace an iPad 3?

Last update: February 26, 2013

This article has had almost 20,000 views! Thanks for reading it.

It’s been several months since my Nexus 10 arrived, so it’s time for an update on my attempt to replace an iPad 3 with it. Was the lack of good tablet apps as big of a problem as everyone said it would be? And what about the superior build-quality of the iPad? Was the Nexus 10 lacking in this area? Read on to learn the answer to these and many more questions.

My Top Gripes After a Month

Since most of my previous columns about the Nexus 10 have stressed its benefits, I’ll get right to my gripes about it. Here are the things that bothered me the most about the Nexus 10 after the first four weeks of use.

You can see an example of a good tablet interface on the left and a bad one on the right.

  1. Limited number of great tablet apps – The number one complaint from reviewers about the Nexus 10 is the lack of great tablet apps. Although it’s true there are more good tablet apps for the iPad, I was surprised this wasn’t more of a problem for me. Many of my favorite Android smartphone apps ran fine on the Nexus 10. In some cases I did need to replace apps, but I didn’t have much of a problem finding suitable replacements. There were two reasons why I needed to replace apps. The first was the fact that some apps have controls which are too small to accurately touch on the Nexus 10. A bigger problem for me was the fact that some of my favorite Android apps couldn’t be downloaded on the Nexus 10. Examples include Zite, USA Today and Flickr. I suspect this is because the companies are working on tablet-optimized apps and are not allowing downloads to tablets because they don’t want to get bad reviews. Now that there are finally a few good selling Android tablets, I suspect we’ll see app makers put more emphasis on creating good tablet apps. I’ve included a list of some Google-recommended tablet-optimized apps here in Tip #4. It’s worth pointing out that not all popular apps are available in tablet versions for the iPad either. For example, Instagram looks much better on the Nexus 10 than it does on the iPad. That’s because it only occupies a small portion of the iPad’s screen. Sure you can blow it up 2x but the text looks distorted and ugly.

    Update: After a month this is no longer a serious problem. Every day I find new tablet-optimized apps that look great on the Nexus 10. Just today a tablet-optimized version of Flipboard finally became available.

  2. Android 4.2′s calendar issue is well-documented

  3. Android 4.2 bugs – Although the stories about Android 4.2’s bugs have been overblown, there is no doubt that iOS 6.0.1 is a more stable, less buggy operating system. Most of the current Android 4.2 bugs are things you won’t experience unless you stream music over Bluetooth, use the lock-screen music widgets, or enable auto-brightness. There is also the well-documented issue which occurs when you try to add an event that occurs in the month of December in the People app. As far as the random crash issues go, I still experience a few a week, so Google does have some work to do in this area.
  4. UPDATE 11/27: Google pushed out an Android 4.2.1 update today which addressed the missing December issue.

    UPDATE 1/15: A Google employee confirms the next Android update will contain a fix for the Bluetooth issue.

  5. Issues rearranging apps and creating folders – Early versions of Android were far superior to iOS when it came to moving apps from screen to screen without rearranging other apps. I’m having problems with this on the Nexus 10 now. A more serious issue is the fact it’s sometimes hard to get an app to go into a folder you drag to. Sometimes the folder moves, other times it won’t work the first time, but if you keep trying you can always get it to go into the folder. This is strange and annoying.
  6. Sometimes magazines can be viewed and other times they cannot

  7. Disappearing magazines – One of my biggest Nexus 10 gripes so far is the problem I’m having not being able to view some of the free magazines that Google provided. I get a ‘Fetching latest…’ message when I try to open a magazine that never goes away. This occurs on magazines I’ve viewed without problems before. This may have to do with the fact I downloaded these to my tablet. The only way I’ve been able to fix this so far is to go to Settings/Apps and swipe to the left until I see the ‘All’ heading and then scroll down to Google Play Magazines and touch the ‘Clear data’ button and redownload the magazine again.
  8. Playback issues with ultra HD video on some apps – I’m having problems trying to watch ultra high-definition (2560*1440) movies using MX Player. The video appears to pause every few seconds now, when it used to work fine on the same software. The same video plays perfectly on the MoboPlayer app so this could be a software-only issue.
  9. Text editing problems in the browser – It’s much more difficult to edit text in a Nexus 10′s browser, than it is to do the same with an iPad 3. There are several reasons for this: The first is the fact it’s harder to insert the cursor precisely in browsers like Chrome. The second is the fact it’s harder to accurately cut and paste text on the Nexus 10 than the iPad. The third, is the fact the Nexus screen sometimes automatically zooms in or repositions itself when you touch the screen or hit the backspace key. It blows my mind that no one at Google has tried to use the Nexus 10 for this purpose because it’s so bad. Editing text in Firefox is even worse than in Chrome. I couldn’t get copy and paste to work reliably in Firefox at all. Two caveats: these are Android-related issues and not Nexus 10 flaws, and furthermore, HTML editing is something I do a lot, but not something a typical consumer does often.

    Update: I’ve figured out what is happening here. Google and browser software makers have implemented logic to try guess when you’re having a hard time touching a button or control. When they detect this, they zoom in around the area to make sure you touch the right thing. This is nice for typical users, but can cause problems when editing HTML. I must have adapted, because I’m now doing almost all of my HTML editing on the Nexus 10 instead of the iPad.

  10. Both the Nexus 10 and iPad 3 have similar back light bleed issues

  11. Screen-related issues – The screen on the Nexus 10 does not have blacks that are as dark as Samsung’s Super Amoled displays. There is also some light leakage in both of the bottom corners. This may only be visible when you are in a dark room and the screen is black, but I wanted to point it out. Some additional leakage is present on each side, but it’s less obvious. As you can see from the photo above, the iPad 3 has backlight leakage that is worse to the Nexus 10. Even with its backlight issues, the iPad 3 and 4 still have a few advantages over the Nexus 10′s display. They have higher contrast, more brightness and better overall color accuracy then the panel in the Nexus 10. That’s not saying the display on the Nexus 10 isn’t great. It will blow your mind when you play a game like “Asphalt 7″ or watch an ultra HD movie on it. It’s also noticeably sharper when it viewing small fonts on websites.
  12. The camera on the Nexus 10 isn’t great

  13. Mediocre rear camera – Although the front camera on the Nexus 10 is only 2MB, it looks much better than the camera on the iPad 3. This is probably because the iPad 3 only has a 0.3 MP camera. The rear-facing camera on the Nexus 10 is not great, but neither is the one on the iPad 3.
  14. Plastic back cover – Although I love the lightness of the Nexus 10 and the way it feels when you hold it, occasionally when you hold its case a certain way, you’ll feel the back move a little. I mainly notice this is when I’m polishing the screen using my shirt. Is this a really big deal? Not for me, but it could have been avoided with a better design.
  15. Wi-Fi range issues – Google claims the Nexus 10 has MIMO Wi-Fi — but its antenna is less sensitive than the one in the iPad. You’ll see this on the Wi-Fi signal strength meter, and you’ll notice a difference in performance when you have a low signal. This isn’t a major problem, but it is a little annoying in light of Google’s bold claims in this area.
  16. Google Play screen update problems – This is a minor issue but I once experienced problems with the screen flashing when I was downloading updates in the Google Play store. This also appears to be an Android 4.2 issue and probably has nothing to do with the Nexus 10.
  17. Auto-brightness problems – Android 4.2 has an auto-brightness setting, but it doesn’t work well because it’s possible for your finger to occasionally block the light sensor when you hold the tablet in Portrait mode. To address this issue you can download Lux Auto Brightness. Lux adjusts the brightness of your display based on your environment. When you go into a dark room, Lux will automatically lower the brightness of your display after you unlock your screen. This approach seems to work better than the dynamic approach that Google uses by default.
  18. The Nexus 10 has the 8th best battery life of 474 Android devices

    The Nexus 10 is one of the more batter-friendly Android devices

  19. Slow charging – Slow charging with the stock charger is a problem, but this was only a issue for me on my first day of use. After that, I charged the tablet at night and did not have a problem getting through most days. When I use the Nexus 10 more than normal, I charge it for an hour around lunch and that gets me through the day. Although there has been a lot of talk about battery life on the Nexus 10, you can see from the chart above it is actually one the top battery-friendly Android devices.
  20. If you’re thinking some of these problems are pretty lame, you’re correct. It’s not easy to find too many things wrong with the Nexus 10′s hardware. Things like backlight leakage are also a problem on the iPad 3 and iPad 4. Most of the serious Nexus 10 issues are software-related, and should be fixed at some point.

Observations After 8 Weeks of Use

I order this product on day one and have spent as many hours with it as anyone outside of Google. After eight weeks I am now using my iPad 3 only a few minutes a week. Here is a summary of my observations after eight weeks:

  • The claims about Apple’s superior app ecosystem are overblown. I don’t miss any of the iPad apps I was running before. Not a single one. That doesn’t mean all of the Android apps are at parity, because they are not. But the differences are small enough now that they don’t bother me. Since the Nexus 10 launched the number of good tablet apps has increased dramatically.
  • My problems with the Nexus 10 crashing have sadly increased, but they are not a serious problem yet. Sometimes it will crash twice in a day and then go days without another crash. There is a lot of speculation over the cause of this. Some people think it’s caused by the Chrome browser. Others think the problem goes away when the GPS is disabled. I’ve noticed that many of my crashes occur when I’m using the Chrome browser and Wi-Fi signal strength is low or the tablet is downloading updates. I also suspect that moving wallpapers might be a contributing factor. This hasn’t become a major annoyance for me yet, because I’m confident Google will fix this soon.
  • Update: Since I installed Android 4.2.2, my crash problems seem to have gone away.

  • Most of the display gripes about the Nexus 10 are overblown. The back light bleed is not a problem for me, but I would like darker blacks. That is my number one screen gripe. Color accuracy on the Nexus 10 isn’t great, but that hasn’t been a problem for me. Nor have non-HD desktop icons. I do feel the lack of great HD wallpapers is a problem, but likely one that won’t last long. Screen brightness has also not been a problem for me. Although its not perfect, I love the display on the Nexus 10. To my eyes it’s much crisper than the iPad 3 and that’s what I care about the most.
  • The build quality of the Nexus 10 is fine. I’ll take the lightness over the iPad any day. My only gripe is the fact that the section on the back does not stay in as snugly as I would like.
  • One new problem I’m a little concerned about is the heat from the main chip. This was initially only a problem when gaming, but now I notice it when I’m scrolling on site like Facebook for long periods.
  • What About Build Quality?

    Along with lack of tablet apps, build quality is the most common gripe about the Nexus 10 from Apple fans who have never seen one. I’ll admit the Nexus 10 doesn’t look great in most review photos, but in person, it looks and feels very nice. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Here are a few excerpts about build quality from Nexus 10 reviews:

  • Gizmodo said: “It feels extremely solid and well-built. The back panel is a hard plastic that has been rubberized in a really interesting way. It’s very smooth, but very grippy at the same time.”
  • Ars Technica said: “I do find that I actually prefer the textured plastic back of the Nexus 10 to the aluminum back used by the iPads—the latter gets pretty cold to the touch in November in New Jersey, and the tablet is only too happy to transfer that coldness straight to your hands. The Nexus 10 is a bit more hospitable when pulling it out of a bag that’s been outside.”
  • CNET said: “It is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet to hold in your hand its light weight and smoothly rounded corners the tablet never digs into your palms when held with two hands. The back is a soft, grippy, almost rubbery plastic that not only feels great to hold, but doubles as protection for the tablet. The aforementioned rounded corners have that same rubbery plastic around them. The whole outer shell feels almost like an exoskeleton accessory, specifically designed to protect the delicate tablet organs.”
  • Ubergizmo said: “To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. I really like the soft touch treatment which gives a solid grip when holding the tablet. This is an issue that I have regularly with the iPad. Overall, I find the industrial design to be excellent and high-quality. Unless you are adamant to feel metal when you touch the tablet, I expect most people to be pleased with the quality of this device.”
  • The Guardian said: “The Nexus 10 is a sleek, smooth tablet that feels solid, and sits nicely in the hands with its rounded corners – more rounded than the iPad.”
  • Venture Beat said: “The tablet’s curved design makes it surprisingly comfortable to hold, and the soft back case material feels simply luxurious. The Nexus 10 is so well designed that you’ll be tempted to fondle it even when it’s turned off.”
  • Android Community said: “It’s extremely well made, very durable, feels great and is indeed a polished and beautiful product inside and out.”
  • Android Police said: “Amazing build quality. I tried really hard to find a flaw in the build of this tablet. But I couldn’t. It’s top-notch – everything is super-solid… The back is the real standout feature of the device’s physical design, as it’s coated in a very soft rubbery-plastic that feels almost like leather. It definitely adds a feeling of quality, and is absolutely fantastic in the hands. It’s not cold and slippery like aluminum, nor does it feel cheap and flimsy like typical plastic. It’s slightly grippy, which allows you to hold the unit with less “force,” leading to less wrist fatigue. It also makes it easier to hold the device in your hand palette-style without fear of dropping it.”
  • Tech Radar said: “The rear plastic chassis has a soft-touch feel, with the rubberized effect providing additional grip in the hand, and wrapping round to the front of the tablet for a smooth, seamless finish.”
  • And last, but not least, Wired said: “The back panel is a grippy plastic that makes the Nexus 10 much better than previous Samsung tablets and even the iPad for one-handed use.”
  • Why The Nexus 10 is My New ‘Go to’ Tablet

    You might be wondering why I still favor the Nexus 10, even though I admit the iPad still has some important advantages. Here’s why:

    1. The Nexus 10 absolutely kills the iPad 3 and 4 when it comes to features.
    2. The Nexus 10 is a much better value than the iPad 4. Its hardware beats the iPad 4 in almost every area and costs $100 less.
    3. Apple prevents older hardware from running some features

    4. I want access to all of the newest technologies. The Nexus 10 has features like NFC and multi-user support, which iPad users could be waiting years to get. Not only is Apple behind, they have a history of preventing their users from accessing their new features. Even though the iPad 2 is capable of running Siri and Panorama, Apple forces iPad 2 owners to buy newer hardware in order to run those features. That just isn’t right.
    5. Speed is important to me and the Nexus 10 is faster than the iPad 3. After using my Nexus almost 100% of the time for several months the iPad is noticeably slower on things like scrolling Facebook in the browser.
    6. Lastly, I want the same experience on my phone and tablet. Now that I’ve switched from iPhone to an Android smartphones, it only makes sense that I use an Android tablet.

    Could I replace my iPad 3 with the Nexus 10?

    My transition from an iPad 3 to a Nexus 10 wasn’t as easy as my transition from an iPhone to a Nexus phone. My first few days with the Nexus 10 were not great. I was getting it set up properly and finding good tablet-optimized apps. Most of my issues with the Nexus 10 were software-related, and not directly related to the Nexus 10 hardware. The Nexus 10 is not a perfect product, but it’s good enough that I’ve put my iPad 3 on the shelf and only use it for occasional HTML editing now. The surprising thing is I actually prefer using the Nexus 10 now over the iPad 3. The main reason for this is the fact the Nexus 10 is noticeably lighter than the iPad and feels much better in my hand. Its corners are nicely rounded and don’t dig into my palm the way the iPad 3 does. This is a big deal when you hold your tablet for long periods with one hand like I do. Another reason I prefer the Nexus over the iPad is the display. The crispness of text on the Nexus 10′s display is second to none.

    The bottom line is the Nexus 10 is a great tablet, which holds its own against the best tablets. This says a lot, because the iPad 4 running iOS 6 is a very good product. But for me, the Nexus 10 is even better.

    Final update 2/26: My crash problems seem to have been fixed by Android 4.2.2. I no longer use my iPad for a single thing. It sits on my floor lonely and unused, so I’ve decided to give it to my Dad on Fathers Day. In the past few months there have been a large number of good Android tablet apps which have been released. It’s now at the point where I can’t think of a single iPad app that I still miss — except maybe Zite which runs on my GS3.

    - Rick

    Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    It’s true the iPad has more tablet-optimized apps, but some popular apps still appear like this.

    Here is how Instagram looks on the Nexus 10. Which would you rather use?

    50 Great Tips & Tricks for the Nexus 10

    Last updated: November 24, 2013

    This article has received over 400,000 views! Although it was written for the Nexus 10, many of these tips apply to other Android tablets as well.

    Welcome to the most comprehensive list of tips and tricks for the Nexus 10 you’ll find anywhere on the Internet. This started off as part of a Nexus first impressions article, but quickly grew into a list of 50 tips, so I’ve broken it out on its own. Because this article is intended for everyone from beginners to experts, there will be some things here you already know here, but you’ll also find tips you won’t find anywhere else.

    1. Upgrade to the latest version of Android – There have been several updates to Android since the first Nexus 10 tablets left the factory. Make sure to install the newest Android system update. If your tablet isn’t already running Android 4.2.2, and it doesn’t appear under Settings > About tablet > System Updates, scroll to the bottom of this article to learn how to force an update to Android 4.2.2. What’s new in Android 4.2.2? You can see a list of all changes here.
    2. Choose your screen orientation – The startup screen, volume control and speaker placement seem to indicate Google intended the Nexus 10 to be used horizontally in landscape mode. However I prefer the vertical portrait mode for the following reasons: First, it’s better suited for most web pages. Second, apps like Instagram and Spotify can’t be used in landscape mode. Third, it’s easier to hold the Nexus 10 vertically with one hand. Of course you’ll want to use landscape when watching most movies. In the end the choice is yours, just keep in mind if you use it in portrait mode the volume control will be reversed (e.g. pushing the lower button turns the volume up.)
    3. Google Now delivers information without you needing to ask

      The Nexus 10 Guidebook is massive

    4. Activate Google Now – Swipe up from the bottom of your tablet screen near the center to access Google Now. Before using Google Now you must go through a tutorial and then activate it. Then make sure location services are on. To do this you need to check the box next to ‘Wi-Fi & mobile network location’ and agree with the prompt. Then go through the settings for Google Now and enter your favorites sports teams and adjust a few other settings. When you’re finished Google Now will start presenting you with information tailored to your needs like the local weather. You can see what my first Google Now page looked like in the screenshot above. It’s worth mentioning I’ve never taken my tablet to the gym, or asked Google for my drive time to work. It provided that info based on my previous behavior. I know some people have privacy concerns, but I think this feature is great.
    5. Download the official Nexus 10 Guidebook – Google just made available a new 159 page Nexus 10 Guidebook. You can download this excellent guide here. Once downloaded, I recommend you copy it to your tablet, so you can refer to it anywhere you go. Make sure you have a PDF reader on your Nexus 10 however. You can download Adobe Reader here.
    6. Download some tablet-optimized apps – You’ll quickly discover not all of your Android smartphone apps adapt well to the extremely high pixel density of the Nexus 10. For this reason, Google recommends you download some of the following apps: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for Tablets, Cat in the Hat, Cut the Rope Experiments HD, Evernote, Expedia, Fandango Movies for Tablets, Friendcaster, Google Currents, Fancy, Heros Call HD Widgets, Hipmunk, Hulu Plus, Magic Piano, Mint.com, Netflix, News Republic for Tablets, Ocean HD, Office Suite Pro, OpenTable, Picsay Pro, Plume, Pinterest, Pulse News, SplashTop Remote Desktop HD, Strikefleet Omega, Sprinkle, SwiftyKey3 Tablet, Pocket, SeriesGuide, Taptu, TED, Trulio, Zappos and Zoomingo. In addition to the above apps, I would add the following apps which have all been optimized to run on tablets like the Nexus 10: 500px, AccuWeather for Android, AirCalc, Amazon Mobile (Tablet), BaconReader for Reddit, Business Calendar, Calendar, Ebay, Engadget, FIFA 2014, Flipboard, Google+, Google Pinin Input, Hotel Tonight, Kingsoft Office, NYTimes for Android, Pandora, PicsArt, Pinterest, Sing! Karaoke, Smart Tools, SkyDrive, Solid Explorer, Songza, SoundHound, Tasks, Temple Run 2, The Weather Channel, Twitter (tablet-optimized version), USA Today, Wunderlist 2 and Yahoo! Weather.

      Here’s a list of the top 150 Android apps. Many, but not all are tablet-optimized. Also, check out the Tablified Market app. It highlights apps that are designed and optimized for tablets.

    7. Install the Adobe Flash plug-in – Flash may be a dying format, but there are still millions of Flash videos around and the Nexus 10 should be able play some of them. To install Flash from the official Adobe website, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page.
    8. The Nexus 10 has several different keyboard layouts like this one with number keys

    9. Expand your keyboard – Since the Nexus 10 has such a large screen you may want to expand to a full-sized PC-style keyboard that includes number keys and extras like the screenshot above has. It’s tricky to set up, but worth it if you like to type in landscape mode. Go to Settings/Language & input and then touch the settings Sliders next to ‘Android keyboard.’ Next, touch ‘Advanced settings’ and touch ‘Custom input styles.’ It will say Deutsch and Francais, but you can ignore that. Touch ‘Add Style’ near the upper right. Then select your language and change the layout from QWERTY to ‘PC’ or one of the other styles. Now touch ‘Add’ and you’ll see your new style appear in the list. Touch ‘Enable’ and use the back key to go back to the Language & input screen. Now touch ‘Input languages’ near the top and uncheck ‘Use system language.’ Lastly, touch ‘English (US) (PC)’ and you’re done. Source: AndroidPIT

      Note: Mostly-tech reader Craig has reported the above tip changed his default input language and broke voice and image responses via GoogleNow. If you experience either of those problems, switch back to the (US English) keyboard input setting.

    10. Control your tablet using your voice - Most people don’t know you can have your tablet open an app, create a calendar event, display a map, navigate to a place, send an email, set an alarm, define a word, show movie times, take a note, display a weather forecast, identify a zip code or area code, provide flight info, find a restaurant, run a calculator or provide a translation by simply speaking. Start by touching the microphone next to the search box. For more info, go to pages 58-64 in the Nexus 10 Guidebook (See Tip 3 to find out where to get this). There’s also a list of all 53 types of voice requests here.
    11. Watch "Timescapes" if you want to see what the amazing display on the Nexus 10 is capable of

      Watch “Timescapes” if you want to see what the amazing display on the Nexus 10 is capable of

    12. Download a high-quality video – If you really want to see what the Nexus 10 display is capable of when it comes to video, download Timescapes. It it the first 4K movie that you can purchase for $29.95. It has almost twice as many pixels as a normal high-definition video. If you’re not ready to shell out $30 bucks, but want to watch a free 1080p preview of the movie click here. If you decide to buy the movie, make sure to download the 2560×1440 version and not the others. The movie is over 6GB, so you should back it up to your computer, so you can free up space on your tablet if you need to later. In order to play this video, you may have to download free MoboPlayer software (or equivalent).
    13. Turn off haptic feedback if you don’t like it – When touch the screen on the Nexus 10 to navigate, you get a little vibration. If you don’t like this, go to Settings > Sound and uncheck ‘Vibrate on touch.’ Making this change will not turn off the vibration you get when you type on the onscreen keyboard. To turn that off, go to Settings > ‘Language and input.’ Then touch the Setting icon for the ‘Android keyboard’ and uncheck ‘Sound on keypress.’ Make sure ‘Vibrate on keypress’ is unchecked as well. If you’re using SwiftKey 3 Tablet, go to its settings page, touch Advanced. Touch ‘Audio and haptic feedback’ and uncheck Haptic feedback.
    14. Shoot and edit your own home movies on your Nexus 10

    15. Shoot and edit video on your tablet – If this is your first Android tablet, you probably haven’t used ‘Movie Studio’ yet. Movie Studio lets you edit video clips together in a timeline with transitions, music, effects and titles. Movie studio has been around since Android 3.0, but the tablets back then didn’t have enough power to run it well. Here are some good instructions how to use Movie Studio.
    16. Unhide Developer Options – Earlier versions of Android had a ‘Developer options’ area in Settings but that’s no longer present in Android 4.2. However, you can still put your tablet into Developer Mode by going to Settings and touching ‘About tablet.’ Then click the build number seven times. After you do that you will see ‘Developers options’ appear in the Settings menu! This great tip came from Wai Ho Cheung.
    17. SwiftKey 3 is Tablet a great tablet-optimized keyboard app

    18. Try a tablet-optimized keyboard – If I had to pick one single app that softened my transition from the iPad 3 to the Nexus 10 the most it would be the SwiftKey 3 Tablet Keyboard. The reason for this is because I type a lot and I like to work in portrait mode. That squeezes the keys closer together and makes typing harder on the stock keyboard. I can’t say enough good things about this app. It takes a while for you to learn it, and for it to learn you, but when that happens, you’ll never go back.
    19. Toggle between MTP and PTP – Here’s another tip you won’t see anywhere else: You can put the Nexus 10 into Camera (PTP) mode by going to Settings > Storage and then selecting the menu in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you can select ‘USB computer connection,’ which allows you to toggle between MTP (which is the default) and PTP which lets you transfer photos using camera software. PTP also works on computers that don’t support MTP.
    20. Learn how to use Quick Settings – You can use the Quick Settings menu to turn on/off Wi-Fi, change screen brightness, turn off auto-rotate and more. To open Quick Settings, swipe down from the top right corner of any screen. You can even access the full settings menu from Quick Settings.
    21. An Actionable Notification

    22. Try the new Notification Shade – To open the Notification Shade, swipe down from the top left corner of any screen. You can do this even when your Nexus 10 is locked. Certain notifications like emails or calendar events can be expanded to show more information. Some notifications let you take action by touching icons. For example, Calendar notifications allow you to Snooze or send email to other guests. To collapse a notification, pinch it. To expand a notification, glide using two fingers. When you’re finished with a notification, just swipe it to the right to make it go away. To dismiss all notifications, touch the icon at the top right of the notification shade. If you long-press on an open task, you’ll be taken straight to the settings page for that app.

    23. Uninstall unneeded apps – After you’ve been using your tablet for a while you’ll probably have apps that you never use. You may want to remove any unused apps to free up space. The easiest way to uninstall an app is to press and hold the app icon in the app drawer and drag it to the top of the screen where it says ‘Uninstall.’ If it only shows App Info, it is a system app and cannot be uninstalled. However, if you drag the app to where it says App Info you’ll have the option to disable the app, which frees up memory.
    24. Games like “Asphalt 7″ look great on the Nexus 10

    25. Download a new game – Playing games on your Nexus 10 tablet is very different than playing games on your smartphone. The large screen, killer graphics, faster processor and great sounding stereo speakers take gaming to a whole new level. Make sure to download a game with great graphics like Asphalt 7, Dead Trigger, or Shadow Gun. All of these will cost you, but there are many great free games as well, including Temple Run 2.
    26. Improve your gaming graphics – If you’re a hard-core gamer, you probably already know what 4x anti-aliasing is. You can enable this on the Nexus 10 if you know a secret trick. First, enable Developer Options as described above in Tip #11. Then go to Settings and click on Developer Options. You will now see an option on the right to enable Force 4x MSAA. Multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA) is a technique used to improve image quality. Since the Nexus 10 has a GPU capable of supporting MSAA, this setting should make your graphics look more detailed when you’re playing advanced games. Keep in mind this will also cause your GPU to work harder and your tablet may get hotter and consume more power than normal. It’s also possible that all games may not support this, but this seems to work great with games like Asphalt 7. Source: Wai Ho Cheung.
    27. This wireless gaming controller was designed for the Nexus 10

    28. Use a gaming controller with your Nexus 10 – If you game a lot, you might try using a gaming controller with your Nexus 10. You have three options: If you own a Sony PS3, you can use up to four PS3 controllers with your Nexus 10 at the same time. Instructions here. You can also plug an Xbox gaming controller into the Nexus 10, as long as you have a micro USB to USB adapter. Lastly, you can purchase a wireless gaming controller like the Nyko Playpad.
    29. Copy your media to your tablet – One of Android’s best features is the ability to plug your charging cable into the USB jack on your computer and have your tablet appear as a hard drive. Once you do this, you can easily copy over the music, photos, videos or documents you want to take with you everywhere.
    30. Select a lock screen – If you plan to bring your Nexus 10 outside of your house, you should go to Settings/Security and pick a pattern (recommended), PIN or password-based screen unlock.
    31. It’s easy to connect a Nexus 10 to your TV and watch HD videos on it.

    32. Connect your tablet to a television – The Nexus 10 has a standard micro HDMI jack, so you can purchase a high-quality cable which connects to your TV for as little as $3. This allows you to watch high-definition videos from YouTube, Netflix or any other site on your TV. Unlike other tablets, the Nexus will display a video on your tablet and television at the same time. It will also automatically scale 2550x1440p videos to 1080p, so your television can display them. As you can see from the screenshot above, the picture quality is great. Important: Make sure to power down your tablet and television before connecting or disconnecting an HDMI cable. If you don’t, it’s possible that you could damage your tablet.
    33. Hook up an external keyboard and mouse – You can easily connect your tablet to an external keyboard, mouse, or other input device and use these just as you would with a PC. This can be done using Bluetooth or direct USB connection. To connect via USB you will need an adapter like this. To connect more than one USB device at a time, use a powered USB hub to reduce drain on your battery. I’ve tried a wired keyboard and a standard wired mouse with the Nexus 10 tablet and both work pretty well. The mouse had no issues whatsoever. The keyboard seemed to miss keys or spaces occasionally when I typed too fast. However, I really like using the arrow keys on the keyboard to precisely move the cursor around text on the screen. I also like the fact the tablet can tell there is a keyboard attached and does not display the onscreen keyboard. This saves a lot of space on the screen.
    34. You can work faster when you connect your Nexus 10 to a traditional keyboard and mouse

    35. External keyboard tips – In addition to entering text, you can use your keyboard to navigate your tablet’s features: Use the arrow keys to select items on screen. Press Return after selecting an item is equivalent to touching that item. Press Escape to go Back. Press Tab or Shift-Tab to move forward on a screen with multiple text fields. For maximum typing speed, turn off auto-replace, auto-capitalization and auto-punctuate. To do this, swipe down on the top of the screen and ‘Select keyboard layout.’ To do this, swipe down on the top of the screen and ‘Select keyboard layout.’ Don’t forget you can use keyboard commands like Ctrl-V to paste text just like you would with a PC.
    36. Expand your memory – One of the biggest complaints about the Nexus 10 is the fact it doesn’t have a memory expansion slot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own memory by buying a short micro USB to USB cable and connecting a low-cost memory stick. However, stock Android devices do not automatically “mount” mass storage devices like USB sticks, so one additional step is required. If you’re Nexus tablet is rooted, the best solution is an app called Stickmount (Note: I was recently told there may be problems with it and Android 4.2, which the developer are working on now). Once StickMount is installed you connect a USB stick to your Nexus using a USB OTG cable and the device will show you a popup and ask if you want to open StickMount. You’ll need a file viewer app like ES File Explorer to display your files. More details. If your Nexus 10 is not rooted, you have two options: The first is a $3 app called Nexus Media Importer, which allows you to import or stream music, video, photos and documents from a USB flash drive or SD card. More info. The second option is free. You can enable PTP on your Nexus 10 by following the instructions in Tip #13 above. Once PTP is enabled, when you plug in a supported device it should immediately bring up the Gallery app with a new folder containing all of your photos. When you open that folder, you can either import, or browse the photos. All of the above options require a USB OTG to mini USB adapter.
    37. Where to Find More Great Tips Like These

      If you’re looking for more great tips and tricks for the Nexus 10, checkout this article.

      The new Photo Gallery App is a powerful photo editing tool

    38. Edit your photos like a pro – The Android 4.2 Gallery app is more than just a photo viewer. It now has some serious editing capabilities. In addition to all of the standard Instagram-style filters, this app has some advanced photo editing features that are similar to the ones you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The incredible screen on the Nexus 10 and fast processor, make it a serious photo editing station. For even better editing options, try Snapseed or Pixlr Express.
    39. More powerful photo editing options

    40. Learn how to take a screenshot – To take a screenshot on the Nexus 10, press the power button and the volume down button and continue to hold them until you hear a beep and see the screen zoom in. The volume down is on the top part of the volume slider when you are holding the tablet in portrait-mode.
    41. Use the new Google Voice search – It doesn’t make sense to type your searches any more. Just touch the microphone near the top of the screen and talk, or say “Google” when you are on the Google Now page.
    42. Set up a guest profile – You may want to setup a guest profile on your Nexus 10, so a friend can check their email, and install their own games, but can’t update your Facebook status. Their app settings, screen background, game-progress and high-scores remain separate. To add a new user, go to Settings/Device/Users. Touch ‘Add user’ and then touch OK. Touch ‘Not now,’ if your guest is not available. A generic new user should now appear in the list.
    43. Customize your home screen – Every one uses their tablet differently, so you should customize your home screen(s) to meet your needs. Here are some suggestions:

      a. Make shortcuts on your home screens for all of your favorite apps. To do this go to the App locker and then touch and hold an app and drag it to the desired screen.

      b. Create folders for different categories of apps (e.g. Games, Utilities, etc.) and move all of the related apps into those folders.To create a new folders drag on app on top of another similar app. After the new folder is created, make sure to name it.

      c. Uninstall any unnecessary apps or widgets from your existing homescreens. To do this, simply touch and drag them into the text ‘Remove’ near the top of the screen.

      Buy a case for your Nexus 10

    44. Buy a carrying case – It’s a good idea to purchase a leather case for your Nexus 10. This will protect your screen from scratches and give you additional protection if you drop it. Most cases also act as a stand for your tablet. Nexus 10 cases are just starting to appear on sites like Amazon.com. I just received this case and I’m happy with it.
    45. Don’t forget about the free music – Although you won’t see the free music that is included with your Nexus 10 in the “My Library” widget, if you go into ‘All Apps’ and open ‘Play Music,’ U.S. Nexus owners will find ten free songs from The Rolling Stones, Cat Power, M. Ward, The Lumineers, Bob Mould, Eskmo and more. Preloaded music in other countries varies.
    46. Install tracking software – You paid good money for your Nexus 10, so you don’t want to lose it. Make sure to install software like ‘Where’s My Droid‘ which allows you to track your tablet if lost or stolen. If you spend $4 to upgrade to the Pro version, you can also remotely lock your tablet, enable the camera to see the thief and as a last resort erase your tablet remotely. If you install this app, make sure to run the setup and connect the Commander screen to your Google account.
    47. Try gesture typing – The standard Android keyboard now allows you to slide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift it after each word. You don’t need to worry about spaces, because they’re added automatically for you. This feature used to be only found in premium apps like Swype. Now you can use it whenever you like.
    48. Zoom two different ways – There are different ways to zoom in on the Nexus 10. The first is called double-tap. You can quickly tap two times on most webpages in Chrome to zoom in. Double-tap again to zoom out. This feature works on most webpages, maps, and other screens. Android 4.2 also has an interesting new feature called magnification gestures. When enabled, you can triple-tap the screen everywhere (except on the keyboard or notification bar) and zoom in. The nice thing is that you stay zoomed in, until you triple-tap a second time. To enable this feature, go to Settings > System > Accessibility and touch Magnification gestures. Then slide it from off to on and hit the back button. It’s worth mentioning that the way you zoom in works differently when you double or triple tap. Both have advantages, try each and see which is better for certain things. One user has reported that enabling triple-tap doesn’t work well when playing games like GTA3.
    49. Pin your content so you can access it without a Wi-Fi connection

    50. Access your Google Play media offline – Normally Google Play streams your content from the cloud when you access it. This is done so the content doesn’t take up any of your precious storage space. However, there are times where you may not have access to the Internet, but still want to read a book or watch a movie. To do that you’ll want to download or ‘pin’ the media on your device so you can access it offline. To ‘pin’ a book, open the Play Books app, go to the menu and select ‘Make available offline.’ A blue dot with a pin in it means the book is available for offline, but has not been downloaded yet. To download it, tap it once and the pin should turn white. Once the book is finished downloading, the pin icon should be upright, white and surrounded by a blue dot (like “The Time Machine” book above). Keep in mind that downloading a movie will consume a substantial amount of storage space (~1.7GB).
    51. Press and hold to quickly change camera settings

      Press and hold to quickly change camera settings

    52. Quickly change camera settings – You can now press and hold on the camera app screen and swipe to quickly change white balance, HDR and other camera settings. You can also go directly from the camera app to the Photo Gallery app by swiping to the right. Swipe left to return to the camera.
    53. Improve your Internet download speeds – If you have Wi-Fi range issues like I do, you may want to purchase an Ethernet adapter. The Nexus 10 supports USB-OTG, which makes this possible. Although micro USB to Ethernet adapters are available, they don’t get good reviews, so you’re probably better of with a USB to Ethernet adapter like this and a micro USB to USB adapter. More about the types of things you can connect with USB-OTG.
    54. Pinch-to-zoom Gmail – Gmail has a new setting called ‘Auto-fit messages’ which is not enabled by default. When you enable this setting, you can manually pinch to zoom in or out on an e-mail. This is really useful.
    55. Learn how to decipher the notification LED – You’ve probably noticed there’s an LED on the front of your Nexus 10 that flashes occasionally. It’s there to let you when you have one ore more notifications waiting. Its LED is capable of displaying multiple colors so you can tell what type of notification you have without unlocking your tablet. Since there is no mention of this feature in the Nexus 10 manual, there is some confusion over the colors used. It appears Google uses white for Gmail or SMS texts, blue is for Facebook notifications, green indicates your tablet is 100% charged, and also may show Google Voice notifications, yellow is for Google Talk and red is for Google+. It appears third-party apps can trigger the notification LED as well. One thing I’ve noticed about the notification LED is it sometimes continues to flash after you’ve cleared your notifications. If this blinking bothers you, you can turn off the notification LED by going to Settings > Display and unchecking ‘Pulse notification light.’
    56. Light Flow Lite allows you to take control of the colors of your notification LED

    57. Customize your LED notifications – A free app called Light Flow Lite allows you to take control of the colors of your notification LED. It also makes your Nexus 10 flash one color after another. This app allows you to set the notification color for the over 250 applications and system events including missed calls, low battery, no signal, voice mail, calendar reminders, Gmail messages, email messages, SMS messages, MMS messages, Twitter notifications and more.
    58. Quickly silence or restart your tablet – To quickly silence your Nexus 10, press and hold the power button for 1-2 seconds. To restart your tablet, press and hold the power button for 8 seconds.
    59. Backup everything on your tablet

    60. Make it easy for someone to return your tablet if lost – It’s a good idea to add a message to your lock-screen like the following: If found, please call [Enter your area code and phone number here]. To do this, go to Settings > Security > and touch ‘Owner info’ (or User Info, for other users). Then enter the text you want displayed on the lock screen.
    61. Backup everything on your tablet – Although it’s true Google backs up some of your data, it doesn’t back up everything. My Backup Pro backs-up your photos, SMS texts, contacts, call log, browser bookmarks, system settings, Home screens, music playlists and apps. Your entire backup is stored online.
    62. Use your tablet as a phone – You can turn your Android tablet into a phone with apps like Talkatone, GrooVe IP, Viber, Tablet Calling or others. A free Google Voice account is required by most of these programs. For best results, you’ll want to use a Bluetooth earpiece, since the mic used for this is located on the back of your tablet. For video calls try Skype or Tango. Video calls use the front camera on the Nexus, which works pretty well, however you still should use a Bluetooth earpiece for best results.
    63. Let Google know where you live and work – In order to get the most out of Google Now you must enter your home and work addresses. To do this go to maps.google.com using your browser, touch the Menu icon in the upper right hand corner, and open My Places. From there, you can enter your home and work addresses.
    64. Nexus 10 features to avoid – Because Android 4.2 and the Nexus 10 are still so new, there are several features you may want to avoid until the next update is available. Avoid using Lock-screen music widgets and Auto-brightness. If auto-brightness is important to you, please refer to Tip 40 here for a work-around.
    65. Enjoy your media without cables

    66. Get yourself some wireless headphones – The Nexus 10 is great for multimedia. After Google fixes the Bluetooth issues with Android 4.2.2 you may want to get yourself a wireless headset like this one. It’s stereo, sounds good and also has a mic, so you can make calls with it. If you have problems pairing your Bluetooth headset, try it several times. It took me at least three tries before it worked.
    67. Get help from Google – You can call (855) 836-3987 and ask Google questions about your Nexus 10 24/7. I know some people are bashing Google for their phone support, but my phone support experience was positive. Once I waited on hold for 15 minutes, but the person who answered my call was able to quickly solve a difficult problem.
    68. Visit the Nexus 10 support site online for more information.

      Where to Find More Great Tips Like These

      Hopefully you’ve learned something new after reading this. If you’re looking for more great tips and tricks for the Nexus 10, check out my next article.

      How to Install Flash on the Nexus 10

      1. Go to Settings > Security > and check “Unknown sources” under Device Administration.
      2. Go to Google Play and download Firefox (or another browser that you are sure has Flash support).
      3. Next, download Flash from the Adobe website by clicking here.
      4. Drag the downloaded file labeled ‘install_flash_player_ics.apk’ into the ‘Download’ folder on your Nexus 10.
      5. Now use an app like ES File Explorer to locate the APK in your Download folder and touch it.
      6. Next, touch ‘Install’ and ‘Agree’ to install the Flash plug-in.
      7. Note: Although I have not experienced any problems with Flash on the Nexus 10, I can not be responsible for the results of the actions you are about to take. You are installing software which is not officially supported, and could result in security or stability issues. I wouldn’t be too concerned however. I’ve been running this for more than four weeks now and have visited many sites. Content on most sites plays fine for me. Nothing bad has happened on the other sites.

        To test that Flash is working, go to this page (or any other page you know has Flash on it). If you don’t see a video, touch where it says ‘Tap here to activate plugin’. After you do this, you should see a red box jumping around on the screen. I’ve noticed that most, but not all Flash files play on the Nexus 10. This appears to be due to an incompatibility between Flash and Android 4.2. If Flash videos don’t play the first time, don’t try to activate Flash on that page again. Enjoy!

        Although it’s not essential, if you don’t plan to sideload more APK files, you should go back to Settings > Security > and uncheck “Unknown sources” under Device Administration.

        Can’t get Flash to work? Try some of these suggestions.

        If you have problems getting Firefox to work, try installing Boat Browser. After installing it, make sure to go to Settings > Page content settings and set ‘Enable flash/plug-ins to On. If you view a lot of Flash, you might want to make Boat your default browser. [Thanks to Karen for this tip]

        How to Force An Update to Android 4.2.2 on Your Nexus 10

        1. Go to Settings > Apps > and swipe the area which says “DOWNLOADED” to the right until you see “ALL” tab under Apps. The screens below were borrowed from a Cult of Android article for another device. Your screens may look slightly different.

          Steps 1

          Step 2b

          1. Now, scroll down to where it says “About tablet” and touch “System updates’ and touch the “Check now” button. If it does not find the 4.2.2. update, restart your tablet and try again. If the above steps do not work, repeat them rebooting your device after step 3. You may also need to repeat the steps twice for the update to show up on your device. This approach worked for me, but may not work in all regions.

            What to Do If You Have Problems After You Force An Update to Android 4.2.2

            After I forced an update to Android 4.2.2 I could not download or update apps without an error. You have have that problem, you may want to do what I did to fix it.

            1. Go to Settings > Apps > and swipe the area which says “DOWNLOADED” to the right until you see “ALL” tab under Apps. Select “Google Play Store”, and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data.” Please note: After clearing the Google Play Store app data, if you have set a PIN code and/or a content filter, you’ll need to re-apply these settings.
            2. Locate “Download Manager,” under “ALL” and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data”
            3. Locate “Google Services Framework,” under “ALL” and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data”
            4. Reboot your tablet
            5. Try it again. If you still cannot download apps, try removing and then re-adding your Google account on the Settings screen. This worked for me.
            6. - Rick

              Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


              Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    30+ Reasons You Should Buy a Nexus 10 Tablet

    Last update: March 4, 2013

    This article has over 40,000 views! Thanks for reading it.
    It only took two days for every single model of the Nexus 10 to sell out worldwide. The 32GB model sold out just two hours after sales began.


    The last two articles I wrote about tablets were my most popular ever, so I’ve decided to write another one about the new iPad 4 and its top competitor. Since some people complained my last article was unfair because I compared the iPad mini to several different tablets, this time I’ll compare the iPad 4 to a single tablet.

    Don’t get me wrong, the iPad 4 certainly has some great qualities, but it’s no longer leading the way. Its Retina-display was the gold-standard for resolution, but those days are over. There’s a new tablet king and it’s called the Nexus 10. Here are over thirty good reasons why you’d be crazy to buy an iPad 4 over a Nexus 10.

    1. It costs less and gives you more – A 16GB Nexus 10 costs $100 less than a 16GB iPad 4. That 20% less, for a product with much better specs as you’ll see below.

    2. It has a better, higher-resolution display – Apple’s Retina displays used to be second to none, but those days are over. The Nexus 10 has a higher-resolution display than the iPad 4. It’s the world’s first tablet with a WQXGA 2560×1600-pixel display. But that’s not all, the Nexus 10 beats the iPad 4 in two other important areas as well: number of pixels and pixels-per-inch.

      - The Nexus 10 has almost a million more pixels than the iPad 4′s Retina display (4,096,000 vs. 3,145,728)

      - The Nexus 10 has more pixels-per-inch than the iPad 4 (300ppi vs. 264ppi). That may not sound like a lot, but you can see the difference on very small text. Like the iPad 4, text on the Nexus 10 looks very sharp.

      The Nexus 10 has a processor with a faster clock speed than the iPad 4

    3. It has a faster next-generation processor – The Nexus 10 has a processor clock speed that is over 30% faster than the iPad 4 (1.7GHz vs. 1.3GHz). The Nexus 10 is the first tablet with an ARM Cortex-A15 processor that beats the iPad 4 badly on benchmarks like Geekbench (2480 vs. 1768). This processor is 40% faster than previous generation ARM chips. The A15 is expected to be used in the iPad 5, which won’t be released until mid-2013.
    4. It’s considerably lighter than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 is noticeably lighter than the iPad 4 (603g vs. 652g). This is a big deal when you use your tablet for hours at a time. I used to be able to hold the original iPad in the air with my left hand, but my new iPad with its leather case is so heavy that I have to put my elbow on the table or bed.

      The Nexus 10 is noticeably thinner than the iPad 4

    5. It’s thinner than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 is thinner than the iPad 4 (8.9mm vs. 9.4mm). This is surprising, because thinness is one area Apple normally dominates in. The Nexus 10 also does not have sharp corners which dig into your palm when you hold it with one hand.

    6. It has twice the memory and twice the storage as the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 has 2GB of RAM, while he iPad 4 has only 1GB of RAM. More memory allows you to run more apps at once without slowing down. A $499 Nexus 10 also has twice as much internal storage than an iPad 4 (32GB vs. 16GB). This is important because it’s not hard to fill up a 16GB iPad when you have a large media collection or lots of apps.

      You can share media by simply touching two NFC-enabled Android devices together

    7. It has touch-to-share capabilities – Android tablets like the Nexus 10 can share media by simply touching another device with NFC support. This allows you to share photos, videos, contacts, Web pages — as well as information between apps. You can see Android Beam in action here.
    8. It has faster Wi-Fi than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 has dual-band Wi-Fi and MIMO support. Amazon claims that MIMO results in better range and 40% faster Wi-Fi data speeds. Google says accelerated page loading and MIMO gives you web browsing speeds up to 4x faster than normal WiFi. Of course these are theoretical gains, we’ll have to see what the real-world numbers are.
    9. It has a brighter display with wider viewing angles – The Nexus 10 has a Super PLS display, which has several advantages over IPS displays like the one Apple uses. Super PLS displays have wider viewing angles, and are supposed to be 10 percent brighter.
    10. Size matters when it comes to speakers. The Nexus 10 has two front-facing speakers

    11. It includes front-facing stereo speakers – The Nexus 10 has two large speakers on the left and right sides of its screen. These speakers shoot forward so the sound doesn’t get muffled by your hands (like it does on the iPad whose speaker faces down). The Nexus’ dual speakers also sound better than Apple’s single mono speaker. I was hoping the potential space savings that resulted from the switch to a Lightning connector the iPad 4 would allow Apple to add bigger, better-sounding speakers, but that did not happen.
    12. You can see the Nexus 10 is fast. I’ll replace this once I find a comparison to iPad 4

    13. It has an extremely fast GPU – Engadget says the Nexus 10 has the “most detailed and smoothest graphics we’ve seen.” Early benchmarks are mixed. Some favor the Nexus 10, while others favor the iPad 4.
    14. It’s much easier to repair – According to iFixit, the iPad 4 is much more difficult to repair than all other tablets. iFixit gives the iPad 4 a repairability score of 2 out of 10, which is horrible. The battery is glued to the rear case which is unfortunate because it makes it very difficult to replace. iFixit goes on to say, “Just like in the iPad 2 & 3, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass when trying to remove it. Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place, including the battery. The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel, increasing chances of it being shattered during disassembly.” I’m still waiting for a repairability score on the Nexus 10 from iFixit, but another source rates it “extremely repairable.”
    15. The Nexus 10 comes with 5 books, 3 magazines, 10 songs, an HD movie and a TV show

    16. The Nexus 10 comes with lots of free content – Content varies by region. U.S. users get the following three free magazines: Conde Nast Traveler, Entrepreneur and House Beautiful. There are also five great books you are provided with including: “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. Like music? The Nexus also comes with ten songs from The Rolling Stones, Cat Power, M. Ward, The Lumineers, Bob Mould, Eskmo and more. And last, but not least, the Nexus 10 also comes with an HD copy of the full-length movie “Ice Age” and the BBC TV show “Planet Earth.”
    17. It has multi-user support – The iPad 4 is a single-user device tied to a single iTunes account. The Nexus 10 is the first tablet to allow multiple users to log-in. Each user has their own home screen, background, apps and widgets. Things like game-progress and high-scores remain separate. This feature will be very important for families.
    18. It has GPS support – The Wi-Fi only model of iPad 4 does not have a built-in GPS. That means you can’t use it to check-in or load maps of your area like you can using the Nexus 10.
    19. You can use Google Wallet anywhere you see these images

    20. It includes digital wallet support – The Nexus 10 has Google Wallet preinstalled. It allows you to purchase things without a walled in places like Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Einstein Bros Bagels, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Peet’s Coffee, Pinkberry, Rite Aid, Sports Authority, Whole Foods and many more places. In fact, there are over 300,00 PayPass-enabled cash registers today. You can learn more about NFC here. The iPad 4 has something called Passbook, but it only works at Starbucks (and the Apple Store).
    21. It plays Flash videos – Flash may be a dying format, but there are still millions of Flash videos around, and the iPad 4 can’t play any of them. The Nexus 10 can play all Flash videos as long as you side-load Flash by following these easy instructions and use a browser like Firefox which supports Flash.
    22. Android beats iOS 6 in many areas – This will surprise some, but Android 4.2 has many advantages over iOS 6. You can read about those advantages here.
    23. File transfers are much easier – It’s a major hassle to get anything (but photos) on or off of an iPad 4. Android devices don’t need iTunes or iCloud to copy media. Just connect a USB cable and your device will appear on your desktop like a hard disk. You can then drag and drop any file (or folder) onto it.
    24. The Nexus 10 has several different keyboard layouts like this one with number keys

    25. It has a better on-screen keyboard – The Nexus 10 has a much better on-screen keyboard than the iPad 4. In addition to all of the standard Apple keyboard features like a spell checker, auto-capitalization and auto-correction, the Nexus 10 also has the ability to add words to a personal dictionary, show correction suggestions, perform gesture typing (where you swipe from key to key), Provide next-word suggestions and the ability to change your keyboard to one that is more PC-like and includes all numbers and extra keys.
    26. You can easily load custom ROMs – Nexus devices do not come with locked or encrypted bootloaders. That means you are free to install customs ROMs and fully tailor your device however you wish.
    27. It has a better rear-facing camera – According to reviews, photos taken with the Nexus 10′s rear camera have better color accuracy, definition and less noise than the iPad 4′s camera. The iPad 4′s iSight camera lacks Panorama, Photo Sphere and other camera features present in Android tablets.
    28. It has a better front-facing camera for video calls – Apple upgraded the front-facing camera on the iPad from 0.3MP to 1.2MP, but it still doesn’t match the 1.9MP front-facing camera found on the Nexus 10. The iPad 4′s front camera records noisy 720p videos at a only 24fps in low light.
    29. Nexus 10 Flash

    30. It has an LED flash – Every camera needs a flash in order to take good photos in low light conditions. The Nexus 10 has one. The iPad 4 does not.
    31. It has a standard micro-USB jack – The Nexus 10 has a standard micro-USB jack, so you can easily connect your tablet to a keyboard or charger without purchasing an expensive cable. The iPad 4 has a new proprietary Lightning connector that is not backwardly compatible. This was done so Apple can sell you overpriced cables that cost $20 to $50. If you want an extra charging cable for an iPad 4, it will cost $19 and is hard to find. You can buy an Android power cord almost anywhere for as little as $2.
    32. HDMI connector

    33. It has a dedicated HDMI port – The Nexus 10 has a built-in HDMI port which ensures it can output video to all HDMI-equipped TVs, projectors and monitors. That’s not always the case when MHL over USB is used for video output. Another benefit is that any mini-HDMI cable will work and a special adapter cable is not needed.
    34. Its AV adapter supports 1080p – Although it’s hard to believe, Apple’s Digital AV adapter (which connects to the HDMI jack on your TV) doesn’t support 1080p today. It’s capable of supporting 1080p, but Apple has chosen to hold back 1080p support for now.
    35. It has a Gorilla Glass 2 screen – I know Apple uses Gorilla Glass 2 on the iPhone 5, but as far as I can tell they do not use it on the iPad 4. If they are using it, they are keeping it a secret — which doesn’t make sense because it’s a benefit.
    36. The Nexus 10 has a slightly larger display than the iPad 4

    37. It has a larger display – The Nexus 10 has a 10.055” Super PLS display, while the iPad 4 has a 9.7” IPS display.
    38. It has a 16:10 screen – Tablets are great for watching movies, but all movies are formatted to fit on a 16:9 display. Because the iPad 4 has a 4:3 aspect ratio, all 16:9 movies need to be letter-boxed so they fit on the screen. This makes movies appear smaller. The Nexus is much closer to 16:9 than the iPad 4.
    39. It has dual NFC sensors – The Nexus 10 is the only mobile device with dual NFC sensors: one in the front, and one in the back. These have been added so you don’t have to turn the tablet around to beam things.
    40. Android 4.2 allows you to access settings from the Notification Bar

    41. It gives you quick access to settings from the notification bar – On the Nexus 10, settings can be quickly by accessed by pulling down on the top right portion of the screen. On the iPad 4, all app settings are grouped together in a Settings app making them harder to access.
    42. It has haptic feedback – Like most Android devices, the Nexus 10 supports haptic feedback. This gives you a little vibration when you type, long press, or touch the navigation buttons. This makes it clear your touch was acknowledged, so you don’t have to tap twice. Haptic feedback makes games much more enjoyable because of the tactile feedback.
    43. It has a built-in barometer – The Nexus 10 has a built-in barometer, which improves GPS accuracy. I didn’t believe this would make a difference until I compared the GPS in a Galaxy Nexus (which also has a barometer) to the GPS in an iPad and Galaxy S III which do not.
    44. Micro-USB jack

    45. Works with a USB mouse – One advantage of having a micro-USB jack is that it makes it easy to plug-in peripherals like a USB mouse. Even if you could figure a way to attach a USB cable to the iPad 4, it still will not work, because iOS 6 doesn’t support mice. You can also attach USB keyboards or memory sticks to the Nexus 10 after purchasing an adapter for a few dollars.
    46. It has multicolor LED alert – The Nexus 10 has a small LED indicator at the bottom of the screen (when held in landscape mode,) which alerts you to new messages or other system events. As with other Android devices, you can customize exactly how this LED works by installing a third-party LED control app like Light Flow. The iPad 4 does not support any type of LED alerts.
    47. The preinstalled Android Gallery App has more powerful photo editing than you’ll find on any free iPad app

    48. It’s stock photo viewer has more advanced photo editing – There are some good photo editing apps available for the iPad, but the best are not free. The stock Android Gallery app has much more advanced photo editing than you’ll find in than Apple’s Photos app.
    49. It has dedicated back button – All Android devices include a dedicated back button. In addition, most apps have a menu button proves fast access to settings and other app-related commands like Share. The back button makes it easy to go back to where you were before. This is one of the features I miss the most when I jump between Android and iOS.
    50. Why You’ll Still Buy an iPad 4

      If you’re an Apple fan, you don’t comparison shop, you don’t care that Apple products cost more and do less. You’ll find a way to convince yourself that all of the above reasons somehow don’t apply to you, and you’ll buy an iPad 4 anyway. And in six months, when Apple comes out with an iPad 5, which is twice as fast and has a better Retina display, you’ll buy that one too – and thank Apple. This may sound harsh, but it applies to millions of people. So go ahead and buy one — you know you want it.

      The Tide is Turning

      Apple has dominated tablet sales since the original iPad launched back in 2010. But those days are coming to an end. For the first time, Apple is losing tablet market share. According to Strategy Analytics, shipments of Android tablets surged to new highs in the third quarter of 2012, accounting for 41% of all tablets shipped. In the same period, shipments of Apple’s iPads shrank to only 57% of the market. IDC paints an even gloomier picture for Apple and says they now have only 50% of the tablet market. That may sound like a lot, but it wasn’t long ago that Apple had 90% of the tablet market. Apple’s drop in market share started before the Nexus 10 and Kindle Fire HD tablets were available, and will likely accelerate now. Apple’s still an important player in the tablet space, but they need to lower their prices significantly or improve their products to justify their price premium. Apple image has taken a big hit as well. As TechCrunch said, “the fourth-generation iPad doesn’t seem to be nearly as big as the leap from the first to second generation, or from the second to third generation.” Sure, most Americans will continue to buy Apple exclusively no matter what, but it’s a big world, and buyers from other countries are much more discriminating and price-sensitive.

      Update 1 – The Nexus 10 went on sale on 11/13 and the 32GB model sold out within two hours in the U.S. The 16GB Nexus 10 sold out in the U.S. in the first two days. However, since then, additional supply has become available, and the 16GB model is now available for purchase again (11/18)

      Update 2 – My Nexus 10 arrived on 11/16 and I’ve posted my first impressions here. You can find a list of 21 tips and tricks for the Nexus 10 here.

      - Rick

      For the Apple Fanboys

      1. This is an opinion piece - I think the title makes that very clear. Don’t read this if you can’t handle an opposing view point.

      2. This article is focused on the Nexus’ advantages – I’m aware there are good reasons to buy Apple products. Since every other reviewer focuses on those, I saw value in showing another point of view.

      3. I don’t just pick on Apple – I write highly-opinionated articles about other companies as well. Here are examples where I single out Samsung, AT&T, United, Google and Rhapsody.

      4. I don’t hate all Apple products – I think most of the new products Apple announced are good or great — just not the new iPad 4 or iPad mini. I own two iPhones, an iPad, an iPad 3 and an Apple TV. I buy Apple products when I believe they outperform other products and are not outlandishly priced.

      5. I want this to be factually correct – Believe it or not, I really do try to keep my articles factually accurate. If think one of these points is incorrect, let me know and I will edit or delete it, but you’re not going to change my beliefs, just like I’m not going to changes yours, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

      What About Build Quality?

      Since most comments about this article mention the so-called “crappy build quality of all Android tablets” I thought I would address this issue. When I first wrote this article, I mentioned the build-quality of the Nexus 10 was good, but not great, but after reading close to twenty reviews I removed that comment. Read on to see why:

      1. Gizmodo said: It feels extremely solid and well-built. The back panel is a hard plastic that has been rubberized in a really interesting way. It’s very smooth, but very grippy at the same time.
      2. Ars Technica said: “I do find that I actually prefer the textured plastic back of the Nexus 10 to the aluminum back used by the iPads—the latter gets pretty cold to the touch in November in New Jersey, and the tablet is only too happy to transfer that coldness straight to your hands. The Nexus 10 is a bit more hospitable when pulling it out of a bag that’s been outside.”
      3. CNET said; “It is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet to hold in your hand its light weight and smoothly rounded corners the tablet never digs into your palms when held with two hands. The back is a soft, grippy, almost rubbery plastic that not only feels great to hold, but doubles as protection for the tablet. The aforementioned rounded corners have that same rubbery plastic around them. The whole outer shell feels almost like an exoskeleton accessory, specifically designed to protect the delicate tablet organs.”
      4. Ubergizmo said: “To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. I really like the soft touch treatment which gives a solid grip when holding the tablet. This is an issue that I have regularly with the iPad. Overall, I find the industrial design to be excellent and high-quality. Unless you are adamant to feel metal when you touch the tablet, I expect most people to be pleased with the quality of this device.”
      5. The Guardian said: “The Nexus 10 is a sleek, smooth tablet that feels solid, and sits nicely in the hands with its rounded corners – more rounded than the iPad.”
      6. Venture Beat said: “The tablet’s curved design makes it surprisingly comfortable to hold, and the soft back case material feels simply luxurious. The Nexus 10 is so well designed that you’ll be tempted to fondle it even when it’s turned off.”
      7. Android Community said: “It’s extremely well made, very durable, feels great and is indeed a polished and beautiful product inside and out.”
      8. Android Police said: “Amazing build quality. I tried really hard to find a flaw in the build of this tablet. But I couldn’t. It’s top-notch – everything is super-solid… The back is the real standout feature of the device’s physical design, as it’s coated in a very soft rubbery-plastic that feels almost like leather. It definitely adds a feeling of quality, and is absolutely fantastic in the hands. It’s not cold and slippery like aluminum, nor does it feel cheap and flimsy like typical plastic. It’s slightly grippy, which allows you to hold the unit with less “force,” leading to less wrist fatigue. It also makes it easier to hold the device in your hand palette-style without fear of dropping it.”
      9. Tech Radar said: “The rear plastic chassis has a soft-touch feel, with the rubberised effect providing additional grip in the hand, and wrapping round to the front of the tablet for a smooth, seamless finish.”
      10. Wired said: “The back panel is a grippy plastic that makes the Nexus 10 much better than previous Samsung tablets and even the iPad for one-handed use.”

      These are just a few of the positive comments about the Nexus 10′s build quality. There are many more online. I’m not saying the build quality of the Nexus is better than the iPad 4. I’m just saying most reviewers like it.

      Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


      Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    Android 4.4′s Advantages Over iOS 7.1

    Last update: October 30, 2013

    This article has had almost 20,000 views. Thanks for reading it.

    Last year I wrote two articles that compared Android to iOS. One stressed Apple’s advantages, and the other stressed Google’s advantages. Both turned out to be extremely popular. Since each operating system has had at least one major update since then, I’ve decided to update both articles — starting with the one about Android. Can Android 4.4 hold its own against iOS 7.1?

    Google Now learns about you and delivers information without you needing to ask.

    The Top Ten Most Important Android Advantages

    Although iOS is a great operating system, Android has many advantages over it. Let’s start with the most important ones:

    1. Google Answers Your Questions Before You Ask ThemGoogle Now goes beyond Siri because it learns about you through your searches, and automatically provides useful info to you. For example, Google Now knows when you need to leave for work and from which gate your flight is departing. It also automatically displays things like sports scores, traffic and weather. It will even alert you if there’s a traffic jam and automatically recommends places around you like restaurants. Google Now can now can give you movie start times, help you track packages and help you find great spots to take photos based on your current location.

      boardingpass
      Google Now goes far beyond Passbook by looking for flight confirmations in your email so it can automatically notify you of upcoming flights and changes to your itinerary. Unlike Passbook, you’ll don’t need to install a separate mobile app for each airline you travel with. When you get to the airport Google Now pulls up a digital boarding pass for you which includes a QR code to scan at the gate along with information on the terminal, gate number, seat number and boarding group. Google Now looks at where you’re going, and tells you how the weather will be when you get there. The service can also remind you of hotel, event and restaurant reservations.

      Update (4/29): While it’s true that Google Now can finally be run on iOS there are significant limitations: It cannot be run on the iOS lock screen like it can on the Galaxy S4 and other Android 4.2 phones. It also can’t run in the background as a widget. Google Now is also missing quite a few options on iOS and doesn’t run automatically upon startup. Some of the best Google Now cards are not currently available on Google Now for iOS. This includes Airline boarding pass, Activity summary, Events, Zillow, Fandango, Concerts, Research topic and Nearby events. Another important difference is the fact that Google Now can only be activated from within the Search app, and it must be turned on by a user, who will be prompted on launch of the updated app and must sign in to a Google account. Once you’ve given permission to turn it on, it can be accessed inside the Search app only.

    2. A Digital Wallet That Can Buy Things Today – Apple’s Passbook shows promise, but it’s the only digital wallet which can’t buy things anywhere except Starbucks (or the Apple Store). Android supports near field communication (NFC) and Google Wallet which lets you buy things at over 300,000+ PayPass cash registers. After setting up Google Wallet on an NFC equipped phone like a Samsung Galaxy S III, you simply place your phone on the terminal for a second, enter your PIN and your Google Wallet will be debited by the amount of the purchase. Google Wallet is currently accepted at more than twenty retail chains including 7 Eleven, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Duane Reade, Einstein Bros Bagels, Footlocker, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Peet’s Coffee, Pinkberry, Rite Aid, Sports Authority, Whole Foods and more. You can learn more about Google Wallet here.
    3. Better Sharing Between Apps – It’s easiest to explain system intents by contrasting the sharing options between an iOS app and an Android app. When you share on my iOS Notes app you’re given four different sharing choices: Mail, Message, Print and Copy. When you share from the Android Notes app, you’re allowed to share via Bluetooth, Google Drive, Dropbox, Email, Facebook, Gmail, Google+, Read It Later, SkyDrive, Text Message, Twitter, Wi-Fi Direct, WordPress Blog and 17 other apps. The actual list varies, depending on which apps you have installed. Google realizes Android cannot be best at everything, and allows you to choose which apps you want to interact with.
    4. Android lets NFC-enabled phones touch to share

    5. Touch-to-Share Anything – Android Beam allows any two NFC-equipped devices to exchange data wirelessly by simply by tapping them together. This allows Android users to share web pages, maps, You Tube videos, contacts, links to apps and more. Starting with Android 4.1, Android Beam made it possible to share photos and video bover Bluetooth for the data transfer. Samsung’s S Beam combines NFC with Wi-Fi Direct. This makes it possible to transfer almost anything including music playlists, documents, photos and longer videos between two Samsung devices. Here is a video of S Beam in action. It’s even possible for Android devices to share data with Windows mobile phones.
    6. Multi-user Support on a Single Device- Multiuser support was a new feature in Android 4.2. For now, it’s restricted to tablet use. When enabled on the quick settings menu, you’re taken to a lock screen similar to a log-in screen you’d see on a PC. Choose the user, swipe to unlock, and you’re in. Each user has their own home screen, background, apps, and widgets. Even when multiple users share an app, you’re still able to keep your app settings, game-progress and high-scores separate. You can even set up a guest profile so a friend can check their email, but can’t update your Facebook status. All iOS devices are tied to a single iTunes account and changes made by one user will affect all other users of that device. Multiuser support is a very difficult feature to add, so it’s very unlikely we’ll see this in iOS soon.
    7. Associate Multiple Gmail Accounts with a Single User - iOS only allows you to associate a single iTunes account with a single device. Android lets you add extra Google Accounts to a device running Android 4.0 (or later). Each account has its own email, contacts, calendar, apps and Google Play media. This allows you to use one email for work and another for your personal use, or one email for you, and another other for your significant other. By adding both accounts to your tablet, you’ll be able to view the merged data.
    8. More Advanced Multitasking – Apple places restrictions on third-party apps which run in the background. In most cases, they are suspended and not allowed to communicate with other apps. This improved with iOS 7, but it still very different than what Android is capable of. Android supports true-multitasking without any of the above restrictions. This makes it possible to do things which cannot be done on iOS.
    9. For example, Samsung’s “Pop up Play” feature, allows videos to hover, so you can text and watch a video at the same time. It’s also possible to have two apps visible at one time on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

      Widgets update in real-time w/o needing to launch an app

    10. Smart Widgets – Widgets provide you with real-time weather updates, stock quotes, recent e-mails and more. Widgets are always visible and updated in the background — without needing to launch an app. Widgets provide easy access to system and application settings. Want to disable Wi-Fi or GPS services? Use a widget. When using Android widgets are “smart” and automatically resize themselves based on the amount of room available on the screen. You can get widget-like iOS apps, but they can only run on your lock screen, and some require a jail-broken phone, or third-party software to run.
    11. An Open Source Foundation – The underlying architecture of the Android is open-source. This makes it much more customizable than iOS. Not only is the Android OS customizable, handset manufacturers like Samsung open source their software for individual phones like the Galaxy Series. This makes it relatively easy for developers to improve on what Google and Samsung have done. A wide range of different custom ROMs can be easily loaded onto rooted phones or tablets. These ROMs often have significant benefits when it comes to performance and battery life, and also provide additional features. iOS 7.1 is a totally closed operating system. Although it can be jail-broken, it’s much harder to do. At the time of this writing, the iPhone 5 had not yet been jail broken. Expert say iOS jailbreaks are going to be harder in the future.

      The Android Market has several advantages. In this example, I’m using an iPad to install an Android app which will be remotely downloaded to my Android phone.

    12. A Better and More Open App Store – Although this may not sound like a platform benefit, it’s very important. Google Play has far less restrictions than the App store. There is a long list of apps Apple won’t allow, including apps which compete with iTunes, free Wi-Fi tethering apps, VoIP apps which use technologies like Google Talk, and great utilizes like Farproc’s Wi-Fi Analyzer. Apple also practices their own form of censorship by removing apps like “500px” from the App store, while leaving other apps that feature hard-core porn like Twitter’s “Vine” app. Update 2/3: 500pix is back with an NC+17 rating, while Vine remains.

      Another Android advantage is the number of quality alternative app stores including AppBrain, GetJar, Handango, Handmark, and the Amazon App Store, which offers one paid app a day for free. The only apps which can be installed outside the Apple app store are Cydia apps, which are only available for jailbroken devices. Another Google Play advantage is the fact that it lets developers upload videos as well as screenshots for their apps. This gives you a much better idea what the app does without having to download it first.

    Other Areas Where Android Is Still Ahead of iOS

    1. Apps Crash Less – I use iOS and Android 4.4 many hours each day. Apps occasionally crash on both, but I experience more crashes on iOS — especially while using the Safari app with multiple tabs open. Studies have confirmed that iOS apps crash more than Android apps.
    2. Fewer Security Vulnerabilities than iOS – This is going to surprise many of you because companies spend millions trying to convince you that malware is a serious problem on the Android platform, but security expert Symantec released a study in April 2013 that says Apple’s iOS had more security vulnerabilities than Android in 2012. Symantec’s report revealed that there are 387 documented vulnerabilities on Apple’s iOS software, compared to a mere 13 on Android.

    3. Much better account security – Like Apple, Google requires an e-mail address and password to setup any device. However this is easy to hack, so Google offers optional two-step authentication. This is done by downloading a Authenticator app on your mobile device. This app generates unique verification codes that are entered along with your password. Apple’s iCloud was cracked because of the lack of two-factor authentication.
    4. Notifictions are now actionable

    5. More Advanced Notifications – Although notifications have improved in iOS, Android still has advantages in this area. You can tell at a glance what types of notifications have occurred, and clear all notifications with a single click. Devices running Android 4.1 (or later) have rich push notifications, which can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. These notifications offer even more contextual information and are now actionable. That means if you’re notified about a meeting, you can dismiss it from the Android notification bar, or email others about the meeting. You can also call (or text) someone right from the pull-down notification menu.
    6. Flash Video Support – Flash may be a dying format, but there are still millions of Flash videos around and iOS can’t play any of them. All Android devices running 4.0 (and earlier) can play Flash videos out of the box. If you have an Android device running Android 4.1 (or later) and you didn’t previously install Flash, you’ll need to side-load it by following these easy instructions.
    7. Extensive Customization Options – There are so many ways you can customize Android devices it would be impossible to list them all here. Almost anything can be changed in the Android ecosystem.
    8. More Effective Parental Controls – Apple finally added Parental Controls to iOS 6, but they are buried is Settings and disabled by default. Even if mom is smart enough to find and enable them, her kids will still be able to read the copy of “50 Shades of Grey” that she bought six months ago. This is because Apple’s Parental Controls do not hide explicit books which are already in your library. iOS is a single-user OS and this prevents effective parental controls. Android 4.2 allowed each family member to have their own password-protected account. All of the media is only visible when logged in to their own account. This prevents children from accessing inappropriate content.
    9. Restricted User Profiles – In addition to parental controls, Android 4.3 allows you to control access to apps and content at a user level. This allows you to control which apps each user can see and which are hidden. It also allows an app to behave differently when it’s running in a restricted profile. For example, an app can hide unpurchased levels and not allow in-app purchasing. Restricted profiles are also ideal for retail kiosks or POS systems.
    10. Easy File Transfers – It’s a hassle to get anything but photos off of an iOS device. With Android devices there’s no need to use iTunes or iCloud to copy media. Just connect a USB cable and your mobile device appears on your desktop like a hard disk. You can then drag and drop any number of file onto your mobile device to copy them. This is a really big advantage.
    11. Virtual surround sound audio – There are several iOS apps with surround-sound capabilities, the Android 4.3 OS has advanced surround-sound technology from German audio pioneer Fraunhofer built-in. Android 4.3 supports surround sound three different ways: Over HDMI, over any headphones and using the stereo speakers on supported devices including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

      Instagram on iPad

    12. No Need to Use 2x Zoom on Some Apps – Android automatically stretches apps so they look good on screens of all sizes. Many iOS apps like Instagram still appear small when they are run on a tablet, or have to be blown up to twice their regular size in order to occupy the entire screen. When you do this, the graphics look distorted and funny.
    13. Ability to Set Default Software – One of the most powerful Android features is the ability to change the default software the OS uses for different tasks. For example, if you want to the Dolphin browser to open any URL (instead of the stock Android browser), just pick the app you want to use. Want to use a different app for turn-by-turn directions or media playback? Pick one, and it will use that app every time. This is an incredibly powerful feature. You can even replace the stock keyboard with a 3rd party keyboard like SwiftKey. Apple doesn’t allow this.
    14. Fewer Image Scaling Issues - The way Android is structured, apps automatically support all new resolutions without needing to be modified like iOS apps do. Every time Apple releases a product with a different sized screen like the iPhone 5, developers have to scramble to make their apps look great. If they don’t, text will be less crisp and there may be screen layout issues. Android seems to have fewer issues in this area. It seems Google has a better method of scaling up low-resolution images which makes them less ugly than they appear on Apple devices.
    15. 3rd-party Keyboards Improve Your Typing Speed

      3rd-party Keyboards Improve Your Typing Speed

    16. Third-party Alternate Keyboards – There are some outstanding third-party keyboard apps that run on all Android phones and have many advantages over the stock iOS 6 keyboard. Some of the best keyboards include Swype, which lets you create words by tracing between the letters on the keyboard. Swype can even sync your personal dictionary across all of your Android devices. SwiftKey 3 goes even further by predicting the next word in your sentence based on past behavior. To save time you can personalize it using your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter or blog posts. This can save you a massive number of keystrokes, as you can see from the screenshot on the right. SwiftKey and other 3rd-party keyboards also have extensive customization options unlike iOS. You can see the dramatic difference here. There are other good keyboards as well. Here’s a good review of some of the best ones.
    17. Smoother Scrolling & Transitions – Starting with Android 4.1, the CPU and graphics run in parallel and the entire interface runs at 60 frames per second. The processor jumps into action the moment you touch the screen to keep input lag at a minimum and graphics are now also triple-buffered to keep scrolling and transitions smooth. It’s true that iOS had less of a problem with this, but its interface doesn’t currently run at 60fps.
    18. Smart App Updates – Google Play now delivers only the parts of an updated app which have changed to devices, rather than the entire app. This makes the app updates much faster to download, and conserve both battery and data usage.
    19. You can zoom-in on offline maps with no signal

    20. Better Speech-to-Text Entry – Android’s speech-to-text entry is second to none. Unlike iOS, Android is capable of doing the speech-to-text conversion without a network connection. It’s also more accurate. Siri does not work well on voices with certain types of accents and certain dialects. It’s normal for voice recognition systems to require some training, but Siri doesn’t seem to improve over time. By contrast, Google’s voice recognition technology requires no training on voices with strong accents as long as they speak close to the microphone and talk a little slower than usual.
    21. Intelligent Switching between Wi-Fi and Cellular – iOS sometimes has problems switching between cellular and Wi-Fi connections. If a Wi-Fi signal is present it will select it — even though its signal strength is low, and its data is slower than the current 3G or 4G connection. Devices running Android 4.1 (or later) don’t have this problem when the “Wi-Fi Only Connects to Strong Signal” option is enabled. This forces your mobile device to only connect to strong Wi-Fi signals.
    22. Offline Maps – Although Google Maps was mentioned above, offline maps are important enough to have their own section, because the time you need a map the most is when you don’t have Internet access and are lost. Android allows you to download any number of maps to your device and access them without an Internet connection.
    23. A Media-centric Home Screen – Android tablets like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 displays your media library on the first screen you see. You’ll see the last book, magazine and CD you played (or read) larger than the others. This is a feature which has really grown on me. Of course you can move or delete this, if you don’t want it on your home screen.
    24. Predictive text is one advantage the Android keyboard has over iOS

    25. A More Advanced Default Keyboard – Android’s in-line spell checker and suggestion modes work better than Apple’s today. The Android keyboard (4.1 and later) guesses what the next word will be before you’ve started typing it. You don’t even need an Internet connection to see the suggestions. The Android keyboard also lets you add dictionaries, gives you control over auto-correct and has advanced settings. Android 4.2 also included a new feature called Gesture Typing, which lets you glide your finger over the letters you want to type on the keyboard.
    26. Attach Any File to An Email – Android allows you to attach any file to an e-mail — not only images or video like iOS 7 does. This is important, because it’s common to attach Word docs or Powerpoint presentations to work-related emails.
    27. Photo Sphere goes beyond Apple’s Panorama and lets you capture 360 degree photos

    28. 360-degree Photos – Android 4.2 introduced a new camera feature called Photo Sphere, which lets you capture Google Street View-style images that are larger than life. While you take photos in every direction Android stitches them together to create 360-degree experiences that you can share on Google+ with friends and family, or add to Google Maps.You can see Photo Sphere in action here.
    29. Superior Music Scan & Match feature – The new Google Play Music service has a free “Scan and Match” option that goes through your entire music library and saves it to the cloud, so it’s accessible from any Internet-connected device. Like iTunes Match, you don’t have to upload most songs because they are already there. Unlike iTunes Match, Google lets you store 20,000 songs on its servers for free. Apple charges $24.99 a year for the iTunes Match feature and transcodes all of your high-bit rate songs down to 256kbps prior to uploading to iCloud. Google allows songs up to 320Kbps.
    30. Advanced photo editing comes standard

    31. More Advanced Photo Editing Features – The stock iOS camera and photo viewer apps are very limited on features. The Android Gallery app let you tweak your photos in a similar manner as you would with Photoshop. This goes far beyond the four options Apple has (rotate, enhance, red-eye and crop). Starting with Android 4.1 Google let you apply Instagram-style filters to still or video footage including warm vintage, posterize, black and white, and sepia. You can also edit different video clips together by simply pausing and resuming video recording.
    32. A True Full-screen Mode – Android 4.4 supports a new ‘Immersive mode’ that allows apps to take over the entire screen when needed. That means you won’t see any controls on the top of the bottom of the screen. To get the controls back just swipe from the top or bottom of the screen. On the iPhone, this type of full screen mode isn’t possible.

    33. File Management on Your Device – iOS apps like iExplorer claim to be file explorers, but they don’t allow you to browse, copy, paste, rename and delete any visible file or folder on your device. This is because Apple doesn’t allow you to access the iOS file system. Android file explorers like ES File Explorer do all of this and much more. The 10 best Android File Explorers.
    34. Individual App Volumes – Android lets you adjust the volume for individual apps and functions. To do this, press the volume keys along the side of your device and wait for the on-screen volume slider to pop up. Touch the Settings button on the right and you’ll see sliders for music, video, notifications, ringtones and alarms.
    35. A Persistent Back Button – Android’s Back button is available at all times. Some iOS apps display a Back button, but it’s not always available and some apps don’t include it at all. This is one of the features I miss the most when moving back and forth between Android and iOS.
    36. A Live Wallpaper

    37. Miracast Wireless Video Streaming- Android 4.2 added support for a wireless video streaming standard called Miracast, which is an open alternative to Apple’s AirPlay. One advantage that Miracast has over AirPlay and DLNA is that it streams over Wi-Fi Direct and does not require a Wi-Fi hotspot. Miracast allows you to stream anything that’s on your phone (or tablet) to a Miracast-ready HDTV. Although there aren’t many TVs that support Miracast yet (LG will be among the first), experts are expecting many to be released next year, along with low-cost dongles that plug into the HDMI port of older TVs. Most of the newest smartphones and tablets already support Miracast — including the Samsung Galaxy Series, LG Optimus G, Nexus 4 and more. You can see Miracast in action here.
    38. Moving Screen Backgrounds – iOS 7 has dynamic backrounds that give the illusion of moving, like Android apps, but this is very different than the live wallpapers that run on Android devices. They allow you to run cool animations or videos on your home screens. Most live wallpapers like Ocean HD span across all five of your home screens and pan when you move from screen to screen. You can interact with some live wallpapers by touching the screen. For example, touching the screen on Ocean HD causes the swimming fish to change direction. You can even have a 360 degree panoramic photo as your live wallpaper (e.g. PanoPlanet Live Wallpaper).
    39. High-definition Magazines – Traditional magazines are printed at 300 dpi. Since Android tablets like the Nexus 10 have a screen that supports 300 ppi, it makes sense to offer magazines at their native 300 dpi resolution. Look for HD magazines in Google Play that only be viewed on Android devices.
    40. Full Stylus Support – Although you can use a capacitive stylus on an iOS device, the OS has very limited support for it. You won’t get the same level of expression you get on a Samsung Galaxy Note II, which has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. iOS also won’t let you toggle between a brush, pencil or eraser by simply holding the stylus above the screen and clicking a button. The stylus on Note II even lets you preview emails, photos or videos by hovering slightly above the screen. Here are some more things you can do with a stylus.

      Android has better resource monitoring than iOS

    41. Data & Resource Monitoring – Android shows you exactly how much data you have used so far each month and warns you when you’re getting close to your data cap. You can even disable mobile data entirely if you’d like, once a certain threshold has been reached. Android also lets you see how much battery and memory and data each app is using.
    42. Haptic Feedback Support – The Android OS and most Android devices support haptic feedback natively. This gives you a tactile vibration when you type, long press, or touch any of the navigation buttons. This is done to make it clear your touch was acknowledged, so you don’t have to tap twice. Haptic feedback also makes games much more enjoyable to play.

    43. More Screen Unlock Options – Android now has five different ways to unlock your screen: A slider (which lets you access the home screen or camera), pattern unlock, PIN unlock, password unlock and Face unlock.
    44. No Bluetooth Transfer Restrictions – Most iOS Bluetooth apps have limitations which Android apps don’t have. They cannot send data over Bluetooth to an Android device (unless the iOS device has been jailbroken). Most apps available in the App store can only send photos, and cannot send audio, video and other documents.
    45. Speed Dials – Android allows you to add icons for contacts directly to your home screen(s), so you can quickly call or text them. iOS users must first open the Phone or Messaging apps before communicating with contacts.
    46. Multicolored LED alerts – Most Android devices have a small LED that alerts you to missed calls, new messages and other system events like low-battery. As with other Android phones, you can customize exactly how and when the LED works by installing a third-party LED control app like Light Flow. The iPhone does have a setting buried under Accessibility, which flashes an LED when a calls or text message is received, but it’s not nearly as flexible as this feature. Light Flow lets you assign different colors to voice mail, missed calls, calendar reminders, Gmail, Facebook notifications, SMS messages and many more things.

    The Tide is Turning

    Although iOS still has some very important advantages over Android, it seems that every time I update this article, the list of Android advantages gets longer, and the list of iOS advantages gets shorter. Even the most die hard Apple fans admit that iOS is showing its age and Apple still hasn’t figured out Sharing or the Cloud. Apple’s between a rock and a hard place, because they have to add some of the above features at some point, but when they do they will be accused of copying Android. Sure Apple still has a few tricks up their sleeve, and an amazing patent pool, but they are clearly playing catch up at the moment.

    “Real Men Use Android”

    After many years of promoting Apple’s products Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki recently switched to Android. Really. He recently did a interview where he said, “People are kind of amazed, but I don’t use any iOS products, none at all. I fell in love with Android on the smartphone, and then I got a Nexus 7 and started using Android on the tablet as well. To me the great irony is that Apple’s slogan was `Think Different,’ but today if you think different you’re looking at Android.” Guy uses a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Now that Apple has finally caught up to Android hardware in areas like 4G , Guy says it’s Android’s “superior software that keeps him from moving astray.”

    Guy Kawasaki’s Five Favorite Android Features

    1. Multiple apps running in multiple windows
    2. Widgets
    3. Ability to launch files and choose default apps
    4. Ability to see all your apps in an alphabetical listing no matter what folder they are in
    5. Ability to pick your own keyboard (he uses SmartKey)

    - Rick

    Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    Will the iPhone 5 Put Apple Back on Top?

    Last update: September 6, 2013

    The iPhone 5 is a longer, thinner 4G iPhone 4S with twice the memory


    Until recently the iPhone dominated worldwide smartphone sales, but now Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III are outselling both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 combined. Does the iPhone 5 have what it takes to hold back the Android onslaught and return the iPhone to its place of former glory?

    Let’s start by going over the major changes in the iPhone 5 and compare each of them to the best Android phones. We’ll look at the areas each platform is leading in. It’s important that Apple leads in many areas, because new Android phones are released every month, but the next iPhone won’t be released for another 8-10 months.

    Although I wrote this article four days before Apple’s official launch, all of my predictions about the iPhone 5 except one turned out to be true. Read on to find out what I got right, and what I got wrong.

    The HTC One X was one of the first smartphones avaiable with a quad-core CPU

    CPU

    The iPhone 5 was rumored to have a quad-core processor. That would have been impressive, but it didn’t pan out. The new iPhone only has a dual-core CPU with a clock speed which is 50% slower than the best Android smartphones. Although it does well in some benchmarks, in side-by-side tests, it’s not much faster than an iPhone 4S. To make matters worse for Apple, quad-core smartphones from HTC and others became available back in February. This means Apple is more than seven months behind in processor technology. We won’t know exactly how far behind they are until an iPhone with a quad-core CPU ships. That probably won’t happen for a least another year.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: Android is 17-19 months ahead, if Apple stays on their current release schedule.

    Memory & Storage

    The iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM and is available with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage. Android phones like the Galaxy S II have been available with 1GB of RAM for 18 months. Newer Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S III, have 2GB of RAM which is twice as much memory as the new iPhone has. You can never have too much memory because it speeds up the phone and improves multitasking performance.

    Android phone owners can increase their storage to 64GB for less than $20


    Although Android phones are available with the same amount of storage as the iPhone 5, many Android phones also include a microSD slot which let users convert a 32GB phone to a 64GB phone for less than $20. A 64GB Android phone can be expanded to 128GB — although it’s not cheap to do so. That’s twice as much storage as the iPhone 5 has.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: Android phones had 1GB of memory at least 18 months before the iPhone 5 was announced.

    Network

    Perhaps the biggest change in the new iPhone is 4G LTE support. LTE phones are capable of much higher data speeds than 3G phones. Unfortunately, Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy Indulge had 4G way back in February of 2011. Nineteen long months later, Apple finally got around to adding 4G support to the iPhone 5. Apple has also confirmed the iPhone 5 can’t do simultaneous voice and LTE data on Verizon’s CDMA network like Android phones can do. This is a big limitation.

    Advantage: Neither – Both platforms now support LTE
    Lead: Android is 19 months ahead in this area

    Wi-Fi Connectivity

    Mobile devices with dual-band Wi-Fi support can communicate over either 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi. This is important because the 5GHz band is capable of faster speeds and is not as susceptible to interference from cordless telephones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and wireless keyboards as the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II have had dual-band Wi-Fi support for 19 months. The iPhone 5 is the first Apple smartphone to get 5GHz Wi-Fi support.

    Advantage: Neither – Both platforms now support Dual-band Wi-Fi
    Lead: Android is 19 months ahead in this area

    The Droid RAZR MAXX has over twice the power of the new iPhone’s battery

    Battery

    Battery life is the single biggest complaint about the iPhone 4S. In fact, a recent survey showed that 93% of those interested in the iPhone 5 want longer battery life. The addition of 4G in the iPhone 5 will consume larger amounts of power than before, so it’s important the new iPhone has a more powerful battery. Does it? Although Apple hasn’t given specifics, there are reports the iPhone 5 has a battery which is only slightly more powerful than the battery in the iPhone 4S. If this is true, battery life will continue to be a problem. The Droid RAZR MAXX has the most powerful battery in a smartphone today. At 3300mAh, this phone has a talk time of 21.5 hours, while the iPhone 5 only has a talk time of 8 hours. The iPhone 5 has a battery with less than half as much power and can’t come close to the talk time of the eight month old RAZR MAXX. The Samsung Galaxy S III also easily beats the new iPhone 5 in both talk time and standby time — even though it is only 1mm thicker.

    Many Android phones have easily removable batteries which can be cheaply upgraded. This isn’t possible with the new iPhone because the battery is not removable.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: Android batteries with twice the power of the new iPhone have been available for eight months.

    Camera

    The iPhone 5 has a camera with an 8-megapixel sensor and specs which are almost identical to the iPhone 4S, but it’s thinner and has a few enhancements. Apple says it has a dynamic low light mode which evaluates nearby pixels to give up to 2 f-stops greater low-light performance. A new image processor in the A6 is also supposed to reduce noise and includes a so-called “smart filter” to do better color-matching. However Apple’s claims appear to be over-stated. Some side-by-side comparisons between the cameras in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S have show little difference between the two, while others show improvement. The iPhone 5 gets killed by other top cameras when it comes to low-light performance. As you can see in photo below, which was taken by a Samsung Galaxy S III, the image is sharper and less noisy than photo taken by the iPhone 5. The S III’s photo also has more accurate colors — capturing the true purple of the flower, while the iPhone’s photo looks pink and yellow. The 41MP Nokia PureView camera does even better in low-light situations. Another problem the iPhone 5′s camera is its tendency to over-sharpen photos, which adds distortion.

    The Galaxy S III performs better in low-light than the iPhone 5


    How does the camera in the iPhone 5 compare to other smartphones? Nokia’s PureView cameras are miles ahead the camera in the new iPhone. The PureView camera has a 41MP sensor, while the iPhone 5 still uses an 8MP sensor. Other smartphones come with 13-16MP sensors. The Nokia Lumia 920 which includes PureView technology, also includes a sensor which is larger than the one on the iPhone. Generally larger sensors result in better image quality.

    Apple made a big deal about the new panorama mode and ability to take quick photos with the new iPhone 5s camera, but both of those features appeared in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus camera nine months ago and are included with Android 4.0. Other new iPhone 5 features like ‘Shared Photo Streams’ have been available to Galaxy S III users since May of 2012.

    The screen on the new Samsung Galaxy Note II dwarfs the one on the new iPhone 5

    Screen Size

    Some people say Anroid phone have screens that are too big, but a recent survey found that 90 percent of people want their next phone to have a large screen. The new iPhone’s 4.0″ screen is impressive when compared to the iPhone 4S, but it is 16% smaller than the screen on the Samsung Galaxy S III, and 27% smaller than the upcoming Galaxy Note II.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: >18 months. Android phones with screens larger than the new iPhone have been available for at least 18 months.

    Screen Resolution

    The 1136×640 pixel screen on the new iPhone is impressive, but has 29% less pixels than the Samsung Galaxy Note which was announced back in September of 2011. Although the new Retina display has better color saturation with full sRGB rendering, it has only has a resolution of 326 pixels per inch (PPI); That’s considerably less than the 342 PPI display on the HTC Rezound. That phone came out way back in November of 2011. To make matters worse, better Android phones are just around the corner. In fact there are a total of seven different smartphones with higher resolution (PPI) screens than the iPhone 5. For example, the Sony Xperia V has a PPI of 342; But the best is yet to come, the HTC Droid Incredible X is rumored to have a 1920×1080 display with a mind-boggling pixel density of 480 PPI. The display on the iPhone 5 doesn’t even come close to the display on this phone.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: 19 months. Android phones with higher pixel densities than the new iPhone 5 have been available for over 19 months.

    Screen Shape

    Since the new iPhone doesn’t have a 1280×720 screen, it can’t play HD video content without scaling it. Often, devices that don’t have a 16:9 ratio display black bars when playing HD video. A device like that the Samsung Galaxy S III which sports this ratio will have smaller black bars (or no black bars).

    There is some controversy over the new iPhone’s strange shape. iPhone user Henry Blodget says “Who cares about having a taller screen? I certainly don’t want to have to turn the phone to landscape view every time I want to look at something. But the screen thing is really annoying. I’m not a watch-movies-or-play-video-games-on-my-phone guy. I’m a do-email-and-tweet-and-read-the-Internet-on-my-phone guy. So the idea of having to turn the phone to landscape to take advantage of the screen being slightly taller sounds more annoying than anything.”

    But the biggest problem with the strange shape of the iPhone 5 is that none of the current apps will occupy the entire screen of the new iPhone until after they are updated. In the meantime, Apple will place two black strips along the top and bottom in portrait mode, or the left and right in landscape mode, just like a letterboxed film.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: Android phones with true 1280×720 HD screens like the HTC Rezound have been available for at least 10 months.

    Screen Accuracy

    When it comes to display accuracy, the iPhone 5 is second to none in most areas. The iPhone 5 has excellent brightness, contrast rating, readability in bright light, reflectiveness, color gamut and color shift. The Samsung Galaxy S III gets a B+ rating vs. Apples A, and beats the iPhone 5 in black level and contrast ratio.

    Advantage: iOS
    Lead: The iPhone had had better screen accuracy since the beginning.

    Case Thickness & Overall Weight

    The iPhone 5 is 7.6mm thin and said to be “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” unfortunately like so much Apple hyperbole, it’s not even close to being true. At least five other smartphones are thinner than the iPhone 5. You’d think that Apple would have Google’d this claim before making such a big deal about it.

    Phones which are thinner than the iPhone 5
    1. Oppo Finder is only 6.65 milimeters thick
    2. Huawei Ascend P1 6.8 millimeters
    3. Motorola RAZR XT909 7.1 millimeters
    4. Motorola RAZR XT910 7.1 millimeters
    5. Motorola DROID RAZR 7.1 millimeters

    Advantage: Android

    The fact that the iPhone 5′s screen is much smaller than some Android phones helps it when it comes to weight. The iPhone 5 is lighter than most other popular Android phones! It weighs only 112 grams, while the HTC One S weighs 119 grams and the Samsung Galaxy S III weighs 133 grams.

    Advantage: Apple

    Extras

    The new iPhone comes with a digital wallet called ‘Passport’ which can hold digital boarding passes and coupons, but it doesn’t support NFC which is required to buy things at any of the 300,000+ PayPass cash registers. A digital wallet which can’t buy things? Only from Apple.

    Wireless charging is another feature expected on the iPhone 5. Even if this rumor was correct (it wasn’t) the iPhone 5 would have still been four months behind the Samsung Galaxy S III which first launched back on May and includes support for wireless charging. Other smartphones that include wireless charging support today include the HTC Droid DNA, HTC Windows Phone 8X, LG Nexus 4, LG Spectrum 2, Nokia Lumia 822, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 925 and the Samsung Galaxy S 4.

    Advantage: Android
    Lead: NFC support has been available for 21 months on Android devices like the Samsung Nexus S. Wireless charging has been available on the Android platform for at least 4 months. That feature won’t appear for at least another 14 more months on the iPhone.

    I expected the new iPhone to have an edge-to-edge display like new Motorola Droid RAZR M

    What is the New iPhone Missing?

    Nokia’s Lumia phones are available in seven different colors


    No Digital Payments (NFC) – Early on there was talk about the iPhone having NFC support or using Bluetooth 4.0 for near-field communications. Somehow this was cut from the list of supported features. This is a really big deal because NFC support is required to purchase things at one of 300,000+ NFC-enabled PayPass cash registers. The new iPhone comes with ‘Passport’ which is a multi-function “wallet” that can hold digital boarding pass and coupons but it doesn’t allow you to buy things

    No State of the Art Camera (e.g. 13-16MP) – Nokia’s Pureview cameras are miles ahead the iPhone 5′s camera. They include a 41MP sensor while the iPhone 5 still uses an 8MP sensor. Other smartphones come with 13-16MP sensors. Side-by-side comparisons between the cameras in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S have show very little difference between the two.

    No True HD Screen – Since all high-definition video content is either 720p or 1080p, it’s surprising that Apple didn’t choose one of those resolutions. 720P HD displays became the standard for high-end smartphones starting back in 2011. The new iPhone only has a 640p screen.

    No HDR video capture – Phones like the new HTC One have video cameras that have the same real-time HDR processing that is found in most phones today. This makes it possible to have images with bright light sources and dim backgrounds.

    No 60fps Video Recording – Phones like the new HTC One and Asus Padfone 2 have video cameras are capable of recording 720p video at 60fps. This is essential for smooth motion with action sports. Here’s a good simulation of the differences between various frame rates.

    No Touch-to-Share – Most newer Android phones, like the Galaxy S III, can share media by touching one phone to another with NFC support. This allows you to share photos, videos, contacts and Web pages, as well as information between apps.

    No International LTE Roaming – In the past one of the best things about having an iPhone on a carrier like AT&T was that you could take it to Europe and still enjoy fast data speeds. None of the U.S. carriers is offering LTE roaming outside the United States.

    Very Limited Carrier Interoperability – Apple is doing away with the dual-mode GSM/CDMA support that the iPhone 4S had. Instead, it’s selling three different types of iPhone 5s: one CDMA-based model and two GSM-based models with different LTE bands. Having separate versions will make carrier interoperability difficult.

    No Simultaneous Voice and Data on Some Carriers – The iPhone 5 doesn’t support simultaneous voice and LTE data on carriers like Verizon and Sprint. More info. Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III do support simultaneous voice and LTE data on carriers like Verizon. Apple could have easily supported this, but decided to not add a third antenna — which would have allowed its CDMA iPhones to support simultaneous voice and data.

    No microSD Card Slot – Most Android phones let you easily and cheaply expand your memory by adding a microSD card. Sadly Apple still refuses to add this important feature. The new iPhone also has a proprietary USB connector so you have to buy a special Apple cable instead of a standard and much cheaper microUSB cable. Thanks Apple!

    Limited Color Choices – Black and white are not really color choices. The new Nokia lumia phones are available in seven eye-popping color choices including purple, turquoise and yellow. Samsung’s popular Galaxy S III phones are now available in six great-looking — although more subdued colors. It blows my mind that Apple still offers only two colors.

    No Affordable Unlocked Price Option – The official unsubsidized price for a iPhone 5 is $649. You can buy an unlocked Nexus 4 for less than a third that price, and it has better specs than the iPhone in most areas. Sure you could sell your soul to a carrier and get an iPhone for less, but two years is a long time to use a phone with specs like that.

    No Fingerprint Reader – Fingerprint readers have been available on Android devices starting with the Motorola Atrix 4G, which was released back in February of 2011. Newer Android phones like the HTC One Max have fingerprint readers as well.

    No Wireless Charging – In the future you will no longer have to plug in your phone to charge it. The Samsung Galaxy S III, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Droid DNA, LG Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 822, HTC Windows Phone 8X and the LG Spectrum 2 all include wireless charging support today.

    Wireless changing is another feature missing from the new iPhone


    No Edge-to-edge Display – The Motorola Droid RAZR M was one of the first phones with an edge-to-edge screen with almost no bezel. The new Samsung Galaxy Note III has even a smaller side bezel. I expected the iPhone 5 to have an edge to edge screen, but it does not.

    Screen doesn’t work with gloves – If you live in a region where winters are cold and long, you’ll appreciate phones like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Huawei Ascend Mate that work well even when you are wearing gloves. This requires special touchscreen technology that Apple doesn’t use in any of its products.

    Limited Stylus Support – Although you can use a stylus on an iPhone 5 you don’t get the same level of expression that you get on Android Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note II which has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. A stylus gives you much more expression and exposes some very interesting new features.

    No 16:9 Display – Apple says the iPhone 5 is closer to 16:9 but the movies still need to be letterboxed and all apps will need to be resized or they will also appear letterboxed.

    No OpenGL 3.0 ES support – Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note III included support for OpenGL 3.0 ES which makes possible much better looking graphics.

    No Voice-over-LTE Support – Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III support VoLTE today. Once the carriers roll-this out next year voice will be sent over the fast 4G network and voice-quality will dramatically improve. VoLTE has twice the frequency-range of 3G and HD-level audio. More info.

    No Fast-charging Chip – Many of the best Android phones now include a fast-charging technology from Qualcomm that helps them charge up to 40% faster than older phones. Supported phones include the following and many more: HTC Droid DNA, HTC One S, HTC One SV, HTC 8X, Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G, Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD/RAZR HD, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820 and the Samsung Galaxy S III. The Samsung Galaxy Note III supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 feature that charges up to 75% faster than conventional USB charging technology.

    No Front-facing Stereo Speakers – Android phones like the new HTC One have two front-facing speakers. The iPhone 5 only has one mono speaker that points down so it’s sometimes covered by your hand.

    Its AV adapter doesn’t support 1080p – Another big downside to the iPhone 5s use of a proprietary “Lightning” cable is that its Digital AV adapter (which connects to the HDMI jack on your TV) doesn’t support 1080p today. It’s capable of supporting 1080p, but Apple has chosen to hold back support for this feature.

    No Face Unlock – All Android phones running the 4.0 or 4.1 OS use facial recognition to allow user to access to their phone by looking at it. Other cool options like swipe are also available. iPhone users are still swiping their screens with their fingers to unlock their phones.

    No Replaceable Battery – Many Android phones have batteries which are removable and easily replaceable. This is important because all rechargeable batteries have a limited life span and need to be replaced.

    No Dual MIMO Smart Antennas – Smartphones like the Moto X have 2 antennas dedicated to 4G LTE, which should deliver faster data speeds and better reception. Other phones use the same antenna for 2G/3G and 4G. The iPhone 5 only has a 1×1 MIMO antenna.

    Not Water-resistant – Android phones like the Motorola Defy, Defy+, Defy XT, Defy Pro, Sony Xperia Z, Sony Xperia Acro S, Samsung Galaxy Xcover, Samsung Rugby Smart, Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, Casio G’zOne Commando and others are all highly water-resistant. The iPhone is not water resistant. I have several friends that have ruined their iPhones by dropping them in water. Android phones like the Cat B15 go further by surviving 6 foot drops, submersion over 3 feet in water, and the ability to run in temperatures as low as -4F to as high as 122F. The enclosure on the new Sony Experia Z1 has an IP code rating of 58, which is even better.

    No USB 3.0 support – Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note III include USB 3.0 support. This allows you to transfer files between your phone and PC up to 10 times faster than a traditional USB port.

    No high-resoution audio support – High-resolution audio is going to be pushed heavily at the 2014 CES show. CEA research suggests nearly 40% of consumers are willing to pay more for high quality audio electronics devices. That’s why it’s important Android phones like the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note III support 24bit/192kHz music.

    Doesn’t use the most scratch-resistant screen – The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the first smartphone with a Gorilla Glass 3 screen. This screen is much more durable than the Corning screen used on the iPhone 5 and almost impossible to scratch. Watch this video to see just how durable it is.

    No Infrared Transmitter – Phones like new HTC One and LG Optimus VU II have built-in IR-transmitters so you can use your tablet to control devices in your home like your TV without using Wi-Fi and special apps. This is a very useful feature.

    No LTE Advanced Support – Phones like new Samsung Galaxy Note III have Category 4 LTE support which will allow your device to download data at much faster speeds in the future.

    Why Consumer Reports recently said the iPhone 5 is the worst of the top smartphones

    Even if the iPhone wasn’t missing all of the above features which are found in other phones, it still wouldn’t be a contender, because it just can’t compete with phones like the Droid DNA, or even the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is much older. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Consumer Reports recently said the iPhone 5 is the worst of the top smartphones. They ranked it below the LG Optimus G and Samsung Galaxy Note II, as well as older phones like the Droid RAZR MAXX, Droid RAZR HD, Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One S. You can read more about this when their February issue hits the newstands and Internet.

    Will People Still Buy It?

    Of course they will buy it! Most iPhone fans upgrade every time Apple releases a new iPhone. If Apple fans were to compare the new iPhone to other smartphones, they would see that it’s not competitive in all areas except weight, but Apple fans don’t question Apple. The iPhone 5 is sure to be the best selling smartphone in history. Analysts are projecting sales of 10 million in the first month. Over time it is sure to outsell the iPhone 4S, which was very similar to the iPhone 4, yet it sold an amazing 50 million units.

    Post Launch Update:
    - Apple missed some analysts sales estimates for the opening weekend.
    - Samsung’s Galaxy S III had four of its five best-selling weeks in the U.S. after the iPhone 5 was unveiled. That’s very surprising, given the fact that the GS3 has been on the market since July.
    - Samsung shipped 57M smartphones in Q3 after the iPhone 5 was released. That’s twice as many phones as many as Apple shipped.
    - Apple is continuing to see sales decline in both Europe and Asia-Pacific.
    - In Q3, Android manufacturers shipped over 5 times more smartphones than Apple did.

    In just three years, Android has crushed the smartphone competition

    How Google Reversed Apple’s World Domination

    In the first four years after the iPhone was released, Apple not only outsold individual smartphone from companies like Samsung and Motorola, it sold more phones than entire platforms did. Unfortunately for Apple, those days are gone.

    1. First Android started outselling the iPhone worldwide. Then, back in May of 2010 IDC reported Android began outselling Apple in the U.S.
    2. Next, Samsung over took Apple on worldwide sales of smartphones.
    3. Then, individual Android phones started outselling the iPhone worldwide.
    4. And now, for the first time ever the Samsung Galaxy S III is outselling the iPhone 4S in the United States. Four easy steps to Samsung’s worldwide mobile domination. More about Samsung’s rise to number one.

    In the past quarter, the Samsung Galaxy S III outsold the iPhone in the U.S. and abroad


    Now Google is widening it’s lead. In the second quarter of 2012, IDC reported that 68% of all smartphones shipped were Android. That’s four times the 17% market share currently held by Apple. When the iPhone 5 was launched, there were over half a billion devices running Android in the world. Most of those are smartphones. That’s over 100 million more devices than Apple has running iOS today. More than 1.3 million new Android devices are activated every day now, but next year over 1 billion Android smartphones are forecasted to ship. To make make matters worse, consumers are now more excited about the iPad than the iPhone, so Apple’s marketing people have their work cut out for them — especially now that Samsung is now generating more buzz than Apple with both “early tech adopters” and the broader group of consumers aged 18 to 34.

    Update (11/15) – Even after the launch of the iPhone 5, Android now has 72% of the market, while Apple only has 16%.

    Android is Raising the Bar High

    Consumers used to be able to buy the newest iPhone and know they were getting the best phone on the planet. Those days are over. Apple is playing catch-up with Android when it comes to both specs and features. If the iPhone 5 were announced as an Android phone, it would probably be classified as a upper mid-range device. Apple is now two years behind Android in some areas and this gap is likely to increase because new Android phones are coming out every month. Apple fans have to wait an entire year to get higher performing hardware. This is a big problem that Apple is going to have to change if they are going to remain competitive. It’s not just hardware that is a problem. As others have pointed out, Apple hasn’t touched a single significant element of their UI since they added multitasking back in iOS4. The look and design of the iPhone hasn’t fundamentally changed since the first iPhone five years ago.

    Is it Fair to Compare a Single Phone to an Entire Platform?

    Some of you are probably thinking: Hey wait! You can’t compare the iPhone 5 with an entire platform of phones. That’s fair, but here I compare the iPhone 5 directly with other top Android and Windows phones and it’s very clear the iPhone 5 is still behind the competition in most areas. My point is that Apple doesn’t build any of their own phones (or computers for that matter) they use Foxconn, who has access to every technology listed on this page. Apple choose to ignore great technologies like NFC. Apple has a long history of holding back technologies, because it forces their users to buy their next product. It’s amazing to me that Apple fans never catch on to this game. That’s one reason Apple has over $120 billion dollars in cash.

    Will the Apple Empire Strike Back?

    The new iPhone will help Apple to stage a comeback


    Yes! The new iPhone will initially outsell every other smartphone in the U.S. and abroad. One analyst says over 10 million new iPhones will be sold in the first week. Another analyst expects Apple to sell 50 million new iPhones in the U.S. alone. Will this explosion of sales be enough to turn the Android tide? Experts say Android will continue to widen it’s lead in the second half of 2012 – even after the new iPhone ships. A year from now, it’s highly likely that another Samsung phone will overtake the new iPhone again in sales. Experts say even Windows Phone is on pace to pass up Apple’s iOS in 2015. But you never know what Apple has up their sleeve. That’s what makes it so much fun to watch this battle of two great tech titans.

    - Rick

    Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1
     

    Getting the Most Out of Your Samsung Galaxy S III – Part One

    Last update: December 15, 2012

    This article has had over 10,000 views. Thanks for reading it.

    Things To Do First

    You’ll need to increase the brightness to make the S III’s screen look its best


    This is the first in a three part series which will help you to get the most out of your new Samsung Galaxy S III. Let’s start with some simple things to make an already good phone — even better:

    1. Increase the screen’s brightness – Some reviewers have complained that the Galaxy S III is not as bright as other top smartphones. This is easy to fix. Go to Settings > Display > Brightness and turn ‘Automatic brightness’ off. Then, move the brightness slider to the right and press OK. The screen should now be much easier to read. I run my brightness at about 70% and battery life is still fine.
    2. Change the screen timeout – Another easy to fix annoyance is the time before the screen goes to sleep. Go to Settings > Display and change the ‘Screen timeout’ to 2 minutes. This will keep your screen awake much longer, without having much of an affect on battery life.
    3. Here is an example of a customized home screen

    4. Clean up your home screens – Every one uses their phone differently, that’s why important that you customize your home screens to meet your needs. Here are some suggestions for new Samsung users:

      a. Make shortcuts on your home screens for all of your favorite apps. To do this touch ‘Apps’ and then touch and hold an app and then drag it until it appears on the desired home screen.

      b. Create folders for different categories of apps (e.g. Games, Utilities, etc.) and move all of the related apps into those folders. If you’re not sure how to create folders, there are details below in the section called ‘Cleaning Up Your Homescreens.’

      c. Uninstall any unnecessary apps and widgets. To do this, simply touch and drag them into the trash can in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

      d. Remove any extra home screen panels after you’ve created shortcut for all of your most-used apps. The SIII comes with seven home screen panels, but you can speed up the time it takes to get to your apps if you delete all blank home screen panels. To do this pinch the home screen with two of your fingers. Then drag any blank panels into the trash can. You can add them back later if you want to.

    5. Clean up your app locker
      a. Start by hiding all of the carrier-installed apps you don’t plan to use. To do this touch Apps and press the Settings button. Then touch ‘Hide applications.’ Touch the black box next to any app you want to hide. When you’re finished, press ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
      b. Next, uninstall all of the apps you don’t plan to use. Details below.
    6. Improve your on-screen typing – If you have any problems typing on the Samsung keyboard you may need to do one of these three things:

      a. Go to ‘Language and input’ and enter words into your ‘Personal dictionary.’
      b. Customize your predictive text settings (details at the bottom on this post)
      c. If you’re still not satisfied after the above two steps, download SwiftKey 3 keyboard and use it instead of the stock Samsung keyboard.

    7. Download the drivers for your phone – If your phone doesn’t mount after you plug it into the USB port on your computer, you may need to download drivers. You can find the USB drivers for the Verizon version of the Galaxy S III here. Check the Samsung website to find the drivers for other carrier’s phones.
    8. Expand your memory – If you don’t have an extra 16 or 32GB microSD card laying around, you should purchase one, and copy all of your media to it. You can double the storage in your Galaxy S III for less than $10. This will free up valuable space on your internal memory.
    9. Replace some of your Samsung apps with stock ones – Samsung replaces many of the stock Android apps. In some cases, the replacements are better than the originals. In other cases, they are not. Here are 20 stock apps which you may want to consider.
    10. Read the manual – There is some valuable information in the Samsung Galaxy S III User’s Guide. You can view it here.
    11. Learn how to use the special features which are exclusive to this phone – The “Guided Tours” app has videos which will teach you how to use special features like one touch sharing, pop up play and more. Most of these appear in the “Additional videos” section. Even more videos can be found by searching for “Galaxy SIII” on YouTube. These tips and tricks videos are also worth watching.

    Where to Find More Great Tips?

    You can find 30 more great tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy S III here. If case you’re wondering why I left out S Beam, I’ve devoted a whole post to that feature.

    Cleaning Up Your Home Screens

    How to create folders

    You can no longer drag and drop and app on another to create a folder.

    1. To create a folder, click on the Menu button in the lower-left hand corner.
    2. Then touch ‘Create Folder’
    3. You should see a white folder appear on your homescreen.

    Note: Make sure you only try to do this on a homescreen that has room for the folder to appear. Otherwise it won’t work.

    How to uninstall unused apps like ‘Media Hub’

    1. Touch the Apps icon.
    2. Press the Menu button in the lower-left hand corner and touch ‘Uninstall’.
    3. Click on the red minus sign to delete an app.
    4. Confirm and press the Back button when you’re done uninstalling apps.

    Note: You can only delete certain apps. If there is no minus sign, you cannot delete them.

    This list view allows you to quickly find apps alphabetically


    How to fill in the spaces after hiding apps

    After you hide a lot of apps you’re going to see spaces where the old apps used to be. The easiest way to fix this is to follow these instructions:

    1. Touch the Settings button in the lower-left hand corner and touch ‘View Type’.
    2. Touch ‘Alphabetical grid’ or ‘Alphabetical list’ shown to the right.

    How to customize predictive text
    If you’re having problems with the keyboard inserting wrong words, you may want to disable or customize predictive text. To do this, follow these instructions:

    1. Go to Settings > Language and input > and click on the gears to the right of Samsung keyboard.
    2. Then touch the words ‘Predictive text’. next, scroll down and touch ‘My word list’ and press “+” to add non-standard words that you type often.
    3. Next, touch the trash can icon and delete any words from the list that appear to be gibberish.
    4. I found that changing the ‘Word completion point’ from 2 to 3 letters seemed to help as well.
    5. If you find ‘Word completion’ to be distracting, turn it off. If you leave it on, don’t fight it. Keep on typing even though it has picked a wrong word. Most of the time it will correct itself later.

    Tips for those upgrading from a Samsung Galaxy Nexus

    If you’re moving from an Android 4.0 phone like the Galaxy Nexus, there are some things you need to know to get the most out of your incredible new phone. Although the Galaxy SIII runs Android 4.0, there are some differences between Touchwiz and the stock Android 4.0 GUI. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list. I’m focusing on the features that I find to be the most useful.

    Dedicated Buttons are Back

    The first thing you’ll probably notice is that there are now three buttons below the massive 4.8” screen on the Galaxy S III.

    1. The left button is a menu button which lights up when you touch anywhere below the bottom of the screen. Instead of clicking on the three dots like you can see on the galaxy Nexus screenshot below, you’ll click on the S III’s dedicated menu button.
    2. The center button is a real physical home key which does three different things: Pressing it normally takes you to your Home screen. Pressing and holding it, displays a list of recent apps. Quickly pressing it twice launches Samsung’s S Voice, which is similar to Apple’s SIRI.
    3. The right button is the back button. This works the same as it did on stock Android 4.0 phones.

    Where to Find MyApps

    Instead of viewing your apps by touching the menu button in the upper right hand corner of the Google Play app, you’ll now touch the menu in the lower left-hand corner.

    There are other differences between the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Checkout my next article to learn how to turn off 4G or capture your screen. You’ll find answers to those questions, along with twenty five more tips. If case you’re wondering why I left out S Beam, I’ve devoted an entire article to that alone. You won’t want to miss that one.

    - Rick

    Copyright 2012 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1
     

    What is the Best Smartphone You Can Buy Today?

    One of these is the best smartphone available today. Which one is it? [Phone sizes adjusted so they appear uniform]


    Since this article was first written, an updated version has been posted here. Check it out. A lot has changed.

    Evaluating the Hardware

    Who makes the world’s best smartphone? Most people would probably say the iPhone 4S, since it seems like everyone has one. But is it really the best? Let’s find out. I started by making a chart of the specs for all currently available smartphones from U.S. carriers.

    The Top Five Finalists

    Next, I narrowed down the list of candidates to the best five phones based on hardware specs. I was surprised that some of the most popular phones did not not make this list. I’ll discuss this more below, but first, the top five finalists based on hardware specs are:

    HTC Evo 4G LTE

    HTC One X

    LG Nitro HD

    Motorola ATRIX HD

    Samsung Galaxy S III (U.S.)

    Processor

    1.5 GHz dual-core

    1.5 GHz dual-core

    1.5 GHz dual-core

    1.5 GHz dual-core

    1.5 GHz dual-core

    RAM

    1GB

    1GB

    1GB

    1GB

    2GB

    Storage

    16GB

    16GB

    20GB

    16GB

    16 or 32GB

    Screen size

    4.7”

    4.7”

    4.5”

    4.5”

    4.8”

    Resolution

    1280×720

    1280×720

    1280×720

    1280×720

    1280×720

    Pixel density

    312ppi

    312 ppi

    329 ppi

    326 ppi

    306 ppi

    Rear cam

    8MP

    8MP

    8MP

    8MP

    8MP

    Front cam

    1.3MP

    1.3MP

    1.3MP

    1.3MP

    1.9MP

    Network

    LTE

    LTE

    LTE

    LTE

    LTE

    5GHz WiFi

    No

    No

    No

    No

    Yes

    Bluetooth

    4.0

    4.0

    3.0

    4.0

    4.0

    NFC

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No

    Yes

    Thickness

    8.9mm

    8.9mm

    10.4mm

    8.4mm

    7.6mm

    Weight

    134g

    129g

    127g

    140g

    133g

    Battery

    2000 mAh

    1800 mAh

    1830 mAh

    1780 mAh

    2100 mAh

    OS

    Android 4.0.3

    Android 4.0.3

    Android 2.3.5

    Android 4.0.4

    Android 4.0.4

    Carrier

    Sprint

    AT&T

    AT&T

    AT&T

    All

    There are big differences between the above phones in terms of screen size and thickness [Chart: Phone Arena]

    Creating the above list was not easy because there are phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, HTC Rezound, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC One S and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx which excel in some areas, but lag in others. However, in the end all of those were dropped because the above phones were better overall.

    And the Winner is…

    As you can see from the chart above, when it comes to specs, the Samsung Galaxy SIII beats or ties the best smartphones in all areas except pixel density and weight. Even in those areas, it’s no slouch. Most reviewers would probably give second place to the HTC One X, but the LG Nitro HD wins in both lightness and pixel density. The HTC Evo 4G LTE and Motorola ATRIX HD are also very good phones.

    Based on specs alone, the Samsung Galaxy SIII is the best smartphone available today

    Smartphones That Didn’t Make the Cut

    There is a fairly long list of smartphones which are good, but don’t deserve to be on the “best” list because they are flawed in one or more areas. You can view these in the chart below.

    Click on the chart below to make it larger and more readable.

    Red-faced text shows areas where these phones under-performed. Blue-faced text indicates areas where some phones did well.

    Although iPhone 4S sales continue to be strong, it no longer competes when it comes to most specs.

     

    Why the iPhone 4S is No Longer One of the Best

    Some of you are probably wondering why the iPhone 4S is no longer listed in the chart of best smartphones. The answer is easy; The iPhone 4S hasn’t been competitive for a long time when it comes to hardware specs. In fact the iPhone 4S no longer beats the best Android phones in any of the benchmarks or specifications listed in this article. If you’re a hard-core Apple fan, you’ll probably buy an iPhone 4S anyway — just don’t say you weren’t warned. Two years is a long time to own an under-performing 3G phone that doesn’t support 4G LTE. I’m not saying the iPhone is a bad phone — it’s not, but I was surprised to find that Android phones now outperform it in almost every way. For example:

  • The best Android phones are capable of data speeds which are up to 30x faster than iPhone 4S
  • The best Android phone has 4 times the memory than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy S3 2048MB vs. 512MB)
  • The best Android phones have processors which run almost twice the speed of the iPhone 4S (iPhone runs at 800MHz, all of the best Android phones run at 1.5GHz)
  • Several Android phones have quad-core processors, while the iPhone 4S only has a dual-core processor. I didn’t include those in the above chart, because they’re not available in the U.S. yet.
  • The best Android phones have browser performance that is 96% faster than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy S III Intl. BrowserMark benchmark scores)
  • The best Android phone has a screen which is over 50% larger than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy Note 5.3” vs. 3.5”)
  • The best Android phone has a screen which has 66% more pixels than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy Note 1,024,000 vs. 614,000)
  • The best Android phones have 41% faster GPU performance than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy S III GLBenchmark 2.1 – Egypt Offscreen 720)
  • At least 3 Android phones have greater pixel densities than the iPhone 4S (HTC Rezound 342 ppi vs. 326 ppi)
  • The best Windows phone has a rear camera with twice the resolution of the iPhone 4S (HTC Titan II has 16MP vs. 8MP on iPhone 4S)
  • Almost every Android phone has a better front camera than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy Note has 2.0MP vs. 0.3MP on iPhone 4S)
  • The best Android phone is 24% thinner than the iPhone 4S (Droid RAZR 7.1mm vs 9.3mm). At least 8 other Android phones are thinner than iPhone 4S.
  • The best Android phone is 15% lighter than the iPhone 4S. This is surprising because the best Android phones are much larger than iPhone. (HTC One S 119g vs. 140g)
  • Many Android phones have microSD slots, so consumers can easily and cheaply exceed the 64GB internal memory of most expensive iPhone 4S.
  • The best Android phones support NFC for easy purchasing and LTE for lightning-fast data speeds up to 30x faster than iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S has none of this.
  • The best Android phone has a battery with more than twice the power of the iPhone 4S (Droid RAZR Maxx 3300mAh vs. 1420 mAh). This translates to over 21 hours talk time versus 14 hours talk time).
  • The best Android phones have Javascript performance that is 37% better than the iPhone 4S (Galaxy S III SunSpider Javascript benchmark scores)
  •  
    There is hope for Apple however. An iPhone 5 is rumored to be coming this fall. After it is released, I’ll update this chart and see how it compares to the other smartphones available at that time.

    The One Benchmark the iPhone 4S Excels At

    It is surprising that the world’s most popular phone gets beat in every single spec listed above. This didn’t used to be the case. It used to be the other way around with iPhone dominating smartphone specs. There is still one thing that the iPhone 4S can beat Android phones at: cellphone radiation. The iPhone 4S has over 300% more radiation than the Samsung Galaxy SIII. That’s very surprising because the Samsung Galaxy SIII has more radios and is capable of much higher data speeds than the iPhone 4S. If you own an iPhone 4S, you might want to get a Bluetooth earpiece if you don’t have one already.

    The iPhone 4S has over 300% more radiation than the Samsung Galaxy SIII

    If you think I missed a phone that should be considered here, please let me know.

    - Rick

    P.S. Some of you are probably thinking this article relates to only hardware — not software. You’re right. Read this to see how Android compares to the newest version of iOS.

    Copyright 2012 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

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