When it comes to installing an app on your phone or tablet, one of the most important things you need to look at is permissions. We have covered a few apps that help you with that, but online permissions is one that people often overlook. Online permissions pertains to various online social sites and what apps you have granted access to them. For example, if you use a third party Twitter app, you have to allow that app access to your Twitter account. This goes for any app that needs to communicate with Twitter or other similar sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Dropbox, Linkedin, Yahoo, Instagram, Foursquare, and Flickr.
All of these sites will tell you what other applications were previously granted access, but they aren’t always easy to find, so most people never bother with them. An app called MyPermissions will make things very easy for you in that you can find all the permissions for all of these sites in one place. Now you might be thinking to yourself that if you granted access to a particular application, then it’s okay and there’s no reason to worry about it. You are partly right, but you will be surprised at how many older applications you will find that were granted permission, but you no longer use. You are also likely to find permissions for things you didn’t even realize that you granted. Now I’m not going to tell you that if you leave these old permissions in place, something awful is going to happen to you, but at the same time, why leave permissions in place that are no longer necessary? These services will have access to all your private information, but you don’t use them anymore. It doesn’t make sense does it?
HTC added a built-in Flipboard-style news reader to Sense 5, which debuted on the HTC One. It might not be my first choice to use for news, but it’s worth a try since you can’t remove it. BlinkFeed will show you all the news that interests you the most as well as your Facebook and Twitter timelines. It will even show you your calendar events if you so wish. It’s just a matter of going into the settings and choosing the exact sites and/or the type of feeds you want. Whenever you turn on your phone, you will get the latest stories from around the world. You can choose to ignore it, but they will always be there when you have time to check them out. If your interests change, you can always tweak your content at anytime. Hit the break for a hands on video explaining it all.
Logitech just announced two new universal remote controls: the Harmony Ultimate (pictured above) and the Harmony Smart Control (pictured below). Logitech has been a leader of universal remote controls for years and Android fans are going to want to pay attention to these because they both come with the Harmony Hub. The Harmony Hub allows either remote control to send signals to it via RF so you don’t have to worry about line of sight for components that are hidden in a cabinet or in another room. This is nothing new, but Logitech will have apps available for both iOS and Android devices so that you can turn your Android phone into a full blown remote control. Right now you can already do this with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, but they have built-in IR ports. With the Harmony Hub, your phone will send signals via WiFi so you can still operate devices that are hidden, not to mention it will work on just about any device.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 can now be pre-ordered from AT&T with a ship date set for April 30. That’s the good news. The bad news is that’s only available in certain areas. I tried a couple of major cities, but all I get is “The device you’ve selected is not available in your area.” Pricing for the 16GB is $199 for a two-year contract or $449 with a one-year contract. If you are brave and want to go no-contract, you can get it for $639. If you do pre-order, you can expect to see your shiny new white or black Galaxy S 4 by May 3rd. Let us know if it’s available in your area and where you live.
With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!
How to securely lock your phone while using Facebook Home as your launcher
How to get your status bar back full time with Facebook Home
How to turn off Facebook Home and go back to your stock launcher
Featured Android Game Review: Mr. Eyes [Sports & Puzzles]
Are you looking for a new game to play that is not only challenging, but very, and I mean very addictive? Then look no further than Mr. Eyes from Laurent Bakowski. This one is part basketball, part physics, and part puzzle. Mr. Eyes is an alien that loves basketball and has removable eyes. Since his eyes are nice and round he uses them to score baskets. You can even change his outfits. I know all of this sounds very odd, but visually it’s pretty cool.
Now this isn’t a “stand in front of the basket and shoot” kind of game. Each level consists of a basket that might be fixed or moving along with different obstacles. You can move Mr. Eyes from right to left via tilting your device and you shoot with a swipe-like fashion. Basically you hold your finger down and move it in the direction that you would like to shoot. You can see a line that will represent the direction the ball, I mean eye, will go in. You’re going to have to figure out the right angle to toss the eyes because you won’t be able to get a direct shot at the basket. You will probably have to bounce the eyes off either the walls or other objects. When you’re happy with the direction of your shot, you simply release your finger. Each level gives you four eyes, and your goal is to get all four in the basket. There is one huge caveat though as you only have 24 seconds to get the job done.
So you tried Facebook Home, but now you want to remove it as your default launcher and go back to your phone’s stock launcher. Changing launchers can be a little complicated for the novice, but one thing Facebook did right with Facebook Home is make it very easy to turn off. The normal method is to go into settings/apps and select the launcher that’s running (in this case Facebook Home) and select remove defaults. This can still be done, but you can do it in less than half the time by going into the Facebook Home settings and select “Turn off Facebook Home”. The next time you hit your home key, you will be prompted to choose what launcher you want to use (just like when you first installed Facebook Home). Just check “Use by default for this action” and select your stock launcher or any other launcher you might have installed on your phone.
If you ever want to return to using Facebook Home, just open the Facebook Home app like any other app. The next time you hit the home key, you will again be prompted to choose your default launcher, of which you can choose Facebook Home again. Nothing could be easier. Hit the break for a quick video showing you how it’s done.
There’s no question that Facebook Home puts Facebook front and center on your phone. I guess that can be a good thing for those that love Facebook, but one thing that you might be missing is your status bar. You know that little bar at the top of your phone that shows you the time, your signal, how much battery life is left, and what notifications you have? Hopefully you didn’t forget about it already.
Facebook by default turns that off because they want you to only care about people and nothing else. You can still get to it with a swipe down at the top, and for some of you that might be okay, but it’s an easy fix if you would like to get your status bar back full time again. Just go into settings for Facebook Home and make sure that “Show Status Bar” is checked. Hit the break for a quick video showing you how it’s done.
If you installed Facebook Home on your phone and you have a security-enabled lockscreen with a pin code or pattern, you may have noticed that your Facebook account is visible when you turn on your phone’s display. This means that anyone who picks up your phone will have access to your Facebook account and is free to do what they want. When they try to open any other app, they will be prompted to enter the code or swipe the pattern to fully unlock your phone, which really isn’t the intent of security-enabled lockscreens.
When using a security-enabled lockscreen, it should mean that your phone is 100% locked, not 90% locked. The good news is that it’s an easy fix. All you need to do is go into the settings for Facebook Home and uncheck “See Home When Screen Turns On”. Now when you (or anyone else) turn on your phone, your security-enabled lockscreen will be the first thing that you (of they) will see. Making Home show up first by default was a bad move by Facebook, but thankfully they made it easy to correct. Hit the break for a quick video showing you how it’s done.
It was introduced at CES as the ASUS Qube, but it will officially be spelled as the Cube. I found it interesting that they spelled it with a “Q” in the first place, and I suspect there was too much confusion with the Nexus Q, hence the change. Last week it was reported that it would be available on April 23rd, which was darn close as it looks like it will be April 24.
How do we know? Newegg has the Cube on their site with that release date, and it’s available for pre-order now. Pricing is a little higher than what we were told as well. The plan was for $129, but now it’s $139. However, Newegg is offering a $10 promotional gift card, but only for people who order by April 23. This pricing is very surprising when you consider that most of the competition is around $99, and ASUS has a strong history of pricing their Android devices competitively.
I didn’t get to spend too much time with the Cube, but I didn’t see anything that it offered more than other Google TV devices except for the unique cube-like user interface. Priced at $139, does the Cube have a chance of helping bring Google TV to the forefront? Check out our hands on video, and/or hit the break for Neweggs’s 21 minute demo video.