Stocking Stuffer Idea: AndyTags NFC Stickers for automating and simplifying tasks

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or gift idea, then take a look at AndyTags NFC Stickers. Since most of the newer phones are sporting Near Field Communications (NFC), they make a great gift. What can you do with NFC tags? Well we did a review of NFC Tag Launcher earlier in the year so check that out, but essentially you can use them to automate tasks like to quickly turn settings on or off or open apps. For example, lets say you’re heading to bed, you can program a sticker to switch your phone to silent mode. Just put the sticker on your nightstand and touch your NFC-enabled phone to the sticker and bingo, your phone is now in silent mode. You can also use them to open certain apps as well. Let’s say you like to listen to Slacker in your car. You can program a sticker to tell your phone to open Slacker. Just keep the sticker in your car and when you get in, you can touch the sticker with your phone and Slacker will be opened. You can even program the same sticker to turn on Bluetooth at the same time. If you find that you always text your spouse when you’re on the way home, you can even automate that. The possibilities are endless.

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Three flaws Google needs to fix to make stock Android even better

Our favorite little green robot has made a lot of progress over the last four years. From humble (and ugly) beginnings with Android 1.0 to the smooth and sleek styles of Jelly Bean 4.2, we have seen some tremendous growth and progress of our favorite mobile operating system. Google has worked hard at ironing out the kinks and improving the user interface with some exciting new features. The result has been a much smoother, better, faster, prettier operating system, but it has surprisingly left some simple yet important features out in the cold. Here are three features (or lack thereof) that I believe are major oversights in Google’s current OS.

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UX Corner: Apple’s Simplicity Is Not Enough – Elegant Design Requires Ingenuity

If you know anything about User Experience (UX) Design, you’ve read Steve Krug’s popular book “Don’t Make Me Think”, now an industry manual on how best to approach Web usability. The basic premise of good UX, according to Krug, is to reduce the amount of thinking a user is required to do to successfully use a Web site. This is also known as the K.I.S.S. method (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”), and is today being applied not only to Web sites, but to all software, including mobile operating systems.

Hit the break to find out why this may not be the most elegant approach to mobile OS design.

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Does your Nexus 7 lag after the 4.2 update? There’s a fix for that

Users are reporting severe performance issues after updating their Nexus 7 to Android 4.2. General lag, choppiness, and stuttering performance seem to be plaguing nearly every aspect of the device, from swiping across the home screens, opening the app drawer, typing on the keyboard, scrolling in the browser or even simply unlocking the device. Even getting the screen to turn on takes several seconds after pressing the power button! Needless to say, this is causing quite a frustrating experience for many users, especially since we’ve grown accustomed to the buttery smoothness of Android 4.1.

I personally experienced all of these issues and more, so I decided to do some research on how to fix it. Turns out the fix is a very simple one. Read on after the break to get the scoop.

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Thinking of nabbing an Android phone this Black Friday? Here’s a list of the best deals you can take advantage of!

With Black Friday just around the corner, knowing about the best deals that are available to you is key. If you’re planning on grabbing an Android powered device this Black Friday season, there’s some awesome choices for you to look at. TalkAndroid has your back with a list of some of the best deals out there that you can take advantage of on or around Friday!

Keep in mind that these are just some of what you can find this Black Friday. If you guys have any other info on some great deals, feel free to use the comments section. As more info comes to us this page will be updated. There’s also other stores worth mentioning such as Target and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart will be offering $100 gift cards if you purchase a device such as the Samsung Galaxy S III (on contract), so keep your eye out for those kind of deals! Or you can also grab the Black Friday app to help you find the best deals possible.

If you’re looking for a tablet this Black Friday, you can check out our round up of great Android tablet deals!

Hope you all get what you want this Black Friday and shop safely. And of course, have a Happy Thanksgiving from the TalkAndroid crew!

 

Why Missing Out On The Nexus 4 May Have Been A Good Thing

The Nexus 4 packs pure unadulterated Android into a quad-core powered black slab of sexy. It’s a great device at an unbelievable price. Problem? It’s gone mainstream. Not in the way hipsters refer to any semi-successful musician either. Google’s deliberate attempts to make the Nexus brand much more grandma-friendly has, in some respects, been a message to its most ardent “root first and ask questions later” fans. I can almost hear Andy Rubin say, we’re going mainstream now, you tech-heads can come along for the ride if you want but you’re not riding shotgun anymore. The “pure Android experience” is no longer being designed or marketed for the  power user.

I really wanted the Nexus 4 but after much deliberation I’ve had to conclude that I am not entirely drunk on Nexus Kool-Aid. The lure of a $299 (8GB version) price for a top tier unlocked phone was certainly tempting. So too was the appeal of receiving timely and undiluted updates. For many, the updates alone may be reason enough to buy this phone. When I examined the compromises Google made to court the mainstream customer I realized the Nexus 4 can not fulfill my needs. I suspect this may be the case for other tech-savvy Android users.

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Contest: Win $10 of in game currency for Arcane Legends (20 chances)

Earlier this week Spacetime Studios launched Arcane Legends in the Google Play Store. If you are a fan of MMORPG games, you have to download this one now because Spacetime Studios is one of the leaders of this genre with previous games like Pocket Legends, Star Legends, and Dark Legends. Spacetime Studios reached out to us and would like to award 20 TalkAndroid readers with $10 of in game currency.

To enter for a chance to win, head to our forum thread and reply with your character name from the game. It couldn’t be simpler than that. You have until 11:59pm EST tonight to enter. We will pick 20 random winners and announce them tomorrow. Since you will be giving us your character name, Spacetime Studios will simply add the $10 of currency to your account. Good luck!!!

Click here to enter

 

Congratulations Google: you’ve botched the Nexus 4 launch and should feel embarassed


There are many things in life for which to be embarrassed. Like Steve Ballmer’s first Windows OS commercial. Or Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to the National Anthem. Or Apple’s latest Maps release. Embarrassment comes to those who deserve it, and after yesterday’s debacle, I think Google deserves to feel awfully embarrassed. In my eyes, yesterday’s product launch of the company’s new Nexus line-up was a complete and utter failure, if not for the company itself, then at least for its reputation in the eyes of loyal customers. Would-be buyers were plagued with non-stop server errors, buggy shopping carts, flawed payment methods, and jammed phone support lines. What should have been an exciting and fulfilling moment ultimately left thousands of would-be buyers frustrated, angry and worst of all, empty handed.

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Should the Nexus 4 be considered a flagship phone with the lack of LTE?

The Nexus is a name we have come to know and love amongst the Android community. It’s the one place where we can count on the latest hardware and software meeting in a completely open environment. Powered by a completely open Android playground of the latest software, Android geeks and aficionados would often choose devices from the Nexus brand purely for development purposes because of the openness.

Every Nexus has had its flaws: the Nexus One had pretty subpar battery life, the Nexus S was just plain boring, the Galaxy Nexus had a meh camera, and now the Nexus 4 has arguably the biggest flaw yet…

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