Monday, November 12, 2012

TripIt Interrogates Your Email for Travel Confirmations

It's great that we have all these different organisational apps available but the problem is that all of them need you to input data. Some of us want to be organised but don't like the organizing part of it. This is where a little application is changing how you organise your business trips or holidays.

TripIt is an app or widget which sits on your phone telling you when your next flight or hotel booking is scheduled. When you tap the widget, it will then tell you more details about your booking such as the departure and and your confirmation number. Further down the screen you can also see the flight number, booking class, aircraft type, duration of the flight and even the distance you are going to travel. If you are traveling with other people, their names will also be listed there.

So that seems to be quite a lot of information you need to enter, right? Wrong. The app actually accesses your emails to detect flight and hotel bookings as they come in. Then it pulls the information into the app and notify you of the new confirmation imported into your app.

For the pro version, you also get to track your frequent flyer points. I haven't tried the pro version but if you have, let us know what you think.

Jelly Bean 4.1.2 from Samsung Australia

Yep, we're still waiting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gestures come to Jelly Bean 4.2

As we continue to wait for Jelly Bean 4.1.2, the next big thing is already coming to other devices.

  • Jelly Bean 4.2 Daydream will include swype to the keyboard which allows you to gesture between the letters of a word without lifting a finger. 
  • You can also have multiple users for your device which means you can customise your layout for yourself and have a different layout for your wife. 
  • Notifications will now allow you to press the notification to action the notification such as opening up navigation to your next appointment or return a missed call. 
  • The lock screen will no longer be a redundant screen if you choose because you can now add news or a slideshow to the lock screen. 
I am not sure whether Vodafone Australia will change the software update now to 4.2 because we Galaxy Nexus users didn't get the 4.1 and then they said they will be releasing 4.1.2. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jelly Bean 4.1.2 Coming up

In Australia, Vodafone customers like myself are still waiting for the deployment of the Android OS update Jelly Bean and now there is talk in the USA of an even newer Jelly Bean release 4.1.2. The good news is that Vodafone Australia has confirmed that they will be sending out this new Jelly Bean update (4.1.2) to Galaxy Nexus users when they do get around to making it available. In other words, we are skipping the 4.1 stage and going straight on to 4.1.2.

Nothing much seems to have changed with the new 4.1.2 update, except for stability changes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shortcut for Turning Tethering Off

We are always looking for faster ways to do things so if we can save a few seconds, that's good enough. One timesaver is that you can turn off Tethering just by switching the WIFI on.

On your home screen you should have one of the widgets which allows you to toggle WIFI, bluetooth, GPS, screen rotation and screen brightness. Turn on the WIFI by pressing the first icon and this will switch the tethering off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vodafone Australia Announce Jelly Bean in September

Galaxy Nexus users in Australia on the Vodafone network have a little while yet to wait for the jelly bean android OS update. The build which brings in the new Google Now features are definitely worth waiting for. At the swipe of the phone, you can start telling Google what to do such as 

1. Set my Alarm - To set your alarm, open up Google Now and press the microphone then say "set alarm for 8:30". The Nexus will then set the alarm for you.

2. Navigate to a Destination - When Google Now is told to "Navigate to Oxford University", Google Navigation will start up and start giving you directions how to get to Oxford University.

3. Play a Song - Google can also be told to "Listen to Pachobel's Canon" which will activate a search on Youtube for "Pachobel's Canon". That's pretty cool...

4. Leave Note to Self - You can also leave a note for yourself with the instruction "Note to Self" "Do not take West Ring Road" and Google will create a note on your screen for your reference later.

To see more of what voice commands you can issue to your android with a Jelly Bean update, head over to the My Nexus 7 blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Screen won't go off!

I managed to fix a problem that I have been having recently where the screen would not dim. I looked for rogue apps that may be keeping the screen on but that did not amount to much. It was a relatively simple fix. I looked in Settings -> Display and noticed that under SLEEP there was no time selected which is strange because I definitely had it on 1 minute a while ago. The option to not select any sleep delay wasn't even available and yet there seemed to be no delay selected. Check out your settings and you may be able to fix this problem as well. However I am at a loss as to how the phone managed to unselect ALL the options.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nexus still not Sweetened by Android Jelly Bean

Galaxy Nexus users could be forgiven for thinking that they have been forgotten by Google. All the hype in the past few weeks has been surrounding the launch of the Nexus 7 Tablet for Android. Also, the new Jelly Bean update for Android phones has been flagged to appear on the Nexus S phone, a phone which was around a year before the Galaxy Nexus.

So why is the Nexus not getting Jelly Bean? There has been some reports overseas that when the Jelly Bean update is applied to the Galaxy Nexus, the phone does not get a precise GPS lock on your location. Not good. As a result, there seems to be some delay in releasing the update to our phones.

The solution is to keep waiting and keep an eye out for the update. Leave a message if your Nexus has been upgraded to Jelly Bean.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Store Membership Numbers in Your Contacts

Have you ever called up a company and they ask you on the spot what your membership number is? One small trick you may not have gotten used to is to add your membership numbers to your Contacts. That way you can look up the numbers at any time quickly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Send your REALTIME location via SMS

Here is one of those awesome apps that make you really sit up with your eyes wide and excited. It's called Glympse and it gives you the ability to send your current (and moving!) location to someone via sms, twitter or facebook.

Let's say you are meeting a friend in the city. Send the Glympse via sms to them and set the time for 10 minutes. For the next 10 minutes, your friend can see your location as you move closer and closer to the city. Rather than calling each other to find out where you are, you can then track your friend's location until you see him right in front of you. You can even know how fast he is travelling!

I don't have screenshots yet but you have to check out this app and leave your comments and excitement below.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Tips for Nexus

Add a ringing tone for calls:

We had already talked about adding a ringtone for sms notifications and we'll see how to make ring tones. As always, Android, it is very easy. Just connect the phone via USB and create the directory tree media / audio / ringtones to the root of the phone (if not already). Placed just want the mp3 file in that folder. It remains only to change the ringtone: go to Settings> Sound> Ringtone and select the phone ringing freshly added. Note that to disable USB storage memory to be able to select custom ringtones.

Add picture in the SMS application:

In applying SMS / MMS default Android, sent messages appear in the son as sent by me with the opportunity to display your avatar or your photo. First let's see how the SMS / MMS application chooses which image display. It uses the parameter My Android phone number visible in Settings> About phone> state. Then it searches your contacts have a contact that phone number and use his photo. 

We must begin by creating a contact: put your full name, your phone number, your email addresses ... and a photo. You can do this since Gmail saw that it synchronizes itself. Another advantage to create a contact for yourself is that you can share it by email, SMS, Bluetooth or NFC to easily give your details to anyone else. 

Point annoying to many, in my phone number, there is marked Unknown, or there is a back issue, making it difficult to find your contact so your photo. This parameter is actually in the SIM card. It is not at all helpful to make or receive calls, there are only for cosmetic reasons. If there is not your number, we must add it. But the ROM by default does not change this setting. If you have a custom ROM (Cyanogen or otherwise), you can edit it directly.

Add a ringing tone for alarms:

We had already talked about adding a ringtone and sms notifications and a ringer for calls , we'll see how to make ringtones for the alarm (the alarm). Just connect the phone via USB and create the directory tree media / audio / alarms to the root of the phone (if not already). Placed just want the mp3 file in that folder. It will appear in the list of ringing alarm clock via its title. It remains only to change the ringtone for your alarm to go to Application Panel> Clock> Alarm tone and select the newly added to the alarm of your choice. Those who have put the clock widget on their desktop can directly access it via alarms. 

Long press:

If instead of pressing a key, or a word or an icon on the screen, keep pressing your finger for a couple of seconds, most of the time you open a menu with options specific to that item. For example: 
If you hold the start button, a menu with the eight most recent applications. This allows you, for example, quickly go for example from an email you are writing your web browser.

Within the implementation of the browser, if you hold down the backspace key - the one labeled with an arrow U-turned to the left - will open a screen with your favorite bookmarks, most visited pages and browsing history.
If you do a long press on the bottom of the screen, a menu of options, including shortcuts. You can create a shortcut to a bookmarked Web page, a person on your list of contacts, or a navigation destination. Android display the shortcut label with the logo of the website, the face of the person or the icon choice for destinations.

Too many icons on the screen? No problem. With a long press on the screen displays a menu that includes a choice of folders. You can create a folder icon, to name that folder and drag all the applications you want.
Long press a link on a Web page displays a menu that allow to open the link in a new window. To change the window, press the Menu key - which is a grid of four squares - and a touch of Windows in the options screen.

Customize your home screen:

First, the customization of wallpaper for your Android phone. From the menu, simply select Wallpaper. Follow the prompts to select images from photos taken by your phone, the downloaded images, or the default wallpaper. Some devices are proposing to add an image map in motion. But this is only the beginning of a whole series of possibilities. Programmers have created dozens of widgets that can be integrated on your home screen. 

TouchWiz homescreen supports up to seven, and switch between them can quickly become a problem. However, pinching the home, it opens a screen that shows pictures of all the screens available, as happens on phones of HTC. By clicking, you can open it on the screen. Keeping a hold, however, it becomes a scroll bar that allows quick switching from one screen to another. 

Other tricks for Samsung Galaxy Nexus regarding the homescreen is the adjustment of the brightness of the screen, for which the touch and move your finger left or right on the notification bar at the top, or the addition of wallpaper and widget for which a long press on an empty part of the screen.


This trick for Samsung Galaxy Nexus will allow you to send calls or messages so much quicker. Once you have before you the name of the contact you want to call, instead of selecting it and then send the transaction, you can simply scroll left and start the call. If you scroll to the right, however, you can send a message. With regard to the right side, which lists all the letters of the alphabet, just click to jump directly to the corresponding contact.

Got a few of these tips from a forum. Which ones didn't you know before?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Accessories for the Nexus

I was looking at a forum where there were 45 pages of comments about Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories. Some of the accessories mentioned were

  • Covers for the phone - most of which can be easily found for less than $20 on Ebay and the like
  • 2000mAh batteries - there was much discussion about whether these batteries really presented value for money given that they only provide one or two hours more usage. 
  • Desk dock - sit your phone down on one of these and it will charge and sync to your computer. 
Which accessories did you buy and which ones did you regret?

V rather than the spacebar

Just wondering whether other Galaxy Nexus users out there found themselves pressing v rather than the spacebar? Is it because the spacebar is not visible enough? It seems like Samsung recognised this problem and a lot of common mistyped words where the v was pressed rather than the spacebar is corrected by the autocorrect. Did other people find workarounds such as installing different keyboards to overcome this problem? Or is it just me?

Memory Verse Android App

For those that are Christians who would like to learn memory verses using their android phone, there is an app called Remember Me Bible Verse which is pretty clever. It takes all the ideas of learning memory verses and puts them all together. Features include: 

● Listen to verses as they are read to you
● Study flashcards
● Play word puzzles
● Obfuscate a passage and fill in the gaps
● First letter and placeholder methods
● Line by line practice
● Take randomly generated quizzes
● Intelligent review system
● Enter quotes on web browser
● Retrieve scriptures from online Bibles
● More than 100 verses preloaded 
● Export collections to SD card
● Set daily reminders
● Flashcard widget for your home screen
● Share your words of wisdom
● Small collection of children's verses
● Numerous Bible translations

You can download it from the Google Play store here

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick Comparison - S2 v S3 v Nexus v HTC One X

With the announcement of the new Samsung Galaxy S3 coming out, one of the most commonly tweeted images about it is this comparison between the S3 with S2, our Galaxy Nexus and the HTC One X. It is not a complete comparison but it's a good start.

Where are the Bookmarks on the Nexus?

I am not sure why it seems that the built in Nexus Web Browser doesn't have a very intuitive way of getting to the bookmarks. When you press the location bar options button, the only option is to save the current webpage to the bookmarks. TO which I think, why would I do that when I can't seem to get to the bookmarks? Anyway, it seems that there are two ways to get to the bookmarks

  1. Click on the multiple windows icon in the location bar, and then click on the bookmark icon.
  2. Press and hold down the back key which will show up the History as well as the Bookmarks on the left and saved pages on the right. 

Another way is to create a widget on one of your home screens which shows all your bookmarks and allows you to scroll through all of them. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vodafone Australia Widget to Keep Track of Spending

For those like myself who are constantly logging in to check balances and usage statistics on everything, Vodafone has an app that will save you a lot of time. The widget actually, not an app, sits on your front page and tells you how much of your
  • Included call credits have been used
  • Data used 
  • Time left till the next billing cycle
Just thought I would let you know in case someone out there finds this just as useful. That is all.

How to use the NFC?

One of the distinct features of the Nexus that made me choose it over the Galaxy S2 was the availability of the NFC feature which allows you to interact with things like access cards and in the future perhaps use Google Wallet with the phone to make payments.

However, once I got the phone, I had no idea how to test the NFC feature. I downloaded a program called NFC Taginfo and tried to scan my wallet. When I opened the application, it asked me to scan a tag. I put my wallet to the phone and heard the phone respond. It scanned my company's access card and showed a series of "sectors" which I presume are secured areas. One area showed a different pattern which I guess would be the area that I have access to. Anyway, I can say that the NFC works and at the moment I can't seem to find any other application for it other than just for kicks :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Galaxy S2 Users Catching up to Nexus

Today Vodafone Australia released the Android update for the Samsung Galaxy S2 which enables users to upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich. This means that S2 users will be able to use the same operating system version as Galaxy Nexus users such as yourself. Get ready to hear from a lot of excited friends as they enjoy their Ice Cream Sandwich.

So this is what they have to look forward to that we enjoy already on the Galaxy Nexus:

  • Speed and performance enhancements
  • Folders of your favourite apps right on your homescreen
  • Improved keyboard input and error correction
  • Face Unlock – unlock your phone with a smile
  • Data Usage Meter
  • Improved voice detection including voice typing
  • Enhanced multitasking interface
  • Resizable homescreen widgets

Map as a Live Wallpaper?

I was looking through the live wallpapers for the Galaxy Nexus and came across one of the wallpapers that left me wondering for a few days about whether it is useful or not. The live wallpaper shows your current location on Google Maps as a background for your phone. When you scroll through your various screens, the map moves in the direction of your scroll.

It also made me wonder whether this feature is using up unnecessary battery as the GPS needs to be activated in order to find where you are (obviously). What do you think and have you tried this wallpaper? I'm still working out whether the battery is getting drained by it.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Moved from 3 to Vodafone with One Sweet Deal

I was on the $29 plan with three and a data pack so with about 2 months left of my contract, I contacted Vodafone about recontracting. At the time the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was (and still is I think) at $5 per month on the $29 plan.

After some talking, I managed to get the lady to agree to give me the phone for free on the $29 plan. They waived the remaining two months of my 3 contract which saved about $65 as well as the $5 per month handset fee which would save $120 across the whole contract. Once I connected with Vodafone, I talked to them asking whether the phone came with 1GB data and he said he would enable 12 months with 1GB free data! Talk to Vodafone Australia as they are very willing to do deals for customers.

Friday, April 27, 2012

8 Things I Love about the Galaxy Nexus

For those that are shopping around for a phone, here's a list of things I love about having a Samsung Galaxy Nexus

  1. Its on Android - no more trying to get my Symbian or Meego phone to fit in with Android's quirks. Having a Google phone means that the features coming from Google work as they should, just maybe not always first time around.
  2. Google Maps with Navigation - It was one thing that Nokia had over Google, until Google brought out Google Navigation. 
  3. Instant upload - I've already mentioned this in an earlier post so backtrack for more information
  4. NFC Beam - But I haven't found a use for this yet but having this is what you call future-proofing
  5. Games - Those games everyone is playing, yep finally I can join in
  6. Google Docs - Things finally run properly on Google Docs! I can even manage sharing of documents from the phone which is very useful for what I do.
  7. Voice to text - This feature is very quick and responsive and most importantly, very accurate. You can even dictate a whole letter if you wanted to but SMS are great with this
  8. MightyText - This app allows you to send sms from your computer as well as read them as they come through on your phone. And the amazing thing is your phone doesnt even need to be connected to your computer. You can even send and receive SMS and even manage incoming calls even if you left your phone at home! The possibilities are endless! 
What do you like about your Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Did you discover any useful tips in the above "things I love"? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Instant Upload for Google+ is a Gamechanger

I have been spending the last few days with the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus and one of the most exciting things I have found is the slow but sure maturity of the Google social network, Plus. One of the stand out features is the use of Instant Upload. As soon as you take a photo, you can choose to have the phone automatically upload it to Google Plus into a staging area where you can choose who you would like to share the photo with.

For videos, Google Plus assumes that you don't want to use your mobile data to upload a video but will do so automatically as soon as your phone gets into a wifi network (eg when you get home). This can be customised to upload even using mobile data if you want, or you can even choose to only upload videos (or photos) only when the phone is charging.

Try out instant upload now by downloading Google Plus app to your Android device and enable instant upload.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It all begins next week

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been acquired is on the way. Next week we will start blogging about all the tips, tricks and hacks that you can use to get the most out of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

If you are an owner of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, join our user group where we can discuss tips and hacks before they are even posted here.