Many people still think tablets are a novelty and not worth the price. However, with $200 tablets many people have been buying them and using them for basic things such as eBook readers. Big Lots just started offering a new $100 Polaroid 7″ tablet that runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich. This tablet is for anyone interested in getting their feet wet in the tablet market without a big investment.
Now don’t go expecting the world with this tablet, it is after all only $100. Early users have been reporting that it’s a great buy except one thing: screen quality. It has a low resolution – as low as a phone, 800 x 480. They rate it somewhere between a Nook and digital photo frame. But for reading books and browsing the web this cool Android powered tablet will work just fine.
Graphics Accelerator: OpenGL ES 2.0 (3D game support)
Screen Resolution 800 x 480 (16:9)
External Memory: Micro SD
Networking: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion Polymer
It’s pretty surprising to see such low screen quality from a tablet which supposedly supports 3d gaming, but again for the price this is an excellent buy. I might pick one up because my Galaxy Tab runs Android 3x and this would be a good chance to play around with ICS.
With millions of smart phones sold every year, what do you do with your old Android phones? Many people toss them or leave them laying around without use, but are there useful things you can use them for? Things like setting up a security camera or a dashboard camera for your car are all cool things you can use that old smart phone for.
Using Moto360 you can convert you Android phone into a dash cam for your car. This cool application will record your driving in high definition along with audio. You can also set it to track your speed in MPH or KPH. If you make your own mount, you can even use this application on the Android you use every day. Just place it in the mount when you go for a ride. This application has “flight mode” so you can set it to ignore all cars while the camera is in use.
Another cool use is to use your Android to remotely monitor your house when you’re gone. Using the IP Web Cam application you can setup your phone or tablet as an IP cam. You can set it watch out of the front and rear cameras as well as change the picture quality. You can remotely login to see your video feed or view a snapshot of the current situation. This app is awesome if you’re going on vacation but are worried about the security of your house when you’re gone.
If your smart phone has an IR sensor, you can turn it into a dedicated remote control. If you watch a lot of movies on your PC, you can use VLC direct and use it as a remote control for your computer.
There are many things to do with an Android once you’re done using it as a phone. Speedometer, camera on an RC car, IP cam, and dash cam are all awesome things to use that old phone for.
There have been a lot of rumors floating around that Google is going to offer cloud storage, and those rumors are finally confirmed. Starting next week in select countries Google Drive will be giving away 5Gb free per user. This directly competes with Microsoft’s SkyDrive and Dropbox which currently let you store 25 GB and 2Gb.
Google Drive will be available on all platforms including Android, PC, and Mac. Many users will switch over from services such as Dropbox because of sheer convenience. I will not have to register another account to use Google Drive, it will simply be another service linked to my existing Google account.
This announcement comes after Microsoft said they would also be entering the cloud storage market with a service called SkyDrive. SkyDrive will be directly integrated into Windows 8 and will be linked to your existing Live.com account. It will be interesting to see how these services compete, SkyDrive already lets users store 25Gb.
Many people fear this is yet another way of Google having access to all your personal data and in many ways it is. Google has access to pretty much everything you do on a PC and many consider Google having access to all your files putting too many eggs in one basket.
Today’s cell phones are anything but strictly cell phones. They play games, take pictures, control our lighting, and many other things. Many older people have trouble just making a simple phone call let alone using all the added features.
Cell phones for seniors already exist in the form of big buttons, easy to read screen, and ease of use. Because of their success, an Android developer has made an application that turns your Android smart phone into a simple easy to use phone.
Phonotto covers the entire screen of an Android based cell phone giving you an extremely simple easy to use interface. It consists of buttons to call someone and an area to send SMS messages. The interface is designed for people with poor eye sight in mind, with the familiar large buttons traditionally seen on phones made for seniors.
Phonotto can be configured to start when your phone boots, so you’ll never get that tech support call telling you their phone broke. Simply hitting the home button will bring you back to the Android’s desktop where your phone can still be used normally.
This is probably the coolest DIY project I’ve seen in a long time. The folks over at daily DIY turned an old Android phone and radio into a portable media center. After gutting the FM radio tuner out of an old radio and connecting the old smart phone to the radio’s amplifier, a miracle was born.
What it looked like before the project begun:
Connecting the amp to the Android phone:
The end result:
Check out the Youtube video for a better understanding.
I choose the Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus out of all Android and iOS tablets for a few reasons. The infrared blaster, the size and price were all perfect fits for what I wanted out of a tablet PC. The Galaxy’s hardware is as powerful as the iPad and has software that I can easily modify to my needs are among a couple of those reasons.
There are a few things I like about the Galaxy 7s hardware. The infrared blaster which is part of a growing trend on smart phones and tablets allows me to control anything with an IR sensor. This includes things like my TV, stereo, and Bluray player. Using peel which is a free application I can browse my TV guide, start DVR recordings, or start Bluray disks on my player. I can do all of this from the convenience of my tablet PC.
Another option I like about the Galaxy is screen size choice. The 7 inch display allows me to read websites in proper format, but is still small enough to not be too heavy or awkward. I use my tablet as an eReader a lot and 7 inches is also the same size as a paperback book. It fits in my hand nicely and is the perfect weight.
The Galaxy series does not rely on Android market to provide you with software. A lot of tablets and smart phones use the market as a crutch and do not have good software by default. The Galaxy has every piece of software a tablet should have. Office software, image editing, universal TV remote, and memo pad are among the applications it has by default.
I also choose the Galaxy for Android OS. Unlike iOS you can do whatever you want with Androids. There is no app screening by Apple, and there’s no set file extension for media files. It seems it’s every other day I hear about another useful app being rejected by Apple staff because they simply don’t like what it does. I want to use my tablet the way I want.
The Galaxy tab series is reasonably priced for the hardware it comes with. Sure you can buy cheaper tablets, but you do get what you pay for. For $450 the Galaxy 7.0 Plus comes with a dual core processor and a gigabyte of memory. I experience no lag running any application and can multitask a half dozen applications with no issues. It’s a very powerful tablet and is equal with the hardware that comes with the iPad for significantly less money.