The Right Tool for the Right Job: Using Apps on Mobile Devices

It’s predicted that this year tablets will outsell PCs for the first time, a clear sign that Internet usage is moving towards a more portable and accessible format. Smartphones are showing a similar upswing, with a recent Pew Research Center study showing that 56% of Americans are currently using a smartphone. Both tablets and smartphones are small devices with a big job: display all of the information on the Internet in a usable manner on a small screen: you could be viewing content on a screen anywhere from 3.5″ to 10″. Compared to a laptop’s 15″ screen or a PC’s 23″ monitor, that’s not a lot of room. All of that information needs to be converted into a format that works well with a small display, and there are specialized tools to do that. Read more of this post

Is your iPhone or iPad having trouble with Wi-Fi connections? iOS 7 may be to blame.

ios7Apple released a major update on September 18th for its popular iPhone and iPad products. The iOS 7 update brings a new look to go along with a number of features and improvements. As with any major overhaul, those improvements don’t come without bugs, and there are a few popping up in this new release. The most annoying of which appears to be broken Wi-Fi connections.

It seems the original release of iOS 7 has difficulty locking on to wireless connections that use the “auto”channel settings. WiFi connections can use up to 11 different channels in the US, and your router may be set to automatically select which channel is the best for broadcasting. This channel may change several times during the day, but your Apple devices may not be able to follow those changes, and this results in a lost connection.

The official fix for this problem is to upgrade to iOS 7.0.2, which is available right now. However, if you’re only able to connect to Wi-Fi on your device, upgrading can be a bit of a problem. Here are some workarounds to get your iPhone or iPad running so you can get the upgrade: Read more of this post

Save Money On Your Tablet Purchase

tablet_hotspotTablets are hot! Sales of the Apple iPad, the Google Nexus 7, and others are quickly outpacing laptop sales as consumers begin to realize a full computer is overkill for most of the things done on the Internet. With their compact size, simple interface, long battery life, and relatively inexpensive pricing, tablets are making Internet use more accessible and convenient for a wider range of people. Unlike PC’s, there are not a lot of technical options that you have to deal with when purchasing a tablet. Basically you make sure the screen looks good, it’s responsive, and there is enough storage space for your needs and you’re all set. Tablets are mainly designed to be “viewers” to a content provider’s offerings, and to reach this content, you need an Internet connection.  That’s where an important decision comes in: should you get a Wi-Fi only tablet, or spend more and get one with built in 3G/4G access? Read more of this post

New Gmail App for iPhone/iPad for Google Apps users

A year or so ago, an app for Gmail was finally released for the iPhone and the iPad.

It was terrible.

In response, an embarrassed Google rushed out several updates to try to make things right…and it didn’t help much.

Today, the slate is being wiped clean as Google announces GMail 2.0 for the iPhone and iPad…and it’s not terrible! In fact, it’s downright snazzy. Read more of this post

CES 2012 Overview: It’s Thin, Mobile, and Cloudy

Being a gadget hound, I’ve been ogling over the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show like an eight-year-old with a Toys “R” Us catalog before Christmas. The show is used to showcase the way technology is heading, and this year there is a clear message: Consumers don’t want to stay stationary. Read more of this post

The December Roadmap: Heading for the Holidays

Is it December already? TOAST.net has some interesting things in the oven along with the Christmas cookies this month, so let’s get everyone up to date: Read more of this post

Gmail App Gets 3 Upgrades for Apple Devices

iDevice users got a nice surprise this week on their Gmail and Google Apps email accounts. Google has tuned up their email app, adding new functionality, search, and calendar enhancements.

Gmail and Google Apps users can now take advantage of the new sync service, which allows users to search through ALL of the messages in their mailbox… not just the ones stored locally on the device. Also, Google Sync for iOS now supports the “Send Mail As” feature, giving the ability to send email from multiple accounts. Google added this feature to Android phones earlier this year.

Calendar sync  now allows users to edit, accept, or decline events directly from the Calendar app. This highly requested feature greatly improves mobile scheduling functionality.

Keep in mind that you must set your email account up as an “Exchange” account in the email app to gain sync functionality. If you need some help, TOAST.net provides a guide to do this: How to Configure Your Google Apps Account on the iPhone/iPad

Source: Google Mobile Blog

It’s Tablet Time! 4 Tablets You Should Be Looking At

Shrinking electronics and the popularity of smartphones has brought us to the beginning of the tablet age. Tablets are incredibly handy devices for their portability and quick web access. They’re not “laptop replacements” per se, but more of a supplement. I would liken a tablet to a microwave — it will never replace your oven, but you end up using it more often than your oven because it gets things done faster and more conveniently. This new found convenience is turning the Internet and interface design in general to a new direction and opening up technology to a whole new group of people.

Bringing Tablets to the Table

I was at a local big-box electronics retailer the other day and noticed there is still a big deal being made about the iPad.  Adults were swiping their fingers across the screen saying “Well, this could be very handy around the house.”  Senior citizens were flipping it around saying “Geeze Louise!  Look at this hotsy-totsy thing-a-mabob!”  Teens were texting friends that were standing right next to them saying “OMG DAT IPAD’S BANGIN IT 2M2H! IWO!”

The first thing that came to mind:  apparently I am only capable of understanding people who fall within my own age group.

The second thing that came to mind:  The iPad has been available for over a year now, and yet there is not a single successful competitor to the product.  It’s not due to lack of attempts.  Motorola released the Xoom tablet  a few months ago, the Dell Streak is available, Samsung’s Galaxy series is in stores…and nobody is buying them.  Tablets will be the primary way we’ll be using the Internet within the next few years, but it seems that Apple is holding all the cards at this point and it’s holding up progress.  It’s not that Apple is doing this on purpose…it just so happens that they have a number of factors that are working in their favor at the moment. Read more of this post

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