Have a family member who has an iTunes gift card on his or her Christmas list this holiday season?
Odds are you have at least one person who does. If you aren't the gift-card-giving type, however, and prefer something that requires a bit more thought be put into it, consider gifting an app.… Read more
If you have an Android phone outfitted with the version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for instance), you can impress your geeky friends and impressionable schoolchildren everywhere with this neat, simple trick.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu and choose "About phone" from the list of options.
Step 2: Repeatedly press the version number (Android 4.0.x), about five times, until suddenly an image of an Android wearing an ice cream sandwich novelty treat pops up out of nowhere. Surprise!… Read more
There's nothing like a little holiday music to get you in the holiday mood. To help you get your holiday music fix this season, here are some Web sites streaming holiday music:
Pandora Pandora's holiday genre has several stations including pop, classical, R&B, country, rock, children's, and more. They're all available through the mobile app as well.
Slacker Slacker has a nice selection of holiday stations to choose from. Just navigate to the "Seasonal" section and you'll see the list of stations. The stations are accessible via the mobile app, too.… Read more
Does not having access to your phone leave you feeling cut off from your social world?
Whether you work somewhere that does not allow you to carry your cellular phone, or you forgot it at home, the lack of your constant connection can add to your stress level. Stop worrying about missing important calls or texts by following these steps.
Step 1: Download and install SMS2Gmail from the Android marketplace.
Step 2: Press the option labeled Gmail address and enter your Gmail username. Repeat this process for your Gmail password.
Step 3: Set up an activation code by pressing the … Read more
Handwritten gift tags might be a thing of the past.
This holiday season, JC Penney is offering Santa Tags, a new option that allows gift-buyers to record voice messages for their recipients to play back upon unboxing their gifts. And it's all done with QR codes.
The voice message is attached to a QR code, which the recipient scans with a QR scanner on a mobile phone, and the voice note is instantly played back.
But you don't have to go to JC Penney to make this happen, because there's an even better DIY option … Read more
More and more parents are giving their kids tablets, game consoles, laptops, and other Internet-connected devices as special holiday gifts. But how do you keep Junior safe as he's downloading apps, playing games online and exploring the World Wide Web?
Putting the iPod Touch on lock-down
Dear Maggie, My 10-year-old daughter wants an iPod Touch for Christmas. I'm sure it's because all of her friends have one and are playing games and other apps on it. But I am nervous about getting her one. I trust her, but I do not think she needs all of the … Read more
At first blush, Android Beam sounded like it could go the route of face unlocking--one of those fun, breezy gimmicks in the new Ice Cream Sandwich operating system that would last for a party trick or two, but ultimately die down.
With only one review unit in-house, there was no way to know for sure. However, fellow mobile journalist Blake Stimac and I brought our Galaxy Nexus phones together for a little playdate, and it quickly became clear how useful and broad Android Beam can be.
As a refresher, Android Beam uses NFC (near-field communication), a radio frequency technology, to pass certain types of information from one phone to a compatible phone (for starters, both phones need NFC.) Assuming both phones' screens are on, NFC is enabled on both phones, and Android Beam is activated, which it is by default, you can simply press the backs of the two phones together to trigger a beam.… Read more
One overlooked feature in iOS 5 is the built-in dictionary.
Huh? Yea, we thought the same thing. Apple included a dictionary in iOS 5, allowing users to quickly look up the definition of a word from nearly anywhere in the OS.
To get the definition for a word, simply highlight the word and tap on Define. If Define isn't an option, there should be an arrow on the right side of the pop-up, tap on it, and then press Define. Doing so will launch a dictionary, providing you with a definition, all the while not forcing you to leave … Read more