Four Free, Beautiful & Functional Customization Apps for Android

Whether you prefer Android, Apple, Windows or another mobile operating system, there is no arguing that Android offers granular customization options for nearly anything your heart desires. Users can take any approach from a minimalistic to feature-packed user experience. Here are four apps I use to make my phone look and perform to my liking.

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Is the LG Gram the Perfect Ultra-Portable Laptop?

With a name like Gram and a tagline “lighter than air”, it is clear that LG is aiming for portability with their newest laptop. Portable notebooks are great. You can carry them around in your backpack, carry it with one hand, and take it anywhere with minimal effort. The downside with many ultra-portable laptops are power and battery life. Because these laptops are so thin, there is less space to put a battery. With less battery power, manufacturers must build a laptop with less RAM and weaker processors. LG is looking to give users the best of both worlds with the Gram, and they did a pretty good job doing so. Continue reading

5 Free Apps That Everyone Should Use

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Apps are what turn your cellphone into a smartphone. These days, apps make nearly anything possible on mobile phones and tablets. Many apps are marketed to satisfy a certain audience or occupation. For example, some apps are designed for architects, some for college students, some for website owners, and the list goes on. Here, I list five apps that everyone should use, no matter their demographic group.

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Samsung’s 18.5 inch Galaxy View is Like a Portable Smart TV

This week, Samsung announced a gigantic 18.5 inch tablet called the Galaxy View. With phones getting bigger and bigger, consumers must choose when to draw the line between a phone and a tablet. For example, I’m not so sure that I’d call a seven inch phone like the Blu Studio 7.0 LTE a phone. Rather, I would call it a tablet capable of making phone calls! 

Pictured: Blu Studio 7.0

Instead of calling Samsung’s new tablet a tablet, I would call it a portable TV…but better! Here are my thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy View.
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Syllable A6 Bluetooth Earbuds: All Around Premium Quality for $30

*Don’t have time to read the full review? Scroll to the bottom and read the ‘review at a glance’!

Wireless headphones are great. Without wires, one has the ability to move freely without feeling confined or worried about damaging the headphones. This freedom is especially useful when exercising, whether it be running, weightlifting or other physical activity. This luxury usually comes with a price. With the A6 earbuds, Syllable, a Chinese-based audio company, aims to impress without breaking the bank…and succeeds. Here’s our full review of the Syllable A6 Bluetooth Earbuds! Continue reading

How I Fixed my Seemingly Non-Repairable Android Tablet (Works With Android Phones Too)

[This article has been re-posted/edited from our old website]

 

A little over two years ago I received my first Android Tablet as a gift: the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. I was coming from a Kindle Fire, so it was quite an upgrade. After a few months of limited use, the device began to disintegrate. There were battery problems, overheating with no apps currently running, laggy performance and a strange flickering effect on the screen.

I tried a few different methods to try to repair the device and after multiple failures, I gave up. Recently, I decided to revisit the problem because I began to miss using the tablet. I made sure my virtual possessions were all backed up on the cloud or elsewhere and did a factory reset of the device. This totally wipes the software and turns the device into a form visually identical to when it came out of the factory. This process is done via the settings app (under backup and reset.) After the problems persisted, I concluded that the device was beyond repair and it was time to get rid of. As I was considering my options for disposal, I decided to try one more option and then call it quits. I turned to Samsung’s live chat for help, curious to see what they would suggest. I mentioned to the representative that I had already performed a factory reset on the device. After giving him all of the information about the device and the problems I was experiencing, he suggested I perform a hard reset. To be honest, I wasn’t completely sure what the difference between a factory reset and a hard reset was. So I asked the representative! To this he said that a factory reset completely wipes the device’s software, while a hard reset wipes the software and the hardware. Once he said this, I became hopeful, because I figured the problems were due to a hardware issue. So I performed the reset and setup my device once again. So far, the device is working as good as new!

Of course this method won’t solve any and every problem Android users experience. However, if all other options have been exhausted, I recommend trying this method as it did work for me. For your convenience, I have provided instructions on how to perform a hard reset below. This should work for most Android phones and tablets. Good luck!

Hard Reset – Begin with the device off

  1. Hold down the device’s power button and volume up button
  2. Scroll down (using on-screen instructions) to the “wipe data/factory reset” option or equivalent
  3. Scroll down to yes
  4. The device should begin to reset

Note: This will completely wipe all data from the device, perform at your own risk.

Hopefully this article was of help to you! Please follow the blog on Twitter @amcoffeetech for new post notifications, sneak peeks at future posts and more! Thanks so much for reading, I’ll see you in the next one!

Images Courtesy:

androidforums.com

allthingsd.com

3 Reasons Why Google Drive has Replaced Microsoft Office on my Devices

[This article has been re-posted/edited from our old website]

Any student ranging from the middle school to graduate level has a career that depends on word processing. It seems like every subject from English to social studies to foreign language and beyond regularly requires the composition of essays or reports of some sort. In order to do so properly and efficiently, one must have an adequate office suite. Ever since I got my first laptop, this office suite had been Microsoft Office along with 7.1 million other users, according to Microsoft. This changed once I discovered Google Drive. It only took a few days of use for me to permanently make the switch over, here’s why. Continue reading

Kinivo BTH240 Review: Decent Headphones at a Poor Man’s Price

[This article has been re-posted/edited from our old website]

 

*Don’t have time to read the full review? Scroll to the bottom and read the ‘review at a glance’!

Intro, Device Overview and Comparison to Predecessor:

In my previous review of the Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter, I shared how much I appreciate the convenience of Bluetooth connections over standard wired connections. I happen to also be a lover of music. Fellow music lovers will appreciate good sound and will notice poor sound. It is for this reason that a few years ago I decided to stop getting my music through shady Youtube to MP3 converters and switch to a legitimate streaming service (currently Beats Music). To make the best use of such a subscription, I needed a good set of headphones which I could use to enjoy this high quality music. So I purchased the Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Headphones. A solid set of headphones they were, but they came at a cost ($250 to be exact!) It is of course nice to have a top quality pair of headphones around for at home listening needs. However, when you go to the gym, to a big city like New York city, or even to school, it is very hard to bring a $250 pair of headphones with you. The worries of the headphones being lost, stolen or broken outweigh the sound quality. For this reason, I like to have a pair of “throw around” headphones that get the job done, but if broken or stolen wouldn’t make me stay up nights. It was over two years ago when I found the Kinivo BTH220 Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon for a mere $25. For headphones with Bluetooth capabilities, this price point seemed nearly too good to be true, even for the lowest quality headphones. After purchasing these headphones I was pleasantly surprised. They weren’t the most stylish pair of headphones nor did the sound blow me away but everything in perspective. Noise cancellation was passive and minimal, sound quality was adequate and the battery life was great. I only had to charge the battery every couple of weeks, using the headphones a couple of times per week for about a half hour each time. All of this for only $25! For these reasons, when my BTH220s finally stopped working (a two year lifetime for a product of this price is excellent, especially considering exposure to sweat at the gym) there was little thought required before purchasing the BTH220’s successor: the BTH240.

The BTH 220s (left) and 240s (right)

The 220s are now $20 and the 240s take the $25 price point on Amazon. Everything I loved about the headphones’ predecessor is still present, but subtle improvements help give these dirt cheap headphones a more premium feel than before. This is the review of Kinivo’s BTH240 Bluetooth Headphones.

Design and Sound Quality:

The BTH240s still have a relatively flimsy, plastic design. 

That said, they conveniently fold into a tiny package which fits perfectly in the complimentary carrying case that comes with the headphones. 20151011_204537

The 240s look sleeker and higher quality than the 220s, but the buttons are harder to feel for while wearing the headphones because they are flush with the earcup, as opposed to the 220s whose buttons were slightly raised. The 240s feel tighter around my ear than the 220s but in a way that makes them feel secure rather than uncomfortable. I can now bend over without worrying about the headphones falling off of my head. There is still a blue, blinking LED light on the headphones which some people were bothered by, but personally, I couldn’t care less. For charging, the 240s now use a standard micro USB cable (the same one used for all Android phones and most other headphones and accessories) instead of the dedicated cord used with the 220s. This is a convenient and welcomed change. Sound quality is still good considering the price of the device. In a noisy, crowded gym with music playing on their speakers, I was still able to concentrate on my music.

Battery:

As I mentioned before, the 220s blew me away with how long the battery lasted. The 240s promise an additional two hours (ten hours total per charge) and this has so far held true for my usage. This is only five hours less than the $250 Bose headphones I mentioned earlier at one-tenth of the price.

Overall Value:

So far, the BTH 240s have impressed me just as much as their predecessor. $25 will buy you a solid, portable Bluetooth set of headphones that last ten hours on a single charge. The catch? Nothing so far. Sound quality isn’t comparable to top of the line headphones and noise cancellation is only good enough to fully cancel out conversations and relatively quiet noises, but this is to be expected given this price point of headphones. The 240s have been more comfortable than most other budget headphones I have used, and I wouldn’t be terribly uncomfortable using these headphones for extended periods of time.

Review at a Glance:

The Good: Battery life, price, Bluetooth connection

The Acceptable: Comfort, ergonomics, sound quality

The Not So Good: Appearance, noise isolation

In case you decide to purchase these headphones for yourself, I have provided the Amazon link below. Questions, comments or greetings are always encouraged in the comments section. Thank you for reading Morning Coffee Tech and we’ll see you in the next post. (Feel free to follow us on Twitter @amcoffeetech!)
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Kinivo-BTH240-Bluetooth-Stereo-Headphone/dp/B00AWIPITS/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444610293&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=kinivo+bth440