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Screenshot - DU Battery Saver

It has been a while since I’ve hit a sweet spot in the configuration of app configurations & power settings of my LG Nexus 4 to stay alive for nearly 24 hours without a single recharge or at least a complete working day without a recharge. Smartphones are the key to all our interactions and communications. There is a mix of some obvious steps which I will address last and some really cool apps which helped me hit this configuration.

1. DU Battery Saver – App
screenshot du battery saver

This one takes care of majority of the hassle. It helps you set modes which you can switch to, like General or Sleep. You can also create your own custom modes. You can optimize based on the following:-

  • Screen BrightnessScreenshot - DU Battery Saver
  • Screen Timeout
  • Vibrate
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Mobile Data
  • Sync
  • Haptic Feedback

It helps you monitor the number of charges you have performed in a calendar format with a breakdown of Regular and Healthy charges. Charges are classified as healthy when the phone is charged from below 20% to above 75%.

One of the key instant features is the OPTIMIZE button, this magical button comes up with all of the following.

  • Saver Recommendations – Apps which are power consuming and are currently running
  • Paid Functions: Like Advance Saving / Automatic Cleaning
  • Manual Power Options which tinker around with Screen Brightness, Screen timeout, Sync settings etc. , and bring them to an optimum power saving level

On hitting OPTIMIZE, you have the App doing what it thinks is best for your phone like Shutting down application, switching off the Bluetooth and so on. It is a quick clutter free escape to an energy saving haven.

Head to the Play Store here to download the app and give it a try.

2. WiFi Power Saver App

Wifi Power Saver has a very reliable WIFI connection timeout policy controlled by a configurable number of minutes you can time it out. If the connection times out, it automatically switches off the WiFi. Also, when the WiFi has been switched off, it comes up with a notification. An optional tap on the notification switches back the WiFi if required. This is it, nothing more to say, this simply can work wonders for your power guzzling phone.

3. AutomateIt

automateIt

AutomateIt Rules

 

I was not satisfied with the above two solutions, and went on looking for something more complicated. I landed up with AutomateIt which is quite a handy app to automate majority of your daily mundane tasks.

It is based on a very simple concept

  • Trigger
  • Action
  • Rule

Example : I would like to see my WiFi come on automatically if I am looking at the turned on screen. The recipe may sound complicated, but it is very easy with all the self explanatory icons available .

  • Trigger : Device Screen is turned on
  • Action : Set Wi-Fi Adapter to Wi-Fi Enabled

Coming to the power saving bit, one of the key recipes would be as follows :

automateIT(Obviously when you knock off to bed at night, you rather not be disturbed or it is certainly not a time you would like to use the WiFi, why not turn it off)

  • Trigger : Triggers on 00:00, every day
  • Action : Set Wi-Fi adapter status to Wi-Fi Enabled

Similarly you can switch back on in the morning at 06:00. There are plenty of other such rules available in the rules market which can be downloaded from the Rules Market. Enjoy all of them.

 

This has extended by battery life by a nearly a couple of hours. Enjoy the difference ! Please do not forget to share your suggestions and ideas.

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Nexus 9

Google Nexus 9 is a refreshing new figure in the tablet arena from the HTC – Google collaborative stable. There are few points which may give the conviction that this is indeed a good buy or may be just another model in the market. Well here are some of the points. We have drawn references to newly launched iPad Air 2 cause the Apple factory has so far been the market leaders in this space, worth enough to be considered as a benchmark

4G LTE connectivity

One of the least significant point to me, would be that the 32GB version of the tablet is LTE-compliant. This suggests that it will be support 4G-LTE connectivity.

Thickness

HTC Nexus 9 is thicker compared to the new launched iPad Air 2 at 7.9mm. The new launched Air 2 is 18% thinner than its own predecessor. Again I would not mind this one, sinceI would prefer something substantial in my hands.

Display

The iPad Air 2 uses a 9.7in IPS display with resolution of 2048 x 1536 and a pixels per inch (ppi) density of 264. A resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels (2K) and a 4:3 aspect ratio has been offered by the Nexus 9 with a higher ppi of 281. The Nexus 9 uses an 8.9in IPS display with resolution of 1536 x 2048 and a slightly higher 281pp. Hence the resolution is identical but the Nexus edges out Apple in terms of pixel density. Display has always been the key factor of the Apple, and it is great to see a key competitor covering a lot of ground to match it in this area. The dimensions are 240 x 169.5mm of the iPad Air 2, versus 228.2 x 153.7mm of the Nexus 9.

Camera

The iPad Air 2 brings along with it an 8 megapixel (MP) camera with additional low-light capability and additional features like burst mode, slow-motion, face-detection, exposure compensation, and autofocus. There’s a 1.3MP camera up front for video calls. In comparison to Apple, the HTC Nexus 9 uses an 8MP rear camera with back-illuminated sensor, autofocus, and LED flash. It has a 1.6MP front-facing camera for video calls. Both iPad & Nexus are capable of recording Full HD video at 30 frames per second.

Boom Sound

boom sound   Now this feature seemed to be very significant to me and definitely seems to be a stand out in front of other competitors, the Boom Sound presented by the HTC family.

 What is Boom Sound ?

   74 percent of people in a survey in the US said they were more than delighted with the speaker quality of the HTC One, which was significantly higher to the  iPhone 5, figure of 34 percentage points,     according to market-research firm GFK. Now this very same feature has been introduced in the Nexus 9 device, it boasts of two front-facing speakers. With sound being directional, it makes obvious   sense to place them in the front, something which has strangely eluded many other manufacturers in the past. Boom Sound uses the concept of bigger sound chambers backed with an amplifier to power  the sound with minimum distortion

It is not just loud, but there is an equal focus on clarity where the software kicks on the basis of the usage like music, video or calls.

Body

The body is part aluminium, something which may not appease everybody.

Google Now Voice

The Nexus 9 presents an a
dditional ability of Lollipop to allow access to Google Now voice commands even when the display is down. User’s can simply speak and the table will respond accordingly.

Battery Life

N9 promises battery life of up to 9.5 hours for media and WiFi browsing with standby times of up to 30 days.

Under the hood

Android L has moved from Project Dalvik to ART (Android Run time). Dalvik is a virtual machine used for executing applications in the past versions of Android. In simple terms we now have  faster virtual machine that compiles apps once instead of, on every run. ART is faster and efficient than Dalvik, which means drops in processing time and subsequent drops in power utilization. Google Android versions has been all about projects which have key changes which improve the overall experience with every release.  Jelly Bean had Project Butter where Android’s UI animations were targetted to run at 60fps.  Kitkat had Project Svelte, which ensures the OS runs only on 512MB of RAM.

In the newly release Android L we have “Project Volta,” a concentrated effort of improving the battery life of Android devices. Android L has a new Job Scheduler which ensures that anything and everything does not wake up when the screen comes alive and majority of the activity is restricted to when the device is plugged in or has proper connectivity. Adding to the plethora of changes is the new battery stat tracker known as “Battery Historian.”

Keyboard Dock

N9A separate keyboard dock will be available for the Nexus 9, certainly not something new in the tablet market. The
dock has a magnetic attachment and a folding design that allows users to position their Nexus 9  in two possible angles. I wonder how much will this be used, and the actual productivity, as it can only be used for emails or may be gaming. It is currently priced at  £110 on the UK Google Play Store, which is quite a lot for a Bluetooth paired accessory.

Graphics

64-bit Tegra K1 is one of the key features which adds to the Advanced GPU arsenal, which is adopted from PC equivalents. This alongwith 2GB of RAM serves to produce a quality 3D performance, this easliy beats Apple’s A8 experience.

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garmin_vivofit
garmin_vivofit

Garmin Vivofit

Well after a lot of thought and market research, pretty much something I do for every major gadget purchase. I have finally decided I am going in for Garmin Vivofit. This is something I said on the 18th April 2014, a Good Friday I was spending away from home. But this is how the hunt ended, but the hunt started very differently.

My first preference was honestly the Fitbit Force, which a close friend of mine purchased while he

Fitbit Force

Fitbit Force

was on a business trip to America, he fought quite a few snow storms to get to the store to find only one available there. Hence he obviously kept it for himself. Well I kept waiting for it for quite some time to be launched in the UK, but it never got launched. Unfortunately a market leader like the Fitbit Force had to wind up it sales in February 2014 with a voluntary recall in accordance with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. This recall did take place because of  several users complaining of rash and irritation. According to James Park, CEO of Fitbit, nearly 1.7% of the users complained of this skin irritation. This was followed up with an apology, then a statement for a voluntary recall with complete direct refund to all consumers.

Fitbit-Flex-Wireless-Activity-Tracker

Fitbit Flex

Fitbit Flex, was never even in the reckoning, it did not count floors, did not have a display, did not have a display of for time (certainly when I wanted to substitute my watch), and biggest drawback needed to be charged every five days, which sounded silly to me.  That was the end of the Fitbit story for me.

Over to find out why the Nike FuelBand did not make the cut. The first thing I spotted was the battery life, just a meagre 7 days, which was again a complete turn off. Something which was like a massive NO in my face was the fact that it does support Android Phones, which did not make sense. An international brand like Nike completely ignoring Android users felt very out of touch.

This band lacks vibration alerts and sleep tracking and does really provide an in depth picture with all the stats it is gathering.

Nike_FuelBand

Nike FuelBand

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Twitter has had phenomenal success over the social sphere in the past few years. A service which went from not having a business model to finally establishing a successful business and ad model. Unlike Facebook, ads are practically invisible on Twitter. So how does it manage to rake in so much cash without plastering its pages with ads? Twitter uses a promotion based ad model to monetize.

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The progress of the Android developers is easy to be noticed. The applications are becoming much more complex, with better graphics and much higher capabilities. Despite of the fact that this gives the consumers more freedom and options, it has a weakness. These programs are requiring too much of your phone and so after adding two or three of them the speed goes down and so does the overall functionality of your device. There’s a solution of this problem that very often occurs- it’s to optimize and speed up your phone. Generally there are two methods to do that- the first one is to root it and the other one is to optimize it with a program.

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A File Manager is an essential piece of software for any phone. If you have tons of files lying around on your card and have trouble managing them, get a good file manager. Besides organising your files, most managers out there provide a heap of additional functionality. Read below as we pick out the  best Android File Managers for you.

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Have you ever had the need to urgently free some hard-drive space and found yourself struggling to find out which folders on your disk consume the maximum GBs ? What if you had a column to show folder size in Explorer itself. Simple sort by folder-size and delete what is not required. This article will teach you how.