Too Close To Call

12/6/2012 3:17:54 PM

Q: Although I’ve been an avid Android user for a couple of years now, owning both the Samsung Galaxy SII and HTCOneX, I’ve yet to take the plunge in to the world of tablets. I was pretty set on getting a Nexus 7, not just because of the price of the device, but also due to its size. Personally, a 10" tablet Is far too big for me, but a 7” solution seems far more transportable, and generally easier to handle.

With the Kindle Fire HD also now available, and being mightily impressed with what I’ve seen of it so far, I’m in a quandary about which tablet I should pay out for. On one side, I love the stripped back approach to the Nexus 7, and think it’s a great way to explore the new features in Android 4.1. On the other hand, the Kindle Fire HD has the advantage of having access to the entire Amazon ecosystem, and as a frequent user of Amazon, maybe this is the best choice? Help!

Description: The choice in quality Android tablets has seen a huge boost

The choice in quality Android tablets has seen a huge boost

A: It has been a longtime coming, but it’s great that the choice of good Android tablets has improved with the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. First, we highly recommend you take a look at our full Kindle Fire HD review in this issue before making your choice. The tablets are similar in a lot of ways, and fundamentally the biggest difference are their ecosystems. With the Nexus 7 you’ll have access to far more apps, and with It being a Google tablet, you’ll get operating system updates a lot quicker. As you mentioned, the Kindle Fire HD benefits from the full Impressive Amazon ecosystem, and If you’re an avid user of the desktop website, then this might be a suitable choice for you.

Enough is enough

Q: At the end of 20111 purchased a SE Xperia Pro with promise of an upgrade to ICS. It’s now a year and I keep checking the website to see if I am one of the lucky few to be on the list of phones that are available for an much-needed update.

It’s up to the Sales Item number on the device to match a number on the site, much like the lottery. My number is still not on the site. The SI number 1249-8526 is there, but my phone is out by one digit! As a previous supporter of Sony Ericsson I will not be buying a Sony phone in the future - looks like the iPhone or Samsung for me.

It’s a well-known fact that receiving speedy OS updates on your device varies from company to company. Although it’s sad to say, it does seem like Sony are one of the worst in providing updates to its devices. If you do decide to look for a new phone, the choice of ICS and Jelly Bean-enabled devices are constantly increasing, so you’ll certainly be able to find what you’re looking for.

Protection for free

Q: I live in London and want to send an Android phone to my sister in Nigeria, but I’m worried about it being safe and secure. Stockists like Carphone Warehouse and Phones4u offer antivirus for $22.4, but I’d much rather spend the $22.4 on a strong protective case. Is there a free app that will keep my phone secure, and double up as an antivirus suite?

A: One of the greatest things about the Android ecosystem is the sheer range of apps available on the Play store. There’s a great variety of antivirus suites you can download from there, and many of them are free. The antivirus suite from AVG has both a free and paid version, with the former being great for blocking viruses and malware, scanning apps and helping you browse the web securely.

Budget can be brilliant

Q: After having several problems with my Blackberry, I decided to move to Android. Unfortunately I didn’t have much money to splash out on a high-end phone, so I was a little worried I wouldn’t find a good one.

It turns out I was wrong and was surprised by the sheer range of decent budget devices available for Android. Although It took me ages to decide between the HTC One V and Orange San Francisco II, I eventually chose the former. I’ve to say, it’s by far the best phone I’ve ever owned!

A: First off, congratulations on moving over to Android! There’s a lot of complaints about how fragmented Android is, and that there isn’t a lead manufacturer as such, but your story is a great example of why having so many manufacturers is a good thing. The choice available to Android users is phenomenal, whether you’re looking for a budget or a high-end device. Enjoy the mag.

Anyone for 4G?

Q: Will the new Samsung Galaxy S III support 4G when it rolls out? Orange reported it is just days away from introducing 4G, if the new phones don’t support it, they will be obsolete very quickly.

Description: the new Samsung Galaxy S III support 4G

the new Samsung Galaxy S III support 4G

A: The UK’s first 4G network will indeed include the new Galaxy S III LTE. In total there are six devices that will get the 4G treatment, and apart from the S III, Android enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on the HTC One X and Huawei Ascend PI LTE for their dose of 4G, The other devices are the iPhone, and the Lumia 820 and 920.

Skimping on storage

Q: I love my Galaxy Nexus, I think it’s a fantastic device. But what I can’t stand about it is the lack of expandable storage. If you’re a keen media hoarder, like myself, then having a measly 16 gigabytes of internal storage is simply not enough, so what logical reason is there for not including a micro SD card slot on it?

But it doesn’t seem to be just my device that’s affected. By the looks of things, most new Android phones seem to have a distinct lack of SD card slot, and frankly it just isn’t good enough.

I understand that we’re ever so slowly moving in to the cloud, and both Dropbox and Google Drive are great tools, but having to upload movies, music and other large files is an absolute pain, and doesn’t even come close to the functionality of having a micro SD card that I can switch with other cards where and whenever I want.

I’ve tried streaming movies on my Android device using cloud-based services, but if I’m not on a secure Wi-Fi connection, I’m just in a constant buffer. But having a micro SD card allows me to watch movies on my old phone without any bother. I think it's about time that phone manufacturers started to realise that leaving out one of the fundamental things that makes using Android phones brilliant will slowly drive people over to other devices, and I for one will be the first in line to change.

Description: a Micro SD card slot

a Micro SD card slot

A: There’s no doubt that cloud storage is certainly the future, and Google Drive, Dropbox and even Amazon Cloud are great examples of why we should take more notice of them. We happen to agree, however, that it’s a real shame that micro SD storage is often ignored, and it’s one of the biggest gripes we have with some of the latest, and some of the older Android devices.

Hopefully Samsung and company will soon realise that expandable storage is a feature that people really do want.

Dodging malware SOS

Q: I love the fact there are so many apps on the Play store, as it makes finding what I’m looking for really easy. I’m a bit worried, however, that I might have recently downloaded an app I shouldn’t have, and my phone is potentially riddled with malware. I've recently purchased some antivirus software which should do the job, but it still worries me. Why are Google so relaxed about the controls they've on the Play store, as It seems any Tom, Dick or Harry can upload a malicious app and thousands of devices could potentially be at risk!

A: Malware is a big issue on Android, but the best advice we can give is to make sure you only ever download apps from the Play store, and to basically keep your wits about you. One of the most common issues users face is downloading rip-offs of popular apps; such as Angry Birds and Flipboard. The antivirus software you’ve set up is a great way of keeping your device protected and should alert you of any potentially troublesome applications you attempt to download.

Most View
Creative Sound BlasterAxx SBX 20
Dali Mentor Minuet – Hitting The Big Time (Part 2)
Apple iMac 27in And 25.1in
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 1TB and Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4TB
TI Computers Ti Deluxe 670 - Fantastic Mix Of Price And Performance
Audioquest Dragonfly – USB DAC/Headphone AMP
15 Practical Tips For Building A Better PC (Part 2)
HTC One SV Review – Not Just A Pretty Face (Part 1)
The Best Deals On Cool-Running Components And Passive Cooling Solutions
Fujifilm X-S1 - As Big And As Expensive As An SLR
Top 10
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Configuring Anti-Spam and Message Filtering Options (part 4) - Preventing Internal Servers from Being Filtered
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Configuring Anti-Spam and Message Filtering Options (part 3) - Defining Block List Exceptions and Global Allow/Block Lists
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Configuring Anti-Spam and Message Filtering Options (part 2) - Filtering Connections with IP Block Lists
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Configuring Anti-Spam and Message Filtering Options (part 1) - Filtering Spam and Other Unwanted E-Mail by Sender, Filtering Spam and Other Unwanted E-Mail by Recipien
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing Remote Domains (part 3) - Configuring Messaging Options for Remote Domains , Removing Remote Domains
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing Remote Domains (part 2) - Creating Remote Domains
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing Remote Domains (part 1) - Viewing Remote Domains
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing E-Mail Address Policies (part 3) - Editing and Applying E-Mail Address Policies , Removing E-Mail Address Policies
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing E-Mail Address Policies (part 2) - Creating E-Mail Address Policies
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Creating and Managing E-Mail Address Policies (part 1) - Viewing E-Mail Address Policies