Android

HP moves to ease printing from Android tablets, smartphones

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Hewlett-Packard wants to make wireless printing of documents from Android mobile devices as easy as tapping one button.

The company on Tuesday announced a new wireless laser printer—the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476—which takes advantage of native printing support on mobile devices running the Android 4.4 operating system, code-named KitKat.

The office printer, priced starting at US$529, is the first printer certified to take advantage of a plug-in developed by the Mopria alliance, which aims to makes wireless printing easier from smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4, said David Laing, director of innovation for LaserJet Enterprise Solutions at HP.

The Mopria alliance has top printer firms such as Xerox, HP, Canon and Samsung as its members. More Mopria-certified devices will roll out in the future, Laing said,

With the Mopria plugin, users can pass a mobile print command to the M476 without having to go through a separate application such as HP’s printer app. Users will be able to punch the print icon inside an app, much like on PCs, and then select a wireless printer of choice.

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 will be able to print over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi or near-field communication (NFC) connections. Previously, access to a wireless network was needed to print documents on a wireless printer, Laing said.

The new printer has a 3.5-inch display, and can also copy, scan and fax. The product, which is targeted at small offices, also has two-side printing and scanning, and can be managed remotely.

The M476 also prints directly from files in online storage services such as Box.net and Google Drive. The installed black, cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges can yield roughly 1,200 printed pages each.

The printer succeeds the previous M475 model, which was more expensive, Laing said.

Read more at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2098660/hp-moves-to-ease-printing-from-android-tablets-smartphones.html

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Sony Xperia Z2 to offer 15.5-megapixel manual mode, 1080p recording at 60fps: Report

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Sony’s alleged successor to the Xperia Z1, thought to be codenamed Sony D6503 ‘Sirius’ and expected to be released as the Sony Xperia Z2, is once again doing rounds of the internet, with new reports detailing its camera feature.

The rumoured Sony D6503 ‘Sirius’, which has in the past been expected to have the same 20.7-megapixel camera as the Xperia Z1, in its recent leak of screenshots of the camera settings, shows off the ability to record 1080p video at 60 frames per second. If true, it will be more than twice as fast as Xperia Z1, which has the usual 30fps recording mode.

With the Xperia Z1, users could click 20-megapixels images only in the 4:3 aspect ratio. Users can could click widescreen 16:9 images only at a 8-megapixels resolution. With the latest report however, it seems evident that the But here the settings shown on the Sony D6503 “Sirius” suggest that one can also get the same 16:9 aspect shot with 15.5-megapixels.

Last month, XDA developer’s forum member has posted a bunch of alleged live images of the rumoured Xperia D6503 ‘Sirius’. The same XDA developer also published leaked UI screenshots of the Xperia D6503, which showed the alleged Sony device running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Later a report in January pointed the numerous Xperia UI changes, are expected to be skinned on top of Android 4.4 KitKat when the device ships. The other purported screenshots also detailed the new features. Some of the features said to be included are 4K recording, Timeshift video, smart backlight control, the presence of two home launchers, USB DAC audio support, and more.

The revealed specifications of the alleged Sony Xperia D6503 ‘Sirius’ so far includes a quad-core Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974-AB) chipset clocked at 2.3GHz with Adreno 330 GPU; 3GB of RAM; 5.2-inch full-HD display; and a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera.

Read more at http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/sony-xperia-z2-to-offer-155-megapixel-manual-mode-1080p-recording-at-60fps-report-481711

Moto X In Review: 7 Battery Life Tips And Tricks For The Motorola Flagship

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Moto X Battery Life Review Issues Problems Tips and Tricks

The Moto X is a popular smartphone, and likely will be even more so when it is released throughout the world. But how can you make the battery last longer?

The Moto X is the first smartphone to offer always-listening voice control, or as Motorola calls it “Touchless Control.” It works along with the rest of the phone’s sensors without causing serious battery problems because of the Moto X’s innovative chipset.

Since its release stateside in August, many Moto X owners enjoyed excellent battery life. However, some may want to try to push the device to last another 12-18 hours, and others have reported battery life issues — especially following the Moto X’s update to Android 4.4 KitKat.

Protip: If you fall into the latter camp, there is a simple trick that might fix up your issue. It is likely that your Moto X’s battery is fine, but having trouble correctly identifying how much battery life is left.

Simply run the battery down to about five to eight percent and let it die. You can speed this up by streaming a YouTube video. Then, when the Moto X has died, let it charge for a few hours before turning it back on. This will fix the issue if the Moto X is having trouble accurately reporting its remaining battery life.

1.) Identify The Problem

If your Moto X battery is truly having trouble lasting as long as you think it should, then the first thing to do is find out what is creating the problem. Go into Settings > About Phone > Battery Use to see what apps or services are causing an issue.

An Android device like the Moto X, or any smartphone for that matter, often uses the most battery power on its display. This is true even of the Moto X’s AMOLED screen, which is more energy efficient than LCD.

2.) Keep Your Screen’s Brightness As Low As Possible

While a brighter Moto X really shows off those colorful default wallpapers, keeping the display dialed down is going to maximize battery power. If you really prefer things looking bright and shiny, I can’t blame you – but I would at least recommend setting the Moto X screen brightness to “Auto” so it dims in darker settings.

If you truly want to maximize the Moto X’s battery life, leave the screen brightness to somewhere around 10 percent, as this is bright enough for mostly any setting. You can more easily access controls like screen brightness using a simple app like Notification Toggle, available for Android on Google Play.

I did not like the icon that always showed up in my status bar, but then I realized that the icon can be changed to report remaining battery life, battery temperature, or day of the month.

3.) Reduce The Time Before Moto X Goes To Sleep

You can do this by navigating to Settings > Display > Sleep. Like brightness, many users have a personal preference before how long their screen goes to sleep. You do not want to set it annoyingly low, but having the Moto X go to sleep as quickly as possible will maximize its battery life.

Also, make sure to press the power button when done using the Moto X. This is a good habit on just about any smartphone, instead of putting the phone down or in your pocket with the screen on and waiting for it to go to sleep automatically.

4.) Keep GPS Location Settings And Bluetooth Off When Not In Use

This is one of the basics of owning any smartphone: if you are not using Bluetooth to connect to your car or other device, keep it turned off. It is an unnecessary drain on the Moto X’s battery.

GPS location services are even worse. Keep them turned off when not in use if you want your Moto X battery to last all day, and in many cases, well into Day 2.

5.) Turn Off Wi-Fi AND Wi-Fi Scanning

To disable Wi-Fi scanning, navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi > Menu (three dots, lower right-hand corner) > Scanning always available and uncheck the box.

Google included the feature in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and it allows apps to estimate your location with GPS turned off. However, even with the Moto X’s dedicated co-processors, the feature drains battery, and can be a privacy issue for many users.

6.) Keep Power Saver Turned On

Go into Settings > Battery > Power Saver and make sure that the Motorola exclusive feature is turned on. It restricts background data use when your battery life is waning.

Some manufacturers include a power saver mode that reduces a processor’s frequency, which slows them down a bit. Motorola chose not to include such a feature on the Moto X, since the system-on-a-chip already does a decent job of managing performance against the remaining battery life.

7.) Enable Android Runtime (ART)

A new runtime for Android devices (ART) will eventually replace the older Dalvik runtime completely. ART changes the way all apps are run, allowing them to open more quickly, and use less power to do so.

Enabling ART on the Moto X is a great way to extend battery life. Unfortunately, ART also causes apps to take up 10 – 20 percent more storage space, and it will not be compatible with WhatsApp until your Moto X is upgraded to Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). Please note that the International Business Times is not liable for problems due to enabling ART, and Google has said that the runtime is not yet ready for everyone, so proceed at your own risk. I have, however, used ART on several different Android devices, including the Moto X and Nexus 5, with no issues.

To turn ART on for the Moto X, or any Android device running 4.4 or higher, navigate the phone to:

Settings > About Phone > Tap “Build Number” 7 times

Then back out and go into the new option, > Developer Options, and select ART instead of Dalvik. Wait about an hour while your apps are optimized for the Android Runtime, and enjoy extended battery life.

Read more at http://www.ibtimes.com/moto-x-review-7-battery-life-tips-tricks-motorola-flagship-1542976

Number 2: LG G2

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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

LG G2

2. LG G2

Wait, an LG phone in at number two? Believe it people; LG has made a phone that not only impressed us but ran the HTC One very, very close for the top spot.

We don’t know where to start in terms of extolling the virtues of this new handset from the South Korean firm: it’s got an insanely good screen, quality camera, the best audio pumping out from its speakers and headphone jack… the list goes on.

We even came to tolerate, then love, the power and volume buttons being placed on the rear. These aren’t ideal, but the ability to knock on the screen makes it really easy to interact with this impressive device.

Verdict

There’s so much on offer here that we can’t help but recommend it to anyone looking for the best smartphone powerhouse.

The only things that we dislike are the cluttered UI (pull down the notifications bar and you’ll see why) and the plastic casing, which drops the premium feel of the phone.

But launching at £400 on PAYG, along with comparable contracts to six month old phones, is a really nice touch from LG, and we reckon it’s going to pay dividends.

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Number 3: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

3. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Hey Sony, lovely to have you back near the top. What’s this? A phone without a 1080p screen? A smaller battery? Are you MAD?

Wait, we get it. This is the mildly-nonplussing Xperia Z1 shoved into a smaller frame, with almost nothing compromised (the above two points aside). With a 4.3-inch screen it’s one of the most easy to use devices in the hand, coming in next to the iPhone 5S, but it does it with a much lower cost and a great battery life to boot.

On top of that it’s waterproof and has expandable memory, plus a superb screen. Well played, Sony – we can’t wait to see what else you do in 2014.

Quick verdict

Want a great phone that’s just a little bit smaller without losing all the power? If so, then we’ve found your ideal device. Strong CPU, great battery and expandable memory are traits we love to see.

It’s been launched with a palatable price tag as well – so head on down to your local emporium and throw it in some water. Because it’s waterproof too, not because you’re a vandal.

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Number 4: Google Nexus 5

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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

Nexus 5

4. Google Nexus 5

So we’ve updated our review with the new phone software, and thankfully things are a lot better now. The battery is improved, the camera a little more stable, and the low cost is still in place.

You already know we like Android 4.4, the clever implementation and the £299 price tag. We love the high power CPU, the quality screen; even the rubberised outer shell.

You can get the LG G2 for £100 more though, and that offers a far superior camera, better battery life (it’s better, but not brilliant) and a huge slew of extra features – it really depends if you’re a fan of the stripped-down experience.

Quick verdict

We’re glad to put this smartphone higher up in the rankings, as it’s one of the cheapest out there in terms of bang for buck.

It’s a great phone that hits the marks well – it lacks something in terms of innovation, but that’s not a problem for those that want to be able to run all manner of apps and games at a decent price. It doesn’t come in at the same price point as previous Nexii, but it’s still jolly cheap.

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Number 5: Samsung Galaxy S4

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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

Samsung Galaxy S4

5. Samsung Galaxy S4

All change at the top! Samsung managed to hold off HTC at the top in 2012, but this year the supreme stylings of the HTC One proved too strong against a phone that’s a slightly-better-version of its predecessor.

Well, that’s not really fair – it’s only in looks that it’s too similar, and sadly that was one of the biggest issues most users had with the S3. It’s not the world’s biggest smartphone crime, but it’s enough to keep it from the top spot.

There’s a lot, a lot, to love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 though: whether it’s a powerful camera, a brilliant screen, a long-lasting battery or just a fluid experience, there’s everything you could want in a smartphone right here.

The cost is a tad higher than on other smartphones, but thankfully still cheaper than iPhone level and is descending as we wait for the imminent sequel. If only it was made out of something a little more premium…

LG has now taken its second spot too – here’s hoping the Samsung Galaxy S5 brings something that’s really rather special to halt its slide down the charts.

Verdict

There’s no doubt that this is one of the best smartphones ever made – it’s clear, powerful and does everything we’d expect a flagship phone from Samsung to do.

It’s just a shame that the perceived ‘innovation’ doesn’t really add anything: motion gestures, smart scroll and it’s other non-contact bedfellows didn’t take smartphones to the next level, which is what we needed in the face of Ultrapixels and BoomSound.

Make no mistake though: you’ll love the Samsung Galaxy S4 if you choose to go for it, as it’s an amazing phone with some really cutting-edge features.

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