Thursday, February 04, 2016

How-to: Remove out of range WiFi networks for Galaxy devices

If you rely on Wi-Fi networks a lot you'll likely add a lot of Wi-Fi networks to your phone over its lifetime.  But the more Wi-Fi networks you add, the more effort Android takes to connect to a Wi-Fi network as it goes through the list of added Wi-Fi networks to see if there are any hidden networks to connect to first before presenting you a list of all Wi-Fi network SSIDs being broadcasted.  In short, you want to keep you saved Wi-Fi network list short so you save battery life when connecting from network to network.

You can normally remove Wi-Fi networks by pressing and holding onto a Wi-Fi network and click on Forget in the popup.  For out of range networks, they would usually appear at the bottom or you would click the "...", click "Saved Networks" and click on the network you want to remove in Android.  But unless you have a Verizon Galaxy S6/S6 edge/Note 5, you may have noticed that there is no "Saved Network" option under "More" in "Wi-Fi" settings on new Galaxy devices running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - mimicking iOS which doesn't provide visibility to all saved networks.

Sadly you'll need to rely on a 3rd party device to remove those out of range networks.  I recommend Wi-Fi Manager mainly because it doesn't ask for permissions to your device identity and call information or phone ID or location like other Wi-Fi managers and it's free.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Samsung Fast Charge 5200mAh Battery Pack Review

When your device needs some extra juice fast

There are a lot of battery packs, battery banks, or portable chargers in the market.  But very few of them support quick charge capability.  If you have a HTC One M9, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 5, LG V10 or LG G4, then you'll want to pick up a battery bank that supports quick charge so you can enjoy more time with your phone and not constantly wired to the battery pack.

The Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack is one of the few battery packs that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0.  That means it'll charge your phone almost as fast your phone plugged into a quick charge wall adapter - up to 50% faster than a non-quick charge battery pack.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Samsung Galaxy G6 Long Term Review

After disappointing sales of the Galaxy S5, Samsung had to make a big turnaround with its next Galaxy phone. Introducing the fruit of its project zero, the new Galaxy S6.

An aluminum framed phone powered with Samsung's own Exynos 7420 processor sandwiched between two slabs of Gorilla glass 4, the Galaxy S6 lives up to its flagship status with 3GB of RAM, Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 16MP F1.9 aperture rear camera, 5MP front camera, IR blaster, Quick Charge 2.0, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11ac WiFi support, wireless charging, fingerprint scanner, biometric reader, and GPS/GLONASS support to name a few. The downside is the lack of microSD support, switch to the smaller nano SIM, and smallish battery (2559mAH) that's non-removable.

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Remember Nokia Devices

From left to right: Nokia N6682, Nokia 6650, Nokia E71, Nokia N82, Nokia N71, Nokia E61

The day has finally arrives that Nokia Devices becomes a part of Microsoft and Nokia will no longer produce devices for the next 2 years.  Many of my phones have been a Nokia so I've experienced Nokia's growth from the old black and green screens to S40 to S60 to Maemo to Windows Phone.  They've brought so many innovations such as ringtones, games, changeable covers, and mechanical image stabilization to phones.  The industry is going to lack a little innovation without one of its oldest companies.

Since I'm in the mopy mood, let me reflect on some of the Nokia devices that I have owned

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

HTC One M8 Launched in Canada

The new HTC One (M8) debuts in Canada.

Tonight HTC held a mingling event at the Burroughes in downtown Toronto to showcase the new HTC One (M8) to Canada.  Various press, vendors, and HTC Elevate members were invited to the event.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

HTC One 4.4 Kit Kat Impressions

A day after Android 4.4 Kit Kat was announced, HTC USA announced it would release 4.4 for its HTC One within 30 days.  Surprisingly, HTC USA delivered on their promise and Android 4.4 was available OTA on November 30, 2013, exactly 30 days after their announcement.  That is really impressive in this day of product and update delays.  It's expected that carrier specific HTC One will receive 4.4 sometime before February.  In the meantime, here are my impressions of Android 4.4 Kit Kat with Sense 5.5.

The brief OTA change log:

Updates noticed:
  • Added Lock screen widget capabilities.  Switch to the right pane to add widgets.
  • Changed Lock screen keyboard no longer uses the Android keyboard you selected but defaults to the system keyboard
  • Updated Gallery app adding additional online sources like Dropbox.  Now you can view from: Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa
  • Added HTC Apps
  • Added HTC Backup
  • Added Google Photos
  • Updated to Polaris Office 5
  • Updated YouTube
  • Updated Google Maps
  • Updated Camera firmware from 5.1.658161 to 5.5.2321372617 - will show the green box immediately when you open the camera app to display it auto-focussing
  • Battery life seems to be improved the same.  I will update this posting with my findings after a few more charge/recharge cycles but right now I'm estimating about a 10% improvement
  • Updated Weather app now opens to all favorite cities rather than the last city
  • Added emoji to the HTC native keyboard but they aren't the same as the official Google Keyboard emoji
  • Music app now shows play progress in a circle rather than a bar
  • Adds a new "Highlights" drawer to Blinkfeed when you swipe to the left
  • Updated TV App
  • Updated Google Hangouts that can now integrate SMS
Some features from KitKat you won't see:
  • Smart Caller ID - there is no search built into the dialer (I personally wouldn't like this or would like to have the ability to disable it)
  • Google Now Launcher with Google Now on the left pane and home screen listening for "OK Google" voice command
This update isn't as dramatic as the Android 4.2 to Android 4.3 update, which brought significant performance improvements, updated a bunch of Google apps, and updated most of HTC's apps like TV.  I haven't noticed any negative aspects to the 4.06.1540.2 update with Android 4.4 so I'd recommend any HTC One users to get the upgrade when it's available.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020 Photo Review Compilation

Even after a year of releasing the 41MP Nokia 808, the 41MP in the Lumia 1020 still wowed the crowd with this year's announcement. The Lumia 1020 is the first time Nokia has attached a 41MP camera into a Windows Phone 8 device. That's a lot more pixels than any point-and-shoot commercially available right now and steps into DSLR territory. A lot has been said about the Lumia 1020 being better than a DSLR or better than a point and shoot so I compiled some comparison reviews that I found to do a fair comparison of the photos and gave my thoughts to them.