Smartphone contest time – Win a dual-SIM Android ASUS ZenFone2

Contest is over: See link to the live drawing’s replay below

***Congratulations to Vin Nolan***

Note: Due to last minute information about certain shortcomings of the ASUS ZenFone 2 regarding its ability to create scopes on Periscope, the contest prize needed to be changed to the Kyocera Brigadier. Shoutout to Ray Garcia and his followers.

Once again: Congratulations to Vin Nolan

[Replay link, CLICK HERE, then fast forward to 1:29]

Facebook recently launched a new app to solve the case of the mysterious incoming call

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Facebook recently launched a new app to solve the case of the mysterious incoming call. From the report: “The app, which is called Hello and is only available on Android, uses data from Facebook to tell you who’s blowing up your phone. Of course, the feature will only work if the caller has shared his number with Facebook, and if you would normally be able to see that information.”

For some reason this sorta reminds me of that stupid “Facebook phone”, the nickname given to that HTC handset (from 2013 I think) that was the butt of a lot of jokes. And surprise, nobody cared or bought it nor are they talking about it now. I guess it should never have been an actual phone, just an app! 😀

Image credit: Facebook

LinkedIn’s Android app: There’s room for improvement

Android app LinkedIn
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Reviewing the LinkedIn Android app: Let’s just say there’s room for improvement

I find it a little faster than the web version of LinkedIn. The areas where LinkedIn could improve this app are:

1. The ability to share OUT your profile via email. The sideways “v” symbol for sharing out on Android doesn’t work for profiles. Strangely, it lets you share your profile with an existing LinkedIn user. I don’t really see how that would come in handy or who would do that. In a way, it seems like you’re telling the other person that you think they need help with tapping on a touchscreen! But even more absurd is the text that’s pre-populated in that interface. It says something like “Check out my LinkedIn profile!” #eyeroll Who speaks or writes that way? Nobody that I know.

2. The quick buttons for connecting. At the moment, these buttons don’t tell you if a generic invite will be sent. Tap one by accident and you’ll send a generic invite, even if you didn’t mean to. Most of the buttons behave this way at the moment. I’m unaware of any plans LinkedIn has to change this, or to make the buttons give you a choice. The latter idea would be the smart thing to do. LinkedIn, are you listening?

I need to talk about the fairly new LinkedIn Pulse Android app for a minute. Long story short, I had to uninstall it. Just too many notifications! Everytime someone that you’re following publishes to LinkedIn Pulse, you get a notification. The built-in reader is functional, but not that different from the Feedly Android app in terms of looks. There’s no great benefit to it, other than the fact that articles on Pulse are grouped into one section.

I guess I can mention the Slideshare Android app, since it’s part of the LinkedIn ecosystem. It’s convenient, but on some phones, it crashes. When it comes to LinkedIn’s app UX improvement plans, I’m unsure whether or not their Android app is high on the priority list. I’m guessing no – at least that’s what it seems like. At least it’s fast with fast WiFi.

Connect with me on LinkedIn:

Fluent in Android? Then the Samsung Galaxy Camera might feel very natural to you


Samsung’s Galaxy Camera EK GC 100

Wasn’t sure what to expect from a “Galaxy” camera, but it really feels natural to an Android user like me. The reason? It runs on Android. Whatever you can download from GooglePlay, you can download onto this camera. For example: Photobucket, WordPress for Android, Gmail, GooglePlus, Easy Voice Recorder, Clipper, even Dropbox, Evernote and the normal mobile Chrome browser or “beta” mobile Chrome browser! Yup, it’s just like an Android phone, but it’s a camera and video cam too.

Don’t get me wrong – Samsung’s concept is wonderful, but a few functions required “getting used to” like pressing a side button to get the camera’s flash to pop up. It makes a slight snap sound when it pops up. To hide it, you need to physically push the flash down into its hideaway slot until you hear a locking click sound. At least you know it’s protected when not in use. The function that takes the most “getting used to” is the zoom feature. To zoom, you either pull or push on the wheel on the top right.

I was told this phone was created specifically with bloggers in mind. Would I agree with that characterization? Sort of. An advanced blogger might find this camera helpful if they’re familiar with saving drafts in advance and then accessing them in “WordPress for Android“. Alternatively, a blogger could use the browser-based text-mode editing UI in WordPress together with the Android Photobucket app to do mobile blogging. Not super easy, so I think a new blogger could easily feel frustrated if they assume this device will make blogging easier.

What I definitely don’t like is the fact that you can’t use 2 modes at the same time. For example, if you want to use “Best Face” together with the rapid fire feature (called “Continuous Shot”), you can’t. Or maybe we can but I just don’t know how.  It’s easy to transfer your pics (or recharge the camera) to your computer via a USB, so that’s a positive. Another thing I always find myself doing is resizing on my laptop because the pics taken are just so darn big, even when you set the camera to use the smallest dimensions. Overall verdict: Cool but not necessary for advanced bloggers who intend to do lots of mobile blogging. And a potential source of frustration for new bloggers.

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Disclaimer re: prearranged or quid pro quo monetary compensation received: No monetary compensation received.