How To Wipe Your Android’s Device Cache Partition

If you have an Android phone or tablet that is being sluggish, it can be one of the most frustrating experiences with technology.  Android, like other Operating Systems, caches app and system data to use in efforts to speed up apps and processes.  Yes, the irony wasn’t lost on me either.  The problem is that this cache can become corrupt or simply too big for the device to be able to manage effectively.  Every OS suffers from this – Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS.  Perhaps the only real notable exception is Chrome OS.

The good news is, on Android, there are two things you can do on any device that will help you clear out the cache and restore order to your particular world.  One is found in Settings while the more aggressive step requires you get your device into Recovery mode.  In this How To I will show you how to do both.

Google Releases Meet Data YouTube Series

On their official YouTube channel, Google has released another series of short videos highlighting a service of the company.  This new series is titled Meet Data and the seven videos show you how the company uses data to help you.  Using examples of how search works to how Google Maps helps you find that location you are looking for, the videos outline how Google uses big data to help you in that process.  Each video also points out that data security and privacy is important.

YouTube Go Will Allow Offline Viewing and Sharing

YouTube has announced that later this year, they will be rolling out a new app that will allow for offline content viewing and sharing.  The new app, YouTube Go, will allow users to download content to their phones and view that content later, even if they are offline.  You will be able to select the quality of that content so you can control how much space on your phone is taken up with YouTube content and you will be able to share that content with others via NFC.  The idea is that the app can work completely offline.

OneDrive Update for Android Brings Ability to Create Office Files

Microsoft is rolling out a big update to OneDrive for Android that brings some much need user requested features to the cloud storage app.  The first big feature is the ability to create Office documents within the app.  If you need to create an Excel, PowerPoint or Word document, you can now do that within OneDrive itself and not necessarily have to open up the particular Office app on your phone or tablet.  This is a great time saving feature but also allows the app to be the center touch point for all of your Microsoft file activities.  This feature has been requested for a long period of time and mirrors the functionality that Google Drive has had for a long time.

Sony Xperia X Compact Now Available

The powerful new compact phone from Sony, the Xperia X Compact, is now available on Amazon.  The unlocked phone comes in Black, Blue or White and is $499 and eligible for Prime Shipping.  The X Compact was announced last month at IFA in Berlin and the new 4.6″ Android phone turned heads there and created a lot of excitement when Sony announced it would be coming to the US.  Spec wise, while the package of the phone is small, it is power packed.  It runs on the Snapdragon 650 processor Hexa-core (4 cores 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2 cores 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72).  It is mated with the Adreno 510 GPU, has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of Storage.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  The display is 4.6″ rendering at 720 x 1280.  That equates to 331 PPI and it is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

Google Authenticator Gets a Material Design Makeover

Google has given another fresh coat of paint to their two-factor authentication app, Google Authenticator.  The update is rolling out to the Google Play store now and if you have it installed, you likely will see the OTA for it in the next day or two if not already.  The updated build is version 4.74 for those keeping score at home.  If you aren’t familiar with Authenticator, it is the code generating app when you enable two-factor authentication on your various accounts.  Many services offer two-factor including Google, Microsoft, Evernote, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I strongly urge all readers to enable two-factor on all of their accounts for security purposes.  Yes it is a pain but apps like Google Authenticator allow you to have multiple accounts in the app.

Most of the changes in this update are cosmetic but they are good to see.  First, the app is completely Material Design now which has a nice clean look to it.  The six digit codes generated are now split into two, 3 digit sections so it makes it much easier to read.

Capital One Adds Fingerprint Authentication to Android App

Capital One has become the latest financial institution to add fingerprint authentication support to their Android app.  The US-based bank and credit institution has updated their Android app to give customers the ability to authenticate and access their accounts on their phones via their fingerprint.  Setup of the new feature is easy and can be found off of the settings menu.  Once it is enabled and configured, you can start the app then access your accounts by touching your fingerprint scanner on your phone.  For security purposes, your PIN or Pattern authentication that you previously used will become the backup way to get into the app and your accounts.

How To Sign Up For Subscriptions in Google Assistant in Allo

With the release of Google Allo earlier this week, Google also released an increadbly powerful feature inside the app.  Google Assistant, as the name suggests, aims to give you information, weather and even play games (and tell a joke or two) all within Allo.  Indeed, with Allo itself still needing some fleshing out, Google Assistant is by far the killer feature of the app and gives us a glimpse as to what we can expect as the company starts rolling this out to other devices like Google Home.

One of the great feature of Assistant is the ability to sign up for news, weather and other information in a subscription that is delivered to you daily.  It is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest information on a topic of your choice.  In this How To I’ll show you how to subscribe and manage your subscriptions within Assistant.

Pre-Order Available for the BLU Life One X2

BLU’s latest offering, the Life One X2, is now available for pre-order at their store front on Amazon.  The phone comes with either 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM for $135 or you can get the much better deal 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM model for $180.  That’s a great price for a well appointed budget phone, something that BLU is well known for producing.

As for the specs, it isn’t too shabby.  The Life One X2 is a 5.2″ display device that is curved and gives you Full HD rendering.  It is protected by Gorilla glass 3 as well.  Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.  That’s an octa-core processor running at 1.4GHz.  It’s not the fastest processor out there but keep the price point in mind here folks.  As mentioned, the phone has two options from a storage/RAM perspective at 16GB/2GB or 64GB/4GB.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 64GB as it has a MicroSD card slot.

Reminder – Nextbit Robin Down to $199 Today Only on Amazon

A friendly reminder for those who are still thinking of picking up the great deal on the Nextbit Robin over at Amazon.  The Robin is still on sale today at Amazon for just $199, a $200 savings off the regular price.  It is available in both Mint and Midnight for that price and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get free shipping on it as well and get it on Saturday if you order today.

For those that don’t recall, the Nextbit Robin has some great features and offers a unique device-meets-cloud storage solution.  It has 32GB of onboard storage merged with 100 GB online storage, so you always have the space you need. Robin seamlessly backs up your apps and photos, intelligently archives the stuff you’re not using, and easily restores items when you need them.  The idea is that you never run out of space.  Those less used apps are backed up into the cloud but then are instantly available when you want them.  You’ll know an app has been backed up into the cloud as it will be grey on your Robin.

Yahoo Reports A Security Breach – 2 Years Later

Yesterday Yahoo announced that in late 2014, a security breach on their network resulted in some 500 million user accounts being compromised.  Yet the company just now reported it.  The hack, which the company believes was state sponsored, compromised accounts and user data including names, birthdays, email addresses, passwords, security questions, and telephone numbers but, thankfully, did not include payment or bank data.

Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter.

Security breaches in companies happen and far to often than they should.  It is a constant cat-and-mouse game between companies and blackhats, especially those blackhats who are working for governments around the world.  My issues is that it took Yahoo two years to tell users and even then, it wasn’t in big bold letters. It was a frickin’ Tumblr post.  Really?

Samsung Reports Nearly Half of Defective Galaxy Note7 in The US Have Been Returned

Samsung USA has stated that nearly half of the 1 million of the Galaxy Note7 impacted by the recent recall have been returned here in the US.  That’s actually really great news as owners of the Note7 have taken the recall pretty seriously and returned the devices to their carrier or the store from which they bought it for a replacement.

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that about half of all recalled Galaxy Note7 phones sold in the U.S. have been exchanged through Samsung’s voluntary recall. Additionally, 90 percent of Galaxy Note7 owners have been opting to receive the new Galaxy Note7 since the phones became widely available on Wednesday, September 21.

It would appear too that users are opting to stick with the Note7 upon that exchange of their devices although they have mostly had the option to go with a different device if they so choose.

How To Wipe Your Android’s Device Cache Partition
YouTube Go Will Allow Offline Viewing and Sharing
OneDrive Update for Android Brings Ability to Create Office Files
Sony Xperia X Compact Now Available
Google Clearly Defines Update Support for Nexus Devices
Unicode 9.0 Formally Ratified
Android N Developer Preview 4 – A Progress Report
Android N Developer Preview 4 OTA Now Rolling Out
Chrome OS Sees Android Apps Hit The Stable Channel
The Bright Future That Awaits Chrome OS
Chrome OS Updated To Chrome 53 on Most Devices
New Android-Like Hangouts Chrome Extension Now Available
Wi-Fi Assistant Now Hitting Nexus Devices
Project Fi Set to Improve International Data Usage Tracking
Project Fi Update Brings Chat Support
Wi-Fi Assistant Coming To All Nexus Phones To Get Improved Google Drive Support
Microsoft Edge Beats Out The Competition in Battery Life
Update – Gmail Accounts Working on Windows Phone
Starbucks App Finally Arrives on Windows Phone