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  • Geebo 9:08 am on September 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, Family Link, ,   

    Google’s new parental app for Android leaves a lot to be desired 

    Google's new parental app for Android leaves a lot to be desired

    Recently, Google announced the public release of their parenting app for android devices called Family Link. For a family of Android phone and tablet users this is a welcome announcement as Android has had no built-in child safety apps until now. Unfortunately, there are still some major kinks in the system which could make the app pointless.

    In theory, once you install the Family Link app on yours and your children’s Android devices you’ll be able to see what apps they’re using, restrict control to some apps and even set a time when the device is to be shut off at night. You’re able to basically monitor your children’s devices from your own device. However, that comes with several caveats.

    The first hurdle is your children’s devices will need to be running Android Nought (7.0) or higher. That’s fairly recent and many budget Android devices are not currently running Nougat. The second and most glaring problem is that Family Link can only be set up on new Google accounts and not preexisting ones. Depending on the age of your child, this could be a deal breaker considering the email address they’ve been using for a while may be tied into that account.

    Google has valiantly tried to bring parental control to Android with this app, unfortunately it’s fallen short of its goal.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , ,   

    Netflix to stop working on certain Android devices 

    Netflix to stop working on certain Android devices

    Video streaming service Netflix is available on just about every modern electronic device known to man. It’s available on laptops, Blu-ray players, video game consoles, smart phones and tablets. Nowadays, you might even be able to stream Netflix on a 1985 Betamax that you found at a thrift store. Netflix recently announced they will no longer support a certain select group of Android devices, and those would be devices that have been rooted by their owners.

    Rooting an Android phone means that you can perform a small hack on the phone in order to be able to have more control over the apps on your phone. Most Android phones come with pre-loaded bloatware that can’t be removed from the device by normal means. When you have an Android phone where storage space is at a premium, sometimes you have to root a phone in order to make space for crucial apps that you may need in your everyday life. This is usually due to the phone manufacturers loading their phones with proprietary apps that many users don’t need or use.

    While not coming right out and saying it, Netflix is giving the impression they’re blocking these devices in order to fight piracy. While that’s well within their right, it feels like their trying to kill flies with a shotgun. The number of people who root their Android devices are a minuscule amount compared to the number of Android users and the majority of them are only rooting their phones and tablets out of convenience, not for piracy.

    By taking this step, Netflix is risking a minor backlash from rooted Android users, but in the long run, Netflix’s numbers are so large they can afford to alienate a number of niche Android users.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , ,   

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices 

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices

    With Christmas fast approaching many children will be receiving new devices this year, whether they’re tablets or smart phones. With these new toys come new responsibilities, not only for the children but for parents as well. In the age we live in you can’t just hand your children one of these devices and send them on their merry way and expect no problems. Unfortunately, in our society not only are there the predators that we’re all concerned about but there are financial predators as well who want to take advantage of your kids disguised as apps and data caps.

    Many games for children on these devices have what they call ‘in app purchases’ which means that the players of the game can buy in-game items with real world money. Not only that, but many of these games use data from your cellular providers data plan and can either run up quite the data bill or burn through your allotted data rather quickly.

    To help you and your children avoid these pitfalls we’ve found two good resources on how to protect your children and your wallet while using these new devices. iOS devices, which are the ones made by Apple, are relatively simple to enable safety and financial restrictions. Android devices on the other hand, the ones made by companies like Samsung and various other manufacturers, are a little more difficult to restrict, but can be done.

    Just look at setting up your child’s new device as the modern equivalent of having to assemble the toys that our parents did on Christmas Eve for years, except now not only are you keeping your children engaged but you’re keeping them safe as well.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , ,   

    Apple sells billionth iPhone: Best product ever? 

    Apple sells billionth iPhone: Best product ever?

    Earlier this week, the little company that could from Cupertino, California, tech goliath Apple, announced that they had sold their billionth iPhone. To put that in perspective, Apple has sold more iPhones in the past 9 years than Sony has sold PlayStations since their debut in the late 90s, and has sold more iPhones than Rubik’s Cubes have been sold since the 80s. This has led some people to ask, is the iPhone, the best product ever?

    Before the advent of the iPhone, even the most sophisticated smart phones were rudimentary in their design and purpose. The biggest seller at the time, the Blackberry, had a small screen and a physical keyboard. For anyone that did not have a smart phone probably only had a flip phone that could only text message through the T9 way of texting. Now we live in a world where most of us can’t imagine not having our smart phones within arm’s reach. Without Apple developing the iPhone there’s no reason for Google to try to develop the Android operating system in order to compete with Apple and without Android smart phones would not be as affordable as they have become in the past decade. A reasonably well-functioning smart phone can now be purchased for less than a $100. What really launched the iPhone into the proverbial stratosphere was the development of its app store. Because of that we have had brand new economies and business built solely around apps.

    While it’s no cure for polio, in the grand scheme of things, the iPhone can’t be denied its profound impact in the shaping of our current culture.

     
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