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Nov 14

Android 4.2 System UpdateGoogle is now pushing out its Android 4.2 update to Nexus 7 tablets, but it’s slow-going.  However, you can likely speed up your receipt of the update on your Nexus 7 by following these simple steps:

1. Navigate to Settings > Apps and select All from the horizontal menu at the top of the screen.  Scroll down to Google Services Framework and tap it.

2. Tap Force Stop, and then Clear Data

3.  Go back to Settings, select About Tablet and tap System Updates.

This should trigger the update to install.

Android 4.2 is still called Jelly Bean, just as version 4.1 was.  Android 4.2 adds several new features.  You can find out more here.

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Jun 21

Change Android Notification Sounds or Use MP3 Audio as Custom Notifications

Our latest Android Help Center article is all about message notifications.  Like ringtones, you can change the notification sound your Android phone makes when you have an incoming message.

But you can also use MP3 audio files as custom notification sounds, and in the article, we show you how to do that, too.

READ: How to Change Android Smartphone Message Notification Sounds

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Mar 22

The Amazon Appstore for AndroidAfter months of waiting, the Amazon Appstore for Android is open for business.  If you’re an Android user, take note: this has the potential to be a huge development for Android-powered smartphones and tablets, and introduces some much-needed competition for Google’s Android Market. 

There are several things you need to do to get started using the Amazon Appstore.

Initial Setup

To use the Amazon Appstore for Android, you’ll need an Amazon account.   You probably already have one, but if not it’s free to setup.  Next, on your Android device, enable app installation from unknown sources; this allows non-Android Market applications to be installed on your device.  If you’ve ever installed an APK file directly from your Android device, you’ve already enabled this feature, but if not tap Settings > Applications on your phone or tablet, then check the box next to Unknown Sources

Enter an email address or your Android mobile number to get started...Now you’re ready to install the Appstore app on your device.  On your PC, go to the Amazon Appstore for Android page and enter your phone number or email address in the box labeled Get Started on the right side of the page.  You’ll receive a link to download the Appstore app.  It’s probably best to use email so you won’t have to pay for a text message (unless you have unlimited messaging).  If you use email, be sure it’s an address you can view from your device.

Once you receive the email or text message, tap the link to install the app.  After installation, the icon Amazon Apps will appear in your Apps Menu.  Open it and input your Amazon Account credentials. 

You’re done!  

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Feb 26

A microUSB cable won't charge the Motorola XOOM...

No, unfortunately you cannot charge the XOOM with a USB cable.

Just about every device with a microUSB connection uses the port for syncing data and charging the device’s internal battery.  But the Motorola XOOM is different.

To charge the XOOM, you’ll need either a XOOM-specific wall or car charger that uses the tablet’s small, round charging port, or a dock that can charge the tablet using the two gold-colored contacts on the bottom edge of the XOOM. 

BYA: You ask, we answer.

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Aug 29

Micro HDMI (Top) and Type A HDMI (Bottom)Take a look at some of the newest high-end Android smartphones – the HTC EVO 4G or the Motorola Droid X – and you’ll notice a new port we haven’t seen much of before on handhelds: HDMI. Yes, built-in HDMI ports on smartphones is are here, and if forced to wager, we’d bet they’re here to stay.

But you’ll also notice that these ports are not ordinary HDMI.  They’re smaller – much smaller – and won’t work with the HDMI cables you already have laying around.  No, these are HDMI Type D ports, more commonly known as Micro HDMI. And in order to use them, you’ll need cables with smaller Micro HDMI connectors on one end and standard Type A connectors on the other.

These cables aren’t usually as expensive as standard HDMI cables, even at retail.  But, as with all cables, you can save quite a bit if you do a little hunting.  Amazon, for example, has a 6-foot DAEC Micro HDMI to HDMI cable for $11 (as of this writing).  You can also find great Micro HDMI prices on eBay.

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