Posts Tagged ‘android’

Techie Tip of the Week: Increase Battery Life on Mobile Devices

Friday, March 30th, 2012

OK, you’ve finally joined everyone else and got yourself a modern mobile device. But it seems like you’re always having to recharge the battery! What to do?

Here are some tips to help increase your phone or tablet’s battery life:

  • Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it (e.g., when using your hands-free microphone). Your phone will constantly be searching and sending a signal out for a Bluetooth device — and if you’re not using it, you’re unnecessarily daring your battery!
  • Turn off wi-fi when you’re not using it. Although using wifi generally drains the battery less than cellular does, it still drains the battery. So, if you’re not actively searching the Web, checking email, or otherwise accessing the Internet, turning off wifi will help stop battery drain.
  • Turn off push notifications. You can set up your phone to constantly check for new email, calendar, sports, news, and other messages. It’s great to be constantly informed, but it also drains your battery. Turn off these notifications and you’ll notice your battery life increases!
  • Turn off location services. You can set your phone to constantly broadcast your location. This makes it easy to tell people where you had the great dinner or wonderful experience in Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and other online tools, but it also eats up your battery. Turning off location services will help increase battery life.
  • Place your device on Airplane mode if you don’t need to make calls or send SMS messages (you can still use Wi-Fi in Airplane mode). This will force your device to not use Bluetooth, cellular, and text messaging.
  • Turn in your device’s auto-brightness tool. Or at least manually reduce the brightness of your screen. This will also help reduce the drain on your battery.

For more tips, check out Apple’s iPhone tips page and Google’s Android tips page.

Techie Tip of the Week – QR codes: Creating QR Codes

Friday, April 29th, 2011

You’ve probably seen them on posters, magazines, business cards, at movie theaters, at restaurants and other businesses, but what they heck are these weird boxy black-and-white images with all these lines and dots? In this week’s Techie Tip, I’ll talk about 2 online tools you could use to create QR codes like this:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/ttsclasses/cgi-bin/techietips/?p=293

QR (“Quick Response”) codes have been around for years (invented in 1994 by a Toyota subsidiary) and are used to encode words, URLs (web content links), or other data into a machine-readable image representation of data.

Modern smartphones, scanners, and other barcode readers can be used to scan, and then use these codes.

For example, if you have a QR reader on your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, you could launch the reader, point your camera at the QR code above, and your web browser should redirect you back to this blog post (it’s a representation of the URL http://www.stanford.edu/group/ttsclasses/cgi-bin/techietips/?p=293).

So, how can you create QR codes? In addition to be great ways to shorten long URLs, these online URL shorteners will also generate a QR code every time you use their service.

  1. Googlehttp://goo.gl
    1. To use goo.gl, point your browser to http://goo.gl
    2. In the Paste your long URL here field, enter the URL of the object you wish to create a QR code (e.g., the web site, picture, video, etc.).
    3. Click Shorten.
    4. In the list of URLs you have shortened, locate the desired link, and click Details.
    5. A QR code image will appear in the upper-right section of the web page.
    6. You can now right-click the QR code image and save it to your computer for your own use.
  2. Bit.lyhttp://bit.ly
    1. To use bit.ly, point your browser to http://bit.ly
    2. In the Shorten your links and share from here field, enter the URL of the object you wish to create a QR code (e.g., the web site, picture, video, etc.).
    3. In the list of URLs you have shortened, locate the desired link, and click Info Page.
    4. A QR code image will appear in the upper-right section of the web page.
    5. You can now right-click the QR code image and save it to your computer for your own use.