Phandroid » Tablets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:19:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio case is now available on Google Play for $130 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:58:36 +0000 Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio Case Google Play

If you’ve been dying to get down to business on the Nexus 9, the official OEM Keyboard Folio case is now available in the Google Play Store. Priced at $130, the keyboard case not only protects the front of the tablet from scratches, but also offers a fully functioning keyboard that connects to the device over Bluetooth.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the keyboard case either. It was available for pre-order back towards the end of October on Amazon, but is available for the first time in the Play Store. Google says the keyboard should get around 5 months of battery life when used for up to 2 hours a day.

While it’s definitely not the most affordable accessory, it’s slim pickins if you’re looking for a slim fitting case/keyboard combo for the Nexus 9. Link provided below for those looking to splurge.

[Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio Case on Google Play]

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Best Buy offering $100 off a Nexus 9 when you trade-in any working tablet Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:36:55 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07276

Technology moves fast and if you’ve been eying a new Android tablet this holiday season, chances are you already have one that hasn’t aged so gracefully. If re-purposing that old tablet is out of the question, you can always trade it in and recover some of that money you poured into it.

Right now, Best Buy has a trade-in deal for anyone looking to pick up a Nexus 9. According to their new promo page, you can nab yourself $100-off a Nexus 9 with the trade-in of any working tablet. Okay, so the word “any” is still subject to Best Buy’s terms and conditions in that there are some tablets they wont take, for instance, any of the Barnes and Noble Nook or e-readers.

The full $100 comes in form of a $50 Best Buy giftcard for the trade-in, and another $50 discount off the Nexus 9 for a grand total of $100 in savings. It’s not bad, especially if you have an old Nexus 7 you’ve been meaning to upgrade. For full terms and conditions, make sure to check out Best Buy’s promo page here.

[Best Buy]

]]> 0’s Black Friday 2014 event features 5 affordable Android tablets on sale Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:10:11 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!


Online retailer Newegg has “leaked” their own Black Friday ad, and there are a few Android tablets to be had. Five tablets in all are being discounted, with four of them going for under $100. Here’s the list of goods you can try for as we head toward the post-Thanksgiving shopping fest:

What’s more is that the savings are available right now so you won’t have to wait until next week to cash in. There’s a chance Newegg will put more items on sale throughout the week leading up to next Friday as they claim their Black Friday listings will be updated on a daily basis. We’ll be sure to update this page with any new goods that might pop up throughout that time so check back often.

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Toys R Us Black Friday 2014 ad: kid-friendly Android tablets on sale for cheap Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:01:07 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!


Toys R Us is readying their big Black Friday event for next week, and with that we’ve gotten our first look at the ad scans for the big day. Alongside a ridiculously massive sea of toys, games and other kid-centric stuff are a healthy selection of Android tablets receiving steep discounts.

A few of Samsung’s affordable options are being put up for grabs, though folks looking to get a cheap kids’ tablet for their children will also find some very nice deals. Here’s the full list of everything you’ll be able to fight in the aisles for:

  • Polaroid 7-inch Android tablet for $39.99
  • Polaroid 9-inch Android tablet for $59.99
  • Camelio 2 7-inch Android tablet with free accessories for $69.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch Kids’ Edition for $129.99
  • Kurio 7S kids’ Android tablet for $99.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7-inch for $149.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8-inch for $199.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10-inch for $249.99
  • Nabi 2 kids’ Android tablet for $119.99
  • Amazon Fire HD 6-inch for $79.99
  • Amazon Fire HD 7-inch for $109.99
  • Skullcandy Jib ear-buds for $4.99
  • Kurio Touch 4S 4-inch multimedia player for $29.99

Toys R Us will be opening 5pm on Thanksgiving evening and all throughout Black Friday so be sure to get in as early as possible to make sure you don’t miss out (though we hear certain Rewards R Us members will be invited to shop Black Friday deals early on Sunday, November 23rd). Drop a line below if you’re looking to get in on any of this.

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T-Mobile to sell Nexus 9 through their “Underground” marketplace early December; $0 down Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:21:17 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07276

Alongside announcing official launch availability for the Nexus 6, T-Mobile revealed that they’d be selling the tablet counterpart very soon. The company has announced that they will be selling the Nexus 9 LTE in their “T-Mobile Underground” store starting early December. You can get it for $0 down if you want, though that obviously comes with a 24-month commitment to monthly installments of $24.99.

The T-Mobile Underground is a storeroom for devices meant for enthusiasts, where you might be able to find devices that are hard to come by otherwise (that’s where you’ll be able to find their 64GB variant of the Nexus 6, FYI). No matter how they’re selling it, though, we’re just happy to know it won’t be too long before you can get your hands on it. Let us know if you’ll be looking to grab one once they’re out and about.

[via T-Mobile]

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Jolla’s $200 tablet already smashed its IndieGoGo goal by $180,000 on the first day Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:07:52 +0000

Jolla is back with their second device, and this time it’s a SailFish 2.0 tablet that they’ve decided to fund through the wonderful virtues of crowdfunding. The Jolla Tablet hit IndieGoGo earlier this morning with a lofty goal of $380,000. While we imagine they were confident in their ability to hit that goal, we don’t know if anyone anticipated that they would be able to meet that goal within the first two hours. We also didn’t know they’d roar on to raise $180,000 more as of the time of this writing.

jolla tablet 1

So what’s SailFish, and why are we writing about it? It’s a Linux-based open source mobile platform made by the folks at Jolla, and while it has its own applications framework and APIs, the team built SailFish to be fully compatible with Android apps. You could sideload pretty much anything you want that doesn’t already exist in SailFish’s apps marketplace.

jolla tablet 5

Version 2.0 of SailFish introduces a couple of cool changes, including Ambiances for easily changing the way the user interface works, or an Events view that shows all your upcoming meetings and dates on the calendar, notifications and more.

jolla tablet 6

But the most exciting thing about SailFish OS isn’t its features, it’s clean look or its intuitive multi-tasking setup (all of which you can read about right here): it’s the prospect of its users having a voice in its ongoing development. Jolla draws most of their inspiration straight from their own community, and the tablet’s day one IndieGoGo performance is a testament to how much that means to many folks.

The tablet isn’t too shabby for its $200 asking price, either. Here’s what you can expect under the hood:

  • 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage + SD card slot
  • 7.85-inch 2048 x 1536 IPS display (330 ppi)
  • 5.0MP rear camera, 2.0MP front camera
  • 4,300mAh battery
  • Dual-band WiFi N
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 203 x 137 x 8.3mm
  • 384g

It’s not going to blow you away on the basis of specs and horsepower, but those internals should be more than enough for a pain-free SailFish experience. Want to get your hands on one? Jolla is currently offering early bird special prices for folks who stamp their ticket early.

jolla tablet 4 jolla tablet 3 jolla tablet 1 jolla tablet 2

The device was going for as low as $189 pledges at one point, though the current tier for early pledges sits at $204. We’re not sure what the exact retail price will end up being just yet, though we imagine they won’t look to move further than a comfortable $250. The tablet is due in March 2015 (don’t hold them to that) and ships the US, EU, Norway, Switzerland, India, China, Hong Kong and Russia. Be sure to take a look at Jolla’s feel-good promo video up above.

[via IndieGoGo]

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Samsung’s Black Friday 2014 Deals: Up to $150 off Android tablets, $50 off Chromebook and more Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:53:31 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!

samsung logo phan

Samsung has posted their Black Friday event for the upcoming shop-til-you-drop (literally or figuratively) day. Among a sea of televisions, printers and digital cameras are a selection of Android tablets on sale. You can get as little as $50 off on some of Samsung’s more affordable options such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, or as much as $150 on the big boys like the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro.

They’ve also got modest discounts on the Samsung Chromebook 2 (up to $50) and a pretty decent deal for the Samsung Gear Fit, down to $99.99 from its usual $150. Samsung doesn’t really sell phones on their own so there aren’t any deals to be had on that front, but you can be sure carriers and retailers will be putting up their own goods in due time.

You can actually “pre-order” them for their Black Friday price today so you won’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get a crack at any of the deals. Be sure to check everything out over at Samsung’s website.

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TeamWin’s Recovery Project (TWRP) now available for the Nexus 9 Volantis Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:20 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07273

Rooters and developers who prefer to use TeamWin Recovery Project (affectionately known as TWRP), listen up — you can now get it on your Nexus 9. The alternative recovery will give you a full touch interface if you aren’t a fan of using volume rockers and power buttons to do your bidding. Its XML-based GUI makes this themeable, though we’re not sure many will care too much about the theme of a utility like this one where it’s all about getting straight down to business.

This release also brings TWRP up to version, and it brings with it the following changes:

-Pull in all changes from Android 5.0 lollipop into TWRP
-Add decrypt support for Android 5.0 lollipop encrypted partitions including automatic decrypt when the default_password is in use
-Revert some changes to exFAT that were breaking exFAT support on some devices
-Other minor fixes and updates

Remember that you will need an unlocked bootloader and root (check out our guide here) in order for TWRP to install, but as long as you take care of that it’s as simple as downloading TWRP Manager from Google Play and choosing to install the advanced recovery. Be sure to grab it as soon as you can!

[via XDA-Developers]

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The “new” Nokia reveals the N1, their first Android tablet… and it looks just like an iPad Mini Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:34:48 +0000 nokia_n1_perspectives_-_app

When Microsoft integrated Nokia’s core devices team into their operations and spun the company off to do their own thing we didn’t know what to expect. Would Nokia still make Windows devices? Would we not be seeing the death of the Nokia X line after all? It was tough to say then, but the answer has been made clear today: they’ve been working on an Android tablet.


This is the Nokia N1, and no — you’re not the only one who thinks it looks just like Apple’s iPad Mini. This 7.9-inch Android tablet will run you $250, and it comes with a 2.4GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom processor to run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Also inside are 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 5,400 mAh battery. The device, which is crafted from a single shell of aluminum, will also feature Nokia’s interesting Z Launcher as the default home screen.

And there really aren’t any other notable features. Nokia says in their press release that the aim was to introduce something so simplistic that it’s beautiful. They claim they are tired of seeing devices that look all too similar and aim to bring a degree of uniqueness to the market. Funny, that, considering it looks like they swiped the design plans straight from Cupertino.

nokia_n1_details_-_color nokia_n1_details_-_ihf nokia_n1_perspectives_-_tablet_gesture nokia_n1_perspectives_-_body

In a lot of ways it make sense. Nokia explained they had tapped an OEM (which we understand to be Apple’s favorite buddy Foxconn) to do the manufacturing, distribution and sales of the device with Nokia’s brand stamped onto it. Sounds more like they just found an OEM willing to make a quick buck and told them to come up with something quick and easy.

We’re not trying to dog Nokia too bad here — after all, it surely can’t be easy to be stripped of nearly all your resources and turn around to make a truly unique product in less than a year. We also understand tablets have never been their thing, but Microsoft’s buyout clause states they can’t use the Nokia name on phones until 2016.

Still, we wouldn’t have minded if they’d taken the extra time to create something truly breathtaking, original or true to home than simply slapping a bit of aluminum, glass and plastic together and making it look just like a product that already exists.

The Nokia N1 will be available in China from Q1 2015, with the company exploring the possibility of bringing it to other markets thereafter. Let us know what you think of Nokia’s first product after their short marriage with Microsoft.

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First 15 things every Nexus 9 owner should do Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:53:37 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07273

The Nexus 9 is Google’s newest tablet on the block. The lovechild of both HTC and Google, the 9-inch tablet keeps that familiar Nexus design aesthetic, while looking to appease consumers looking for a iPad-like 4:3 aspect ratio.

Because OEMs and carriers still have their work cutout for them regarding updates to Android 5.0 Lollipop for smartphones, a vast majority of Nexus 9 buyers will find the tablet their introduction to Google’s latest (and biggest) software update ever.

But don’t worry, if our hands-on with the final L Developer Preview wasn’t enough, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a quick list of the very first things you should do upon booting up your Nexus 9 for the first time. Wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of the cool new features. Have a look!

1. Update your tablet

Nexus 9 Screenshot_2014-11-03-15-21-34

There’s a good chance that upon booting up your Nexus 9 for the first time, there will be a system update right out of the box. This “day 1″ update addresses a few bugs and other weirdness some reviewers discovered before the tablet was officially available to the general public.

Updating is simple, and all done right from the Setup Wizard. Simply sign into your WiFi and the Nexus 9 will automatically check for updates. If one is found, it will update, reboot, and you can finish up with the initial setup. It’s actually a pretty useful new feature and on that was barely introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop (in previous Android versions, you’d have to go through the entire setup before getting the chance to update).

Oh, and don’t worry if you get an update and it fails during the installation process. That’s totally normal and we’re sure Google will have everything fixed at some point in the future. Just let it sit, and your tablet will reboot normally.

2. Import apps and data from previous tablet/phone

Nexus 9 Get your apps and data

There’s a lot of new features introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, but none as immediately helpful as the ability to restore apps and data from a previous backup. It doesn’t even matter that the Nexus 9 is a tablet and not a smartphone — you can grab the data from any previously owned Android.

After setting up your WiFi and signing into your Google account, you’ll be taken to the “Get your apps & data” page of the Setup Wizard. Select the “Restore from this backup” option and you’ll be presented with a list of every previously owned Android device (the ones that were backed up, anyway). Select one then press “Done” to see the number of apps associated with that backup. To edit the apps you want on your new Nexus 9, select the drop down menu once again and uncheck any apps you don’t want downloaded to the tablet (they will all download from the Google Play Store).

3. Security: Smart Lock & Trusted devices

Nexus 9 security screen lock

As soon as you’re out of the Setup Wizard, the very first thing you’re going to want to do is secure the Nexus 9 with some security. Jump into Settings > Security > Screen lock and choose whichever method you’d like. When choosing PIN, pattern, or password, your device will ask you if you’d like to encrypt everything on the device, requiring a password before the Nexus 9 can even start up. This ensures all your data is protected in the event you ever misplace your device, or it ends up in the wrong hands. Either way, the choice is entirely up to you. For us, we’d rather have the device fully boot up so we can track it via the Android Device Manager (which requires GPS and WiFi to figure out its location). This doesn’t mean the tablet is any less secure, our user profile will still be locked up tight will require a password — even if someone tries to factory reset it.

Nexus 9 Smart Lock

Once secured with a PIN code, pattern lock, or full on password, a new feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop will help alleviate some of the inconvenience that comes with locking down your device. Its called “Smart Lock” and when enabled, allows you to bypass the aforementioned lock screen security when connected to specific (“trusted”) Bluetooth devices. Anything with a Bluetooth connection is game and can be everything from a smartwatch to portable speakers, or even a car stereo. Should you move out of range and drop a connection with one of these “trusted” devices, your tablet will activate its normal lock screen security once again.

Lollipop not only allows for trusted Bluetooth devices, but faces (face unlock) and NFC tags as well. The trusted faces feature actually works in the background as soon as you wake your device and if it recognizes you before you can enter a password, the tablet is unlocked. Trusted NFC tags might be a little more challenging in finding an actual use case, but one example could be sticking one to a car dock in order to keep the tablet unlocked while driving. Hey, options are good.

4. Customize your home screen

Nexus 9 home screen

One of the best parts about owning an Android device is the freedom given to users to customize their home screen however they like. If you’re new to Android, it might seem a bit daunting at first to set up your home screen how you like, but in the end it’s worth it. Because of the Nexus 9’s unique aspect ratio, you can set a total of 6×6 icons or folders (including the dock) on your home screen. That should give you plenty of room to play around and get creative.

Long pressing any blank area on the home screen will show you a zoomed out view of your home screen pages, as well as options to change the wallpaper, add widgets, or customize your Google Now settings. With all the extra screen real estate, you should have no problem squeezing in the right widget and don’t forget that once they been placed, widgets can be resized by long pressing and dropping them again anywhere on the home screen.

If you find you need more than single paged home screen, you can add more by dragging an icon from the app drawer over to the right of the screen where another page will then be added. Oh, and don’t forget about shortcuts. These are also located in the widget section and are usually 1×1 in size (like an icon). Our suggestion? Creating a settings shortcut that takes you to the “Applications” page in your settings where you can easily manage them. Drag and drop the Settings shortcut on your home screen and a menu will pop up asking you what you would like to connect the shortcut to. Select Applications, and you’re in business.

We should also remind you of the countless replacement home screen apps (launchers) on Google Play. If you’d like to add further customizations to your Nexus 9, we’d recommend checking out Nova Launcher which, along with a boat load of options, also supports the thousand or so icon packs found in the Play Store.

5. Delete apps straight from the app drawer


If creating a shortcut on your home screen or always diving into the Settings app is too much work, you can always delete applications from your device straight from the app drawer. Just open the app the drawer and long press an app icon (like you were going to place it on your home screen), then drag it up towards the top of the screen where it says “Uninstall.” When you let it go (LET IT GO), you’ll be asked to confirm and it’ll be gone forever.

6. Disable notifications from specific apps/games straight from the notification shade

Nexus 9 notification disable

There’s no question that app notifications, while mostly helpful, can be a nuisance at times. This is especially true for games and such that constantly remind (pester) you to play them via your notification shade (or new in Lollipop, heads up notifications). No worries, there’s a super easy way to turn off notifications from these bothersome apps/games straight from the notification itself. Simply long press on notification to view the app from which it came from. From there, you can click the gear icon to be taken to the app information and if you look closely, you’ll see the option to uncheck its notifications (or uninstall it) completely.

7. Customize Google Now

Nexus 9 Google Now

Google Now is probably one of the single most useful features found inside our Android devices. During the setup process, you may remember seeing an opt in page for Google Now where, we hope, you selected “Yes, I’m in.” Fist off, Google Now is like your very own automated personal assistant app. Without having to ask it anything, it’ll notify of you traffic on your way home, flight times, packages that have shipped, where you parked, and lots more. Like all good things, it gets even better when you adjust some settings to your liking.

To access Google Now you can either swipe up from the home button, or swipe left on your home screen. Here you’ll find a ton of information, usually relating to your location, items you’ve searched, and things you’ve ordered. If you slide your finger from the left most edge of the display, you’ll find the sidebar menu along with a few options: reminders, customize, and settings.

Reminders are just that, a list of everything you’ve told Google to remind you of, whether it’s picking up the kids from school, or taking the beer out the freezer. Customize is probably the most fun, providing you a list of categories you can tailor to your interests. Sports will allow you to pick your favorite teams to follow, stocks, places for your home and work addresses (traffic), TV & video to receive updates on your favorite shows and movies, and everything else (items Google thinks you might be interested in based on search). You should probably take a minute to add your personal interests in order to make Google Now work for you the best way it can: keeping you up to date with the world around you.

Google Now Voice settings

With that out of the way, we now recommend you dive into the actual settings from the sidebar menu. It’s here you’ll be able to tell Google Now what you’d like it to search for when performing queries (tablet search), manage your accounts and privacy, or — our favorite — configure the Google Now hotword detection. If you’re not the type to worry about Google listening in on your most intimate of conversations (really, they have better things to do), you can even set the hotword to “always on” so that “Ok Google” works even while the Nexus 9 is sleeping.

Once enabled, Google Now will need to “learn” your voice (so that not just anyone can perform voice searches while your tablet is sleeping). The final setting — “When locked” — allows the “Ok Google” hotword to start a voice search/action even if the tablet is secured with a password/PIN/etc.. Unless you don’t mind someone else potentially issuing voice commands that can do everything from making calls, text, or accessing your contacts or other personal information — you might want to leave this one off.

Now that Google Now is all setup exactly how you like it, should something ever pop up that you’re not interested in or find convenient, press the 3-dot menu directly above the Google Now card to tell Google if you’re interested in that specific topic (maybe it was just a 1 or 2-time search), or swipe to the left to turn off research topic updates altogether.

8. Manage interruptions & lock screen notifications

Nexus 9 Interruptions

Android’s notification system is world renown for being the best in the biz. The result of years of fine tuning, it’s only in Android 5.0 Lollipop you can now manage the type of notifications you would like to interrupt you. Located in your Settings app under “Sound and Notification,” the “Interruptions” option will give you a whole new set of options.

The first option, “When notifications arrive,” allows you to set which notifications can come through: all (always interrupt), important ones (only priority interruptions), or none at all (don’t interrupt). Although worded a bit differently, you can also find these settings when using the physical buttons to change volume, located directly beneath the volume slider as none, priority, or all.

When selecting a time duration to turn off notifications, you have a few options: 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, one hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, or 8 hours. Even when set to only priority interruptions, you can further tweak this by turning on/off events and reminders, or messages. Keep in mind that while alarms are always classified as a priority interruption, they too can be silenced if you set notifications to “none.”

Nexus 9 Interruptions none priority all

Probably the most useful feature of new Interruptions settings is “Downtime.” For downtime, you can specific times and days you would only like priority interruptions to come through. Chances are, you’ll want to set this for the weekdays when you don’t want your tablet notifying you of emails throughout the night should you forget to turn off the volume.

If you ever find an app is bothering you with notifications, you can turn off its notifications completely in the “App notifications setting.” It’s here you can also set an app to “priority,” in the event you’d like to continue receiving notifications from a specific app when interruptions are set to priority only. Neato.

Lollipop also introduces — for the first time ever — notifications right on your lock screen. Sounds great but sometimes you may not want the content of all your conversations appearing on your lock screen. No worries. You can choose how much content notifications actually show when displayed on your lock screen. Want more privacy? Open your Settings > Sound & Notification > When device is locked > Hide sensitive notification content. Or if you don’t want notifications of any kind on you lock screen (to each his own), choose “Don’t show notifications at all.”

9. Enable battery saver mode

Nexus 9 battery saver mode

It’s probably not as helpful as it is on a smartphone, but Lollipop’s all new Battery Saver mode is also fully present on the Nexus 9. When enabled (Settings > Battery > 3-dot menu > Battery saver), performance of your Nexus 9 will drop dramatically, animations will turn off, and “most background data” will be turned off.

The Nexus 9 lets you know it’s in battery saver mode thanks to bright orange notification and nav bars on the top and bottom of the device. There will also be an ongoing notification letting you know battery saver mode is enabled (if you couldn’t tell already), with an easy button to turn it off straight from the notification. Again, it’s probably not as helpful as, say, on your smartphone where a little extra juice can save your life, but it’s a nice (partially hidden) option none-the-less.

10. Setup Users & Profiles

Nexus 9 users

User profiles are really nothing new, but Lollipop handles them a bit differently now. If you’ve ever set up users profiles on your computer, you should be right at home here. First off, there are 2 ways of accessing/creating new profiles: either pull down your notification shade twice to access quick settings and tap on the the blue user profile icon in the top right corner, or jump into Settings > Users.

There are 3 types of profiles: user, restricted, or guest. A creating a regular user account will give that user full access to all apps and settings on the device, only their Google account and photos will be kept entirely separate. It’s like their own personal playground on the Nexus 9.

A restricted account is a lot more work in that it can’t do much and the creator has to manually select exactly which apps — one-by-one — the restricted account can have access to. Some apps, like Photos, cannot be accessed in a restricted account no matter what, making this an incredibly hampered account best for served for the kiddies or if you’re using the tablet in a workplace.

Guest mode will allow a user to sign into their Google account and sync apps, but it’s all (somewhat) temporary. Once signed out of a guest account, all the data still remains meaning anyone can go back and resume that original guest session. That means anyone singing into their Google account under the guest profile will need to make sure they sign out and select the “remove guest” option before handing the tablet back to its owner.

11. Enable screen pinning

Nexus 9 screen pinning settings

Having a Nexus 9 is great. It’s huge 9-inch display is perfect for surfing the web. So perfect, that at some point — be it a significant other or the kiddies — someone is going to want to take a crack at it. That’s where Screen Pinning can take some of the worry out of loved ones or acquaintances stumbling through your stuff. The feature (located in Settings > Security > Screen pinning) lets you lock down tablet use to a specific app (the last app you had open).

Nexus 9 screen pinning

In order to exit the app, the user will first need to press a combination of the back and recents simultaneously to unlock it. If you have a password or PIN set for your lock screen, you can set Screen Pinning to require that before exiting an app instead, much more secure if there’s a lot of “sensitive” data on your device).

Our advice? Download a separate browser from the one you’re currently using (like Dolphin or Chrome Beta) so nobody can access your browsing history.

12. Install battery percent for KitKat/L

Nexus 9 battery percent enabler

We can’t for the life of us figure out why Google makes it so difficult to view the actual percent of battery life left on your device, but nothings really changed in Lollipop. Sure you can always double pull the notification bar to view it, but if that sounds like too much effort, there’s another way. Technically, battery percent in the notification icon is baked into Lollipop, you”ll just need to download an app to enable it. It’s called Battery Percent for KitKat/ L and you can find it on the Google Play Store (for free) right here.

Once installed, the app will require a reboot for the changes to go into effect and once booted up, you’ll be able to view the exact battery percentage straight from the battery icon in the notification bar. Your life will forever be changed.

13. Backup photos and videos to Google+ / Photos

Nexus 9 Photos auto backup

Your Nexus 9 already comes with Photos pre-installed. A replacement for the once great Gallery app, Photos is actually an extension of Google+, allowing you to back up your photos to the cloud where they’ll be stored in your Google+ profile. Upon opening Photos for the first time, you’ll be asked if you’d like to automatically backup your photos/videos and if you oblige, simply click the sign in button to sign in with your Google account. From there, you’ll be taken to the “All” photos tab of the app, where you’ll have to confirm you’d like to back up your photos and videos by pressing the “turn on” button at the top.

Nexus 9 auto backup settings

We recommend selecting the 3-dot menu in the upper right and going into the Photo settings where you can further customize how you’d like back ups to be handled. From there, select “Auto Backup” and you’ll be taken to a new page where you can see the total amount of cloud storage available and decide if you want photos backed up in full resolution, or resized down to 2,048 pixels once uploaded to save on cloud space. And if you’d like, you can always purchase additional cloud storage. Other options include only backing up when your Nexus 9 is connected to a charger (recommended), or backup everything now.

Nexus 9 Auto backup folders

From time to time, you may receive notifications asking if you’d like to backup newly created folders (like your folder for Downloads, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.). To manage the folders you have backed up, open the slide out menu in Photos and select “On device.” Here you’ll find all the folders and the images/videos therein. Above each folder is a tiny cloud icon and when colored blue, indicates it’s a folder being backed up to the cloud. The grey and white cloud icon with a slash through it means it’s not being backed up. Manage however you’d like.

14. Play hidden Lollipop mini game

Nexus 9 Lollipop mini game Easter Egg

With every major Android release, Google has “hidden” an fun little Easter Egg inside the the Android version number (Settings app > About phone > Android version). But for Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google went all out, including a full on Flappy Bird clone baked inside the OS.

To get it up and running, all you have to do is press the version number 5 times to activate phase 1 of the Easter Egg: an image of a Lollipop. But there’s more. Tapping on the lollipop will change its colors while long pressing it fires up the new mini game.

It’s pretty much spot on with the original, only now featuring an Android mascot and Lollipop pipes. We should warn you, all the pull-your-hair-out difficulty of the equal pull-your-hair-out difficulty as the original. It’s not something Google had to do, but we more than appreciate the gesture.

15. Explore the Nexus 9 forums for more!

Nexus 9 DSC07276

Follow all the steps above and you’ll find yourself on your way to becoming a Nexus 9 guru. Of course, the tablet is capable of much more and should you need further tips, tricks, or any other info you can think of, the Nexus 9 forums on will prove a valuable resource. Lurk all you like, but if you’d like to add some input of your own, you can sign up for an account right here.

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Deal: Get $140 off last year’s Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 today only Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:22:55 +0000 kindle fire hdx 89

Amazon’s daily deals always bring great savings, and as we head toward the holiday season they won’t be getting any worse. Today’s deal of the day is pretty big with Amazon knocking $140 off the cost of the previous generation of their own Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet. The tablet originally debuted at $399, so the discount brings it down to a much more easy to swallow $259. We stress that it’s the previous generation model and not the one that debuted for $379 earlier this year, so keep that in mind before buying.

Also worth noting is that this is only for the WiF-only model in 32GB. The 64GB WiFi model is also available on sale for $160 less, bringing it from its usual price of $449 down to $289. It may not feel good to buy a previous generation product when something later and greater is available, but last year’s HDX is still a very capable tablet for this price. It features a quad-core 2.2Ghz chipset, 2GB of RAM and 2560 x 1440 resolution.

Also on board are an 8 megapixel rear camera, a front-facing camera capable of 720p video, up to 12 hours of battery life (or 18 when all you do is read) and more. Might not be a bad option for a loved one if you’re looking for something to stick under the tree next month. Be sure to check it out over at Amazon’s site right now.

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It’s not just you, latest Nexus 9 update is giving everyone error message Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:16:00 +0000 nexus-9-tabled

A day after Lollipop started rolling out for everyone the Nexus 9 is getting an update. The Nexus 9 shipped with Lollipop, but that doesn’t mean Google is done with it. The OTA update that many Nexus 9 users are receiving is build LRX21Q. Unfortunately the update is giving users a bit of a scare.

Many users, including our own Chris Chavez, have reported an error message in recovery. Don’t be alarmed. The device will reboot after a while back to LRX21L ad all will be fine. You can either unlock and manually apply the latest firmware (lose everything in the process) or wait for google to release another update to address this. Just know that it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet gets Android Lollipop Nov 18th; GRID cloud gaming open beta begins soon Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:59:38 +0000

NVIDIA had some exciting news to announce this morning. For starters, the company has confirmed that they will be shipping Android 5.0 Lollipop to SHIELD Tablets starting November 18th. This was following a promise that the tablet would get the upgrade by the end of November.

We were hoping it wouldn’t be closer to the end point than the early or mid-way mark so this is very welcome news. As the SHIELD Tablet doesn’t really have a custom user interface you can expect all the Lollipop goodness as Google intended, as well as upgraded NVIDIA Hub and NVIDIA Dabbler apps.

shield grid

NVIDIA also announced that they’re finally ready to let folks in on GRID, their cloud-gaming platform that lets you play PC quality games on-demand over your network. GRID will support over 20 games to start, including Batman Arkham Asylum, Psychonauts and Borderlands 2.

The service is scheduled to roll out in North America this month, western Europe in December and Asia next year. The kicker is that GRID will be entirely free for SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Portable users through June 30th 2015, after which we imagine there will be some sort of monthly subscription to keep playing.

shield half life 2

Finally, if you’re in the market for a SHIELD Tablet this holiday season NVIDIA’s throwing in a Half-Life bundle that includes Half-Life 2 , Half-Life 2 Episode 1 and Portal. Not a bad crop of games to put that ridiculous Tegra K1 chipset to the test. Let us know if you’re looking forward to any of this goodness on your SHIELD devices in the comments below.

[via NVIDIA]

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One user’s Nexus 9 unit looks like it was assembled in 2 seconds Thu, 06 Nov 2014 15:43:18 +0000 nexus 9 assembly 3

With HTC’s awesome track record in the area of build quality over the past couple of years and the fact that the Nexus 9 is a $400 tablet, you’d expect a device to be pristine, clean and crafted to near perfection out of the box, right? Well, one user had no such luck — his Nexus 9 unit came out of the factory looking like poorly assembled demo unit.

Reddit user osloboy documented his device’s condition, noting that the edges were rough as if it were being used for a couple of years’ time. Indeed, the photos he posted (which you can see above and below) do show some concerning build issues.

nexus 9 assembly 2

We’re willing to strike this off as a one-off occurrence as this is the only report we’ve seen of shoddy build quality for the Nexus 9. We’re not sure what happened at the quality assurance portion of the assembly process, but humans are capable of missing this sort of stuff and, unfortunately for osloboy, this unit was thrown into a box without second thought. Let’s hope we don’t see many more of these reports as more users begin to receive their devices in the days and weeks to come. How is your Nexus 9 holding up?

nexus 9 assembly

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HTC: We won’t be looking to compete in low-end tablet space in 2015 Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:43:52 +0000 htc-logo-600x399

HTC’s gotten their tablet groove back with the successful launch of the Nexus 9, and now the company is looking ahead to 2015. Speaking to North Asian press at a Taiwanese event, HTC executive Jack Tong mentioned that they’re not interested in getting into the affordable tablet war. He believes it’s not a profitable market, noting that while lower cost tablets may attract more buyers, the profit margins are too slim for it to matter.

Instead, it sounds like HTC will look to focus on mid-range and high-end tablets going forward. The company confirmed plans to continue their revitilization in the tablet space through 2015, and says we should expect an own-branded device by them at some point then. This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be tapped to make a Nexus 9 follow-up, but it does confirm they’re ready to get their feet into the deep end of the tablet pool after stumbling out of the starting gate a few years ago.

HTC’s fierce comeback in the phones space should be proof positive that they can do the same for tablets, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do to try and steal thunder from the likes of ASUS and Samsung in the months ahead. Let us know what you hope to see in HTC’s next tablet once it comes to pass sometime next year.

[via Focus Taiwan]

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