Ten Tips For Setting Up Your Android Mobile

Android mobiles are very easy to use, have a wealth of features – some of which you will find you can NEVER live without – and thousands and thousands of apps (applications) you can try and/or buy. But there are a few things you need to get right to start with. Here’s my top ten:

1. Be careful which Googlemail (gmail) account you set up for your Android account. I’ve put this in bold because it’s one that really bugs me! As an early adopter, this was something which never occurred to me. In short, you need to link a credit card to your Google account so that you can buy apps instantaneously, but as you can also link emails and contacts, you need to consider which account to use. I set up my main, busiest, account and now regret the thousands of contacts which are synchronised with my phone. It’s going to take me ages to sort this out, so I advise you to set it up properly in the first place to save yourself aggravation long-term.

2. Emails are great when they come through all the time, especially if you need to watch out for those important ones and on more than one account. You can set up different ringtones for each email account if you want to, as well as choose whether to synchronise your calendars and contacts.

3. There are some great ways to write using your Android phone. I prefer ‘sliding’ and purchased Slide-It. after trying it out. This allows me to slide between letters and can be very fast. There are different versions of the same thing, so you can easily check them out before you buy them. Lots of different settings you can adjust to suit how you like to use the program.

4. If you do a lot of texting or writing when you are sitting at your computer, you can set up your phone with a wireless keyboard app which will let you write these messages from your computer. Wifi Keyboard is one to look at.

5. Battery life can be poor if you have a lot running, so only have wireless on when you need it, ie at home in the evening.There are battery monitor apps you can get which may be more accurate than the one on your phone.

6. Likewise, only run updates and big downloads when you can use the wifi. You will eat into your data allowance if you do these when you are out and about.

7. ‘Profile’ is another word for how your phone is set up at any given time. For example, at home you may want wi-fi, but not bluetooth. You may want to turn off all sound and vibrate at 10pm and restart it all at 7am. A profile app such as PhoneWeaver (the one I use) can change the settings on your phone according to lots of different ‘triggers’ ie time, place, connection. There are lots you can try for free in the Android market, so try before you buy.

8. Backup your files, data, contacts – in fact anything important – from time to time. If you use Gmail, then your contacts and calendar will be safe enough, but it’s all the other stuff you have. There are lots of apps, but the one I decided to stick with is My Backup Pro. Incidentally, it was this app which alerted me to the email problem in item #1. Try a few and see how you get on. Don;t wait until after you have a problem to realise you didn’t backup!

9. If you want apps like task reminders, or notepads, you need to be sure they don’t disappear when you change phones or have a problem. Some automatically save to the SD card, but if you change to a different brand phone, it may not read the card. Go for apps which use universal formats and you should be all right, but you may need to test a few first.

10. Finally, check how other uses have rated the app before you consider using it. 4 or 5 stars is good, but any less and I’d look for a different version.

That’s all for now. This is not by any means an exhaustive list as 10 ideas is just the tip of the very big android iceberg. Why not add your experiences and ideas too?


How To Publish On Kindle

How to devise, write, edit, publish and promote your own e-book on the Kindle platform – and make a lot of money from it too – using the Kindle Kash course.

This is the first decent course I have come across about getting into the potentially very lucrative Kindle ebook market as a publisher. Kindle Kash is a 10-Part course covering both fiction and non-fiction writing. But it isn’t limited to Kindle – it tells you how to publish to other platforms too, eg Nook and Apple iPad.

Publishing for the Kindle is easy and profitable. You get paid 70% in royalties, listed in the Amazon catalogue and can even set your own prices.

Kindle Kash

However, be warned!

I have bought a few books for my Kindle reader. At the moment I use Kindle on three devices – my laptop, mobile (cell) phone and android tablet. Very soon I will be buying myself a Kindle as I have difficulty holding books these days – I just need to decide which model to go for.

My warning in this – be sure to give true value to your ebook. Value = quality content + provides what it says on the tin + plenty of pages + grammatically correct. Kindle Kash will help you with all this – and more.

Here are two examples from my own experience. Both ebooks were absolutely dreadful and Amazon were very fast to give me full refunds.

No 1.

I wanted to find out more about book-keeping as my daughter asked me to help set up her new business accounts. So, I had a look through the Amazon site and came across a title which looked as if it would give me the advice I needed: A Guide To Bookkeeping. I read the blurb and bought it for the princely sum of £2.21 (approx US$3.50). Frankly, it was beyond awful.

Far from being a guide to book-keeping, it was a spiel about why you needed to do it. Very few pages as well. I read it all in about 5 minutes – and immediately contacted Amazon for a refund. I don’t see it on Amazon any more.

No 2.

How To Shoot a Bow – Your Step-By-Step Guide To Instinctive Archery. Sounds good, and when I checked the content it showed over 350 indexed items, so I thought that for the princely sum of £7.15 (US$11.26) it would be a good read. How disappointed I was! All of 40 pages – I mean screens – and barely 10 minutes to read. Along came another refund and I bought a real book on archery instead. The content was rubbish and it purported to have been written by an expert archer. The grammar was awful, there were loads of typos and content was – well – not anything worth having. I could have done better myself  and I’ve doing been in the sport for just over a year. Even my archery blog has more useful information.

The upshot of all this is that if you want to self-publish an ebook, you really must do it to the same standard as a hard copy book. As well as ‘killer’ content (quality) you must, must, must be sure to have it proofread by someone who knows a bit about grammar and can recognise poor spelling. It’s not enough to use a spell-checker. Make sure you have 3 or 4 times as many screens as a normal book would have pages. You won’t have the benefit of a professional publishing company to advise and fine-tune your literary masterpiece, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing a really good job. Only by this stringent attention to detail will you avoid the dreaded clawback of refunds.

Give, give, give of yourself, your ideas, your expertise and you will have a really good book which will sell time and time again at no further expense from yourself.

So, while you may be able to work everything out for yourself, why not give yourself a headstart and get a copy of Kindle Kash so you make sure you don’t miss anything. Lots of ideas as well as tips to help you develop your ideas and even promote your work of art, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.

To find out more about what this program has to offer go to KINDLE KASH by clicking here: KINDLE KASH

I really don’t think you will be disappointed.

Until next time.

Advent Vega update availability – kind of review

Here’s an Advent Vega update / kind of review

I am seriously thinking about getting one of these babies.

I have an android mobile (Samsung Galaxy S) and I’m really pleased with it. I’ve downloaded lots of apps – and sadly, deleted very few. But there’s bags of room still.

So, why am I wanting an Advent Vega?

Main reason is to have something different. I was actually trying to get hold of any kind of touch-screen pc a year or so ago, but there were hardly any around. (Certainly PCWorld looked at me as if I was from another planet when I asked about them!)


advent vega

I made do with a Samsung Netbook. Now, I was actually very pleased with this, but it was quite slow for what I needed to do, and when I was looking at web pages the resolution meant that they didn’t look too good – needed to do lots of scrolling and zooming in and out.

About 6 months ago I bought a fairly powerful laptop with a 16.5 inch screen, and this is great for my online biz stuff.

So now I would like to have something that’s more for fun than biz, but which I can still use to do the odd bit of emailing, use in bed without baking my knees, etc. I’d like a change from using a trackball and mouse too.

I have considered the iPad, but it has its limitations. I don’t want to be restricted to the walled garden of Apple apps and I would like a bit more connectivity with it (perhaps the iPad2 will be better). There’s no need for me to spend out on an iPad either, even if it is better; if the Advent Vega is half the price, but not quite as slick, then it’s going to suit my pocket  anyway.

There are LOADS of Advent Vega reviews if you do a Google search, so I’m not going to do that here (I can’t anyway, as I don’t have one). I’ll leave that for the true geeks.

Here are the things I have learnt to watch out for when doing searches for “Advent Vega” and “Android Tablet”:

  • You will be given links to much lesser products which are nothing like the Vega.
  • Be patient and don’t buy from eBay as they are usually much more expensive!
  • You can’t get Vegas anywhere in UK (at time of writing). I am told they will be back in stock soon (Twitter AdventVega).
  • Don’t worry about the absence of flash – there will be a fix for that.
  • Don’t worry that Android Market is not built in – there’s a fix via MoDaCo which  most of the reviews mention.
  • You will be sent to lesser tablets, even on Amazon, which all appear to be just about the same but in fact use the older Android. Look for version 2.2 Froyo at least.
  • Must have the capacitive screen. This lets you use all the latest(ish) touchscreen gestures, especially pinch and swipe (take a look at N-Trig – N-Act multi touch. Resistive screens don’t work this way.
  • Some android tablets are cheaper still, with slower processors and the resistive screens.
  • Gingerbread – I need to check if the Vega will be upgradable to the next Android version which is supposed to be designed with the larger tablet screens in mind.

OK, so why go for the 10 inch Vega instead of, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab?

The Galaxy Tab is about twice the size of my Galaxy mobile, works just as well, it seems, but it’s not quite big enough  to make that much difference. It’s also twice the price of the Advent Vega. Besides, I don’t want a small screen. The iPad screen is about right, the Advent Vegas is just as good in size. Horses for courses.

Will I wait for the next influx of 10 inch tablets? Not sure. If the Vegas come out soon I will be sorely tempted to get one straightaway. That’s just my way!

Watch this space!

More about the Advent Vega android tablet on their website: CLICK HERE

How To Start Blogging – The Simple Way First

How To Start Blogging – The Simple Way First

Lots of people quite like the idea of having a website, but find just the thought of everything involved to set it up too daunting – and I can’t say I blame them.

However, there is a really quick and easy way to get your presence on the web and it won’t cost you a penny. You can move on to a proper website later, but for now I’m going to quickly explain how to start a blog.

I suggest you read this whole page first before you do anything, so that you get the overall picture.

Blogs. You’ve heard of them. You know that lots of famous people have them. You know many of your friends have one. You’d quite like to have one yourself. But what exactly IS a ‘Blog’ and why would you want one?

The simplest way to think of it, is as an online Journal or Diary. You see, that’s the main difference between a website and a blog – a blog is more dynamic. Use it to spout off, educate, muse, advise; it doesn’t have to be a sales tool (but it can be).

A good website needs lots of careful planning, it needs to look good and it must work efficiently. If you want to change anything you have to be quite careful, and depending how you ‘host’ it, you may have to re-upload those pages, or perhaps the whole site for it to take effect.

A blog needs all these things too, but they are 95% already set up for you – you just need to tweak them to reflect your own style. You work with it directly online, and if you want to change something you just ‘update’ the page by clicking a button. A blog is a much simpler and ideal for beginners and busy experts.

For the purpose of this article, I’m going to have you think about starting your very own non business blog right now. It won’t cost you anything but your time and imagination. Really. (If you want to dive in at the deep end and blog in a big way, then pop over to my biz blog for more ideas – when you’ve finished reading this page. I’ve put the link below.

The simplest, fastest and easiest method is to use Blogger – Google’s online ready made system. It’s an excellent way to get started. If you want to run your own blog for professional or business purposes, then you will need to move on to WordPress or Live Journal (and there are many more) eventually.

Blogger will be absolutely fine as a starter and will introduce the concepts involved very quickly and easily. I have a few Blogger blogs, I don’t do much with them, but here are 4 of them if you want to take a look; you will see that they all have different designs and layouts (these links open in a new window/tab):

The first step then, if you don’t have one already, is to set yourself up with a Googlemail account. Pop over to google.com or google.co.uk (or google wherever you are) and follow the instructions. You will need an email account somewhere else (ie with Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL etc) to complete this process as Google sends the confirmation to that.

(It is not the purpose of this article to run through setting up a googlemail account, but it is becoming more and more recognised as being the most efficient as well as the least cluttered and interfering of all the online email systems. I use it as a central location for almost all of my email accounts – but that’s a whole article in itself. You can have more than one Googlemail address.)

What if you already have an email account and really don’t want yet another one? Well, Google has so many different parts to it – for example, I am writing this in GoogleDocs – just go and do it anyway. You can have your Googlemail sent over to your other email account if you want to, but honestly, you’d be daft not to have a Google account, even if you only use it for your Blogs!

Once you have your account set up, you can then start using the Blogger.com system. Go to Blogger.com and login with your googlemail details. (By the way, you can abbreviate your google email to ‘gmail’ – it works just the same).

[There is another BIG reason for having Blogger Blogs. As I mention elsewhere, professionals will want to host their own blogs on their own domains, but I would still recommend they use Blogger blogs as feeder sites. Google do tend to index their own sites a bit faster, so the chances are that your Blogger blog will be indexed very quickly, and therefore made available to the general public (if you want it to be) very quickly. This is a real benefit to businesses and hobbyists, but not so important if you just want to experiment. Blogger and WordPress (and the others) I see as being complementary to one another – so take advantage of that.]

Now, I’ll be honest, there is not much point in me going step by step through setting up your Blog from scratch as Blogger explains it all as you go. I’ve put the main steps below. When you first go in to Blogger, you will see some options to find out more about how it works – the quick tour and video tutorial are very good.

Think about what you would like to say on your Blog. This will help you decide what you are going to call it. Do you want to make it a day-by-day journal or diary type blog, one where you just write down your thoughts to share. Or perhaps you have a hobby or other interest you would like to write about.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to write about rockets – you can write about them from a spectator’s point of view! Perhaps you were there when one of the Apollo mission Saturn 5’s launched, or the Shuttles.

You can have more than one blog too – but set one up first to get a handle on how it all works. For example you can ‘monetize’ your blog using links from Amazon, eBay etc, but all that can come later – and there’s even a link to doing that from your Blogger dashboard (that’s where you will see a list of your blogs. It’s enough for now to know it can be done.

You can even do one which is business related; remember, it’s a start.

Blogger is the way to learn how they work, you will move on to other methods eventually. I do not however recommend that you have more than 5 or 6 blogger blogs on any one google account in the long term. Google run the show and they can remove your blog without notice for reasons beknown only to themselves – another reason why you must host your own professional blogs on your own domain.

You need to think about what you are going to call it. If you want to write about dog training, find a a catchier title than ‘Dog Training’. You might like to put your name to it, that’s really giving yourself a presence. You can tell that my Blogger blogs aren’t particularly inspired as far as their names go; I set them up before I knew what I know now. Astronomy Talk is the latest one. Experts, and I, will advise you to use the sort of title that people are likely to search for. For example, ‘dog training’ will bring up millions of results, but ‘training labrador dogs’ will fine-tune that search – ie make it more accurate.

Also, the words you use in your blog posts (articles) will have the same effect – so if you want people to find yours then use phrases they will be likely to search for when you write it. Now here’s a thought: would you  search for ‘how to train your dog’ or ‘how to train my dog’? The title of your article needs to be the same way round! Think about it – what would you actually search for? Pop over to google and try some searches and see the difference in the number of results (top right).

There are lots more things I could rattle on about blogs and blogging in general, but I’ll stop for now.

Off you go and have some fun. If you get it wrong, you can change it or even delete it all, but hopefully you will find that you want to put some more blogs up and develop a real online presence.

I hope this has been useful to you.

Lynda H

Here’s the link to my business blog (you will notice how different it looks, that’s because I host it on my own domain to keep it safe: http://acmeweblog.com/blogging-resources/

Here are the basics for setting up a Blogger blog:

Create a google account if you don’t have one – go to http://www.google.co.uk/ or http://www.google.com

Log in to your new google account
Go to blogs
Create new blog
Choose it’s title (check what I have said below at **)
Choose it’s url
Choose theme – scroll down for more options

Your blog has been created!

Now you can go and write something.There are some more things you need to do though – look under settings in your dashboard.
Go to each of the tabs – postings, settings, layout, monetise and work through the pages tweaking YOUR blog to suit you. Doesn’t all have to be done from the start, but it is a good idea to set the time zone and put up a brief profile of yourself; the other bits and pieces you can do another time. Email me if you know me or post a comment (slower) if you want some specific advice.