Phones

How to Wipe Personal Data from Your Smartphone

September 12th, 2014 by Chris Hutton
smartphone shatter shst 500334

Credit: Gualberto Becerra/Shutterstock

So you’ve just bought a new phone. You want to sell your old phone, but you’re worried about the buyer finding personal information on it. That’s smart — you can never be too careful. Here’s how to remove all that personal data before handing the phone over to a stranger.

First, back up all your data and transfer important files to your new phone. This should include pictures, documents, apps (with logins) and media (music, videos and e-books). Some platforms, such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, and carrier networks, such as Sprint, provide backup services. If you need a quick online-backup service, we recommend using apps like Dropbox or Google Drive.

MORE: iPhone 5s vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: And the Winner Is?

Next, delete everything from storage media. Usually, this just means formatting the microSD card, if your phone has one. Most phones have an option somewhere in the settings menu to format the memory card. This wipes the data completely. Another option is to simply remove the microSD card and use it for your new phone, as long as the new phone accepts storage media (iPhones and many Android phones don’t) and you make it clear to potential buyers that a microSD card isn’t included with the phone you’re selling.

Most devices are synced up with any number of social accounts, including Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes these accounts will use permissions, a phone number or a device ID to sync up with your device. We recommend checking your Apple, Google and Facebook account settings and removing this particular data from the account.

The next, and most important, step is to perform a factory data reset, also known as a factory wipe or hard reset. In essence, the factory reset removes any personal data and apps and returns the phone to the default state the phone was in when you purchased it.

Android Smartphones

android1 224x400

1) Open your Settings app and click General.

android2 224x400

2) Tap Backup And Reset.

screenshot 2014 09 10 16 24 14 224x400

3) Tap Factory Data Reset. This function will reset all your setting and remove all personal data from your phone.

screenshot 2014 09 10 16 24 21 224x400

4) Confirm that the phone can delete the listed data. After you activate Factory Data Reset, your device will list what data it will delete. For example, some phones will not delete photos unless you opt to do so. If you need to backup files, Android can use Google Drive to provide support.  If you accept, the system will reboot and return to factory settings.

Pro Tip: Many Android phones have additional device-specific methods for performing a factory reset. Some use particular codes to do a full reset, others have specific button combinations for shutting it off. Check with your phone’s designer to determine what method will work for you.

MORE: How To Take Better Photos with Your iPhone

iPhones

1) Make sure you’ve backed everything up: Apple can use iCloud to save various features, including settings, contacts, and music.

apple1 224x400

2) Tap the Settings app and select General.

photo 1 225x400

3) Tap Reset. It can be found at the bottom of General menus.

 

4) Push “Erase all content and settings”. If you’ve locked your iPhone settings, you will have to re-input your security code.

 

If you’ve lost your code or want to sync your phone directly with your computer, you can perform a factory data reset by connecting the phone to a computer and using iTunes.

1) Open iTunes and sync your iPhone with your computer.

itunes 611x400

2) Click on the iPhone List.

itunes2 664x400

3)  Choose Restore.

itunes3

4) Make sure you back up your phone if you need to. 

itunes4

5) Restore Your Phone.  All data will be removed, and factory settings will be restored. 

MORE: Smartphone Interactive Buying Guide

Windows Phones 

1) Access your App List. You can access that by swiping to the left on the main menu scrolling down the list.

windows1 235x400

2) Tap Settings. Your settings can be found on your app list.

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3) Tap About. You can find this at the bottom of your settings.

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4) Tap Reset Your Phone. You will then receive two warnings, requiring you to recognize your actions.

Pro Tip: There are also methods to perform a hard reset using just physical buttons (volume and camera buttons, for instance), but they vary based on manufacturer and model, so you’ll need to look up the method for your specific device.

If you’re truly paranoid: Even after a factory reset, forensic tools used by law enforcement agencies can go into a phone (or hard drive) and retrieve data that isn’t written over. To make sure everything’s unreadable, the data should be encrypted before a factory reset is performed.

If you have an iPhone and you’ve set a screen-lock PIN, your phone is already encrypted. Strengthen that encryption by replacing the PIN with a longer alphanumeric password. Here’s how. If you’re an on Android phone, here’s how to encrypt it.

Finally, remove the phone’s SIM card, even if you won’t need it any more. It may contain lots of your personal information, such as text messages, recent calls and contacts, all of which could easily be read. If you’re switching from one phone to another on the same carrier, or moving to an unlocked phone, you may be able to simply transfer the SIM card to the new phone.

T-Mobile CEO Offers Free Wi-Fi Calling, Drops F-Bombs

September 10th, 2014 by Sam Rutherford

image003 675403

The self-proclaimed Un-carrier wireless network isn’t happy with the current state of wireless, and CEO John Legere is on a personal mission to fix it. During his F-bomb-laced presentation at the T-Mobile Un-carrier 7.0 event in San Francisco today (Sept. 10), Legere announced several new features to its rapidly expanding network.

The headline feature is free calls and texts over Wi-Fi for all T-Mobile customers. Every new T-Mobile device will come with this ability built in. Customers with older devices will be able to upgrade through T-Mobile’s Jump program. Wi-Fi calling will work together with T-Mobile’s Voice-over-LTE technology to let calls transfer automatically from Wi-Fi to LTE, as when moving from your home to the car.

MORE: 5 Best T-Mobile Smartphones

t mobile event 675403

Legere also showed off the new T-Mobile Personal Cellspot which routes calls — even from older phones — over your broadband connection to provide better in-house reception for hard-to-reach spots, such as basements. The Cellspot will be free to all users with a monthly plan for a $25 deposit, or $99 upfront. (This isn’t the first time wireless carriers have pitched such devices.)

T-Mobile added a treat for frequent flyers through a partnership with Gogo. All T-Mobile users will receive unlimited texting on any Gogo flight, which covers 75 percent of domestic trips.

Legere announced these plans with his typical brash, cussing style, proclaiming T-Mobile’s takeover of the third spot for biggest wireless network (from Sprint) a forgone conclusion. Legere positioned the company as less of a wireless phone network and more of a mobile Internet provider. 

Recently T-Mobile has been aggressive in undercutting plans from competing networks while also providing the fastest 4G LTE speeds (based on its claims and independent tests). With Legere hungry to go after AT&T and Verizon, it’s no surprise that T-Mobile has become the fastest growing wireless company.

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4

September 9th, 2014 by Sherri L. Smith, LAPTOP Staff Writer

iphone_samsung_lead

The arms race between Samsung and Apple shows no signs of slowing down. The Samsung Galaxy S5, loaded with a slew of new features including a heart rate monitor and a fingerprint sensor, has been the smartphone to beat for most 2014. Looking to further assert its dominance, the company unveiled the upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which will feature a 5.7-inch, Super AMOLED Quad HD display and a powerful Qualcomm processor.

Not to be outdone, Apple has fired its return salvo in the form of not one, but two smartphones: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Outfitted with Retina HD Plus displays and powered by the company’s new 64-bit Apple A8 processor with a M8 motion co-processor, these might be the most powerful phones the company has ever made. Boasting thicknesses of 6.9 and 7.1mm with edge-to-edge glass, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the some thinnest, sleekest devices in the company’s vaunted history.

MORE: iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus: Top 8 Features

Here’s how these four titans stack up in terms of features and specs.

  iphone6_thumb_2 iphone6plus_thumb_2 galaxy_s5_thumb note_4_thumb
 

 iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung
Galaxy S5

Samsung
Galaxy Note 4

Starting Price

Starting at $199 

 Starting at $299

$99

TBA

CPU/GPU

64-bit Apple A8 processor/M8 motion co-processor 

64-bit Apple A8 processor/M8 motion co-processor

2.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm
Snapdragon 801 CPU /
 Adreno 330 GPU with 2GB of RAM

 2.7-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU

OS

 iOS 8 

iOS 8

Android 4.4.2

Android 4.4.4 

Screen Size

 4.7 inches

5.5 inches

5.1 inches, Super AMOLED

5.7 inches, Super AMOLED Quad HD 

Resolution

 1334 x 750 pixels, Retina HD

1920 x 1080 pixels, Retina HD

1920 x 1080 pixels

 2560 x 1440 pixels

RAM

N/A 

N/A 

2GB

 3GB

Internal Storage

 up to 128GB

 up to 128GB

16GB

 32GB or 64GB

Expandable Storage

 none

none

up to 128GB

 up to 64GB

Front Camera

1.2 MP  

1.2 MP   

2 MP

 3.7 MP

Rear Camera

8 MP iSight  8 MP iSight  16 MP  16 MP 

Battery Life

estimated 10 hours 4G LTE browsing estimated 12 hours 4G LTE browsing 9 hours and
42 minutes 
 Unknown

Connectivity

802.11ac  802.11ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac   N/A

Special Features

Wi-Fi Calling, Digital Image Stablization, Fingerprint scanner Wi-Fi Calling, Optical Image Stablization Fingerprint Sensor,
Heart Rate Monitor 
S Pen with smarter pen apps,
Optical Image Stabilization 

Accessories

Apple Watch  Apple Watch  Samsung Galaxy Gear Samsung Galaxy Gear S, Samsung Galaxy VR 

Ports/Slots

Lightning port, headphones  Lightning port, headphones  microUSB, microSD, headphones  microUSB, microSD, headphones

Design

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In terms of design, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus win hands down. The anodized aluminum curved design, with its extremely thin profile, is what we’ve come to expect from the brand, and they have not disappointed. It’s not a hard stretch of the imagination that both phones will weigh much less than the their counterparts, the Galaxy S 5 and the Note 4.

samsung-galaxy-s5-vzw-g01

However, the Galaxy S5′s water resistant chassis can withstand a dunking in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, protecting against that inevitable fall into the toilet that will send many an iPhone owner dejectedly to the Genius Bar. Samsung finally caved to user demand and added some metal to the Galaxy design, wrapping the sides of the Note 4 in lightweight aluminum and the back panel in genuine leather for a more premium experience. 

Display

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The Galaxy S5′s 5.1-inch, Super AMOLED display has consistently been one of the brightest, most vivid and accurate panels we’ve seen — unless you put it next to an iPhone 5s. While the new iPhone 6 isn’t 1080p, the ion-strengthened, 1334 x 750 Retina HD screen packs more pixels into its 4.7-inch display, which should translate into sharper images.

When the iPhone 6 Plus ships, it will feature a Retina HD display like its smaller brethren. However the 6 Plus’ 5.7-inch display will have a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Note 4′s 5.7-inch Quad HD panel, on the other hand, will sport a stunning resolution of 2560 x 1440. We’ll have to wait until we get both units in house to determine which is better. 

MORE: iPhone 6 Rumors That Didn’t Come True

Features

iphone-6-plus-landscape

In terms of features, Apple added a lot of little tweaks and touches that improve usability. When using the massive iPhone 6 Plus, you can view both your messages and your inbox simultaneously in email, utilize copy and paste buttons on the keyboard and enjoy a sideswipe gesture to go back a page. Apps will also have the ability to automatically scale between devices all the way to the desktop.

On the Samsung front, the Galaxy Note 4 has received an improved S Pen with accompanying apps. The Pen delivers a smoother, more natural writing experience than previous versions. In addition, Samsung has added mouse-like functionality to the Pen allowing you to copy and paste whole sections with a click of the pen. 

To combat Samsung’s S Health app, both iPhones will have more advanced motion-tracking features courtesy of the M8 co-processor, Both devices will have a barometer, which can measure elevation and distance, in addition to the accelerometer and gyroscope.  While the Active version of the Galaxy S5 features a barometer, neither the Note 4 nor the standard GS5 have one. However, both devices will feature a heart rate monitor to help you in your fitness quest.

Camera

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Instead of playing the numbers game with its camera, Apple just worked to improve on what it already had. That means that both versions of the iPhone 6 will feature a 8 MP iSight rear camera with a 1.2 MP FaceTime HD camera. The iSight camera has a feature called Focus Pixels which allows for autofocus that’s twice as fast as last generation’s.

The iPhone 6 Plus will utilize optical image stimulation (OIS) to adjust for natural hand movement when taking pictures, while the iPhone 6 will rely on digital image stabilization. Similar to the iPhone Plus, the Note 4′s 16GB rear camera will employ OIS, while the GS5 (16GB) will continue to make use of the digital option.

Megapixels and stabilization options are fine and dandy, but its the features that truly distinguish these four competitors. On the Apple side of things, both devices will have the ability to record 1080p video at 30 fps or 60 fps. For those moments when you need to slow everything now, you can now capture slo-mo video at 120 fps or 240 fps on the iPhone 6. Thanks to the new sensor, selfie fans can expect better face detection and burst selfies from the FaceTime HD camera.

Samsung has yet to announce any new camera features for the Galaxy Note 4, but the Galaxy S5 features Real-Time HDR, Best Shot, Selective Focus and Eraser Mode, the latter of which lets you discretely dispose of any unwelcome photobombers. 

Bottom Line

So which shiny new phone should you buy? If you’re looking for something a little more pocket-friendly, we recommend the iPhone 6. Once again, Apple has managed to combine drop-dead gorgeous design with impressive power and thoughtful features we didn’t think we needed. On the phablet front, we’re going with the Galaxy Note 4 for its improved note-taking functions, stunning display and powerful Qualcomm power –the same processor that will power a mobile VR headset when it launches. 

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Huawei Ascend G7 Provides Style and Sensibility

September 4th, 2014 by Marshall Honorof

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BERLIN – Especially at big events like IFA 2014, it can seem like every new smartphone is out to completely dominate the market. Phones like the Ascend G7 from Huawei remind us that sometimes, it’s enough for a smartphone to simply be elegant, straightforward and affordable.

Huawei, a Chinese phone manufacturer just starting to make a splash in the Western market, revealed the Ascend G7 at a press conference today at IFA 2014. Unlike the company’s Mate 7 (unveiled at the same event), which seeks to dominate every smartphone metric, the Ascend G7 just wants to provide users with something attractive and functional.

MORE: Best Smartphones 2014

As such, the Ascend G7 is a slim phone (7.6 mm) with narrow bezels and a durable body. Huawei boasted that each phone requires seven hours to make, and comes about as the result of 133 distinct manufacturing processes. Choosy consumers can also select between gray, silver and gold models.

As middle-grade phones go, the Ascend A7 is quite large: 5.5 inches with a full HD display. The device sports a 720p 5-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear one. One feature Huawei stressed was its ability to take both horizontal and vertical panoramic shots: perfect for capturing large monuments like the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Users can also use the all-focus feature to adjust a photo’s focus after taking it.

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Customization is also a potential selling point for the Ascend G7. Users can download 30 different themes right off the bat, and more are on the way. They can also change the transparency color for each window, making a phone that’s uniquely their own.

The Ascend G7 will launch in late 2014, and cost €299 ($387) without a contract. Huawei did not reveal whether the product will come to the U.S. specifically, but it will be compatible with American mobile carriers for those who want to import it.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom’s Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

How to Root the LG G3

July 31st, 2014 by David Cogen

All Done

The LG G3 is, by most accounts, an amazing device. With a QHD display, sleek design, super fast processor, what isn’t to love? Well, now that we mention it, maybe the software could be a little bit more customizable.

That’s where rooting comes in. By rooting the LG G3 (aka gaining administrative rights on the device), you can open a world of software customizations that normally wouldn’t quite be allowed. For example, installing the G3Tweaksbox app from the Play Store allows you to change how many apps sit in the dock of the launcher, modify the color of the LED for missed calls, disable the shutter sound on the camera, adjust what’s in the notification shade and much more. 

Here’s how to root the LG G3 in a few easy steps, using the phone and a Windows PC.

1. Download and install the drivers.

Verizon Drivers

All Other Varieties’ Drivers

Drivers

2. Download the toolkit:

Toolkit

Toolkit

3. Extract the .zip file to your desktop.

Extract Toolkit

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

4. Go to Settings > General > About Phone > Software Information > on the phone and Tap on Build Number repeatedly until it tells you you are a developer.

Build Number

5. Hit back > Developer Options > Turn on USB Debugging.

USB Debugging

6. Plug the device in via USB cable to the computer.

USB

7. Tap Always allow and hit OK when prompted for USB debugging permission.

Always Allow

8. Double-click the purpledrake_windows.bat file in the PurpleDrake folder you just extracted.

Click bat

9. Hit enter and follow the prompts until it says it is done.

Follow Prompts

10. Open the Play Store, search for SuperSU, and install it.

Install SuperSU

11. Open SuperSU, tap continue, and tap normal until you get the app’s main screen.

 

SuperSU

MORE: 12 Worst Android Annoyances and How to Fix Them

When it finishes you are all set.

All Done

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. 

How to Root the Motorola Moto E

July 25th, 2014 by David Cogen

Laptop Featured

The Motorola Moto E has been praised as one of the greatest budget phones you can get for the money, but there’s always room for improvement. Rooting — the process of gaining admin rights on Android — allows a ton of new possibilities for the inexpensive handset. From overclocking, to increasing battery life, to flashing custom ROMs like CyanogenMod which provide a whole different look and feel, rooting the Moto E makes the device even more functional. 

Here’s how to root the Moto E. A Windows PC is required.

1. Navigate to the Android SDK site if you don’t already have the Android SDK with the latest updates. If you do, skip to step 9.

SDK Site

2. Click on Get the SDK for an Existing IDE > Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Stand Alone SDK

MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

3. Check that you agree to the terms and click Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Download SDK

4. Save the SDK to your Desktop.

Save to Desktop

5. Double click the exe file and follow the prompts.

Run SDK

6. Make sure it is c:\android-sdk\ in the text field when prompted before hitting Next.

Install Location

7. Continue until it installs and then check the box that says Start SDK Manager and hit Finish.

Finish

8. Check off Tools and click Install.

Check Tools

9. Turn off the Moto E and turn it back on by holding down volume down and power for 6 seconds and then letting go. 

Hold down volume and power

10. Connect the Moto E to your PC via USB cable.

Plug it in via USB

11. Navigate to C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ on your PC, hold shift on your keyboard, right-click in any blank area, and select open command window here.

Open Cmd Window

12. In the command prompt type the following and hit enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem get_unlock_data

Fastboot oem get_unlock_data

13. Copy and paste everything that comes up besides the words “(bootloader)” into Windows notepad. 

Copy unlock data

14. Remove all of the spaces so it becomes one long line of characters.

Remove the spaces

MORE: Smartphone Interactive Buying Guide

15. Head to Motorola’s site to unlock the bootloader (login if asked).

 Moto Site

16. Copy and paste the long string of characters into the text box in step 6 on Motorola’s site and click Can my device be unlocked.

Paste String

17. Check I agree and click Request Unlock Key. 

Request Unlock Key

18. When you received the unlock key via email, type the following into the command prompt and hit enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem unlock [YOURKEY] *replace [YOURKEY] with the key you received via email from Motorola.

oem unlock

19. Download the SuperSU .zip file and save it to your desktop.

Save supersu

20. Copy the SuperSU .zip file to the internal storage of your device.

SuperSU on Moto E

21. Turn off the phone and turn it back on by holding down volume and power for 6 seconds and then letting go.

Hold down volume and power

22. Download CWM recovery and save it inside C > android-sdk > platform-tools folder.

Save CWM Recovery

23. At the Windows command prompt, type the following, hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Fastboot flash Recovery

24. Tap volume down on the Moto E to highlight recovery and push volume up to select it.

Boot to Recovery

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

25. Using the volume buttons to navigate and power to select, install zip from sd > choose zip from sd > 0 

Install zip

26. Select the SuperSU zip file and flash it.

Select SuperSU

27. Select advanced > reboot to bootloader.

Reboot to Bootloader

28. Select No if asked to fix root.

Don't fix root

29. At the Windows command prompt, again type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Fastboot flash Recovery

30. Select Normal Powerup on the device.

Normal Powerup

When it reboots, you should see SuperSU in the app drawer. All done!

SuperSU

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. Check out all of the Moto E ROMs in their ROM Repository that you can now install after finishing this tutorial.

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Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

July 23rd, 2014 by Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief

 

With their zippy quad-core processors and big screens, smartphones have never been more powerful–or more power hungry. Yes, specs and apps matter, but what good are they if you’re hunting for an outlet by lunchtime? If you want a smartphone that endures, check out the handsets that made our list.

These devices lasted at least 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over 4G LTE. We set each phone’s display to 150 nits to normalize for brightness and make sure each handset is receiving at least 3 bars of service. See for yourself which smartphones keep going and going.

 

How to Root the OnePlus One

July 21st, 2014 by David Cogen

OnePlus Root

Even though the OnePlus One comes from the factory running CyanogenMod, that doesn’t mean it has root (aka admin) access from the factory, too. If you want the benefits of root access, which include running root-only apps or switching to a custom ROM, then you’ll have to still jump through a few small hoops to obtain it. Here is how to root the OnePlus One.

Note: This tutorial is done using Windows. This tutorial will erase everything on your device so please back up anything you don’t want to lose.

1.Install Java if you don’t already have the latest version. You can download it from Oracle’s Java site.

Java 

2. Download the OnePlus Toolkit, save it to your desktop, and double click the exe to install it.

Download the Toolkit

MORE: How to Root the Galaxy Gear And Use it With Any Phone

3. Click Download ADB Drivers in the toolkit.

 Download ADB Drivers

4. Click Install ADB Drivers in the toolkit and follow the prompts.

Install ADB Drivers

5. On the phone, go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number repeatedly until it tells you you are a developer.

Enabled Development Settings

6. Hit back and tap on Developer Options and turn Android Debugging on.

ADB Debugging Enabled

7. Connect the phone to your PC in via USB, tap Always Allow, and tap OK.

Plug In

8. Click Enter Fastboot/Recovery in the toolkit then click Enter Fastboot. The device will reboot into fastboot mode. 

Enter Fastboot

9. Click Unlock Bootloader. The device will reboot and require you to go through the setup process again (it will also erase everything on the phone so make sure you did a backup before this step).

Unlock Bootloader

10. Re-enable Android Debugging by repeating steps 5 and 6 above.

ADB Debugging Enabled

11. Click Flash in the toolkit.

Flash

MORE: Best Smartphones 2014

12. Select TWRP and click Download.

TWRP Download

13. Close the command prompt and click Flash.

TWRP Flash

14. Click Boot.

Boot 

15. Select TWRP and click Boot.

TWRP Boot

16. On the phone, click Reboot.

Reboot

17. Tap System.

System

18. Swipe to Install SuperSU.

Swipe

19. Pull down the notification bar and tap Install SuperSU and tap play.

SuperSU Installer

21. Tap on Install.

Install SuperSU

22. Tap Open.

Open SuperSU

MORE: 25 Best Android Apps

23. Tap Continue.

Continue

24. Tap Normal.

Normal

25. Open the Play Store and install Root Checker.

Root Checker

26. Open Root Checker and tap Verify Root.

Verify Root

27. Tap Grant.

Grant

It should say Congratulations. You’re rooted.

Congratulations 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. Check out all of the OnePlus One ROMs in their ROM Repository that you can now install after finishing this tutorial.

Tiny Magnet Brings Wireless Charging to the iPhone

July 18th, 2014 by Chris Hutton

2 614x400Many Android smartphones come with wireless charging ability. However, Apple has so far avoided adding this functionality to the iPhone. Users can add a clunky case or other attachment so they can use wireless chargers. However, China-based startup HEVO LABS is hoping Kickstarter can help them simplify and miniaturize an add-on to make things seamless.

HEVO designed a Lightning-compatible microadaptor, which magnetically connects to the iPhone 5s charging port just like the MagSafe connector on a MacBook. The adapter is compatible with a variety of wireless charging devices. Among those devices are the Cabin portable battery case, the Cabin charging dock and the Magadaptor that plugs into the Lightning charging cord also from HEVO. The Cabin case also has the same magnetic connectors, which makes it compatible with the Magadaptor and charging dock.

MORE: 7 Killer Kickstarter Alternatives

The 2200mAh Cabin portable battery is slim compared to most batteries and offers up to 130 percent additional battery life. The charging stand can also sync the iPhone if connected to a computer. The magnet will keep the phone in its case, and makes it easy to shift between devices. 

Cabin’s Kickstarter currently offers the opportunity to preorder the three devices. Backers can preorder the microadaptor and Magadaptor for $25. Users can add a dock at the $59 level, or a portable battery at $99. The first 200 to preorder the whole package will pay $135. Any other preorders will cost$145. HEVO expects to release the first orders by November 2014. Cabin seems expensive when compared to wireless charger kits like the Duracell Powermat, but the number of accessories seems to make up for it. 

While the iPhone 6 is rumored to have wireless charging abilities, the current iPhone 5s or 5c doesn’t. Would wireless charging be a reason to swap from Android? 

How to Root the LG G Watch

July 16th, 2014 by David Cogen

Featured Image

Tech-savvy Android users have long enjoyed the process or rooting (gaining administrative control) their phones, but what about your smartwatch? By rooting your LG G Watch today, you can improve responsiveness and battery life a bit with a lot more options and mods coming in the near fture. Here’s how to gain root access to your LG G Watch.

Note: This method only works on Windows so you need a Windows computer to complete this procedure. 

1. Navigate to the Android SDK site if you don’t already have the Android SDK with the latest updates. If you do, skip to step 9.

SDK Site

2. Click on Get the SDK for an Existing IDE > Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Stand Alone SDK

3. Check that you agree to the terms and click Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Download SDK

4. Save the SDK to your Desktop.

Save to Desktop

5. Double click the exe file and follow the prompts.

Run SDK

6. Make sure it is c:\android-sdk\ in the text field when prompted before hitting Next.

Install Location

7. Continue until it installs and then check the box that says Start SDK Manager and hit Finish.

Finish

8. Check off Tools and click Install.

Check Tools

 

MORE: LG G Watch Review

9. Double tap on the Watch Face to bring up the voice prompt for Google Now.

Google Now

10. Scroll down and select Settings > About.

About

11. Continue to tap Build Number until it says you are a developer.

Developer

12. Go back and then tap on Developer Options and check ADB Debugging on.

ADB Debugging

13. Connect the watch to your computer via USB.

USB

14. On your paired phone, check the Always box and tap Allow.

Allow RSA

15. Navigate to C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ on your PC, hold shift on your keyboard, right-click in any blank area, and select open command window here.

Open Cmd Window

16. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

adb reboot bootloader

Reboot Bootloader

17. When it reboots, type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem unlock

OEM Unlock

18. On the watch, tap the right arrow and then the circle to accept.

Unlock Bootloader

19. Download the Root Boot image for the G Watch and save it inside the c:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ folder.

Root Boot Image

20. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot boot LGGW-rootboot.img

Flash Root Boot

21. Pair the device with your phone and renable ADB Debugging.

Reenable USB

22. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of each line:

adb shell
su

SU

If you see root@dory, you are all set!

Root Access

 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential.

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