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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Master Gmail with these tips

gmaillogo.jpgSince its 2004 debut, Google's Gmail has become one if the most popular Web-based email services with millions of users across the globe. Its interface is user-friendly, and it also provides free storage space -- 10GB -- for users. But there might be some ways to make Gmail even better. Gizmodo has 10 tips to make you a Gmail master.

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Roundup: Wii U vs. iPad, WP7 update, shopping apps, more

Wii U v. iPad showdown: According to a Nielsen study, Nintendo's new Wii U and Apple iPad are the two most popular gaming devices for youths. So which one should you buy? Here's a look.

Cell phone survey: According to a Pew Research Center's survey, 85 recent of American adults own a cell phone and use these decides for more than just making calls, primarily reading.

WP7 update: If you bought a Windows phone earlier this year, you're stuck with the Windows Phone 7 operating system which is not compatible for a WP8 upgrade. Microsoft has been promising a WP7 update for months now, and it appears to be ready for rollout soon with a cosmetic user interface upgrade.

Lifesaving iPhone app: iTriage is at your fingertips to check symptoms during a medical emergency.

Windows milestone: Windows 8 apps available on the online store has reached the 20,000 mark, and 87 percent of those are free.

Shopping apps: Black Friday weekend marks just the beginning of the holiday shopping season. There are plenty of apps that can help you save money -- and time. Here are a few. …

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Getting a new smartphone as a gift can be complicating

Buying your loved one a new cellphone for a holiday gift is a really nice thought, but it's a lot more complicated than buying one for yourself. Unlike a lot of other gadgets, cell phones come with a lot of strings attached, primarily a service contract with the features you might have to get with a new phone. But CNET has some advice for making that gift possible.

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Roundup: Black Friday, mobile phone deals, pet feeding

Is your phone infected? If your Android phone is acting strange -- sending out garbled texts or start opening software on its own, it might have been hacked. Here's what you should know if you think your phone is compromised.   Forbes

Get ready for an overload: The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show -- Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas -- is expected to have more the 20,000 gadgets on display.  Maximum PC

Black Friday apps: Are you ready for Black Friday madness? If you're determined to find the best deal, these apps compiled by Mashable can help. Or these from CNet.

Black Friday for homeowners: In addition to gifts and mobile devices, Black Friday is also a good time to look for gadgets for the home. Realty Biz News

Mobile phone deals: Speaking of Black Friday, there's expected to be a bunch of phones for less than $100. Here some bargain phones (with activation and a plan).

Google coming to the rescue? Google is getting ready its Google Maps app for iOS 6 to submit to Apple. It's currently in the testing phase. But will Apple accept it for its platform?   CIO Today …

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Increase your interior design app-titude

hl_homeapps111812b_248218d.jpgIf you have a home improvement or interior design project on your to-do list, there are some mobile applications that can make your tasks more manageable. Tampa interior designer Michelle Jennings Wiebe of Studio M shares some of her favorite apps to get the job done right.

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Get some help with your Thanksgiving turkey


Are you making a list for the Thanksgiving feast? If you want a turkey cooked perfectly, you should put this gadget on your shopping list as well -- an iGrill. 

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Roundup: Jelly Bean for S3 this week, WP8 phone launches, finding lost phones, more

How to find your lost phone: What are the options if your phone is lost or stolen? Most smartphones have either built-in features or add-on software to aid in the search.  USA Today

Jelly Bean for Galaxy S3? Android 4.1 operating system (Jelly Bean) may be rolling out this week to AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 phones.

Transfer photos from mobile to desktop: App helps you easily move the photos you took on your smartphone or tablet to your computer.   USA Today

Are you allergic to your phones? Allergies to nickel or cobalt have some users of mobile devices scratching.   New York Daily News

Windows phones hitting the market: Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 went on sale Friday at AT&T, and Verizon started taking preorders for three WP8 devices -- Lumia 822, HTC's Windows Phone 8X and Samsung ATIV Odyssey.

Dirty cell phone keys: If your cell phone is looking a bit grimy from all the use, here's a tip on how to get them sparkling clean again.  Huffington Post

Best digital assistants? Apple's Siri started "quite dumb" but improving; Google's Voice Search is better but lacks personality; Speech on Windows Phones is worse than Siri. When will they ever get better?   Wired

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At AT&T store: No lines for Lumia 920, $100 off tablets, iPhone 5 for holidays

I visited the AT&T store in Carrollwood this morning (to upgrade my phone), and came out with three things to share:

No lines!

Today is the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. These new Windows Phone 8 phones are pretty sharp with vivid color tiles and wireless charging (AT&T is throwing in the charger for free for now). There was little fanfare for the launch, and no lines to get these phones. One customer walked out with four of them. 

I checked the phones out for a few minutes, and found them to be a bit too bulky and wide for my taste. The case felt plasticky and cheap. The OS will definitely take some getting used to.

Tablet sale

If you're in the market for a tablet with cellular service, Josh, my sales rep, said a sale started today for $100 off a tablet with a two-year data plan. That includes iPads, folks! Or if you prefer the Windows environment, the new Windows Surface, too. Not a bad deal. Something for the holidays?

iPhone 5 …

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Another Apple retailer comes to town, another place for a line

PeachMac, an independent retailer of all things Apple and more, will open two locations: Westfield Citrus Park will open Saturday, and Westfield Countryside on Nov. 17. These are the first two stores in Florida for the Georgia-based chain.

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Want a Windows Phone 8 smartphone on AT&T? Pre-order starts today

lumia920.jpgAT&T announced Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones that will be available beginning Friday (Nov. 9): Nokia Lumia 920 for $99.99, Nokia Lumia 820 for $49.99. but you can preorder them starting today (Nov. 7) at at and

Also available before Thanksgiving will be HTC's Windows Phone 8X with 16 GB of memory for $199.99. AT&T will also have their exclusive 8X with 8GB of memory in California Blue and Limelight for $99.99. 

Lumia 920 highlights:

  • 4G LTE
  • 8 megapixel PureView camera with Carl Zeiss wide-angle optics
  • 8.7-megapixel camera with floating lens technology
  • built-in wireless charging (AT&T will throw in a free charging plate)
  • 4.5-inch scratch-resistant HD display
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 32GB of internal storage plus SkyDrive cloud storage
  • NFC technology
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Roundup: Risky Android apps, RIM revival, disaster survival, more

shatoetry.jpgLet Captain Kirk say your message: New iOS app called Shatoetry lets you construct a message using William Shatner's pre-recorded voice to share with friends. $2.99 on iTunes App Store.

Android apps could be risky: Security vendor Bit9 says 100,000 apps on Google Play were suspicious because of their access to personal information.  eWeek

Vulnerabie without landlines: Getting rid of the landline phone service might seen like a good idea -- until a storm knocks out power and all the cell phones and cable lines go dead.  Wall Street Journal


RIM still hanging on: Research in Motion --  maker of the BlackBerry -- says it's testing the new BlackBerry 10 software and phones around the world and will launch its products in the first quarter of 2013.   Chicago Daily Herald


Samsung still leads in third quarter: Research firm comScore says Samsung maintained the lead in the third quarter with 26 percent share of the U.S. market, LG second and Apple third.


iPad gadgets to get you through next disaster: From waterproof cases to a power source, here are 6 gadgets that could help you get through a disaser.

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Pay phones make a comeback in wake of Sandy

Pay phones were quickly becoming obsolete with cellphones and smartphones becoming a more common way of communication. But with Hurricane Sandy, many in the Northeast are finding out that, without power, pay phones on land lines are the only way to call out.

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Google introduces Siri-like voice search

google.jpgGoogle this week introduced a voice search function to its Google Search app for the iOS, which it claims is "the most advance." Simply tap on the microphone icon and speak your question, just like with Apple's Siri. The words show up on the screen as you speak, and the answer is spoken back or shown quickly.

The voice feature works on any iOS device running 4.3 or higher, but it's optimized for the iPhone 5. The app is free. 

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