Detective

I lost my phone at the weekend. I knew it was in the house somewhere, but it wasn't on the table where I usually keep it. Finding it was pretty straightforward...

Android 4.4.4

You wait ages for an update and then two come along at once. Well, almost at once and Android 4.4.4 has quickly followed 4.4.3. The two updates mostly fix bugs that were afflicting phone and tablet users with Android 4.4.2 and there aren't that many obvious changes, just a tweak here and there.

Battery

Poor battery life on your mobile phone is a constant problem and it affects a lot of people. Some owners cannot get through a whole day without connecting their phone to a charger. What is wrong and what is the solution to high battery drain and short battery life? It could actually be caused by almost anything, so let's take a look at a couple of typical cases.

Do you read ebooks? If you do, you are one of an increasing number of people that have switched to electronic books and are helping to save the rain forests. Not everyone reads ebooks because they are saving trees and there are probably carbon emissions associated with internet servers and ebook readers too. It's simply convenient to carry a library of books on a small electronic device that can be held in one hand and carried in a pocket or bag.

Problems with apps can be solved by uninstalling and reinstalling. Built in apps you can't uninstall can still be fixed. Here's how to do it

If you have a problem with your Android phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6 or earlier, how do you go about solving it? Hardware problems require a trip to a service centre, but software problems can often be solved.

Hill Climb Free

A search for 'hill climb' at the Google Play Store reveals a long list of apps to choose from for your Android phone or tablet and they are all very similar. There is a whole genre of hill climbing apps and they involve climbing hills (as you probably guessed) and speeding over rough terrain in various vehicles. They are addictive, challenging and fun.

Clock

At the end of the day or the end of the week, do you sometimes wonder where all your time has gone? You meant to do this task or that project, but either never finished them or perhaps never even got round to starting them. Why are you always busy and why do you have no time for anything? What you need is a time tracker, an app that records how you spend your time, such as Jiffy for Android.

Facebook

There have been many reports that Facebook could be the cause of excessive battery drain on both iPhones and Android phones. Yes it could be, but it doesn’t have to be and it may be using too much battery power simply because the settings aren’t the optimum for battery life. Similarly, it may use excessive amounts of data, pushing you over your contract limit. Once again, it could be just that the settings aren’t the best.

Blue battery

Battery usage is a constant worry for mobile device users and phones and tablets never last as long as we would like them to. If only we could get another hour of two use out of our devices they would be much more valuable. GSam Battery Monitor for Android phones and tablets might help you do that.

Hiking boots

Moves is a health and fitness app that has just been acquired by social networking giant Facebook. What does the app do and why would Facebook want to buy it? The app is free so why not add it your Android phone or iPhone and see for yourself?

Battery indicator

Some people have been experiencing excessive battery drain with their Android tablet or phone even though they haven’t been using it. It can happen overnight and there is a full charge when they go to bed, but in the morning the battery is nearly drained. Looking at the battery usage, an item called glgps seems to be sucking up all the battery juice. What is it and how do you stop glgps draining the battery?

AVG battery indicator

Near the top of most people’s feature wish list for their mobile phone must surely be a longer life battery and better performance. AVG Battery Saver & Tuneup for Android promises both of those and the app is free on the Google Play Store, so it sounds like a must-have app.

Digital cameras are great, except when you want to take a series of photos in rapid succession. You might want to take an action shot at a sporting event, capture your pet dog jumping for a Frisbee, or something similar. You need a camera that can capture that split second with a high degree of accuracy. High-Speed Camera, a free app for Android phones, is designed just for this type of situation.

Anyone that spends a lot of time driving a car will know about the problems that mobile phones can cause. Calls, messages, alarms and notifications can all distract you from the task in hand, which can potentially be dangerous.

The big news this week was the launch of Microsoft Office for the iPad, but there was an equally important release that didn’t get as much attention and that is Office for Android. It is now free for home users and it is well worth getting.

Unless you have the luxury of owning a phone or tablet with 32GB or more of memory, it is quite likely that you are short of space. It is easy to run out of space on a 16GB phone or tablet, and if the device is only 8GB you need to think about some serious memory saving techniques. Here is one tip for saving space on your phone or tablet.

First Samsung, then Motorola and now LG has announced a smartwatch. Competition in the marketplace is heating up with some of the biggest players joining in. Like Motorola's watch, LG's is powered by Android Wear and LG and Google are working together on the new wearables platform. Will this be a Nexus Watch sold by Google? It certainly sounds like it might.

Is 2014 the year of the smartwatch? Although there have been several models already, the one so far from Samsung and others have not been that attractive. They look more like scaled down smartphones than watches. Watches have to look good or people won't wear them and Motorola seems to have nailed it with its Moto 360 smartwatch.

It seems a long time ago when Android 4.4 - KitKat - was launched, but some people are only just getting their upgrade. Of course, it all depends on the phone or tablet manufacturer rather than Google and my Samsung Galaxy S4 has only just been updated today.

It seems that every year is the year of the paperless office and it is a phrase that regularly makes an appearance. People were talking about the paperless office 10 years ago and it still hasn't truly arrived. However, it is getting much easier to reduce the paper clutter that fills our desks and drawers, and Google Drive can be used to store documents, receipts and other paperwork.