This week on the podcast we’re talking about Android 4.3, the new Chromecast device from Google, and how stores are tracking you through your phone. We’re also answering your questions about mechanical keyboards, when to use apps instead of mobile sites, and building the ultimate Photoshop PC.
How to Listen to This Week’s Episode
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News and Top Stories
What’s New in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Today, Google finally took the wraps off the new version of Android it neglected to announce back at I/O (instead releasing new features via Play Services instead). Here’s what’s new.
Google Unveils the Chromecast, an HDMI Stick for Streaming Video Google took the wraps off of the Chromecast today, a tiny thumb drive-sized stick with an HDMI port on one end that’s Wi-Fi enabled. It’s designed to make it simple to push video from your home network, smartphone, or the web right to your TV screen.
Gmail Has New Ads That Look Like Emails, Here’s How to Turn Them Off When Google introduced the new tabbed interface for Gmail, it also brought along some new ads under the Promotions tab.
How Retail Stores Track You Using Your Smartphone (and How to Stop It) When you walk into a brick and mortar retail store like a Nordstrom, Cabela, or even Family Dollar, you’re being tracked around the store. Not by an over-suspicious security guard, but by the store’s wireless network, using your phone’s Wi-Fi. The store then uses your phone to track you around the store, determine if you’re a repeat visitor, see what departments you visit, and more. Here’s how they do it, and how to stop them.
The Awesome DSLR Features You (Probably) Never Knew Existed When compared to point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs come with the promise of superior image quality and increased shooting flexibility. It’s much more than that, though: many upgrade and completely miss major benefits of using a high-end camera. If you’ve got a DSLR, make sure you know about these features before you take another photograph. (If you’re new to DSLRs, check out our Photography Night School course first!)
When Should I Use Credit and When Should I Use Debit When Shopping? Dear Lifehacker, When I’m out shopping, I’m always presented with the option to use debit or credit when I check out. I’ve heard there are benefits to using credit, but aren’t there fees involved that can drive up the price or put a strain on the owner of the shop I’m in? When should I use which? Is there even a difference?
Questions and Answers
David writes, “It seems like most of the web sites I visit from my Android phone want me to install the app rather than visit their site with a web browser. But I really don’t like wasting storage space installing apps with redundant functionality. Is there a compelling reason for me to install the Facebook, IMDB, Feedly, HipChat, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, or Amazon apps instead of just using Android Chrome like I’m doing now?”
A lot of the time mobile apps work better than the ones you get from their respective app stores. If you really want the native app experience, however, check out third-party apps for services (e.g. Reddit, Facebook, Twitter) as they might give you the experience you want out of an app. But if you like the mobile sites you should just use those. They work just as well, if not better, most of the time.
How can I test out mechanical keyboards?
We don’t really rely on online views a ton anymore because they just aren’t very reliable. The easiest way to solve the problem—presuming you can’t find a store that carries them—is to buy a bunch of keyboards and return the ones you don’t like.
WannaBeGeek writes, “Your build a PC guide talks about gaming intensive and normal use. What if I want a build for Photoshop? I thought it would be similar, but from my limited research on Google, it looks vastly different (e.g. they have 4 hard drives: boot & programs, photoshop output, scratch disk, storage).”
Get a mid-range graphics card, a fast CPU, an SSD for your boot disk, a separate disk for a scratch disk (either a small 64GB+ SSD or small hard drive), and additional disks for backup (if needed).
Tips of the Week
Downloads of the Week
How Do I Submit a Question?
There are two ways to send in your question:
Please keep your questions as brief as possible. This means about 3-5 sentences for emails and 30-60 seconds for calls and videos. Your questions can be specific, but broader questions are generally better because they’ll apply to more people. For example, “how can I breathe new life into my old PDA?” is much better than “what can I do with an old HP iPAQ 210?” Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!