Android this week: Wi-Fi changing app; Nexus 7 dock; Xbox SmartGlass

android-this-week

I started my week out by using near-field communications, or NFC, wireless stickers to automatically toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios on my Android phone when leaving home. That solution works really well — see the video here — but later in the week, I found a super option for folks that don’t have NFC chips in their handset. Smart WiFi Toggler accomplishes the same task and its free.

Smart WiFi Toggler app for AndroidThere are plenty of other ways to do this type of task, but what I like about Smart WiFi Toggler is that it doesn’t require your GPS radio to be on. Other apps use the GPS signal to determine when you’ve left home, for example, and then turn off Wi-Fi for you.

I don’t like that approach because I only use the GPS radio when I need to: I don’t want the radio on all the time. Smart WiFi Toggler simply uses the already-on cellular radio to triangulate your location and take the appropriate actions. This method isn’t as precise for location, but in this case, it doesn’t need to be.

You can’t use this app for a Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 tablet┬ábecause┬áthere’s no cellular radio. But all Nexus 7 tablets may soon get the anticipated landscape dock. Android Central got a tip about the dock appearing on a Japanese Asus site; Asus builds the Nexus 7 for Google.

Nexus 7 docksOn the site is information suggesting availability for the dock this month. The cost when converted from yen to dollars is $41 but I suspect the US price to be $49. Hopefully, I’m wrong and it comes in less than that, but either way, the dock looks handy for watching video and other activities in landscape mode.

One of those activities could be running the Xbox SmartGlass application, which just added support for the Nexus 7 this past week. The software adds a second-screen experience to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, providing additional information to any content being consumed. It also allows you to control your Xbox and lets you use the Nexus 7 as an on-screen keyboard for the console. I haven’t used this free app yet, so I can’t offer any opinion on the value of the app; if any readers have used it, I’d love to hear if it’s worth a try!

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