Turning Your Android Phone into a Webcam: How To Do It

Have you ever been dissatisfied with the low-quality webcam that your laptop was shipped with? Apart from the very latest laptops, the tiny cameras on notebooks seem almost like an afterthought. Here’s how you can turn your Android phone into a functional webcam…

  • First of all, you need to install an app from the Play store. There are a few apps that can turn your phone into webcam.
  • Set up a user ID and password, which is good for the phone webcam’s privacy and security.
  • At this point, go to your computer and open up your web browser. Browse to the phone webcam’s IP address. Simply type in the complete IP address (with the port) at the address bar and hit enter.

See full story at articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

AMBER Alerts and Android: What you need to know

Here’s what you need to know about these emergency alerts and how you can control them on your Android phone.

What kind of emergency alerts are there?

There are three (or four, depending on how you’re counting) types of emergency alerts you can receive on your Android. They’re grouped into the less-dangerous-sounding “Cell Broadcast” heading, and include:

  • Extreme threats: Classified as threats to your life and property, like an impending catastrophic weather event like a hurricane or tsunami.
  • Severe threats: Less serious than the extreme threats, these could be the same types of situations, but on a smaller scale — stay safe, but you won’t need to pack up the car and head for the hills.
  • AMBER alerts: These are specific alerts aimed at locating a missing child. Technically AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.” But it was named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped and killed in 1996. AMBER alerts can appear to be a bit cryptic, giving you the location of the alert, a car license plate number and the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
  • Presidential alerts: These alerts will often fall into the “extreme threats” category, but are issued directly by the President of the United States and cannot be turned off in your phone’s settings.

What does an emergency or AMBER alert sound like?

It’s loud and annoying — particularly if you have a phone with really good speakers, or are with several people who have their phones out.

You’ll likely also find your phone is vibrating when an alert is issued.

BY ANDREW MARTONIK

See full Story at www.androidcentral.com

Amazon FreeTime comes to Android phones and tablets

Amazon’s FreeTime service, which includes access to curated kid-friendly content and various parental controls, is now arriving on Android devices with the launch of a new FreeTime Android app. The app offers parents a similar set of parental controls as those found on Amazon’s Fire tablet devices, as well as a handpicked selection of over 40,000 YouTube videos and websites that have been deemed safe for kids through the FreeTime web browser.

Parents will also be able to upgrade to FreeTime Unlimited for $2.99 per month for an expanded selection of content, if the parent is a Prime member. If not, the price is $4.99 per month – as it is for the Fire tablet version of the service.

This upgraded selection includes over 10,000 age-appropriate books and videos from brands like Disney, Nickelodeon, Amazon Studios, PBS Kids, HarperCollins, Sesame Street, Simon & Schuster, and others.

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See full Story at techcrunch.com

Google adds phishing protection to Gmail on Android

Following the widespread phishing scam that affected Google Docs and Gmail users this week, Google says it’s now rolling out a new security feature in its Gmail application on Android that will help warn users about suspicious links. This feature may not have prevented this week’s attack, however, as that attack involved a malicious and fake “Google Docs” app that was hosted on Google’s own domain.

However, the additional security protection is a step in the right direction, given how many users access Gmail on mobile, and the increasing sophistication of these phishing attacks that can even fool fairly tech-savvy individuals.

In this week’s attack, for example, you would have received an email from a known contact who said they were sharing a document with you. When you clicked to open the document, you’d be taken to an innocent-looking web page hosted by Google. The page wouldn’t even prompt you for your password, but instead listed all your Google accounts ready to be clicked.

You would be asked to give an app named “Google Docs” account permissions – but it wasn’t the real Google Docs. And once it had access, the worm began spreading to everyone in your contacts list.

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See full Story at techcrunch.com

Spotify brings “Behind the Lyrics” to Android

Over a year ago, Spotify inked a deal with music annotation startup Genius to provide the backstory to the songs you’re streaming through a feature called Behind the Lyrics, which pops up additional commentary as you’re listening to tracks on the service. Today, the company says the feature is finally making its way over to Android, where it will initially be available across a small handful of playlists.

Android users worldwide will be able to see the Behind the Lyrics commentary on Spotify’s own curated playlists, Behind the Lyrics: Hip Hop and Today’s Top Hits. When you’re listening to songs on these playlists, the tracks will pop up lyrical excerpts, fun facts and stories from the artists themselves, says Spotify in an announcement about the feature’s launch.

In addition, Khalid is offering Behind the Lyrics on every track on his new album American Teen.

These annotations play automatically, and make the process of listening to music more engaging. It’s a bit like the modern-day take on reading the liner notes. Instead of flipping through pages of text and printed photos, however, you’re meant to pay attention to your phone’s screen as the music plays. For Spotify, this has the advantage of keeping users in its app – an app most people today use in the background while they do other things.

This increased time spent in app means the company has a better shot at introducing its other content to its active listeners, including its videos, podcasts, clips, and original programming, as well as pointing you to nearby concerts or artist merchandise.

The Behind the Lyrics feature is now one of many ways artists can connect with their fans on Spotify – an area where iTunes, and its attempt at social networking called Connect – largely failed.

See full Story at techcrunch.com

12 tips to curb data usage in Android

Here are 12 steps you can follow to track your data and lessen its effect on your — or your company’s — budget. (Note: Any tips that are specific to a particular version of Android will be noted.)

1. Diagnose your data usage

You have to understand a problem before you can fix it — so start by heading into your system settings and looking for the section labeled “Data usage.” Tap that line, then tap “Cellular data usage” on the next screen.

2. Battle unnecessary background trickles

Now that we know what’s eating through your mobile data, it’s time to start addressing it.

We’ll start by seeking out and limiting specific instances of unnecessary background data use. Social and news apps tend to be among the worst at this, as they often check in at regular intervals throughout the day in order to pull in new updates. You can opt to disable that behavior — and in most cases, you probably won’t notice much of a downside from doing so.

4. Compress your mobile web experience

Next up is an easy fix: Making your browser less of a data hog. Google’s Chrome Android browser has an option called Data Saver that routes pages through Google’s servers so they’re compressed when they reach you. It can save a significant amount of data and actually make your browsing faster, too.

5. Optimize your music apps

Got Google Play Music? Head into the app’s settings and look for the “Quality on mobile network” option. Try setting it to “Low” or “Normal” and then see if the more data-friendly audio quality is good enough for your ears.

While you’re in the settings, take a moment to confirm that the option for “Download only on Wi-Fi” is activated — and think carefully about the option to “Cache music while streaming.” That’ll cause the app to download every song while you stream it, which means the song will then be locally stored and won’t require any additional data if you listen to it again in the future.

By JR Raphael

See full story at www.computerworld.com

10 Useful tips to get the most out of Android 5.0 Lollipop

It’s easy to be duped by the seemingly simple aesthetic of Google’s Material Design language, yet, Android 5.0 Lollipop offers more depth than you might see at first glance. It’s a pretty major overhaul, lined with lock-screen notifications and tools for saving battery life, so even veterans of the platform may be a little lost at first. In this roundup, we offer some Android 5.0 Lollipop tips to help you uncover handy features and find shortcuts to what you want, whether you want to quickly silence your smartphone or wirelessly cast a myriad of content on your high-definition TV via a Chromecast.

How to quickly access quick settings

You might be frustrated considering a single swipe simply brings down the notification shade with a list of your notifications and you have to swipe a second time to get into your Quick settings. If you want to get straight into those Quick settings without a second swipe, then just swipe down with two fingers instead of one.

How to silence your device

Gone is the old silent mode from Android 5.0 (you used to be able to hold Volume down to quickly silence your device). If you hold Volume down now, the volume will merely go lower without every becoming silenced. You can tap the bell icon to switch to vibrate only. You can completely silence your device by pressing the volume rocker and then tapping None, but that means you won’t receive any notifications at all. If you’ve taken the time to set up your Priority notifications via Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications, then you’ll have fine-grained control over what notifications you receive. You can set None and Priority to last indefinitely or specify a particular amount of time, which is handy for meetings. You can also schedule regular Downtime where only Priority notifications come through via Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions. You’ll know when Priority mode is on because it displays a star icon in the top-right of the display.

 

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See full story at www.digitaltrends.com

Essential tips for keeping our Android phones safe

In the world we live in, we tend to take our mobile devices for granted these days. They sit in our pockets ready to provide us with access to the Internet, and all the different forms of entertainment that it holds. Something we tend to forget though to keep this portal safe, especially from the less trustworthy sites that are out there.

Thankfully though there are plenty of applications created for Android devices that protect them and our identity from the online dangers waiting for us online. We must use common sense of course, but here are a few more tip for how to stay safe:

By AndroidGuys

See full story at www.androidguys.com