Hidden tricks you didn’t know your Android phone could do

A quick note before we begin: Android has a wide variety of makes, models, and versions, which makes it more difficult to find features that will be consistent across all devices. We only verified the following tips on stock Android 7.0 Nougat—they should also work on related systems, but some of the menus and procedures may vary slightly.

1. Cast your Android screen

For a number of years, you’ve been able to broadcast your Android phone or tablet’s display to the larger screen of a television using a Chromecast. In addition to beaming video from all the usual movie and TV apps, this streaming device can mirror your phone. Take advantage of a mirroring shortcut in the Quick Settings pane, which you access by dragging down from the top of the screen with two fingers. You should find a Cast option in this menu.

2. Run apps side-by-side

One of the new features added in Android 7.0 Nougat is the option to run apps side-by-side or one above the other. This view comes in handy when you want to display photos, optimize your social networking, or multitask, although it’s a bit too laggy for gaming.

To set it up, tap the Overview button (the square icon below the screen) button, and choose which of your recently used apps you want to see. Then, hold and drag that app’s title bar to the top or left of the display. Finally, choose another open app to appear alongside or under it.

3. Make text and images more visible

If you’re struggling to see what’s on the screen—or, alternatively, if you want to cram as much content as possible onto the display and don’t mind doing a bit of squinting along the way—you can zoom in or out on text and objects. Not all the apps will respond to these adjustments, but most of them will.

By David Nield

See full story at www.popsci.com

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

What to Do If You Forget Your Android Phone’s PIN, Pattern, or Password


Android normally secures your device by demanding a PIN, pattern, or full password. Your phone isn’t useless if you forget the unlock code — you can bypass it and get back in.

As Google tightens security, this has become more difficult on modern versions of Android. But there’s always a way to make your phone usable again, as long as you remember your Google account’s username and its password.

By: Chris Hoffman

See full story at  www.howtogeek.com

What To Do When Your Android Phone is Stolen


Your Android phone is a little of everything: a photo album, a diary, a wallet, a gaming machine, a bank account, and more all rolled together in one convenient, Web-connected device. Unfortunately, that same convenience means that any enterprising thief could not only get your phone, but access to everything on it as well.

What To Do If You’ve Already Lost Your Android
As with the Apple-centric companion piece to this article, let’s start with the worst-case scenario: Your Android phone is already missing and you haven’t secured your device with a passcode or set up Android Device Manager —Google’s baked-in anti-theft tool.



See full story at  www.pcmag.com


Things to do with your new Android phone


You’ve just unwrapped your very first Android phone. Congratulations! As Obi-Wan Kenobi would say, “you’ve taken your first steps into a larger world.” Android is a personal and powerful experience. You’ve probably done a few obvious things already, like sign into your WiFi and install Facebook, but there’s so much more you can do. Here are some of the first things you should do with your shiny new phone.

One of the first things you’re going to want to do is open the Google Play Store and download apps. Without apps, a smartphone is just a phone. You already know about the basics: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, etc. Below you will find some other apps that are worth a look

By Joe Fedewa

See full story at phandroid.com


Hidden Secret Codes for Android Phones


One of the most common practices amongst today’s software developers is to leave certain kind of “backdoors” within operating systems. These “backdoors” essentially allow any users with sufficient knowledge to get into the system at a much deeper level than you’d expect from normal users. These backdoors aren’t always meant to be used for malicious intent, as they allow programmers to get into the system for troubleshooting when other usual access modes have been blocked. And to developers, they can be quite friendly and helpful if you know what you’re doing.

Smartphones also have a good share of backdoors as well, but they’re generally known as “secret codes”. These numeric/symbolic sequences allow you to access hidden menus, diagnostic tests etc. for various uses. And for those devices that run on Android, certain codes are shared across the board, and therefore can be used on a variety of devices.

By Shujaa Imran

See full story at www.maketecheasier.com


How to use your Android phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot


So what’s the secret to getting free Android hotspot functionality on any carrier? It’s actually quite simple, and you don’t even have to root your phone to do it.

Android Wi-Fi hotspot: The carrier-connected workaround

All right — ready? Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Install a third-party power widget app. I likeExtended Controls; Wi-Fi hotspot functionality aside, it’s a cool utility with lots of useful features and customization potential. And it only costs 99 cents.
  2. Add an Extended Controls widget to your home screen (look for the widget called “Extended Controls (1×1)”). When you add the widget, the app will automatically prompt you to configure it. In the setup, select “Add new toggle,” then select “Hotspot Wi-Fi” and tap the “Apply” button at the bottom of the screen.

(If you want to customize the look of the widget, you can do so by tapping the “Theme” button before selecting “Apply.” If you want to put additional toggles on the widget, meanwhile, start with one of the larger Extended Controls widget options — 1×2, 1×3, or 1×4 — and set it up as you wish.)

That’s it! You can now activate a Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone anytime you want; just tap the new widget on your home screen to toggle the function on or off.

(Note: This setup may not work on all devices. If it doesn’t do the trick on your phone, a free app called FoxFi is a good alternative to try. FoxFi doesn’t function with Android 4.1, unfortunately, so it’s a short-term solution — and some carriers appear to be taking steps to hide it from users on their networks — but if you’re able to find and download it, it should have you covered for now.)

By: JR Raphael

See full story at www.computerworld.com

How to make sure your data is really deleted before selling your Android phone

Android phone

You would think when you do a “factory reset” and agree to erase everything on your Android device that all of your data would be wiped out for good. But you’d be wrong.

As many researchers have discovered, data can be recovered with the right tools even after a factory reset has been performed. That’s because when you delete something, the file itself isn’t actually overwritten — the system just throws away all the info on the file, essentially tossing it in with whatever free space you have. Recoverable data can be a real privacy problem if you ever plan on selling or donate your Android phone.

There are, however, a few ways to ensure your data is really erased forever.

Encrypt your phone

Encrypting your Android device is the strongest way to prevent its data from being recovered. By encrypting your device, you are essentially scrambling all the data and locking it away with a special key. Once encrypted, the data can’t be decrypted without entering a passcode.

Most devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow are required (except maybe some low-end devices) by Google to have mandatory encryption for maximum security.

See full story at mashable.com