How to fix Android 4.4.2 problems on the Galaxy S4

If you’re tearing your hair out since updating your Galaxy S4 to KitKat, read on and get some stress relief.

Sink your teeth into these KitKat solutions for the Galaxy S4. / © AndroidPIT

Lock screen of death

Turning your phone on to see a black lock screen is disconcerting at best and looks like the device hasn’t turned on at all at worst. While you can still unlock a black lockscreen as you would normally, it’s hardly a good thing. The quickest and easiest fix to get rid of this problem is to ditch the lock screen personal message.

Go to settings > lockscreen > lock screen widgets > clock or personal message > clock.

You don’t actually need to have had personal message enabled in the first place for this problem to affect you. The solution still works though.

See Full Story on

TimePIN For Android Auto-Changes The Lock Screen PIN According To Current Time

Phones are more than just communication devices. To some, they are a safe haven for personal moments and memories, and one does what one can to protect them from unwanted eyes. There are solutions to secure certain features within the phone such as AppLock or to restrict connectivity throughInternet Lockthe list goes on. New to this list is TimePIN, a free device security app that employs PIN lock in a unique manner.

Like most good ideas, TimePIN stems from simplicity. It uses the native Android PIN lock feature with a twist at the backend to ensure your device’s security, all without root access. Your PIN becomes the current displayed time. So, if you unlock your device at 8:45, your PIN becomes 0845, or if you’re using the 24 hour clock format, 20:45 will become 2045. So you needn’t actually remember the PIN as it will be written right there, while anyone attempting to get in won’t know where to start.

Also, if you ever have to tell your friends the current PIN, you won’t have to change it yourself later.

TimePin-AdminNeeded TimePin-AdminRights

When you launch the app for the first time, it will ask you for admin rights and then for a default PIN. The latter will serve as a fail-safe in case you yourself aren’t able to unlock the device, and to protect the app itself from being access or uninstalled by someone else. Whenever you restart your device, you’ll be asked for your default PIN. Once that is done, TimePIN kicks in.

See Full Story on

Context is king: Cover for Android changes your lock screen as you move

Contextual features that use information such as time of day and your location are becoming increasingly important on smartphones today. Today’s smartphones know where you are, where you’re going, who you’re with, and what you like to do. After years and years of claims from smartphone companies and app makers that they’d take advantage of all that information, we’re finally beginning to see a wave of apps that actually make good on those promises. Google Now was just one of many high-profile examples, and Apple’s Today view is another. Just last week, Aviate launched with a completely customizable home screen based on your location and the time of day.

Today, a new entrant wants to bring that same kind of context to your lock screen. Cover, the product of ex-Facebook, Google, and Yahoo engineers, replaces your default Android lock screen with one that knows where you are and what time of day it is to provide you with quick shortcuts to the apps you use the most in each scenario. For instance, when you are at work, Cover might put Gmail, Calendar, and Dropbox icons right on your lock screen, while at home it might replace those with Netflix, YouTube, and Sonos apps. The system learns your behavior, and after a few days of use, it puts the most used apps at the top of its vertical list. More apps are available by swiping on the right side of the display.

Plenty of third-party lock screens, and even ones from manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung, have offered shortcuts to your most-used apps, but Cover can change those shortcuts dynamically throughout the day. Cover also features a unique “Peek” function that lets you see the contents of an app without fully unlocking your screen, and it has an app-switching function for when you’re already past your lock screen.

See Full Story on

How to Add a Widget to Your Android Device’s Lock Screen

Want to see all your most important updates without the hassle of unlocking your device? With Android 4.2, users can add up to six different lock screen widgets for quick and easy access to their favorite widgets. If you’re using a phone that has a pure version of the Android OS, like the Play edition phones or the Nexus 4, here’s how you can quickly add widgets to your lock screen.

1. Bring up your device’s lock screen.

2. Swipe or drag the clock widget sideways. If you drag from right to left, you will pull up the Camera app by default. Drag from left to right to bring the next widget into view.

3. Tap the Plus icon to bring up a list of widgets available.

4. Select your widget.

See Full Story on

Get the Ubuntu lock screen on your Android

Android devices are great for those who love personalization. For instance, if you want to change the theme of your home screen and menus, an app can easily do that for you. And if you ever get bored of the current lock screen, it can be changed to look like a different Android version or even a different mobile OS. Such is the case with the Ubuntu Lockscreen app by Rotary Heart, which allows you to copy the look of the Ubuntu for Android lock screen. Ready to try it out? Here’s how:

Step 1: Install a copy of Ubuntu Lockscreen on your Android device. According to the developer, this app will work on both smartphones and tablets.

Step 2: Press the Home button and a pop-up will appear asking you which launcher to use; choose Ubuntu Lockscreen and then press Always. If you skip this by accident, you can easily correct it in the next step.

See Full Story on

How to add widgets to the lock screen

WidgetsWish you could browse the latest scores, glance at your inbox, check the weather, or even identify a song directly from your Android phone’s lock screen, no passcode required? Well, you can, actually, thanks to the new lock-screen “widgets” in the latest version of Android. Adding a widget to the lock screen on your Android phone is a snap, and dozens of lock screen-friendly widgets are available depending on the apps you have installed. Keep in mind that your phone must be running on version 4.2 or better of Android to add widgets to the lock screen.

See full instructions on

11 useful tips for Nexus 4 owners on how to make the device efficient, maximised and beautiful every day

Nexus 4 It is one of the first to receive Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and features great hardware which can last for many years. Android Authority gives out 11 useful tips for Nexus 4 owners one how to make this device efficient, maximised and beautiful every day.

1.       Protect Your Investment

Google Nexus 4 is particularly fragile and even its Corning Gorilla Glass screen can be shattered. Invest on some sturdy sleeves or protector to increase the phone’s defence against unwanted bumps.

2.       Cut the Cord
Nowadays, wireless charging is becoming more common to smartphones, and it is recommended to use the new technology to remove the stress on your cables or wired charging port. Check out the store near you for wireless chargers.

3.       Expand Your Lock Screen
Jelly Bean 4.2 offers new lock screen functionality for Google Nexus 4. It allows you to add widgets such as camera or calendar and access them by swiping through the lock screen without unlocking the device.

4.       Capture Your Screen
Screen shot capture has been provided by Android OS to most devices and you only need to press Volume Down plus the Power key to take a shot of what do you want on the screen. A flash will display about the captured screen.

5.       Set Your Phone Right Quick
Accessing specific system settings can take two or more clicks on your device, and by using the Quick Settings, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will take right to them. Swipe two fingers downward from the notifications bar to view all listed toggles and shortcuts of the Quick Settings.

6.       Keep Your Screens Clean
If you are annoyed by Google Play automatically creating icons on your home screen whenever you install a new application, go to the Play Store’s Settings and uncheck the “Auto-add widgets”. In this way, you can keep your screens clean after installation and manage which important icons you want to put on the home screen.

7.       Unleash Your Inner Shutterbug
Google Nexus 4 running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean takes full benefit for users with inner “instagram” abilities. Go to the Gallery App and select an image you want, click on the “three-circle” icon below and apply filters to it. This can a very good alternative from installing a separate image editor.

8.       Create Your Own Street View Picture
Use the Photo Sphere and bear with the connect the dots to create your own “street view” like images as if in 3D mode. This feature can be very useful if you want to capture an accurate detail of a specific space.

9.       Teach Your Nexus to Pronounce Your Name
Contacts in Google Nexus 4 comes with a new call card which allows you to pronounce names using Google Voice Command. If the name is difficult to pronounce or similar to other contacts, you can add up a nickname for the Voice Command to use instead. This is very useful to direct family members with “Mother,” “Brother,” and so forth.

10.   Make Your Phone a Personal Assistant
Use the Google Now service and be provided with information you never expected you wanted. The app can provide not only weather but also sports, traffic updates and even contents about any topic you want to ask.

11.   Daydreaming
The new Daydream feature from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean may not be very popular, but it can make your device work even when you are sleeping. Daydream can make your phone do picture slideshow, acts as classic alarm clock, or something to play with using Beanflinger under dock or when plugged to its charger.

Google Nexus 4 Tips to Make it More Useful Than Ever [via]

How to Protect Your Phone from Snoops

What can you do to shield yourself from snoops who gain possession of your phone? Fortunately there are some simple settings and apps to protect your smartphone so that if it is lost or stolen, it will be harder to peek into your life. Here are some basic tips.

Protect the lock screen 

One of the easiest ways to add a layer of security to your smartphone is requiring a password to get past the initial lock screen. For iPhones, you can turn on a setting to require entering a four-digit passcode to use the device. For Android phones, you can set up a passcode or a secret gesture that you draw with your finger to unlock the screen. There is also a setting to make the phone erase all your data if a person enters the passcode incorrectly after a certain number of times.

It can be annoying to have to enter a passcode every time you turn on the phone, but one way to make this less cumbersome is to set an amount of time the phone has to wait until it requires entering a passcode again. For example, on the iPhone you can set it to require a passcode 15 minutes after the last time you entered it.

Use apps for lost phones 

If your phone is stolen or lost, apps can track its location. If the device is turned on, you can ping the device for a signal to show its approximate location on a map.

For the iPhone, Apple offers a free tool called Find My iPhone, which can be turned on in the settings for iCloud; users can log in to from any browser to view the phone’s location on a map. For Android phones, the free apps Lookout and Where’s My Droid will help locate a missing smartphone. The Lookout app can even secretly snap a photo of a thief’s face with the front-facing camera and send an email to you with the picture and the location where it was taken.
That is not to say that if your phone is stolen, you should hunt for the thief. But police officers have sometimes used the feature to track the stolen phone and catch the thieves.

Both Lookout and Find My iPhone also have a feature to remotely erase all the data from the phone just by clicking a button. This way, the instant you lose your device, you can at least prevent a stranger from looking at your pictures and emails.

Look out for malware 

Apple carefully polices its App Store so malicious software generally does not make it onto iPhones. But the more open nature of Android software makes it susceptible to malware that can steal a user’s personal information; Lookout, the mobile security firm, estimates that from the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2013, 18 million Android users may encounter malware. The Lookout app for Android also scans and removes malware.

The most prominent type of malware is called toll fraud. Basically, a malicious piece of software secretly sends messages from your device to a service that authorises charges to your phone bill. Owners of Android phones should occasionally check their phone bills for any mysterious charges.

Minimise location sharing 

A lot of apps on a smartphone track your location. In the settings for both iPhones and Android phones, you can choose which apps gain access to location data, or turn off location services altogether. It is generally wise to allow only apps that make good use of location data, like GPS software, to track where you are. But you probably don’t want to allow the app made by IMDB, the movie database, to know your location if all you do is look up movies and actors with it.
On some smartphones, your location is pulled whenever you snap a photo. This feature, called geotagging, is aimed at helping organize photo albums. But if you are sensitive about people knowing where you have been, make sure to turn location tracking off inside the camera settings.

Encrypt your data 

Even if you require a password to use your smartphone, a thief can theoretically plug the device into a computer and hack around to take a look at your data. Security researchers recommend using encryption to secure your information.

iPhone owners are in luck: Apple’s newer iPhones have encryption included in both the software and the hardware, making it virtually impossible for any stranger to obtain the data as long as the lock screen is protected by a passcode. Some Android phones have a software-based encryption feature – the popular Samsung Galaxy S III, for example, has an option to require entering a password to decrypt data on the device and its memory card whenever the phone is booted up. Be warned, however, that the Galaxy’s encryption process is irreversible, so if you are the type who finds entering a password annoying, don’t use it.

There are also various third-party apps that allow you to encrypt specific types of information. Good Technology, for example, offers iPhone and Android software for businesses to manage sensitive data, like classified documents and emails, inside an encrypted container. The Android app SecureMemo allows you to store sensitive data, like credit card numbers and passwords, in an encrypted file on the memory card. For iPhones and Android phones, the app SecureSafe stores sensitive data in a password-protected “safe deposit box” online. Some health care professionals use a free app called Tiger Text for sending encrypted messages, photos and documents.

Shield your phone from snoops [via]