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Best Android tips for optimum performance

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There are many ways to customise an Android device and maximise performance. In addition to changing the look and feel of the interface, set up your smartphone so that autocorrect does not embarrass you, the right app launches when you need it, the battery lasts longer, and you never go over your data limit.

According to www.lifewire.com, there are also features that make the device easier to use and manage. Here are 17 tips to customise your Android phone and increase your productivity.

Keep notifications at bay

Having a smartphone means always being connected and reachable, but everyone needs quiet time and privacy. New in Android 8.0 is the ability to snooze notifications. Notification Dots appear on app icons, so you can see unread notifications by app, and view and dismiss notifications at any time.

Tap a notification to reschedule it for 15 minutes to two hours later. Take advantage of other notification features offered in Android Marshmallow and after, including Do Not Disturb, which blocks all notifications or only lets the most urgent ones through.

Lose the bloatware

Often, the only way to uninstall pre-installed apps is to root the phone. However, these apps can be disabled. Then, you won’t get unnecessary notifications or updates that take up storage space.

Track data usage

If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you have to keep an eye on how much you use every month. Android makes it easy to keep track of data usage and set limits. To access these options, open the Settings app and go to the Wireless and Networks section. There are also third-party apps that track usage week-by-week or day-by-day.

Reduce data consumption

Using too much data? Often, a phone may consume data in the background, which can be a big culprit. Open the Settings app and look at your data usage to see which apps use the most data. Then, turn off background data on the worst offenders. It’s also a good idea to use Wi-Fi whenever possible.

Set default apps

When you click a link or open a photo on a new smartphone, you are prompted to choose which app to use and whether to use that app always or just once. If you select Always and change your mind, set and clear default apps. Open the Settings and look under Applications. This shows which apps are set as defaults, and depending on the operating system you can either clear defaults all at once or one-by-one.

Save battery life

There are many simple ways to save battery life. Reducing data usage is one fix, especially if you restrict the apps that are allowed to run in the background. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them. There are also third-party apps available that can help conserve battery life.

Gain storage space

Even with a memory card slot, an Android device can fill up fast if you download a lot of apps, snap a lot of photos, and take a lot of videos. To free up space quickly, delete unused apps, and move older photos and videos to the cloud or to a computer. Move as much data as you can to a memory card if the phone has one, then swap it out for an empty card when it fills up.

Find the file manager

On Android Marshmallow, access the Android file manager to delete and copy files and folders. The file manager shows how much storage is used and how much room is left. This is another easy way to make space on your smartphone since you can access files that are usually hidden away.

Try some widgets

Want at-a-glance weather information, quick access to music controls, or an overview of your appointments? Get all of this and more by adding widgets to the Home screen. Many apps offer one or more widgets of various sizes that offer top-line information, including those for fitness, productivity, messaging, navigation, and more.

Download a launcher

One of the great things about Android is that if you don’t like something about it, change it, and you don’t have to root the device. An Android launcher is one such example. Use a launcher to manage apps, customise screens, and change the way you interact with the interface by adding gesture controls and more.

Move your data to a new device

Setting up a new smartphone can be tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. Android makes it simple to move contacts, apps, photos, and other data from one device to another. In some cases, you can use NFC, which is one of the fastest methods, and much preferable to paying a wireless carrier to do it. Be sure to back up your data too, just in case. New Pixel devices come with a cable for data transfer.

Take Screenshots

Whether you want to save a screen from your favourite game or a snippet from the web to share with friends, knowing how to take a screenshot is important. To take a screenshot, hold the Power/Lock button and the Home button. If the device has a soft key for the Home button, hold the Power/Lock and the Volume Down button.

There is also a variety of third-party screenshot apps for Android that offer additional capabilities such as the ability to crop images, share screenshots, and add highlights and annotations.

Tether for free

Using a smartphone as a mobile hotspot used to require an add-on plan from most carriers. Now, this feature is free in most cases, and when it’s not, download a third-party app. Open the Settings app and look for the Tethering section. There you can enable the mobile hotspot feature, as well as Bluetooth and USB tethering. This uses mobile data.

Stay on top of security

Android has had some high profile security issues, so it’s important to be proactive about protecting devices. New to Android 8.0 is Google Play Protect, which continuously scans apps in the store to ensure they’re legit.

Use ‘Find My Device’

Protect your privacy with the Find My Device feature (previously called the Android Device Manager), which enables you to track the device location and lock and reset it remotely. Resetting it means wiping the data from the device if you lose it permanently. You can also make your device emit a sound even if it’s in silent mode if it is misplaced.

Set up Google smart lock

It can be annoying to constantly unlock a device when you’re at home or at the office. Google Smart Lock (also known as Android Smart Lock) lets you personalise the settings so that your device stays unlocked in certain locations and situations. This way, if you spend the day on the couch, your device won’t lock every time it goes idle.

Customise your lock screen

There are plenty of options to customise the Lock screen. When you lock the screen, choose a method to unlock it: pattern, pin code, or password. You can also specify whether notifications appear on-screen and how much detail display. There are apps that offer even more options, including custom themes and the ability to display widgets.

#Takeaway

Document grinding

Document grinding is the process of analysing documents to extract meaningful data. The term is often associated with computer hacking, since hackers may “grind” documents to reveal confidential data. However, document grinding is also used for non-malicious purposes. Examples include identifying unknown file types and viewing file metadata, according to www.techterms.com.

It is possible to perform document grinding on both plain text and binary files.

Text files

Grinding text files is a simple process since they store data as plain text. You can search for characters and strings within a text document using a tool like grep or another search utility. Since text processing is a relatively fast computer operation, it may be possible to grind several large documents in less than a second.

Common text file types targeted for document grinding include log files (.LOG, .TXT) and configuration files (.CONF, .CNF). If a hacker gains access to a web server, for example, he may search these files for usernames, passwords, and other confidential data.

Binary files

Binary files may contain some plain text, but they also store binary data – 1s and 0s. It is more difficult to grind binary data since it cannot be searched with a text search tool. Additionally, many binary files are saved in a proprietary file format, which is difficult to parse without the corresponding application. Therefore binary document grinding typically focuses on the header and footer of a document, which may contain plain text. It may also aim to extract file metadata.

Many binary files contain information about the file type in the header of the file. For example, in the sample image, the letters “PNG” in the header indicate the file is a PNG image. This information is useful for identifying the file type since it does not have a file extension. Similarly, digital photos often contain hidden EXIF data saved when the photo was taken. An image-viewing program or a document grinding script may be able to detect and extract this information.

Source: https://punchng.com/best-android-tips-for-optimum-performance/

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The Motivator

Using a PlayStation 4 controller with your PC

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Microsoft’s Xbox controller has been the default gamepad for PC gamers for some time now, but you may prefer Sony’s competing — and also quite good — DualShock 4 controller. The good news is, you can easily configure it to work on Windows or macOS.

The PlayStation 4 gamepad’s ergonomic and efficient design cannot be denied. Whether you play first-person shooters, roleplaying games, or any other genre, the DS4 is crafted to feel comfortable in button placement, weight, and grip. Long-time PlayStation gamers may wish to use it on their PC games because of its familiarity. Others opt for it instead of spending money on a new controller. And, of course, the DualShock 4 controller is perfect for playing games with the Remote Play app on your computer.

Whatever the case may be, it is relatively simple to connect and use the DualShock 4 with your computer. There are a few quirks, though, which is why we thought a primer on setting up and using them would be prudent.

TL;DR

  • First: Unpair the PS4 controller from your console. Then connect it to your PC or Mac using the original cable (or buy a longer one) or use Bluetooth. More instructions on how to use Bluetooth can be read below.
  • On Windows: Download DS4Windows and use this to map the DualShock 4 controller and emulate an Xbox controller, so you gain native-like OS support. Steam Big Screen mode also has support for the PS4 controller.
  • On Mac: Using the most recent release of macOS Catalina 10.15 is highly encouraged as that will provide with the easiest integration. Steam for Mac and few other apps provide native controller support. More detail on that below.
  • PS4 Remote Play: Using the DualShock 4 with PlayStation’s Remote Play app is relatively painless since both PC and Mac have built-in support.

The DualShock 4 is more or less plug-and-play. It can be connected to both PCs and Macs via a compatible micro USB cable. The one that comes with the controller is fine but is a tad short and may not suit your computer set up. You can buy a 20-foot cable that should be more than enough for anyone’s needs.

However, who needs a cable when the controller is equipped with Bluetooth? Therefore this article will mostly focus on pairing it wirelessly.

Unpairing from PS4 and Pairing Mode

Whether you are planning to use your DualShock 4 with PC or Mac, you will first have to unpair it from the PlayStation, unless you bought it new, and it has never been paired. If that’s the case you may skip this step.

To unpair it, turn on your PS4 and go into the Settings menu. Scroll down and open the Devices sub-menu. Select Bluetooth Devices and then DualShock 4, and click on Disconnect. With your DS4 now unpaired, you are set to connect it with your Mac or PC via Bluetooth, but first, you need to get the controller into pairing mode.

To initiate pairing, simultaneously press and hold the PS and the Share buttons on the DS4 for about three seconds. You will know it is in pairing mode when the light on the front of the controller begins blinking white in a double flash pattern (above).

Connecting the controller to Mac and PC is a similar process, but setting it up with macOS is a bit more straightforward, so let’s start there.

Connecting the DS4 in macOS

With the controller in pairing mode, go to your Mac’s settings and open Bluetooth Preferences. It might take a few seconds or more while the Mac searches for the signal, so be patient. Eventually, a listing for it will appear.

We have seen various labels show up here — “wireless controller,” “DualShock 4 wireless controller,” even the raw MAC address has shown up before. Regardless of how it is listed, it will be obvious which device is the controller.

Next to the listing, click the Connect button. After a few seconds, the wireless controller will move to connected status. Also, the light on the front of the DS4 will be a steady light blue. Now you are good to go — well, almost. Skip to the Quirks and Game Support section to see what caveats we encountered.

Connecting the DS4 in Windows

With the controller in pairing mode, go into Windows Bluetooth settings. Click on “Add Bluetooth or other device.” A window will pop up with the top option to connect to a BT device. Click it, and on the next screen you should see an entry for “wireless controller.” Click that, and it will pair the controller.

Once the DS4 is connected, you would think that you are ready to go. After all, it will clearly show that the computer is connected and receiving a signal from the controller — it may have even run some driver installs. However, the DualShock will be useless when trying to run native games.

Since Windows does not have native support for the DS4, you will have to trick it into thinking you are using an Xbox 360 controller, which it does support. You can do this by downloading and installing an open-source program called DS4Windows. Features are listed on the official website, and you can download it from TechSpot Downloads. You won’t need this app if you plan to play only Steam games, which we will get to in a minute.

DS4Windows comes in a zipped file. Extract it and you will see two .exe files. DS4Udater.exe just downloads the latest drivers. For now, you should be good, but keep this in mind if you have problems down the road. The main program is DS4Windows.exe. Run this, and your DualShock will immediately have functionality in Windows. You can even use the DS4’s touchpad as a mini trackpad to move the cursor around. Pushing in on the pad emulates left-clicking.

With DS4Windows running in the background, you should not have any trouble playing games natively on your PC using the DualShock 4. However, you may wish to customize settings in-game to suit your button preferences.

Quirks and Game Support

Now for the “bad” news. Using a DualShock 4 on your computer can be a bit tricky at times. A lot of it depends on your system setup and what you are trying to do with the controller.

Windows users relying on DS4Windows should be good to go as long as the game you are playing has controller support. DS4Windows transforms the signals from the DS4 into Xbox 360 code, so it’s effectively remapped across the OS.

We also tested the DualShock 4 with Steam on PC, and it works great in “Big Screen” mode after a bit of tinkering. After starting the Steam launcher in Big Screen mode, you want to click on the Settings icon (the gear in the upper right). Click the Controller Settings tab and check the “PlayStation Configuration Support” box.

Using the DualShock 4 with PlayStation’s Remote Play app is relatively painless since the apps for both PC and Mac have built-in support. However, if you are running a version of macOS earlier than Catalina 10.15, you will need Sony’s DS4 Bluetooth dongle. This is unfortunate because the officially supported adapter goes for about $65 on Amazon, although you can find them for less on eBay.

Some Redditors have reported that you can use any Bluetooth adapter, and this may be true, but we have not tested to confirm this. We have tested the official dongle, and it solves Remote Play compatibility issues on older iterations of macOS.

With the Mac version of Steam, we encountered a few more problems and the solutions can vary a lot. The safest bet here is to run the latest macOS and Steam’s 64-bit launcher which are both new and are still catching up on receiving full support. For games that we could start, the DualShock worked fine. Big Screen mode gives you a very console-like experience with the benefit of PC-powered graphics, and any game you can launch in that mode will recognize the controller. Running Steam games outside of Big Screen mode, the DS4 didn’t work at all. It would seem that Big Screen works similarly to the PC’s DS4Windows app, translating controller input to the game.

All-in-all, the DualShock 4 is a great controller for your PC with just a few caveats. It would appear that Windows users have it easier than Mac gamers, but that is somewhat to be expected. With that said, Apple is making strides as of late and even native Xbox controller support recently was made available for its desktop OS.

Source: https://www.techspot.com/article/1923-playstation-4-controller-on-pc/

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Call of Duty Mobile crosses 100 million downloads in just a week

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Last week, Activision released the much-awaited Call of Duty Mobile on Android and iOS in partnership with the Chinese tech giant Tencent. The new battle royale game seems to be an instant hit as it has already crossed 100 million downloads, according to a report by app research firm SensorTower.

The report notes the game beat first-week download numbers achieved by other popular games such as PlayersUnknown BattleGround (PUBG) and Fortnite. While PUBG picked up 28 million downloads within the first week of launch, Fortnite had 22 million downloads.
It’s important to note PUBG was released in limited regions, and Fortnite was iOS-only at the beginning. On the flip side, Call of Duty Mobile launched on both platforms and in all countries except mainland China, Vietnam, and Belgium.All you need to know about the iPhone 11, the Pro, and Pro Max

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The report also says iOS leads the download tally with 56.9 million as compared to 45.3 million on Android. The United States leads the country-wide download chart with 17.3 million, followed by India with 13.7 million, and Brazil with 7.1 million.

While these are early days for the game, it’s an impressive start nonetheless. We’ll have to wait and see if PUBG and Fortnite fans will move over to the new title just to get some fresh battle royale experience.

Source; https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2019/10/09/call-of-duty-mobile-crosses-100-million-downloads-in-just-a-week/

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PS4 Remote Play game streaming coming to non-Sony phones this week

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Devoted PlayStation users have for years called on Sony to bring official support for Remote Play game streaming app to non-Sony handsets, and it seems their demands will finally be met. Sony has announced to release the v7.00 update for the PlayStation 4 within this week, bringing the feature to a wider range of Android devices.

Remote Play has been around since the days of the PlayStation 3, but it could relay console games only to a handful of Xperia smartphones released after 2014. Back then, an XDA Forum member was able to port the feature to all rooted Android devices, but the implementation remained rough. The upcoming system update for the PS4 console aims to address this as it expands the scope of Remote Play to cover all Android devices — smartphones and tablets — running version 5.0 Lollipop or newer.

All you’ll need to do is download the PS4 Remote Play app from the Google Play Store after you’ve updated your gaming console with the latest firmware. The app is listed on the Play Store but it still isn’t compatible with non-Sony devices. This should probably change once Sony pushes the v7.00 update to its console. Notably, devices running Android 10 will be able to pair with Sony’s DualShock 4 wireless controllers over Bluetooth. Given how recent Android 10 is, not many are likely to take advantage of this feature.

In addition to this, Sony is also doubling the maximum Party size to 16 with this software update, besides bringing Chat Transcription to Party using the PS4 Second Screen app. Initially, this accessibility feature will only support US English and won’t be available outside the US. Some improvements to the audio quality and network connectivity have also been implemented.

Source: https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/10/08/ps4-remote-play-game-streaming-coming-to-non-sony-phones-this-week/

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