Tag Archives: settings

How to enable System UI Tuner in Android Marshmallow (Video)

There is a neat hidden menu on your new Android Marshmallow phone or tablet that gives you a bit of control over your status bar and its pull-down menus — the System UI Tuner.

Once enabled, you can change the way your status bar and pull-down settings look and feel, giving your Android a more custom feel that would have previously required some rooting and flashing.

 

 

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How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone (& Never Worry About It Again) (Video)

Since most iPhone users don’t stray from iOS they usually upgrade from an iPhone to a newer iPhone. When they do this, things like photos, app data, and a tons of other things are synced and then transferred directly to the new phone. Combine this with the fact that most users don’t upgrade their storage when buying their next iPhone and you can see how we have a pretty easy recipe for running out of space pretty quickly.

Luckily you can free up space on your iPhone with a few simple steps. Things like making sure you aren’t saving duplicate photos (Instagram is notorious for this), saving photos to the cloud automatically so you can delete old ones from the phone without fear of losing them forever, as well as cleaning up some app data and caches that are just taking up space for no good reason.

So let’s see how we can free up storage space on your iPhone and how we can put things in place to make it far less often you’ll need to do this purging.

How to Free Up Space on the iPhone

Check Storage and Find the Largest Cuplrits

First off, we shouldn’t go into this blindly, right? Let’s see what the biggest storage hogs are, then we can tackle this starting with the biggest culprits and move on.

Thankfully, iOS has a way to check this built it. Head to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage under Storage. From here you’ll see list sorted by the items with the largest size on top.

Now that we can see the biggest culprits eating away at our storage, let’s go through how we can free up the storage they are hogging and also see if we can stop them from taking up so much in the future.

iPhone Storage

Photos

After doing the check on the storage, chances are, you’ll most likely see Photos pretty close to the top. Since it is probably the biggest complaint I usually hear about and the one that usually takes up the most data by far, let’s tackle that one first.

Use Google Photos to Automatically Backup All Photos & Videos then Delete Old Ones

Now that we’ve cut down on the duplicates, let’s take care of the big one –your camera roll.

I did an article on this a while ago and named a bunch of ways to backup your photos and you can check that out, but my favorite way is using Google Photos. Essentially, we’re going to use Google Photos, with its free unlimited storage and auto-backup features, to backup all of the photos we have on the phone then delete the ones on the phone since Google Photos allows us to see all of our photos in the Google Photos app without them taking up space on the phone.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t show them to anyone or post them on Google Plus or anything weird like that, and as a bonus, it actually has some cool (slightly freaky?) search features you can then use to find photos once they’re in the app.

Here’s how to use it.

Backup your Photos

Google Photos Backup

  1. Head to the App Store, search for and install Google Photos.
  2. Open it once installed and login/signup (it’s free).
  3. Then click the Settings icon and select to Automatically Backup photos (or select it when prompted during the setup process).
  4. Connect to a Wifi network at this point to speed up the process (and make sure it uploads your videos as well).
  5. Tap the menu icon at the top left and then tap on Assistant and make sure you see it backing up.
  6. Wait. A long time.
  7. Once it says it is done, head to photos.google.com and login with the same credentials you used for the app. Once you do, do a quick scroll through the photos to confirm they all seem to be there (maybe also do some other backup methods just in case as well).

Erase the Camera Roll Photos

Delete Camera Roll

Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t have a way of deleting apps in bulk very easily and would require you to delete them one by one, but thankfully, Google Photos just added the ability to delete them all from inside the app. Here’s how.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the menu icon at the top left then tap Settings.
  3. Under Free up device storage, tap Free Up Space and follow the prompts to finish the job.

From then on, you’ll have reclaimed a ton of storage and still have access to any photo you need from the past by going to the Google Photos app and finding it from there.

Also, from now on, the Google Photos app will always backup your photos and videos if you open the app once in a while while connected to Wifi (it is supposed to do it automatically without having to do that, but I find it doesn’t always so I open it once in a while and let it backup, just to be safe).

Messages

Messages on Mac

An app that you wouldn’t really think of hogging a lot of data, but is usually one I see on people’s phones at the top of the storage usage list, is your messages app.

Reason being is that iOS automatically saves all of the photos from your conversations as well as the conversations themselves indefinitely (by default, at least). And since you probably don’t need all of that, let’s change it from Forever to 30 days (the shortest amount it has).

  1. Head to Settings > Messages.
  2. Under Message History, tap Keep Messages and change it from Forever to 30 days

Music

The next biggie for most people is their Music. This usually happens when you have your music actually saved on your phone, say through iTunes, but there’s a better way –streaming.

Use a Streaming Music Service

Spotify Streaming Music

I swap phones so often that I can’t be bothered with putting my music on each one every time so I opted for a streaming service like Spotify instead. You don’t need your entire library on your phone at one time, so instead I save the songs offline from Spotify that I listen to the most often (or know I’m going to want to listen to this week) and then the rest I stream when I feel like I need to hear a specific song. You can download Spotify and pay for the Premium service to be able to do this yourself, or, if you’re engrained in iTunes, you can add iTunes Match to your iTunes to achieve something similar.

Using iTunes Match instead of regular iTunes allows you to keep all your music on your computer, or in the iTunes cloud, and then just download to the phone ones you want to have offline and stream the others like with Spotify. The benefit of this over Spotify is really for those that have their own downloaded music library and want to be able to access it instead of relying on Spotify’s audio library.

To Setup iTunes Match

Sign Up for iTunes Match

  1. On the phone, head to Settings > Music > Subscribe to iTunes Match.
  2. Download and open iTunes on your computer and add your music to it so it can upload it to iCloud.
  3. Once done, head back to the phone and go to Settings > Music > Turn On iTunes Match

Extra Ways to Free Up Space

That probably covers the biggest ones, but there are a few other things to try and reclaim some more storage if you want.

Stop Saving Duplicate Photos

You might not know this, but your phone is saving duplicate photos.

The biggest offenders of this are your normal camera app and Instagram. Your regular camera app does this whenever you take a photo using HDR (which is a software for helping take low-light photos) and Instagram just infamously saves any photo you upload to Instagram as a photo in your camera roll for no reason.

Since neither of these is really very useful in my opinion – use your own judgement though, of course – let’s turn them both off.

Photos

Turn Off Keep Normal Photo

  1. Head to Settings > Photos & Camera
  2. Scroll down and turn off Keep Normal Photo under HDR.

Instagram

Turn Off Instagram Photo Saving

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Tap on your profile then tap the Settings (gear) icon.
  3. Turn off Save Original Photos.

Delete Voicemail Messages

Deleted Voicemails

  1. Head to Phone > Voicemail.
  2. Swipe on each voicemail and tap delete until you delete them all.

Delete Old Podcasts

Podcasts App

  1. Open the Podcast app.
  2. Swipe on each one and tap delete until you delete them all.

Delete Unused Apps

Removing Apps

We all hate to see apps go, but as a last resort, it might be a good idea to check that manage storage list and see which apps use a lot of data that you simply don’t use that often (think video games, apps that do a particular thing you could just as easily do in the browser, or ones you just haven’t touched in forever).

There you go.

Read More: How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone (& Never Worry About It Again) (Video)

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How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

If you don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars for an Android phone, the Samsungs Galaxy Star PRO might be a good alternative. Successor to the original Samsung Galaxy Star, the Star PRO offers enhanced features and a little larger screen.

The phone runs on Android 4.1 which may seem a little obsolete considering the version of Android available now, but, with a little help from rooting the Galaxy Star PRO, you can get what users of the latest versions are enjoying. If you root your Samsung Galaxy Star PRO, you can get access to tons of root-only apps, custom ROMs, custom kernels, and many other things that’ll improve the performance as well as the appearance of your phone.

Adding new features isn’t the only thing that root lets you do, it also allows you remove the some of Samsung’s bloatware (stock apps loaded on your phone by the manufacturer) from your phone that you don’t use.

Here’s how to root a Samsung Galaxy Star PRO:

Before You Begin

  1. This could void the warranty of your device. We won’t be held responsible for anything that happens from doing this tutorial so please proceed at your own risk.
  2. You must have a Windows based PC to do this procedure.
  3. You should have Samsung USB drivers installed on your Windows PC.
  4. This should also flash a custom recovery on your device.
  5. You should only try this on the GT-S7262 variant of the device. You can find out your variant info by going to Menu > Settings > About phone on your device.

How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

To root the device, you’ll first flash a custom recovery on your device and then use that recovery to flash SuperSU which will root your device. Here’s how you can do it:

Downloading Required Files

  1. Download Odin and save it to your desktop.
    Odin
  2. Download CWM Recovery and save it to your desktop.
    CWM Recovery (Download link’s available in the first post)
  3. Download SuperSU and save it to your desktop.
    SuperSU

Flashing a Custom Recovery on the Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

  1. Unzip files from Odin over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.
  2. Double-click on Odin executable and it’ll launch.
  3. When Odin launches, click on PDA and select CWM Recovery available on your desktop.
  4. Checkmark both Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options in the Odin.
  5. Turn off your device.
  6. Turn your device back on in download mode by holding down Volume DOWN, Home, and Power buttons together.
  7. Hit Volume UP when prompted and you should be in download mode.
  8. Plug in your device to your PC using a USB cable.
  9. Click on Start in the Odin and it’ll start flashing CWM Recovery on your device.
  10. Wait for Odin to flash a custom recovery on your device.
  11. When the Odin’s done flashing recovery, your device should reboot.

There you go!

A custom recovery was successfully flashed on your Samsung Galaxy Star PRO, and here’s how you can use the newly installed recovery to root your device:

Root the Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

  1. Connect your device to your PC using a USB cable.
  2. Copy SuperSU .zip from your desktop over to the internal SD card storage on your device.
  3. When SuperSU is copied, disconnect your device from your PC.
  4. Turn off your device.
  5. Reboot your device into recovery mode by holding down Volume UP, Home, and Power buttons together.
  6. Your device should now be in recovery mode.
  7. Select install zip from sdcard in the recovery menu.
  8. Select choose zip from sdcard on the screen that follows.
  9. Navigate to your internal SD card storage and select SuperSU .zip to be installed on your device.
  10. Hit Yes when prompted to flash SuperSU on your device.
  11. Wait for SuperSU to be flashed on your device.
  12. When it’s done flashing, reboot your device by choosing reboot system now.
  13. Your device should reboot.

Congratulations, your Samsung Galaxy Star PRO is now rooted!

It’s time to explore what the custom Android world has to offer as your device is now rooted and has a custom recovery. Head over to our Samsung Galaxy Star PRO ROMs page and check out all of the custom ROMs available for your device that you can then flash and enjoy on your device.

Read More: How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Star PRO

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‘Volume Mixer 2’ lets you configure all volume settings in one interface

Your iOS device has multiple volume settings, and each one controls something different. For example, you have your media volume, which affects your song and video sound output, and you have your ringer volume, which affects your ringtones, text tones, and notification sounds. But there are also other volume settings that you can set where […]

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How to Change the Keyboard on an Android Device

So it has occurred to me that a lot of people don’t realize the extent of which you can customize an Android device. From the home screen launcher, to the theme, to the phone dialer/messaging/email app, the list is endless. It’s one of the beauties of Android –total freedom to replace what you don’t like with some developer’s better attempt.

It’s the sheer number of people I’ve met that are still using TouchWiz and cursing at it that has brought me to think that it warrants a small series of videos here on the site (if not a PSA blasted across the country) on how to get the most out of the customization options of Android. So here goes.

To start this off, let’s begin with one of the first things I do when getting a new Android device –the keyboard. It’s the fastest way for me to get a sense of familiarity and it is the first thing that annoys me about a lot of manufacturer’s custom interfaces (just like how you’ve come to learn the layout of the keyboard for most computers, I’ve come to get used to a specific way I want my Android keyboard. Thanks, conditioning!).

If you type “keyboard” into the Play Store, you’ll be presented with a lot of interesting options for replacements. There’s ones that allow you to swipe the keys to form words, ones with unconventional keys with multiple letters per key that guess the letter you actually want, ones in crazy colors and styles, and most have a lot more customization options than the one your manufacturer thought you’d like.

Swapping out the keyboard is a lot like downloading any other app; find the keyboard you want from the Play Store and install it. The difference is that you need to set it up after downloading it. And although some will walk you through this process when you install the keyboard, not all do so it’s probably best to know how to do it manually regardless. Here’s how:

I. Download the New Keyboard

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for “keyboard”.

3. Choose a keyboard you want to try and install it.

II. Setup the New Keyboard

1. Go to Settings > Language and Input (this might be called something else depending on your device, but look for something that might contain keyboard settings).

2. Check the box next to the new keyboard name to enable it.

3. Tap on Default and then choose the new keyboard to set it as the default keyboard.

4. Open any app that has typing in it, and tap in the text field. The new keyboard should pop up.

Find any amazing keyboards? Share them in the comments below!

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How to Change the Icons/Theme on Your Android Device

Now that you’ve learned to change your Android device’s home screen launcher, you can take the customizing of Android one step further by adding a custom theme for that launcher to change the icons for apps, skin the device, change the wallpaper, etc.

Just like with the custom launcher scene, there’s no shortage of themes (and some are pretty popular). From making your Android device resemble all of the other operating systems (from Windows Phone to Blackberry to iOS), to giving your device a much more cartoony look, there’s no limit getting your device to look the way you really want it to look.

Ready to try a few? Here’s how.

I. Setup a New Launcher

1. Head to my How to Change the Home Screen Launcher tutorial, complete it, then return here to continue. Keep in mind when looking for a launcher to theme, that the more popular the launcher, the more themes will be available for it (as not all themes are compatible with all launchers).

II. Download the Theme You Want

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for the name of your launcher followed by the word “theme” (i.e. Apex theme, Nova theme, etc.). Alternatively, you can add other words describing the theme to narrow the search (i.e. Apex flat theme, Apex cartoon theme, Apex iPhone theme, etc.).

3. Once you find one you like, check its description to make sure it says it works for your theme, then click Install.

III. Select the Theme

1. Depending on your launcher, the option for themes might be in a different location, but for the most part, head to your launcher’s settings menu and look for theme there. Alternatively, some themes allow you to open them like a normal app and tap your launcher’s name from inside there to have it install automatically (but I find that this is just a place for really annoying ads most of the time).

2. From there, select the theme you downloaded and hit Apply. To undo a them, simply head to the theme settings in your launcher again and choose the default theme (or another theme).

Enjoy!

Find any amazing themes? Share them in the comments below!

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Tip: have iPhone’s LED flash light up when pinging it from your Apple Watch

Owners of the Apple Watch can easily find their misplaced iPhone by tapping a dedicated icon on the Settings glance, which will cause the connected iPhone to emit a high pitched sound. I’ve been using this trick since the Apple Watch came out to locate my iPhone, which shows an unnerving tendency to disappear under a pile […]

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