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How to Become Android Beta Tester for Facebook

Two months ago Facebook launched a new program called Facebook for Android Beta Testers. This program allows Android users to test the latest experimental features in the Facebook app. Obviously, this beta edition of Facebook for Android will not be full coded and may cause problems. If you are enthusiastic about helping Facebook build a better app, you should definitely be a part of this program.

Google launched a beta testing program at the Google I/O 2013 conference held on May 2013. With the beta testing program, Android developers can roll-out the updated versions of their apps to a particular group of users, beta testers, to know how those versions perform before rolling out to all the users.

How to become a beta tester?

Becoming a beta tester is really simple. You’ll have to join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Google Groups, install the beta version of Facebook app and you’re ready to go.

Facebook Android Beta Tester

  • Once you’re a part of that group, go to this page and click the Become a tester button.

Become a beta tester

  • Uninstall Facebook if you have that installed on your device already.
  • Download Facebook from Google Play Store and you’re good to go.

Install Facebook

Things to note:

  • You should join this group with the Google account associated with your Google Play Store.
  • If you don’t get the beta version of Facebook even after trying the above steps, restart your phone.

This program is available to any Android user running either Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich or the latest Jelly Bean.

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How to Open Full Screen Compose Box in Gmail as Default

One of the most annoying changes with Gmail has to be the compose mail pop-up box, which floats at the corner of your screen. Google has included a full screen toggle button on the top of the compose box. I personally like to compose mail on a full screen rather than rolling my eyes over to the left corner of my screen every time to see whether I’m typing correctly. I also found it a bit annoying to click the full-screen toggle button every time I compose a e-mail.

Fortunately, It’s very easy to make the full screen compose as a default setting

How it works:

Compose a new mail and the usual compose box would pop-up

CheckClick on the little arrow you will find in the lower left corner of the compose box. Then choose Default to full-screen

Bingo! Now every time you compose a mail you will get a full-screen compose box. If you want the newer compose box, then simply repeat the steps again.

FullScreen

Do drop in your comments.

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MailDrop – Create Disposable Email That Stays Forever

MailDrop is a service that helps you to create a disposable email ID. These email IDs do not expire like those from 10 Minute Mail, Guerrilla Mail or TrashMail. This service is new to this niche. Never the less, it has an elegant user interface and works flawless.

MailDrop

This service is free to use and doesn’t require a sign up. Creating an email ID is also easy. You’ll just have to enter your name or nickname and voila, the email ID is created! It also gives you some cool email ID suggestions.

Some Restrictions in MailDrop

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MailDrop might look really interesting to you at first. But there are some restrictions that come along with this service.

  • Email IDs require no passwords. So anyone can check out your email inbox.
  • The email size is limited to 100 kB and the attachments will be stripped off.
  • A maximum of 10 mails can be stored at a time.
  • If the inbox doesn’t receive an email for 24 hours, all the mails in the inbox will be deleted.

Security Solution for MailDrop

With no password option for the email IDs, it’s easy for the public to dig into your mail inbox. MailDrop has a solution to this. The service provides an Alias Address. Every email ID created on MailDrop comes with an Alias Address. Email sent to the Alias Address also shows on the original inbox. People cannot see the Alias Address inbox without knowing the original address.

MailDrop-alias-address

Note : The privacy section of MailDrop states that the algorithm that converts real MailDrop addresses to inbox aliases is public and can be reverse engineered by anyone. So, it’s best not to send sensitive information on MailDrop.

Link: MailDrop website

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Gmail puts Ads in your Email: Here is How to Opt-Out

Gmail has recently changed the way our Inbox is organized by adding tabbed categories. One of them is “Promotions”, where apparently all the advertisement like emails show up. But Gmail is not just eyeing that “Promotions” tab to organize email for us, they want to sell us stuff. This is why you might start seeing sponsored or Gmail ads in the form of emails like seen in the image below.

Ads in my Gmail Inbox

This is Google’s attempt at making their advertising more accurate and contextual on Gmail. I think this is not going to be very popular in the beginning but it might be popular if Google does not spam too much. I honestly think if Google is going to send one advertisement email every day, no one might really bother checking it.

But Google does offer a way for users to tweaking their ad settings and opt-out of ad targetting based on your data.

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How to opt-out of interest based ads on Google?

Once you signed-in to Gmail, visit “https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads/preferences/” and go right upto the end of the ad preferences page.

Opt_Out_Gmail_Ads_Settings

There are two options to opt-out of the interest-based ads on Google and also across the web. Note, this does not mean.

Email Ads are here to stay!

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Even though Gmail might allow users to opt-out of interest based ads, it will not stop sending ads in our Inbox. It only means it will not use our data to target us specifically. I rather allow targeted ads than random ads.

The fact seems, if we want a free service, ads are something we will have to live with.

Are you seeing ads in your Gmail Inbox? Do drop in your comments what you think of them?

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uTorrent Remote Helps you Access your uTorrent Downloads Remotely

uTorrent Remote is a feature in uTorrent that lets you to easily control your uTorrent downloads from anywhere. It is available as a web browser tool and also as an app for Android. It is an exclusive feature of uTorrent 3 and above.

uTorrent Remote needs you to sign up. Signing up is really simple. It should be done right inside the uTorrent client that you use on you desktop computer.

  1. Open your uTorrent client.
  2. Go to Preferences using Ctrl + P shortcut keys or using Options > Preferences > Remote > Enable uTorrent Remote Access.
  3. Once you enable, you’ll asked to create a username and password for remote access. Create them.
  4. You’ll also be asked to create answer for a security question.

Once you have a username and password, you can start controlling your uTorrent downloads remotely.

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Two Ways to Use uTorrent Remote

#Method 1 – Web Browser Based Remote Control

  1. Go to uTorrent Remote.
  2. Login with your username and password.
  3. You’ll be shown the list of ongoing downloads and other things.
  4. You can control your torrent downloads right here. Hit the Logout button at the top right once you are done.

#Method 2 – Using Android uTorrent Remote App

  1. The uTorrent Remote app is available on Google Play Store for free. (Download link is available at the bottom of this post)
  2. Download it and login with your username and password. The torrents are now here!

uTorrent-remote (2)

Note : Anyone can change your uTorrent Remote password any time by visiting the uTorrent Remote section in your uTorrent client.

Try out the app and do drop in your comments.

Link: uTorrent Remote App

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How to make Apple keyboards work with full functionality in Windows

There is no denying that Apple makes gorgeous, best in functionality keyboards. Both the wired and wireless Apple keyboards are amazing when it comes to working with the Macs and iOS devices.

Bootcamp drivers do a great job in making Apple keyboards work well in Windows, but there are a few glitches in key mapping. What can one do to solve this?

Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper is here to the rescue. It is a simple app available for Windows. Once the app is run, all the missing Windows functionality in the Apple keyboards will be available. You can now take screenshots, control your volume, iTunes, eject CD/DVD drive and even go to the task manager. The entire key combinations is shown below :

F3 : Printscreen

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F4 : Task Manager

F7 – F9 : iTunes control

F10 – F12 : System volume control

Eject : Toggles Functions / F Keys

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Fn + F key triggers function (useful when in F keys mode)

Fn + Backspace : Delete

Fn + Eject : Eject CD

Right clicking the icon in the system tray will show you options to Restart, Refresh connection and Exit. You can enable/disable these key controls by navigating to the Configuration section.

apple-wireless-keyboard-helper

There is also one amazing feature. Whenever you take a screenshot, adjust your system volume, play/pause songs or access the task manager, there is a good animation shown like in the Mac OS/iOS devices.

There is something that you should note. Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper needs .NET 4 and above installed on your computer.

Link – Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper | via Lifehacker

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Configure ‘Send To’ Right Click Context Menu in Windows

The right click context menu on Windows 7 and 8 serves as a nifty tool that helps to quickly organize yours file(s), group them, rename, delete, share or even view the properties. The sub menu named ‘Send To’ helps you to quickly send copies of the file(s) to their external storage devices, to other folders, say your cloud storage folders.

send-to-context-menu

Did you know that we can manage the list of places we can send files using this option? Yes, it is possible to assign your own folders to this ‘Send To’ sub menu. Just follow the instructions below :

  1. Open Windows Explorer. You can do that by right clicking the Start menu or the Start button and then clicking Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Once the Windows Explorer opens, type %APPDATA%/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo in the navigation bar.
  3. You can create shortcuts for any folder here. You can create shortcuts using Right Click > New > Shortcuts option.
  4. The next time you right click any file or folder, you will notice destinations in the ‘Send To’ sub menu.

Thanks to Ganesh for the tip.

Do drop in your comments.

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How To Return Android Apps After 15 Minutes Trial Window

It is a well known fact that Google Play allows the users to return the purchased Android apps after 15 minutes minutes of purchase. What if you want to return an app that you bought a month back? This guide highlights a quick way to easily refund your purchased Google Play app even after the 15 minutes trial window.

Guide to Return Android apps After 15 Minutes

  • Go to Google Play and login using your Google account.
  • Click on the “My Orders & Settings” button at the bottom of the page to see the list of all Android purchases that you made. It will show the list of both free and paid Android apps that you purchased.
  • Search for the app that you want to refund.
  • Click on the “Report a problem” button available next to that.

report-a-problem

  • A box appears, select the “I’d like to request a refund” option in the “Select your Issue…” drop-down list.

request-a-refund

  • A text box appears then. Type a brief message in that box.
  • Click “Send report“.
  • Now it’s time to wait for a while. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a mail from Google immediately, stating that a refund will be issued. There are also circumstances when you don’t get any mail from Google, yet get your account credited with the refund amount.

This is a really useful option that most of the Android users are unaware. I have returned around 5 apps myself after finding them pretty ugly.

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Download Google Photosphere Camera App APK

Google Photosphere helps you shoot 360 degrees photos, wide angle shots and even that’s above or below you. Google Photosphere is limited to the Nexus devices. Recently Google launched the stock Galaxy S4 and stock HTC One. Both these devices were found to sport a redesigned stock camera app. This camera app APK has been ripped out by WinDroidGuy from XDA developers.

This camera ap APK file brings Photosphere to non Nexus devices. It works flawless on your Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 with TouchWiz, Galaxy S3 and HTC One with Sense. It is assumed that this new camera app will run flawless in all the latest devices running Jelly Bean.

Google-Photosphere-Camera-App

Image Credit : Android Central

This new camera app shows a minor change in the radical menu. It’s in the form of a semi circle now like in Android 4.3. The settings shown in the camera app are now more visible. This is sure to give the user more control. Also, with this new camera app, you can take photos by pressing the Volume Up or Down key.

Few Things to Note

If you are running CyanogenMod 10.1 or above, you’ll have to uninstall the existing Gallery.apk first and then install this camera app APK. And also note that the image quality in this camera app is found to be bad compared to those shot with the default OEM camera app.

Download Google Photosphere Camera App APK | Via Android Central

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SharpKeys: Turn your Caps Lock key into a Google Search key.

From all the keys in our keyboard, not many users use the Caps Lock key as much. Hence, why not convert that into a much more useful key? With a application called SharpKeys we can do exactly that. For example, I have mapped the Caps Lock key into a Google Search key. So next time I want to use Google search, I simple click on the caps lock key.

SharpKeys Features

  • Download SharpKeys from the CodePlex and install it.
  • Click “Add” to start the remapping.  For the “FROM” key choose “Special:Caps Lock(00_3A)”
  • For the “TO” key, choose “Function: F10(00_44)”. We map it with F10 because this key is not exactly used a lot.

caps1a

  • A message will be displayed of the successful change.

caps2

  • Restart your computer. Now you can check out that the caps lock key does not work anymore.
  • In your desktop, right-click and select New >> Shortcut.
  • Enter the location of new shortcut.

caps3

  • Choose a name for your shortcut. The name does not matter in the actual process.

caps4

  • A new icon will be created in your desktop. Right-click and select “Properties”.
  • Type F10 in Shortcut Key box, click “Apply” and then “OK”.

caps5

Press the caps lock key and Google search will open. The caps lock key is no more used. The majority of the users do not really use that key and so turning this into a more useful key will help with productivity.

Do try it out and drop in your comments!

Link: SharpKeys