How to Factory Reset Android

factory reset - How to Factory Reset Android

If you’re selling or giving away your old Android phone or tablet, suspect some malware is at play, or simply want to boost its performance to its original condition then a factory reset is the best option.

However, it’s not something you can easily come back from if you accidentally delete something you wanted, so you should make sure you’ve properly backed up your device first.

How to hard reset Android

A hard reset will clear the memory and delete all your files, returning your device to its factory settings. Unless you are getting rid of the phone and tablet, it’s typically used as a last resort for a misbehaving device.

  1. Ensure your phone or tablet has at least 30 percent charge
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Scroll down to and select Backup & reset
  4. Tap Factory data reset
  5. Select Reset phone
  6. Select Erase everything
  7. If you have a password you will be prompted to enter it now

How to soft reset Android

A soft reset is very different to a hard reset in that it simply closes your open apps and reboots the device. It’s useful if your phone or tablet has frozen and refuses to reboot via the normal method using the power button. When the device reboots your files should remain intact.

A soft reset is usually performed by pressing and holding down the power button and volume-up button together for a few seconds (remember that power and volume-down instead takes a screenshot).

You will need to hold the combination for several seconds for the soft reset to occur. If you’ve done this and it hasn’t worked, there may be an alternative way to trigger a soft reset on your device. Google your model name and the term ‘soft reset’ for instructions.


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5 easy ways to get the most out of your Android phone’s camera

You may know how this stuff works, but your friends and family may only be novices when it comes to photography. You can always hand off some of these powerful and simple tips to them!

Clean the lens

google pixel 2 top glass camera 1024x768 - 5 easy ways to get the most out of your Android phone's camera

Yes, really. It feels like the simplest possible thing, because it is! And that’s why we forget about it. Our phones come with us everywhere and that means the camera lenses are far more susceptible to getting covered in fingerprints and dirt and all kinds of other things. You may not notice when you’re taking photos that there’s a smudge on your camera lens, but trust us: take a second to wipe off your lens before you take your next important photo, and it can make a world of difference in the end product.

This is actually even more important for selfies, because the camera lens often has no physical separation from the main glass covering the screen and is far more likely to have smudges on it from using your phone every day. Front-facing cameras are typically lower resolution and quality to begin with as well, making them less likely to overcome a smudge on the lens glass. Give the top bit of your phone screen a good wipe down before taking a selfie — you’ll be impressed by the difference it makes.


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Tips On How To Protect Your Devices From Meltdown And Spectre Processor Security Flaws

Security - Tips On How To Protect Your Devices From Meltdown And Spectre Processor Security Flaws

Security researchers this week dropped a bombshell on pretty much everyone who owns a computer, saying there are inherent flaws in modern processors that could allow an attacker to access sensitive information, including passwords and other contents stored in what’s supposed to be protected memory. At first it was reported that only Intel processors were affected, but later analysis has revealed that AMD and ARM chips are flawed as well. It’s a stinky situation, right?

Well, yes, it certainly is. But it doesn’t have to be dire. To quickly rehash, the flaws have been dubbed Meltdown and Spectre. It was the former that was talked about most at the beginning, and for the time being, it seems limited to Intel chips, albeit every Intel processor made since 1995 (specifically, those that implement out-of-order execution). Spectre is a serious security flaw as well, and it affects all modern processors, including ones from Intel, AMD, and ARM.

There are patches being doled out to mitigate the risk, the impact of which is still being assessed. Early reports said they could cause anywhere from a 5 percent to 30 percent performance hit, though Intel refutes this, saying the fallout is highly workload dependent that most users will see little to no impact. That claim will be fact checked over time.

by Paul Lilly

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An essential guide to customizing your Android phone

wall weekly vw green s8 1024x768 - An essential guide to customizing your Android phone

Wallpaper wonder

Every phone or tablet comes a selection of wallpapers — images for your home screen or lock screen background that give your device a bit of personality. But often times those wallpapers don’t reflect your personality. We need to change that. Wallpapers are the most basic building block of Android theming, and changing your wallpaper can change the way your entire home screen feels. If you take nothing else away from our guide here, I implore you, pleaseGET A NEW WALLPAPER.

Whether that means browsing Google’s Wallpapers app, finding an artist you like on Deviantart or just browsing through some of our wallpaper roundups, I guarantee you that there’s a wallpaper out there that speaks more to you and your style than the default wallpaper your phone came with. You can even set one of your photos as a wallpaper, be a picture you snapped on a vacation or a silly snapshot of the grandkids.

It can be anything in the world or out of our world, just long-press your home screen and set a new wallpaper.

Launchers and layouts

The app that we use to organize and launch apps on an Android device is called a launcher. Every phone ships with one on it, though some are better than others. Most launchers consist of one or more home screens — where you can put the apps and widgets you use most, a dock — where you can keep your most-used apps visible and accessible from each home screen, and an app drawer — where all of your apps are kept for easy access and organization. The launcher is what you use to put your apps where you want, and the layout is how you have apps and widgets laid out on your home screens.

Your phone might have come with a clock widget and some pre-installed apps covering the first few home screens, and you can delete these items to make room for things you actually do want. You can also consolidate apps on your home screen into folders by pressing and dragging one app icon over another. Folders look better in some launchers than others, but there’s no denying how functional they can be in helping keep the apps you use close by. Switching up your layout is a really easy way to shake up your launcher experience.


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5 Simple Tips To Extend Your Phone’s Battery Life

battery life tips - 5 Simple Tips To Extend Your Phone's Battery Life

Boost battery life: 1. Dim the screen brightness or use auto brightness

You love your smartphone’s large, colourful display, but it’s the battery’s mortal enemy. More than any other component of your phone, the display consumes battery life at a devastating pace. Most phones include an auto-brightness feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness to suit ambient lighting levels.

This mode uses less power than constantly running your screen at full brightness would, of course, but you’ll get even better results by turning your screen’s brightness down to the lowest setting that you can tolerate and leaving it there. Even if you do nothing else we suggest, following this one tip will extend the life of your battery dramatically.

Boost battery life: 2. Keep the screen timeout short

Under your phone’s display settings menu, you should find an option labeled ‘Screen Timeout’ or something similar. (On an iPhone, look for Auto-Lock in the General settings menu.) This setting controls how long your phone’s screen stays lit after receiving input, such as a tap.

Every second counts here, so set your timeout to the shortest available time. On most Android phones, the minimum is 15 seconds. If your screen timeout is currently set to 2 minutes, consider reducing that figure to 30 seconds or less. On an iPhone, the minimum you can set is 1 minute.

Boost battery life: 3. Turn off Bluetooth
No matter now much you love using Bluetooth with your hands-free headset, your wireless speaker or activity tracker, the extra radio is constantly listening for signals from the outside world. When you aren’t in your car, or when you aren’t playing music wirelessly, turn off the Bluetooth radio. This way, you can add an hour or more to your phone’s battery life.

Boost battery life: 4. Turn off Wi-Fi
As with Bluetooth, your phone’s Wi-Fi radio is a serious battery drainer. While you will at times need to use your home or office Wi-Fi connection rather than 3G or 4G for internet access and other data services, there’s little point in leaving the Wi-Fi radio on when you’re out and about. Toggle it off when you go out the door, and turn it back on only when you plan to use data services within range of your Wi-Fi network. Android users can add the Wi-Fi toggle widget to their home screen to make this a one-tap process, or swipe down from the top of the screen (twice if you have Lollipop.)

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Android devices can also get infected with malware

how to protect your android phone from malware en - Android devices can also get infected with malware

The consequences of Android virus can vary from financial losses in case of ransomware or significant decreases in your smartphone’s performance. Typically, the gadget starts to crash, freeze or the battery lasts shorter. Remember that malicious programs often work in the background without your notice. Thus, you should carefully follow the signs of malware infection.

Virus possess an appearance of a genuine app

Recently, Google experts have detected and removed fake workout apps from Google Play which imitated legitimate programs while secretly functioning as Tizi spyware. Even though it mainly targeted Nigeria and Kenya, the rate of Android virus infections has significantly increased over the last months in other countries as well.

It is clear that people might not identify untrustworthy applications which they can get directly from Google Store. Shortly after they install unreliable programs, they receive a request to give administrative rights (API). In other terms, these rights permit the app to do the following actions:

  • Prompt the device’s owner to set a new password;
  • Perform screen lock function or lock the phone/tablet completely;
  • Wipe the data stored on the gadget;
  • Determine which storage area should be encrypted;
  • Disable/enable camera or microphone.

It is clear that the Device Administration (API) allows the application to manage your phone without asking for your approval. For example, why would a flashlight app ask for those rights? Therefore, it is highly recommended to permit Admin rights only for applications from authorized developers. You can easily detect a malicious program if you carefully monitor your actions.

by Olivia Morelli

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How to Secure Your Android Phone

secure android phone - How to Secure Your Android Phone

Securing your Android phone or Android tablet is more involved than adding a PIN lock (although you should certainly do that). We run through 14 ways you can keep Android secure, from dealing with app permissions to locking down apps, banishing Android viruses and tracking down a stolen phone.

1. Avoid dodgy public Wi-Fi networks

Smartphones and tablets are mobile devices, which means we are as likely to use them in a cafe or pub as we are our own homes. Provided free Wi-Fi is available, of course. Just don’t fall into the trap of jumping on to an unsecured wireless network just so you can take advantage of a free internet connection when out and about – whoever is providing that ‘free’ internet connection may be taking a great deal more from you in return.

Open Wi-Fi hotspots are incredibly useful when you’re out and about and need to get online, but they aren’t always safe. Security company Wandera examined 100,000 corporate mobile phones and found that 24 percent were regularly using insecure open Wi-Fi networks. It also found that 4 percent of these devices came into contact with a man-in-the-middle attack in November 2017.

The security company advises that if you must use an open Wi-Fi network, don’t pay any bills or make any transactions, use a VPN if possible, install a security app that can detect dodgy websites and insecure hotspots, and disable automatic connection to open Wi-Fi networks.

2. Set a screen lock

Setting up a screen lock is the simplest way to protect Android when your phone or tablet falls into the wrong hands. These days you can set a PIN lock, pattern lock, password lock and, if your device supports it, a fingerprint or eye scanner lock. It’s so easy to do you really have no excuse. Head to Settings > Security > Screen lock to get started.

3. Lock individual apps & media

You can add an extra layer of protection to your apps by locking down those you really wouldn’t want to get into the wrong hands with an app such as App Lock. Not only does this let you toggle on and off a PIN lock for individual apps such as Facebook and Gmail, but it has a secure fault for hiding photos and video that shouldn’t be seen by prying eyes.


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Tips to safely download games to your Android device

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Android is an open source operating system. This sometimes makes it a little tough to determine the fake apps from the genuine ones. There are over two million games and apps on the official app store, third-party app stores and on sites as APK files. In such a situation, it is quite important to exercise caution in choosing an app and its compatibility with your device. We present the tips to safely download games to your Android device in this post.

Tips to safely download games to your Android device

The Android games have ceased to be what they used to be in the past. With the screen sizes of the devices increasing, they have now been equivalent the console games in their portfolio and capabilities. So much so that days are not far away that we will be using the best gaming mouse for playing the games on an Android.

This popularity has given rise to duplicates and look-alikes as well. There are several fake apps that consist of malware or spyware. From that perspective, following a few precautions while downloading games would be advisable.

Get Your Apps from Reliable Sources

It would be advisable to check the source of your Android apps. The most reliable option would be Google Play Store which is the official app store for Android. You may also check out the Amazon App Store if available in your region. The Google Play Store has recently included an added security feature to check the apps if they have any malware.

Apart from Google Play Store, the only reliable option from third-party sources would be Amazon App store. Amazon has been one of the most accountable app stores since long.

Avoid Third-Party App Stores

Android being an open source operating system, it has you several independent third-party app stores. Please note that not all these can be genuine. In fact, we would advise you against using any of these app stores for downloading games onto your device.

You should be beware of these third-party app stores. More so when the app store offers you paid apps for free. Maybe the apps available through the store have malware. Ensure caution if you really have to use any of those app stores.

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