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5 Best Android Shortcut Apps for Quick Access to Everything. Smartphones are in a rut. Whether you’re using an iPhone or something running Android, you get a static row of icons at the bottom along with rows and rows of additional ones above or in a drawer. Doing anything generally involves stopping what you’re doing and tapping on one of these icons. Fortunately, on Android, we can make changes that speed up how we interact with our phones — no rooting or flashing required. Developers have come up with some rather creative shortcuts for placing a call, sending a text, and quickly accessing other common tasks. Here are five that caught my attention. 1.

Assistive Touch places a button on your iPhone screen that floats above everything else. When Assistive Touch launched for iOS, some Android apps had already experimented with the idea of putting a floating button on the screen. EasyTouch is one of those apps. The downside to apps like this is that the button is always visible. EasyTouch is free to use. Download: EasyTouch for Android (Free) 2. 3. 5 Simple Ways to Be a More Mindful Smartphone User.

Smartphones make us dumb. If not dumb, then lazy. That’s the fear that many of us have going through our minds, anyway. Scientists are trying to determine the effects of smart technology and constant Internet access on our brains, but that’s a matter only time will tell. As for the question of whether that effect is good, well, that’s one we can all answer for ourselves — and it’s one we can do something about. Has Owning a Smartphone Changed You? In the video above, teenagers watch a YouTube video about how smartphones have altered the way we all interact with one another. Take this example. You could say that back in those days, all of us wasted a lot of time finding out the answers to questions that we can now get in an instant. If you pause to think about just how much life has changed in the past decade or two, you might notice that you’ve lost skills or developed negative habits.

I can’t answer these questions for you. 1) Use Apps That Provide True Utility It’s okay to be bored. UX Design for Mobile: Bottom Navigation — UX Planet — Medium. UX Design for Mobile: Bottom Navigation by Nick Babich Designers know that design is more than good looks. Design also covers how users engage with a product, whether it’s a website or app. It’s like a conversation. Navigation is a conversation. Because it doesn’t matter how good your site or app is if users can’t find their way around it. Why Bottom Navigation is so Important? Steven Hoober in his research of mobile devices usage, found that 49% of people rely on a one thumb to get things done on their phones. It’s important to place top-level and frequently-used actions at the bottom of the screen, because they are comfortably reached with one-thumb interactions. Tab Bar Many apps follow this rule and use the bottom navigation (a.k.a. tab bar) for the most important app’s features. 3 Crucial Moments for Bottom Navigation Design Navigation is generally the vehicle that takes users where they want to go.

Good bottom navigation design follows these three rules. 1. Avoid Scrollable Content 2. 3. How to Avoid Being Bombarded with Annoying Spam. How to Avoid Being Bombarded with Annoying Spam. The Holy Grail of Ubiquitous Plain-Text Capture. How to take better photos with your Android phone. Clean your lens As AndroidPIT reader Jim Davidson pointed out, the first place to start when trying to take a good picture is to clean your smartphone's camera lens. These frequently become dirty and the results will be a blurry image. Every time you go to take a picture, give the lens a quick wipe on your T-shirt first to sweep away any grime. Shoot in landscape We have become accustomed to a 16:9 media format and as a consequence, pictures shot in portrait just tend to look awkward now. Unless there is an important reason that you would need a taller shot (like, say, shooting a picture of the Fernsehturm from a close distance), pictures are almost always better in landscape.

Thanks to Sean Stockemer for the suggestion. Avoid using the flash (most of the time) Even on a DSLR camera, the flash function is generally best saved for emergencies. The exception to this rule, as suggested by BruinGuy, is when taking pictures in daylight when the sun is behind the subject of your picture. How to Augment Your Computer with an iPad. Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: The best cloud storage service of 2015. Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive are three of the largest cloud storage services available, but each one comes with a number of different benefits. To help you decide which fits your needs best, we've investigated the pros and cons of each service. Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: service overview Dropbox Dropbox is a basic file storage service in the cloud. It’s very similar to the kind of interface you’d expect from a desktop computer, with the ability to arrange your files into folders and sub-folders.

You can choose to share folders with other people too, which is handy if a file is too hefty to send over email or if you want to keep a single version of a document. OneDrive OneDrive and Google Drive offer many of the same features as Dropbox, although they’re integrated within the Microsoft and Google ecosystems respectively. If you have a Microsoft email account – Outlook or Hotmail, for example – you already have OneDrive, as well as access to Office Online. Google Drive. Why You Should Worry Whenever a Service’s Password Database is Leaked. “Our password database was stolen yesterday.

But don’t worry — your passwords are completely safe.” We regularly see statements like this one online, but should we really take these assurances at face value? The reality is that password database compromises are a concern. However, if you use unique passwords everywhere, you shouldn’t need to worry too much. How Passwords Should Be Stored Here’s how passwords should be stored in an ideal world: You create an account and provide a password. To determine your actual password, an attacker with access to the database would have to pre-compute the hashes for common passwords and then check if they exist in the database.

To prevent this, services should “salt” their hashes. This is why services often say not to worry. Bad Password Practices This isn’t the hardest thing to implement, but many websites still manage to mess it up in a variety of ways: Other Concerns It’s likely that the salt value is also present in the password database. ?tag=nl. Nothing in this world is secure. If you're finding this out for the first time now, well -- sorry. Not your bank account, your house, or a stock exchange's vast network of computers. Even military units are not safe from hackers. The one thing we all have tucked away in our pockets is a phone. It calls people, it texts people, and if you're really fortunate, you can pay for things on the go, browse the web, and throw imaginary flying birds at ominous-looking pigs. Because everyone has one, the target on our backs is bigger than ever.

We started with a simple enough question for security researchers: "What is the most secure smartphone today? " It turns out, it's not as simple as you might think. But there was one phone maker security researchers, experts, and reporters were leaning towards. Known the world over for his security research, Kenneth White barely missed a beat when he responded to my question with one of his own. "Secure from what? " There's a catch -- a big one. 4 Ways To Get Paid Android Apps for Free (Legally) OsJS: A New Kind of Operating System for the Web. How to Know if Your Android Phone is Spying on You. OsJS: A New Kind of Operating System for the Web. Cnet. I invested in two power line adapters earlier this year to extend the range of my Wi-Fi network at home. I put one in the kitchen and the other upstairs to increase the signal strength at the kitchen table and in the upstairs bedrooms.

The adapters seem to be working, but with free Mac app NetSpot, I now have visual confirmation of their effectiveness. NetSpot is a free app for OS X that scans nearby Wi-Fi networks as soon as you launch the app. For each network, it shows the signal strength, security type, channel information, and more. This information is displayed on the default Discover view, but if you toggle the slider switch at the top of the app to Survey, you can quickly build a heat map of your network.

On the Survey screen, you'll first be asked to load or draw a map of your abode or simply use a blank canvas. I quickly sketched out a rough estimate of the perimeter of my home without bothering to draw any interior walls. (Via Lifehacker) Seven tips for securing your Facebook account.