Has anyone tried the Nox App Player (Android Emulator for Windows / Mac)?

I discovered Nox App Player on FreewareFiles and it has me interested; however, if anyone out there has installed this, I would be interested in knowing what their experience was. The Nox App Player is a 277MB install and serves as an Android Emulator. What that means is, if you install Nox App Player you can install and run Android apps on your Windows based computer through the emulator.

Although there are several programs providing an Android environment on PC, it is difficult to get a complete Android experience using the traditional emulators. However, Nox App Player provides an interface that looks like an actual Android device in all ways. The intuitive emulator is based on Android 4.4.2 and compatible with both AMD and x86 systems.

Screenshot for: Nox App Player 5.0.0.0

SOURCE: FreewareFiles – Nox App Player 

A Nice Android Screen Capture and Photo Markup Tool

Grabbing a screenshot on an Android device, such as a smartphone or tablet, can be a pain in the droid…

Typically, you can hold down the power button and volume down button simultaneously to perform a screen capture; however, on a phone like mine, that maneuver is quite difficult. Besides, if you are not familier with using an Android file manager, locating the file is another frustration.

The solution is an app that is designed to perform screen captures. Today, I tried quite a few of them; five of them to be exact; and, the one I settled on was one called Screen Master. What I really like about this app is that it is FREE; has a small size less than 5 MBs; no rooting is required; can crop captured images; can easily share whatever it is you capture; and, with the photo markup tool you can add text, arrows, circles, and even turn the captured area into a shape (such as a heart)… As a matter of fact, you can use the photo markup tool to work with existing photos on your device.

Screen Master has a mid level learning curve, but once you get the hang of using Screen Master you will wonder why something like this is not already built into Android.

 Screen Master: Screenshot & Photo Markup- screenshot

Key Features:

1. Capture Screenshot, included:

– Selection screenshots
– Take screenshots by floating button
– Shake to take screenshots
Note: Floating button and Shake function are available on Android 5.0 or later

2. Image Markup, included:

– Cropping and rotation
– Photo Pixelated
– Add text on photo, custom color, style, size
– Doodle on photo, all tools you need: Arrow, Rect, Circle, Pen
– Large images can be directly annotated and do not have to be cropped
– Not only screenshots but all images are supported, you could import photo from gallery
– HD save and share with your friends

SOURCE: Google Play – Screen Master: Screenshot and Photo Markup

Boost Your Smartphone Performance and Free Memory With Ashampoo Droid Optimizer

You may have installed and used many of the software products developed by Ashampoo on your Windows Computer. Now I see Ashampoo has developed an android phone optimizer that you may want to try on your Android smartphone, called Ashampoo Droid Optimizer. There are tons of these optimizers on the Google Play store and I said what the heck, so I installed it on my LG Stylo 2 smartphone and so far I am liking it (especially, that I am not seeing ads popping up).

Against data chaos – Installed apps, downloaded files, photos, music, videos – over time, your smartphone will become cluttered and slow. Declutter your phone and reclaim disk space with Ashampoo Droid Optimizer.

For your privacy – Browsing the Internet with your smartphone leaves various traces that can be used to violate your privacy. And let’s face it, do you really know all the time what device permissions your installed apps have? Get rid of Internet traces and expose potential spy apps with Ashampoo Droid Optimizer.

For prolonged battery life – The integrated Good Night scheduler can disable features such as WLAN or mobile connectivity automatically during customizable time periods. Put your smartphone to sleep at night and conserve precious battery power with Ashampoo Droid Optimizer.

With fun and motivation – Cleaning doesn’t have to be boring. Ashampoo Droid Optimizer comes with a ranking system that uses achievements and funny pictures to keep you motivated. You will clean your way from novice to master in no time.

Free and without ads – Ashampoo Droid Optimizer is and will remain free to use and without ads.

For all Android devices – Ashampoo Droid Optimizer works with Android 2.3 and higher devices which is practically every device.

SOURCE: Ashampoo Droid Optimizer

NEW Firefox Focus For Android

Firefox Focus takes web browsing to another level in the protection of your security and privacy. Firefox Focus can be used as a standalone browser or as a content blocker for Safari on supported iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices; and NOW, it is available for the Android platform.

 Firefox Focus: Private Browser- screenshot

AUTOMATIC PRIVACY

Blocks a wide range of common Web trackers without any settings to set

Easily erases your history — no passwords, no cookies, no trackers

BROWSE FASTER

By removing trackers and ads, Web pages may require less data and load faster

MADE BY MOZILLA

We believe everyone should have control over their lives online. That’s what we’ve been fighting for since 1998.

SOURCE: Google Play – Firefox Focus

An Impressive and Simple Video Calling App

My daughter wanted me to try Facebook Messenger so that we could video chat with the Grand kids… I told her I do not like Facebook and I would have to find an alternative. Within minutes (actually), I found Google Duo in the Google Play Store (see source link below) and we were up and running in no time. (Note: Google Duo is also available at the Apple Store)…

If you want a low overhead video calling app, Google Duo is it. I was majorly impressed… After installing the app and giving the app permission to access my contacts, I simply called my daughter’s cell phone number. She had already installed it and as a result the connection was seamless. You can actually preview who is calling before answering. If you do call someone that does not have the app installed simply tap on “invite” or prearrange that they install the app. Google Duo is as simple as it gets and the video quality is great…

 Google Duo- screenshot

Features of Google Duo are:

Simple interface
Pick a loved one and jump right in, with a simple interface that brings video to the forefront.

Knock Knock
See the caller before you pick up with Duo’s live preview feature.

High quality video
Experience faster and more reliable video calls whether you’re on Wi-Fi or on-the-go.

Cross-platform
Video call all your friends across Android and iOS with just one simple app.

Audio Calls
Make audio-only calls to your friends when you can’t have a video call.

SOURCE: Google Duo

Geek Squeak #17-026: A Smart Clipboard For Your Android Phone

I have a LG phone and it has its’ own built in clipboard manager to store anything I copy and paste; however, it is not the best and I often forget about it due that it is hard to find.  It also does not have many features.

Well this all changed for me when I found Clipo: Smart Clipboard Manager. In a nutshell, with Clipo you will get a floating bubble after you copy text, etc… to the clipboard that gives you a multitude of options to take what you copied and perform a multitude of tasks (see features below).  One thing to point out, I mentioned that Clipo has a floating bubble.  This feature will need to be turned on in Clipo’s setting. If you don’t like the floating bubble, then simply go to the Clipo app to select what you want to do with what you clipped (or copied).  Clipo, itself is a clipboard manager that stores everything you copy…

 Clipo: Smart Clipboard Manager- screenshot thumbnail

Features:

👍 No Ads, No Freemium Stuff, No Donations! Free Clipboard made for you!

👍 See all your clips, in a clean and intuitive materially designed list! You can quickly copy an older clip to the Clipboard for using!

👍 Search: Get a quick action to search the copied text on the search engine of your choice – Google, Bing, Baidu, AOL, DuckDuckGo!

👍 Call: Filters your clips and detects phone numbers to give you a one tap to call experience!

👍 Add to Contacts: Filter phone numbers and quickly add to contacts!

👍 Open Link: Quickly open a link in your clip!

👍 Shorten Link: Quickly shorten a url and get it to share quickly!

👍 Email: Detect emails and get a tap to write email action!

👍 QR Code: Convert text to QR code instantly with one tap and share it to your friends!

👍 Define: Quickly get meanings to words you copy! Get notification for the definition and also inside app anytime!

👍 Speak Out: Speak out the word you copied with one tap!

👍 Translate: One tap to translate the text you copied to the language of your choice!

👍 Export: Export to SD Card

👍 Export/Import/Backup: Backup and Import your clips!

👍 Get a floating bubble when you copy text!

👍 Mark Clips as favorites, archive them for later!

👍 Select your notification background from a wide variety of colors!

👍 Timeout and automatically remove notifications


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TECH DEAL

KMASHI 10000mAh Portable Power Bank

(keep one of these handy to keep your phone charged)

Geek Squeak #17-015: You Need A Document Scanner On Your Smartphone

Did you know that you can scan documents with your smartphone?  Sure, you can take a photo of a document; however, there are apps out there specifically designed to scan documents by taking a snapshot of the document, squaring it up, converting it to other formats (such as JPG and PDF), and saving it to the cloud (or sharing directly with others).  My favorite is CamScanner (SEE VIDEO BELOW).

To see CamScanner and others you need to see the 10 best document scanner apps at Android Authority (SEE SOURCE LINK BELOW)

Smartphones are useful for so many things. One of the less typical use cases are for digitizing documents. It’s very helpful for things like scanning forms into PDF format, scanning receipts for taxes, and even scanning a filled out form for email. You are no doubt here because you fit into one of those use cases. Worry not because we can help. Here are the best document scanner apps for Android… READ MORE


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Voice Recorder Pro – Grab This Android App While Free

Putting this app out there if you have an Android phone… It is Voice Recorder Pro (see source link below), which typically is $2.49. What I am seeing on the Google Play site is that this app will be free for a period of 7 days. Ton’s of features. Grab it while you can; I did…

Voice Recorder Pro is an easy-to-use voice recorder that is full of convenient features. It’s perfect for recording voices in meetings or making little voice memos.

✔Can even record while screen is in sleep mode.

✔Can record whenever you like via floating button.

✔Comes with user-friendly functions such as automatic volume change when playing back recordings.

✔The application lock function protects your privacy by requiring users to input the unlocking pattern when starting up the app.

   Voice Recorder Pro (License)- screenshot

Source: Google Play – Voice Recorder Free


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Which Recovery Option Should I Use When Experiencing Problems With Windows 10

Found the following information on the Microsoft Support site that may be helpful in deciding which recovery option you should use in the event you are troubleshooting and experiencing problems with Windows 10.

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well because of a recently installed app, driver, or update.

Solution: Restore from a system restore point

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well and you’re not sure why.

Solution: Reset your PC

Problem: You want to clear all your personal data off of your PC before you donate or recycle it.

Solution: Reset this PC > Remove everything > Remove files and clean this drive

Problem: Your PC won’t start. Or You tried to reset the PC, but encountered the error: There was a problem resetting your PC.

Solution 1: If you’ve previously created a USB recovery drive, use the recovery drive to restore or recover your PC

Solution 2: If you haven’t created a USB recovery drive, use installation media to restore your PC or Use installation media to reinstall Windows 10


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-003)
 

Privacy Screen Guard & Filter (for Android) – Block people from peeping into your apps, notifications and private chats on a subway train, bus, mall, at work or school by using our privacy shade… READ MORE

 Privacy Screen Guard & Filter- screenshot

How to use Storage sense to free up space automatically on the Windows 10 Creators Update – Starting with the Creators Update, Windows 10 introduces Storage sense, a new feature that automatically monitors and free up storage space on your computer… READ MORE

Windows 7 Games For Windows 10 – Windows 7 Games For Windows 10 installs the broken (or missing) Windows 7 games for your Windows 10… READ MORE

Wise JetSearch – Free Local File Search Tool – A nice “go to” search tool replacement for Windows… READ MORE

Renogy E.Lumen Multi-Functional Solar Power & USB Rechargeable Flashlight – I have one of these… Awesome flashlight, for the price, that also serves as a multi-purpose emergency tool…  READ MORE


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An Option To Fix Google Assistant On Your Android Phone

Google Assistant is Google’s new artificial intelligence personal assistant that allows you to ask Google questions (or give commands) and engage in a two-way conversation with Google. I have been playing around with it and it is very cool. I especially like that I can do hand’s free texting using Google Assistant when driving or I can ask Google about my day or any question for that matter. To determine if it is on your phone, simply hold down the “Home” button on your phone and you should be greeted with the “Hi, How can I help?”. In my case, I was waiting patiently for the Google Assistant to download to my Android phone and when it finally did, I ran into an unusual problem. I decided to do a blog post on this describing the problem I ran into and how the problem was resolved.

Google Assistant

The problem I ran into (in short summary) is that after I had determined Google Assistant was on my phone, by checking the version numbers of the Google App, it simply was not working correctly. When I held down the home button nothing would happen. If I tapped the home button it took me to the old Google Now screen.  At the Google Now Screen when I went into the settings, I noticed that it was the settings for Google Assistant (and not for Google Now). At first I thought that my phone being a mid-ranged phone wouldn’t support all of the Google Assistant settings; therefore, I only was entitled to maybe a lite version of Google Assistance.

Finally, after suspecting there was a software (or app) conflict and after searching the internet for a solution (with no luck), I found the Google Search and Assistant Help ForumForum’s are great for troubleshooting problems. After searching and browsing the forum I was unable to find a solution that matched the problem I was experiencing; therefore, I had to join the forum and describe the problem with hope that someone may be able to help. Part of the problem, when describing an issue, is finding the right words. When it comes to computers, electronics, smartphones, etc…; they all have a language of their own.

In this instance, I described the problem as follows:

Why is it when I launch Google Assistant it appears to launch Google Now?

When I launch Google Assistant via the home button it appears to launch Google Now.  I am not seeing the Google Assistant launch screen “how can I help”…  I also noticed that some of the Google Assistant features work and some do not.  For example, if I say “OK Google” , “read me the news” (from my customized list), it takes me to Google Play and plays a song from “the news”...

Within 24 hours a “Community Specialist” in the forum (named Lucas) came back at me with some things to try:

Lucas – Community Specialist said:

Hi Ramblinrick,

Welcome to the Google Search and Assistant Help Forum!

Just to confirm, is your Google app updated to the latest version? To check, visit Play Store and go to the Google App page. If you see update button, try updating the app that may help resolve this issue.

If that doesn’t help, try to reset the app and then try to update again. To reset go to device Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data. This step will reset the app to factory condition and all the personalization and preferences will be reset to original.

Please let me know how that works.

Best,

Lucas

The solution:

I followed the instructions and found that by doing a reset of the app was the solution (Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data).  Google Assistant is now performing flawlessly and we are now having conversations with each other on a daily basis. A big thanks to Lucas, whoever and wherever you are, for your assistance.

Set Digital Ground Rules For Your Kids Using Google’s Family Link

Google’s Family Link app lets you create a Google Account for your kids that helps you set certain digital ground rules, such as; managing the apps for your kids, keeping an eye on their screen time, and even setting a bedtime on their device.

Family Link is available by invitation only
to parents of kids under 13 years old.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • To create a Google Account for your kid through Family Link.
  • A compatible Android device for your kid*.
  • Your own Android device.
  • Your own Google Account.
  • To be in the U.S.

Source: Google Family Link – Home

What Is Google Chromecast? | Tom’s Guide

I encourage you to visit Tom’s Guide (see source link below) for FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) when it comes to the Google Chromecast. I own several of these and especially love that I can mirror my android smartphone screen to the TV in addition to all the apps (such as YouTube) that can be cast to the big screen. The Chromecast is an inexpensive way to turn an older TV into a Smart TV…

The Google Chromecast is a cheap, simple way to stream video content right to your TV. Competing with the likes of Roku and Apple TV, the $35 Chromecast plugs into your TV and grants easy access to multiple streaming services, from Netflix and YouTube to Hulu and Google Play. You can even throw content from your Chrome browser to the big screen. Use this FAQ to get up to speed on the Chromecast and decide if it’s right for you.

Chromecast plugs into your TV and grants easy access to multiple streaming services, from Netflix and YouTube to Hulu and Google Play.

Source: What Is Google Chromecast? – How Chromecast Works – Tom’s Guide

Did You Know You Can Send and Receive Money With Gmail?

I’ve been seeing article’s today to indicate that you can now send and receive money with Gmail for Android AND that this feature has been available on the web version of Gmail for some time.

I did not know, until today, that there was an option in Gmail to transfer money. From what I understand, a Google Wallet account is required.

On the web version, to send money to another recipient, see the following steps. For other options, such as receiving money, click on the source link below for further instructions.

Send money with Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the Compose button.
  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to send money to.
  4. Add a subject and message text (optional).
  5. Click the $ icon (£ for UK users).
  6. Enter the amount you want to send and choose a payment method or add a new one.
  7. Click Review.
  8. Click Attach.
  9. Look over your message one more time and click Send.

To learn more about sending & receiving money using Gmail, click on the source link below…

Source: Send & receive money with Gmail – Computer – Gmail Help

To learn more about sending money using the Android version of Gmail — CLICK HERE  …

Reverb Brings Amazon’s Alexa To Your Phone

Love Amazon’s Alexa???  If so, you may be interested in taking a look at Reverb. This app is currently in development and will only continue to improve. Simply install, log in to your Amazon account, and ask Alexa questions or give commands by holding down the microphone on the screen.

Reverb currently does not support the music component that Alexa supports. The app can be a little buggy at times and on my phone appears to conflict a little with “Google OK”, however, I was very impressed and expect that this app will only improve (and become quite popular).

If you need to learn more about Alexa’s commands, check this out “The complete list of Alexa commands so far“…

Reverb allows you to interact with Alexa from anywhere. Via Alexa, Reverb answers questions, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service.

Source: Reverb for Amazon Alexa – Android Apps on Google Play

DailyRoads Voyager – Turn Your Smartphone Into A Dashcam

It is unbelievable what one can do with these smartphones these days. I now know why the PC industry is on the downslide. It is because of apps such as DailyRoads Voyager. I have a real passion for software and the Android platform continues to feed my passion. This app (DailyRoads Voyager) allows you to turn your phone into a dashcam; and, I must say it has worked flawlessly for me. You will need a phone mount that you can place at dash level in order for this to work for you and it is advisable that you keep the phone plugged in when using this; and, “yes” you can continue to use the phone when running the app (which will run in the background). On my phone I have the app saving the video to the SD card in 3GB segments (note: you can allocate how much space to use to store video).

Key features:

– Continuous video recording, with user-defined length and video quality; sound can be included
– User-defined storage space on the SD card with cyclic recording; i.e. the card never fills up
– One-touch video retention allows you to keep video files for interesting road events during the whole journey
– Auto retain video upon sudden shock (e.g. accident); configurable g-force sensitivity
– Automatically capture photos at user-defined intervals and resolutions; great for time-lapse photography
– Background video/photo capture, with optional buttons over other applications
– Auto start and shutdown based on car dock detection and related options
– Videos/photos are timestamped & geotagged
– Automatically determine street address of retained videos/photos
– Display videos/photos location on a map
– Display speed, elevation, timestamp and GPS coordinates on videos/photos
– Option to change speed units (km/h, mph) and date format
– Overheating protection
– GPS can be disabled to reduce power consumption
– Brightness adjustment option allows less distraction when driving at night
– Built-in file manager, video/photo browser
– Add title/description/bookmark to files
– Upload files to DailyRoads.com
– App2SD

Source: DailyRoads Voyager – Android Apps on Google Play

MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android Free

There has been quite a few occasions where I had to drill down, using data recovery software, to find deleted files for people. I can’t say I have had to do this on an Android device yet; however, if the occasion does arise, MiniTool Mobile Recovery may be the software option I will be using. This free Android data recovery tool provides 2 recovery modules (recover from phone and recover from SD-Card) to restore Android data regardless of the reasons for data loss. The recovery process requires connecting to the Android device via your computer.

minitool-data-recovery

MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android Free is the best Android data recovery software which can effectively recover data from Android Phones and Tablets.

Source: MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android Free | Best Free Android Data Recovery Software for Android Phones and Tablets

Check Out The Beta Version Of YouTube Go on Google Play

Thought this may be of interest to you Android users…  It is called YouTube Go (currently in beta) that allows you to preview and download YouTube videos to your device. The goal is to save you on your data usage.  The app allows you to select either a standard or basic download (which both are less than 720p).

✔️️ Find a world of videos: 🎵 songs, 🎥 movies, 📺 TV shows, 😂 comedy, 👜 fashion, 🍲 cooking, 🛠️ how-to’s and many, many more!
✔️️ Download and watch your favorite videos
✔️️ Instantly share videos – no data used to transfer
✔️️ Search for any video and discover new videos
✔️️ Only 8.5MB app size

Beta test of the new YouTube Go app – try it now!

Source: YouTube Go – Android Apps on Google Play

A “FastKey” Launcher For Android

Thought I would throw this out there for you Android users.  It is called “FastKey” and it is a launcher for your phone or tablet. I installed this and was super impressed on how fast it was; however, I wish it had an option where I could solely use it as an app (and not so much as a default launcher).  Anyhow, this launcher keeps a keyboard on your screen and when you need to find something, such as an app, contact, etc…, this launcher is right on top of it.

Source: Google Play Store (FastKey Launcher)

Haystack TV For Your Chromecast

On Black Friday I took advantage of the $25 Chromecast and installed it on my TV in my garage. My wife hasn’t seen me since. You can still take advantage of the $25 Chromecast at the official Google site (click here), until December 24th. After getting the Chromecast I was like a kid with a new toy and it wasn’t long before I was looking for Chromecast ready apps (that you install on your Android phone or tablet then cast or display on the TV).  

One of my favorites so far, is Haystack TV… In a nutshell it is like a high-def visual feed reader that specializes mostly in news; however, I found that you can customize (search for and save sources & topics) that can be quite entertaining (like late night TV segments).  Even if you do not have a Chromecast, Haystack TV is worth downloading on your smartphone or tablet.

   Haystack TV: Daily News- screenshot

 

Haystack TV is a free and Google Cast™ Ready app, a great alternative to cable news. Haystack has featured repeatedly for Chromecast and Android TV the latest politics, local, national and world news from top news organizations such as CNN, AP, MSNBC, NYTimes and the BBC.

 

Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection for Android and iOS

Microsoft introduced the computer version of Solitaire back in 1990, with the intention “to soothe people intimidated by the operating system,” and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards” [Source: Wikipedia]…

I encourage you to click the link below to learn about Microsoft’s NEW Solitaire (collection) app for the Android and iOS platforms…

Source: Microsoft brings Solitaire Collection to Android and iOS – TechSpot

Get The Android Auto Experience On Your Smartphone

Two years ago Android Auto was launched and was available only in certain model cars. Soon, through the Google Play Store, you will be able to get Android Auto for your Smartphone (Android 5.0 and later) as an app. Android Auto provides a “driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren’t essential while driving”.  You can read more about this HERE and when it will become available.

Android Auto

Use An Old Smartphone For Home Security With These Two Android Apps

You will see numerous articles out there on how to go about using an old smartphone as a home security monitoring device. Two Android Apps to take a look at for this purpose is SalientEye Home Security Alarm and Alfred.  Both are FREE…

SalientEye Home Security Alarm – Salient Eye turns any android device into a full home camera security system. The Salient Eye application uses your phone’s camera to sense motion and makes alarm sounds when a break-in occurs. Salient Eye home security app catches intruders red-handed and immediately sends you pictures via email and SMS.

SalientEye

Alfred – Alfred is a video monitor that allows you to check on your home from your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are, thanks to a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection. It’s very simple to use Alfred, you just need to install the app on your devices and select one of them to be the Camera and another to be the Viewer.

Alfred

Malware Called “DressCode” Found In Android Apps

If you think you are immune from malware in Android Apps; “Think Again”…

“Researchers from Check Point discovered malware they’re calling DressCode in 40 Google Play store apps and more than 400 apps listed in third-party app stores”…

“Once installed on the device, DressCode initiates communication with its command and control server,”

READ MORE @ BGR

The following video also explains how DressCode works:

Make Your Android Device An Extension Of Your Computer

Here is a pretty cool Android App, called DeskDock, that allows you to share your computer’s mouse (and keyboard) with your Android device via a USB cable. 

 

See DeskDock In Action

Features:

• Use your computer’s mouse with your Android devices

• Share clipboard between computer and Android devices

• Supports Windows, Linux and macOS

• Works on all Android versions starting from 4.1

• NO rooted device required

• Shortcut for simulating multitouch

• Connect multiple Android devices to one computer

• Flexible arrangement of devices

• Customizable mouse button actions

• Customizable mouse pointer speed

• Ready for Android Nougat

Having problems accessing your shares on your Windows 10 PC using SMB (or ES File Explorer)?

ES File Explorer is my favorite Android based file manager. Months ago I ended up uninstalling it from all of my Android devices due to one of the features I used to access the file shares on my local area network (in my home), using a networking protocol called Samba (or SMB),  stopped working. I ended up installing numerous other Android based file managers and experienced the same issue and came to the conclusion that a Windows 10 update broke the network connection. My Android devices could see my computer on the network, but would not allow me to connect. The only Android based file manager that worked was Xplore. After months of using Xplore I decided to revisit ES File Explorer to see if there was a fix and discovered the problem still existed. This time around my gut was telling me it was a Windows 10 network connectivity issue. I was bound and determined to find a solution…

I ended up landing at a site called WindowsTenFORUMS; and, low and behold, after some extensive digging I found a solution to my problem. I know there are numerous other people out there with this same issue and as a result, I decided to post the solution here, as well.

If you go to this LINK and scroll down the page until you see “waddles” (Junior Member), you will see the solution.

For quick reference, the solution is:

Hi There,

I had this problem (and bro’s posts did not help at all), but I discovered you can login using ES File Explorer without much issue, only that your username is not what you would expect.

Instead of using the full e-mail address of your Microsoft account, just use the first five characters. I’m not sure if that’s how it generates the username, but you can check what it exactly is by typing ‘whoami’ in command prompt, and your username will appear after the slash for the domain.

I almost gave up on ES File Explorer after figuring out that this instantly solved my problem.

What “waddles” is saying here is that if you go to the Windows Command Prompt and type in “whoami” you will see your username after the slash. For example, after typing “whoami” at the command prompt, my computer identified me as “asus-pc\rick”.  Now when I log into my PC, using ES File Explorer, via Samba (SMB), I use “rick” as the username; then, I enter my password as I normally would. This worked perfectly…

This Is A Very Useful Android App – Voice Notify

Voice Notify is a excellent Android App, that is useful when driving, that will announce (via Text To Speech) your status bar notification messages. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road and not the screen. You can easily turn the service on and off via an included widget.

Cover art

FEATURES:

  • Optionally read toast notifications (Android 3.0+)
  • Widget to suspend VN
  • Customizable TTS message
  • Ignore specific apps or notifications containing defined text
  • Choice of TTS audio stream
  • Choice of speaking when screen or headset is on or off, or while in silent/vibrate mode
  • Quiet Time
  • Shake-to-silence
  • Custom delay of TTS after notification
  • Repeat notifications at custom interval while screen off
  • Notification log
  • Post a test notification

 

Small Android Utility To Reduce Harmful Effects of Blue Light (that is emitted from Smartphones and Tablets)

I have been playing around with the various Android utilities that are designed to reduce the harmful effects of blue light (that is emitted from Smartphones and Tablets) and settled with the utility called Bluelight Filter.

If you use your smartphone or tablet at night, this utility will help you protect your eyes; and, help you with getting a good nights sleep. Bluelight Filter is very small in size (84kb) FREE app that has no ads and requires no special permissions (to install).  

   Bluelight Filter- screenshot

A List Of Just About Everything You Can Say To “Google Now”

Ok Google“, search for “What’s On My PC“…

The “OK Google” command is very powerful feature; especially if you know what to say and how to say it. If you have an Android phone or tablet with Google Now, I strongly encourage you to learn how to use it. You can ask your device just about anything and Google will most likely give you a smart answer. To activate the Google Now voice command, simply pick up your Android device and talk directly to it and say, “OK Google” and a pulsing microphone icon will appear on your screen awaiting for your command. Typically, if you ask Google Now something and it is not in its’ command line structure, you will be taken to a list of google search results. 

So, what commands can you use? Greenbot, a site that specializes in the Android platform, has posted “A list of all the Google Now voice commands” of just about everything you can say to Google Now. I think when you review these commands you will find that Google has done a nice job of keeping the commands simple (with common sense in mind).

If anything, by asking Google Now a question or giving a command is fun and will be sure to impress your friends… “Ok Google“, “Do a barrel roll

 

 A list of all the Google Now voice commands

Greenbot

Opera Develops A NEW Android App Called “News and Search”

Have not had a chance to play with this yet; but Opera has released a NEW Android App in the Google Play Store called “News and Search“. I am big into the news aggregator (feed) apps and will be definitely checking this out.

ADDENDUM (6/9/16) – Ok, had some time to install and play around with Opera’s News and Search. At this point, is going to be a keeper on my phone (and tablet). In summary, it is a news aggregator (that you can customize channels to meet your interests) that is built on top of a flavor of the Opera browser designed for the dual purpose of setting up channels (of your interests) and for surfing the internet (as you would with any browser). It took me a bit of time to navigate around; but, once I learned, I really like where all of the controls are located. Very impressive at this point…

Browse hot topics, trending & breaking news per category and even connect your Twitter account to get an overview of all the news stories shared by your friends’ networks. Stories you want to keep or share can easily be added to the built-in reading list.

News and Search

   Opera browser - news & search- screenshot

NEW Web Of Trust (WOT) Safe Browsing Tool For Your Android Devices

If you are an Android smartphone or tablet user; and, you use the Google Chrome browser (or the native Android Browser), you may want to take a look at (and install) the mobile version of Web of Trust. I currently use the PC version of Web of Trust on all of my computers to help me determine which sites are reputable and which sites are not.

   WOT Mobile Security- screenshot

Against what types of online threats can WOT protect you?

Malware & Viruses – Avoid visiting websites that host malicious software, such as viruses, spyware, and adware that can steal your information and spread to other devices.

Phishing – Turn back from malicious links in fake emails, websites and text messages that are designed to fool you into giving away personal information.

Scams – Users ratings warn you when you visit a site that may host any type of fraud designed to steal money or personal information.

Spyware – WOT can warn you when a site has been reported to host spyware, which collects your personal information without your knowledge.

Text From Your Computer (or Android Tablet) Using Your Current Android Phone Number

Here’s how this works… Install Yappy on your Android phone; then, install Yappy on computer (and/or tablet). Another option, if you use Google Chrome or Firefox, is to install their browser extensions for Yappy. The key here is to make sure you have the app installed on your phone to make sure your texts sync between your phone and computer (and vice versa). If you are confused with my instructions, then visit the Yappy web site to learn more. I have been using Yappy and it has worked quite well for me.

Yappy

What To Do If You Forget Your Android Passcode Or Pattern Lock

Recently, I posted an article, “Protect Your Android Apps From Unwanted Access” to emphasize the importance of securing your phone to prevent unwanted access (especially if the phone is lost). On my Android phone I have the phone locked down with a passcode that is managed through the phone’s security settings. If I lose my phone, someone has to get past that level of security before they will be able to access the contents on the phone. The question that is often posed with this type of security is; “What do you do if you completely forget the passcode (or pattern lock)???”…  There are options available…

I encourage you to visit, Joy of Android, and read the “how to” article (How To Unlock Android Phone If You Forget the Password Or Pattern Lock) to learn about (5)-five different methods that you can work through to get back into your phone; from, the less aggressive method of using your Google account information to the most aggressive method of resorting to a factory reset. Each of these methods require having some knowledge of your phone and other account information.

How To Unlock Android Phone
If You Forget the Password Or Pattern Lock

Unlock Android with Forgotten Password

BEST (in my opinion) Easy App Switcher (for Android)

I am not going to get into all of the in’s and out’s of EAS (Easy App Switcher); but, if you want to increase your productivity on your Android devices, I highly recommend this app. It is a little tricky to set up, but once you do, you will not regret it. This app, of any that I have tested, gives you true multi-tasking capabilities; allowing to switch back and forth between apps, launching apps, and visiting most recent apps. 

Cover art

NEW Android Updates For Evernote That You Will Like

A new Android update for Evernote features a redesigned Evernote camera that makes capturing, managing and archiving scanned documents smoother and better than ever before.

When you take a picture of a document in automatic mode, Evernote’s in-app camera detects the document’s size and type and calibrates to take the best snap possible. Evernote then processes the image, crops it, and adjusts the contrast for a clear and crisp digital rendering. You don’t need to do anything else—just point the camera and let the app do all the work.

Evernote Logo

But wait, there is more! CLICK HERE to visit the Evernote blog to learn more about  the new document scanning feature and the other neat updates.

Protect Your Android Apps From Unwanted Access

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-016)

Recently I have been paying special attention to folks who have Android smartphones (and tablets) and I am noticing that the majority do not have their phones locked down (either with a pin code or pattern lock). I highly recommend that you get into the security setting on your devices and lock them down; preferably, with a pin code so that when your phone is turned “on” or awakened out of its’ sleep mode, a code (that you pre-designate) is required to access and operate the phone. You will not realize the importance of this “slight” inconvenience, until your phone is misplaced.

To take this a step further, there are apps available that allow you pass code protect individual apps to prevent apps from being launched on your phone (or tablet) in the event you hand off the device to someone else, such as your kids. An app locker that I have been testing out is called Avira Applock+. What I like about Applock+ is that it is very easy to setup; and, it specifically focuses on securing access to your apps (and not a bunch of other stuff is bundled with it). An included powerful feature in the FREE version is the unlimited remote device management, where you can remotely lock and unlock apps on your managed phones (as many as you like!) from Avira Online Essentials – your online dashboard.

Avira Applock+

 AppLock+- screenshot

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Surge Protector For High-End Home and Professional Workstations – Here is a surge protector that is highly recommended.  It is the Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector that is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon. This surge protector is built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, telephones, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics. While it is recommended for heavy duty devices, it can also be used to protect other household electronics as well without problem.

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

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Q-Dir  Windows 10 Emulation

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Google Calendar Keeps Getting Better And Better – You may not have noticed; but, as of this month, a new feature has been implemented that will allow you to create reminders in your calendar. 

Just like on Android and iPhone, you’ll get the following:

  • Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
  • Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
  • Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.

To read more on this, CLICK HERE

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A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-03)

A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC – Each week on the blog I try to provide an array of topics through the Geek Squeaks’ theme. This week I was brain dead and for the life of me nothing was jumping out to get my juices going. In an effort to give myself a jump start, I decided to list some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. This not only got my juices going; but, it made me come to the realization that I need to re-think how I am titling my blog articles and still keep within the parameters of my Geek Squeaks’ way of life where I post multiple topics (with one main topic as the attention grabber). As a result, I am going to implement this change to see where it takes me. To get started with this week’s post, I changed the title format; and to get my juices going, I have listed a sampling some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. Always remember, you can perform a search to find various topics, software, etc… In the 8 years that I have been blogging, there is a good chance that if you are looking for something, I have covered it in some form or another.

Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply – I discuss some of the symptoms you may experience that could indicate that your power supply is failing. This article was published back in 2010, which seems like yesterday, and much of what is reflected is still applicable today.

Shutdown, Sleep, Restart or Logoff Your Computer Using the Keyboard – Here I did a post about the built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer. This article is applicable to Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users. I still get a ton of hits on this one.

Locating Your Software License Keys – Did you know that if you do a complete reinstall of the software on your PC, you will need the product license keys (or serial/registration information) for the software that you had paid for? If you did not know this, then this article will guide you on the various software options that are available that will help you out.

An Easy Way to Get the Serial Number and Disk Drive Information of Your Computer – If you follow the command prompt steps that I have reflected in this article you can get the serial number and disk drive information of your computer.

Get the last FREE version of FastStone Capture – If you do not know what FastStone Capture is, then you are missing out on some good software. This screen capture program, at one point was freeware; however, you now (current version) have to pay for the software (shareware). This is one shareware program that I recommend buying. If you do not wish to buy it, you can still grab the last FREE version.

What does the “G” represent in 3G and 4G? – There is a high probability that you own a cell phone. If so, you have probably questioned, “What is all of this 3G and 4G talk about?”. This article will help you out with this.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Package Of More Than 180 Portable Freeware Utilities (for Windows) – If you are the techie type, you probably have heard of the NirSoft utilities. Did you know that these utilities can be downloaded as a package and conveniently launched using what is called the NirLauncher. The NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more… This is a “must have” for the tech toolbox.

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An OS That Will Turn A PC Into An Android PC – I came across a new open source OS (operating system) that can be installed on a compatible PC or run from a flash drive called Remix OS that will turn a PC into an Android based PC. What this means is that you can run the same apps through the Remix OS that you do on your Android based phones and tablets. I will be keeping an eye on this…

Video – How To Install The Remix OS

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Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – If you do not own a wireless bluetooth speaker, you do not know what you are missing. Today, I came across an Amazon deal for people like me who is rough on things. It is the Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, that is shockproof and waterproof. At the time of this posting, the pricing was unbelievable ($39) with great customer reviews.

 Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-42) FEATURING — An Easy To Use Backup Program — and MORE GREAT STUFF

An Easy To Use Backup Program – Nearly every home based computer user that I have encountered do not backup their personal files. Most of what files people have stored on their computers they feel are files that are unimportant; until the moment comes that they lose those files. An example being, many people store family pictures on their computers. At the moment they may seem unimportant; however, when the computer fails (and it will), all of the sudden you realize that you lost precious memories. If you fall into this category, which most likely you do, please take the time to purchase an external hard drive (click here) and establish a backup plan. Finding an external hard drive and connecting it is the easy part. Finding a software solution is another matter. To help you along, a software solution that I use is called

To help you along, a software solution that I use is called Bvckup 2. If you visit the site you will see that it is software that you have to buy; however, to get around that option, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where the download button is located, you will see “Looking for the last beta?”.  If you click on that link you can download the last beta version of Bvckup, which is FREE. By trying out the beta, you may be encouraged to purchase the software; however, I have found the beta’s of BVCkup 2 to work perfectly fine for our purposes. Bvckup 2 is easy to use (and learn) and it does not compress, encrypt or FTP files. It’s not a two-way sync nor is it a full system backup software. It simply makes a copy of your personal files from your computer to a designated location on the external hard drive; AND, the best part (by default), Bvckup will automatically perform these backups for you in real-time.

Bvckup 2

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Digital Bubble Level – Our smartphones have many other purposes other than making calls and texting. For example, did you know you can turn your smartphone into a bubble level that comes in handy when you need to make sure a picture is hung straight on the wall, or a length of lumber is level, etc… If you search the Google Play store you will many bubble level apps available. The one that I settled for is an app developed by a company who actually makes levels, called Rigid. The app that they have developed is called Rigid Digital Bubble Level. This app features a calibration mode that will allow you to use this app in three views: Bubble View (the standard bubble level you’re used to); Horizon View (a horizon line that twists as you rotate. Enable the camera feature in this view to level things from afar.); and, Flat View (placing the phone on a surface activates this view where an optional beep can indicate how level the surface is without needing to look at the screen.)…

Rigid Digital Bubble Level

Cover art

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A Gizmodo Field Guide To 9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone – I am sure, if you own a Google based Android phone, you have used the “ok Google” feature where you speak to your phone by saying “ok google” and then tell (speak to) the Google Now Assistant to perform searches, etc… I am still trying to get used to this, but when I do use it I am really amazed of the accuracy and the results. Along with performing searches there are other commands you can give. Gizmodo has put together a nice field guide to “9 Google Now Voice Commands To Take Control Of Your Smartphone” that you need to learn. Commands such as turning your wi-fi on/off; the flashlight on/off; read text messages; etc…

9 Google Now Voice Commands
To Take Control Of Your Smartphone

9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

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verykool Sleek, Contemporary Unlocked GSM Phones – I was focused on smartphones when I visited Amazon and what I came across is a smartphone brand that I have never heard of (called verykool). What caught my eye and made me look more than twice was the unbelievable super low pricing. Based on the low number of customer reviews (which, by the way are high ratings), verykool must be a newcomer at Amazon. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this smartphone brand that just may change the whole landscape of things when it comes to smartphones.

 verykool

verykool

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-41) FEATURING — Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider – About a year ago I was at wits end in trying to find an editor that I could use at the desktop level to draft my blog articles. Today, if you are an avid blogger or want to give blogging a try, you need to know that there are several options available. Some of these editors support other blogging platforms, but what I am outlining here in this geek squeak article is editors that I know work with the WordPress.com platform (which is the online cloud based version of WordPress).

Wordpress

To keep this simple and allow you to do a quick read; three options to consider are:

ScribeFire – This editor is actually a browser extension (for Firefox and Chrome) that I use (and love). I think what sells me on this is that it is a basic editor, is fast, and dependable. The cons with ScribeFire is that, due to its’ simplicity, you have to do the final touches online (with the formatting) using the online WordPress editor. Otherwise, ScribeFire has worked for me. ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.

Open Live Writer – Remember the Windows version of Live Writer. I actually used that prior to ScribeFire; however, due to changes at Microsoft and the operating system upgrades the Microsoft version of Live Writer is basically a dead duck in the water. Due to numerous people using Live Writer, a group of talented contributors have turned what it used to be into an open source program called Open Live Writer. Open Live Writer is like Word for your blog. Open Live Writer is a powerful, lightweight blog editor that allows you to create blog posts, add photos and videos then publish to your website.

New WordPress.com Desktop App – WordPress.com must have heard our cries and know that in order to continue as one of the premiere blogging platforms there has to be options made available in order for people to remain within their blogging empire. I can tell you from being a blogger since 2008, WordPress is the way to go. With the new Windows and Mac based apps you can manage your sites, write and publish, and even customize your site and view stats from a dedicated app in your Windows Start Menu.

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Happy Holidays To My Reader And To My Favorite Blogging Friends –  I want to wish my readers’ a safe and happy holiday season; AND, hope that you will continue to visit my blog. I love blogging about information technology, and have been doing so since 2008. During this journey there is a group of bloggers that have kept together in the virtual sense (even though none of us have physically met each other). Those bloggers, whom I have great respect for are Steve, Bill Paul, and Michael (and Jason). I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season…

Happy Holiday Wreath Facebook Cover

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Bluetooth Speaker Makes Great Gift – If you are looking to gift someone, consider a portable bluetooth speaker. Currently Anker has a new release at Amazon (that has become a best seller) called the Anker SoundCore. Right now the customer reviews on this little beast is very good. Points that standout with this speaker is battery life (24-hour / 500-song playtime powered by a built-in high capacity Li-ion battery) and Bluetooth 4.0 Technology (compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. Instantly connect to your smartphone or tablet from up to 66 feet away. SoundCore reconnects automatically to the last device used. Built-in mic for hands-free calls.).  What you get is the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker, Micro USB charging cable, welcome guide, and 18-month warranty).

Anker SoundCore

Anker SoundCore

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Turn Your Android Device Into An At Home Video Monitoring Device – Have a tablet or an old smartphone around? If so, put it to work using the AtHome Camera – Home Security App. This app, using a three step process, will turn the device into a home video monitoring device that can be accessed when you are away.

AtHome Camera – Home Security

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – If you love animals, then you will love these hilarious and funny pictures (with a funny caption). For example the picture you see below was captioned “Rush Hour”. To see the original “Rush Hour” and others visit The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The cool thing about this is that no digital manipulation was allowed in order to enter the contest.

The Comedy Wildlife

WINNER Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-40) FEATURING — Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords  – As computer and internet users, where we log into numerous accounts, we are still failing to keep our information safe. From experience of helping others, I find that most people use weak passwords and will use the same password to log into numerous accounts. On top of that, most folks will write down those passwords and keep them near the computer. An easy solution to all of this is what is called a Qwerty Card. I had heard about these cards in the past; and, just recently I came across them again on Tech Crunch. How this works is that the card reflects the QWERTY keyboard and each letter on the keyboard is assigned a unique character. When you purchase a card, you are given a unique base code. To generate a really strong password, you first type your base code, then your own password, then use the Qwerty card to generate the coding for the website name. You can also simplify this process and still maintain a strong password by reducing the number of steps. To learn more on how this works, either visit Tech Crunch or the actual site that sells these cards (click here)…

Qwerty Cards

picture of qwertycard

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EncryptOnClick Is Like Hiring Your Own Highly Experienced Data Security Guard – I nearly forgot about EncryptOnClick, until I saw that the developer recently updated it. If you want a simple, easy to use encryption program, this one is definitely a keeper. After you install EncryptOnClick, you can copy the contents of the install directory over to a flashdrive (to make it a portable app). Very nice program, that is FREE (that uses 256-bit AES encryption). You can encrypt individual files or entire directories.

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick

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Google Drive Rolling Out New Search Experience – Drive lets you search across all your files, regardless of the device they came from. To make that easier, you can use these new ways to find your files: Narrow your search to a file type from the search box on Android, iOS, and the web. Open advanced search instantly from the search box. Access recent files or search Drive from the home screen using 3D Touch on iOS. Search Drive using the iOS search bar without opening the Drive app.

The new features will be rolling out in the coming weeks…

Read About Google Drive’s New Search Experience

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Speaking of Google Drive – Here is The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need… The guide covers: Navigation: Supported File Types | Accessing Google Drive | Storage Space | Working with Google Drive | Desktop Clients | Uploading Files & Folders | Downloading Files & Folders | File Size Restrictions | Creating a New Document | Sharing Files & Folders | Collaborating | Accessing Files Offline | Organizing Your Drive | Tweaking Your Layout | Third Party Apps | Troubleshooting | Drawbacks of Google Drive…

The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need

Google Drive will sync documents with Microsoft Office

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MAPS.ME – GPS Navigation & Map (Android) – Get detailed maps of any country in the world (that can be downloaded) and are optimized for your phone or tablet. This is an Android app called MAP.ME… If you need a GPS unit for your car; by using your Android smartphone, this is a great option. Recently upgraded to include walking directions…

MAP.ME

 MAPS.ME - GPS Navigation & Map- screenshot thumbnail

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A Terabyte Internal SSD Drive (by Samsung) – I am starting to see the much larger SSD drives come down in price. If your are in the market for a SSD Drive you may want to take a look at the Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung SSD Drive - 1TB.png

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-35) FEATURING — GEGeek NOW On Facebook — and MORE GREAT STUFF

GEGeek NOW On Facebook – The motherload of all tech sites, GEGeek, is now featuring their GEGeek Tech Toolkit on Facebook. The toolkit, available through donation at the main GEGeek web site, is a complete collection of over 400 tech related FREE programs and suites (all available from a menu launch utility). If you are an information technology professional the GEGeek website and the GEGeek Toolkit should automatically become part of your mindset. Mike and Jason at GEGeek have gone to great lengths to review, collect, and maintain the information (and toolkit) that is available. Jason recently joined Mike to assist in maintaining the motherload. I personally thank both of them (and I encourage you to do the same). After you donate to acquire the toolkit, you are then entitled to the upgrades (which occur on a regular basis).

GEGeek

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Online Games To Pass The Time Away – I regularly visit the USAToday web site to get my initial daily dose of news. Did you know that on the USAToday web site there is a link that will take to you a wide array of online games that they sponsor and maintain. Initially when you load the USAToday site, you will find a link a the top of the site for Crosswords. Click on that link and you will be taken to the Crossword puzzle page and on the page (at the top of the crosswords) you will find additional links for puzzle, arcade, strategy, brain, casino, and quiz type game challenges. Prior to playing any of the challenges or games, you will be required to set though a short in length advertisement…

USAToday Puzzles

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WordWeb Upgraded To Support Windows 10WordWeb has been a mainstay on my computer for years. It is a very useful and comprehensive one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links. I especially like the one click lookup where you hold the CTRL key and right mouse click on a word to get the definition. WordWeb can also be installed as a portable app. You will be prompted for that option after you run the install file. Also, if you like WordWeb and use Google Chrome, be sure to download their WordCaptureX browser extension…  NOTE: WordWeb has been added to the What’s On My PC download page under the FREE Software swarm.

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Fix Specific Windows 10 Problems and Issues With This Utility – The Windows Club has a developed a utility called FixWin 10 for Windows 10, that is a portable freeware application that allows you to fix and repair Windows 10 problems, issues and annoyances. This new release of FixWin has an updated UI for Windows 10 and includes a new section to fix Windows 10 common problems and issues specifically.

FixWin 10 for Windows 10

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Digital Trends’ (brought to you by Drippler) Best Android Apps For Any Occasion This list of Android Apps is a pretty good list in my opinion and is a good starting point if you are looking for good reputable android apps (for any occasion). The list was originally posted on Digital Trends and it made Drippler (the Android app that features new tips, apps, features, updates, accessories and more)….

false

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Where To Look For Deals On Amazon – As the holiday shopping season approaches and we Countdown To Black Friday, many of us will be doing our shopping online. One of my favorite shopping sites is Amazon. For example, to look for bargains I will visit their Today’s Deals, their Outlet, or their Warehouse …  I have found items, using these three options, to get really good deals. If you want to visit the Earth’s Biggest Selection to get a full directory listing at Amazon, CLICK HERE

Countdown Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.

There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’sSamsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.

Samsung Galaxy View

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Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

You aren’t limited to a single device, so why should your keyboard be?

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How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device.  The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen.  A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.

Android Security

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Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your DesktopBGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-31) FEATURING — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – If you currently have an Android supported device (smartphone or tablet) there is a possibility that you may be entitled (for FREE) to the newest Android OS called Marshmallow. I currently have a Nexus 5 smartphone, which is a Google based phone, and I received the upgrade this week. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S (tablet), I will have to do some research to determine when and if this device will receive the upgrade. You may have to do the same thing. Again, the OS upgrade is called Marshmallow.

Marshmallow

After receiving my upgrade, I had minimal knowledge as to what the new features were. I went on the hunt and found what I was looking for (to educate myself) at the official Android Marshmallow site (at Android.com). There you will find the complete features list by clicking on “All Features” at the bottom of the page. If you are wondering, Google names their operating systems using a confectionery theme. Below is a complete listing:

Cupcake (1.5) – Donut (1.6) – Eclair (2.0–2.1) – Froyo (2.2–2.2.3) – Gingerbread (2.3–2.3.7) – Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6)[a] – Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0–4.0.4) – Jelly Bean (4.1–4.3.1) – KitKat (4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2) – Lollipop (5.0–5.1.1) – Marshmallow (6.0)

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If You Are A “LastPass” Subscriber You May Want To Read This – LastPass is an online password manager where your passwords are stored in an online encrypted vault. They have been bought out by LogMeIn (a company specializing in remote desktop management). If you visit the LastPass blog you can read more about this announcement and the various comments that indicate that people are not happy with this move. This is another reason why I do not store my passwords online and instead use local software to manage my passwords. If curious of what I use to manage my passwords, CLICK HERE..

.LastPass_&_LogMeIn

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How To Hide A File Inside A Picture – I have to give credit to BetaNews for showcasing this little app called Free File Camouflage that is easy to use that gives you the ability to hide files inside a typical jpeg image. What attracts me to this software is that it is small in size (portable); thus, a nice addition to my tech toolbox.

Features:

  • The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images).
  • All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.
  • What happens if someone tries to open a camouflaged image? Well… nothing! He will only see an image!
  • This software is also useful when you want to send an exe via email. Currently many email providers (or companies proxy) don’t allow this.
  • Recently also GMail has disabled the support for attaching a zip file (even if protected with password) with an exe in a draft message.
  • With Free File Camouflage you can send via email whatever you want!

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Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder – This is a unique method to mount a phone holder in your vehicle that is made by Anker. There are many variations of this method available by different companies; however, at the time of this blog post, the Anker CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder was listed at being under $10…  

Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-30) FEATURING — Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard – Many auto manufacturers as well as aftermarket units are bringing Android to the dashboard of your car. One such example is Android Auto that projects or casts what is on your phone onto a compatible dashboard touchscreen; but, most of us do not have the luxury of this technology. To fill in this gap, did you know that there is an android app called Car Dashdroid.

 Car dashdroid- Car dashboard- screenshot

Car Dashdroid does not project to a screen in your car’s dashboard; however, it will turn your phone into a distraction free device that has been specifically developed for use in your car. I have been testing this app and can attest that it is very good. In summary, Car Dashdroid is a car home dock replacement that makes driving easy (and safer)! It can switch on and off with your car (using Bluetooth), and return from any app to the specially-designed Car Dashdroid homescreen with a press of the Home button while connected (see settings). The interface features large buttons to launch apps (such as your GPS mapping app) and can be set to read incoming text messages to you (and you can respond back without taking your hands off the wheel). This app is fully customizable; for example, you can set up to 16 shortcuts for your favorite apps, contacts, and even shortcuts to custom actions like directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message (like “On my way!” or “Stuck in traffic!”). You can use it FREE (with ads) and with some of the features disabled; however, if I were to buy an android app, this is one that I would buy. (UPDATE – I did buy this app!)…

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How To Update Windows In An Isolated Environment – Another tool for the tech toolbox is Portable Update. This tool is used to perform Windows updates on a computer where there is limited or no internet connection. Portable Update uses an external cache to store updates. The cache can reside on any usb external drive or, via private lan network, on a shared path. Once an update is copied to the cache (the only time that an internet connection is required), the same update will be used for all computer that need that particular update. I have added Portable Update to the What’s On My PC downloads page (under the Portable Apps Swarm).

Portable Update Hystory tag

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Daimler Driverless Truck Tested  – I’ve been saying that one of the first areas of transportation that will host autonomous driving is the truck industry. Take a look at the this article, “Daimler driverless lorry tested in motorway traffic” …

Daimler's self-driving truck took to a German autobahn to prove its capabilities

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Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank – I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of my body. I feel lost when I don’t have it in my possession and frustrated when it needs charged. To remedy the charging issue, I am exploring (looking at) the compact portable chargers. One that has caught my eye, that is inexpensive and has great customer reviews is the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank … One in three chargers sold on Amazon are from Anker!

Anker Astro E1

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-29) FEATURING — How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade — and MORE GREAT STUFF

How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade – I am not out there in the wild, like I used to, when it comes to providing computer assistance (and troubleshooting); however, I still have a good feel for information technology from doing the blog, exposure at work and working with close family. I am getting some feedback that there are many folks out there that have not received their Windows 10 upgrade. You keep waiting and nothing is happening. I know at least 5 people in my circle where this is occurring. As a result, I went on the hunt and found that these people are not alone and that there is a viable easy solution. SuperSite for Windows recently posted, “Where is my Windows 10 update?” (by Fred Langa) that will walk you through the process of jumpstarting your Windows 10 upgrade.  If you follow the steps, your Windows10 upgrade will be exactly the same as if you’d used the Windows Update method. As a word of advice, when you go this route, expect a longer install time and don’t panic if it is taking awhile (like several hours).

WOW – A New Chromecast – Chromecast is a Google device that uses Google Cast Technology to play audio and video content on your TV or home audio system (by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the internet or a local network). Google has just released their next generation of Chromecast.  For $35, which is very reasonable in my opinion, this is a tech toy worth taking a look at. Check it out HERE

Chromecast

A Multi-Boot Linux DVD for PC Repair – If you are a PC Tech you may want to take a look at MediCat DVD. This is a Linux based boot disc (developed for Windows PC Repair) that has been put together by a PC Technician that runs his own PC Repair business. I haven’t tried this out yet; however, for you PC Techs out there, this may be worth taking a look at and may be helpful in making your job easier.

[​IMG]

Android Basics On How To Use The Share Menu – I just had a conversation with a friend about the Android smartphones and tablets and how people are truly not using these devices to their fullest capabilities. For example, I approached someone that I know that uses their phone constantly (primarily for texting and Facebook) and asked them, “Do you know how to use the share menu feature on your phone?”. They had not a clue as to what I was talking about. Folks, if you are an Android smartphone or tablet user, the share menu option is a very powerful component of Android that you need to learn about. Once you learn how to use it, you will be going WOW. To learn how to use the feature, I encourage you to read “Android Basics: How to Use the Share Menu” and watch the video …

Camera With Good Reviews Featuring Built-in Wi-Fi technology – The Canon PowerShot S120 (12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full-HD Video Wi-Fi Enabled) is a digital camera that allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY… At the time of this posting, this camera was reviewed 185 times and is carrying a near five star rating.

Canon PowerShot S120

Canon S120

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-28) FEATURING — NEW Gmail Features — and MORE GREAT STUFF

NEW Gmail Feature – Gmail now has a built in feature that gives you the ability to EASILY block a nuisance sender (via the web interface and on Android) and the ability to unsubscribe from various services (on Android only). I am especially eager to test the unsubscribe option…  You can read more (and get a visual of how this works) at the official Gmail blog

Just Added “Feedly” To The Downloads Page – Feedly is an RSS (Really Simply Syndicate) Reader that I use to connect to the blogs and news sites that I am interested in. What RSS allows you to do is subscribe to a sites’ RSS feed.  The reader then pulls down the content into the reader (from the sites that you are subscribed to). RSS allows you to automatically pull down content from numerous sites into one place where you can then read it (just like a newspaper).  If you are not using RSS, then you do not know what you are missing. Feedly does a nice job of this and gives you a ton of options.  I currently use the web based version of Feedly and the Android version of Feedly  …

Cover art

Watermark Your Digital Photos With Ease – Download and Install SquiggleMark, follow these instructions, and you will be watermarking your photos and images in no time. With SqiggleMark you can watermark and resize multiple pictures simultaneously.

Is Tablet Use Starting To Shrink – ZDNet has an article posted, “Tablet use set to fall in 2016 for the first time”, where a new study from ABI Research now suggests the user base for the devices will itself start to shrink next year for the first time. Read this article to find out WHY(???)…

Get Instant Weather Information With This Portable App – Windows based weather software is actually a hard find. One that has weathered the storms over the years, that is a portable app, is WeatherMate.

WeatherMate

Easy-to-use, attractive interface

Displays the weather for multiple locations

Displays severe weather alerts

Displays radar images

Displays a variety of US weather maps

Speaks the weather

Moves out of the way when not in use

Automatically checks for a new version

Highly customizable

100% free!

Check Out The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 – I currently own a Samsung Tablet and can tell you they are a quality build. I encourage you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7 (Samsung’s latest tablet.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-26) FEATURING — Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 – If you want a tablet, here is your chance to pick up an Amazon Fire 7 inch display for $49.99; AND, if you want to buy tablets for the whole family, Amazon has a six pack offer for the same tablet (for $250).  Buy six, get one FREE. This idea is a marketing tactic on Amazon’s part to corral you in on spending more money on Amazon products and services (which in my opinion, are great services). To get a good look at this tablet (and specs) — CLICK HERE

Amazon Fire Six-Pack

7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)

1.3 GHz quad-core processor

Rear (2MP) and front-facing (VGA) cameras

New Amazon Underground app store. Includes over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are free

Has access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games

8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices

Can use a microSD card to get up to 128GB of extra on device storage

7 hours of battery life

Supports web browsing, email and calendaring

Star Wars Here We Come – You may already be aware that the Navy (aboard the USS Ponce) has deployed a laser weapon that can take down small boats, drones and other light aircraft. I have seen videos of this technology in action. Inexpensive to operate, automated targeting and no noise. All you see is flames being generated from the intended target. Soon, Air Force fighters will carry laser cannons, cyber weapons by 2020 (read @ arstechnica). Folks, we are entering another era of warfare that is an indicator that star wars may not be that far off.

Laser - Air Force Fighter

A Neat Little Snipping Tool From the Microsoft Garage Project – Here is a nice little snipping tool (screen capture and annotation tool) from Microsoft, called Snip, that may be helpful to you. With Snip you can snip it, annotate it and share it…

Snip

Add Multi-Tab Functionality To Windows 10 File Explorer – With a multi-tab file utility you can open multiple folders in the same Windows. The Windows 10 File Explorer does not have that capability, but you can make it happen by installing the extension called Clover. I nearly forgot about Clover after I upgraded to Windows 10 and when I did remember it, I was questioning, “Will it work on the Windows 10 platform with File Explorer?”.  The answer is “yes”… What is neat about Clover is that it works similar to the tabs in the Google Chrome browser. You can pin tabs and the feature I especially like is that you can add your favorite folders to the bookmark bar (for easy and fast access). I have added Clover to the downloads page (posted under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm)…

Best Web Browser Apps For Android And iPhone – “The web browsers that come loaded on smartphones aren’t always the best, especially in the case of Safari on the iPhone. It may be one of the most used browsers in the world but that doesn’t mean it is the best. These give options are easy to use and compatible with any phone so you can get browsing… ” READ MORE @ Heavy.com 

If you are wondering what browser I use on my Android devices; I use Google Chrome.  I have tried them all and I keep coming back to Chrome!

Top 5 Browsers

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