Make Chrome faster on your Android and Desktop with just two clicks

NOTE: Don’t try this if your computer or phone a) doesn’t have a lot of RAM (4gb+) or b) stutters or struggles right now with the memory it does have. Same goes for phones, but 2GB RAM for mobiles.

1. Open this address inside Chrome:

chrome://flags/#max-tiles-for-interest-area

2. Here you can edit the max tile count. This essentially controls how much memory Chrome has access to. If you’re confident that you have lots of RAM, go for 512, otherwise do 256. You can always change it later.

 

Change Max tiles in Chrome to increase ram access

 

3. Relaunch Chrome

4. Monitor your memory usage
Make chrome faster

I’ve done this on both my Windows Desktop and my Galaxy Note 2 and so far the results have been great. It’s like a whole new browser!

Clear your Dropbox cache to free up space on your Android device

While listening to music on my Galaxy Note 2 I received a very weird error message – my device was almost out of space. I thought this odd since I have the 16GB version and a 64GB card as well.

So, I launched the Application Manager and saw that Dropbox was taking up almost 1GB by itself. This was even more confusing since I don’t have any files marked as favourites on my Android, so technnically Dropbox shouldn’t be taking up much space.

It turns out Dropbox creates a local cache of files that you open. My cache was almost a gig, but once I cleared it out, it was back down to 0.

Here’s How Clear Your Dropbox cache and free up space on your Android device.

1. Open Dropbox App
2. Click ‘Settings’
3. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select “Clear Cache”

That’s all there is to it. Now you should have a bunch of free space available again.

Use NFC to connect your Android phone to your car radio

I’ve been using an NFC tag with my Android phone for a while now, but only to perform very basic functions. Pretty much all it did was to silence my phone when I got to the office.

Now I’ve used NFC to do a little more and make using my phone in the car a little easier. NFC (which stands for Near Field Communications) allows you to use small RFID tags (like on your EZ Pass) to trigger actions on your phone. All you to is touch your NFC capable phone to an NFC tag (which can store a small amount of data) and the action or actions saved to the tag will run.

Here’s the recipe that I’ve set up to run when I tap my phone to the car radio:
Android NFC Triggers

 

The app I use to set this up is called Trigger, available here

The radio itself doesn’t have any NFC functionality, but I bought these cheap little NFC stickers on Amazon (about $6). When they’re stuck to the underside of the radio, they’re basically invisible.

 

android-nfc-car1

 

Here are two tags mounted on the underside of my car radio:

 

NFC Stickers on Car Radio

 

It’s a pretty small thing, but it does save me the hassle of having to do all of that manually every time I get in the car. Are you using NFC tags to do anything cool in your car?

How to charge your Android phone battery in hboot

The situation was grim. My HTC One X was stuck at the hboot screen. The bootloader was re-locked (I was trying to flash a new RUU) so I couldn’t get to CWM Recovery. The battery was dying. Things did not look good.

I had ignored the advice on the xda forum and was messing around on a low battery charge…

At this point, I would usually just flash the Unlock_code.bin file and reopen the bootloader, except I couldn’t – the battery was too low. And the battery can’t charge in hboot, it can only charge in CWM recovery. But I couldn’t get to CWM because the bootloader was relocked. Oh, what a frustrating paradox.

Using the fastboot getvar battery-voltage command I could see that there was an ever so small change in voltage when I charged, but not enough. I needed 3680mV in order to be able to flash the unlock token.

Luckily, I found this amazing ingenious trick on the XDA forums: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1658084&nocache=1

 

[infobox]

@echo off
:start
fastboot getvar battery-voltage

fastboot reboot-bootloader

ping /n 6 localhost >nul

goto start

[/infobox]

 

How to run the script when in USB Fastboot mode

  1. Open a text editor and paste in the code above
  2. Save as a .bat file. I saved mine as loop.bat – make sure it is in the same folder as fastboot and adb
  3. Connect phone to computer by usb and check to that Fastboot can see it (‘fastboot devices’)
  4. Start the batch in command prompt ‘start loop.bat’
  5. Get hyponitised by the slow, steady progress
  6. Once you reach the required 3680mV type ‘stop’
  7. Flash your unlock token by executing ‘ fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin’
  8. Cross your fingers

What this does is reboot the bootloader repeatedly. Which each reboot, the charge moves up incrementally, maybe 1 or 2 mV; and sometimes even down.

After leaving the bat file to run for an hour, I finally made it 3680mV and flashed the Unluck token. The stretch between 3660mV and 3680mV is the most agonizing, with change happening suuuuuuper slooooooowly.

Once you can get to CWM recovery, let your phone charge for a few hours, so that you can install your ROM or RUU without fear. As and aside, the ‘Mount USB’ commend does not work for the HTC One X on the build I tried (5.8.4) of Clockword Mod Recovery Touch, but it does work in the regular version, so if you still need to copy your rom to your USB, don’t use Touch. Although, it is easier just to flash using fastboot flash rom zip nameofrom.zip

9. Breathe a sigh of relief

How to listen to audio on a Bluetooth Headset (the mono kind) on an Android Phone

Bluetooth headsets have many drawbacks

  1. They make you look like a tool
  2. They’re often fussy, with short ranges and dropped connections
  3.  The audio isn’t that great, often bordering on crap

They do however, have their advantages:

  • They help you not to die while calling and driving
  • There are no wires

Considering point 3 above, why would you want listen to audio on a bluetooth headset? For me the answer is twofold:

First- audiobooks.  I listen to lots of them all of the time, and it’s nice to be able to do so without any wires.  It’s also nice not to be clutching my phone while walking around listening to my book,  I feel better having is nice and safe in my pocket.

Secondly, it’s great for Skype calls. A lot of handsets won’t allow Skype(or any other VOIP client) to access the bluetooth call functionality since it reserves this feature for the phone dialler. Finding a way to stream audio to your headset will allow you to use your bluetooth headset for making VOIP calls with Skype.

By default, Android will not stream audio to your mono bluetooth headset. It saves the audio streaming goodness for the A2DP stereo headphones.

Enter the BTHeadset app.

Listen To Audio On A Bluetooth Headset With The BTHeadset App

When I got my Sennheiser EZX60, I fired up the app and that was it. Nice and simple. You can download the BTHeadset App from the Google Play Store with this link:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.AngelOfMors.BTHeadSet

 

Now I can listen to my audiobooks or any other source (like webinars or navigation) audio through my bluetooth headset on my Android phone.

I also tried another app called BT Mono, but when I did a sound test, BTHeadSet provided better sound quality than the BT Mono app.

Caveat:

This service actively runs in the background on your device, so it will consume your battery. I have not used it for long enough to know what kind of impact this will have over a long period of time.

Do you know of any other apps that help you listen to audio on bluetooth headset?

How To Check Your WDCMA settings on Android

My girlfriend was having trouble getting the 3G connection on her Android phone to work at full speed and while on a support chat with her telco, she needed to find her WCDMA status (Samsung Galaxy Captivate i897; Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1). She asked me how to find the information, so I figured I would share.

How to find your Android WCDMA settings

In your phone dialer, enter the following string:
*#*#4636#*#*

This will open up your phone’s testing menu.

In this menu, select “Phone info”

Your WCMDA information is near the bottom ofthe screen.

 

“What the hell is a WCDMA?” I hear you ask?

The technical explanation involves lots of talk about radios and frequencies, but I’ll try and keep it English.

Essentially, if you select GSM only, you’ll have access to 2G and 2.5G. This mean you’ll see GPRS or Edge on your phone’s connection.

But since it ain’t nothing but a 3G thang, we don’t want that.

WCDMA let’s you access 3G networks via either normal 3G or HSDPA. Which means you can read this blog post faster, and that’s a good thing.

As a general rule, leave your settings at WCDMA Automatic, which means that your phone will be able to switch between these frequencies whenever they are available.

TIP: If your Android loses 3G connectivity and it won’t re-connect. Turn off your data connection for ten seconds, and then turn it back on. This is a variation of the Airplane Mode trick, because it turns the 3G radio itself off and then back on, forcing it to hunt for the connection.

 

Android WCDMA Settings