Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips and Tricks For Your Android Phone

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1) Enable Developer Mode

Ok, this is one of the more widely known tricks, but it’s important nonetheless, so we are going to include it.


Navigate to Settings > About phone and tap on your phone’s build number seven times. You’ll get an onscreen countdown, eventually followed by a message saying “Congratulations, you are now a developer”.

2) Change the Animation Scales

For the most part, the latest Android phones already feel very snappy. However, after the latest Nexus 5X only shipped with 2GB of RAM, some users were left feeling a bit underwhelmed by Google’s hugely popular product line.

There are also lots of popular entry-level phones that come with slower processors and only 1GB or 2GB of RAM.5 Ways Cheap Android Smartphones Beat the Flagships 5 Ways Cheap Android Smartphones Beat the FlagshipsWho says you need the latest and greatest (and most expensive) smartphone out there? The cheaper alternatives are actually really good. Let us show you.READ MORE


One solution is to change your phone’s “Window animation scale”, “Transition animation scale” and “Animator duration scale” from 1x to 0.5x. Granted, it won’t actually make your phone faster, but it will make it feel faster.

Go to Settings > Developer options and scroll about two thirds of the way down the list to find the necessary options (you’ll need to have first enabled Developer Mode).


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3) Clear App Defaults

It’s annoying when a link opens in a certain app rather than in the browser. It could be a YouTube link, a tweet, or a Facebook page — you’ll end up waiting around while your phone shuts down Chrome (or your browser of choice) and fires up something else.

It’s easily fixed.

Go to Settings > Apps and find the app that keeps opening. Once there, scroll down to Open by default, press it, and then select Clear Defaults.

If that doesn’t work, try doing the same with your browser app as well.

4) Quickly Change Your WiFi Network

Oddly, how to quickly switch between WiFi networks is not very obvious. Sure, you can go to Settings > Wi-Fi and change it there, but there has to be a faster way, right?Improve Your Android Wi-Fi Experience With These Handy Android Apps Improve Your Android Wi-Fi Experience With These Handy Android AppsPublic wireless networks are becoming more and more prevalent within towns and cities, providing an excellent alternative to running up a large data usage bill on 3G or 4G. Often public Wi-Fi is “free”, perhaps…READ MORE

Well, there is!


Swipe down twice from the top of your screen to open the Quick Settings menu, and instead of pressing on the WiFi icon (which disables it), instead press on the network’s name. You’ll immediately be given a list of all the networks in your vicinity.

That is, if your version of Android supports this.Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android?Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins.READ MORE

5) Quickly Access the Quick Settings Menu

Speaking of the Quick Settings menu, did you know you don’t actually need to double swipe in order to  access it?

Instead, a simultaneous two-finger swipe will have the same effect.

6) Cast Your Screen

Are you a Chromecast owner?4 Chromecast Mistakes That Could Be Embarrassing or Worse 4 Chromecast Mistakes That Could Be Embarrassing or WorseThe great thing about Chromecast is that it’s simple, fast and easy to use. However, as you’ll see, this is also its achilles heel when it comes to privacy…READ MORE

If so, you can easily mirror your Android’s screen (and individual apps) by using the cast function.

Just open the Quick Settings menu and hit Cast. Your device will find your Chromecast (assuming it’s on the same local network), and you’re good to go.

It’s great for playing games on a larger screen, showing off photos to family and friends, or playing your music through a louder set of speakers. Though many apps, like YouTube, have a dedicated cast button within the app.

7) Locate Annoying Notifications

Do you keep getting an annoying app notification, but you’re not sure which app is causing it?

There is an easy solution — just long-press on the notification in question, and your device will tell you.

8) Manage App Notifications

Moving on one step further from the previous tip, after you’ve long-pressed the app you’ll see an information icon. Press it, and you’ll be presented with the notification settings for the app in question.


You can do things like block all its notifications, allow it to override priority mode, and make it hide private information.

9) Priority Mode

Priority mode is probably one of the most underrated and underused features on the entire operating system.How to Set Up Android’s Priority Mode (and Get Back Silent Mode) How to Set Up Android’s Priority Mode (and Get Back Silent Mode)Volume controls changed a lot in Lollipop, so we’re here to help you make sense of all of it.READ MORE

In short, it allows you to put your phone into quiet mode, but still allow some “noises” to get through. This could be calls, texts, or WhatsApps from specific contacts, notifications from certain apps, or important alerts such as alarms.

To set it up, go to Settings > Sound & Notification > Do not disturb, then select the options that you require.

It can be quickly toggled on and off from the Quick Settings menu.

10) Map Zoom

Ever need to use Google Maps one-handed? (No, not while you’re driving!)

Just double tap the screen and swipe up and down to zoom in and out — it’s a lot less fiddly than trying to pinch your fingers and hold your phone at the same time!

11) Smart Lock

Smart lock is super useful. It removes the need to use a keypad lock when you’re at home or in another “trusted” environment.Smart Lock on Android Makes Locking Your Phone Way Easier Smart Lock on Android Makes Locking Your Phone Way EasierIt’s annoying to always have to unlock your phone, but it’s unsafe to never lock it. Thankfully, there’s a nice middle ground: Smart Lock.READ MORE


It can use GPS, certain networks, your face, or even your voice to prevent your phone from locking itself, making for a much faster and hassle-free experience.

Head to Settings > Security > Smart lock to set it up.

12) Screen Pinning

If you have kids using your phone regularly, this is a great way to make sure they don’t accident run up huge bills or set their eyes on content that is age-inappropriate.

Firstly, you’ll need to enable the feature (oddly, it is turned off by default). Do that by going to Settings > Security and scrolling down to Screen pinning.

To pin a screen, open the app, press the Overview button (the square) and then the pin icon.

You can choose to PIN-protect the pinned screen, if you so wish.

13) Secret Game

Another well-known Android Easter egg among old-timers, the secret game might not be so obvious to newcomers.10 Fun & Surprising Operating System Easter Eggs 10 Fun & Surprising Operating System Easter EggsFind hidden hilarity and otherwise odd stuff, built right into the operating system you’re using. They’re hiding in plain site, in software you use every day, and when you find them you’ll be delighted –…READ MORE

Lollipop and Marshmallow’s game is based on Flappy Bird; it has the same gameplay principle but has had an Android-themed makeover graphics-wise.


Head to Settings > About phone and tap the device’s version number several times. Eventually you’ll be presented with an on-screen lollipop or marshmallow depending on your operating system. Continue to rapidly tap the center of it and the game will launch.

Your Tips?

What tips and tricks can you pass on to your fellow Android users?

Let us know your best ones in the comments section!

Caution: change the settings in Developer Options at your own risk and discretion! Research any setting before changing anything as it can damage your data and system files, or even your device!



New Luxury Smartphone From Vertu

Luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has revealed its latest high-end device, the ConstellationVertu unveils luxury smartphone with sapphire crystal display

iPhone 7 6S 6 Screen Protector Glass, amFilm iPhone 7 Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 2016, 2015 (2-Pack)

Every Vertu smartphone is handcrafted and the devices are traditionally far more expensive than most mainstream brands.

The Constellation boasts a 5.5-inch WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) AMOLED display protected by a sapphire crystal screen.

The smartphone includes dual-SIM support and global Wi-Fi access from iPass, the largest Wi-Fi network in the world.

All calls are encrypted using technology from SilentCircle and an inset ruby on the back of the device acts as a button to contact Vertu’s 24-hour concierge service.

The Vertu Constellation will be available in Vertu Boutiques from February 2017. No pricing information is available yet.

iPhone 7 6S 6 Screen Protector Glass, amFilm iPhone 7 Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 2016, 2015 (2-Pack)

South African Vertu stores are located in Sandton Mall and the V&A Waterfront.

Vertu Constellation Specifications
Processor Snapdragon 820
Display 5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 AMOLED
Camera 12MP rear camera
Storage 128GB internal, SD card support
Battery 3,220mAh
Charging USB Type-C, Wireless
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow
source: mybroadband

Windows 10 Will Automatically Free Up Disk Space

Microsoft is testing a new feature for Windows 10 that will automatically free up disk space for its users. The feature is available on the latest Windows 10 Insider Build and is expected to be rolled out to the public as part of the upcoming Creators Update.

Image result for windows 10

When a PCs disk space is low, the new feature lets Windows 10 automatically remove files that are no longer needed. According to notes by Microsoft:

“Currently we support this for unused temporary files and items that have been in your recycle bin for 30 days.”

The option is off by default but you can switch it on by accessing System > Storage Setting. You can customise what files you want to automatically clean up. There’s also a way to manually activate the clean-up function on this settings page.

The feature is available now on Windows 10 Insider Build 15014. Members of the Windows Insider program will be able to access this build. For the rest of us, expect to see the new storage feature in the Creators Update in April..

Thanks to LifeHacker for the info!

Make your SSD last longer

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Solid state drives (SSDs) have become more and more standard in new laptops and desktops. When compared to hard disk drives, SSDs have much faster read/write speeds and a lot more durability. ssdBut…

SSDs use NAND flash memory as storage, and each time you write a file to an SSD, it’s lifespan is slightly shortened.

Having said that, most of the Solid State Drives on the market today should last for a relatively long time, but you should try to avoid unnecessary writes and certain tasks in order to increase your SSD lifespan.

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)ssd

Below are some tips on how to get the most out of your SSD:


Image result for defrag icon

You should avoid defragmenting your SSD. While running a defrag on a hard disk drive is a good thing, as it reorganises the files in order to maximise efficiency, running a defrag on an SSD will not improve performance, and causes a LOT of unnecessary writes to the disk.

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Image result for RAM chipset clipart

SuperFetch is a service in Windows that is designed to speed up app launching, by preloading apps into memory, based on your system usage.

Again – this is great for a normal hard disk drive, but on SSD it is not needed, as the files technically are already loaded into memory. SuperFetch also creates a lot of writes to your disk, and will speed up SSD degradation.

To turn SuperFetch off:

  1. Go to a Command Prompt
  2. Type “services.msc” and hit enter
  3. Find SuperFetch in the list, and disable it.


Image result for sleep PC

Hibernation is disabled by default in Windows 8 and 10, but in Windows 7 and ealier, it is enabled by default.

Hibernation is different to sleep mode, which basically just saves energy. Hibernation writes the contents of your RAM to the hard drive, and then shuts down the hardware. This will create write activity to your SSD.

To make hibernation unavailable, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
  2. In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
  3. When you are prompted by User Account Control, click Continue.
  4. At the command prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off, and then press Enter.
  5. Type exit, and then press Enter to close the Command Prompt window.

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Avoid running benchmarking on your SSD PC unneccesarily, as this create large volumes of read and write procedures on the drive.

Image result for benchmark

Virtual Memory

Virtual Memory, also referred to as a page file (or swap file), is used by Windows to create a space on your hard drive that is used as ‘virtual RAM’. Files are copied from the RAM to the Page File in order to free up space in the RAM, and are kept in this dedicated space on the hard drive until you shut down, or call up the file again.


As you can imagine, this can create a lot of reads/writes to your SSD. Especially if you have less than 8GB RAM.

You can check/change your Page File under ADVANCED SYSTEM SETTINGS in Windows.

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Thanks to MyBroadband for the info!

Don’t use these passwords!

Keeper has posted it’s list of the most commonly used passwords of 2016, and it looks a lot like the 2015 list!

According to the security website, “Nearly 17 percent of users are safeguarding their accounts with “123456.” What really perplexed us is that so many website operators are not enforcing password security best practices.”

Keeper based their data on 10 million passwords that became public through data breaches in 2016.

“Four of the top 10 passwords on the list – and seven of the top 15 – are six characters or shorter. This is stunning in light of the fact that, as we’ve reported, today’s brute-force cracking software and hardware can unscramble those passwords in seconds. Website operators that permit such flimsy protection are either reckless or lazy.”

Here are the results:


Savable Income: How to Earn 1/3 Less but be 3x Richer

So today’s post is a bit different, but after reading this, I had to share it. Such good advice is worth sharing.

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I came across this post from Nat Eliason, and it makes such good sense. Have a read and let me know what you think.

Image result for savings

The #1 reason I’ve seen people not go after the life they want and fun work is that they’re focused on reaching a certain salary.

They get enticed by a big number and then ignore something they’re passionate about because it doesn’t pay enough. Or, worse, they assume that it can’t pay them at all (writers, artists, etc.).

But salary is incredibly deceptive, and should not factor into your decision-making in what job you take. Instead, you should think about your savable income.

What is Savable Income

There are four variables with your income:

  • Total income (your salary, earnings, etc.)
  • Take home pay (what you keep after taxes, deductions)
  • Cost of living (rent, food, balling out, etc.)
  • Savable income (what’s left after your cost of living)

If you have a high salary, but a high cost of living, then your savable income at the end of the month will be lower than someone with half of your salary but a lower cost of living and lower tax rate.

And if you’re trying to increase your runway to quit your job and start your own thing, then savable income is the number you should focus on.

If you’re spending $3,000 a month in NYC and saving $1,000, it’ll take you 3 months to save up one month of runway.

But if you’re spending $1,000 a month in Medellin and saving $2,000, then every month you work you’re saving enough to live for 2 months without working.

This is extremely powerful if you want to break off and do your own thing. You need a certain amount of runway to sustain yourself if you want to work 100% on creative projects, and to get that runway, you need some amount of savings (or passive income).

The best way to get more savings? Increase your savable income, primarily through geoarbitrage.

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Boosting Savable Income through Geoarbitrage

savable income cabo san lucas geoarbitrage

Let’s compare three people.

  • Jack lives in NYC, and makes $75,000 a year
  • John lives in Austin, and makes $60,000 a year
  • Jill lives in Medellin (Colombia), and makes $50,000 a year (USD)

To keep it simple, we’ll assume:

  • They all live in equally sized apartments in comparable locations in their respective cities
  • They all live similar lifestyles, involving eating out, cooking, partying, and so on
  • They also all have similar debts (school, etc.) creating a negligible difference.

Now, first, let’s see what their take-home pay is (you can check my numbers here).

  • Jack, living in NYC, takes home $4,062.34 per month
  • John, living in Austin, takes home $3,766.77 per month
  • Jill, living in Medellin (but paying Florida taxes), takes home $3,205.52

Next, let’s take care of their rent. For a comparable space in NYC to Austin, you can expect to pay roughly twice as much (source).

For Medellin, about half of the cost in Austin.

We’ll say that John has a $1,000 / month apartment in Austin. That means Jack is paying $2,000, and Jill is paying $500.

After we subtract their rent, we end up with:

  • Jack has $2,062.34 / month
  • John has $2,766.77 / month
  • Jill has $2,705.52 / month

Then if everything else has a similar cost ratio (which, in my experience, it does), John could spend $1,000 a month in other activities and still have $1,766 left each month. If Jack wanted to live a similar way, he’d spend $2,000 more and end the month with $62. But Jill would end the month with the most at $2,205 by only spending $500!

  • Jack ends with $62.34
  • John ends with $1,766.77
  • Jill ends with $2,205.52

Jill started with the lowest salary, but she ends up saving the most and taking home the most just because of her location.

If your reason for picking a job is financial, then clearly the more financially responsible thing is to do remote work for $50,000 a year from Medellin.

But there’s another, possibly more fun way to take advantage of this…

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Balling Out with Geoarbitrage

What if we set the goal to end the month with no savable income?

Jack is already there, so he can’t do much else. Poor Jack.

John, though, could spend an extra 50% on activities and rent, bringing his costs for each up to $1,500. He’d have a bigger apartment further downtown and possibly without a roommate, he could go out to eat more, go on more dates. John would have a significantly “richer” lifestyle than Jack, despite making less money.

But Jill has it best. Because of her costs, she could spend 3x as much on her rent and life, and still take home some money at the end of the month.

That would mean having one of the nicest apartments in the city, eating out for every meal (or hiring a chef), getting bottle service at clubs, taking monthly trips, using Uber Black to get everywhere, etc.

Of the three she still has the lowest salary, but by locating herself strategically, she gets the richest lifestyle.

Before you get too wedded and enticed by a certain salary, think about what savable income you’re going to have, and the kind of lifestyle you’ll get with it.

Thanks to for the great advice!