Force ’incompatible‘ apps to run on Android by editing the build.prop system file
A new, powerful phone sits in your hand. It’s running a recent version of Android and you’re opening Google Play to install a useful new app – only to find that it is apparently not compatible with your device. How could this be?
It probably has something to do with your phone and how it is identified by Google Play. Perhaps the app is limited to a handful of devices because the developer doesn’t have the resources to provide wider support.
Whatever the case, there is a way that you can fool Google Play into thinking that your phone is compatible by editing the build.prop file. The process here is simple, but doesn’t come without risks. Accessing build.prop is not something you should choose to do without consideration of the impact to your phone’s stability. Essentially this is a high-risk edit, one that can brick your device, so care is needed. If you want to edit the file manually you should take a full Nandroid backup of your device storage. You’ll also need your phone to be rooted.
Get your device to automatically connect, disconnect, lock and unlock with Tasker
If you find yourself performing the same tasks on your Android device over and over again, then why not download an app that can do the hard work for you? Tasker is a powerful app that lets you automate much of your device’s functionality. With Tasker, you define contexts, and then tell the app which tasks it should perform, when these contexts occur. For example, Tasker can detect when you’re at work or the cinema, and automatically mute your device, or place it on vibrate between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday.
Tasker can also launch a music app whenever you attach your headphones, or increase your ring volume when you receive a call from a particular contact. The possibilities are endless. This tutorial shows you how to automate various Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tasks, including disabling your lockscreen whenever Tasker detects certain Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals.
You’ll also create a profile that automatically switches on your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’re in a certain location. When you leave this location, the profile performs an exit task that disables your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to save your battery.
Transform your Android smartphone or tablet into a Wi-Fi router with this simple tethering hack
It’s frustrating when a Wi-Fi signal is nearby, but it’s just out of reach. Maybe your router doesn’t cover the whole of your home, or you want to surf in your garden. Whatever the reason, if your Wi-Fi isn’t stretching as far as you’d like, you can extend its reach by using your Android device as a Wi-Fi repeater, also known as a Wi-Fi extender. This is where your Android device picks up your Wi-Fi signal, and repeats this signal, so your Wi-Fi is extended over a greater distance. You can then tap into this repeated signal, via another device such as your PC.
This trick does require a rooted device, but if your smartphone or tablet isn’t rooted, you still have some options for getting online when you’re struggling to find a reliable Wi-Fi signal. One option is using your Android device as a portable hotspot, a process known as tethering. Tethering lets you share your Android’s data connection wirelessly with other devices. Alternatively, you can use a USB cable to tether your device. Be aware that your carrier may charge a fee for using your device’s hotspot feature, so always check your contract.
This tutorial shows you how to use your Android device as a Wi-Fi extender, before sharing a few tricks for getting online, even if you don’t have a rooted device.
With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade
With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade.
When you root and hack your phone, you deviate from the device manufacturer’s intended software setup, and in doing so, you invariably compromise your ability to install the OTA (over the air) updates that manufacturers push to keep devices bang up to date. Whether you physically break installation of the updates (perhaps with a custom recovery) or not, installing OTAs on a modified device is fraught with danger and generally not recommended.
As your device is not in the state that the manufacturer intended, trying to install could leave you with a non-booting system. For this reason, some manufacturers will even prevent updates being downloaded if they detect that your system has been modified for your own protection.
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think.
For those not familiar with it, the Raspberry Pi is a small computer that can be plugged in to your TV or a variety of other objects. Despite its small size, it can be used for most projects you would perform on a desktop computer, including word-processing, gaming and playing HD videos.
But what makes it truly appetising for Android users is just how hackable the Pi is. With just a few tweaks it can be linked to your device in a variety of ways and used to perform plenty of functions that can help not only expand the usability of your device, but also distribute the Android operating system onto different platforms. Best of all, these functions can be performed with some help from a handful of apps from the Google Play store.
Delete data and unwanted apps to keep your Android device from slowing to a crawl
Android devices are a lot like cars (bear with us on this one). Although they require effectively zero user maintenance aside from putting fuel (power) in them, using a little bit of technical knowledge can help keep them in tip-top condition and running smoothly. You look after your car, er, phone, and your phone will look after you, as the saying goes.
After months of use, there are a number of things that can impact the performance of your device. Whether it’s apps that sit in memory or take up space on the device, data from long uninstalled apps or just an outdated ROM, there are a number of things you can do to give your device that brand new feeling again. Not only that, there are almost certainly some new tips and tricks you can use to help eke the most out of your smartphone or tablet.
Follow our spring-cleaning steps to make your device feel as fresh as – nay fresher – than the day you walked out of the store! Most of our tips are pretty self explanatory, but some are more in-depth so it’s a good idea to take a full backup (and store it off your device) before you break out that virtual feather duster.