Use the LocalCast app and Chromecast to stream PDF files
Thanks to the increasing number of Chromecast-compatible apps on the Google Play store, there are now several ways users can stream their PDF files directly onto their TV without anything overly complicated to set up. This process enables users to then read through PDF files, and depending on the app you use to stream them, make simple edits to them.
Although there are several to choose from, for this tutorial we’ve chosen to use the LocalCast app. What we like most about this app is that it’s easy to use, connects to your Chromecast almost instantly and scales PDF files well. The app ultimately works as a streaming hub for all media files, including any pesky .mkv files stored on your device that are commonly unusable with many of the similar apps available. Its PDF function works well and is easy enough to access thanks to its intuitive menu system.
So read on, as we take you through the process of getting your PDF files on the big screen. All you’ll need is the app installed from Google Play and the Chromecast plugged in and set up and you’re good to go.
Use your voice and Google Maps to get you where you want to go
The 8.2.0 update to Google Maps app for Android has added a new function that people who use their phone as a satnav have been anticipating for a good long while. With a tap of a button you can now talk to your phone, getting it to show you alternate routes, figure out if there’s any traffic you should avoid and a whole bunch of other excellent features as well.
The service only works when you can see the microphone button in the bottom-left of the screen, which means you can’t use it when you’re walking at the moment. But if you’re in a car a single tap is all it takes to figure out where you should be going next. You can re-route and pull off plenty of other tricks too. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly better than what Maps offered previously. All you’ll need for this tutorial is an Android smartphone with the latest version of the app. Once you’re sure you’ve got that, you’re good to go. Let’s get started.
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.
Use CloudMagic to put all of your email communication in a single place
If you’re anything like us then you’ve probably got several email addresses. One for work, one for your private conversations, and one from five years ago that you only ever check because it’s got a funny name. And that’s where CloudMagic comes in. It’s a ridiculously easy-to-use app that lets you amalgamate all of your email addresses into a single inbox. More than that it lets you connect other useful services, like Pocket, Evernote and Zendesk, so that everything you need to handle personal and business communication is just a tap away.
In this tutorial we’ll walk you through setting up CloudMagic, and show you how to get the most from it. It’s not the most difficult of propositions, and all you’ll need to do to get started is grab your device and download the app.
Your Dropbox account can do so much more than simply storing files.
There’s a good bet that if you’ve got an Android device you’ve got a Dropbox account. It’s one of the best cloud-storage providers out there, and a lot of phones offer extra storage space when you buy them. Plus the multi-platform nature of the service means you can share files between your Android and iOS devices, and home computer without too much hassle. You probably understand the basics of how the Android app works, and how to move your files around, but this tutorial will walk you through some parts of it you might have missed, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your Android Dropbox experience.
We’ll show you how to automatically back up your photos and videos, get some extra storage, and ensure that all of your files are kept safe from prying fingers. All you’ll need is the app installed and you’re good to go.
For more expert tutorials, make sure to check out the latest issue of Android Magazine.
Flynx opens links in the background, letting you do other things while they load.
Flynx is a clever little app that buys you that most precious of things – a little more time. Rather than opening links in your browser and waiting for them to load, Flynx loads them up in the background. A little circle pops up showing you the progress of the site loading, letting you keep browsing whatever app you’re using while the link loads. Right now you can open up to four links at the same time.
This tutorial will walk you through the way the app works, showing you how to open multiple links, how to swap the reading style of the links you open and how to close the links once you’ve finished with them. It’s pretty straightforward stuff, and in a few minutes you’ll be spending less time waiting and more time reading than ever before. Grab the app from the Google Play store and you’re all ready to go.