Add the toggles and settings you want to a personalised notification bar
Notifications are amazing things; they can make short work out of what could be a lengthy task, or they can add new functions to your device. Normally you’d find the standard selection of notifications at the top of your phone or tablet, but thanks to a new app, you can add a variety of interactive notifications to your notification centre. The Notification Toggle app is a free download from the Google Play store and includes a plethora of different shortcuts, features and toggles that can all be added to your very own bespoke notification bar. Users have the choice to make their custom bar as detailed or as basic as they want, but the app makes it straightforward to get started.
In this tutorial, we’ll explore the various sections of the Notification Toggle app, as well as guide you through the process of creating your own toolbar and mention some of the toggles you really should be including. Check out the two-minute guide to see how you can then perform a toolbar back-up.
Not a fan of the personal assistant? Use this hidden fix in order to permanently remove Google Now from your device
Google Now has become one of the premier ways users can access any information they desire on their Android devices. It collates data based on your search history and internet usage to provide you with specially crafted cards that cover a wide range of topics, including sports results, entertainment news, stock prices and even app recommendations. With prolonged use, many users will find Google Now to be an information hub, but for some it can be a little overbearing in the ways it continuously delivers you new information every time you access it.
Although it’s a fairly simple task to simply remove certain cards from your personal Google Now account, alternate cards that Google can offer will simply replace them. However, hidden away through the Google Now menu system, users can permanently disable Google Now on their device. Read on to find out exactly how to do it. —
For even more tutorials, make sure to check out the latest issue of Android Magazine.
How to use Unclouded to free up space and make your Drive and Dropbox accounts a little bit neater
If you’re anything like us, sometimes you’ll use your cloud storage accounts to dump something, then never bother coming back to it. Whether it’s a bunch of screenshots you needed for a project or a document that you wanted to work on using a different device, cloud storage accounts can easily become cluttered with files and folders. That’s where Unclouded comes in. It’s an easy to use file manager that shows you which files you’ve accessed recently, and which you haven’t touched for a couple of years. It shows if you’ve got any duplicates, and lets you empty your trash with a tap.
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to use the app to clean your Dropbox and Drive accounts. Most of the steps work in the free version of Unclouded, but if you want to delete files you’ll need to buy the premium version. It’ll only set you back £1.15, and if you’re a big cloud storage user it’s definitely worth it.
Use Easy Backup to keep a virtual log of all your filesWhat to back up?
Select the Backup option from the homepage. A menu will now appear with the various elements of your phone that you can choose to back up. Select as many or as little as you like before pressing OK. Backup destination
You’ll have several options available when it comes to selecting a destination for your files. If your phone has a micro SD card, then choose that, or a cloud storage account if you prefer using them. Enable Settings
If you choose to save to a cloud storage account, you’ll now need to enable the correct setting from your Google Drive account. Just follow the onscreen instructions to complete this part of the backup. Select a directory
If you instead decide to back up to your SD card, you’ll need to select a directory to back up to. Make sure it’s memorable, as you’ll need the details when you restore your files after the update. Backup process
All the files and folders you selected will now begin backing up. Depending on the quantity of files you chose to back up, this process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. After the update
Once the update has hit your phone, you’re going to want to head to the Restore section of the app. From here you can go to the place where the backup is saved and restore all your files and folders.
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.