Problems with Google Play? If your phone is rooted, you can take advantage of other app stores
If you have a rooted device, you can uninstall Play and replace it with a different version, which you’ll find on XDA-Developers.com. This alternative may work correctly, enabling you to download apps without errors occurring.
Speaking of alternatives, problems with Google Play may prompt you to search out alternative app marketplaces. Amazon’s App Store is the obvious place to start, but don’t overlook GetJar.com, SlideME.org and MoboGenie.com. You might also look at apkmirror.com to find a more consistent connection – this is an unofficial mirror of Google Play.
Keep all of your logins safe and secure by storing them in one master vault
There are thousands of apps and services that require you to create a login to access, so remembering them all is a fairly difficult task. However, keeping a loose document on your device is never an optimal idea, especially if it contains logins to some personal sites. However, an easy fix to is to compile your passwords within the LastPass app. As well as passwords, the app stores your website logins and autofill web browser details within a virtual vault. Once set up, you will then only need a single master password to access your created LastPass account. What’s even more intriguing about LastPass is that it can generate on-the-spot strong passwords and modify many of your current logins to something harder to crack.
Make your phone or tablet do the grunt work with these easy ways to make it perform common tasks by itselfSilence alerts using Android Lollipop’s Priority mode
You’ve left the volume up on your phone so that it can wake you up in the morning with an alarm, but then it spends all night ringing and dinging with every notification that comes in. Use Lollipop’s Priority mode to tell it to shut the hell up for the night. You can define when it has to be silent and when it can make noise – perfect for getting some shuteye or when you’re off to the cinema.Send a text when you reach a specified location
If you’re driving and need to text someone to let them know you’re on your way, you don’t have to waste time pulling over to type out a message. Instead, use the Automated Device app from Daniel Herrero and set up a rule to get your device to automatically text them when you reach a given location. However, you’ll need to set this rule up carefully and consider the location that you specify – you don’t want to automatically text your contacts every time you pass the corner shop!Create custom macros with MacroDroid
ArloSoft’s MacroDroid app lets you set up custom actions that are triggered whenever a particular set of circumstances is met. For example, you can get your phone to automatically upload the last photo you took to Facebook when you shake the handset. The free app is ad-supported and only lets you create five macros, but you can upgrade to the Pro version via an IAP, which will give you unlimited freedom to set up your own macros.
This retro-styled racer is sure to delight
With old-school 16-bit graphics reminiscent of the Eighties coin-op classic Out Run and a chiptune soundtrack composed by the veteran Barry Leitch, you’d be forgiven for chalking Horizon Chase up as a retro-style racer just for nostalgics.
However, once you start playing it, you’re likely to change your mind as it’s just so hard to put down. Anyhow, you can try it out for free, racing on five courses, before deciding whether to stump up £2.29/$2.99 to unlock the rest – a huge amount of content with a total of 73 tracks, 32 cities and eight cups are available. There are no further IAPs, which is highly preferable to the usual free-to-play model. Instead, extra cars and upgrades are earned via your racing achievements.
Speed up your touchscreen with this easy to use app that doesn’t cost a thing
A lot of the apps that speed up your Android device require root access. If that’s not something you’re comfortable or familiar with, then your options can feel a bit limited. The Super Touch app doesn’t require you to have a rooted device though and it does some pretty impressive things without you needing to have much, or really any, technical know-how. All you will need to get things up and running are your Android device and a Wi-Fi connection. The app isn’t a huge download and it walks you through a lot of what you need to know. It shouldn’t take you very long to get things sorted and while there are a few fiddly bits that might require a little more attention, with a bit of perseverance you’ll soon be swiping around your Android phone or tablet with the sort of speed and grace you didn’t think was possible.
Swipe through the first screens as though you were flipping through a book – there’s about three of them. Have a read and you’ll come to a screen that explains things in a little more detail. The first time you see this, it will have a button marked Advanced at the bottom.
An all-in-one Chrome OS machine on a dongle – but who actually needs one?
There’s plenty of competition for what gets plugged into your TV’s HDMI port. Digital TV boxes, games consoles and Chromecasts are all common additions to the living room setup, but have you ever thought about turning your display into an all-in-one Chrome OS machine? That’s what the chocolate bar-sized Chromebit dongle from Asus does. It’s the world’s smallest Chrome OS device that’s designed to smarten up any TV and give life to old, redundant displays. All you need to do is pair up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, connect to Wi-Fi and you have yourself a fully-fledged computer on a big display for the price of just £90. It’s an intriguing package and one we were very keen to get up and running.
At just 12cm long, you have to admire the design from an aesthetic point of view – computer design has come on a considerable way since the heavy-duty desktop machines of the Nineties. This personal computer lives inside a smooth and curved matte-black HDMI dongle (an orange version will be available to the public soon, although you’ll struggle to find a matching TV) that is roughly twice as big as a traditional USB pen. This means it will fit in your pocket and at 85g you’ll hardly know it’s there. Nevertheless, this is more of a gimmicky selling point considering you still need to pack Bluetooth peripherals. Connecting to your display is as simple as taking the cap off and plugging it into your HDMI port. Depending on your setup, you can take advantage of the foot-long HDMI extension that comes in the box, to ensure the dongle is stable.