Saturday, 28 February 2015

Use Whatsapp With A Laptop

Whatsapp is a free messaging cross flatform app that lets you send and receive text messages using internet connections, wi-fi or data bundle, instead of the usual network signal. It makes sense to use as it saves heavy text messaging users from text fees. And not like other "exclusive brand" messaging apps for a certain mobile make, it draws wider mobile audience using different makes. It is very easy to use and does not require a list of information to get started, all you need to have is a working SIM number on a smartphone.

The only inconvenience of using this application is when you are using a small screened smartphone. As most of the task is tapping on a screen, the bigger the screen can provide a better experience. Even bigger with bigger screens, I still wish to have a full sized keyboard to key in my messages. But before you upgrade your phone with a bigger screen, or buy a bluetooth keyboard to ease your way whatsapping, let me tell you a good news, you can now use your laptop to use whatsapp, and here's how!

Requirements: 

Smartphones should be
  • with android, windows and blackberry OS, iPhones are not supported at the moment.
  • with camera with the ability to scan QR codes.
  • with the latest whatsapp application
  • with working simcard
Computer should be
  • with windows OS
  • with chrome browser

How to sync whatsapp from mobile phone to laptop or PC

  • If you meet the minimum requirements above then you are ready to go. Start your computer and go to https://web.whatsapp.com/
  • A QR code(1) is generated.

  • On your mobile phone, log on to whatsapp and at the chat window, tap the left soft button to bring app the options then click "whatsapp web"(2).

  • This will automatically open up the phone's rear camera and a scanner window to scan the code from your computer screen.




  • After scanning, the mobile phone screen goes back to the chat window and the computer screen will mimick what's beeing shown in the mobile phone's screen.
  • Now you can use your computer to compose faster and easier text messages to your contacts.


  • All messages you send using your computer will also be shown in your phone and vice versa.


Last Words.


Another way of making whatsapp easier to use is to buy a bluetooth full sized keyboard, specially with iPhone users as the web application is at the moment, not compatible with apple devices. Or update your iPhone to the newest 6 plus. Big screens are a big advantage to applications like whatsapp as users use the keyboard more.

But who knows in the future the web application will be available to apple devices as well?

ADVERT: See Bluetooth keyboard for iPhones here!



Friday, 20 February 2015

Why Disable Adobe Flash Player Chrome Version?

You may not need to do this but if you have problem with chrome, like constant crashing "a plug-in (Shockwave Flash) isn’t responding" and fed up of seeing "aw snap, he's dead, Jim" error notification, then you might as well be better off without it. What happens when the browser encounters a video that needs a flash player to play is to activate a flash program extension that can play it.

There are two versions of this, one from macromedia and a built in  chrome version. If they are active at the same time, the browser can be confused in choosing which one it needs to use. This results in error message that makes the browser or even the whole computer unresponsive. Here's how to find, choose and disable the chorme version.

Locate flash player 


To get to the flash player whilst in chrome, type chrome://plugins (1) at the address bar. This will list all extensions. Under the Adobe Flash Player entry, it has 3 files on it. Click the Details button to expand(2).


Choose and disable chrome version.


As it is expanded, locate the version with google chrome (3) on it's entry then click the disable(4) button. The entry will be grayed(5) that confirms it is disabled. Close the whole browser and open it again.


Make Use Of Android's Owner Information

Smartphones are worth a fortune. Not only because they are expensive but also because they contain invaluable information about the owner. Therefore, care and attention is needed for every owner not to lose it.

There is nothing we can do when they get stolen, but when we misplace it, there is still a  hope that the phone can "find" it's way to you. Just cross your fingers that the finder is honest when you ring the phone's number, so that when you happen to find a smartphone, you have the motivation to return the favor by also calling the owner.

But what if the phone is locked,  never rings, and there's no way you can get hold of the owner's contacts and alternate number?  This will make things a little harder. So before this will happen to anyone, we can set up our android phones to help the finder contact us.

Make use of Android's owner information.


The owner information can be edited to show a message or anything when the phone is locked. It is not activated by default.It can be accessed by pressing Settings>Device>LockScreen>OwnerInformation(1). Tapping it will prompt you to edit text window.  Typing a greeting is cool but it is more useful to just type the alternative number to call when you misplace your phone, plus a polite message(2). The text is now available to view in the lock screen(3).




Monday, 16 February 2015

Using Print Menu To Save Webpages

Randomly surfing the web takes us to immense amount of data about anything we can think of. In fact, the web is an inexhaustible source of information that people can only dream of many years back. In today's computing era, the only limit of what we can gather and learn from the internet is our capacity to absorb these. We can not process all of these information in one sitting.

One way of making most of the pages we visit is to collect or save it for future reading. You might be thinking of putting bookmarks, but to use bookmarks, we need to be connected into the internet. Therefore saving it is a better option. The problem is how to save it, as the default format when we save a webpage is in HTML which can only be accessed correctly when online.

Collecting pages of information can be a tiring experience, specially the early age of the internet. My way of saving pages to read offline during those time was to copy and paste it in a word document. This usually takes ages and the pages do not appear as they are like the original document. Taking a screenshot is also a good way of saving it but it is limited to what appears in the screen. So it is not practicable with long webpages as you might end up 10 shots to get the whole page.

The wonder of the  print menu.


Thanks to today's browsers as they can be saved as PDF's format. Take chrome for example, you can do this whilst you are in the webpage that you want to read offline or save for other reasons.



This is done by exploiting the print menu of the browser. Simultaneously press CTRL + P, click chnage(2) under destination(1);



...then change the destination to "PDF"(3) instead of your printer, then click save(4).



Last Words.


I have seen the "save to PDF" menu before when I print documents but I do not know where to use it until recently when I was reading the unfortunate fate of the fallen 44. I have yet to attend to an oncall call and the "save to PDF" menu did not just let me save it into my laptop but also saved a copy to my phone to read it when I've got a chance! This is also very good when you are taking notes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Smart Way to Extend Battery Power

Running out of battery is still the most annoying and cause of disappointment when it comes to having a smartphone. Though they are smarter than we ever think, they are not smart enough to make their power lasts. In this department, the smart gadget needs it's owner  to solve this problem, and  in a way makes us 'smart' too!

Before we can implement a solution, we need to know where the problem is coming from, and in my experience, I have listed the 3 most common causes of low battery problem.

1. Screen.


Android devices has a way of telling what phone component contributes the most battery drain. After pressing setting>general>battery, it shows the top 9 battery drainers. The first two happened to be a component that the phone needs to operate. Third is the screen. 

  • Adjust the brightness correctly.

Turning the brightness down to a comfortable level is OK, any more than that is an overkill as you may end up turning on and off the screen to adjust it as you can not possibly read what's at the screen because of too much dim or too much glare. Adjusting the correct brightness is a key here. To do this, go to the brightest place where you think you will be accessing your phone and adjust the screen brightness in there. In that way, you will know the correct level that is best for you. If you are always out in the field, then adjust it under the sun!  

  • Use a dark or black background.

Colours, specially lighter colours need more light to appear correctly. More light also means more energy to use. Using black background reduces the need for light and therefore helps in conserving battery. This is advisable when your screen needs to be adjusted to its near full or full brightness at all time.

2. Energy hungry applications.


These are the programs that are always on like phone survey apps that monitors the way you use your phone, or could be an antivirus application that protects the device from internet traffic threats and other free apps that drive advertisements to your device.  I myself have downloaded these apps and if I am not being watchful could render my mobile without power when I needed it most.


  • Keep application to minimum.


If you do not need it, do not download it. Make this your mobile apps rule. You are not only limiting the apps that simultaneously run and zapping all your battery power but you are also helping your device to run faster.


  • Terminate application properly.


Closing an application is not just to tap the back button until it's window dis appears. Sometimes you need to go to the application manager's menu to see the applications running in real time and quit from there.


  • Play games offline.


If you have game apps that are always showing advertisements, play it off line. Turn off your internet connectivity, wi-fi and data, when you activate it. In this way, dynamic ads does not appear. You are not only saving battery but saving data traffic as well when you are away from a free wi-fi.


3. Unattended connectivity buttons.


Most updates happen when you are in a wi-fi zone and smartphones happen to remember and save wi-fi settings the first time you connect. Update files are usually large and can sip all mobile power without you noticing it.


  • Turn off wi-fi and data button.


Before you lock your phone in your locker, be sure to turn off connectivity button. This prevents unintentional data download from auto updates. It is also good for the phones processor as it prevents the wi-fi and data radio buttons in finding a better signal specially when the phone is locked up. The additional strain in constantly sniffing for available connections makes the processor work harder and in the process needs more power.

The same with bluetooth and NFC connectivities, they should be checked if they are off when not in use.


Last Words.


Sometimes doing these ways of keeping the battery top up is not enough. I do forget things and  there are situations that I need to keep the connectivity on or my screen to its brightest. Keeping a backup battery is sensible although in my case, I tend to misplace it when I swap and charge using my mobile. So the best for me is a small universal battery pack that can charge almost any device because of the supplied cable and a bonus led flashlight!








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