Category: Android

Best Android Apps to Monitor App Usage and Fight Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone addiction is one of the biggest problem facing this generation. The invention of the smartphone was indeed a Nobel technology which was mainly focused on productivity. But with ever-growing social media apps and addictive games, it is now becoming a problem for many. So what is smartphone addiction? There are many definitions to this same statement. But in a nutshell, a smartphone addiction is when someone spends more time on their phone than interacting with real people or someone who can’t stop himself/herself from checking the phone repeatedly.

Smartphone addiction has many consequences for your health and psychology. Back problems, nerve damage, stress, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, eyesight problem, and many others are its direct and indirect effects.

In this internet age, we can not just go dark on our smartphone usages; we need to have a smartphone for different purposes. But the thing we can do is just avoid unnecessary scrolling on Facebook feed or Instagram feed. Many people understand that this is a serious issue and we need to fix this as early as possible.

Smartphone addiction

Some developers are working tirelessly to develop apps that encourage you to use smartphone less and less. Here are a few amazing apps for Android users which one can use to monitor their smartphone usage and fight smartphone addiction.

Best Android apps to Monitor Smartphone usage and fight Smartphone Addiction

1. Stay Focused

Stay Focused is my personal favorite app that I use to monitor how much time I am spending on each app and how many time I am opening an app in a day. This little tool lets you create your own profile where you can allow how much time you want to spend on each app and it will block the app for the day once your past that time. You can also set how many time you want to open an app in a day.

You can set different time limits for different apps and Stay Focused will make sure you spend only the allowed time on that app. Stay Focused also analyze all the apps on your phone and how much time you are spending on each app. This way you can look back to see how much time you are wasting on apps that you can live without. Stay Focused is a free Android apps available on Google Play Store.

2. App Blocker

In the core, this app functions exactly like the Stay Focused app. After installing the app, you will be asked to set how much time you want to give each app. You can also choose the days of the week when you want to be more productive the app will block all distraction for you. You can create your own profile with apps you spend the most time on and restrict those apps for only a few minutes each day.

If you want to be more productive, you can use its functionality to block app notification thus reducing the time you spend on each app. You can also see the timeline of apps that you use daily and how much time you spend on any specific apps. You can also access some specific data like which time of the day you spend the most time on social media and many more. This app is available on Google Play Store for free.

3. Less Phone

This app is also a popular and one of my favorite apps. This, not an app blocking app or app usage data app unlike the two above in this list. This app is a launcher which encourages you to use your phone as less as possible. This launcher removes app drawer and replaces it with a simple black home screen with only essential functions. You have phone and task app along with an option to add two more apps to the home screen. That’s it. There is no option for you to open any app let alone spending hours on those apps.

So, you can pick only those apps that you need the most, and you will live your life happily. Unfortunately, this app is not available for free. It is a paid app, and you can buy this for $1. If you are taking smartphone addiction seriously, then you should consider investing a dollar towards this app.

These are the three apps that if used correctly and long enough you will see an improvement in your daily life. All these apps discourage you to use your phone less and spend those time on things that matter to you like your real friends and your dream.

I hope this article has helped you in any way to use your phone as less as possible and curing of this smartphone addiction.

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All Google Apps with Dark Mode and How to Enable

Enable dark mode on all Google apps

Dark mode looks great on phones, especially on LED displays. For a long time, developers have ignored the fact that people love dark mode apps, but now slowly but steadily it is catching up. Now we see a new wave of apps with dark mode theme. Many of our favorite apps like Twitter is available with the dark mode in the setting. For Android users, we have been using a lot of Google apps from YouTube to Gmail and Maps, and Google has known for slapping white themes on each of its apps. Not anymore. Google is also slowly shifting dark modes and now many of Google apps and services available with an optional dark mode which can be enabled from the settings. Today in this article, we will list all the dark mode Google apps with the process to enable.

Google Apps with Dark Mode and How to Enable

1. YouTube

YouTube dark mode

YouTube is the biggest app from Google which many people use. In the last few months, Google has been spotted testing its dark mode themed YouTube and now it is available for everyone. Here is how you can enable dark mode on your YouTube app.

  • Update your YouTube app.
  • Go to setting, then General. You will see a new dark theme option. Enable it to enable dark theme on your YouTube app.

2. Messages

Android Message dark mode

Google’s own messaging app is been going through a lot of changes in the recent time. If you are using message app from Android, you can experience a few interesting features including a new material theme, messages for the web to send and receive messages from your computer and of course dark theme. The dark theme on Android message looks dope.

  • To enable dark mode, download the latest app from the Play Store.
  • Tap on the 3 vertical dots from the top right corner and select ‘Enable dark mode.’

3. Google News

Google News Dark Mode

I don’t personally use Google News on my phone. But if you do, then you will be glad to know that this app also comes with an option to enable dark mode.

  • Update the app and then go to setting.
  • Here you can see the “Dark theme” option. Tapping on it will show different options for enabling or disabling the dark mode. You can select “always” to enable dark mode for both day and night. Or you can choose to enable dark mode only in the night or only during battery saving mode.

4. SnapSeed

SnapSeed dark mode

SnapSeed is Google’s answer for Lightroom from Adobe. You can do professional touch up to your photos from your Android and iPhone. The SnapSeed app is now coming with the option to enable dark mode.

  • Update the app and go to setting from the menu.
  • Enable “Dark theme,” and you are done.

5. Google Authenticator App

Google Authenticator app dark mode

Google Authenticator is an interesting app which replaces two-step security code SMS with an in-app code generator. Many people don’t use this app, but if you do, you can enable dark mode for this app too.

  • Tap on three vertical dots from the top right corner and select “View in night mode.”

6. Gmail on Browser

Unfortunately, Gmail app hasn’t gotten any dark mode update yet. But if you use Gmail on a computer, you can enable dark theme there for your browser. To enable dark themed Gmail on computer follow the below steps.

  • Open Gmail from your PC or Mac browser.
  • Click on the settings icon and select “Themes.”
  • From there scroll down and select “Dark.” You will have a dark themed Gmail for your computer.

7. YouTube on Browser

Just like Gmail, YouTube is also offering a dark mode for computer users. You can enable by following the below steps.

  • Open YouTube.com and make sure to log in with your Google account.
  • Now click on your profile picture and select “Dark Theme.” Slide the dark theme switch to enable the dark theme.

So these are the apps and services from Google which comes with the dark mode. Google, as well as other app developers, are still afraid of enabling dark mode by default. But it is good to see them adding it. So, what other would you like to see come in dark mode? Let us know in the comments.

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OnePlus 6T Specs, Features and Price

OnePlus is a name synonym to quality flagship smartphone in a price that many can afford. With this motto and the tagline ‘Never Settle,’ the brand has released 8 devices so far and has seen steady success in all the phones. Consumers love the brand, the UI and what it has to offer in a market where phones are crossing $1,000 mark pretty easily. The latest addition to this is the OnePlus 6T the successor of this year’s already popular flagship smartphone OnePlus 6. In a classic OnePlus move, OnePlus has decided to not raise its smartphone price this year as well. So, with the same, what extra are you getting and what are you losing? Let’s find out in this detailed article.

OnePlus 6T Specification and Features

1. Display

OnePlus 6t Notch

The display is one of the first things you see when you lift a OnePlus 6t. It has a water drop style notch unlike the OnePlus 6 which has a classic style notch, and I gotta admit, I prefer this style over the old style. I was hoping, OnePlus would ditch notch for good, but I guess I was too ambitious. I am getting little off track here. Coming back to the display, OnePlus 6T has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio 6.4 inches display with 2340 x 1080 resolution. It is an Optic AMOLED panel with lift to display feature which you can turn on or off from the settings menu.

2. Fingerprint Scanner

OnePlus 6t Fingerprint Scanner

Another thing that you will notice instantly is that this device lacks a fingerprint scanner at the back as well as on the front. That is this because OnePlus 6T has implemented an in-screen fingerprint scanner which lets you unlock your phone by placing your hand on the display itself. This is a cool technology which has been implemented by only hand full of devices and OnePlus is among the few to make it available to the masses. OnePlus claims that their in-display sensor is better than other alternatives in the market.

3. Battery

OnePlus 6t has a bigger battery than the OnePlus 6. While OnePlus 6 supports a 3300mAh battery, OnePlus 6T is managed to house a bigger 3700 mAh battery. This 400 mAH extra is probably the reason why the device is a little thicker than its predecessor.

4. Camera

Camera

While OnePlus has added many features to the phone, the camera is the only section where it has kept it unchanged. OnePlus is using the same 16+20MP camera setup with the same sensor as the OnePlus 6. The front camera also remains unchanged. OnePlus has however added two new software features to the camera. The first one os NightScape which is like NightMode of Google Pixel 3 and the 2nd one of the studio lighting. The good thing is these features are software features and OnePlus has promised to add these to the OnePlus 6 devices as well.

5. Hardware

The hardware also remains pretty much same as the OnePlus 6. OnePlus 6T features the same 845 chipsets from Qualcomm paired with 6GB and 8GB RAM options. The only thing changed is the storage options. Now you can not buy 64GB anymore. OnePlus has made 128GB the base variant.

6. Body

One of the biggest change regarding physical appearance is its omission of 3.5 mm headphone jack. Yup… OnePlus has also decided to follow the iPhone footprint by removing the jack. Welcome to 2018… I guess. Thankfully, OnePlus is kind to enough to include a type-c to 3.55mm dongle with the phone. Another big change is the water drop notch. It does look better than the chunkier notches, but it also came with a trade-off. Notification led, is missing and OnePlus says they did that to make the notch smaller.

Other physical changes include a thicker phone and a slightly thinner chin bezel.

Software

OnePlus has one of the best software experiences with near stock-like features. OnePlus 6T ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box. The UI is OxygenOS on top of Android Pie. Like every other OnePlus device, OnePlus 6T is also going to deliver 2 more android updates they are available.

Price and Availability

Price is the strong game for OnePlus. OnePlus is always manages to offer best flagship features in low budget. This year is no different.

USA

OnePlus 6T is priced at $549 just like the OnePlus 6. You can order online from the OnePlus website. This year, OnePlus has also partnered with T-Mobile to make it available on their network. You can also get a discount of up to $300 on the exchange of your old smartphones.

India

India the biggest market for OnePlus. The OnePlus 6T is priced at 37, 999 in India which is 3,000 more than the OnePlus 6. It has less to do with OnePlus and more with the Dollar-INR conversion rate.

Europe

In Europe, OnePlus 6T is priced at £499 for the 6GB variant while the 8GB is available for £529.

So the question here is that should you upgrade to OnePlus 6T if you have a OnePlus 6? No, absolutely no. OnePlus 6 is a good phone, and honestly, OnePlus 6T is not a big improvement over OnePlus 6. But if you are using any older devices and wants a new flagship phone then definitely OnePlus 6T a good choice.

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5 Tips to Make Your Smartphone Battery Last Longer

Smartphone technology has grown from nothing to crazy in the past few years. We have impressive triple camera setups, in-display fingerprint, we have phones getting bigger and bezzles are shrinking with every new smartphone, we have SOCs that can compete with top tire computers. But do you know what hasn’t changed in the last few years? Our battery technology. There is no significant changes in the way batteries have to be manufactured. No matter how expensive or how cheap phone you are using, your battery will start losing its power after a few months of usage. No one wants their battery drained in the middle of the day, and no one likes to charge their phone in every few hours.

Even though we can not change how our batteries are being made, but we can try and keep our battery losing its value by changing how we use our smartphones. Here are 5 basic but important tips that can help you keep your battery losing before the sun goes down.

5-tips-to-make-smartphone-battery-last-longer

1. Find Out Which App Using Your Battery the Most

On an average, every smartphone users install 30-40 apps on their phone. But the report suggests that they hardly use 7-8 apps regularly. With huge internal storage, many people would think that having that many unused apps on their phone won’t matter. But it does, it does to the battery. Almost all the app now try to connect to the internet all the time so that they can show you relevant notifications. These apps cost a lot to your batteries life.

So, you need to find out which apps are using more battery and you don’t use those apps or user rarely, then it is best for you to install those applications.

2. Turn Off Wireless Services When not in Use

Disable Wifi to make battery last longer

Connectivity is a field where our smartphones got us all cover. We have now GPS, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, NFC. They are a blessing for this new generation of smartphone users. It is good to have some many connectivity options but to be honest; we don’t need all of these all the times. These services are also very power hungry as they have to send and receive data constantly. So it is a good practice to turn them off when not in use.

You can do that by swiping from the top in the case of Android and from the bottom for iPhone. This is simple but believe me; your battery will thank you.

3. Change Unnecessary Settings

There are many settings that we just use without thinking twice, but they can affect your battery badly. Here are a few settings that you need to change:

  • Brightness: Use auto brightness, that way your phone will adjust brightness accordingly. That way you will use full brightness only when needed. And brightness does affect battery performance.
  • Haptic Feedback: You don’t need your phone to vibrate everytime you type a letter, you also don’t need your phone to vibrate when you tap something on the screen. These are called haptic feedback. Many phones have different levels for haptic feedback. Your phone usages won’t be affected if you turn these off, but your battery will improve for sure.

4. Minimize Animations

Animations are cool! That being said, it also sucks up a lot of battery juice. We can surely live without animations. I am not saying to turn off animations altogether. It will give you bad user experiences. But you can reduce it by few points, that way your user experience won’t change while you do some good for your battery.

On Android, go to the accessibility setting then animation, there you can see many animation categories. Reduce animation for every animation category. For iPhone, this setting is labeled as Reduce Motion under accessibility settings.

5. Update apps and OS

Update apps and OS

Every major app developer and OS developers now understand how important battery optimization is. That is why many developers are now making their apps battery friendly ad implementing many features. So, it is wise to keep your apps updated to enjoy the latest battery optimizations that are being offered by your favorite apps.

These are the 5 essential tips one can add to his/her smartphone usages habit and can see great differences in battery performances. There are other methods too like killing background apps, disabling vibration and ringtone all together and many. While those do work but they are what makes your phone a smartphone. And in my opinion, curbing them for a better battery is not worth the trade-off.

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How to Access Windows PC and Mac from Android and iPhone

The smartphone is an essential part of this information generation. We all carry smartphones with us all the time. Smartphones are also getting smarter and powerful with every passing year. Smartphones are also capable of handling many tasks that only computers were able to do a few years back. Now things have changed. Many people think that in the coming years, our smartphones might be able to replace computers completely. While there is time for that to happen, in the current time we all have a computer with us for different tasks that a smartphone might not be handled.

Managing two devices at the same time is a difficult task, and sometimes we just wish that there were ways to access a computer from the smartphone itself. Well, that is going to come true in this article. We have had several methods to access computers from smartphones in the past, but most of them are not up to the expectation. Not anymore. In this article, I’ll show you how you can access your Windows and Mac computer from both Android and iOS smartphones for free.

Access-computer-from-android-ios

Prerequisite

Here are few things you need to have in place to be able to access computers from Smartphones.

1. A Windows or Mac laptop or desktop.
2. Google Chrome browser on your Mac or Windows computer.
3. A decent speed internet connection and a Google account

How to Access Windows and Mac Computer from Android or iOS

First, make sure you have read the Prerequisites.

Step-1: Configure Mac or Windows computer

Open your Google Chrome browser on Windows or Mac computer and visit remotedesktop.google.com.

Scroll down a little and click on “Get Started” button. Sign in with your Google account. If you are already signed in then, it might not ask you again.

After signing in, Google will ask you to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension for your browser. This is a free extension for Google Chrome developed by Google itself.

After installing the extension, open it by clicking on the extension icon.

Here under “My Computers,” click Get Started and then Enable Remote Connection.

Enter a PIN and re-enter the pin then click on OK.

Allow Chrome to Download and Install remote desktop on your computer.

Step 2: Configure Smartphone

After configuring your computer, now it is time to setup your smartphone.

  • First, download Chrome Remote Desktop for your Android or iOS from the respective app stores.
  • Open the app and sign in with the same Google account that you used to set up your computer remote desktop.
  • Now you can see your computer name on the app. Click on it, and it will ask you to enter the PIN.
  • Enter the PIN that you had set up earlier and click connect.

That is all; now you can access your computer from both Windows and Mac from your Android or iOS smartphone.

How to Install Chrome Remote Desktop on Linux?

Installing Chrome Remote Desktop on Linux based computer is tricky. Google has a really good resource page about how you can install and active Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux. You can read from here.

Please remember that Chrome Remote Desktop is still in beta phase, you can expect some basic bugs in it.

This is how you can access your Windows, Mac or Linux computer from Android or iOS smartphones easily and for free.

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How to Download and Install Fortnite on Android

Finally, Fortnite is here for Android. In beta, but that’s ok I guess especially for months looking at your friend with iPhone playing the game. Even though Fortnite is available for Android but it is not available on Play Store, and Epic Games, the developer behind the Fortnite is not looking for releasing on Play Store yet. So downloading and installing isn’t as easy it should be.

Many people are getting confused as to how to download the app on their latest smartphone and start the action on their mobile screen.

We here at The Converging Network bringing this article which will try and solve this. We’ll tell you how you can download Fortnite on your android phone right way in the simplest way possible.

Fortnite for Android

How to Download Fortnite for Android

I’ll be dividing the download process into three parts for better understanding.

Part One: Checking Device Compatibility

This is an important part. You have to check if your phone is, in fact, incompatible with latest Fortnite Beta. Even though the app is optimized for phones but it still requires a lot of processing power, and your phone might not have that.

Fortnite Install Compatibity Devices

A glance at the Epic Games website confirms that the latest beta can be run on the latest Samsung devices, All Google Pixel devices, few Huawei, LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Nokia, Razor, Asus and ZTE phone. You should check if your particular brand and model mentioned on that list or not. If it is, then go ahead read the second part. If your device isn’t specified, then you might have to wait for few more days because Epic Games is rolling to other devices as well.

Part Two: Allowing Security Permission

Now that you know your phone is compatible for Fortnite beta, you have to change the security permission to allow installation from third part source.

As I said, Fortnite is not coming to the Play Store. And to download apps from other sources, you have to allow in the security setting. So go ahead open setting app, scroll down to Security and here toggle the switch right next to ‘Unknown Sources.’

Remember, your setting screen may differ from mine, and you may have to go deeper in setting to find this option. It depends on the phone you are using. So try hard.

Part Three: Request Fortnite Installer and Install Main App

To install the Fortnite, you have to first request a Fortnite installer (2MB) app from the official Fortnite sign up page and then only you can install the original app.

Open a browser and go to Android beta sign up page. Here sign up for an account and wait for Epic Games invitation mail.

Fortnite Android beta app Invitation

In your invitation mail, you’ll find a link to download your installer. Once you have the installer, select your device model, and it will start downloading and installing Fortnite for your Android.

Viola! Now you have the latest version of Fortnite on your Android device. No more eye-siding while your friend with iPhone plays Fortnite.

So, this is how you download and install the Fortnite app for your android smartphone. This app is in beta so expect some glitches and bugs here and there.

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