How to close ICICI Demat Account

Opening a new demat / trading account in India is easy nowadays and mostly comes free when you open a salary savings account in one of the major Indian banks.  While opening bank accounts is as easy as calling the bank person to your doorstep and submitting documents, closing the ICICI demat account is the one where you will have to make all the effort.

If you have a ICICI demat account and are not using it, here is how you can close it without even going to the ICICI Branch. It is better than paying the annual fees that comes with the account second year onwards.

How to close ICICI Demat Account

  1. Download the closure form from ICICI Bank site.
  2. Fill up the details in the form.
  3. The DP id and client id can be obtained by logging into your ICICI Demat online account.
  4. Fill in the ICICI savings account number for recovery of dues if any.
  5. Sign the form.
  6. Send it by post to the address mentioned at the top of the form.
  7. You can also hand over the form in any of the ICICI branches that have demat account services.

Within a few working days of receipt of the form, ICICI Bank will send you the account closure confirmation to your registered email id.

Best Online Money Transfer services to India

When it comes to sending your hard-earned money to your near and dear ones back in India, it is imperative that the service that is used is fast and reliable. Based on my experience from sending money from US to India, below are best two services which I have relied upon as and when I need.

1. Xoom – Online Money Transfer to India

Xoom Send Money to India

Xoom, a Paypal service lets you send money to India at competitive rates and guarantees a 4 hour deposit in leading banks in India if you send money during the India banking hours. With Paypal being the parent company, Xoom is one of the best and responsive 24* 7 customer service that I have seen.

Charges – Anything above $1000 is free when you send with your bank account.

Sign up on Xoom with this link and get a $20 Amazon GC on sending $400 or more 

2. TransferWise – Online Money Transfer to India

Transfer Wise Send Money to India

When you want to send less than $1000 for a competitive exchange rate and can wait for 2-3 days for the money to arrive in India, TransferWise is the best.

Charges – Although it charges a flat fees for any transaction, it does so over the market exchange rate which is typically always around 60-70 cents more than what Xoom offers. So even with the fees, you will get a exchange rate better than what Xoom offers without any fees.

Sign up on TransferWise with this link and get your first transaction upto $2999 for free

3. Remitly – Online Money Transfer to India

Remitly-Logo

The third service, Remitly is a combination of the first two services that we covered here. It provides both an express and economy transfer option with amazing exchange rates.

The economy option takes close to 7 days for the money transfer to be credited in the Indian account. But the express option takes it a notch up and provides same day transfer.

Sign for Remitly using this link and get a higher exchange rate for your first money transfer to India

 

How to close HDFC Trading Account

Opened that trading account in HDFC because the stock trading bug bit you or just because it came free with a savings account? While opening bank accounts is as easy as calling the bank person to your doorstep and submitting documents, closing the HDFC trading account is the one where you will have to make all the effort (not much though).

If you have a HDFC Trading account and are not using it, here is how you can close it without even going to the HDFC Branch. It is better than paying the annual fees that comes with the account second year onwards.

How to close HDFC Trading Account

  1. Download the closure form from HDFC Securities site.
  2. Fill up the details in the form.
  3. The HSL trading account number can be obtained by logging into your HDFC Securities account.
  4. Also fill in the savings account number / HDFC customer id / DP ID / Demat account number so that HDFC can de link them from the trading account before closing it. These details are available after logging into HDFC Netbanking.
  5. Sign the form.
  6. Send it by post to the address mentioned at the bottom of the form.

Within 5 working days of receipt of the form, HDFC will send you the account closure confirmation to your registered email id.

Show battery percentage on Samsung Galaxy phones

Battery life is one of the things many people overlook when buying a smartphone. With increasing number of apps on smartphones coupled with HD displays, most of us struggle to get through for a day without charging our phones. While stock Android shows the remaining battery capacity in the status bar, it does not show the battery percentage. While this is possible through some programs like Battery Widget Reborn, Samsung’s Touchwiz skin already has this feature in it. It is just a matter of turning it on.

This is applicable for all Samsung Galaxy Android flagships like the Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Note 2, Note 3 and also for mid-range phones like the Galaxy Y, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Grand.

Show battery percentage on any Samsung Galaxy Android phone

  1. Go into Settings from the applications drawer
  2. Click on More and go into Battery settings
  3. Check  ‘Show Battery Percentage’ in indicator.

The battery percentage will now be visible in the status bar.

Install new fonts on any Samsung Galaxy Android phone

The ability to personalize the look and feel has been one of Android’s strengths right from the very beginning. While vanilla Android has not provided many bells and whistles, OEM’s like Samsung and HTC have built on top of vanilla Android to provide more customization features like ability to display battery percentage in status bar, notification toggles etc.

One such feature is customizing the phone by installing new fonts. Most of the best-selling Samsung Galaxy Android phones like the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Note 3, Galaxy S3,  Note 2, have got a nifty little feature using which you can change the font / install new fonts on stock Touchwiz. This option is also available in the mid-range and low-range phones like Samsung Galaxy Grand, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Y etc. as well.

Samsung’s Galaxy phones come with five different fonts (Default, Rosemary, Choco cooky, Cool Jazz and Samsung Sans) from which you can choose. These are available in System Settings –> My Device –> Display –> Font. If this list is not sufficient for you, the good news is you have hundreds of more fonts to choose from.

Use Hi Font to install new fonts on Samsung Galaxy Android phones

We can easily install any custom font on the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 using Hi Font. The app is free and has an extensive selection of fonts to choose from.

New fonts on Samsung Galaxy Phone with Hi FontIn the current version, My Font has over 182 English fonts with new fonts added frequently. Installing a font is as easy as select, download and set.

  • Select the font to download and then click on Download
  • After the download is complete, click on Use and confirm in the dialog box that pops up. Hi Font will attempt to attempt to install the new font (Make sure applications from ‘Unknown Sources’ is enabled in Security settings under Device Administration) like a normal app.
  • Once installed, you can then find the font in Settings –> Display –> Font. The changes are applied instantly, no reboot required.

The app also has Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese custom fonts for non-English users.

If you have a font locally stored, you can use this app to install and apply that font as well. Just copy it into the HiFont directory on your SD Card.

Remove recommended apps in Galaxy S4

One of the many not-so-useful additions to the TouchWiz Samsung Galaxy S4 is the recommended apps list that pops up on the notification drop-down when you plug in a set of earphones. If you have looked closely, all it does is list the five apps you last used and hence it is not that useful. I like to have my notification drop down as clean as possible.

However, there is an easy way to disable recommended apps in Galaxy S4 without rooting it.

Remove recommended apps in Galaxy S4

  1. Remove Recommended Apps in Galaxy S4Go to Settings
  2. Click on More –> Application Manager
  3. Scroll to the right to show the All Apps.
  4. Scroll down till you find the app ‘PageBuddyNotiSvc’. Click on the app.
  5. Uncheck ‘Show Notifications’.

This removes recommended apps in Galaxy S4 in the notification drop down.

Remove yellow background from Adsense ads in WordPress

If you are using Adsense to monetize your WordPress blog, chances are the Adsense ad units have a yellow background on them. This is because Google uses <ins> tags to wrap the code for the Adsense ads. In WordPress, the code standard for ins tags is to include Yellow background a and this can be found in multiple WordPress themes.

The yellow background has other issues like it might decrease the CTR for the ads resulting in a decrease in revenue. Fortunately, this can be resolved easily.

How to remove the yellow background from Adsense ads in WordPress

Go to Appearance –> Editor and edit style.css (or custom stylesheet if you are using) to add the following code at the end.

ins {
background-color: #FFFFFF !important;
}

Save the edit and the yellow background will be gone from the Adsense ads.

Get the Galaxy S5 Launcher on any Android phone

Samsung Galaxy S series is one of the best selling Android phones every year and this year will probably be no different. Samsung Galaxy S5 with its unique software features and hardware additions like Fingerprint sensor and heart beat sensor will surely entice many people.

But some of the software features of Samsung Galaxy S5 can easily be made available on any Android phone. One of the them is the Touchwiz Home Launcher. Galaxy Launcher available on Google Play is based on the Galaxy S5 launcher and provides the same Touchwiz interface that is available on the Galaxy S5.

Galaxy S5 Launcher

The Galaxy Launcher also includes the new flat Touchwiz icons from Galaxy S5. So it brings a new look if you are using the Galaxy S4 or Note 3 which are still on the old Touchwiz look. And if you are not a fan of the Touchwiz icons, you can use any of the numerous icon packs available on Google Play.

If you want the default Samsung Galaxy S5 wallpapers (one of the them is featured in the screenshot above), then get the Galaxy S5 Wallpapers app.

 

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is the newest Android flagship from Samsung and will be one of the best selling Android devices this year. Considering the hefty amount this device costs, it is necessary to protect it from any scratches and drops by using a sturdy case.

We will be focusing on the best cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 here. If you want simply the best protection for your Galaxy S5, then this list is all you need.

1. Samsung S-View Cover

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 - S-View CoverSamsung’s own S-View Cover is the default go-to protection for many Galaxy  S5 owners. While making the device look great, the cover actually adds to the utility of the Galaxy S5. The cover enables a small utility view on the S5’s screen which shows you a display of the current time, battery status, missed calls, unread messages, pedometer etc. through the cut-out on the cover. You can also accept incoming calls without opening the flip cover.

The S-View cover also powers on the screen automatically when opened and locks it when closed.

The quality of the cover is pretty good as well as it is from Samsung. One area where the S-View covers falls short is protecting the device from drops. The S-View is more of a aesthetic cover which just protects the screen when the device is in your pocket.

Colors : Black, White, Green, Pink, Rose Gold

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Otterbox Defender 2. Otterbox Defender

Otterbox is one of the well-known case makers for mobile phones. If you are looking for something tough enough to protect the all-plastic build of the Galaxy S5 from accidental drops, then look no further.

Otterbox Defender cases for Galaxy S5 bring a tough professional look and protect the device from drops, bumps and shocks. All the ports of the S5 (microphone, charging point, speaker) are accessible through the case.

The case comes with a three-layer protection  and built-in screen protector ensuring all round protection. This is the most expensive case of the list but is the one that provides the best protection as well although by being more bulky.

Pros – Buyers can create their own color combinations, Excellent protection

Cons – Bulky

3. Spigen Neo Hybrid

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Spigen Neo HybridSpigen is also a well-known name when it comes to mobile phone cases. Similar to it’s Neo Hybrid case for Galaxy S4, Spigen has launched a case for Galaxy S5 as well.

The case is comprised of two parts – the back cover and the bumper. The back cover is made of TPU and the side frame of polycarbonate. The case fits precisely onto the Galaxy S5 and has cutouts for the camera, speakers, and other ports.

Spigen has gone for a different approach this time and has matching perforated (DOT) design for the cases as well. Although we were not a big fan of the dimpled back of the Galaxy S5, this case does look good in pictures. The back cover is only available in black while the bumper is available in six different colors.

Pros – Case shows the unique Galaxy S5 back design

Cons – Back panel only in black

 4. Urban Armor Gear (UAG)

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 - Urban Armor GearThe UAG case for the Galaxy S5 does not need an introduction. The patent-pending design of the UAG case has been wildly popular over the years for smartphones like iPhone, Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note etc.

The UAG for S5 brings the military grade tough look to the Galaxy S5  and protects it from all drops even in cases where the phone falls directly with the screen hitting first.

One selling point for the UAG is that along with offering a really unique design and comprehensive protection, the cut-outs for mic, phone charger are over-sized. So you can use third party earphones and chargers with your phone. Also, the case meets military drop-test standards. So you can it’s pretty tough protection for the Galaxy S5.

Tip – Look for the Maverick version of the case

5. Spigen Slim Armor

Spigen Slim Armor Galaxy S5Apart from the Spigen Neo Hybrid that we mentioned above, Slim Armor is another case from Spigen that is quite good.

Spigen Slim Armor is a double layered case with a TPU case and a polycarbonate hard case which provides additional protection. The polycarbonate midsection has a metallic matte finish to it and can be separated from the inner TPU case.

Pros – Two layer case with an interchangeable polycarbonate mid-section which can be switched for different colors

 

Best Weather Apps / Widgets for Android

The ability to have homescreen widgets are one of the biggest strong points for the Android platform from the customization perspective. One of the first widgets that people install on their Android phones are custom weather widgets. Yes, most of the smartphones now come with built in weather widgets but their appearance is not customizable nor can they be used if you are using a custom launcher.

So which are the best weather apps / widgets available for Android?

1. Beautiful Widgets Pro

Beautiful WidgetsBeautiful Widgets is one of the most popular weather apps available on Google Play. The app has different layouts for it’s weather widgets and also offers battery, clock, date and system toggle widgets which can be used to customize the home screens.

Beautiful Widgets also has it’s own skin market which lets you download various skins and themes for it’s widgets. And all the themes are free as well, so endless customization options for making the widget look the way you want.

Pros :

  • Multiple widget sizes and widget formats
  • Huge skin gallery with fresh skins available almost everyday

2. Yahoo Weather

Yahoo WeatherYahoo Weather for Android has been around for a long time but it’s recent update has made it popular among Android users.

Yahoo’s weather app has an unique feature of pulling in a city’s weather information along with matching photos of the location and it’s weather condition from Flickr. For example, if you are in New York and it is raining there, Yahoo Weather will show you a picture of New York when it was raining. The pictures are pulled in from a Flickr group where people submit the pictures themselves.

Pros:

  • Pretty awesome weather pictures if you live in some of the big cities

3. EZ Weather

EZ Weather Android AppEZ Weather is probably the simplest weather app in the list here. A sleek, minimalist weather app which follows the Holo guidelines to a large extent, EZ Weather widgets go along really well with the stock Google Experience Launcher.

It comes with three themes that you can use in your home screen. There are two widget sizes : 4 X 1 and 4 X2.

As with most weather apps, the location is auto detected by the app. You can add multiple locations for which you want to check the weather.

Pros :

  • Free and minimalist weather widget which gives a concise view of the current weather condition

4. Google Now Weather

Google Now Weather CardNot exactly a separate app but if you use Google Now for your phone (many reasons why you should be) then Google Now doubles up as a weather app/widget for you as well. The widget is a simple 4 X 1 and is displayed along with the remaining Google Now cards on the home screen.

One of the coolest features of Google Now is it automatically displays weather information about your home city and your current city when you are on a trip or vacation.

Pros:

  • One less app to install
  • Simple and Elegant

5. 1Weather

Last on the list but definitely the most popular and comprehensive weather app is 1Weather. 1Weather has all the weather information you will ever need for your location and packs it into an elegant UI which gives all the required information at a glance including weather forecasts.

1Weather App for Android

It is one of the most comprehensive weather apps available for Android and also makes an excellent tablet version as well. The free app displays ads but there is an in-app purchase to get rid of them.