Android 4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Grand 2The Android 4.4 KitKat update wait is over for Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 owners. The Android 4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Grand 2 has now been released by Samsung in India.

The Android 4.4 KitKat update for Galaxy Grand 2 brings features like white status bar icons, wireless printing support, ability to select default messaging app, expanded emojis along with improved performance and stability.

As of now, the update is available in only OTA update mode. It certainly won’t be long before the update is released for other geographic regions.

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.

The biggest thing coming out of the Android I/O 2014 event was the announcement of the next big version of Android code named L as of now.

Android L will bring two major changes – a fresh design focus through Material Design and changes to how Android displays notifications. It also brings battery usage improvements through Project Volta. Android L Wallpapers and IconsWhile we will need Android L to get some of the improvements like battery usage and notification handling, we can get the Android L look on any Android device right now. And yes, no root required! XDA Member ivan23 has extracted various elements of the new Android L preview for the Nexus 5 and made them available for download.

For the Android L wallpapers and ringtones, we can use the files extracted from the Android L developer preview for Nexus 5. The wallpapers can be downloaded from here and the Android L ringtones and alarms can be downloaded from here.

Home Launcher – Chances are you already using a custom launcher. If it is anything other than Nova Launcher we recommend installing Nova launcher right now. Nova has already updated with Android L features like line folder preview, slide up animation and search bar. You can set the various options inside Nova settings.

Icons – Moonshine icon pack on Google Play is free and provides consistent Android L material design icons for your homescreen and app drawer. The icon pack can be applied through Nova Launcher –> Appearance settings.

Android L KeyboardAndroid L Keyboard – The keyboard in Android L comes with a new Material Design look which looks great. For non-Nexus devices, you can download it from here (Source : XDA-Developers) and install the APK. Make sure you have enabled installation of application from Unknown Sources and don’t have the Google Keyboard installed from Google Play.

Once installed, go to Google Keyboard settings and open “Advanced settings”. Select the color scheme “Material”.

Whether we like it or not, the Modern interface in Windows 8.1 is here to stay. Although, Microsoft has made it much easier to use the new interface there are still some quirks in Windows 8.1 if you prefer to always stay in the traditional Desktop mode and don’t want to see any bits and pieces of Windows 8.1 in there.

One of these is the Charms bar which pops up when you move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen. This can be irritating sometimes as we have the Close button for windows in the same place.

While Windows 8 did not offer a way to disable the Charms bar, Windows 8.1 added a new setting which allows disabling the Charms bar pop-up when hovering the mouse over the top right side of the screen.

disable charms barRight click on Windows taskbar and click on Properties. Go to Navigation –> Corner Navigation and uncheck ‘When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms’ and that’s it. The Charms bar will not irritate you when you take your mouse pointer to the upper right corner.

The re-design of the new Facebook app on iOS and Android has pretty much made users happy except for one major gripe – there is no way to access ‘Most Recent’ feed in Facebook app.

Facebook by default displays only Top news in the feed determined as per it’s algorithm. This results in you seeing articles posted one day back only today, so you miss out on any recent news which comes in pretty handy when you are checking news or when your favorite shopping sites put out time-limited offers.

However, the Facebook app for Android/iOS has the Most Recent option. It is only tucked away in a corner. Here is how you can get the most recent feed in Facebook app.

Open the Facebook app and click on the More button (the one on the extreme right) and scroll down to find the ‘Most Recent’ under the Feeds section.

Most Recent Feed in Facebook app

Google Play having a huge number of apps in the store means you are spoilt for choice when it comes to apps but it also means that it become difficult to discover the best apps available for free. And yes, some of the best Android games are free.

We have tried to showcase the best free Android games from each genre. Let’s jump right into the best free Android games you can install on your phone right away without paying a penny.

1. Endless Running : Temple Run 2

Temple Run was probably the flagship bearer of this genre of games. A man grabbing the idol and running endlessly through intertwining roads collecting coins and power ups along the way resulted in the game being one of the most downloaded apps on both iOS and Android.

Temple Run 2, the sequel of Temple Run retains the game play but has some new tricks up its sleeve along with improved graphics. You can now swim through water, run through new environments, change characters (you can purchase a character based on Usain Bolt that runs faster) and gain better powerups.

Notable Alternative : Subway Surfers

2. Racing : Asphalt 8 Airborne

There is no better car racing game you can get for free. Asphalt 8 Airborne features excellent graphics and game play which keeps you hooked for days.

Luxury cars, exotic locations, multi player support and thumping music make this game shine on Android.

3. FPS : Dead Trigger 2

FPS is one of the most popular genres of games out there. Dead Trigger 2 lets you save humanity from a zombie apocalypse where your mission is to get rid of as many zombies as possible.

Dead Trigger 2, the sequel of Dead Trigger improves upon the original with cutting edge graphics, new locations (Shanghai Alleys / African Desert). The game features multi player support as well which make the game play more dynamic and lets you participate in global missions which evolve as new players join in.

4. Strategy: Plants vs Zombies 2

The sequel to the Plants vs Zombies brings the zombie game to a new level. While the game play style remains the same as Plants vs Zombies, you have got powerful new plants and new defenses to protect your brain from the Zombies.

5. Sports : FIFA 14

FIFA 14 is the authentic football game available for Android smartphones and tablets. FIFA 14 features the officially licensed 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ national teams, 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams and more than 16,000 players enabling to create your own fantasy team with an equally good soundtrack.

6. Trivia : QuizUp

The definitive quizzing app QuizUp is finally available on Android. With over 300,000 questions in over 500 topics and 18 million people, Quiz Up is the game to play if you interested in any sort of trivia. You can even use your Facebook login to link Quiz Up and then challenge your friends in any topic.

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.

 

HTC One (M8) is one of the hottest Android flagships for this season with an amazing metallic body and the Duo Camera. But the metal finish of the HTC One (M8) is pretty easy to get scratched like its predecessor. So it is important to protect the HTC One (M8) from drops and scratches using a durable case. Read on to find out the best cases for HTC One M8 available in the market.

Best Cases for HTC OneHTC One Dot View Case for HTC One (M8)

OEM’s like HTC, Samsung, LG have had some interesting takes towards the official cases introduced for their Android smartphones. What differentiates the official cases is that the manufacturers can add some very useful features into them. Samsung has the S-View Cases, LG debuted the Quick Circle Case for the LG G3 and HTC has jumped on with an unique design of their own.

Inspired from the S-View covers from Samsung for the Galaxy series, HTC has introduced a similar cover this year for the HTC One (M8). The Dot view cover allows instant phone access while the case is still closed.

The dot matrix cover lets you take calls, receive notifications, schedule reminders, provide weather updates etc. with the case closed.

Colors : Warm Black, Imperial Blue, Orange Popsicle and Baton Rouge

Best Cases for HTC One (M8)Urban Armor Gear case for HTC One (M8)

The UAG case 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 HTC One (M8) brings the military grade tough look to the  One 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 One.

Colors : Orange, Black, Ice, Blue and White

Spigen Slim Armor for HTC One (M8)

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.

Best Cases for HTC One (M8)

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

Colors : Smooth Black, Champagne Gold, Gunmetal, Metal Slate, Satin Silver, Aintree Green

Otterbox Defender for HTC One (M8)

Otterbox is one of the well-known case makers for mobile phones. If you are looking for something tough enough to protect the premium build of the HTC One (M8) from accidental drops, then look no further. Otterbox Defender cases bring a tough professional look and protect the device from drops, bumps and shocks.

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.

Colors : Multiple color combinations available for inner and outer layer of the case available for choosing and ordering

With the extreme customization/skins that most OEM phones (Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One, LG G3 etc.) come with, it is easy for people to never experience Android the way Google wants them to. But with the last couple of releases, Google has tried to separate the Android OS from Google services and made some of the key Google apps available on the Play Store. This has allowed people to get the Nexus look on any Android phone and also work like stock Android.

The below list contains some third party apps as well since some of Google’s apps are not compatible with all Android phones.

Step 1 : Home Launcher

Get the Nexus look on any Android phoneThe first step to get the Nexus look on any Android phone is the part of your Android phone that you see the most. The default signature look of the Nexus 5 is the Google Now Launcher with large vibrant icons in the app drawer, ‘OK Google’ hot word support and swipe left to get Google Now. While the Google Now Launcher APK is available for side-loading on any phone, the issue is you will not get the standard Android 4.4 KitKat icons but the default OEM icons that your phone comes with.

KK Launcher (KitKat Launcher) is a home launcher that brings the standard Android KitKat 4.4 home screen look to Android phones running 4.1 and above and with most of the GNL features.

Tip : Get the Android 4.4 KitKat look by setting the icon theme  to Kitkat Theme, UI Size Mode to Large Size inside Theme/UI settings and selecting Hide Drawer Menu inside Drawer settings. The default Android 4.4 KitKat wallpaper also comes with the launcher – select it under the Wallpaper settings.

 

Step 2 : Lock Screen

Almost all OEM’s change the stock Android lockscreen (which is simple, useful and pretty) to offer either a more advanced (complicated) lockscreen on their phones. Holo Locker app from the Play Store offers the stock Android lockscreen.

Tip : Disable the default lock screen on your smartphone by going to Lock Screen settings to allow Holo Locker to work perfectly.

Step 3: Google Apps

While the key Google services like GMail and Google Maps come by default on all Android phones there are many more useful Google apps that are left out by the OEM’s so that in-house replacements of the same can be installed. We can install the remaining apps from the Play Store for a better Android experience.

Google Keyboard comes with many features like Gesture Typing (ala Swype) and voice typing. With the last couple of releases, Google has done a pretty good job with optimizing personalized word prediction and auto-correct functionality.

The new kid on the block, Google Camera is the standard camera app from the Nexus phones. The app features some great features which are not available in the standard OEM camera applications that come by default. Lens Blur for SLR-like photos with shallow depth of field and photosphere for 360º views are some of them.

Not much to write here, the good old Google Calendar app from Google. It’s quite useful if you are using a Samsung Galaxy phone that comes with S Planner which looks old-school and dated.

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