Maxwell/blog Our articles https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:57:06 +0200 <![CDATA[Can the cloud and outsourcing improve wireless network security?]]> Implementing security measures

 

Employing best practices when it comes to security is just as important for wireless networks as it is for more traditional ones. Many large corporations are already doing this at a global level. The three most important security measures you can take are:

 

  • Use a high performance Firewall to control user access: it will identify users, as well as identify when, from what device and from what location users are accessing the network.

 

  • Install an IPS (a system designed to prevent intruders): the IPS monitors the traffic going through the network and prevents potentially harmful data from getting into the system.

 

  • Control traffic flowing through the network by checking user email: this lets you identify potential sources of malware.

 

 

iCloud is Apples cloud computing service

 

Data protection

 

Protecting data stored on the cloud by corporations opting for cloud computing is one of the central issues facing the industry. Allowing any company data –especially confidential data – to leave the premises will always create a certain level of uncertainty. Here are some suggestions to help you make the right decision.

 

  • A VPN allows all devices on a network to exchange information securely. The encryption VPNs use is currently one of the most secure options available, since it prevents content from ever being traced or read by a third party.

 

  • Making backup files is a more traditional way of safeguarding information when necessary. Even if you work with a cloud storage provider, you still need to make a physical backup of the data you transfer to the external server.

 

 

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services

 

Replacing your equipment and programs

 

Constant advances in the world of information technology mean companies and professionals must always have the latest hardware and software available.

 

Gone are the days of installing a program from a CD-ROM you bought in a shop. Today, it's more likely that you bought the program via the software manufacturer’s server, with updates only available online. It's also increasingly common for manufacturers to sell time-limited user subscriptions for their products.

 

In terms of hardware, the major manufacturers continuously update their offerings, and companies want to stay on top of the technology so their employees can be more productive. But at the same time, they also want the guarantee that device connectivity is secure, and not open for anyone to use.

 

 

Google has developed its own cloud computing service: Drive

 

Cloud provider technology

 

It’s important to make sure that the technological infrastructure provided by your cloud computing service provider is up to scratch: that way, you know that malware – which could be picked up by service users – won’t get into their servers.

 

The need to have overall control of the data transferred to the cloud means cloud computing service providers must always stay on top of current trends in the market.

 

 

Many cloud services have their own mobile app

 

Legal implications

 

The question of who is responsible for keeping data stored on servers secure is one of the most controversial issues surrounding the provision of cloud computing services.

 

With an eye to the future, legal departments of large corporations have rushed to define the responsibilities of service providers and the compensation due as a result of any violation of service.

 

Given all this, and as it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways of storing data physically (portable hard drives), cloud computing is truly becoming a key technological race for the future There are dozens of reasonably-priced specialist cloud storage providers out there with good security guarantees for both private consumers and companies alike.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/can-the-cloud-and-outsourcing-improve-wireless-network-security Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:03:00 +0100
<![CDATA[The Effect of DataSync on your Battery]]> DataSync allows you to transfer and share data between your devices. Syncing multiple devices has never been this fast. The only drawback is that it kills your battery. Before figuring out how to prevent DataSync from draining your battery, let’s understand how DataSync works.

 

An overview of DataSync

 

DataSync offers you a very easy way to sync your contacts, documents, music and apps with all your Android devices. This makes it easier for you to have access to all your data, regardless of the device you choose to use. DataSync is designed to work over WiFi networks, Dropbox, Box, and Drive. Should you decide to use cloud storage like Dropbox, you’ll have access to your data/files no matter where you go.

 

Syncing your devices

 

The setup is pretty quick. You have to first install DataSync on your device. One thing to note is that your device has to be rooted so that you get the most out of this app. If you install the free version of DataSync you’ll have to manually select the apps you’d like to sync. But if you opt for the DataSync+ version, you’ll automatically have the opportunity to use AutoSync.

 

To configure Dropbox, Box or Drive:

 

  1. After installing DataSync, select the Menu Key and hit Settings.
  2. Scroll until you find Box, Dropbox or Drive and select the one you’d like to use
  3. Upon selection you’ll be redirected to the service’s page
  4. Login to your account and press Allow to sync

 

Dropbox Authorization Page

 

Syncing your files with DataSync via Dropbox:

 

  1. Click on the drop-down menu on the top left corner of the App and select ‘Individual’.

 

Setting up DataSync

 

  1. Select the app you want to sync
  2. Next, click the double-arrow button (sync button). You should see the Dropbox icon under cloud services.

 

Configuring cloud settings for DataSync

 

  1. Select Dropbox and then choose a sync direction. You’ll see 3 options: Automatic Two Way, Force Upload and Force Download. In this case we’ll choose upload because we want to transfer data from our apps to Dropbox.

 

Selecting the Sync direction

 

  1. After the sync is complete, you’ll be able to login to your Dropbox account from another browser to determine whether your uploads were successful.

 

DataSync and your battery

 

If you set DataSync to AutoSync, the good news is that you’ll be able to receive constant updates or messages from your accounts. So whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or Yahoo, you’ll receive frequent notifications as and when updates occur. Updates generally happen every 5 minutes. If you have a data control widget for your device, you can increase this time from 5 minutes to 30 minutes or more.

 

The bad news is that AutoSync sucks up battery power. There’s no denying it. If you do however, set your apps to sync less often, you’ll almost double your battery life. Another thing to keep in mind is to turn AutoSync off if you’ve got limited data usage. Manually sync instead, when you want to upload and download data to all other devices.

 

Improving battery performance

 

Apart from manually syncing data, you can adjust the brightness on your device to help your battery last longer. Also try to avoid leaving your device plugged in after it has been charged 100%. If you don’t it could have a negative impact on the device.

 

Lastly, look at your device’s display settings. It will help you identify how much power is being used for the screen and the backlight.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/the-effect-of-datasync-on-your-battery Mon, 12 Dec 2016 12:12:34 +0100
<![CDATA[6 Common But Untrue Myths About Smartphone Batteries]]> There’s a lot of perceived wisdom out there about smartphone batteries and how best to use them. It's understandable because battery life tends to be one of the biggest bugbears that smartphone users have. Unfortunately, a lot of that is stuff that was true for older batteries no longer makes sense. Even worse, some of it was quite simply never true. So, if you're doing any of the following things, you can stop. It is not doing what you think it is doing.

 

Did you know these battery-related things are all myths?

 

Never leave your phone on to charge all night

 

The myth here seems to be that it will somehow overload the battery and even make it explode. In reality, it's not a big deal. This was true of older models but is not an issue with modern batteries. These things are called smartphones for a reason. Your device will recognise when it is fully charged and simply stop charging.

 

Wait until your battery is completely empty before you charge it again

 

This is also a common, but wrong, belief. It’s another one of the things that was once true but is no longer applicable to modern phones. In the olden days, batteries that were charged when only partially empty would start to believe that was their total capacity, meaning that battery life would get shorter and shorter. However, the only batteries that did that were nickel-based batteries. These days we use lithium ion batteries in our smartphones, and here's the good news, new model batteries just don't do that.

 

Nowadays, it's actually much better to keep some amount of charge on your battery at all times. All batteries have a limited number of charge cycles before they will be irreparably kaput. When your phone completely runs out of battery and dies, that’s one cycle gone. It will become unstable if you let it empty completely too many times.

 

Don't use your phone while it is plugged in to charge

 

The belief is that this will cause the battery to overheat while you usage output is sucking power as fast as the battery can input charge. This one isn't a total myth. It's probably not a good idea to use your phone while it is plugged into a dodgy knock-off charger, but with official chargers and reputable off-brand chargers, you should be absolutely fine.

 

Having a bunch of apps running will quickly drain your battery

 

Nope. It's understandable that people continue to believe this, For starters it makes sense on your laptop, so why wouldn't it on your phone? Right? Wrong. Apps that are open but unused don't really put any strain on your device. What does put strain on it is reopening them all the next time you want to use them.

 

Shutting all your apps won’t improve battery life

 

You can save a lot of battery by turning off things like WiFi, Bluetooth and location services

 

Again, this used to be true, but shockingly enough, manufacturers do actually try to fix the things that were an issue in earlier models. So now the benefit you may receive from this is only minimal. Don't bother activating flight mode in a bid to extend your dying battery's lifespan.

 

Don’t bother switching on airplane mode to save power

 

Location services aren’t as power-hungry as you think

 

Only ever use the charger supplied by the device's manufacturer

 

Unfortunately this myth was included in a lot of users manuals. Why? Because the manufacturers want you to buy chargers from them of course. It’s absolutely fine to use an off-brand charger, although tests have shown that they don't quite live up to official charger standards. If you buy from reputable electronics brands however you won't have a problem. What you should avoid though are the dirt-cheap knock-off chargers. These not only won't work very well but can actually be dangerous. So really this is sort of half-myth, half-truth.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/6-common-but-untrue-myths-about-smartphone-batteries Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:56:00 +0100
<![CDATA[How Can I See Wi-Fi Passwords Saved on my Android?]]> Retrieving your Wi-Fi passwords

Why bother typing in a password each time you need to connect to the net when your phone could do all the hard work for you? Since your phone maintains a log of saved Wi-Fi passwords you could use your file manager to retrieve forgotten passwords. One of the most important things you ought to know before following the instructions given below is that your device has to be rooted. Firmware privacy won't give you easy access to saved passwords. Unless you root your device, you won’t be able to search for your passwords and SSID’s.

Using file manager to retrieve passwords

1. Go to Google Play and download a free file manager app like ES File Explorer. You could also use WiFi Key Recovery if you choose.
2. After installation, open the ES File Explorer app and click on the menu icon, right next to the Home tab (top left hand corner of the screen).

ES File Explorer Menu
3. Navigate to Device and then open the System folder. Inside the System folder you will find another folder named etc

Finding the etc Folder
4. Click on that folder and look for the Wifi folder

c

Locating the Wifi Folder
5. Open the wifi folder and click on the wpa_supplicant.conf file. You'll have to select a text reader from the options you're given.

Retrieving passwords from wpa_supplicant.conf

6. You'll see a list of all your saved SSID's and passwords once the text reader opens.

Using old passwords

Although you'll be able to retrieve saved passwords using this method, the retrieved password may be of no use if the administrator has changed the password. So the next time you visit your favourite coffee-shop only to discover you can't login with the old password, you'll probably have to ask the staff for the new one.

Importance of securing your devices

Since there are new and improved technologies available to retrieve passwords, it's important to protect your device from snoopers.

If you're concerned about Internet security and Wi-Fi passwords, connect to a VPN. Android devices support VPN connections. It protects both your home Wi-Fi and your mobile data connections. You should also consider changing your SSID name to hide your home Wi-Fi network from others. When you change the network name, all devices connected to that network will lose connectivity. You will have to re-connect each device to the network with the new network name.

If you want to connect a device to your cellular data connection, use a USB cable to establish the connection. It's a more secure way to connect your phone to a tablet/computer.

Lastly, it's a good idea to monitor your Wi-Fi network speed occasionally. It will help you determine whether there are any network faults in your neighbourhood. WiFi Patrol is a good app for this purpose. It lets you monitor and control the speed of your Wi-Fi network. It also alerts you when the speed drops.

If you know how to set up and secure your Wi-Fi connections, you can have the world in the palm of your hands. Check out our post on creating strong Wi-Fi passwords. It will help you beef up your network security.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-can-i-see-wi-fi-passwords-saved-on-my-android Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:29:01 +0100
<![CDATA[How to Use the Phone to Connect my Tablet or Laptop Online]]> Most devices now have this feature. You could either use USB tethering to connect to the Internet or turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot so other devices can connect.

Difference between USB tethering and creating a Wi-Fi Hotspot

USB tethering is a process by which you physically connect your smartphone to a computer with the help of a USB cable. If you use a Wi-Fi hotspot on the other hand, you can wirelessly connect your laptop to your phone’s data plan. USB tethering allows you to connect only one device to the phone’s data plan. The Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to connect more than 5 devices. Before we show you how to use both methods of tethering, let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method

Advantages and disadvantages of tethering via Wi-Fi and USB cable

Tethering via USB cable is more secure in comparison to tethering via Wi-Fi. You can connect only one device so no one else will have access to your phone’s data plan. Besides, you have to physically connect the phone to the laptop using a USB cable, so no one else can share your phone’s Internet connectivity.

Tethering via USB cable is not as easy as Wi-Fi tethering. You have to configure both devices to set up the connection. You will have to download and run software from both devices in order to establish Internet connectivity on your laptop. Lastly, your laptop has to be within the reach of your phone, because the two are connected with a cable.

Wi-Fi tethering is simple for beginners. You only need to follow a series of straightforward steps to wirelessly connect your laptop/tablet to the phone’s Internet plan. There are no wires involved and no need for downloading any software. The only drawbacks are that your phone battery discharges quickly and the connection remains insecure. You could of course use a strong password to protect your Wi-Fi hotspot from being identified and used by unknown devices.

Other considerations

Although it’s convenient to be able to connect to the Internet on the go, using the phone’s data plan on the laptop could potentially max out your data limit. Some carriers don’t even permit you to wirelessly connect other devices to the phone’s data plan. Others charge you a fee. Since we have now addressed the pros and cons of both methods, you can choose one that suits you best and follow the instructions given below.

Tethering your Android Phone to your laptop with a USB cable:

  1. Use the USB cable to connect the phone to the laptop.
  2. Go to the Settings app on your phone
  3. Select Mobile hotspot and tethering
  4. Turn on USB Tethering and look for the connection icon on the notification bar.
  5. Those using Windows XP will have to download and install the “tetherxp.inf” file on their laptops.

Using an app for tethering the phone to the laptop

  • Visit Google Play to download and install the app PdaNet+ on the phone.
  • Visit the PdaNet site on your laptop to download the corresponding software for your particular machine.
  • Now go to Settings on your Phone and click on About Device
  • Go to Build Number and tap it 7 times to get into developer mode.

Getting into Developer Mode

  • Go back to Settings and click on Developer Options

Using Developer Options

  • Turn on USB debugging.

Turning On USB debugging

  • Now connect your phone to your laptop with the USB cable.
  • Next, go to your PdaNet+ app on the phone and click on Activate USB Mode

Activating USB Mode

  • After this, go to the PdaNet+ icon on your laptop and right click to connect.

Connecting your phone to your laptop via Wi-Fi Hotspot

  • Go to Settings on your phone and click on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.
  • Select Mobile Hotspot and turn it on.
  • Now look up your list of available Wi-Fi networks on your computer.
  • Select the network and key in your Hotspot password to start browsing.
  • Once you establish the connection, you’ll see a notification on your phone.

Every device is structured uniquely but the steps are the same for all Android smartphones.

On another note

If you’d like to monitor the speed of your Internet connection, you could try using the Wi-Fi Patrol speed test app. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to check and control the speed of your network. You can also use it to share information about your network speed with others.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-use-the-phone-to-connect-my-tablet-or-laptop-online Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:54:46 +0100
<![CDATA[Myths and Truths about Smartphones]]> Modern phones have come a long way from mobile phones used years ago. They have different functionalities and they need to be handled appropriately. Here are a few myths that should be debunked.

Illustration of a Phone Charging

Myth 1: A new phone needs to be charged for at least 8 hours before use

Truth: These days, new phones come partially charged. If you start using the phone straight out of the box, you won’t damage the battery. You’ll simply run out of charge much faster. If you open the box only to discover that your phone is completely discharged, return the phone and ask for a replacement. Make sure the phone has at least a 40% charge on it.

Charging a Discharged Phone

Myth 2: You should only charge your phone after it has been fully discharged

Truth: This belief dates back to the times when people used Nickel-metal hydride batteries. Modern phones have lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are more efficient when they’re charged every day. If you allow them to fully discharge before re-charging them, you’ll use up their fixed charge cycles and they won’t last you long.

Man Charging His Phone from His Bed

Myth 3: Charging your phone overnight destroys the battery

Truth: New devices come with an auto shut-off system. They stop charging once the battery has reached full power. You won’t destroy your battery by leaving it on all night. However, if you do so repeatedly, your battery won’t last long. It’s a good idea to keep your device charged between 40 and 80 percent. 

Myth 4: You shouldn’t use your phone while it’s plugged in

Truth: Many people think it’s dangerous to use a phone while it’s charging. They feel the phone might explode or give them an electric shock. To be on the safer sider, it’s a good idea to stick to manufacturer-recommended batteries and chargers. Even if you choose off-brand chargers, look for original ones that come with some sort of warranty. If you follow these rules, you’ll be able to safely use your device to send texts, play games or catch up with friends and family.

Myth 5: Off-brand chargers affect your batteries performance

Truth: Off-brand chargers are not as expensive as branded chargers but they do the job well. Steer clear of imitation chargers. These will definitely reduce your battery’s life and performance. They may also have an impact on the batteries charge cycles, so it’s best to avoid using cheap knockoffs.

Power Button Icon

Myth 6: You don’t have to ever switch your smartphone off

Truth: Smartphones need to be refreshed every now and then. It’s important to switch off phones in order to reset them. A good rule of thumb is to switch the phone off at least once a week. If you do, you will see an improvement in your battery’s overall performance.

Smartphones and temperature

Smartphones won’t last long in extreme temperatures. They should never be allowed to overheat. Overheating destroys the phone battery. It may cause chemical reactions within the battery and this could lead to leaks. To prevent overheating, it’s important to remove the phone cover when the phone is charging.

If you’re not going to use your phone for a long time, store it in a cool dry place and leave it charged at 40 percent. To get accurate battery readings, you should calibrate the battery every 3 months. Also make sure you turn off live app notifications if you don’t need them. This will go a long way in prolonging your battery’s life.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/myths-and-truths-about-smartphones Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:49:01 +0100
<![CDATA[5 Ways to Stop Your Neighbours from Stealing Your Wi-Fi]]> There are many people who like to jump onto a network that’s not password protected. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your data plan, you need to take a few precautionary measures. Firstly, install an app like WiFi Patrol to track the speed of your connection. Then follow all the tips given below.

 

1.- Setting up a strong password

Hackers are a step ahead of the rest when it comes to cracking passwords. To protect your Wi-Fi network from outsiders, you must use a password that’s long and strong. Create passwords using numbers, nonsensical words, symbols, and capital letters. Don’t use your personal information in your password and consider changing your passwords after a month or two, to protect your devices.

 

2.- Check the encryption settings on your network

Without proper encryption anyone can view your network traffic. To run your network on a more secure protocol, you have to enable WPA2 encryption. To do this, connect your laptop to your router with an Ethernet cable. Now open your browser and type in the IP address of your router. Enter your username and password. If you haven’t set your own, use the default username and password to login. Click on the ‘Wireless’ Tab and then click on ‘Security’. Select WPA2 from the authentication type drop down menu. Select PSK and AES. Key in a strong password and apply your changes. Once you plug out the Ethernet cable, look for your SSID and enter the new password to wirelessly connect to the Internet.

3.- Choose the right SSID names

This one sounds a bit hilarious  but it may work. Don’t go with the default SSID name that came with your wireless router. You could change the name to something more serious like Virus93x instead. Hackers are more likely to look for networks with default SSID’s because it’s a sign that the user has spent less time trying to protect the network. If your neighbour is technically savvy, he’ll know this is just a network name used to scare off snoopers. Those who aren’t as technically savvy will fall for it.

4.- Hide your SSID

Go a step further and beef up network security by hiding your SSID. To turn off SSID broadcast, first sign in to your router to access the configuration page. Click on Wireless, then Security and disable the wireless router radio button. You might not find this button under the same menu for some router brands. If you look up the menus under Wireless Settings, you should find it. Hiding SSID broadcast doesn’t offer 100% protection. Hackers often use network sniffer programs to monitor network traffic and break into accounts.

5.- Use MAC address filtering

If you enable MAC address filtering, you will only allow devices with registered MAC addresses to connect to your network. To find the MAC addresses of the devices you use, open command prompt and type getmac /v /fo list. Hit enter. You’ll see the physical addresses of your network connection. This works for all versions of Windows. 

Now go to your router settings page by logging in. Next, go to Wireless Settings and click on Setup Access List under the Wireless Card Access List. Edit the list by adding the device name and the MAC address, and then click on Apply to save your changes.

Although MAC address filtering does add a layer of protection, it doesn’t stop hackers from accessing your network. Skilled hackers know how to fake MAC addresses and invade your home Wi-Fi network. It’s therefore important for you to enable WPA2 encryption. Also avoid accessing open Wi-Fi networks to browse the net. If your device is automatically connecting to an open network, go to Settings and click on Network and Internet. Click on Wi-Fi Settings and disable the Auto connect to open hotspots feature. This should protect your device from security risks.

I’m not sure I get the joke here. What is hilarious about choosing the right SSID names? The ‘Virus93x’might be considered hilarious, but it comes after the mention of “hilarious’…

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-ways-to-stop-your-neighbours-from-stealing-your-wi-fi Mon, 07 Nov 2016 17:40:00 +0100
<![CDATA[How to Get Wi-Fi in Your Car]]> How do you turn your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot on those long haul journeys? Let’s find out!

1.       Use your smartphone to connect to the Internet

If you don't have an option, you could always use your phone’s data plan to connect devices to the Internet. Simply go to Settings and turn on your personal hotspot. You can connect more than 5 devices to this hotspot. The only problem is that you’ll use up your data plan quickly and your phone battery will run out of juice if you forget to plug it into a charging point. Besides, your plan won’t deliver a fast connection if many devices are connected to it. You could check your Wi-Fi speed by installing an easy to use app like WiFi Patrol. If you’re not happy with the speed and you have a bunch of data hungry kids in the back, ditch the phone’s data plan and look at your other options.

 

2.       Built-in Wireless

Auto manufacturers are constantly adding new features to new makes and models. Cars now come with built-in wireless Internet connection systems. It may not always be a standard feature on all new models. You may have to purchase it as an optional feature. Since it’s already integrated into the car, you’ll have outstanding signal strength. You’ll also find it easy to connect devices at the touch of a few buttons. Moreover, the system is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Built-in wireless systems automatically run updates so your vehicle will always have the latest software. This is another advantage of having a built-in wireless system. The only drawback is that manufacturers begin by giving you a free trial, but once the trial period ends you’ll have to buy a monthly wireless plan. This plan can be expensive when you stream a lot of data.

3.       Using a mobile hotspot device

If you have an older vehicle which doesn’t have a built-in wireless system, you could use a mobile hotspot device for your car Wi-Fi needs. It’s a small portable device that allows you to connect a few devices to the Internet. Some hotspot devices come with dual bands abilities and built-in GPS support. They’re also designed to work in countries all across the globe. You could either buy a monthly wireless data plan or a prepaid plan for the device. Depending on the device you purchase, you can connect 8 to 10 people to the hotspot. The drawbacks? People complain about poor battery performance, no data rollover on the plans and expensive data plans. You may not even get great coverage in certain areas. Thus it’s best to compare plans and look up hotspot device reviews online before making a choice.

 

 

4.       Install aftermarket Wi-Fi systems

If you don’t have a new vehicle with a built-in Wi-Fi system, you could look for aftermarket devices that offer you Wi-Fi connectivity. Autonet mobile’s CarFi offers high-speed connections for up to 20 users. What’s great about systems like these is that they don’t drop connections even when the vehicle is travelling at high speeds. What’s more is that they come with expandable storage. This makes it easier for you to store and share movie and music files. While some devices come with docking stations, others have to be integrated into the dash. Users will have to get them installed by professionals. This adds to the overall cost of owning and using a Wi-Fi device.

Although people use high-speed cellular modems to browse the Internet, there will come a time when these devices will enable vehicles to do much more than one can imagine. Dashboards will turn into screens that display movies, videos and maps. These features will only be made possible through high-speed wireless Internet connections in the car.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-get-wi-fi-in-your-car Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:05:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Discover the Flip Battery Saver history]]> Flip Battery Saver

From our company Maxwell by Softonic, we love to boast about our app Flip Battery Saver which is the easier and more useful tool to save battery. Flip Battery Saver allows you to change from standard mode to battery saver mode with a simple move of your cell, but: How does Flip Battery Saver work? What does it do to save battery? We will now show you our simple but clever secret. 

Mobiles spend a lot of battery

Everyday we use our cell in a better way. Better apps with higher power but much more practical, make that the use of our mobiles need more and more battery to run. 

All the social networks as Whatsapp or Facebook, make us using our mobiles longer just to chat a little with thousands of friends. 

This big change is really new in our lifes and also in the software and hardware of our mobiles and they also affect to the battery of all our smartphones.

The short running life of our batteries is the biggest problem of the 21st Century citizens.

Flip Battery Saver saves much more battery.


Trying to solve this battery problem, a lot of new apps have been looking for a new way to assist the users about the power management. These apps stop all the processes in the memory or switch off the Wi-fi or Bluetooth but, be careful, because sometimes they say they do things they do not.

Competing against all these apps, we are glad to show you our new app Flip Battery Saver. Every time you active Flip Battery Saver you will get a background which handle and limit the screen and limit the data roaming from your device achieving a big save of your battery. 

Let us show you what we were trying to explain you in the last paragraph:
When you turn on Flip Battery Saver we switch off the screen and also all the services that run more power such as the Bluetooth, Wi-fi or the data roaming. Every few minutes we turn them on in order to update your apps contents. Thanks to these process you will be able to save a lot of power.


Flip Battery Saver stop all the processes in background which run a lot of power from your cell saving a big amount of battery.

¿How do we switch on Flip Battery Saver?
After a thorough analysis we realized that many users do not need to use all the power of their devices all the time. For example, when we are in a meeting, drinking with a friend or just having lunch. Then we decided to create an app to save power in all these cases.



When we have decided how to save power, we thought about how to turn this system in an easy way. Most of our competitors force the cell to open the app and, then turn on/ off the saving mode. But we tried to do something completely different and much easier. With an easy movement of your cell, you can activate the process. Turning down your cell you switch on the app, and turning up the cell you will turn it off.

CO2

We also thought that at the same time we save the power of our user´s cell, we can also reduce the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Thanks to that we can achieve a double mission. Firstly, we can save your cell´s power and secondly we can work together with you in reducing the emissions to the atmosphere and making our planet a better place to live. 


We are really happy


Can you understand now why are we so glad about our new app? We are really happy about our job because we have created an authentic y big quality product. If you think we can do it better, we are looking forward to knowing about your opinions or suggestions. Enjoy Flip Battery Saver

 

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/discover-the-flip-battery-saver-history Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:12:00 +0200
<![CDATA[5 Signs of a Bad Phone Battery]]>  

 

1.- Phone restarts on its own

 

This is quite a common complaint from smartphone users. You could be typing an important e-mail or completing a financial transaction when your phone randomly decides to shut down and restart. This can be quite disappointing. If this is happening frequently, check your battery for defects. There could be many reasons why your phone restarts on its own. One reason may be that the battery no longer fits snugly within the phone case. If the phone cover doesn’t hold the battery in place, the device will lose power when the battery shifts.

 

Also check the battery connectors to see if they’re worn out. Worn out connectors cause a loose contact between the battery and the phone. They should be fixed at an authorised repair centre.

 

2.- Battery drains easily

 

Batteries generally perform well for the first 2 years. But once the first 2 years are up, they start causing you trouble. If your battery doesn’t seem to power your phone for long, it’s likely giving way. You could uninstall apps that drain your battery to find out if it’s the battery that’s really causing you problems. Inspect the battery to look for any changes. If the battery looks like it’s bulging, you’ll have to replace it at the earliest. If you fail to do so, the battery may leak and damage your device.

 

Batteries bulge when they undergo undesirable chemical reactions. The most common cause of these chemical reactions is heat. If you want to prolong the life of your battery, make sure you prevent it from overheating. Remove the phone cover when your device is charging and remember to store your phone in a cool place.

 

3.- Phone is plugged in but dead

 

This is another common sign of a bad battery. If the phone doesn’t charge after being plugged in, there’s probably an issue with the battery. In this case the phone stays dead even after repeated attempts at charging it. You’ll see no lights and hear no sounds when you plug in the device.

 

4.- The phone doesn’t hold charge

 

If the battery has started to give way, the device won’t stay on for long. It will power up when you connect it to a power source but it won’t hold its charge. When this happens, you know it’s time to replace the battery.

 

 

5.- Overheated battery

 

As your battery starts deteriorating, it generates heat. This excess heat generation often happens when you plug in your phone for charging.

 

If you feel your device is getting quite warm to the touch, test the battery and replace it.

 

A few things to consider

 

Modern day mobile phones come with surge breakers. They’re designed to prevent overcharge and excess discharge. With the passage of time however, these batteries offer you low performance. Whether you need to replace the battery or buy a new phone, depends entirely on the type of phone you’re using.

 

If you have a good phone that responds well, a simple battery replacement should suffice. If you feel that the operating system is not responding as well as it used to, consider buying a new phone instead.

 

Before blaming the battery for poor performance, it’s a good idea to turn off automatic notifications and live updates. They suck the juice out of your battery. Once you’ve ruled out everything else, you’ll know whether you need to replace the battery or purchase a new phone.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-signs-of-a-bad-phone-battery Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:24:00 +0200
<![CDATA[Discover our new app, Flip Battery Saver]]> Battery Drain seems to be the main problems of Android users.

Smartphones always tend to run out of battery in the most inconvenience moments.

 Today we want to introduce you a new app of our tool’s portfolio and its fantastic features.  Flip Battery Saver is a FREE battery-saving app with a twist. You simply need to flip your device face down to extend your battery by up to 50%.

 The main features of the app are:

Save Mode ★

You can simply activate the save battery mode flipping your device down.

Three modes will be available for you: “ON”, “OFF” and the coolest one “FLIP”. Try the Flip mode and put your smartphone upside down. Just with this simple action, you will start saving. 

 

Super-Killer ★

 Kill process that are acting in the background of your smartphone and are causing battery drain. You just have to click on “Run” and your Android will stop wasting.

 

Battery Level ★

 In this card of the main menu you will get reliable and detailed information about your power remaining, time remaining and the health and temperature of your battery. Get the full control of your device.

 

CO2 Saver ★

 Discover how much tones of CO2 have you been saving thanks to this app. It’s time to start helping the environment.

 

Settings ★

 Define what kind of functionalities you want to activate and deactivate with the saving mode: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, screen brightness control.

 

Try the “doze mode” which will activate and deactivate your Wi-Fi every 5 minutes and all the messages in your apps will be updated.

 Right now the app is available in English and Spanish, but soon we will launch it for other languages.

Discover the video

 

We hope you enjoy this app. And if you have any question, don’t be shy, just leave a comment in this post and we will answer it.

 

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/discover-our-new-app-flip-battery-saver Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0200
<![CDATA[5 Mistakes to Avoid When Charging Your Phone Battery]]>  

Some batteries come with a finite number of charges. Once they reach their limit, they start deteriorating. Although you can use apps to extend your battery’s life, you have to follow good charging practices to get the most out of your battery. Batteries come in 3 types: Nickel-cadmium, Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ion. Each one has its own unique characteristics, so they need to be handled differently.

Illustration of a Smartphone Charged 100%

1.- Plugged in and fully charged

If your phone has been charged 100%, make sure you unplug it. If you continue charging it, you’ll damage the battery and reduce its performance. This is particularly true for those of us who leave our phones on charge all night. Charging puts the battery under high stress. Once it reaches 100 percent you need to give it a break from this high stress activity.

2.- Leaving the case on

Guilty as charged? Most of us are. We tend to leave our cases on when we want to urgently charge our phones. This traps heat while the battery is being charged and leads to overheating. Next time you’re looking for ways to prolong your battery’s life, try sliding off that case first. It will dissipate excess heat and leave your phone up and running for a few years.

3.- Fully discharging then recharging

Lithium-ion batteries don’t have to be fully discharged before they’re plugged in. It’s a good idea to plug the phone in when the battery is at 50%. Lithium ion batteries fluctuate and become unpredictable when the charge drops to low. To prevent them from running out of power, keep an eye on them and carry a spare charger along, just in case you need to top up the battery.

4.- Constantly aiming for 100%

If you’re constantly plugging in your phone to keep it fully charged, you’re doing more harm than good. Your phone will run well if the battery level lies between 30 and 80 percent. So quit reaching for that charger and enjoy your phone instead.

5.- Using the wrong charger

It’s a good idea to stick to the charger that came with the phone. Batteries come with pre-set charging circuits. These circuits control charging speed and they know how much charge the battery requires. Switching the charger only messes things up. You end up damaging the battery and reducing its lifespan.

If you use cheaper chargers that are compatible with your device, you run the risk of flooding your phone with extra charge.

Nickel-cadmium batteries

If you own an older device, you’ve most likely got a nickel-cadmium battery. These batteries don’t generally last longer than 2 years. They contain cadmium, an active material that becomes crystalized when it’s not used. These batteries have a high self-discharge rate. They remain cool until they’re charged 80 to 90 percent. They rise in temperature (to almost 50º C) when they’re fully recharged.

Nickel-cadmium batteries should never be fully discharged. Firstly, they’re restricted to only 500 recharges. Secondly, they lose power even when they’re not in use.

If you want to store your nickel-cadmium battery, leave it charged at approximately 40 percent and store it in a cool place.

Batteries deteriorate in extreme temperatures. To prolong the life of your battery, use and store your phone and its battery at room temperature.

]]>
https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-charging-your-phone-battery Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:09:00 +0200
<![CDATA[5 Android Apps that Sap your Battery]]> To increase your battery’s life, consider avoiding these apps. They’re known to suck the juice out of your battery, frequently leaving you searching for a power source on a regular basis.

 

1.- Facebook

 

That’s right. The ever-popular social networking app is to be blamed for your phone’s poor battery performance. It constantly downloads data and sends you notifications. So if you see your battery level dropping quickly, turn off automatic notifications or restrict the amount of data your app is permitted to download.

Candy Crush Saga App

 

2.- Candy Crush Saga

 

This was the most downloaded app in the year 2013. It earned a lot of revenue and became even more popular after it entered the Japanese market. While the app is one sweet dose of fun, it can seriously drain your battery and reduce your phone’s overall performance. So candy addicts be warned!

 

Fruit Ninja Free App

 

3.- Fruit Ninja

 

Sweet cravings aside, one fruity favourite that devours your phone’s battery is the famous Fruit Ninja. This fruit slicing game developed by Halfbrick, sold 2 million units 9 months after its first release. The game received frequent updates and it was well received by people the world over. One of its biggest drawbacks though is the amount of battery it consumes. Like most other games that support 3D graphics, this fruit-busting app will destroy your battery’s life if you play it frequently.

 

4.- Google Maps

Looking for directions to go somewhere? Google Maps offers you real-time navigation, traffic updates and lane guidance. Getting anywhere has never been easier. While the maps are very helpful, they cause excessive battery drainage. This is because the app runs your GPS system to give you accurate information. If you’re not using the app, it’s wise to disable location reporting.

To do this, click on the notification bar. This is the area located right at the top of the screen that display’s your battery’s level. Swipe this area down to find the location icon.

Finding the Location Icon

 

Press the Location icon and turn the setting off.

Disabling Location Reporting

 

5.- Spotify

Spotify gives you music on the go. You don’t have to download music files and fill up your storage. Instead you can stream music from all over the world for free. As long as you log in to your Spotify account, you have access to all your favourite songs from any device. While Spotify has half a billion registered users, the app is a known battery killer. If you’ve signed up for the premium service, avoid streaming music in very high quality. You could also pay for the service and listen to your music offline. This will improve your battery’s performance considerably.

 

6.- Instagram

If you love mobile photo sharing, then you’ve probably downloaded and installed Instagram. A common complaint amongst Instagram users is that their batteries die sooner than expected. In 2013 this app won the vote for the Time’s 50 Best Android Apps. Despite being so popular, users struggle with battery performance.

So, to help your battery last longer, disable notifications from the app. You could also clear the cache and see if that improves battery performance. If you love Instagram but can’t handle poor battery performance, download a 3rd party Instagram app like InstaSave for Instagram or Imagine for Instagram.

One of the easiest things you can do to prevent battery drainage is to exit your apps properly so they don’t keep running in the background. Also install apps that are known to extend your battery life.

 

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-android-apps-that-sap-your-battery Tue, 04 Oct 2016 10:25:00 +0200
<![CDATA[We are Maxwell by Softonic]]> Introducing Maxwell

We are very excited to announce that we have left behind the "Softonic Tools" name and are introducing our brand new name: "Maxwell by Softonic".  

Why Maxwell?

Because our apps are more than just tools. Our apps are here to help improve your life by maximizing one of your most precious possessions: your device. The Maxwell name is a play on maximize and well, as we believe that giving you the potential to get the most — more speed, more security and more control — out of your device will help you live better: to live well!

What is Maxwell?

Aside from being Softonic's really awesome mobile apps development studio, Maxwell is also a cute little robot butler (can you see his eyes in our logo?). 

Maxwell exists only to serve you by cleaning, optimizing, protecting and maximizing your device. Maxwell never sleeps and he's quite a workaholic, because keeping your device safe and humming along perfectly is a full-time job.

What's next for Maxwell?

Maxwell is growing its collection of apps to offer more and more solutions to the problems you face with your device. In addition to continuing to help you solve performance issues on your Android, we'll be exploring further ways to make sure we live up to our name to help you maximize your device and live well. 

 

Stay tuned! 

Maxwell team

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/we-are-maxwell-by-softonic Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:59:00 +0200
<![CDATA[Are you already enjoying the new 3.0 version of TurboBooster?]]> We're really excited to let you know that we've been working on a new and better version and design of Turbo Booster for you!

True fans of the app have surely already seen it for themselves. But if you haven't yet, you will see it in the next days: Turbo Booster has been completely redesigned following the guidance of Material Design for Android.

What is Material Design?

Material Design is a visual language created by Google that summarizes the principles of good design and offers a better browsing experience for the user. This new design framework was announced by Google mid-2014 and more and more applications have been adapting to these new guidelines.

Why have we updated the app?

We are always making new innovations and changes to offer our users the best experience with our apps. Thanks to Material Design, this new and cleaner version of Turbo Booster will help you enjoy a better user experience.

What changes are waiting for you?

Main menu

The main menu consists of three floating cards that allow you to perform the same actions as always, but with smoother ease of use:

  • Clean Junk files
  • Clean memory
  • Wizard to identify and remove apps that you no longer use

New Boost screens

The two main actions on the main menu will guide you to a completely revamped interface in which the selected action will be executed.

In addition, since we believe that transparency is important, we have added some brief information that shows you what cleaning processes have been carried out on your device.

Tricks Tab

We know you love to be at the forefront of all that's new for Android, so we will keep you updated with interesting content about improving the performance of your mobile device through the "Cheats" tab

Apps Interface

On the third tab you will see the main panel with all the removal wizard apps; sort your apps by size, date of use or installation date. You can also erase anything you are no longer interested in.

Action Bar

From the top bar, known as the "action bar", you can navigate through the app and access the promotions tab. From this tab you can:

  • Unlock Turbo Booster Pro, a version without advertising and with "boosts" automatic cleaning by watching 3 videos.
  • Unlock Turbo Booster Pro forever for a small one-time fee.

What do you think about the latest version of Turbo Booster? Your opinion is really important to us, so please let us know your thoughts or any questions you have with a comment on this post.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/are-you-already-enjoying-the-new-30-version-of-turbobooster Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:10:00 +0200
<![CDATA[How To Install Flash Player On Android 5.0 Lollipop]]> Flash is used by lots of websites and allows them to run fancy, interactive content. Without Flash Player these websites won’t work on your Android device. Support for Flash Player was officially dropped with the advent of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but it is possible to still install it on an Android 5 device. The following method is fast and easy!

NOTE: To enable Flash Player on Android 5, you will need to use a third-party internet browser, rather than the pre-installed Chrome. This is because Chrome for Android does not support Flash. While there are a number of browsers to choose from, the examples here use Firefox.

You need a browser other than Chrome to enable Flash

 

How to install Flash Player on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices:

 

1. Install a file manager

You will need to start by installing a file manager on your phone. There’s plenty to choose from on the Play Store but the most popular one is ES File Explorer, which works well and more importantly, is totally free.

 

2. Allow installation of apps from unknown sources

 

As Flash Player is not available from the Play Store, you will have to get it elsewhere. For that to occur, you will need to change your phone's settings to allow apps from unknown sources.

This can be done by going into Settings then Security, and ticking the box next to Unknown sources.

Tick this box to allow apps not from the Play Store

 

You will see a message warning you about the possible dangers of apps from unknown sources. Tap OK.

 

3. Download the official Flash Player app

Go to the Adobe website to download Flash Player for Android. Scroll down to Flash Player for Android 4.0 archives to download the latest version (which should be the top one). Click on the link to download the APK file.

Download the latest version of Flash Player for Android

 

Although this version was developed for Android 4.0, it will also work fine on Android 5.0.

 

4. Installing Flash Player on Android 5.0

Once you have downloaded the APK file, open up the file manager app that you’ve downloaded in step 1. Then, go to the folder where the Flash Player APK file was saved.

Tap on the APK file then tap Install. Accept the permissions requested by the app to commence installation.

 

5. Run Flash Player settings

Once the Flash Player app is installed, you’ll be able to find it along with all your other apps. Tap on the Flash Player icon and you will be prompted as to which browser you want to use. Select your browser of choice, excluding Chrome (as previously mentioned, Flash Player will not work with Chrome for Android).

When the browser opens, tap Local Storage and then Always when asked Allow local storage?

Lastly, exit the browser.

 

6. Enable Flash Player in browser settings

At this point, Flash content will work in your browser but you may have to tap on it first. You can change this in your browser's settings, so that Flash content will display automatically.

Open the browser and tap on the 3 dots in the top corner. Next, tap Settings followed by Display. In that menu, tap on Plugins and then select Enabled. This way Flash content will load automatically without you having to tap on it.

 

7. Test Flash Player is working on your Android 5 device

To make sure that you’ve followed each step correctly, you should test Flash Player. This can be easily done on the official Flash testing site.

Make sure Flash Player is working correctly

 

If the animation displays correctly, then everything is working. If you see Tap here to activate plugin instead, you’ll need to go back and do step 6 again.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-install-flash-player-on-android-50-lollipop Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:18:00 +0200
<![CDATA[How To Move Apps To SD Card On Android]]> Although your Android phone might not have a lot of built-in storage, most models have an SD card slot that allows you to add more storage. It’s a pretty handy feature, seeing as SD cards a relatively cheap and can easily be transferred from one phone to another.

The only catch is that standard settings will automatically downloaded apps to a phone’s internal storage, meaning it can fill up quickly. When the internal storage gets full, it can slow down your phone. To get around that, you might want to transfer apps to your SD card instead.

There’s no need to worry, moving apps to the SD card on your Android phone is pretty simple. You can either move them to an SD card storage manually or use an app.

 

Before you start moving apps to your SD card

Unfortunately, not all apps can be transferred to the SD card. Most apps that come preloaded onto your phone cannot be moved, along with some other apps, depending on the developer and what phone you have.

It’s also important to note that apps may run slower when stored on your SD card, compared to when they are stored in your Android’s internal storage.

Also, if you want to transfer over all your apps (and do so in bulk) on your SD card, you will need to root your Android device. Rooting isn’t for everyone however, so I will focus on methods that work on an unrooted phone.

If you do want to transfer your apps, there are a couple of methods.

 

Method 1: Manually moving apps to your SD card using Android’s application manager

It’s not difficult to transfer your apps manually but it can be a bit painstaking. Apps need to be moved individually. There isn’t a way to move a group of apps in one go on an unrooted phone.

If you want to move an app, open up your device’s settings menu and then tap on Apps. Your phone should then show a list of your apps.

See apps you might want to move to SD storage

 

Tap on the app you want to move to the SD card. This will take you to the App info, where you can see everything about the app.

If you scroll down, you will see a button called Move. Tap on that to move the app to your SD card. If the button is greyed out, it means you’re unable to move that app to your SD card.

Tap the move button to transfer apps to SD storage

 

Note: Apps can also be moved back to your phone’s internal storage using the same method.

 

Method 2: Use an app to transfer (other) apps to your SD card

Unfortunately, even using an app won’t allow you to move apps in bulk, however it will be able to tell you which apps it is possible to move. This process at least removes the extra step of having to check each app individually.

Another solution for moving apps to SD card storage

 

There are a few apps you can use, but we’ll use AppMgr III (App 2 SD) as an example. If you decide to download the app, it will show you which apps can be moved to your SD card under the heading Movable.

See which apps can be transferred to the SD card

 

To transfer one of the apps, tap on it and then confirm that you want to move it. Doing that will take you to the App info screen as in Method 1. There, you can tap on Move and the app will be transferred to your Android’s SD card.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-move-apps-to-sd-card-on-android Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:06:17 +0200
<![CDATA[Why Calibrate the Battery of Your Android Device?]]> What is BatteryStats?

 

BatteryStats is a tool available on the Android framework. It collects useful information about your battery from your phone or tablet. It gives you a detailed report of power usage. Over a period of time, your device might not show you an accurate reading of power consumption. When this happens your device may go from 60% to 0 percent in a matter of a few minutes. This is when recalibration becomes important. It resets previously stored battery information so you can have more accurate battery display readings.

 

Battery problems

 

Quite often it’s not the battery that’s malfunctioning, it’s the way the Android OS is picking up and displaying information about your battery’s usage. Recalibration eliminates this problem. It fixes faulty battery percentage meter readings.

 

To make sure your phone battery is not damaged, you need to take it out of your phone and examine it closely. Make sure you turn off your device before removing the battery. If you have a non-removable battery, simply look for signs of leaks. Also examine the battery to see if it’s bulging on any side. If the battery is damaged, get a new one from an authorized repair shop. Look for original batteries. They may be more expensive than other makes, but they’ll prevent you from running into issues down the line.

 

Recalibrating your battery

 

Recalibrating doesn’t necessarily mean your battery will last longer. It will only give you more accurate readings of your power usage. One of the easiest ways to find out which apps are sucking out power from your battery is to check your settings.

 

Simply go to Settings and scroll down to Battery. Press Battery to see a graph of your battery usage. You’ll also get to see which apps are depleting your battery the most.

 

Checking Battery Usage

 

List of Apps and their Power Consumption

 

Calibrating an Android phone with Root Access

 

Battery Calibration for Rooted Devices

 

Although deleting the BatteryStats.bin file resets battery usage data, it doesn’t increase battery life. Here’s how you go about it.

 

  1. Shut down your device and charge it till it says 100%.
  2. Pull out the charger and turn the device on. If it’s still not 100%, switch it off and continue charging.
  3. Once your device shows 100% charge when unplugged, you’re ready to proceed.
  4. Download and install the Battery Calibration App

 

Running the Battery Calibration App

 

  1. Before calibrating, make sure the device is 100% charged.
  2. Leave the device plugged in and then hit the Battery Calibration button.
  3. Once the calibration is done, unplug the device and let the battery fall flat to 0 percent.
  4. Once it goes off, bring it back up to full charge while the phone is still switched off.

 

This should complete the recalibration process for you.

 

Calibrating an Android phone without Root Access

 

  1. Leave your phone on until it automatically shuts down.
  2. With the phone still switched off, plug in the charger and bring the battery back up to 100%
  3. Unplug your phone and allow the battery to drain completely.
  4. Now plug your charger back in and fully charge your battery once again. The phone should be recalibrated at this point.

 

There’s no need to recalibrate your device every few weeks. It should ideally be done once every 2 or 3 months.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/why-calibrate-the-battery-of-your-android-device Sun, 11 Sep 2016 10:34:00 +0200
<![CDATA[5 Features Coming To The Android System In The Future]]> Every time Google releases a new version of its Android operating system, there is a lot of speculation as to what it will introduce. Because Google is such a big figure in the tech world, what it does tends to lead the way for a whole raft of other smaller companies.

We have recently started getting some bits and pieces of information about Android N, Google's upcoming OS update which has yet to be named and is expected to appear in 2017. It is worth bearing in mind that this is a very early version of the OS that has been released to developers, so it could and most probably will change significantly before its final release. It is however still fascinating to use these scraps of information to speculate on the future of Android. So what are these supposed new developments, and what does it mean for the future of Android?

 

Android may be leaning towards becoming a hybrid system

In case you haven't heard the term yet, a hybrid system is one that is uniform across different kinds of devices, i.e. mobile, tablet and desktop. Currently, the best example of this is Windows 10. In Android's case this would probably take the form of a merger with the Chrome OS that Google developed for the Chromebook series of laptops.

The big reason people think Android could be headed in that direction is that Android N makes split-screen views possible, which is a feature more often associated with desktops rather than with mobile devices. This can work in either a top-bottom or a left-right split-screen configuration. This feature has been present in some Samsung models in the past but it is the first time we are seeing it built into Android. Of course, a small screen size means that this feature won't be overly useful on mobile phones, so it will most likely be aimed at tablets and phablets.

On the other hand, Google has explicitly said that it is not interested in pursuing a hybrid system. Having said that, anyone can change their mind.

If they do decide to start heading towards a hybrid system, we will likely see more features shared between Chrome OS and Android.

 

Stand by for a VR revolution

Google released Cardboard in 2014 to help spread the usage of VR by making it easier for people to integrate and work with. There are also rumours that Google is developing a VR headset to compete with the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets, plus it’s also recently added VR and 360-degree video support to some of its YouTube videos. Now, there are also signs that Android N will be optimised to support VR. All of these indications suggest that Google expects VR to be big over the coming years and wants to get there first.

VR apps are growing in popularity

 

Easy-on-the-eyes screen lighting

Although third-party apps have granted users the ability to alter the colour of their screens backlight for some time now, it seems like this functionality will soon be implemented into Android. People use this to avoid straining their eyes after dark by using a screen with reddish light rather than blue light.

Lots of apps can adjust screen lighting

 

Grouped notifications

Android N will start grouping notifications. Instead of having 25 notifications from Facebook, the new OS will combine this into just one that can then be expanded for more detail.

Android N will change the way notifications work

 

Better battery life

Battery life is one of the most common grumbles of smartphone users. Android N has a Battery Saver feature, which can be turned on in the Notifications drawer by touching the battery symbol.

The new Battery Saver feature will be a big hit for many

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-features-coming-to-the-android-system-in-the-future Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:29:00 +0200
<![CDATA[5 Signs Indicating Your Router Is Failing]]> 1.- Slow Internet connection

This is one the most common complaints. If you’ve been witnessing slow data speeds for a couple of days, it might be an indicator of things to come. This first thing to do is to download an app like WiFi Patrol that allows you to monitor the speed of your Internet connection. You’ll also get to view past Internet connection speeds to know whether the speed is coming back up or slowing down even further. If you get on the phone with your Internet service provider and they tell you there’s no problem on their end, you will most likely have to replace your router.

Connecting a Network Cable to a Port

2.- High drop-outs

A faulty router will frequently interrupt service. You’ll notice that your devices keep losing Internet connectivity, even when the connection settings are correctly programed. Try resetting the router and calling your provider to re-configure the router. If nothing helps, you know you’ve got an outdated router that needs replacing.

3.- Router fails to connect

If all your cables are plugged in correctly and you still can’t connect to the Internet, you’ll have to find out whether it’s the router, the modem, the computer or the network provider’s fault. To do this in one easy step, connect the modem to the computer with an Ethernet cable. If the connection works fine this time around, it was the router that was stopping you from connecting to the Internet.

If you still can’t connect, you have to test the modem. If the modem is faulty, you’ll probably see flashing orange lights. Unplug the modem and plug it back in to see whether it resolves the issue. You could also reset the modem to its default factory settings to see if that helps. The modem will take a few minutes to reconnect to the service provider. If you don’t have a separate modem and router, you can ignore this step.

Sometimes, it’s not the modem or router that’s faulty, it’s a computer software issue. Run your anti-virus scan on your computer to find out if your device has been hit by a virus or malware. If it all looks good, install another Browser and use it to connect to the Internet. No luck yet? Call your service provider.

4.- Router lights indicate a problem

Routers have a set of lights that indicate the type of problem present. D-Link routers for instance have a power light that’s supposed to be a solid green when connected to a power source. The Internet light is also meant to be either a solid green or a flashing green. If it’s a solid orange, it means the router can’t connect to the Internet. If this is the case, go to your network settings on your computer and reset the Internet’s settings to default settings. You’ll find this under the Advanced tab in the Internet Options menu. If this doesn’t help, find out if there’s an issue on the service provider’s end.

5.- Router acts flaky

If the connection is sometimes good and sometimes bad, you might have to update your router’s firmware. Outdated firmware could prevent your router from offering you a steady Internet connection. To address this problem, visit the manufacturer’s website and download the most current firmware available. It should fix bugs and security issues if there are any.

Sometimes it helps to use another computer to connect to the Internet to see if it’s your computer that’s really causing the problem. If you’ve managed to rule out everything else and the problem still persists, you know you and your router have to sadly part ways

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/5-signs-indicating-your-router-is-failing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 12:49:00 +0200
<![CDATA[How to Choose a Safe Password for My Wi-Fi]]> How to Choose a Safe Password for My Wi-Fi

If you don’t use a secure Wi-Fi network from your Android device, you will leave your phone vulnerable to security issues. Thieves will have easy access to your passwords, bank statements and RFID credit card data. What’s worse is that hackers generally look for open Wi-Fi signals to carry out illegal operations. To protect yourself from security threats, there are a few things you ought to do.

Setting up a Wi-Fi password

One of the first things you could do is to setup a strong Wi-Fi hotspot password. Wi-Fi hotspot allows other devices within a certain range to connect to your phone’s data connection network. So if you have 3G or 4G on your phone for example, you could turn on your hotspot so that your laptop could connect to it. You could use it to browse the Internet in places where there’s no Internet connectivity. To prevent other devices from connecting to your network, you must secure your hotspot with a password.

Steps to setup your hotspot password on Android

1.- Go to your Settings and click on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering

Setting Up Mobile Hotspot

2.- Choose Mobile Hotspot and turn it On

Select Mobile Hotspot

Turning On Mobile Hotspot

3.- Choose the Password option to select/change your password.

Entering your Hotspot password

4.- Enter a strong password that’s at least 8 characters long and click on Save.

Once you complete this step, you have successfully secured your Wi-Fi hotspot network. If you want to connect to this network from your laptop, click on the networks icon on the taskbar and look for the AndroidAP network. Enter the password you have selected for your Wi-Fi network and hit Next.

Selecting a strong password

You could create a fun password that’s easy to remember by keeping a few tips in mind. First, look at the minimum character requirement and select words or phrases that meet the minimum requirement. Next, make them obscure. Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuations to make the password strong.

For instance instead of using the words Oranges&Lemons, you could instead type ()r@nGZ$LmNZ. But remember, simply replacing the zero’s with O’s and i’s with the number 1 doesn’t always help these days. Hackers are already well aware of these common variations.

Password ideas

Another thing you could do it to misspell words or phrases. For example, instead of Bright Shining Star, you could create a password like Br8$hyNyNg$t@h. Do you have any favourite quotes from famous authors? It could be a line from a poem or a phrase taken from a book. It could even be a verse from the Bible. Whatever you pick, use only the first letter of every word and replace some letters with numbers or symbols so they make no sense to the reader. You should be able to phonetically pronounce the password but it should ideally be something that’s hard to decode.

Examples:

Now I’m Flying to the Moon and Back= NIFTTMAB=N!fttM@b

I’ll Have My Cake And Eat It Too=IHMCAEIT=!Hm(@E!T

Protecting Your Phone on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Have you ever used a free Wi-Fi network at a public place like the airport or the mall, maybe even a coffee shop? We all have. While it’s great to be able to connect to the Internet for free, it doesn’t come without drawbacks. Hackers are drawn to these free networks because they give them easy access to all your information. All they do is setup a login page that looks similar to the free Wi-Fi login page you’ll see at the airport or a coffee shop. The pages look so identical, that you won’t be able to tell the difference. Once you’re logged in, the hacker has instant access to your phonebook, mailbox, photos and bank accounts.

And it doesn’t stop there. After you login to the fraudulent network, you may be asked to update your device in order to browse the Internet. Once you update the phone, an app is automatically installed. This app continually records and transfers information from your phone to the hacker’s device, whether you’re still using the free Wi-Fi network or not.  Sound scary? Here’s what you can do.

Tips for users

  1. Avoid using free Wi-Fi networks when possible. There are several legitimate networks available. It’s hard however to distinguish the good ones from the bad.
  2. Setup a VPN service on your phone. The VPN encrypts everything you browse on a free Wi-Fi network. You could download third-party apps to secure your phone with VPN encryption. You could also use Android’s integrated VPN support to connect to a VPN server.
  3. If you’re using a free Wi-Fi network without VPN encryption, don’t use your phone to make any financial transactions.

Speaking of Wi-Fi, if you’re ever caught wondering how fast your Wi-Fi network really is, check out the latest WiFi Patrol app released by Softonic. It lets you check your speed with one simple click. Go ahead and download this app if you want to monitor and control your Wi-Fi speed.

 

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-safe-password-for-my-wi-fi Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:28:00 +0200
<![CDATA[How To Fix The “Google Play Services Has Stopped” Error]]> If you're getting the very annoying “Google Play Services has stopped” error message, there are a few things you can try to fix it. As it is often unclear what has caused this error message, it's best to try each method until something works. Thankfully none of them are very complicated.

 

Method 1: Turn it off and on again

I know, I know. It's a cliché and you've probably already tried, but just in case you haven't, turn your Android phone off and then on again. It could be the solution to the problem and is the easiest method when trying to fix the Google Play Services error.

 

Method 2: Update Google Play Services

Updating Google Play Services should fix that pesky “Google Play Services has stopped” error. It may be that an older version of Google Play Services is causing a conflict if you have a newer version of Android installed on your device. If you already have the latest version try uninstalling and reinstalling it anyway. You can download Google Play Services here.

 

Method 3: Alternatively, remove Google Play Services updates

Open up Settings and then go to Apps. From the list, select Google Play Services. This will show you a lot of information about the application, but what you need is the button that says Uninstall updates. Tap on that, and then restart your device.

 

Method 4: Clear the Google Play Services cache

To delete the Google Play Services cache, go to your device's Settings menu and look for Apps. Select that and then tap on Google Play Services. Tap on Force stop, and then on Clear cache. Lastly, restart your phone.

Clearing Google Play Services' cache could fix the error

 

Method 5: Clear the Google Services Framework cache

Repeat the steps from method 3, but this, time do it for the Google Services Framework app instead.

 

Method 6: Remove and re-add your Google account

Open up Settings and then Accounts & sync. Select Google from the list and tap on the one you use for the Play Store. Tapping on your email address will bring up a new menu. At this point, if you tap on the 3 dots at the top right of the screen you should see the option Remove account. Select that and then confirm it.

Remove your Google account by going to 'Account settings'

 

Now you will need to re-add your account. Go back to the Accounts menu and tap on the plus symbol to add an account. Select Google Account and follow the steps to re-add your Google account.

Re-adding a Google account

 

Method 7: Reset application preferences

As in the first method, you need to go to Settings and then Apps. On the screen listing all of your apps, tap on the 3 dots at the top right of the screen. In the new menu that appears, tap Reset app preferences. Now restart your phone to allow the changes to take effect.

Try resetting app preferences to fix Google Play Services

 

Method 8: Try a factory reset

As a factory reset (also known as a hard reset) will wipe your phone, it is best to use this your last option. Because everything on your phone will be wiped, you should create a back up before you start.

Performing a factory reset varies depending on your device (usually a combination of the power and volume buttons), so it's best to do a quick search for some instructions specific to the device you are using.

Hopefully one of these methods will have done the trick in fixing your Google Play Services error so that you can now continue using your Android device as normal.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-fix-the-google-play-services-has-stopped-error Mon, 29 Aug 2016 11:58:00 +0200
<![CDATA[Why You Should Download Utility Apps To Your Android Phone]]> When you get a new mobile phone, what are the first apps you want to download? For most people, the list probably includes games, social media apps or their favourite websites' apps. You know, the fun stuff.

What probably doesn’t rank very high on that hypothetical list are utility apps. But perhaps they should be. While they’re not glamorous, these apps do exist for a reason. They do things that are either useful on a daily basis or can come in very useful in certain situations.

Here are some of the different kinds of utility apps out there and why they can be useful.

Anti-virus apps

This should definitely be one of the first things you download on a new device. Unfortunately, there are lots of unscrupulous people out there who are just looking for a chance to infect and take control of your device to steal your data. Apps like Security Warrior have lots of features that will help to protect your smartphone. These apps scan your device for potentially dangerous software and alert you if they find anything suspicious.

Anti-theft apps

Sometimes these are separate apps, but they often come rolled in with anti-virus apps like Security Warrior. While they’re not useful on a day-to-day basis, these apps become vital in certain unwelcome situations. They won't magically bring your device back to you if you lose it or someone steals it, but they will help you locate it by finding it on a map or sounding an alarm.


Anti-theft apps can remotely sound an alarm on your device

They can also lock the phone remotely, or wipe it if you want to stop the thief getting their hands on your information.


Anti-theft features can be activated by SMS

Language and translation apps

Whether you’re learning a new language or are just trying to get by in another country, there are a whole lot of apps available that will be able to help you. Most of these are free options, starting with Google Translate or Duolingo, but there are also paid apps which offer a greater range of features. Dictionaries, translators and learning software are all available.

Apps to speed up your phone

Unlike performance-enhancing drugs, performance-enhancing apps are both acceptable and encouraged. One of the best things you can do is to download an app that will help your phone to run faster. The most common way to do this is by using an app, such as Turbo Booster, to clean up your device. These apps will look through your device for all the unnecessary files and software that are slowing it down. Deleting these will speed up your phone.


Speed up your phone by deleting junk files

Apps to help you launch your other apps faster

The longer you have your Android and the more apps you install, the harder it can be to find the one you want to use. Luckily there are also utility apps to help with this situation. There are lots of apps out there which organise other apps, making it easier to quickly open the one you actually want. For example, Quick Drawer lets you view apps either alphabetically, by most recently used or by most frequently used.


Organise your apps with Quick Drawer

Apps to help you find things

There are various apps that have been developed to help you find things. Some apps help you to find the nearest toilet. Some apps help you find a cash machine. Some apps help you find the best petrol prices. There are apps to help you find love, restaurants and more If there is anything you want to find, there is probably an app for it.

These are just a few of the many, many examples of why you should install some utility apps on your Android. The possibilities are virtually endless, so have a look through the Play Store today and see what you can find.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/why-you-should-download-utility-apps-to-your-android-phone Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:44:00 +0200
<![CDATA[Best Gadgets on the Market to Charge Your Battery]]>  

Best gadgets to charge your battery

Charging Smartphone with a Compact Charger

1.- Anker PowerCore+ Mini Portable Charger

If you want power in the palm of your hand, you can’t go wrong with the lipstick-sized Anker mini charger. It features a unique amp-adjustment technology that reads your device and delivers high-speed charge. The Anker PowerCore+ Mini has a 3350mAh battery capacity. It has high-density cells that are more powerful than some of the best-known brands on the market. This charger is compatible with all Android and Apple devices. Since the battery’s capacity is less than 27027mAh, it’s airplane safe as well.

2.- Swiss Mobility Powerpack 2800

This is a compact charger that comes with a safety light. It has a 2800mAh capacity and it comes pre-charged.  It’s compatible with Android and iOS. You can use it to charge your smartphones, cameras and tablets.

3.- Brown Dog Gadgets Folding Solar Panels

Although higher in cost, the folding solar panels are durable powerbanks that charge starving tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices. The 20W folding solar panel is lightweight and waterproof. You can attach it to your bag when you hike or simply secure it to your tent to recharge. The company has a range of solar powerbanks. They work on lithium polymer or lithium ion batteries. Depending on the one you choose, you could charge you smartphone either once or thrice.

Smartphone Charging Through a Powerbank

4.- Jaycar USB Powerbank

If you’re looking for a cheap and simple charger, consider buying the Jaycar USB Powerbank 2600. It’s strong enough to power your phone up to 100%. This charger is only designed for top-ups, not full recharges. So if you think your battery might need a helping hand every now and then, this is the one for you.

If you want something with slightly higher capacity, look at the 5000mAh portable power bank by Jaycar Electronics. It has 2 built-in USB ports and it can power up both Smartphones and tablets on the go.

5.- PowerBee Executive Solar Phone Charger

This is one solar powered charger that won’t give you any trouble. It has an 8000mAh rechargeable battery and it features a Grade A polycrystalline solar panel. The polymer-lithium battery is efficient and lasts long. The charger looks like a phone and it’s compatible with all phone makes and models.

6.- Kogan Ultra Slim Powerbank Portable

The Kogan Ultra Slim Powerbank is only 7.7mm thick. It has a 4500mAh battery that charges your device 1.5 times. It features 4 LED indicator lights that tell you when it’s time for a recharge. It works on all iPhone and Android devices and it comes with connector tips.

7.- Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger

The Goal Zero Flip 20 is a compact-sized powerbank with a battery capacity of 5200mAh. It has a unique 1.5A input so you can charge it within 3 hours through a socket in the wall or a car charger. Use it to charge numerous electronic devices like smartphones, mp3 players and USB devices. Since it weighs only 130 grams, you can take it along when you travel.

There are several other chargers available on the market. But beware: not all of them offer you the charge they promise. When you’re looking around for external chargers, keep 3 things in mind. Look for chargers that are lightweight, compact and supercharged. This should help you narrow down your choice.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/best-gadgets-on-the-market-to-charge-your-battery Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:39:00 +0200
<![CDATA[How To Backup And Restore Contacts On Android]]> The great thing about today’s mobile phones is the way they enable us to keep in touch with the people we care about, which is why losing your contacts can be a big spanner in the works. To avoid this nightmare of a situation, you should make regular backups of your SIM card contacts.

Having a backup is also useful if you switch phones. A backup allows you to quickly and easily transfer all of your old contacts to your new phone, instead of entering each one manually. Thank your lucky stars we’ve move past the days when a new phone required you to type in each contact individually!

Thankfully nowadays it’s not only possible, but also very easy to make a backup of your Android contacts by using your Google account.

Create a SIM card backup with your Google account

Method 1: Importing via the People app

First you will need to import your SIM card contacts. This is easily done by going to the People app (called Contacts on some handsets), then tapping on the menu button (the three dots in the top right corner) and then on Manage contacts. Now you should see be able to see the option Import/Export contacts - tap on this.

The Android contacts menu

The Android 'Manage contacts' menu

In the next menu, tap Import from SIM card to copy all the contacts currently stored on your Android phone’s SIM card. Your phone will ask you which account to copy the contacts to. If you have signed into one or more Google accounts on your phone already, you can choose from those, otherwise you can sign into a new Google account.

Import contacts from your SIM card to a Google account

Tap the account you want to use and you will see the message Reading from SIM card. After this message, all of your contacts will have been backed up to the account you’ve chosen.

 Method 2: Automatically syncing your contacts to your Google account

Open up your phone’s Settings menu and then tap on Accounts & sync. Once you have done this select the option to Auto sync.

You will see a list of options for backing up your phone. Tap Google and then on the account you want to use to create your backup. You will then see a list of options for your back up. Tick the box next to Contacts to make sure that they’re included in your automatic backups.

Make sure your contacts are backed up automatically

Restoring your contacts from a Google account backup

It’s also really easy to restore contacts that have been backed up to your Google account. As with backing up your Android contacts, you’ll need to start by opening the People app and tapping on the three-dot icon in the top right. After you’ve done this, tap Manage contacts and then Copy contacts. Your phone will ask you where it should copy the contacts from, and also tell you how many contacts are stored in each location.

Select the Google account that you used for your backup. Next, your Android device will ask you where you would like to copy the contacts to - this time you need to choose Phone. Now your contacts will be copied from your Google account onto your phone.

As a final note, it’s a good idea to use Wi-Fi for both backing up and restoring your contacts, otherwise you run the risk of using up your data plan and possibly incurring extra charges from your service provider.

As you can see, it’s really simple to make sure that your Android contacts are backed up. This is sure to spare you from the heartache of losing an important phone number or email address. On top of this, it’s really easy to transfer all of your contacts over to a new Android device.

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https://maxwell.en.softonic.com/blog/how-to-backup-and-restore-contacts-on-android Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:42:00 +0200