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How to speed up and tweak Chrome browser

Chrome is already a fast and an efficient browser on mobile devices. But if you wish to make it even faster, try these features.

When it comes to choosing a browser for your android device, chrome is a no-brainer. Here are a few tips to make your experience even better:

Preload webpages
Chrome can help you render webpages faster by preloading them for you. It predicts which page you are going to visit and preloads it automatically in the background. This is a good feature to put to use when you are on Wi-Fi which helps pages load instantly when you click on them. To enable this, you need to go to Chrome -> Settings -> (Advanced) Bandwidth management. Then you can select the option to enable/disable it or partially enable it (on Wi-Fi only).

Note that you might want to consider the large amount of data this feature will be using when enabled. So choose your option wisely.

Make pages load faster
Chrome claims to reduce data usage of your device by up to 50% when you enable this feature. This option basically uses Google’s servers to compress images and includes some other optimizations for web page that you request and then delivers them to your device.

Note that:

  • This doesn’t happen to pages that have requested HTTPS versions of websites, neither does it affect the tabs open in incognito mode.
  • You should not use this feature if you are a privacy freak, since an intermediate server is involved. Though it is Google, but it all depends on what you need versus what you trust.

     

     

    To enable it, you can go to Chrome -> Settings -> (Advanced) Reduce Data Usage. Once enabled, you can revisit this page to see a statistical view of the data you saved in the past 30 days

Who doesn’t want more speed?

  • Yes, chrome is the fastest browser amongst all existent ones, but why not tweak it just a bit more to make it even faster? Well we can fix the lagging Chrome at the very least to make it a better experience.

  • Here’s what to do:

You need to enter the flags section of the browser, (chrome://flags) and herein find the “maximum tiles for interest area” flag and from the dropdown menu, change its value to 512 and re-launch the browser. The change is not tremendous, but it is noticeable to say the least.

It is worthy to note here that the 512 here makes Chrome take more RAM and forces Android to allocate more memory. And if you’re on a low-end device, this might mean that Android forces other idle apps to force-close more aggressively. If you don’t want so, you could choose a smaller number like 256 or experiment yourself whichever number suits your needs.

NOTE: Flags is an experimental feature and if you don’t see any improvements, switch back to default behavior. Also, it goes without saying; play with these at your own risk.

Some other features that make browsing on Chrome faster and more accessible:

1. Make web pages accessible offline

Many times when you are traveling and you don't have an internet connection while you’re on the move or enter a zone with no connection. This tweak will allow you to view the page even if you don’t have network, provided you’ve opened the page at least once before. Basically you’ll see a cached version of the webpage.

Note that this will store the webpages on your device in the cache which will eventually take up space on your phone, so you might think once before enabling this.

To enable it, open a new tab, type in chrome://flags in the address bar and press go. In the long list that turns up, search for an option called "Enable offline cache mode." Tap on 'Enable' next to it and restart your chrome for the changes to take effect. You can similarly disable it whenever you need to.

2. Gestures
While Google does not advertise or give a comprehensive walkthrough of how to use all the features that its Chrome browser gives but it is most likely that you would have discovered most of the gesture controls by now. If you swipe from the edges towards the center of the screen, you can move in between the tabs that are open on the device.

Also, if you do so on tabs in tab mode (when you press open new tab, and the open tabs are present in a cascade form, one behind the other), you can swipe on a tab to close it.

1. Sync with tablet/PC

Here's another feature of Chrome that many people do not use this feature to its full extent. You can sync your tabs across multiple devices with ease. Note that your tabs are synced, and not webpages. What is the difference? You ask. Well, your complete tab history is synced, so if you press the back button on your mobile device it will take you to the last page visited on the desktop if the tab was synced via desktop. Also, all your bookmarks and Omnibox suggestions are synced across all devices as well.

Also the “send-to”, which is a little less-known feature, is quite a helpful one. Using it, you can send webpages from your tablet/PC to your android mobile with just a click. And then later, you can read it on the go, even if you are not connected to the internet.

2. Bookmarks bar

I am a person who loves my chrome desktop bookmarks as icon only, hence making them more visual. 

So naturally, I wanted this on my android too, since accessing sites with a touch is far better than typing a URL or a keyword every time. Sadly, we do not have a bookmarks bar built inside chrome for Android. The good news is that you can have a similar set up on your device’s home screen, which is even better in my opinion. Here are a few sites I arranged on my home screen:

Clicking on any of the icons opens the website straight off without the need to open Chrome first and going to the bookmarks section and then tapping on the bookmark icon, or typing in the URL for that matter. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open bookmarks on your chrome (the star sign towards the right on the address bar).
  2. Tap the bookmark and hold it for a few seconds.
  3. From the menu that pops up, you can select “Add to home screen”.
  4. And you are done. You can repeat these steps for your favorite websites and then arrange them on your home screen in a row or into a folder or as you wish.
  5. Zoom into pages of every website


Many webmasters decide to have a mobile specific view which prevents you from zooming in or out of the webpage which, sometimes, is very irritating. You can override this demand of the website and let yourself decide if you want stuff bigger or smaller. For this, go to the Accessibility section in your Chrome’s settings and check the “Force enable zoom” option to enable it and zoom wherever you want, whenever you want and on whichever site you want even if the page is not technically supporting it.

 

 

 

 

How to shoot better rain pictures

 

As beautiful as monsoon is, it can often limit photographers. If you have tried taking pictures while shielding your phone from rain and spray, then you know what I’m talking about. And then you can’t even step outside and you are stuck with taking boring pictures through the window. But fret not, grab a raincoat because here are 5 amazing ways to take better photos in rain.

 

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Watch for the raindrops on the windows: Forget your Instagram filters and take photos through the raindrops on a glass window. This makes any scene look pretty – cityscape, greenery or people. You can also alternate between focusing on the waterdrops and the subject behind the window.

 

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Abstracts: When it is raining heavily, the images often get distorted. This can give a painting-like feel to your photos. You can also use wet and metallic surfaces to take these photos. Just keep an open mind and don’t try too hard to capture the real appearance of the subject but rather how it looks distorted.

 

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Umbrellas are beautiful: The roads will be full of people walking around with umbrellas in monsoon. So, go out in the balcony or any other roofed area and take pictures of the colourful umbrellas. This, contrasted with darker surroundings, would create a very professional picture. Try higher altitudes for this shot.

 

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Those puddles are amazing: Small puddles with water give perfect reflections. Use these reflections along with the moving vehicles, people, and buildings to create an interesting perspective. Do not stop yourself from going a little low for the best angle.

How to post 360-degree photos on Facebook

We’ve been seeing 360-degree photos and videos all around us lately. The format allows you to share breath-taking views of your surroundings and the new places you travel to. So how does one upload a 360-degree photo on Facebook? Read on

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What do you need: You can easily take a 360 degree photo from your android phone through a myriad of apps offered by the Google Playstore. One of the easiest to use is the Google Street View  

 

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Taking the picture: Pick a spot in the centre of the area you want to capture. Open the app and guide the camera interface over the orange dots on the screen until the entire area is covered. Once done, confirm by hitting the stop button at the bottom.

 

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Editing: If you want to change the starting point of the photo, you can edit that on a computer while uploading it. Click on the wireframe icon and then select the paintbrush. Now drag the photo to bring it to the section you want it to start from and save it.

You may need to do it a few times before you have that perfect 360-degree photo, but keep trying, and you’ll get it. So, go ahead try it with your phone.

How to keep kids entertained this summer

Summers are here and kids are going to be home for vacations. Given the hot weather outside, you try to stay indoors as much as possible. But it can be quite a task for you to keep the kids involved. And not just that, you also want them to learn and spend their time productively. So, here are some fun activities that will keep you kids entertained and engaged this summer.

 

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Read books: There are so many amazing stories and books for kids that they’ll definitely love and enjoy. You can read it to them if they are too  young or you can encourage them to read it and act it out. What else? You can download e-books for free or at a fraction of the price on your phone.

 

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Indoor treasure hunt: Gather up toys and treats and hide them around the house. You can also add some clues for the older kids. Once everything is in place, ask them to find as many hidden treasures as possible. You can play appropriate music to make it more interesting.

 

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Learn a new language: Learning a new language is not only fun but also very beneficial for a child’s mental development. Being multi-lingual would also help them later in life. So, why not join a language course with them or start learning at home with hundreds of apps available on Play Store.

 

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Photography: Taking photos is the best way to capture memories. You can encourage your kids to take photos throughout the summer break. By the end of it you can help them make a scrapbook out of the photos. A smartphone with good camera could be a good way to start.

 

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Home theatre: You can arrange movie screenings at home for the kids and even invite their friends. Prepare popcorn and other snacks, and your home theatre is ready. Nothing beats movies and snacks on a hot summer day.  

So, why spend boring summer days complaining about the heat outside when there is so much to do indoors??

Need to finish work on the go? Your Android phone will let you do that

Have you ever stood in a corner of the metro, awkwardly holding your laptop because you need to finish an important presentation before you reach your office at any cost? I’m sure you have. But why wait to get to office when the office can come to your phone? Whether you just need to refer a document or edit one, your android phone will let you do all. Let us tell you how you can work on the go with your phone.

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Office on phone:
From just reading and writing emails to creating documents, presentations through apps such as
Microsoft Office Mobile, your phone can do it all. You can even execute complex Excel tasks through the mobile app. If there’s an important video conference you need to be a part of, you can do that too through your phone. Though make sure you find a quieter corner.

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Access anywhere:
With cloud storage and its integration in various apps, you don’t have to worry about switching between devices. You can start a project on your computer and then continue it on your phone. Every change you make is stored on the cloud in real-time and can be accessed on all platforms. So, no worries of duplication.

Use USB

Use USB:
But what if you are carrying some important files in a USB drive? You’ll need a laptop for that, right? Nope! Through OTG cable, you can access the files in your pendrive or external hard disk on your smartphone itself. You can also transfer your documents, presentations etc. from the phone to the USB, so when you reach office, all you have to do is plug and continue.

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Multitask:
You might think that the computer has an advantage that the internet speed is not affected when you’re on call, right?  Well, if your phone supports VoLTE, you can do that on the go too. Whether you have to access files on cloud or need to Google something urgently while on a call, one would not hamper the other.

 

With newer and better mobile technology coming to market, handling almost any task that was traditionally performed on computer can be done on your phone now. As Android smartphones are becoming smarter and smarter, you can use it as a mini desktop with all the apps available.

Learn How to Get That Perfect Shot in Low Light

Imagine you’re out for a romantic late night dinner. Or, more likely, you’re out for a post-midnight drive around town with friends. The moon is gorgeous, falling just right on all your faces. The mood is alive. The scene is set… the urge to take a picture is growing stronger. And then, you give in. The camera clicks but the result is an utter disappointment.

If your photo is full of images like this, it’s time that you took a crash course in low light photography.

1. Stabilise your shot- The camera shutter needs to stay open for longer to get enough light, so a moving camera can ruin your picture. Try to keep your camera steady when you’re taking a picture in low light. Take support or use a tripod if you can.

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2.Adjust your settings – White balance and focusing becomes even more important when the surrounding is dark. So, make sure you click on the subject you want focus on before taking the picture. You can also manually change the ISO and shutter speed. And don’t worry if you’re new to it, just play around with the settings and see what works best.

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3. Do NOT zoom – If you feel you’re too far away, get a little closer to the subject, but try to avoid using the digital zoom option in your phone. In most cases, this is almost the same as cropping it afterwards. Advanced smartphones with optical zoom can help you get a high-quality photograph that’ll fool anyone into thinking you were right there!

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4. Use the environment- As much as light is important for a good photo, you don’t want too much of it, and you don’t want it from the wrong angle. Try using natural lights such as car headlights or streetlights, rather than depending on your flash, which could be too harsh and too direct.

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5. Edit wisely- Desperate times call for desperate measures! When the light is bad, don’t shy away from using filters and editing your photograph. A tweak of brightness and contrast levels can make a huge difference. Several android phones also give you a raw image that has much more scope for processing but if your phone isn’t one of them, you can still reduce noisy shadows with handy editing apps.

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The next time you have a great late night, make sure you have the photos to prove it!

5 Ways in which your smartphone can make vacations hassle free

Did you know that your smartphone and travel are a match made in heaven? We tell you 5 ways in which your smartphone can make vacations amazing and hassle free.

 

1. Travel light – Don’t let the waist pouch full of travel docs cramp your style. With all your important documents saved in cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive, all you need to carry is your passport. Even payments can be made with apps such as Google wallet. ‚Äč

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2. Plan on the palm – Tickets – check. Aisle seats – Check. Hotel bookings, travel plan for the trip, sights to see, clubs to go – all done while still sitting on your couch with smartphone in hand. An app like Cleartrip can help you with deals, travel packages, bookings etc. while TripIt will consolidate all your travel plans into a simple itinerary.

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3. Multilingual you – Estas perdido? Apps such as Google Translate, Voice Translate Pro or SayHi Translate can not only translate text input but also spoken or written words and phrases from over a hundred languages. So, go on, soak in the local culture and find your way back by having your phone read sign posts for you.

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4. No more wrong turns – Who even carries maps and guide books anymore? With your GPS enabled phone, all your need is Google Maps and finding your way in another country will be as easy as doing it in Chandni Chowk. HERE WeGo, with its offline map, is a great option for detailed navigation without internet.

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5. Cheaper service – What’s the point of taking a million photos if roaming charges don’t let you upload them instantly? A smartphone with dual sim option is what you need. Pop in a sim from a local service provider in one slot and enjoy internet without any extra charges. And it’s not just for that; working internet is what you need to use all the other amazing things we've mentioned!

 

With everything taken care of by your phone, you can enjoy your holidays the way you were meant to. So, go on now, make some plans!