Tech Tips

How to turn off Facebook’s “Do you know so-and-so” (and other) notifications on Android

  1. Open the Facebook app
  2. Click on the hamburger button (displayed as ≡) near the top-right corner of screen
  3. Scroll down and tap on Account Settings > Notifications
  4. Under the “How You Get Notifications” section, select “Mobile”
  5. Tap on the notifications that you want to turn off
Tech Tips

How to hide notification for particular Android app?

When you run many background apps (e.g. GMD GestureControl, SwipePad: Hyperspace Launcher, HomeFlip, GYF Side Launcher) that add themselves to your ongoing notification panel, the list grows fast and soon it gets so long that it takes up precious screen estate, forcing you to scroll down whenever you want to check the real notifications from incoming messaging text, email, etc.

So, how can the apps be barred from adding themselves to the notification panel, thus also removing the icons that clutter up the top left corner of the screen?

Goto: System Settings > Applications Manager > Pick the app that you want to hide, then uncheck “Show notifications”

This feature is available on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for now.

Tech Tips

Why is my Android phone disallowing me from changing ringtone or notification sound?

OBSERVATION: It allows me to change it, but after a while, it’ll revert back to a particular ringtone, notification sound, or “Unknown ringtone”. No matter which sound I picked, be it from internal storage or SD, it’ll always revert back after a while. It’s like the ringtone is stuck!

SOLUTION: Some profile changing app that you’ve previously set up could be messing with the sound settings in the background, e.g. Llama, Tasker, etc. Check your triggers and actions for these apps, or just disable them completely for a while. See if the problem comes back. If not, bingo, you’ve found the culprit.

Tech Tips

App for storing private files securely on Android devices

Are you looking for a Truecrypt-like app to store confidential files on your Android phone using virtual folder/container so that you don’t have to tediously encrypt/decrypt individual file?

Check out the LUKS Manager by Nemesis][. It works very well for me. Need rooted phone though.

Tech Encounters Tech Tips

Some design considerations for tablet devices

I’ve got a chance to play with the old iPad and the newer Motorola Xoom. Here’s a list of some of my observations comparing the two in terms of hardware/form factor. It’s just a personal list and by no means comprehensive.

  1. iPad battery lasts longer when in sleep mode. Shorter battery life makes using the tablet tiring because I have to keep thinking about conserving the battery, e.g. by shutting it down but that means if I need to quickly google something, I’ll have to wait for it to power up first.
  2. iPad power button is on the top edge, while Xoom is at the back of the tablet, making it unreachable when it’s lying flat on the table. You are forced to leave it up when you want to access the button just to wake it from sleep mode, which is a very frequent action. This one gets on my nerves very quickly.
  3. iPad’s volume buttons are at the right edge and protruding high enough for ease of pressing. The Xoom’s are also by the side by it’s difficult to press because it’s too thin and flat.
  4. iPad’s speaker sounds a lot better than Xoom’s, at least to my untrained ears. Furthermore, iPad’s speaker is at the lower-right edge, i.e. it’s able to project the sound out to the front, especially if you hold it such that the body channels the sound upwards to your ears. The Xoom’s speakers are at the back! Why will anyone want to project the sound away from the user’s ears? It sounds a lot softer, feels further away and hollow!

So, in terms of design, iPad beats Xoom on many points. However, I’ll definitely prefer the open Android over Apple’s closed iOS. If any manufacturer can combine Apple’s design/hardware with Android without being hit by patent trolls, consumers will be very happy.

Do you know of any Android tablets with superb design?