Weekend roundup: The best Android tips and tricks from last week (March 3 – March 9)

As we close out one week and kick off another, let’s take a moment to look back at the top tips and tricks from the past seven days [March 3 – March 9]. Some of the tips you may recall, some may be new to you, but all the “how-tos” below are worthy of a second mention.

NFC 101 : 4 uses of NFC connections

The first major Android device that was released with NFC — Near Field Communications — was the Nexus S with Android 2.3 Gingerbread back in 2011. The technology, however, took its own sweet time to become a commonplace in Android devices with major OEMs only adopting it by the end of 2012. While NFC still has not become mainstream, its usability in day-to-day life has definitely increased. In this article, we list down the three most important uses of NFC.

NFC 101: What is Android Beam and how do you use it?

If you are new to Android, chances are you don’t know about NFC and how useful it can actually be. Today, we help you in exploring Android Beam — a relatively unknown NFC feature baked into Android that makes sharing content across multiple Android devices extremely easy.

NFC 101: How to transfer any kind of file using NFC and Wi-Fi Direct

Yesterday, we explained to you what Android Beam is and how you can use it to easily share content between Android devices. However, the biggest limitation of the feature is that it only works for limited file types and content and the transfer process is actually done over Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi Direct. This means that transferring large videos will take a painstakingly long time.

NFC 101: What are NFC tags? Where to buy them and how to use them?

Up until now, we have educated our readers about what NFC is, its utility and how to use Android beam or SuperBeam to easily share files between devices. In this installment of NFC 101, we’d like to inform our readers about NFC tags, where you can buy them and how to write content to them.

NFC 101: How to automate tasks with NFC tags

In our last installment of NFC 101, we will teach our readers how to automate tasks using NFC tags and their Android device. The whole process is much easier than you would think and only requires you to have some NFC tags at your disposal.

6 Trends and lessons from Mobile World Congress 2014

Mobile World Congress came by and went away last week, and we finally have some time to sit down and look at it in hindsight without the rush of all the announcements and hands-on videos. Here are the six most notable things we have learned from the event.

3 Concerns I have about Android and iOS coming to our cars

We have known for a while that Apple and Google are both working on bringing their platforms to in-car solutions, but matters have gotten slightly clearer over the past couple of days. Apple unveiled its CarPlay system, and hints of the Open Automotive Alliance‘s first efforts have leaked under the potential name of “Google Projected Mode” . While this is all quite exciting and I am impatient to get my hands on smarter, better in-car systems, I just can’t help but feel some reservation about their potential.

LG G Flex Review

LG and Samsung have been showing off curved AMOLED displays in prototype form for the last couple of years. However, it is only now that the technology has matured enough for it to make into mainstream products from both companies. And while Samsung’s Galaxy Round is still more of a prototype with limited availability, LG has gone ahead and released its curved smartphone — the G Flex — in almost all the major markets of the world.

Mirror your Nexus 5′s screen to the Chromecast with this app

One of CyanogenMod’s team core members — Koushik Dutta — has long been teasing the ability to mirror the contents of your Android device to a TV using Google’s $35 HDMI steamer — Chromecast. Today, he has finally made the feature public, albeit in beta form, via his Mirror app.

Google hosting a sale on Play Store to celebrate its second anniversary
How to: use a Bluetooth keyboard to convert your phone to a mini-laptop

Time for niche thinking. Or old-school, depending on how you look at it. But now that our smartphones have decent sized screens/resolutions, surely it can’t just be me who fancies the idea of hooking up a really good Bluetooth keyboard and, for text-centric uses, achieving a mini-laptop look and feel? It turns out that hooking up and using such a keyboard is easy. Really easy.

How to prevent Android apps from auto starting on boot up

Unlike iOS and Windows Phone, Android offers true multi tasking allowing users to simultaneously run and use multiple apps at once. The negative side of this openness is that some poorly coded apps can continue to unnecessarily run in the background, thereby draining battery and wasting resources.

How to access the US Google Play from any country, no proxies or VPN necessary

So you live outside of the United States and Google Play is limited to just the Play Store for apps and games to you? Would you like to access Play Movies, Music, Books, and so on? There’s a trick for that, and you don’t need to use Proxies or VPN or any of those highly technical and highly annoying solutions. Here’s how to do it.

3 Reasons dual-booting Android and Windows Phone is pointless

In the world of computing, dual-booting has always been like a combo move in a game: you buy one PC and you run several operating systems on it. Linux, Windows and Mac, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and you could leverage each OS for a specific use case or family member. But in the world of personal smartphones, the story is a little bit different. Dual-booting just doesn’t make sense. Here’s why.

How to get App Ops back in Android 4.4.2

With Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google slipped out an internal testing feature — App Ops — that allows users to control permissions to various apps. It was widely expected that the company would be making the feature public with KitKat but instead, it removed all traces of it with the Android 4.4.2 update.