How to read USB drives on your Nexus 7 without rooting

USB OTG: Does it really work on the Google Nexus 7? YES it does!  But before we go any further, just what does USB OTG stands for and how can it be useful for Nexus 7 owners? “USB On-The-Go is a specification that allows USB devices [such as the Nexus 7] to act as a host allowing other USB devices like a USB flash drive, [USB card readers], mouse or keyboard to be attached to them.” Source: Wikipedia Since the Google Nexus 7 doesn’t come standard with SD Card slots to expand their storage capacity, being able to plug in your flash drives or USB memory card readers is the next best thing to having every other thing you want to consume on your Nexus 7 without using the cloud. And you can do this without having to root your device. Think it can be useful for you? Ok here’s what you need to do: Get a USB OTG cable – You might want to read Calvin’s quest for that elusive cable. Install the Nexus Media Importer app from Google Play – make sure your device is compatible. Now once you have the cable and the app installed, simply plug the USB OTG cable onto your Nexus 7’s microUSB port and plug your USB Flash stick or memory card reader on the other end. The Nexus Media Importer app will prompt you to launch the app and BAM you now have access to your files on your disk. A shot of LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon at Legoland, CA A caveat: This app only lets you read/stream/copy files from your USB Flash drive or memory card onto your Nexus. Certain actions will require you to copy the files first to your Nexus such as uploading photos to Facebook or Instagram.  And other actions will require other apps such as watching movies in AVI format using a media player. Isn’t this neat?  I hope future updates will eventually allow writing functionality so we can truly...

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Run Android apps on your Mac with BlueStacks App Player

Chances are you’ve already heard of the nifty software called BlueStacks App Player before. No? Well BlueStacks App Player is used to run Android applications on your Windows PC – before. And recently, the company has launched an early alpha version of the software for Mac. Unlike the Windows version, BlueStacks for Mac only supports 17 Android apps for now such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Pulse and more. It is very similar to it’s Windows counterpart where you run the BlueStacks desktop client and from there, you can then launch Android apps or sync supported apps from your Android phone or tablet using its Cloud Connect feature. Note that most apps will run on their blown-up version like how they do on Android tablets. Functionality is very basic on this alpha version but apps run just fine. I don’t own a Mac so I’m unable to test it but here are some screenshots of the software. If you want to tinker and try running Android apps on your Mac, go ahead and check it out on their website. They have a Windows version too which has more apps available. Image credit: The Verge Related posts: No related...

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Send files directly over Facebook with Pipe

What do you do when you have to send a file to someone, say your colleagues at work? E-mail an attachment? Go to file-hosting sites and upload your file? Use services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, etc.? Or how about just sending it directly via Facebook? A start-up from Germany created a Facebook app called Pipe which is by far the most simple file transfer service I’ve ever tried. If you and your buddy have Facebook that is. Pipe is so simple to use that your 70-year old grandma can do it. What Pipe does is utilize your available bandwidth to directly create a peer-to-peer (p2p) connection with the person you’re sending the file to. It taps your online Facebook friends for your list of available recipient. You can send files as big as 1GB, depending on your browser’s available cache, there’s no download or upload speed limits and lastly, it’s free to use. Allow me to show you how it works. Once you open Pipe as a Facebook app (it should be on your left sidebar once you allow it to access your profile), it will ask you to select whom to send the file to. It will show your online friends in Facebook, pick one. If your friend also has Pipe on his/her Facebook, you will be presented a… well, a pipe. Just drop your file into the pipe to begin sending. Yes, it supports drag and drop. After a few seconds, a notification will appear on the screen of your Facebook friend asking whether to accept the file or not. Once they accept it, they will see the progress bar on the outer rim of the Pipe. Since this is a peer-to-peer connection, expect it to be as fast as your bandwidth can handle. After the transfer is done, your friend can now save the file to your computer. Just click the Save as… button. Hit Save and that’s it. It’s so simple and easy. You can send any file...

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How to disable Timeline View in Facebook

Mar 28, 12 How to disable Timeline View in Facebook

Posted by in Tech Tips/Quick Fix

Not everybody is happy with Facebook’s Timeline view and disabling it is one of the most wanted feature that a lot of people are clamoring for. But since it was a compulsory feature for Facebook users, there’s  really no choice but to use Timeline. Or is there? Several tweaks were made to revert Timeline to its old classic view but after the official roll out, it was kind of hard to go back to its original state. However, developers around the world will not stop until they find a “cure”. For a lot of FB users, classic view is still the best and as a semi-solution, TimelineRemove is an option. This browser-based extension is the answer FB purists are looking for. All you need to do is to install the extension, log out from your Facebook and log back in and you won’t see your Timeline again… at least in your own view. Your friends might see your wall as a Timeline, but in your own view, your wall and other people’s walls are reverted back to classic view. So it’s the perfect solution for those not wanting to see Timelines in Facebook while leaving others happy with their Timeline view. For Safari users, hang in there as the team is still finishing the magic for you. But for the users of IE, Chrome and Firefox, you guys can now go ahead and try it. This is how my wall looks like with the TimelineRemove extension applied. What’s nice here is that you can quickly disable this extension to revert back to viewing Timelines. Head to and download the extension for your browser to try it out. Related posts: No related...

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SkyyShop lets you have your own real Facebook shop for free

Nov 08, 11 SkyyShop lets you have your own real Facebook shop for free

Posted by in Enterprise, Tech News, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

A good number of Filipinos nowadays turn to the internet for extra source of income, one of which is selling goods online. And what’s the most easiest way to sell your stuff? Either post it on TipidPC, Sulit, Ebay.PH, or have your own online store. You can hire somebody to create your own store or look for free alternatives and the most popular is Multiply.  The problem with Multiply is that it’s cumbersome to create galleries and upload items and manage it. You can opt for the real storefront service from Multiply but that thing is not free. You want a real storefront because it’s easier for your potential customers to browse and transact and to be seen with other stores. Now have you heard of SkyyShop? It is a FREE Facebook application which you use on your Facebook page in order for it to have a real online shop. It’s very easy to set up and will give you a kick ass e-commerce solution with all the bells and whistles in no time. Keep track of your inventory? Check. Perform sitewide or category-wide discount? Check. FB alerts for orders? Check. Transaction history? Yep! Payment via Paypal? Sure can! Secure checkout? Check. And get this, if you already have a Multiply shop, you can easily import all your photos into your SkyyShop! You don’t have to be a whiz to have your own working online store. Since it’s also a Facebook app, we all know how Facebook rocks when it comes to promoting things. SkyyShop is tightly integrated with Facebook which allows your customers to easily share your store or each item you are selling, commenting is also possible for each items and is done via Facebook and you can even inform all your page/store fans of new items or announcements. So why is this thing free? There should be a catch. Well in a way there is but it’s totally optional. SkyyShop is being run by SkyyServices and they’re pushing their payment gateway called...

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Apple iOS 5 is out, so is the jailbreak for it

Oct 13, 11 Apple iOS 5 is out, so is the jailbreak for it

Posted by in Tech News, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

That was quick. Some people are still having problems updating to iOS 5 (Error 3200? Just keep trying) but the jailbreak for it is finally available, albeit a tethered one that is and only for Mac as of now. iPhone Dev Team just released Redsn0w 0.9.9b5 for Mac (Windows coming soon) which is a tethered jailbreak for iOS5. Do note that like the previous versions, it doesn’t work for the iPad 2 and won’t work for the upcoming iPhone 4S. If you don’t know what tethered jailbreak is, it means you have to redo the jailbreak whenever you power up or reboot your device. Despite reading this, you may not bother jailbreaking your iOS 5 yet because of the restrictions. However, it’s good to know that it’s already available and it’s just a matter of time before we see a proper untethered jailbreak for both Mac and Windows. Good job iPhone Dev Team. If you’re the adventurous type when it comes to your gadgets, head over to RedmondPie for instructions how to use Redsn0w for the iOS5. Additional reading: What’s new with the iOS5? Related posts: Apple’s iOS4 finally got jailbroken… the easy...

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Compare gadgets with Snapsort and Geekaphone

Here’s a couple of sites that I find really useful when I’m researching on gadgets that I want to purchase or simply for reference, only for cameras and phones that is. Snapsort is a site where you can check the specs of cameras. Point and shoots, DSLRs, EVILs, they have a huge database including new cameras such as the Nikon V1 and the Pentax Q. When you compare two cameras, it will give you a detailed summary of the advantages one over has the other as well as recommendations for alternatives. Really, really helpful! Geekaphone is a similar site but for mobile phones. What you would find of value here when comparing phones are the scores for each aspects such as processing power, battery life, camera, etc. Bear in mind that comparisons are automated so proprietary technology such as Sony’s Bravia Engine or Nokia’s ClearBlack screen are not accounted for. You can also browse the sites for cameras and phones based on your needs (type, size, display, etc.). Although it won’t give you an honest to goodness recommendation as opposed to reviews, these sites serve well for a quick, high-level comparison with an easy-to-understand layout. Now where’s the site for laptops and tablets?   Related posts: No related...

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How to connect your Galaxy Ace to a PC without Samsung Kies

One of the things that I like about Android smartphones is that you can easily connect it to your PC and use it as a storage device without installing any software. Not unlike iPhone which needs iTunes and WP7 phones that needs Zune. However, that’s not the case for the Samsung Galaxy Ace (at least ours). When you connect it to your PC via USB, it will detect there’s a device connected to it but it will stop there. There’s no notification on your device to turn it into a Storage Device unlike in Galaxy S. You need to install Samsung Kies (Samsung’s phone manager) in order to access your phone from your PC. This is one drawback of the Galaxy Ace. Other Android phones automatically install drivers to the PC once connected to enable Mass Storage mode but the Ace wants you to install the 60+MB Kies software that you probably won’t use afterwards (aside from updating). What if you want to connect it to a friend’s PC? Well Samsung has a way out for this one. The reason why it’s not recognizing your phone as a mass storage device is that it’s set to USB Debugging mode by default. Just go to Settings > Applications > Development and uncheck USB Debugging. Once that is done, when you connect your Galaxy Ace to your PC, you will get the screen to Turn On USB Storage. Related posts: Samsung Galaxy Ace rises above its...

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How to download MP3s directly to your Android device

One of the huge advantage of Android over iOS is that it does not rely on a media organizer app like iTunes. Just transfer your media files to your device or SD card and it will automatically use them for you. For non-OC people, this is a good thing. Since Android can automatically look for music stored in your device, this means that you can download MP3s from any source over the web (like your Dropbox) and it will appear into your music player immediately – with ID tags and album art if available. Here’s a simple guide on how you can use your Android device as an MP3 downloader so that you won’t need your PC anymore to put music onto it. 1. Go to Android Market on your device and download an MP3 downloader. There are lots but let’s try searching for “MP3 Music Download” and download the app with the exact same title. 2. Open it up and you’ll be presented with a simple UI. 3. Let’s click Search and look for a song. 4. You can preview the file first or download it. Now understand that these are public files so some may not be exactly the song that you’re looking for. Or it won’t have the bitrate that you want. 5. Once you click download, you will see it in your Android’s notification screen. The speed will depend on your connection and on which server it’s coming from so if it’s too slow for your taste, just choose another one. 6. When that’s done, go back to Library (see Step 2) and you’ll see the files you downloaded. You can choose to play it from within the app which also downloads the album art and the lyrics (if available) for you. It will also appear in your device’s native music player. 7. Another cool thing about this app is that if you don’t know what to download, it has some music charts to give you ideas on what to...

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How to manually install apps / games on your Android device

Sometimes, you just can’t find the apps or games you are looking for in the Android market. Problem with Android is that there are a lot of markets out there for apps/games unlike Apple which only has the App Store. Or maybe a friend has some games that he wants to share to you and instead of downloading them from the market which might take time, why not install (also known as sideloading) them directly? Here’s how you can install APKs (.apks are Android packages) on your Android device directly, bypassing the Market. Be warned though that there exists apps outside the market that would gain access to your private details. Before installing any apps, read the warning as to what phone data the app will be accessing before your decide to push through. 1. Make sure you allow apps from unknown sources to be installed. Go to Settings > Applications and check Unknown sources. 2. Transfer your .apk file to your SD card. You can simply connect it to your PC to copy the files. Or if the file’s not too big, send it to your Dropbox or E-mail and access it from your phone (if you do it this way, no need for step 3). 3. Since I copied a game onto my microSD, I need to access it from the phone. I downloaded a file manager (Astro) and browsed to my APK. Some phones like Samsung already have a built-in file explorer. If you have Documents to Go or any other apps that can open documents, you can also use that. 4. Found your APK? Good, just click it to open. 5. Read the warning. Everything looks kosher? Good? Go ahead and click Install. That’s it. Your app should appear on your phone ready to use. Feel free to delete the install file (.apk) from your SD card to save space. If you’re downloading APKs from untrusted sources, don’t be surprised if the app or game won’t run properly. That’s what...

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