How I made a Gtel perform like a Galaxy S5 in 15 minutes

If you have used a great number of phones, you will realise that Gtel phones have a tendency of slowing down with time!

This is caused by their internal memory filling up! In-fact any phone that has its internal memory filling up will slow down!

Looking at Gtels, or any other Chinese phones, you will notice that they come with 4gig internal memory! Of that 4 gig, 3Gig is already used up by the system!

To make matters worse, Gtel crams in non system apps that come preloaded as system apps!

You will find

  • Du battery booster
  • NetQuin Mobile security
  • WhatsApp
  • WeChat
  • Twitter
  • UCWeb Browser

All loaded as system apps! Well, what if you have no need for WeChat? Its sitting there and consuming valuable memory yet you will never use it! Besides the WhatsApp that comes preloaded is always expired and you will need to download a new one anyways!

So how do you make your phone perform better? You free up some memory!

Please Note: These are un-official methods and rooting your phone carries some dangers if you do not know what you are doing!

  1. Root Your Phone

Since this is not a rooting tutorial, we will skip this part. However, there is a rooting tutorial over at Techzim.

The tutorial works but I wouldn’t recommend it as Kingo Root method uploads user data to Chinese servers!

I recommend trying Mobogenie Root!

Rooting using this applications is very easy!

  1. Install ES File Explorer and Super User (SU)

Go to PlayStore and Install an App called SU (Super User). Also install ES File explorer if you do not already have it!

  1. Grant Super User to ES File Explorer

Go to settings in ES File Explorer and grant it Super User capabilities.

  1. Go to Apps

Go to App Management in ES File Explorer and Choose System apps! Chose obvious suspects like Wechat, DU Battery Booster etc!

Chose apps that you hardly or don’t use and unistall them!

A strong word of warning!

Do not go on an un-installing spree as if you delete true system apps, then your device will stop working! If you are not sure, live your phone alone and be content with a phone with low memory!

After un-installing the apps that you do not want that were disguised as system apps you will see your device performance boosting up and you will also have extra memory to install your other favourite apps!

I suggest you unroot your phone after this as there are some rogue apps that can do nasty things once they find out your phone is rooted!

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How I managed to run two WhatsApp accounts on a Gtel phone

gtel-loading

This method works on Android 4.1 to 4.4! There is no need use it on Android 5.0 as this feature is built in natively!

I wanted to run a certain social media campaign for someone and I didn’t want to use my personal WhatsApp account for her! She was not on WhatsApp for some strange reason and I didnt want to buy a new phone for a two weeks campaign!

I managed to run two separate accounts on one phone! Each account had its own number and it ran the original WhatsApps not these modified WahtsApps that can get you banned from WhatsApp

Step One

Root your phone! Read more about how to easily root your phone here!

Step Two

Install Super User App from the PlayStore! Also install the app called Terminal Emulator from the Play Store!

After I installing these two apps, go to the Terminal Emulator app and you will presented with a black screen. Type in the following commands

SU

After that type in press enter on your keyboard!

You will be presented with a new line!

Type in the following command!

pm user-create Frank

Click in enter again!

After user-create, the name that you type is the name of the account you want!

Quit Terminal Emulator!

To See the account you just created, Long press the power button and on Options, right below you will see Two accounts!

One Written Primary

And the other written Frank (If you chose Frank as the account name)

Tap on Frank and you will enter into your new account!

If you tap on WhatsApp, it will open as a new app which wants you to enter a phone number and set it up!

Set up your second WhatsApp

Proceed as in setting up WhatsApp but make sure the sim with number you want to use is in an active phone!

If the sim is not in the handset that has the new account you want to use, wait for sms verification to fail and then request phone verification! Voila you are in!

How to switch accounts

To return to the main account, long press the power button and choose primary account!

How to delete account

To delete the account Go to Terminal Emulator App and Type in su, then enter and type in

pm remove-user 1

Do not type in

pm remove user 0

as that is the main account!

 

A strong word of warning!

Terminal Emulator is a powerful app that can delete your entire phone if you type in the wrong commands!

As you can tell from above, there is no warning! It just creates a new user and it also does the same when deleting apps!

Afraid to do this on your own? Contact me Frank on 0773 510 978 easily!

Galaxy S4 Air Gesture Now for Every Phone

air gesture

The Samsung Galaxy S4 came with a nice feature where you just swipe things from the air and they react without touching the screen. You can swipe through a photo gallery or calls.

However, you can now do it for every Android Phone out there. You just have to download The Air Swipe App!

This App will work with any Android Device that has a front facing camera and a proximity sensor! Well almost all Android Phones have a proximity sensor. To verify easily though, make a call and move your phone to your face, if you see it switching off or the screen turning black whilst moving your phone very near your face, then it has a proximity sensor!

You can do the following with the app!

  • Locking and unlocking the device
  • Controlling SMS notifications
  • Controlling sound
  • Getting toast message on new SMS
  • Toggling wireless communications like Wi-FI and Bluetooth
  • Turning off lockscreen via swiping twice

screenshot_2013-08-07-22-03-49

To download this app, visit this link here and start enjoying!

 

 

Samsung wants to take-over Android from Google as Samsung App store grows explosively

Samsung-Apps-logo-web

The Samsung App Store which is independent of google has seen some phenominal growth of late.

The app store recorded that it grew 450% and 600% more apps have been downloaded as compared to last year.

These apps are being driven by the growth in Samsung sells across Africa and the rest of the world.  The app store shows you content that is localised, for instance, if you in South Africa and you open the apps, you will see different apps from someone who is in Kenya.

The other factor is that you will actually find apps that are made by local Africans and apps that address the needs of Africa.

Most apps are free. The app store is not yet as fully featured as the Google Play Store but it may be Samsungs attempt to test the waters.

Besides what will stop Samsung from making the SamsungApps the default app store on all mobile from the smartphone giant?

Well, Samsung may not exactly hijack Android but they may also be testing the waters since they want to launch their mobile OS: Tizen, which seems to have an uphill task against the likes of Ubuntu Touch, FireFox OS and Jolla!

Well, it would be nice to see Samsung “hijack” Android using such a scheme.

You can check the Samsung App Store Here http://www.samsungapps.com

Why you should not buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S3! Part One

galaxy-s4

This is a two part post! In part one we will look at:

  1. Why you should not buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S3
  2. Galaxy S4 alternatives that cost less around $300

Well you may think I have gone bonkers but for many Zimbabweans the flagship Samsung phone or Apple or any top phones for that matter are actually overkill for most Zimbabweans.

Why? The Samsungs S4s of this world run on massive computational powers with their Exynos Octa-Cores. With very high pixels per density everyone wants a piece of these gadgets.

However, why am I saying do not buy them? They are overkill. Its like taking an interceptor jet to chase after a thief. You may catch the thief but you wasted cash.

Most Zimbabweans I know just use thier phones to whatsapp, Opera Mini, facebook, sm, make calls and play a few games. I rarely see heavy gamers in Zimbabwe. Besides I have seen quite a miniscule community of people who root their phones.

A dual core phone, or a quad-core phone running on the cheaper MediaTek proccessor will easily do those tasks listed above without issue. So why bleed $900 for a phone which you will use only 10% of its computational power?

Unless if you are a person who gets carried away by marketing gimmick features like the smart-stay, then you may be gullible to fork out the thousand grand.

The other reason is that price is not a reflector of quality. Someone may say since the S4 is going for $900 dollars, then a G-Tel with almost the same specs with the S4 is selling a fake. No far from it!

Below I will list reasons why the S4 is dead expensive:

  1. Samsung ans Apple of-course is a huge firm which commits billions into R&D and they have to re-coup that cash on phone sales.
  2. Samsung spends billions on advertising and that too has to be factored into the price of their phones.
  3. Samsung Apple and HTC have large numbers of employees that have to get huge salaries and that too is thrown into the price of the phone.
  4. They also have shareholders who need their dividends who wont hesitate to chop off the managers if they fail to get those.
  5. These flagship phones carry expensive exynos processors, Qualcomm, processors and Snapdragon processors. They also have Coning glass, Gorilla Glass 2, and OLED displays. These are expensive pieces of hardware. However, the MediaTek processor is also fast and good. The Amoled displays are also capable. Its like buying a BMW and a Toyota Corrolla. The BMW can do 220 Km/hr so can the Corrolla. Even though the BMW can do 360 km/hr and takes off from 0-100 km in 6 seconds, do you really need all those features or let alone use them?

Now that I have bashed the flagship phones, so what are to buy? There are lots of capable Chinese phones that you can buy that perform like the Galaxies of this world.

In my next post I will show you alternatives to the Galaxy S4 and all the flagship phones that you can buy that cost less than 300 dollars but have almost the same specs as the Galaxies of this world.

Whatsapp Lock! Now you can lock your dirty messages from those prying eyes.

Here are some simple apps that will help you keep your whatsapp secure and locked from everyone for whatever reason that is.

whatsapplock

This app will lock whatsapp and it needs a four digit pin to unlock the app. When one clicks on whatsapp, the app shows them, or you are showed a box to enter a four digit pin to unlock so that you can start whatsapping.

Its Features are:

★ It’s free and has no limitations.
★ Keep your messages safe
★ Capture intruders when wrong PIN entered. Have Fun 🙂
★ Customize autolock time
★ Don’t make you crazy with strange advertising.
★ It is ultra lightweight. Uses low resources and space.
★ Minimun special permissions required
★ Design attractive and simple user interface.

One cool feature about this app is that if your phone has a front camera, each time someones attempts to enter into your whatsapp and they enter a wrong pin, the app captures their face and stores it in the gallery…neat huh!

Download whatsapp lock here

Whatsdown, be offline on whatsapp

whatsdown

In the same vein, you can also download the whatsdown whatsapp offline app. This app will make you offline on whatsapp. Well, there are times when you don’t want to be disturbed by those incessant whatsapp messages, like right now and suddenly wham. At times you just want to be online browsing the internet in peace than to be disturbed always.

Its cruel to switch off data connection just because of one pest who thinks you are free always. This app will let you shut whatsapp but still use apps like Shazam, Binu, Opera Mini and all in peace.

Download whatsdown app here

Africom brings shocking rock bottom internet prices

africom

If you are on Africom, or even if you are not, you will love Africom. They have reduced prices in a way that will make Econet, Telecel and everyone else take stock of what they are offering. At just $35 dollars unlimited access I think you really have a bargain. Before you would cough up $25 for one gig of data. On Econet, you part ways with $50 for a mere 2.5Gig of data.

This is a promo though and I think Africom is testing the waters with the unlimited thing before they make it an ongoing promo. well, if the Network will get too congested they will pull the promo away.

We once bashed Africom here for focusing on niche markets instead of taking the competition head on. Well, it seams they read these blogs and take advice. Now they have taken the bull by its horns and this is a good move.

This move will affect Powertel the most as any Powertel modems use CDMA the very same Technology Africom uses and just plug your Africom “SIM” card! Technically it’s not called a SIM card but to hell with tech jargon, this is a common man on the street blog.

However, before you throw away Powertel and its slow network you need to read the TERMS AND CONDITIONS from Powertel really good as you may find your self in a tight spot. Make sure you read this post here from another tech blog.

Customising your Android Phone: Installing a Cool Launcher

Android phones have one very great thing going on about them. You don’t need to jailbreak them to enjoy their full benefits. What you can do on an Android phone you need to jailbreak an IPhone to do it.

In this series of articles we will look at how to customize your smart phone so that it looks different from every other Android phone. For instance, you have a Samsung Galaxy S3. It looks the same to every other Android phone out there with its Touch-Wiz!

Yes, you can customize your phone to look very different from the whole host of Droids out there.

In this series we will look at the following topics in their order

  • 1.       Installing a custom launcher! Having a cool “Home Screen”
  • 2.       Dynamic Wallpapers! Turn your phone into active awesomeness
  • 3.       Installing Custom Icons!
  • 4.       Installing some really nifty apps that actually help!
  • 5.       **For the Brave** Installing a Custom Operating System aka ROOTING your phone.
  • 6.       Security: Apps that secure your phone

We will start with number one Topic, Installing a custom launcher

What is a launcher? To simplify things here, a launcher is sort of like the home screen! I said sort of like, you tech jargon obsessed shaggies!

At the ZITF I visited the G-Tel stand and they were going on about this G-Tel 717 Infinity. It had a 3D carousel that showed all your home screens in a rotating 3 dimensional way. It was a cool feature.. but the not so cool thing is that G-Tel was claiming it was their invention. Truly G-tel should stop building an empire on lies.

That 3D carousel was ganked from custom launchers. The cool thing though is that you can install the same cool 3D launcher on your phone. If you want the exact 3D launcher G-Tel was claiming to be theirs download this launcher:

Yandex.Shell

yandex shell

This is a cool simple launcher that does not have much but, it is really good. Coming from a company that is a competitor of Google. Yandex is a cool firm that has a nifty search engine. It has Yandex Maps and Yandex Metrica which are products used mainly by Russian speaking guys. Yandex now wants to enter into the English speaking countries.

It combines  a home launcher, address book and dialer!

This launcher has the famed 3D launcher and some cool nifty features. However Yandex.Shell does not have the really fine-grained customization features you get from Nova Launchers but we trust me, it is really good.

sceren

To download this app, click here!

ADW Launcher

adw

For some of us who are still using Android GingerBread 2.3 and so forth, don’t feel left out.

Even if Yandex.Shell installs on newer versions of Android, you still can enjoy the goodness of customising your phone. There is this nifty app called ADW Launcher.

adw1

This app has one really cool thing about it, it installs on almost all Android Versions. Once you have done that, your phone will have a really cool look, different from other phones. Launchers are not some complicated piece of software. They are installed just like the way you install any other software.

Live Wall papers

Gone are the days when a wallpaper was just a photograph. Wallpapers make your phone look exciting. However, live wallpapers make your phone look extra ordinary. These wallpapers make your phone look cool and stunning. They are a battery drain though and you can look up how to save battery here!

These wallpapers range from mobile movie like affairs to games one can play with. However, you have to be careful, the more elaborate and complex wallpapers will drain your battery so much. So you have to make a sacrifice between battery power and entertainment.

The wallpapers I will point you to though are not that harsh on your smartphone battery

Koi Live Wallpaper

koi

I enjoyed hours on end watching these fish swim. If fact they are more life like than fish in your pond. Touching the screen makes the fish “run away” from were you tapped as if they are running away from your finger that wants to capture them.

SunRise Live Wallpaper

sun

This is another wallpaper that is just beautiful. It shows a cute landscape and sunrising it makes you want to go on holiday and enjoy the Vumba Mountains. However, you can soak all this goodness right now, on your phone.

However, unfortunately, it cannot match the time. It always show the sunrise even if it’s twelve in the night!

Well, these are not the heavy apps that you may find but these are easy on your phone. Besides, once you install these “basic” apps you can then take the high road and install the heavy weights.

These are also installable on older versions of Android. Look forward to the next installment of this series.

How to save battery on your smartphone!

 

Image

Smartphones are really cool gadgets we all know that, but one thing were smartphones seem to be dumb is battery drain. These gadgets are power hungry… They suck juice like it’s the last resource on earth.

Companies are competing on making the thinnest phone and the lightest phone. Well they could add at least an extra 6mm and an extra 80 grams to accommodate more power. I wouldn’t mind an extra 80 grams in exchange for 12 more hours of power.

However for now we have to engage in battery saving techniques.

Now here are some techniques to save your batter.

1.       We know a bright screen is cool and all but it reduces your battery power. Lower your screen brightness to the barest possible brightness and your battery will last a lil bit longer.

In newer versions of Android, it’s easy to increase or decrease brightness. Just pull down the notification bar and slide a cool slider to the right place you want. I find 30% to be good.

2.       When you are not using wifi, switch off the wifi. It sounds dumb but most people usually forget to do it, even me!

3.       In the same vein switch off Bluetooth. Yes, Bluetooth is a resource hog. A battery hog! In these days of piracy I know we don’t buy music, Bluetooth is the tool we all use on a daily basis to “steal music”! Batai Mhunu!

4.       GPS is another culprit. And Google Maps is the main thief here. I don’t know why Google Maps runs in the background despite switching it off. This is one app that needs the AppKiller app from the app store. This app switches off rouge apps totally…. Like the aforementioned Google Maps. GPS sucks battery…switch it off.

5.       Try to use the Edge Network. Go to Settings, and look for it you will find it. It depends on the version of Android you are using. HSPA+ networks or LTE! If it is found in Zimbabwe, sucks battery like no man’s business however they are fast.

6.       Avoid using the camera flash! It’s a power hog. Besides, most of those pictures will get digital dust sitting in your memory card.

7.       If you are travelling, switch off your phone. Travelling makes your phone send a more powerful signal and that takes more power, thereby using more power.

8.       When you switch on an app, say G-Tel sms app and then find out that this is a useless app, press the home screen to close the app and sigh thinking you have closed the app! You are in for a surprise, the app will be running in the background….using your precious battery power. My friend did the very same procedure, upon finding out that the app was still running on his G-Tel 717 Infinity, he was angry he thought G-Tel was cheating with it’s useless G-Tel Sms app, he asked me to delete it. I did, G-Tel next time don’t push your useless apps…PLEASE!!

9.       Well, this may sound strange but hey its true. Do not let your battery reach below 40% full. Lithium Ion batteries do not like that. They want to be charged whilst they still have a charge.

10.   Well, there is this app cold Battery Monitor, I found it useless. Besides it used 2% of battery power whilst running in the background. Well 2% is a lot in this blackout country called Zimbabwe.

11.   Another thing, if you are really desperate to save power, switch off vibrate and reduce the volume of your ring tone, especially if you receive a lot of calls. A vibrating phone uses much power than just a ringing phone.

Whew, that was a long article. You may not implement these things but you may find yourself in a tight spot and you need to save that battery for an important call. You can implement one or two of these methods. Happy battery saving.

Why you should try Africom?

africom

Africom has been offering voice telephony for quite some time now, but it’s only recently that the company seems to be taking off, albeit slowly.

One set-back to Afrcoms success is the CDMA technology it runs on. Well, your Telecel, Econet and NetOne use GSM!

So in plain language that means you can’t plug an Africom SIM card into your phone and expect it to work! It won’t. It’s like pouring petrol into a diesel car!!

However, Africom has the cheapest call costs all round. We are not looking at dirt cheap promotion deals which can be pulled away any minute here.

At 12cents per minute for calls to Econet and Telecel, you really can’t go wrong. Even if you use the Mega Reloaded Promo from Telecel were you are effectively calling at 12cents a minute, you can’t beat the 6cents Africom to Africom rate.

The biggest set back to mass adoption of Africom is the “buy a new phone” thing since yours won’t work on our network.

Besides, Africom sells some very basic and embarrassing phones at a very expensive price!

I was shocked when I went to the Africom shop in Bulawayo and asked to see the type of handsets they have. I was shown some blackberry like phone.

When I asked if there were Android CDMA phones in stock, the lady told me with a straight face that “Android phones do not run CDMA”! Duh Africom we are not all dumb…. PLEASE! Just tell us the truth, you don’t have them in stock.

Then with my research I bumped onto this website http://www.redmobile.co.zw and they sell CDMA phones at exhobitant prices. At least you can get a CDMA phone.

The crazy thing was some ZTE Android phone which costs $285 whilsts it was running Android 2.1.

A ZTE Racer II costs $75 from Econet and  a Huawei cost $90, what is so different from a phone that runs an ancient version af Android to cost so musc? A plain rippof!

Well, besides all these hurdles, I think Africom is a good network to look out for.