Google Gboard Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Secrets

Google Gboard was launched back in May 2016. Since then it has become the default and trusted Android keyboard app with more than 500 million downloads. Google Gboard is the default Android keyboard app in the phones which run stock Android UI. However, Gboard is highly compatible with a large number of Android phones so anyone can install it and change their phone's keyboard. It can also be used as the Google keyboard for iPhone. Gboard provides quality features that an Android keyboard should have. It provides a large number of emoticons and emoji. It also lets you search GIFs, make GIFs, search images, use Google translate from within the keyboard and allows you to handwrite in your own language.

In this post, we will be discussing some of the best tips, tricks, and hidden secrets fro Gboard that will help you use this keyboard easily and effectively.

Best Gboard Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Secrets

1. Use Stickers in Gboard

You can insert stickers during a chat in WhatsApp or any other instant messaging app like Skype, Viber, or Wechat. To use stickers first of all open the Gboard. When you tap the text field in WhatsApp chat the keyboard will open automatically. Then tap the 'Google' button. It will give you several options. Tap the first option (a square face) just before the 'GIF' button. Now stickers will open. Tap any sticker to insert in the chat. Below the bigger stickers, you will see sticker categories. You can choose different stickers from these categories. Tap the green '+' button to add or download more stickers.

    

2. How to Create and Search GIFs

In Gboard you can directly search for GIFs from the Google Android search and can also create your own GIFs using your phone's camera. To add GIFs from Google keyboard first open it then tap the 'Google' (G) button. Now tap the 'GIF' button and swipe left on the GIF categories below. Tap on any GIF image to insert in the chat. Tap 'Search GIFs' and enter a name for that you want to search for GIF images. When the GIF search results appear swipe towards the left to see more images. Tap any GIF image to insert it.

     

To create your own GIFs simply tap the 'MAKE A GIF' button. Your phone's camera will open. Tap the camera shutter button to capture a GIF image. Then tap the blue button to send it.

    

3. Use Google Translate in Gboard

This is a very nice feature of Gboard which lets anyone translate text in real time. Suppose I am chatting on WhatsApp and I want to write in another language then I will use the translate feature. Simply tap the 'G' button and select the 'Translate' option. The Google translate will open over the Gboard. Simply tap the target language on the right side and select your language in which you want to translate. Now start typing, you will see that the text you type will automatically get translated in the chat field in real time.

    

➜ Note: To open the 'Settings' long tap the 'comma' key and select the 'Settings' icon. Or tap the 'G' button then tap the 'Options' button (three horizontal dots) to select settings.

    

4. Use Hidden Special Characters, Exponent, and Fractions in Gboard

To access hidden special characters in Gboard you first have to go to 'Settings'. To open the 'Settings' long tap the 'comma' key and select the 'Settings' icon. Or tap the 'G' button then tap the 'Options' button (three horizontal dots) to select settings. In settings select 'Preferences'. Scroll down and enable 'Long press for symbols'. Now you can long press any key on Gboard to select special characters and symbols. If you long tap on numbers then you can add fractions in your chats. You can also add exponents (power of a number like square or cube) to a number. To add exponent to number first type any number then long tap any other number to make its exponent.

    

➜ Also Read


5. Enable Handwriting Mode in Gboard

You can enable handwriting mode for your favorite language in Gboard. For this purpose, you just have to add a handwriting keyboard of your language. To add a handwriting keyboard in Gboard simply long tap the 'comma' key and select the 'Settings' button. A popup will open and you have to select 'Languages'. Now tap 'ADD KEYBOARD' and select your desired language. After selecting the language a list of keyboards will open. Swipe towards left and select the 'Handwriting' keyboard. Then tap done. To open the handwriting keyboard long tap the 'space bar' and select the handwriting keyboard to open it. You can also add a Morse code handwriting keyboard by selecting 'English (US)' as the handwriting language and selecting the Morse code as an additional keyboard.

    

6. Use One-Handed Mode

If your phone's screen is quite large then you can use the Gboard in one-handed mode. To enable one-handed mode simply long tap the 'comma' key and swipe to the icon next to the 'Settings'. Tapping this icon will enable one-handed mode. Tap the 'Forward' button to switch the keyboard from right to left layout (RTL or LTR) or vice versa. Tap the 'Fullscreen' button to exit one-handed mode.


7. Use TLD Shortcut for Websites

TLD stands 'Top Level Domain'. This TLD shortcut works in Chrome for Android. Whenever you enter a website address in the address bar then you can add a TLD (.com, .net, .org, .edu) by using a shortcut. Just long tap the 'Full stop' button and swipe left or right to select the TLD.

8. Use Glide Typing

Glide typing iPhone is similar to swipe typing. You just swipe over a group of keys on the keyboard and the entire word will be added in the text field. To enable Glide typing simply go to 'Settings>Glide typing'. Here tap the option 'Enable glide typing' to enable it.

➜ Also Read


9. Change Keyboard Height in Gboard

Gboard is good for large screen phones and tablets as its height can be increased. A large keyboard is easy to use and you can type words easily using the big keys. To increase the height of Gboard, go to 'Settings>Preferences>Layout'. Here tap 'Keyboard height' and drag the slider towards the 'Tall' option. You can adjust the Google keyboard height according to your phone's screen size.

10. Show Number Row

This option is extremely useful as you will be requiring number keys just like the normal alphabetical keys. If you enable this option then you can access the numbers without actually switching the keyboard to the numbers mode. To enable this option, go to 'Settings>Preferences'. Here enable 'Number row'.


11. Change Theme in Gboard

To change the theme of Gboard tap the 'G' button then tap the 'Theme' icon (color tray). Now explore different themes. Tap on any theme to apply it. You can also access theme by going to 'Settings>Theme'.

12. Show Emoji/Language Button

You can enable emoji shortcut button on Gboard to quickly open the stickers, GIF, emoji, and smileys. To enabled this shortcut, go to 'Settings>Preferences'. Here enable 'Show emoji switch key'. After enabling this option an emoji key will appear on the keyboard just before the space bar key. Tap the emoji key and it will open the emoticons. You can also search for emojis by typing a search term in the 'Search emoji' field. You can also draw your favorite emojis in the emoji draw mode to search emojis. See the images below.

    

13. Quickly Access Gboard Settings

To quickly access Gboard settings just long tap the 'comma' key and swipe up to select the 'Settings'. A popup will open on the screen tap 'Settings' to open.

14. Enable Key Borders

Gboard by default doesn't show key borders. So you may see all the keys in a plane layout. This may cause some inconvenience as you may tap the wrong key while typing. To prevent this you should enable the key borders. Go to 'Settings>Theme' and under 'My Themes' tap the default theme to open it. When the theme opens you will see an option 'Key borders'. Just enable this option to show key borders and finally tap 'APPLY'.

    

So these were 14 best tips, tricks, and hidden secrets about Gboard. If you like this tips and tricks then do share it and if you have any other secret tricks for Gboard then do let us know in comments.

How to Secure Your Public Wi-Fi Connection

It’s virtually impossible to conceive a day without access to Wi-Fi. There is a widespread belief that Internet accessibility is just as necessary as food, water, and the air that we breathe. Given the ubiquity of IoT hardware and software, it’s hard to dispel that notion. Truth be told, life goes on without the Internet albeit at a much slower pace.

tips to secure public wifi

The information we can access on our smartphones, tablets, phablets, PCs and smart devices is leaps and bounds ahead of erstwhile resources like the World Book Encyclopedia, Time Magazine, or the conventional telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell. Today’s technology is the foundation stone upon which tomorrow’s innovation is being built. For that reason, Wi-Fi forms the bedrock of everything that is yet to come. Therein lies the challenge: Safety and security on the World Wide Web.

What Steps Can You Take to Enhance the Security of Your Public Internet Connectivity?

Everybody knows about basic steps that can be taken to improve your safety and security when using public Wi-Fi connections. For example, if you must use public Wi-Fi, try and sit with your back against the wall so that nobody else can read over your shoulder. The last thing you want is somebody seeing your username/password information, and logging in pretending to be you. Identity theft is a big problem, and sometimes people don’t recover from the damage that is caused.

It is probably best never to log into your online bank account in a public place when Wi-Fi is unencrypted. There are simply too many bad actors operating in cyberspace for you to attempt such a foolhardy move. Certain public Wi-Fi spots offer passwords to users, and this is a little safer than no password access although still ill-advised for personal transactions.

➜ Steps to Guard Your Wi-Fi Against Malicious Activities


1. Update Windows/Mac Regularly

Whether you’re running Windows or Mac, be sure to update your software and always stay updated. Part of the reason there are software updates, to begin with, is that new and improved code is being written to patch vulnerabilities in the software. Whenever you get a prompt to update your software – do it, don’t delay. Just make sure that automatic updates are enabled. If this option is enabled then updates will be auto-installed on your Mac or Windows PC.

2. Change Network Sharing Settings

Your Internet settings allow you to choose between public and private networks. Within this arena, there are things known as resource sharing (Wi-Fi printers, cloud accessibility etc.). You don’t want to turn on file and printer sharing, and to turn on network discovery when you’re using a public Wi-Fi network. From your control panel on Windows PCs or other devices simply access the advanced sharing settings and be sure to turn those public profile elements off. If you’re not visible, you can’t be hacked.

3. Use a Good VPN

Best Online Reviews (a leading review site for online security systems) recommends using a VPN (virtual private network) to mask your computer’s IP address and all traffic flowing from your device. Unsecured networks are as safe as houses when you use a high-quality VPN service. Since nobody knows where the traffic flow is coming from when you use a VPN from your computer, it doesn’t matter whether you are in a public Wi-Fi network or an encrypted Wi-Fi network. The best virtual private networks do not keep logs of customer activity.

4. Use 2-Factor Authentication Wherever Possible

If you must use public Wi-Fi and you are going to be conducting personal transactions, ensure that your browser and the security settings you have in place are up to date. If possible, try to access websites that require 2-factor authentication – email and smartphone verification to validate your ID.
If you have antivirus software and firewall protection enabled on your device, keep it active over public Wi-Fi networks. These serve as an additional security barrier against malicious actors.

5. Check for HTTPS

The web address you use in your browser should begin with HTTPS. The ‘S’ at the end stands for secure and it means that you have a secure web address in your browser. When communications are encrypted, you are at lower risk of being hacked. There are programs that you can install – freeware – that allow you to access secure socket layer websites regardless of the browser you’re using. All popular websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter use https. If you don’t see https in the address bar then it is a fake copy of these popular websites.

6. Use Your Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot While Traveling

Today’s PCs, notebooks, and modern laptops can easily pick up Wi-Fi hotspots. If you have a service contract with an Internet provider, rather use your Wi-Fi hotspot when you’re traveling. It is fully encrypted, and it won’t put any additional strain on your phone or your contract. You’re simply piggybacking off the signal that your phone is receiving from the cell tower.

It is always better to carry your personal Wi-Fi hotspot with you instead of using free public Wi-Fi connections. However, if a public Wi-Fi offers some sort of security then it is also not advisable to use them blindly. If you want to connect to public Wi-Fi connections safely then use a VPN and good quality antivirus software. These two programs if installed on your computer will make the Wi-Fi connection much safer. A VPN will hide your identity and encrypt your internet traffic while the antivirus will protect your PC from malicious attacks.

VPN Versus Proxy: What's The Difference and Which One to Choose

Companies and individuals continually strive towards maximum Internet security. Guarding against online threats is a daunting prospect, fraught with challenges. Every time we perfect one security protocol, bad actors find a way to bypass these measures and intercept our personal communications. Antivirus software does a fine job of keeping our online traffic free from adware, malware, Trojans, viruses, and worms. However, once we connect to the Internet we leave a digital footprint that anyone with a little wherewithal can track, intercept and abuse.

vpn vs proxy
Image Credit: SaferVPN
This necessitates masking solutions to prevent our online activity from being monitored, recorded, and reported. Several effective tools and resources are available to help guard against data interception. One of these is a proxy, and the other is a VPN. On the face of it, both options appear to be identical. They both connect you to a remote computer so that your online browsing activity appears to be going through another server. The truth is, proxies and VPNs are significantly different as you’re about to find out!

Why Would you Need to Hide your Internet browsing Activity?

There are still many folks who believe that they don’t have anything that a hacker would want anyway – so why bother with a VPN or a proxy for data protection. The sad reality is that every one of us has something that a hacker wants. We all use credit cards, we all have IDs, and we all shop online. For a hacker, these are gold nuggets waiting to be stolen. That’s why it’s important to safeguard your online browsing activity.

There is way too much leaked data, government interception of our browsing activity, and many other privacy issues to be concerned about. For this reason, VPNs (virtual private networks) and proxies are among the most powerful tools you can use to maintain your anonymity and online safety. Let’s say you’re at the local Starbucks using Wi-Fi. We all know that public Wi-Fi is an accident waiting for a place to happen. There’s no two ways about it. When you use free Internet, anyone within range can intercept your communications and wreak havoc.

We already established that VPNs and proxies connect you through another location. But it’s the way they connect you and the degree of privacy, functionality and encryption that differs. With a proxy server, you have access to a buffer between you and your Internet browsing activity. Think of it as a middleman. All the sites you are visiting are effectively visited by the middleman. You are cloaked from the bad actors on the Internet. There are many reasons why you may wish to use a proxy server, notably websites that are geographically locked to users from other countries. This is often the case in Asia, and in Europe.

For example, UK sports streaming news networks may not offer their services to people outside of the UK. To obviate this issue, you can login through a proxy server in the UK and watch the content accordingly. Your traffic looks like it came from the remote computer which is in the UK, and not in your home country. You may wish to consider a proxy for a low-level activity such as streaming video content, accessing restricted sites, or simply overcoming IP-specific content.

What a proxy server doesn’t do is also the reason it is not ideal for all forms of online browsing activity. For example, proxies do not encrypt Internet traffic between your PC and the proxy. They also don’t remove identifying data for your online transmissions. Another point worth remembering is that there is no security element built into a proxy server.

Why are a Proxy’s Shortcomings Important?

A nosy neighbour with Internet smarts, hackers, ISP providers, law enforcement, or government can easily intercept traffic that is not encrypted, or secure. Since your identity is not concealed with a proxy server when there are JavaScript or malware elements in your web browser, a proxy server is not ideal.

With a proxy, your entire PC/system is not protected – it’s an application by application basis that we’re talking about. It’ll work for one process, but not all. There are several common protocols for proxy servers including SOCKS and HTTP. The latter is the most common extension and it is used for web traffic. The former simply moves traffic along regardless of where it comes from. Free proxy servers are ill-advised, since they are riddled with problems.

Why are VPNs The Preferred Option?

A VPN is a virtual private network. Your entire computer is protected with powerful encryption through the VPN server. Between the VPN server and the greater Internet, there is no encryption. That’s how a VPN server is set up. It masks as a proxy, since your traffic appears to be coming from a remote server address. However, that is the only similarity between a VPN and a proxy. Take a look at this VPN Guide to understand exactly what benefits you get to enjoy when you choose a professional VPN pay-to-use service as opposed to a proxy server.

A VPN is the most secure way for you to browse the Internet. Be advised that VPNs use plenty of bandwidth and processing power since there is significant encryption taking place. The better the VPN service, the more bandwidth it uses and the more you’re going to pay for it. But choosing an unlimited bandwidth VPN plan will save your time and money.

If you’re just looking to conduct silly activities on the Internet like online voting for a game show, or streaming from out of country, use a proxy. If you want to safeguard all online browsing activity with your entire computer and prevent government and the authorities from accessing your content, you will want a no logs policy VPN provider.

Instagram Keeps Stopping on Android: How to Fix?

Facebook-owned Instagram suddenly started crashing repeatedly on June 5, 2018. There is nothing wrong with the app itself and it is currently up to date. Many Instagram users have reported this issue since today morning 4 AM. The Instagram crashing issue started in the UK then spread around the world slowly. But nobody has a right answer why the app is crashing on Android only. iOS or iPhone users haven't reported such app crashing issue with Instagram.

instagram keeps stopping 2018

Currently, there is no way to fix this issue. The company has been notified of this issue. They are working on it and say that this happened due to unusual traffic to Instagram servers. So, this is a server-side crashing issue that has slowly started to fix itself.

When an Android app keeps crashing then it is advised to clean its data or reinstall it from Google Play Store. But in this case clearing the app cache, data, and even reinstalling the app doesn't fix the crashing issue. So finally, we can only wait until the problem gets fixed by Instagram.

However, there is a way to fix this. You need to install and uninstall the app three or four times. After every install sign-in to your Instagram account. Then uninstall the app then reinstall it and sign in again, do this three or four times. In most cases, the Instagram app crashing issue will be fixed. If it doesn't work for you then try the alternative below.

Instagram Keeps Stopping on Android: How to Fix with Parallel Space

Parallel Space is an Android app that lets you clone any Android app (even system apps). With Parallel Space you can clone your Instagram app and run it. Firstly you should install Instagram and then clone it in Parallel Space.

  • Download the app from Google Play Store.
  • Open it and select 'Instagram' then tap 'Add to Parallel Space'.
 
  • When the app gets cloned open it and sign-in to your account.
  • That's it. The Instagram app will no longer crash on your Android phone.

Currently, the issue is slowly resolving and will be completely resolved within 24 hours. If your app is crashing on your phone then you can use Parallel Space to clone it and use it without crashing or stopping.

Moto G4 Plus Gets April 2018 Security Patch Update (NPJS25.93-14-18)

Moto G4 Plus has just received a new April 2018 security patch update with build number NPJS25.93-14-18. This update fixes Android security vulnerabilities up to April 1st, 2018. It doesn't bring any performance enhancements. So if you have got a notification on your Moto G4 Plus then update it. If you haven't received the OTA then you know where to check it. Just check the 'About phone>System updates'. The update is just 40.8 MB in size and takes 10 minutes to install. Make sure your phone's battery is charged to 60 percent at least.
Moto G4 Plus Gets April 2018 Security Patch Update

Last year in September 2017, Motorola announced that Moto G4 Plus will be getting android 8.0 Oreo update via a blog post. But it hasn't happened yet and that official statements is about 8 months old now. So I am sure about this that Moto G4 Plus won't be getting Android 8.0 Oreo update. Because on June 4, 2018 Moto G6 will be launched and the company may shift its interest from a two year old budget smartphone to the newly launched smartphone.

➜ Also Read: Xiaomi Fast Charger 9V 2A Review
                           Xioami MI Power Bank 2i 10000mAh Review
                           Fix Blurry Camera of Moto G4 Plus

So, if you are waiting for Android 8.0 update for Moto G4 Plus then your wait may go in vain. As there is no guarantee that the phone will receive its final major Android OS update. Till the time you can keep updating your phone with security patch updates.

Xiaomi Standard Adapter (9V 2A) Review: A Cheap Versatile Fast Charger

Quick Charge, introduced in 2013 and now has become a mobile charging standard for almost every Android, and iPhone. Big smartphone batteries have been around us since the Quick Charge wasn't actually introduced. At that time a 4000 mAh battery took more than 4 hours to charge completely with a normal USB charger

With the introduction of Qualcomm's Quick Charge, you can also refer it as Fast Charging or Rapid Charging. But they all mean the same thing. For fast charging, we need a fast charger that charges a compatible phone's battery at almost double the voltage a normal charger can provide. As a result, the battery gets charged really fast saving a lot of time.

mi fast charger qc 3.0

The good thing about Quick Charge is that if your fast charger is Qualcomm certified then you can use it to fast charge any compatible smartphone without needing to buy a separate adapter. Qualcomm certified fast chargers are quite expensive but if you are looking for ultra cheap fast charger then check out the Xiaomi standard adapter which only costs 449₹ Rupees. The Xiaomi standard fast charger is Qualcomm 3.0 certified and works with almost every android smartphone which supports the quick charge. So, in this post, we are going to review the Xiaomi MI fast charger with its pros and cons.

Xiaomi Fast Charger Review (9V 2A)

1. Build Quality: The charger's build quality is decent and it doesn't look cheap for the price of 449₹. It has got a single USB out port and the plug design may vary according to the country. But I have the Indian variant and UK variant will have a different plug design. The power adapter comes in a tiny white box. The USB cable is not supplied with it.

Xiaomi Standard Adapter Review 9V 2A

2. Output Voltage: The Xiaomi fast charger provides charging at three different voltages. The outputs are given below.

5V 3A: Can be used for almost any mobile phone that has a micro USB charging port. Don't worry about the 3A (ampere) high current as your phone will only draw necessary current. Suppose if your phone's requirement is 1A (ampere) then it can't draw 3A. So it is quite safe to charge any phone with MI charger.

➜ 9V 2A: This output will automatically get activated when you connect a Qualcomm certified phone. This is a fast charging output and will only work with a compatible phone.

➜ 12V 1.5A: Well this can be considered as a fast charging output but there is no phone available yet which supports this rating. This output can be used to charge lithium-ion batteries that have a 12V requirement.

3. Safety Feature: The MI fast charger is safe from overheating as its temperature won't go above 30 degrees Celcius.

Testing the Charging Capability of MI Fast Charger

We used a Xiaomi MI Power Bank 2i 10000mAh and charged it with this adapter. It only took 4.2 hours to completely charge this power bank. So, it is quite fast for a 10000mAh power bank at just 449₹. And it is compatible with most Android smartphones. You can buy Xiaomi fast charger from the link below.


MI Standard Fast Charger Pros

  • Supports three types of DC output. 5V 3A, 9V 2A, and 12V 1.5A.
  • Compatible with most Android, iPhones, and iPads.
  • Comes with a safety feature and temperature remains controlled and doesn't go beyond 30-degree Celcius.
  • Cheapest Qualcomm 3.0 certified charger available for smartphones and power banks.

So, if you are looking for a cheap and versatile fast charger which is Qualcomm certified then you can go for this. And if you liked the article then please share it.

How to Enable the New 'Take a Break' Reminder' in YouTube App

Launched at the Google I/O in May 2018 the new YouTube feature is named 'Take a Break'. This feature is especially rolled out for folks who spend too much time watching YouTube videos. Watching too many videos on your smartphone is actually not good for anyone's health. As the smartphone screen continuously emits blue light which makes our brain overactive. The 'Take a Break' YouTube reminder can save you from watching unnecessary videos. This way you can save a lot of time and mostly revert the bad effects of blue light.

Suppose you are searching a particular video on YouTube. Let's say you are searching the unboxing video for the latest budget laptop. The video may not be longer than 15 minutes. But after that video finishes then YouTube gives you other recommendations. You may keep watching those recommendations even if there is no need. However, if a 'Take a Break' reminder is set to 15 minutes then YouTube will ask you to stop watching and it won't show the video unless you close the reminder.

So the main motive behind the YouTube 'Take a Break' feature is to spread awareness about healthy usage of technology. Remember the famous phrase 'Wu Ji bi-fan' from the movie Karate Kid 2010. According to the film, it means 'too much of something is not good for you'. So too much of YouTube is actually not good for anyone. At a certain point, you have to stop watching it to prevent the ill effects of digital eye strain. It is also true that it is hard to live without technology today. But we should make a balance between this technology and our health.

How to Enable 'Take a Break' Reminder in YouTube App

This is a full feature roll out and is available for both Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad). This feature is available in YouTube app version 13.17 and above. If you are using an older version then please update the app first. To enable the reminder just follow the steps below.
  • Open the app and tap your account icon just next to the 'Search' button.
  • Here tap 'Settings' and then tap to select 'General'.
  • Tap 'Remind me to take a break'. Select the time limit after which you want the reminder to appear. Currently, it can be set to 15, 30, 60, 90, and 180 minutes. Currently, no custom time limit is supported.
  • Tap the time limit and its done. Now when the time limit reaches, a reminder will appear on the screen just like this below.

take a break youtube
If you liked the article then do take two minutes to share it.

How to Restore HD Photo/Video Quality of Scratched/Blurry Android/iPhone Camera

Ever wondered why your Android or iPhone camera's photos or videos come out to be blurry or foggy? The problem seems like if you are using a fog or blur filter for your photos or full HD videos. But actually, the problem is related to the android phone's camera glass. When we say that a phone's camera got scratched and it is not taking photos clearly then it means that the camera's glass has worn out. The glass gets too many scratches over time that it doesn't allow light to pass through it. That's why due to lack of light the android camera becomes blurry or foggy. With such a camera you can't even focus on objects. Every photo or video you take or shoot will just be blurry.

The easiest solution to this problem is to change the camera glass. This will restore the camera quality to original but just for few months. After that glass wears out you have to change it again. Many Android smartphone cameras are prone to get scratched when put in pockets. You can blame the weird phone design or the camera bumps that look different from the phone itself.

The camera lens has a glass protection. If you remove this glass then the camera will be able to take high-quality photos and videos. The quality will be even better than the original scratchless glass because the light is entirely hitting the lens and nothing is reflected. This complete light entering the camera lens makes the photos even sharper, brighter, and vibrant. So, I have created a video where I am teaching to restore the original quality of a scratched Android camera. You can watch the video below. This is a DIY video which teaches to remove the glass and make a temporary camera cover which protects it from dust and water when it is not in use. So, watch the video below.

➜ Also Read


How to Fix a Scratched Android Camera and Restore Its Image/Video Quality


If you liked the video then do share it.

Mi Power Bank 2i 10000mAh Review: Best Power Bank With Fast Charging

When it comes to power banks then most people find it hard to find a suitable one. Before purchasing a power bank like Mi Power Bank 2i one should take care of its safety, charging capacity, price, and the claims it makes about charging many smartphones. In today's world power banks have become a necessity if you own a smartphone with a big battery. Because power is something that won't be readily available everywhere if you travel a lot. Android smartphones consume a lot of battery especially the ones that run stock Android OS. Because these android smartphones don't have a significant power saving mode or ultra power saving mode.

And when you are shooting videos on your smartphone be it an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or OnePlus then the battery will discharge quickly because of the camera. So what will you do when your phone's battery gets exhausted and there is no availability of power nearby to you. Whenever you travel then you should use your phone less often for taking photos or videos. You can also carry a separate feature phone which will at least keep you in contact with your friends and family while traveling. But in case of an emergency, you should possess a power bank.

Buying a power bank is not enough because what's the use of a power bank that takes hours to charge your phone. Today most android and almost every modern iOS device support fast charging. Most modern smartphones support Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 which quickly charges a smartphone battery from 0 to 100 percent. If your smartphone supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 or even any kind of fast charging or quick charging, then buying normal power banks with no quick charging support would be a waste of time.

So, forget all kinds of power bank and check out the Xiaomi's Mi Power Bank 2i. It is the only reliable power bank that is cheap, safe, and has a fast charging support. A power bank with a fast charging support? Yes, you heard right. The Mi Power Bank 2i supports two-way fast charging. This means it can fast charge itself with a compatible fast charger and fast charge any smartphone which has fast charging support. Isn't it nice? you tell. The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 2i comes in two variants which have 10000mAh and 20000mAh capacity. But in this post, we will talk about the 10000mAh variant and give you its review, price, specifications, and safety tips.

Mi Power Bank 2i 10000mAh: Reasons to buy

  • Dual USB output. Charges two smartphones at the same time. Please note that while charging two devices simultaneously the fast charging won't work.
  • Large battery capacity of 10000mAh. 
  • Two-way fast charging support for smartphones and the power bank itself. You can simultaneously charge the power bank and can still charge your phones, gadgets with it.
  • Low power charging mode for low power gadgets like a smartwatch, Bluetooth, fitness bands etc.
  • Contains flat lithium-ion battery cells which are also used in smartphones. These flat lithium-ion batteries have a longer life as compared to the 18650 cells which are found in most power banks. If a single 18650 cell fails then the entire power bank will fail. But there is no such issue with the Mi Power Bank 2i.
  • 4 LED indicators show the estimate of battery percentage remaining. One LED indicators correspond to 25% of Power Bank charge.
  • Have built-in safety measures to protect your smartphone from overheating, overcurrent, overdischarge, short circuit and overvoltage.

➜ Download Mi Power Bank 2i User Manual PDF - Download

Mi Power Bank 2i 10000mAh Review


What's in the box?

You get a nicely packed power bank with a flat USB cable and a users manual. That's all you get in the box.

Mi power bank 2i safety

Mi Power Bank 2i Design

It features an aluminum metal frame with a scratch resistant surface. It is 14.2mm thin and weighs only 245g grams. That much weight isn't heavy to carry and you can put it in your pocket or backpack. It has two USB type A slots on the front which both supports fast charging. A separate micro USB port is given for charging the Mi Power Bank 2i. The micro USB port supports fast charging which reduces power bank's charging time.

Mi power bank 2i review

You can also find a power check button on the front panel. On pressing this power check button the LEDs will start to glow. There are a total of 4 LEDs and each single LED light denotes 25 percent of battery backup. So 4 LED lights denote 100 percent of battery backup. This power bank doesn't have any switch off button. You can't switch it off but the LEDs will stop blinking after few seconds. You can check the following image to get an idea of battery percentage in Mi Power Bank 2i.

Mi power bank 2i tips and tricks

Mi Power Bank 2i Charging Capacity

As per Xiaomi's claims, the 10000 mAh variant of Mi Power Bank 2i can provide a maximum output of 6500 mAh. This is the reason why most people doubt its mAh capacity. The power bank has 2 lithium-ion batteries of 5000mAh each connected in series. But actually, I managed to get an output of 8100mAh while charging a 3000mAh phone battery. Technically it should charge a 3000mAh battery at least 3.3 times to fully utilize its 10000mAh. But it is practically not allowed. This might be because of the circuit which saves some mAh (say 1000mAh on each battery) to protect the power bank batteries from getting seriously discharged.

Mi power bank 2i 10000mAh

Experts say that if a lithium-ion battery gets discharged to less than 2.5 volts per cell then it is almost dead. At this point, the charger can't charge the battery. Only a battery booster may help. So, to avoid such situation the power bank's circuit might be saving 2000mAh (or more on each battery) to prevent serious discharge cycles.

As per my testing, I managed to charge an Android smartphone with a 3000 mAh battery exactly 2.7 times. You can understand by checking the following data.

1. First time: Charged to 100 percent
2. Second time: Charged to 100 percent
3. Third time: Charged to 71 percent

So from the above data, it is clear that the Mi Power Bank 2i is capable of giving 81 percent of its total charging capacity (10000mAh) which charges a 3000mAh phone exactly 2.7 times. While charging, the supplied USB cable was used. And no heating was administered. Considering its performance I can suggest anyone to blindly go for this power bank which costs only 899₹ rupees.

Note: When you charge two mobile phones at the same time from this power bank then fast charging will not work. It can charge two devices simultaneously but at normal charging rate. Fast charging works only for one device at any time connected to any of the USB port.


Time Taken to Charge Mi Power Bank 2i

Mi Power Bank 2i may take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours depending on the charger you are using. Xiaomi recommends 9V 2A charger to charge this power bank. Using a 5V 1A standard charger will take more than 6 hours to charge it completely. Also, there is a risk of incorrect charging, damage, and fire while using the non-recommended chargers.

It is not a good idea to waste 6+ hours in charging this massive power bank. So I recommend buying a separate Xiaomi 9V 2A fast charger for this power bank. This fast charger will charge this power bank in around 4.2 hours. This Xiaomi 9V 2A power adapter costs only 499 rupees and will save a lot of time. To greatly reduce the charging you can also use a 12V 1A charger. But it is hard to find such charger. You can buy this power adapter from the link below.


Time Taken to Charge Smartphones/Devices With Mi Power Bank 2i

There is not much discussion needed here. The Mi Power Bank 2i will work as a portable power adapter for smartphones and low power devices. So, if your phone supports fast charging/quick charging then it will get charged quickly. Pressing the power check button 2 times will enable the low power mode which is suitable for charging low power devices. The output values of Mi Power Bank 2i is as follows.

Standard Output: 5.1V 2.4A
Fast Charging Output #1: 9V 1.6A
Fast Charging Output #2: 12V 1.25A

The standard output of this power bank is 5.1 volts and 2.4 amperes which is more than enough to charge most smartphones much faster than their original power adapters. Because standard adapters have only 5 volts 1-ampere output but Mi Power Bank 2i is giving twice the current at the same voltage. However, charging time will still greatly depend on device's power input feed. If a phone is not capable of taking more than 1 ampere then charging time won't have much difference as compared to its original charger.

Because of three charging outputs, the Mi Power Bank 2i gives an option to charge a wide variety of smartphones and other devices that have different power requirements in volts.

Mi Power Bank 2i Low/High Power Mode

When you are charging your smartphones or iPhones then you don't have to do anything special. But if you want to charge your smartwatch, fitness band, Bluetooth headset, or any other low power device which have a battery capacity less than 500mAh then you have to use low power mode. To enter low power mode simply press the power check button two times. After pressing the buttons two times the LED lights will blink one by one which means that low power mode is activated. Press the power check button anytime to exit the low power mode.

Mi Power Bank 2i Safety Tips

With a power bank comes safety precautions that you shouldn't ignore at any cost. There have been cases where the power banks got exploded without giving any warning. This happens because of incorrect usage and charging habits. Here are some tips to safely use your new Mi Power Bank 2i.

  • Use only recommended charger. This recommended charger will not only charge the batteries faster but it will also protect the power bank from overheating, short circuit, overvoltage or any kind of electrical damage. You should buy the Xioami 9V 2A adapter.
  • If you are carrying your power bank in your pocket or a backpack then don't put any metal object with it like coins, keys, or any other metal object. A metal contact with USB terminal can cause explosion or fire.
  • Never ever leave the USB cable connected to the power bank. This may result in a fire if the USB cable comes in contact with another metal object.
  • Avoid putting the power bank with your clothes in your cupboard. Never keep it near your data backup devices like hard drives, laptops, or computers. Put the power bank in a ventilated and isolated area where you can see it anytime.
  • Don't put the power bank near water. Also never immerse it in water. This may result in immediate explosion or fire.
  • Only use the supplied USB cable for charging purpose. Don't use low quality and long USB cables as they have a high electrical resistance which increases charging time.
  • Never put the power bank near you while charging and sleeping.

Should You Buy Mi Power Bank 2i

Of course, if you are looking for a portable supercharger then Mi Power Bank 2i is highly recommended. This is because it supports fast charging, has good quality lithium-ion cells, has 9 layers of circuit-chip protection. And you have two options while buying this. You can either buy the 10000mAh variant or the 20000mAh variant depending on your charging needs while traveling. You can buy any of these from the links given below.

Buy Mi Power Bank 2i 10000mAh - 899₹  rupees
Buy Mi Power Bank 2i 20000mAh - 1599₹  rupees

Verify Product With Xiaomi

You can also verify your Mi Power Bank 2i with Xiaomi and check if it is genuine or not. Every Mi power bank comes with a unique 20-digit code printed on the back of the retail box. To reveal the code you first have to scratch it. After getting the code go to http://www.mi.com/verify

Enter your 20-digit code here to get the details of your product.

Verdict

Just like smartphones power banks have become a necessity today. This is a perfect portable power backup solution for your smartphone if you move out of your house every day. Situations may arise like when you forget to charge your phone while leaving your office to go home. In this situation, a power bank will save you and you can charge the phone in the way back to your home. Its a must have gadget and can be used in emergencies when your phone's battery dies and you don't have any power outlet or charger near you. The Mi Power Bank 2i also saves time because it supports two-way fast charging.

A 3000 mAh phone can last for a day if you use it for calling and a little bit of internet only. In case of an emergency enable ultra power saving mode on your phone and keep the power bank with you fully charged. I'll bet you will definitely know the worth of having a reliable power backup with you in an emergency. If you want a reliable power bank then don't think too much the Xiaomi's Mi Power Bank 2i would be the ultimate choice for any smartphone user.

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How to Play Android Games on Your Windows PC

The best Android games can be so interesting that you want to continue playing them on your PC. There are a few different options if you feel the need to play Android games on a Windows PC. Even if cube breaking games like Toy Crush are designed to provide entertainment especially attractive for mobile phones, they can certainly provide the same entertainment on a regular computer. Make sure to pick an emulator or online solution that is easy to use so that you don’t have to spend hours on configuration. One of my favorite game is Toy Crush, and besides my android phone, I want to play it on my PC too.


You can use free emulators or online services that will make your favorite Android game available on your PC. Some say that PC gaming is better than console gaming and if you like to see your games on a bigger screen, it might beat the experience on your smartphone. Here are some methods that you should be able to use.

Use the Nox App Player Emulator

This is an Android emulator that you can use for free. You install the Nox App Player and get virtual Android environment on your PC. You use your mouse to tap and swipe instead of swiping on the screen with your finger. It takes a little bit of getting used to but you will soon get the hang of it.

BlueStacks for Android Games on PC

One of the most popular Android emulators for PC is BlueStacks. This is a software that you can install on your computer. When the installation is done, you can use the program as a separate window that will let you play Android games. You can download games from the Google Play Store just like you would with your smartphone. Using this program, you can also install other apps like Whatsapp on your PC which is pretty cool.

Android SDK

Another well known Android emulator is Android SDK. This is an emulator developed by Google. If you can figure out how to configure SDK, it might be a good choice. However, some say that it runs too slowly for the Android games to be as fun on a PC as they are on a mobile phone.

Install Remix OS

Remix OS as the name suggests is an operating system based on Android. The Remix OS can be installed on a USB pen drive or you can install it on your Windows PC as a dual boot. Remix OS lets you sideload your favorite Android games and you can play them on a Windows PC. For more info check out the Remix OS website.

So these were some of the options that can let you install and play your favorite Android games on a Windows PC. If you are looking for simple android app player then check out the nox player or the BlueStacks app player. But if you want something like Android OS on a Windows PC then install Remix OS and start using your PC as another android device to play games or install another app.

If you liked the article then please share it or if you have any other options regarding android PC game playing then do let us know via comments.