Month: November 2013

Quick fixes to Android’s 6 common problems

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Given the open nature of Android, users tend to experiment, slowing down the device after some time. Here are six tips to get your Android device back in tip-top shape without too much fuss.

Free up storage space

Over time, your device’s internal storage gets occupied by cache files, apps and files leftover when you remove apps. One of the simplest ways to get this storage space back is by moving apps to the microSD card. We recommend the free AppMgr III app as it supports batch moving of apps from internal storage to microSD card and vice versa. 

Also, camera images eat up lot of storage, so move your existing images to the memory card. In camera settings opt to save images on the memory card to save internal storage space.

Free up RAM

All running apps take up some amount of RAM. You don’t need this step if your device has 2GB or more of RAM, but with 1GB or less — you will notice slowdowns if you install too many apps. Some apps (system apps for instance) need to stay on for the device to work, others don’t. 

Clean Master (by KS Mobile) is a great app that can keep your Android device in peak condition. Not only does it free up device RAM, it can also clean up internal memory, help with app uninstalls and remove temporary files. A one-click ‘boost’ button widget is automatically added to your home screen.

Boost the performance

After a few months, most Android users notice a drop in performance. It may become slower to navigate, take longer to open apps while games and video playback shows random frame drops. To regain lost performance, there are a number of things you can do. Remove any unwanted apps and widgets as they eat up your resources by running in the background. You can also stop all the fancy menu animation effects (usually in Settings > Developer options > Window and Transition Animations). 

You can also use a task killer such as Super Task Killer Free. It kills running tasks after a set period of time or via the desktop idget to speed up phone performance. Using launchers like Nova, Nemus or Lightning will also make your device a lot faster. These launchers consume fewer resources and are highly customisable to suit a user’s requirements. You can even use the free AVG Antivirus app to boost performance. It has a built-in task killer, battery optimiser and a data usage monitor.

Remove bloatware

Bloatware is the collective term given to pre-installed apps on your device that you never asked for (and you may never use). Unfortunately, these apps remain on the device even if you perform a factory data reset. This may include apps from the device manufacturer itself, third-party (sponsored) apps or even Google apps that you don’t use. You can’t uninstall them, but one simple method to make sure that these apps don’t bother you is to disable them.

Head to the application manager in Settings, click on all and click on the apps you want to disable. The only available option to completely remove them is to root the device and use an app like Titanium Backup. Even flashing a custom ROM to replace the original Android OS will remove all bloatware. However, rooting and custom ROMs will void warranty.

Fix random crashes/freezing

There are a number of ways your Android device can get infected by malicious apps that slowdown your device and lead to random apps crashes. Direct download of apk files from websites /forums and at times fake apps from the Play Store itself (remember the fake BBM apps a few weeks back?) can corrupt your device. Install the free Clueful app and run it to identify the risk levels of apps installed on your device. 

The app classifies apps according to high, moderate or low risk — you can uninstall the high-risk apps immediately to get rid of any conflicts the app is causing. The mobile Security and Antivirus app by Avast comes with a Privacy advisor along with a powerful virus /malware scanner. It identifies and provides detailed information about apps installed on your device to help identify a reason for crashes.

Improve battery life

It’s unfortunate that battery technology has simply not kept pace with hardware. Given limitations of weight and size, most manufacturers use batteries that should last most users a day (roughly 10 to 12 hours of use). You may find that over time, battery life does decrease — partly because of normal battery wear & tear and partly because of your usage. 

An app called Battery Doctor (by KS Mobile) has enough options to satisfy both casual and power users. You can better manage remaining battery life using the included widgets. Advanced users can configure various battery saver modes and schedule functions to save more power. If this doesn’t work for you, try Easy Battery Saver (by 2Easy Team).

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10 most difficult tech firms for interviews

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Interviews can be hard for anyone, but several companies tend to make the interview process difficult in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Technology companies are particularly notorious for making the interviews tough, posing difficult questions to assess how applicants fare on various criteria.

Professional networking website Glassdoor has released the list of companies with the most difficult interview processes. We bring to you the technology with the toughest interviews, as well as details like average span of the interview process and the kind of experience that the interviewees have. Click to find out the 10 tech companies with the most difficult interviews:

ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks grabbed the top spot among technology companies when it came to the most difficult interview process, with an average difficulty rating of 3.9. Seventy three percent of the interviewees surveyed by Glassdoor reported a positive experience, while 14% had a bad experience.

The typical interview process at ThoughtWorks lasts 43 days, with interviewees giving it an employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Google

Google has an average difficulty rating of 3.6 out of 5, with a typical interview lasting 37 days. Sixty four percent interviewees had a pleasant experience, while 23% had a negative experience, with the company getting an average employee satisfaction rating of 3.3.

Hubspot

Software maker HubSpot has an average difficulty rating of 3.5 and employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5. The interview process takes 20 days on an average and 62% people had a good interview experience, while 27% had a bad one.

Avaya

Avaya takes the fourth spot in the list, with average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 2.9. Eighty six percent interviewees had a good experience, while 10% experienced a bad time, with the average process time being 30 days.

Microsoft

Software titan Microsoft secured an average difficulty rating of 3.4, while its employee satisfaction score is 3.7. The average interview process lasts 29 days, with 70% respondents having a positive experience and 14% reporting a negative time.

Sapient

With an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8, Sapient takes the sixth spot in the list. Average interview process at Sapient takes 12 days, with 76% respondents having a good experience and 13% having a negative time.

Citrix

Citrix grabs the seventh position in the ranking, with an average difficulty score of 3.4 and employee satisfaction rating of 3.8. The overall interview process on an average takes 29 days at the company, and 56% people report a positive experience and 26% have a negative time.

Nvidia

Nvidia gets an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8. The company on an average takes 22 days to complete an interview; 81% people in the survey had a positive experience, while 7% had a bad one.

Informatica

Informatica scores 3.4 in terms of average difficulty of the interview and 3.9 in employee satisfaction. In the survey, 83% of the respondents said they had a positive experience, while 11% had a negative time; average length of interviews at the company is 19 days.