All posts by Karthik

Karthik is a 19 year old blogger from Mangalore, India. He's a hardcore tech addict and loves writing tech related articles especially "how-to" articles. He's also a die-hard Android fan! You can find him active on Twitter @k_karthikp

5 YouTube Chrome Extension to Improve You-Tube Experience

Youtube chrome extension
YouTube is one of the biggest video site in the world. There are many dedicated Youtube chrome extensions are present in chrome app store. One of the most searched and useful is youtube chrome video downloader. We will look into some of the famous and non famous chrome extension for every youtube user.
Whether you want to watch a music video, learn guitar, check out videos for your favorite sport or want to learn a tricky science topic, YouTube has it all. Most of us spend hours together everyday watching the latest movie trailers, music videos, etc on YouTube. Admit it, we have all become addicted to YouTube.

Even though the overall watching experience on YouTube is pretty nice, it is human nature to always expect something more. Well, there are various Google Chrome extensions available that can improve your YouTube experience. In this post, I present you 5 such Google Chrome extensions that can take your YouTube experience to a completely different level.

Useful Youtube chrome extension for Every You Tuber

1. SmartVideo for YouTube

SmartVideo for YouTube

SmartVideo is an extension for Google Chrome that can provide you better control over buffering, video quality and playback options. This extension works with all YouTube videos irrespective of whether you are watching the video embedded on some site or directly on YouTube. It has different playback options such as playing the video as soon as the page has loaded or playing it once the entire video has finished buffering, looping the video, and much more. It provides you an option to set the default video quality for all your YouTube videos. This extension also lets you prevent YouTube from changing to HD when switching to full screen.

2. Turn Off the Lights

Turn Off the Lights

As the name suggests, this extension lets you fade the entire page to dark and focus only on the video so that you can get a complete movie experience. It fades the entire web page, so that all the distracting parts of the page are dimmed and only the video gets focussed. This extension also supports other video and image sites such as Picasa, Google Image Search, and much more.

3. A Cleaner YouTube

A Cleaner YouTube

If you are frustrated with the ads, comments, related videos, etc. on YouTube that really clutter the site, then this is just the add-on you need. This extension converts the YouTube video page into a clean, beautiful place. All you can see is the YouTube search bar, the video, and a few links. This is a perfect extension for those who love the minimalistic look.

4. Skip Ads on YouTube

Skip Ads on YouTube

While playing certain videos on YouTube, an advertisement is first played and then the video starts. Skip Ads on YouTube is a Google Chrome extension that lets you skip these advertisements and directly start the main video. This extension basically places a blue icon above the video, which on clicking skips the advertisement and immediately starts the video.

5. Lyrics for YouTube

Lyrics for YouTube

If you frequently watch music videos on YouTube, then this is the perfect extension for you. Lyrics for YouTube, displays lyrics of any song playing on YouTube, right next to the video. It can be a pretty useful extension, if you don’t want to open a different tab to find the lyrics of any video.

Here is one greasemonkey script which I’m using right now to download youtube videos. It gives option to download You tube videos in mp4 and .flv format. You can download it from here.

Well, I hope you like these Youtube chrome extensions. If you have any other extensions to recommend, share it to us via the comments section.

7 Chrome Extensions To Improve Your Google Plus Experience

Google Plus has been on the news ever since the day it was released. Millions of users flocked to check out this new social networking service by the search giant within just a few days of it’s release. Some people really liked the way Google designed this new networking service, whereas some claimed it to be a clone of Facebook. No matter what people have to say, Google Plus has become a really good competitor to it’s counterparts Facebook and Twitter.

In this post, I present to you 7 Google Chrome extensions that can completely enhance your Google Plus experience.

1. Extended Share for Google Plus

Extended Share for Google Plus

Extended Share for Google Plus is a perfect chrome extension for those who use other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, in addition to Google+. It provides a quick way to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Basically, it adds a “Share on..” link to each of your posts, which on clicking will bring up an internal bubble letting you share your posts directly on other social networks.

Download

2. Usability Boost for Google Plus

Usability Boost For Google Plus

This chrome extension makes small CSS changes in Google+, so as to improve the readability and make the page more pleasing. It basically puts more focus on the content and enables you to easily distinguish between the posts and comments. It also pins the notification bar at the top, so that is always accessible.

Download

3. Notification Count for Google Plus

Notification Count for Google Plus

This extension checks for any unread notifications on your Google+ account and displays the notification count on your browser notification toolbar. It can be really useful if you want to stay up to date with what’s happening in your Circles, without keeping an open tab to do so.

Download

4. GTools+

GTools

GTools+ is a really nifty Google Chrome extension that adds various useful features to Google+. It lets you stick the notifications bar always on top when scrolling, translate posts, customize notifications color, add notifications for Gmail and Google Reader, and much more.

Download

5. Google+Tweet

Google Tweet

Google+Tweet is a chrome extension that completely integrates Twitter inside Google+. It is a fully featured Twitter client for Google+. It lets you tweet, view your timeline, re-tweet, check your inbox, share your photos and much more.

Download

6. Google+ Tweaks

Google  Tweaks

This chrome extension lets you tweak the layout and features of Google+. You can preview images when you mouse over them, make Google+ use your full browser’s width, hide various elements that you don’t use, pin the notification bar and much more.

Download

7. Native Gmail for Google Plus

Native Gmail for Google Plus

This chrome extension lets you integrate Gmail into your Google+ page. It adds unread mail count in the notification bar and also lets you view your mails right within Google+. It also provides you options to set the refresh interval and the interval rate.

Download

Which among these extensions do you use? Have any other Google Chrome extensions to recommend? Tell us about it via the comments section.

Image Credit : Sean McCabe

Google Maps for Android adds ‘Download Map Area’ feature through Google Labs

Download Map Area Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the best map applications ever. No matter where you are, Google Maps never lets you lose your way. Ever since it was released, Google has been adding various features to Google Maps like turn-by-turn navigation, street view, etc. Well, Google has now added yet another feature to Google Maps for Android – “Download Map Area”. It is an experimental feature and has been launched through Google Labs.

Download Map Area is a feature that lets you download maps of any particular area and access it offline without any data coverage or Wi-Fi. You can download maps of up to a 10-mile radius of the area you selected. The maps are downloaded within a minute or two and stores only the base map titles and landmarks on the map. To see the Satellite View and 3D buildings, search for Places and get Directions, you will still require a data connection. However, the downloaded maps will have enough details for you to easily figure out the way.

So, how do you enable and use this new feature anyway?

Well, to start using this feature on your Android phone you first need to make sure that you have the updated version of Google Maps. If not, head over to the Android Market and update your Google Maps. Once you have the updated version, open Google Maps and enable “Download Maps Area” by going to Menu->More->Labs.

Google Maps Download Map Area

On the Map, click on any place (for eg. Cathedral St. Andre) and select more or “>” to get the Place page menu. There you will notice that the Download Map Area option has been added. Just select it and your map will be download within no time. You can now access the downloaded maps even without a data connection or Wi-Fi. You can manage all your downloaded map areas from the Google Maps cache settings. However, all downloaded map areas will be removed from your cache after 30 days.

So, do you like this new feature in Google Maps? What other features do you wish to see in Google Maps? Tell us about it via the comments section.

Image Credits : Official Google Mobile Blog

How to take screenshots of your Android device [Tutorial]

Being a blogger, I frequently write reviews about different websites, softwares, mobile applications etc. To make my posts more attractive and interesting, I always make sure that I include the screenshots of the app or website I am reviewing. Taking screenshots on a computer is very easy, as there are hundreds of tools available that enable you to do so. But, how do you take screenshots on an Android phone?

Well, I had to do a lot of Googling before actually finding a solution to this. Basically, there are 2 ways to take screenshots on your Android phone. The first method is a little tricky and involves the use of Android SDK to capture the screen. The second method involves installing apps on your phone to capture your screen. In this post, I will explain both the methods of taking screenshots on your Android phone.

Method 1 : Using the Android SDK

The Android SDK is basically a software development kit which enables developers to create applications for the Android platform. The kit contains a utility called Dalvik Debug Monitor. This is the software we will be using to take the screenshots.

Step 1 : Installing the SDK and other necessary files

Before you install the Android SDK you need to make sure that you have the Java Development Kit installed. If not, you can download it from here. Scroll down to the Java SE Development Kit bundles and download the “JDK x Update xx with Java EE”. Install the SDK and it’s various libraries, including the Android tools.

Once you have installed the Java Development Kit, head over to the Android Developers website and download the Android SDK. The SDK is available on Windows, Mac as well as Linux. If you are using Windows, it is better to download the installer rather than the zip file as it provides an easy way to install the Android SDK. In case you have downloaded the compressed file, just extract it’s contents into a folder.

Now, for the purpose of taking screenshots, these steps should be enough. But, those who want to develop applications for Android, can check out this comprehensive tutorial on how to install the Android SDK.

Step 2 : Getting your device ready

The SDK can communicate with your device, only when USB debugging is enabled on your device. To do this, just head to Settings->Applications->Development on your Android device and tick the “USB Debugging” option. You can also tick the “Stay Awake” option to prevent your device from going offline when plugged in.

Once you have enabled USB Debugging on your device, just connect your device to the computer. Your Android device is now ready to communicate with the SDK.

Step 3 : Launching the Dalvik Debug Monitor

To open the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service, just navigate to the folder where you have stored the SDK and go to tools->ddms. The Dalvik Debug Monitor window opens.

Here, in the left pane you will see the list of all connected devices. Just double-click on your device. Also make sure that your device is “online”.

Step 4 : Taking Screenshots

If you have followed the above steps correctly, your device should now be ready to take screenshots. To capture the screen of your device, just go to Device->Screen Capture or press Ctrl+S. The Device Screen Capture window opens with a screenshot of your device screen. This image is a static image, and hence you will need to hit the “Refresh” button in order to update the captured image.

If you want to change the orientation of the screen, just hit the “Rotate” button. You can save the screenshots as a PNG file or even copy the image to clipboard.

That’s it! You can now take screenshots of your device any time you want. Well, if you find this method a bit tricky you can always opt for the second method which is relatively easier.

Method 2 : Using third-party Android applications

Those who don’t prefer using the SDK for the purpose of taking screenshots, can use third party applications to do so. If you search for the term “sreenshots” in the Android Market, you will find that there are various apps available that let you take screenshots of your device. But the problem is most of them require you to root your Android phone. There are quite a few apps which lets you take screenshots without rooting. Below, you can find simple steps on how to root your Android device as well as a list of Android apps that lets you take screenshots.

Taking screenshots by rooting your device

Rooting is a process of modifying your phone to gain complete control over it. There are various methods to root your Android device. A very simple method is by using an app called Universal Androot to root your device. Using this app is very easy and you can root your Android phone with just one-click.

In case Universal Androot doesn’t work for your device, you can try the methods posted here.

Once you have rooted your phone, you can use any of the apps listed below to take screenshots of your Android device.

1. Screenshot It – Screenshot It is a simple app that lets you take screenshots of your phone’s screen and save it as a jpg or png file. It lets you take screenshots by setting a timer or by even shaking your phone. In addition to this, it also enables you to crop the screenshots and choose a custom directory for your screenshots. However, this is a paid app and will cost you $3.99.

2. ShootMe – ShootMe is a free app to take screenshots of your device. You can shake your device, shout or even use the light sensor to take the screenshot.

3. PicMe – Compared to the above apps, PicMe lets you control as well as take screenshots of your device from a remote browser. All you have to do is fire up the app and go to http://your_phone_ip_address:8082 to control your device and also take screenshots. This app too is available for free in the Android Market.

Taking screenshots without rooting your device

There are various reasons why people do not root their Android device. Well, in that case you can use the app below for taking screenshots.

No Root Screenshot ItNo Root Screenshot It is a paid app that lets you take screenshots of your phone without rooting. It is similar to the app Screenshot It, both in looks as well as features, since it was developed by the same person. You can download this app from the Android Market at $4.99.

Well, these are the different ways I could find to take screenshots on Android. If you are experiencing any problems with the above listed methods or happen to know any other method to take screenshots on Android, tell us about it via the comments section.

How to control your PC using your Android Smartphone

Whenever watching movies or listening to loud music on the computer we often tend to keep meddling with the volume, changing tracks, etc. But it is really annoying to walk up to the computer from your comfortable couch or the bean bag just for doing these small adjustments. You really wish you could have a remote control for doing such tasks.

Well, PcRemote is one such application that lets you use your android smartphone to easily control your PC. PcRemote enables you to use your phone as a keyboard, a sophisticated touch pad, media remote control, presentation control and also system power control. It lets you control your PC using WiFi, Bluetooth or even 3G.

Audio & Video Remote Control

This feature lets you easily control the media player on your computer. It enables you take full control of your media player such as play, pause, next track, previous track, volume adjustment and much more.

Presentation Control

Using this feature, you can control your PowerPoint presentation such as start, stop, next slide, previous slide.

Keyboard

You can use the on-screen keyboard on your android phone as a virtual keyboard for your computer.

Touchpad

Using PcRemote you can use your cell phone as a touchpad for your computer. The screen basically acts as the touch pad and the volume keys act like the mouse wheel. Left click can be done using the camera key.

System Power Control

PcRemote also lets you perform certain system operations such as shutdown, hibernate, sleep, restart as well as log off your computer.

In order to use the application you must also install the server software on your PC. You can download PcRemote application as well as the server software from the link given below (provided by the developer) :

Link

You can also download the app directly from the Android Market by using the QR Code below. Use your preferred QR Code Scanner to scan the below QR Code and follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the installation.

This application is pretty simple to install and use. If you are experiencing any problems in installing or using the app, let us know. We’ll try our best to help you.