Some useful Windows 10 tricks

Windows 10, Microsoft’s back-to-basics re-embracing of the PC, is brimming with handy new features, and with all the new goodies come a legion of new tweaks and tricks—some of which unlock powerful functionality hidden to everyday users.

Others simply let you mold some of Windows 10’s new features into the shape you see fit. I’ve shared quite a few useful tips and tricks before, the most recent one being the things you can do with Cortana, like automatically finding discount coupons while you shop. So continuing along the same lines, here are some more useful Windows 10 tweaks, tricks, and tips I have found.

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Windows 10 : Let Cortana help you find discount coupons, send mails, play music and more

Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, now has 133 million active users across 115 countries, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed on Monday during the Microsoft Ignition Conference. Even more impressive, those users have asked 12 billion questions since Cortana’s launch in 2015 alongside Windows 10.

If you’d like to be able to just bark commands at your PC, open Cortana by clicking the search field in the taskbar and select the Notebook icon in the left-side options pane. Select Settings from the list, then simply enable the Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana” option. You’ll need an active microphone for this to work, of course.

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Open individual settings using Desktop shortcuts

Want to see Windows 10’s log of your I/O usage — the Data Usage app in Settings — by simply clicking or tapping on the Desktop? Enable or disable your microphone with two clicks? Turn off your webcam? Manage your Wi-Fi settings? It’s easy.

If there are some Windows 10 settings that you access frequently, you would like an option to open them directly by clicking on a desktop shortcut or a right-click context menu item, right? Well in this post, we will see the URI for Settings apps, that open the particular Settings page directly.

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Pokémon Go: How to choose the best eggs to incubate!

One of the more exercise-focused aspects of Pokémon Go is hatching eggs. Each egg has a distance meter next to it, and when you put that egg in an incubator it becomes active. When you walk the distance marked on the egg while playing the game, the egg will hatch and you’ll get a brand new Pokémon with a bunch of Pokémon Candy for that creature.

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Here’s how to Access Hidden Settings on your Phone

Depending on what flavor of Android your phone is based on, you might be stuck with a settings page that is… a bit of a mess to say the least.

For that reason, Google introduced a search feature in the settings app starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

search-288x300.pngHowever, there are a few settings screens that are inaccessible from this search bar. These are activities that are able to be called within the Settings app, however, they require you to directly invoke them as the manufacturer has not otherwise provided a user-accessible link. The easiest way to launch these settings are to use an app like Activity Launcher, but Nova Launcher/Tasker and other apps are able to access these activities as well. What hidden menus you are able to access differs across devices, but here are a few examples that I’ve found on the Nexus 6P (that should be accessible on most Android phones) as well as a few that are specific to the Huawei P9.

Notification Log



Did you know that Android logs all of your notifications? Since Android 4.3, Google has tucked away a hidden settings page called the Notification log that lists every notification received with the notification’s title, status bar icon, originating app, and time the notification was posted. Unfortunately, the log does not record detailed information about a notification so you’re unable to see the exact contents of a Hangouts message, for instance. This settings page can be found at$NotificationStationActivity.

Detailed Cellular/Network Information and App Usage Statistics



There is a hidden “Testing” settings page ( that can be readily accessed by many Android phones. Within the settings screen here, you are able to view detailed information about your current cellular and WiFi collection as well as app usage statistics. Within the Phone Information page (directly accessible via, for instance, you can see a list of nearby cellular towers (I’ve redacted that part in my screenshot because the list is very large), your signal strength, and some network testing information such as successful packets sent/received. In addition, you can set your preferred network type, disable the cellular radio (effectively the same as enabling airplane mode, without toggling WiFi/Bluetooth), and change some other network settings. Be warned that these network settings are hidden for a reason, so do not change any settings unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re doing.

Next up is the Usage Statistics (directly accessible via screen. Here, we have a page that provides us some basic information about how much time we spend using certain apps. Android logs and lists your app usage and allows you to sort by usage time, last time the app was used, or by app name. It’s a quick and easy way to see what apps you regularly use without having to give permission to a third party app to track your habits. And yes, it persists across reboots.



Finally, there’s the hidden WiFi settings page (directly accessible via or by entering *#*#4636#*#* in the dialer). There’s not much useful information to be gleaned here for the average user, though. The WiFi API page lists a few options that developers can use to pull information about the device’s WiFi connection, but there’s nothing for you to use. The WiFi Config page provides a ton of information about your currently configured WiFi networks, though, so if that information is relevant to you then you’ll enjoy this page. Finally, the Wifi Status page provides a more condensed version of your Wifi configuration and even allows you to run a quick ping test to test your connection.


Huawei P9-Specific Settings

Here’s where things get interesting. Device manufacturers often hide specific settings of their own, and just like the above few activities you’ll have to do some digging to find some of these. For Huawei’s P9, here are a few that I’ve found.

USB OTG Toggle




Now here’s an oddball feature. Apparently, there’s a hidden toggle that was supposed to be used to enable/disable USB OTG (and by default the option is off) but for some reason it was left out of the settings app. As far as I know, USB OTG works regardless of whether or not the option is enabled in this screen. Perhaps Huawei originally intended to disable the feature by default, but then decided against it?

Signal Icon Style



This setting allows you to change the behavior of the signal icon, depending on how many SIM cards you have inserted (the Huawei P9 accepts two SIMs).

Time Display Mode



This setting lets you choose whether or not you want to display the timestamp seen in calls, messages, and calendar in local time or Beijing time. I’m not sure why this menu exists, but if you need it it’s there to use.

Audio Balance



Here’s an interesting one that was hidden by Huawei: a sound balancing feature. Supposedly, you are supposed to be able to control the left/right sound balance using this slider, but I couldn’t hear any difference. Perhaps Huawei scrapped this feature partway through development, so we might see it in a future Huawei phone.

Now that we’ve gone through a few of the hidden settings activities as well as how to access them, you should try digging through your phone’s settings app to see if you can find anything interesting. Who knows, there could be a really useful feature that was cut at the last minute!

Give it a shot and let us know what you find in the comments below.

Top 10 android news stories of the week

The amount of Android news each week can be overwhelming, and so we have picked the most liked android news from all over the internet and made a top 10 list for you to stay on top of everything that’s been happening all week in the world of android.

Here are the favorite news stories for the week:

#10 – Google Docs and Sheets add-ons

Google has been attempting help users be more productive with the help of its Docs and Sheets services. The company has announced a partnership with 8 different companies to integrate add-ons into the Google-sphere of services.

#9 – Prisma will soon turn your videos into art

What’s better than an app that turns selfies into instant art? An app that does the same thing for video and virtual reality.

That’s what Prisma, the app that has already captured the imagination of the photo-sharing community, is working to bring to the public next.

#8 – Google Camera gesture

Being able to switch between your front and rear cameras can be a hassle from time to time, but with the latest version of Google Camera, there is a new hidden gesture. Simply twist your phone a couple of times and the application will quickly switch between the front and rear cameras.

#7 – Google emergency services

Google is working with wireless carriers in the UK and Estonia to make it easier for emergency services to reach your exact location. As long as the feature is supported by your wireless carrier, Google will now send you location to emergency services whenever you dial an emergency number. The company is also planning to expand this feature internationally in the near future.

#6 – Android Tips & Tricks

Finding the best tips & tricks to manage your Android devices can be a bit tricky. Opening web page after web page can be a hassle, and may cause you to miss something really awesome. The team at Google has updated its Android webpage to include a “Tips & Tricks” section to showcase some of the best features of Android.

#5 – Google Dialer spam calls

With the latest update to Google’s Dialer application, owners of either Nexus or Android One devices will now be warned if an incoming call is suspected of being a spammer. Other manufacturers already have this feature built-in but it’s good to see Google integrating this into their application for Nexus owners.

#4 – Google Play Family Library

Announced at Google I/O 2016, the Family Library feature for Google Play has officially launched. the service allows members of a family to share purchases between Google accounts without the need to add multiple accounts to each device.


#3 – Hangouts 11 Group Chat

One of the hidden new features within the latest Hangouts 11 update is the ability to easily share group chats with new members. You can now create a short link to your group chat of choice, and share that with whomever you want to add to the group. These group chats can also be searched within your contacts list.

#2 – Google algorithm app updates

In an effort to lower the amount of data used when downloading updates, Google has updated its delta algorithm to allow users to only download the new changes, versus re-downloading the entire application again.

#1 – Google Maps UI update

Google has released a new update to its Google Maps services which include an all new UI. The update not only cleans up the look of the application, but also marks areas of interest with special icons.


Prisma app over capacity or slow? Help, tips and tricks for quicker artworks

If you’re one of the many people trying out AI-powered artwork app Prisma in recent days, you’ll no doubt have run into the app’s main pain point — speed. Or rather, lack of speed. Prisma’s intelligent, artistic filters are impressive for sure, but they can take a lot of time to apply — particularly at peak times.

Let’s take a look at why Prisma can be so slow, and what you can do about it.

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