How To Install The Nokia Camera App On Any Android Phone

Nokia was once the most popular phone manufacturer in the world. It had some of the best hardware, reasonably good design, and a fairly intelligent OS running on its sturdy phones. This was of course the feature phone era and Nokia didn’t really make it big once smart phones became popular. That said, it did try to compete and while it was still in the race, it released a series of phones called Lumia which boasted an excellent camera, and an ever better camera app. With its recent resurgence in the smart phone market with new handsets running Android, the Nokia Camera app has made a come back. The app is officially only meant for Nokia’s own phones but you can install the Nokia Camera app on any Android phone via its ported version.

Requirements

  • Your need an Android phone. Root is not required and there isn’t a restriction as to which version of Android you ought to be running.
  • Your phone camera must support the Camera2 API level 3.

Nokia Camera App

Download the Nokia Camera App from XDA Forums. Sideload the app on your device by copying the APK file to your device’s internal or external storage. Use a file manager app, or the storage viewer in the Settings app to open, and install the app. Once installed, open your app drawer and run the app.

You’ll be given a brief tutorial. The highlight feature of the Nokia Camera app is its Pro mode. This Pro mode lets users manually adjust white balance, shutter speed, exposure, etc. Tap, hold, and swipe up on the shutter button to enable Pro mode. Swipe down on the shutter to disable it. Pro mode works with both the back and front camera.

The app doesn’t have any features that you won’t find in other feature rich camera apps however, the Nokia Camera app was popular because it worked well and the results were great. The photos are the true test of this app. You might have an app with similar settings available and that’s what you want to compare results with.

From our brief test, the app is taking fairly good pictures but we had a very capable device i.e. the Nexus 6P which has a great camera. The Nokia Camera app may run well for the most part but you might still experience crashes.

For example, we weren’t able to access the app’s settings because each time we tried, the app would crash. You might experience other crashes and that’s to be expected since this is a ported app in its early stages of development. It ought to fix itself soon.

Read How To Install The Nokia Camera App On Any Android Phone by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Find What Camera2 API Level Your Android Phone Supports

Phone cameras, as far as end users are concerned, have to do with pixels and which features of the next OS they will support. For most, buying a flagship phone is usually the safest bet because Android camera apps can get quite ambitious and they rely on your device having a good capable camera or you won’t be able to install them. With cameras, it isn’t just about how many pixels it is. A lot of other factors come into play as well one of which is what Camera2 API level your phone supports.

Camera2 API Level

It’s pretty easy to find out what Camera2 API level your phone supports. Your OS won’t tell you but you can download a free app named Camera2 API Probe. Install it, and run it on your phone. Look at the Hardware Level Support Category section. The first field will tell you two things; whether or not your camera supports the Camera2 API, and which level it supports.

The app can also give you additional information about the camera on your device such as whether or not you can manually control the exposure and the focal length. The default camera app may not have the controls for it however you can find apps in the Play Store that will let you manually control both these things.

Other useful information you can find is whether or not your camera can take RAW photos. You can get this information for both the front and back end camera. They may have the same or different specifications. The entire specifications list can be copied to your clipboard and/or emailed to someone via dedicated buttons at the bottom of the app’s home screen.

Why It Matters?

If you’re running an ordinary app from the Play Store, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need this information. With some apps, those that are meant to run on specific devices like the Pixel phones, or one of Nokia’s flagship phones. These apps are built for a specific device and they won’t normally run on other devices but ported versions of these apps are developed so users who own other devices can benefit from them. The Google Camera app is one popular example.

With ported apps, there are limitations and sometimes they require that your device support a specific Camera2 API level. If you’re looking to run such an app and need to know this particular specification for the camera on your device. this app is the easiest way to find out.

Read How To Find What Camera2 API Level Your Android Phone Supports by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Change The Chat Background In Whatsapp

By default, all chat threads in Whatsapp have the same background. It’s not a bad background; the chat bubbles stand out from it, and the text inside them is easy to read. It is a bright background though and Whatsapp doesn’t have a dark mode. Additionally, the same background means every thread looks the same at a glance and you might message the wrong person if you’re not careful. You can change the chat background in Whatsapp. The feature is built in to the app so you won’t have to download additional tools. All you need is the image you want to set as the background

Whatsapp lets you set a solid color as the chat background, it has a few presets that you can choose from, or you can use any image from your camera roll as the background. This works on both iOS and Android. On Windows 10, you can only set a solid color as the wallpaper background. Whatsapp’s presets and the option to use a custom image is not available on the desktop and web version of the app.

Chat Background In Whatsapp

If you want to use a custom background, download it and save it to your camera roll. On Android, you don’t necessarily have to save it to the DCIM folder since apps can easily access the Downloads folder as well.

Open Whatsapp and tap Settings. On the Settings screen, tap Chat.

On the Chats screen, tap Chat Wallpaper. On the Chat Wallpaper screen, you will see three options for selecting a wallpaper; Wallpaper Library which is Whatsapp’s own library of wallpapers, Solid Colors which features solid color backgrounds, and then there is Photos which lets you pick a photo from your camera roll.

Select  the source, and then select the wallpaper you want to use for your chats. You can change it any time, and you can tap the Reset Wallpaper option to return the wallpaper back to the default one. The color of the chat bubbles will not change to contrast with the new wallpaper. They will still be white and green.

The wallpaper is applied to all chats. Whatsapp unfortunately doesn’t give users the option to set a different wallpaper for each chat thread. This may have to do with keeping the size of the app small on your device since each image takes up space and Whatsapp tends to get pretty big with all the images, videos, and voice messages that are shared.

The wallpaper will not sync to the Whatsapp desktop app for Windows 10, nor will it sync to Whatsapp for web.

Read How To Change The Chat Background In Whatsapp by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Download Your Whatsapp Account Information

The Cambridge Analytica scandal made a lot of people think about deleting Facebook. Since then, Facebook has vowed to improve how it protects its users data. It’s also made it possible for users that use other apps that it owns to download their personal data. A lot of other apps and services have followed suit e.g. you can download your data from Apple. Whatsapp is the latest app to come into this fold. You can now download your Whatsapp account information.

Whatsapp Account Information

Update to the latest version of Whatsapp in order to download your account information. This feature is available for both iOS and Android users. It is not available on the Whatsapp Windows 10 app, nor is it available on the web version.

Open Whatsapp and go to the Settings tab. Tap Account, and on the Account screen, tap ‘Request Account Info’.

On the Request Account Info screen, you will see a ‘Request Report’ button. Tap it to request a report of your account information. The information will be ready in 3 days tops which indicates that there isn’t that much data stored. It’s important to note that if you make any changes to your account e.g., if you delete it, change your password, or change the phone number associated with your account, the request will be cancelled.

You will have to send the request again though Whatsapp doesn’t say if your data will be altered by any of these changes. It stands to reason that if you change the phone number associated with your account, it’s a pretty significant change which practically makes it so that you have a new or different account. The request is annulled by such a change and it may be also impact what data is available. What’s we’re saying, to be on the safe side, get a copy of your Whatsapp account information before you make any of these changes. You can always change your password or phone number later and request a fresh copy of your account information.

If your change your phone number or password and it impacts what information you can download, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to undo it later. The account information does not include your chats; active or archived. It will likely include your profile picture, your name, phone numbers, your contacts, some location data, and perhaps your data usage stats. If you’re looking to download a copy of your chats, you’re going to have to create a backup and email it to yourself. Whatsapp has a built-in tool that lets you do this so it’s pretty simple.

Read How To Download Your Whatsapp Account Information by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Sideload Apps On Android, Are There Risks?

If you’re an Android user then you’ll know that there are a ton of apps on the Play Store which you can download and install to add all kinds of new functionalities to your device. However, not every app that you might want to use is available from the Play Store. Depending on the region that you are in and the version of Android that your device is running, some apps may not be available for you in the Play Store. When this happens and you want to install an app, you can manually install the app directly from an installer file in a process called sideloading.

In this article we’ll teach you the basics of what siteloading is and what the risks associated with it are, so that you can proceed safely. Then we’ll show you how to sideload apps on Android.

What Is Sideloading?

Sideloading is a term referring to installing apps to your Android device that do not come from the Play Store. Normally, when you want to install an app onto your Android device then you simply go to the Play Store, search for the app you want, and then install it from the Play Store page. But sometimes you’ll want to install an app from a source other than the Play Store.

To do this you’ll need to change some settings on your Android device and then find a .apk file to install the app that you want. This process is called sideloading.

Why Sideload An App?

Sometimes, there are apps that aren’t available on the Google Play store. This can happen when an app clashes with the terms of service of the Play Store, for example by accessing a setting that it should not. Famously, the iOS App Store bans or removes apps all the time with very little explanation of why, which is frustrating for both developers and users. The Google Play Store is usually not so bad as the App Store, but still there are legitimate apps which are not allowed on the Play Store for some reason. If you want to use one of these apps, you’ll need to sideload it.

Another reason to sideload is that an app may not yet be available in your region. Often apps are released to only some regions to begin with, and people who live outside these regions will have to wait months or even years to try the app. By sideloading this app, users in these other regions can try it out straight away. At other times, apps cannot be released in some regions at all due to regional restrictions. In this case, the only way that you can use the app is to sideload it. Users also sideload apps is if they have obtained those apps from a download or other grey-legal source.

You might also sideload an app if you have bought it from a legitimate source other than the Play Store. For example, if you buy games from the Humble Bundle promotions then you get access to those games on Steam, Windows, Android, or other platforms. When you go to redeem the games, you can get a code for Steam use or a downloadable installer for Windows. However, for Android you cannot access the game through the Play Store. Instead, you must download a .apk file and then use this file to sideload the game onto your device.

What Are The Risks Of Sideloading Apps?

You’ll see lots of warnings about sideloading, both from websites which give information about it and from your device when you start the process. This is because there are indeed security risks of sideloading apps that you should be aware of. An app that you sideload has not been checked and approved by the Play Store, meaning that it could contain malicious code which could harm or even brick your device.

Apps that are downloaded illegally often have this problem. The .apk files that you use to install an app might look legitimate and may even actually work to install the app, but they can include extra hidden malware inside too. This malware can do things like steal your data, insert extra ads into your web browser and other apps, or make your device part of a botnet.

This is a big problem for Android users who want to sideload apps as a .apk file can install all sorts of things onto your device. For this reason, you should be very careful to only use trustworthy sources when you sideload an app. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t hand your unlocked phone to a stranger for them to play with. And installing a .apk file is like letting a program access your unlocked phone. Therefore, you should only install .apks from sites that you know and trust.

How To Sideload An App

Now that you understand what the process of sideloading is and what the risks involved are, you can decide if you want to continue. In order to start sideloading you will first need to enable the use of unknown sources in your device, and then you can move onto the actually loading of apps. Don’t worry, it’s a simple process. Just follow these steps to start sideloading apps to your Android device:

Enable Unknown Sources

In order to start sideloading apps, you first have to turn off the prevent unknown sources feature in the Android security menu. This option is there to prevent people from accidentally installing software onto their device from untrustworthy sites. If you’re a regular Android user and you know about security then you can turn this option off and be careful only to install apps from sites that you trust.

Here’s how to enable the use of unknown sources to install software on Android:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Security (this menu item is in different places on different devices. On our device it’s under the Lock screen and security section)
  3. Find the Unknown sources item
  4. Set the slider to the on position
  5. You’ll see a warning that installing from unknown sources may be harmful to your device. Click OK to continue
  6. Now you can install software from locations other than the Play Store and you’re ready to start sideloading apps

How To Sideload An App

With the unknown settings allowed, we’re ready to start sideloading. This process is actually very easy, but you need to be sure that the .apk file that you are going to use to install the app is safe and that it is from a legitimate, trustworthy source. Be very careful when installing an app from a source that you don’t know or from a dodgy site like those which sell apps for cheap or for free as often these .apk files might contain malware that could harm your device. It’s best to stay on the side of caution when you are installing new software onto a device like your phone which you use a lot.

Once you have found an .apk file from a trustworthy source, here’s how you sideload it:

  1. Find the .apk file that you want to sideload. For this example, we’re going to use a game from the Humble Bundle. So you log into the Humble Bundle site and go to your library, then hit the direct download link to download the file to your device
  2. At this point Android will warn you that this file type can harm your device. As long as you trust the source of the file, click on OK to proceed anyway
  3. Now the package installer will open and you’ll see a screen with the name of the app at the top. The screen will ask you if you want to install the app, and it will tell your what files the app will be able to access. If you’re happy with this, click on Install to continue
  4. You’ll see a screen that says Installing… Wait patiently while the installation happens, as this can take a while for big apps like games
  5. When everything is completed you’ll see a confirmation screen saying App installed. Click on Open to open up your new app
  6. Now your app is ready to use. It should work just like any app that you install from the Play Store

Use A VPN To Protect Yourself

If you use your Android device a lot, and particularly if you’re going to go browsing for .apk files on sites that may not be trustworthy, then you should take steps to protect yourself from security threats. One of the best methods of protection for Android users is to install a VPN. This is an app that you install onto your device and which then encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the internet. Whether you are on your network at home or using public wifi somewhere else, whenever your VPN is connected it will encrypt your data so that no one can intercept it.

This data encryption protects you from threats like identity theft as it stops people from stealing your data. One common problem on public wifi networks is that users are vulnerable to hacking from other users who are connected to the same network. Users on the same network have more permissions to access each other’s devices than is usual on the internet, so you need to be careful when you use these public networks.

The VPN encryption will also protect your privacy by preventing your ISP from seeing what sites you visit on your Android device or what files you download. If you download software or media illegally then it’s particularly important to use a VPN, as your ISP can see what you are doing on their network and if you are caught you could be fined or prosecuted. When you use a VPN, the encryption means that no one can see what you do online or whether you are downloading, so you won’t get any nasty surprises form your ISP.

Our Recommended VPNs

We have selected some particular VPNs that we recommend to Android users which will keep you safe when browsing the internet on your Android device:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs due to its strengths on all the key fronts: speed, ease of use, and security. The security features include the essential features of 256-bit encryption so that no one can crack the encryption and view your data, and a no logging policy so that you can be sure that your online activities aren’t being recorded or made available to any other company. In the software you’ll find more security options like the ability to enable DNS leak protection to stop people from tracking you via your DNS use, a kill switch to stop you from inadvertently sending data over an unsecured connection, and an IP address checker so you can confirm that your VPN is working and hiding your real IP address.

The number of servers available is huge, with more than 1500 servers in 94 different countries, and the connections you get from these servers are super fast and are perfect for downloading and streaming. The Android app is really easy to use, with a simple big button on the home screen to let you connect to your VPN and be protected in just one tap. If you have other devices, the software can also be installed on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, plus some games consoles and smart TVs, and there are browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.

Read our full ExpressVPN review here.

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2. IPVanish

IPVanish is a lightning fast VPN that’s perfect for users who don’t want to be slowed down. The speed doesn’t come at the expense of security though, as there are essential security features like strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. You can also find more security options in the software like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, periodic IP address change, and DNS configuration. So you can use your own DNS settings, keep protected from leaks, and switch IP address every few minutes if you want in order to give yourself the best possible security.

There are plenty of servers available, with a network that covers more than 1000 servers in 60 countries. The Android app has more advanced features like a graph on the home page to show your incoming and outgoing speeds and your IP address, and you can also install the software on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Read our full IPVanish review here.

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Conclusion

If you ever want to install an Android app from a source other than the Play Store then you’ll need to know how to sideload an app. You should be careful when doing this as you should only install software from sources that you trust, as you will be letting software have access to the sensitive data on your phone. However, if you know the source of your apps and you trust it, then the process for sideloading is simple and is useful to know.

Have you tried sideloading apps on your Android device? Do you have any tips for spotting dangerous .apk files or advice on where to find safe .apks? Let us know in the comments below.

Read How to Sideload Apps On Android, Are There Risks? by Georgina Jones on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter