Get More Android Apps With No Geo-restrictions from Another Store

The Google Play store is the default repository of apps to download and install apps on Android mobile devices, but there are more apps that may not be available in your region or excluded from the Play store from time to time due to its policies and restrictions.

This limitation prompts several third party stores to rise up in the marketplace. Besides adding apps from Google Play, third party stores have an advantage to cover apps without region restrictions and those apps that are otherwise only available from the developers’ website, such as TubeMate.

Here we review Aptoide, which is one of the popular third party stores and reportedly hosting more than 900,000 apps with almost 200 million users.

The store lists the apps you’ve installed on your device, recommends editors’ choice of apps and lets you search for more apps from within the store. Moreover, it allows you to share your favorite apps with the Aptoide community.

This store app is only available from outside the Play store. You will need to enable settings in the Android system to allow for installing apps from the “unknown” source.  Read More

How to set up better system notifications on Linux with Dunst

If you want a robust, highly customizable notification system to take the place of your system’s boring built-in one, you need to check out Dunst. It’s a complete notification system replacement that is very configurable and has much more features than what comes by default. Here’s how to get it working.

Note: don’t try to use Dunst on KDE Plasma 5, Gnome Shell or desktops built on Plasma or Gnome. These desktops have good systems already, and it’s not worth using Dunst with them.

Disable current notification system

Dunst will not work correctly, or even launch if you do not already have the notification system on your desktop environment already shut off. So, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, from there, follow the instructions that correspond with your Linux desktop environment.

Note: tiling window managers typically do not have a built-in notification system. Skip this section if you are using i3, Dwm, or something similar that doesn’t have a notification system.

XFCE4

The XFCE4 desktop environment doesn’t have a feature that allows users to turn off the notification system with a quick tweak. Instead, users need to completely purge the Notifyd service and kill it before working with Dunst. To do this, follow the uninstallation instructions below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt remove xfce4-notifyd

Debian

sudo apt-get remove xfce4-notifyd

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -R xfce4-notifyd

Fedora

sudo dnf remove xfce4-notifyd

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper remove  xfce4-notifyd

With the package uninstalled from your XFCE4 desktop, use the pidof command to determine the name of the notification service, as it’s still running in RAM.

pidof xfce4-notifyd

Take the number that pidof outputs and plug it into the kill command below to disable Xfce4-notifyd entirely.

sudo kill -9 process-id-number

You may need to run pidof xfce4-notifyd after using the kill command to ensure that the process is dead. If it is, pidof will return no process ID the second time.

Mate

With Mate, the Dunst app should be able to overtake the built-in notification system without any need to disable anything. That said if you’d like to disable it, open up a terminal window and enter the command below.

sudo mv /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.mate.Notifications.service /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.mate.Notifications.service.disabled

Others

Aside from Mate and XFCE4, a lot of other lightweight desktop environments may need to have their notification systems disabled before continuing. Due to how many desktops there are, consult with the manual of your desktop environment. Or, consider installing XFCE4 or Mate to use Dunst with, if need be.

Installing Dunst

Installing Dunst on Linux is easy on most Linux distributions due to the detailed documentation the developers provide. To get it working on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window and follow the instructions that correspond with the OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

Using Dunst on Ubuntu requires the “Ubuntu Universe” software repository. To enable the Ubuntu Universe software repository, enter the command below.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

With Universe enabled, install Dunst on the system using apt install.

sudo apt install dunst

Debian

sudo apt-get install dunst

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dunst

Fedora

sudo dnf install dunst

OpenSUSE

sudo dnf install dunst

Source Code

To install Dunst from source, start by reading the GitHub page to learn what dependencies must be installed so that the software will build on your Linux PC. Then, enter the commands below to get it compiled and installed.

git clone https://github.com/dunst-project/dunst.git
cd dunst
make -j($nproc)
sudo make install

Configure Dunst

Dunst must be configured before it will work as your default notification system. The first thing that must be done is that you must generate a new configuration file. The easiest way to do this is to download the default one from the internet.

Using the wget download tool, download “dunstrc” to your Linux PC.

cd ~/Downloads
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dunst-project/dunst/master/dunstrc

With the “dunstrc” file done downloading, use the mkdir command to create a folder for it in your home directory (~/).

mkdir -p ~/.config/dunst/

Next, move the configuration file into the new folder.

mv ~/Downloads/dunstrc  ~/.config/dunst/

From here, open up the dunstrc file in the Nano text editor.

nano ~/.config/dunst/dunstrc

Use the Down Arrow key in Nano to scroll down the configuration file. Feel free to customize any aspect to the notification system you choose.

Note: Dunst works fine without editing the configuration file, so there’s no pressure to modify it if you don’t know how!

When done editing the configuration file, press Ctrl + O to save the edits. Close Nano with Ctrl + X.

Start Dunst

The software is installed, and the dunstrc configuration file is in place. Now it’s time to start up the Dunst systemd service. To do this, open up a terminal window and follow the commands below specific to your OS.

Ubuntu/Debian

The Apt package manager, during installation, should automatically enable and configure the systemd services necessary to use Dunst. However, it doesn’t place a default configuration file in place, so the systemd service must be restarted. To do this, use the systemctl restart command below.

sudo systemctl restart dunst.service

Arch Linux/Fedora/OpenSUSE and Source Code

Many Linux distributions that use systemd do not take Ubuntu and Debian’s lead by enabling services during the installation process. Instead, these things must be set up manually.

First, use systemctl enable to set up the service to run at boot.

sudo systemctl enable dunst

Next, start up the service using systemctl start.

sudo systemctl start

Assuming the services start up successfully, you’ll be using the Dunst notification system!

Read How to set up better system notifications on Linux with Dunst by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to speed up the Fedora Linux app installer

Fedora is a powerful Linux distribution that many prefer to use due to many factors, including its new packages, development focus, advanced system, commitment to open source, etc. Still, for as good as Fedora Linux is, it has a severe downside: the DNF package manager, and how slow it is compared to Ubuntu and Debian’s Apt, Arch’s Pacman, and even OpenSUSE’s Zypper.

If you love your Fedora installation but wish that the app installer ran faster, you’re not alone. A lot of people agree, and it’s something that the Fedora development team is no-doubt working on. However, they can’t improve it instantly, so until then, you’ll need to go through the process of speeding it up on your own. So, in this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to speed up the Fedora Linux app installer. Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Upgrade Fedora

Fedora Linux gets better with every release, and every six months, the developers do their best to improve the underlying technology. So, if you’re having performance issues while installing packages in Fedora’s DNF app installer, the first thing you should be doing is upgrading your release to the newest version. To upgrade Fedora, open up Gnome Software, click on the new release banner and go through the process of transitioning your Fedora Linux PC to the absolute latest version.

Having issues figuring out how to get your Fedora Linux PC fully upgraded? We can help! Check out our in-depth tutorial on how to upgrade Fedora. In the guide, we go over the Gnome Software method. Also, we cover the terminal-based upgrade, if you don’t have access to Gnome Software or are not running a Gnome-based Fedora release.

Step 2 – Install latest updates

Running the latest release of Fedora Linux is critical, as with each major version, improvements are made. However, it’s also essential to ensure that the release you are currently running has the newest packages installed as well. To do this, open up “Gnome Software,” click on “Updates” and go through the process of installing the upgrades. Alternatively, if you prefer to use the terminal window, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. After that, enter the dnf update command below to patch your system.

sudo dnf update -y

Step 3 – Set DNF to use the fastest mirrors possible

The Fedora package manager (DNF) doesn’t choose the fastest mirror when installing packages. Instead, it grabs packages from wherever they may be, seemingly at random. The fact that DNF doesn’t prioritize fast mirrors above slow ones is a massive reason as to why installing software seems to take forever.

If you’d like to make the DNF package manager run a lot faster, you can tweak your configuration to use the “fastestmirror” feature. It’s a simple tweak, but it will force Fedora to use the speediest mirrors, shaving precious seconds off of downloads during installation.

To add the “fastestmirror” feature, launch a terminal window on your Fedora Linux PC by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, open up the “dnf.conf” file in Nano.

Note: as Fedora Linux doesn’t have Nano by default, learn how to install it here.

sudo nano -w /etc/dnf/dnf.conf

In the “dnf.conf” file in the Nano text editor, use the Down Arrow key on the keyboard to move to the very bottom of the file. Then, paste the code below into Nano by pressing Ctrl + Shift + V.

fastestmirror=true

After pasting the code into Nano, save the edit. In Nano, this is done by pressing Ctrl + O. Once saved, move on to Step 4.

Step 4 – Change DNF to download multiple packages at a time

Tweaking how DNF handles mirrors will no-doubt improve its download speed. However, this modification to DNF isn’t enough to speed it up. It’s also a good idea to change how many files the package manager can download from the internet at a time.

To increase how many files the DNF package manager can download at a time, you’ll need to add “max_paralel_downloads” to the configuration file. To do this, return to the Nano text editor. Or, if you’ve closed it, re-open the file with the command below.

sudo nano -w /etc/dnf/dnf.conf

Inside Nano, use the Down Arrow to move to the bottom of the file, just like in Step 3. Then, paste the “max_paralel_downloads” code in “dnf.conf”.

max_parallel_downloads=10

Feel like 10 downloads at a time is too much? Feel free to change it to 5, which is half the max number, but still makes a huge difference.

max_parallel_downloads=5

With “max_parallel_downloads” added to DNF, save your edits by pressing Ctrl + O. After that, close the editor by pressing Ctrl + X.

Read How to speed up the Fedora Linux app installer by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How Is a Chromebook Different from Most Laptops?

If you’re shopping for a new laptop and you’re
on a tight budget, a Chromebook may be the way to go. Before you jump in head
first, though, there are many things worth considering.

The Chromebook first hit shelves in 2011 and
were manufactured by Acer and Samsung. It launched as a Linux-based machine
running Chrome OS, an operating system that utilizes Google Chrome as its user
interface.

If you’re a Google Chrome loyalist, navigating
a Chromebook should feel incredibly natural. However, Windows fans are going to
notice that Chrome OS is an extremely stripped-down operating system.
Chromebooks give up on a lot of functionality in favor of affordability, ease
of use, and portability.

Knowing if a Chromebook is right for you or a
loved one is a matter of knowing what the exact use case is. For power users, a
Chromebook is borderline useless. For others, it might even provide advantages
over the typical Windows or Mac laptop. In this article, let’s explore some of
the most important differences between a Chromebook and your ordinary laptop.

Chromebook Operating System vs.
Traditional Laptops

The biggest and most noticeable difference
between a Chromebook and a traditional laptop is the operating system. A
Chromebook without Chrome OS simply isn’t a Chromebook—that’s more of a
netbook, a very uncommon breed of laptops nowadays.

Chrome OS is an operating system by Google
based on the Linux kernel. It’s built entirely around the popular Google Chrome
web browser, and thus, its overall functionality is limited to only a bit more
than what you can do within Chrome on a Windows or Mac machine.

Chrome OS is currently only available
pre-installed on hardware that Google has partnered with, namely from Acer,
Samsung, HP, Dell, and Asus.

Chromebook Software vs.
Traditional Laptops

Chrome OS has its own integrated file manager and media player. Along with a few other applications, like Chrome Remote Desktop, these are the only applications that open in their own window and not within the Google Chrome browser.

On a Chromebook, everything runs as a web app. You can go to the Chrome Web Store right now and see the full library of web-based applications that you can install on your Chromebook.

This means that there’s no iTunes, Photoshop, or Audacity available to Chromebook owners, among many other standalone applications. However, plenty of popular desktop applications have web-based alternatives available via Chrome Web Store. These include Skype, Discord, Netflix, and many others.

Additionally, some Chromebooks even have
access to the Google Play Store, which allows them to install apps that Android
phone and tablet users can access. Although the functionality of these apps can
be awkward and limited, unless you have a Chromebook with a touchscreen
display, this definitely widens the array of software available.

Chromebook Hardware vs.
Traditional Laptops

The majority of Chromebooks use MultiMediaCard
(eMMC) storage. eMCC is a form of flash storage comparable to solid-state
drives in the way that there are no moving parts. However, SSDs deliver vastly
superior performance and are available in much larger sizes.

Chromebooks come with storage sizes typical to
smartphones: often 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB. With a 16 GB eMMC, Chrome OS is
small enough to where you’ll have around 9 GB of usable space.

Chromebooks often come with low-resolution
displays, and many of them are also fanless. Since they can’t be used for
intensive tasks like video editing, most Chromebooks can do just fine without
internal cooling. This helps cut down on noise and weight.

Lastly, Chromebooks are well-known for their
battery life. As a result of their low profile and intended workload, the
majority of Chromebook models will outlast laptops while on battery. For
example, the Dell Chromebook 13 will last for around 12 hours of
general-purpose use and 7 hours on Netflix.

Chromebook Cost vs. Traditional
Laptops

Cost may be the biggest benefit of picking up
a Chromebook. Here are just a few prices of popular models at the time of
writing this:

  • Dell C3181-C871BLK-PUS Chromebook
    (11.6″, Celeron N3060, 4 GB/16 GB): $167.00
  • Samsung XE500C13-K03US Chromebook
    3 (11.6″, Celeron N3060, 4 GB/16 GB): $188.50
  • ASUS C223NA-DH02-RD Chromebook
    (11.6″, Celeron N3350, 4 GB/32 GB): $189.99

All three of these Chromebooks are on the
lowest end of what’s available, but when’s the last time you’ve seen a
brand-new laptop under $200? You aren’t getting a beast of a machine when you
purchase a Chromebook, but it fills its role, and it’s good to see affordable
alternatives on the market.

Chromebook Portability vs.
Traditional Laptops

Chromebooks are ultra-portable in terms of
both size and weight. Most feature an 11.6-inch display and weigh just 2.5
pounds. This can be compared to the MacBook Air, a 13.3-inch model that weighs
3 pounds.

Chromebooks are also incredibly durable. Some
come in special “ruggedized” models that boast water and shock resistance.
Combined with a full-body case, available for practically every Chromebook
model I’ve seen, these things are tough to break.

Another underrated feature about the Chromebook is how fast it boots up. In less than 8 seconds after pressing the power button, you can reach your browser’s homepage.

If you’re often on the move, this makes coming and going very painless. Combined with the cloud capabilities of Google—which you get 100 GB and 12 months of with every purchase—stopping and starting up work again isn’t a major inconvenience.

Chromebook Security vs.
Traditional Laptops

The difference in security between Chromebooks and most other laptops is something that isn’t often discussed. First and foremost is the obvious: Chrome OS has a tiny market share, just 1%, so it isn’t a target when it comes to things like trojans, malware, and keyloggers.

There are some pretty nasty extensions that can get installed on your Google Chrome browser, but malicious software can completely wreck a Windows machine.

Chromebooks have built-in, automated updates
and virus and malware protection. Furthermore, your entire OS experience is
sandboxed. This means that if one of your apps or tabs gets infected by
something dangerous, it won’t spread and affect anything else on your
Chromebook.

Lastly, everything on your Chromebook syncs to
your Google account and remains encrypted. You have to be signed in to your
Google account to access this data, as well as your Chromebook, and Google
offers multiple forms of two-factor authentification.

Chromebooks are slowly gaining market share as
buyers are demanding more affordable solutions to simple access to a web
browser. They make especially great gifts for less-experienced users and older
folks! There’s no denying that your standard laptop is tenfold as functional
and flexible, but Chromebooks fill a simple void that many are searching for.
If less is more for your laptop needs, consider picking up a Chromebook.