ARChon Runtime Enables Chrome Browser to Run Android Apps on Windows, Linux, and Mac

Earlier in the year, Google had announced that it was working on bringing Android app compatibility to ChromeOS. However, developer Vlad Filippov has gone one step further. He has tweaked Google’s Android Runtime extension to enable Android apps to be installed as Chrome browser extensions on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Android Apps

Here are the quick steps to get started with ARChon runtime, which lets you run unlimited number of Android APKs on Chrome browser.

  1. Download ARChon from here.
  2. Extract the contents.
  3. Open Chrome extensions tool and enable ‘Developer mode’.
  4. Click on ‘Load unpacked extension’ and select the extracted instance of ArChon from Step 2.
  5. Find the modified APK for ARChon from the web or download the APK and follow the instructions here to modify a new APK.
  6. Install ARChon for Chrome
    Install ARChon as an Unpacked Chrome Extension
  7. Extract the APK contents.
  8. Click on ‘Load unpacked extension’ and load the APK.
  9. Now, click on ‘Launch’ to start the app.
Running Android Apps on Chrome
Running Android Apps on Chrome

If you’re confused, check out the video demonstration below.

ARChon currently has several major limitations. The biggest is that it’s not automated, and the entire process has way too many steps for a casual user. It requires obtaining and modifying the Android app package (APK), which is not straight forward. It also doesn’t work for all apps. However, the Reddit community has been actively testing various apps. A small list of compatible apps and their direct download links is available here. Currently, there are better and easier ways to run Android apps on your desktop. However, this development is still exciting as it hints towards a future where all Chrome users might have access to the millions of Android apps available on the Play store.

[ Hat tip: OMGChrome WikiMedia ]

How to Easily Delete and Deactivate Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Other Web Accounts

Creating an account online is easier than ever before thanks to multiple open-id providers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. In most cases you don’t even have to provide a username and password, and even for the rare cases where you’re forced to type in all the details, there are automated tools like Lastpass and Keepass. However, things often get a lot more confusing and obscure when you want to do the reverse. Whether you just want to delete your data from the company’s servers because you no longer trust them or you want to break free from your past and start afresh, cleaning up your online identity is a lot harder than you might think.

Some services like Facebook have the account deletion link buried deep within their interface, while others like Skype don’t even offer an automated option. An annoyingly large number of services including Skype, Amazon, and Adobe force you to call or email them for deleting your account. Even worse, some web apps like Evernote don’t allow you to delete your account, and only offer a temporary deactivation after making you jump through several hoops. Manually figuring out how to delete dozens of accounts can be a painfully slow and laborious process. Thankfully, there are a couple of websites that can lend you a helping hand.


Just Delete Me – Home Page

JustDeleteMe is a directory of Account Deletion/De-activation page of various web services. It categorizes all entries into four buckets (Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impossible) based on how easy it is to delete your account. Often, it also has a brief snippet or a note about the account you’re trying to delete. JustDeleteMe also provides a Chrome extension, which adds a color-coded dot to the omnibar whenever you visit a website that’s in the database. The dot indicates how easy it is to delete your account on the website, and clicking on it directly takes you to the account deletion page.


Account Killer – Home Page

AccountKiller isn’t as pretty as JustDelete, and doesn’t have a browser extension. However, it does seem to have a bigger database. AccountKiller classifies websites into White, Grey, and Black categories depending upon the ease of account deletion or deactivation. It also provide a bookmarklet called SiteCheck. Clicking on this bookmarklet makes a bar appear at the top of your screen, which indicates which category the website that you’re currently surfing belongs to.

Account Killer – Step by Step Instructions

If you are looking to clean-up your online profile, then another web app that you might find handy is KnowEm. This website has over 500 services in its database, and when provided with a username, it instantly lets you know which services that username has been registered on.

How to Avoid Accidental TV Show Spoilers on Social Media [iOS, Android, Google Chrome]

Game of Thrones is back on TV, and has wasted no time in delivering the shocking game changers that it’s famous for. Over the past three seasons, the show has managed to amass a massive and vocal fan base. The HBO original based on the fantasy books “A Song of Ice and Fire” invariably manages to trend every week soon after it airs. However, for those of us who haven’t read the books and don’t watch the show during its initial broadcast, this poses a big challenge. Short of completely avoiding Twitter and Facebook, it’s almost impossible to remain spoiler free among all the #redwedding and #purplewedding chatter. Thankfully, as always, there’s a better and an easier solution!


The first option is an Android and iOS app called Spoiler Shield. It is actually a Twitter and Facebook client, which automatically hides everything on your stream about the TV series that you don’t want to get spoiled about. Spoiler Shield also supports NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, and other sports and live events. It ships with a list of shields, and all you need to do is enable the ones that you want.


Spoiler Shield is well designed, intuitive, and easy to use. However, quite obviously, it can’t replace dedicated Facebook and Twitter clients. It probably isn’t even meant to do so. You should probably only use it when you’re weary of getting spoiled. For example, the day of the Academy Awards, the day Netflix releases House of Cards, and of course the day Game of Throne airs. All the essential options including tweeting and retweeting for Twitter, and liking and replying for Facebook are included. Blocked posts are replaced with a shield, and in case you can’t hold your curiosity, you can double tap to reveal the hidden content.


Spoiler Shield promises that a Google Chrome extension is also in the works. However, there’s another similar solution called Silencer that desktop users can use in the meanwhile. Silencer is a Google Chrome extension, which promises to filter spoilers from your social media feed. Like Spoiler Shield, it also comes with pre-configured block lists. Here, they are called Mute Packs. Once again, both TV shows and live events (AFC and NFC matches) are supported. The number of filter packs in Silencer is fewer than Spoiler Shield, but you can manually add terms that you wish to block.


No automated filtering technology is going to be perfect. However, these two free utilities should make it easier to avoid accidentally spoiling yourself. Take them for a spin, and don’t forget to let us know how well they worked for you.

The New Facebook for Android App: What’s New and How to Download It


Close on the heels of the website refresh, Facebook is pushing out a major revamp of its Android app. I am not a very big fan of the recent Facebook website redesign; it took an already cluttered user interface and made it even worse. Fortunately, the changes on the Android front are a lot more positive.

The new app feels a lot more vibrant and cheerful, mainly due to the use of lighter and brighter shades throughout the UI. Everything is also distinctively flatter.


The top bar has been split into two, and the navigation drawer on the left has been removed. The new layout is not only more visually appealing, but also more intuitive.


The upper half has just two buttons – one for Search and the other for accessing phone contacts. The second half contains all the navigation options including Friend Requests, Messages, Notifications, and Profile and Settings.


The new Android interface is more compliant with the Android design philosophy, and is definitely a step in the right direction for Facebook. Unfortunately, it’s still not ready for prime time. It’s currently only available for the Facebook alpha testers. If you want it right away, there are a few hoops you’ll have to jump through.

  • Go to the Facebook Alpha Testers group and signup with your Google account. This needs to be the same one that you’re using for the Play Store.
  • Once you’ve signed up successfully, you should be able to see the following page.


  • Follow this link to become an alpha tester. If all goes well, you’d be able to see a message stating “You are a tester”.


  • Now open the Play Store on your mobile phone, and you should be able to see an option to update Facebook. Download and install the update.
  • Go to Settings –> Apps –> Facebook. The current version of the Alpha build is Your version should be same or higher.


  • ‘Force Stop’ the app, and ‘Clear Data’.
  • Launch the Facebook app. You will have to sign in once again. Once you login, you should be able to see the new Facebook layout.

Please keep in mind that Facebook builds released in the alpha channel are expected to be buggy. They might be buggy, crash-prone, or might not work at all. If you want to go back to the normal build, simply “Quit the Test“, and un-install and re-install the Facebook app from the Play Store.

[via Reddit]

Tutorial: Use Google Maps to Measure Distances

If you have used the internet at all, you have probably at some point used Google maps. It is probably the most fascinating and under utilized tool on the web. It is great for getting directions from here to there. You can also use the satellite view to get a real life picture of an area on they map. Street view is pretty handy to if you want to know what the landmarks of an area you are visiting look like. Today, I would like to show you a neat tool for measuring distances using Google maps.

I work in the construction industry and we are constantly looking at large buildings and parking structures. So often when you’re bidding work for someone, they don’t have a good blueprint with accurate measurements. Fortunately, Google maps makes this pretty easy. First thing we need to do is have a Google account. If you don’t have one, go to and sign up for an account. The reason for this is you need to actually login to Google maps to use this tool. Once you have a Google account, go to You should see something similar to the picture below. Beside the “Google” logo there is a search box where you can type an address or significant landmark and do a search. In my first example I typed “Golden Gate Bridge” because I thought it would be neat to see how long that bridge is. Once you type in your search, you will notice a button that says “My Places”. You will need to click this to get to the measuring tools.

Once you click on “My Places”, you will see what is pictured below. To use these tools, you actually create a custom map. Don’t worry, you can delete it later if you don’t want to keep it. Click the red “Create Map” button to start using the measuring tools.

Create Map

Below, you can see my screen. The Golden Gate Bridge is pictured in the middle. In the upper left corner of the map, you will see three buttons. The little hand tool lets you move the map around. The middle tool that looks kind of like a push pin allows you mark places on a map. This is handy for travel planning. The last tool looks like a squiggly line. This tool lets you draw a line on the map and is what we will use to measure distance.

Golden Gate

Below, you can see up close where I selected the “Draw a line” option on the Google map.


Line Tool

Below, you can see where I have drawn my line across the bridge. Here’s what I did. I clicked on the first point where I thought the bridge started. Now you can drag if you want to. What I did was just find the ending point of the bridge and clicked there. You will notice when you click, you get a little white square indicating a point where you clicked. Straight lines are easy. If you have something that is curvy or oddly shaped you will need to do several small clicks at a time. Once you have finished drawing your line, you will need to click the last point of your line to indicate you are finished.

Line Drawn

Once you have completed your line, a little box will pop up like the one pictured below. This is where you can give your line a description. Notice at the bottom of the box that it tells you how long the line is. In this case it was 1.05 miles.


Now you may be wondering how accurate this measurement is. Well, I was a little skeptical. One problem for me on the Golden Gate Bridge was I didn’t know how far down to click to get an “official” measurement. So I decided to my own little test. I decided to do a search for the place where I work. In the back of our building we have this huge dumpster. I went out and measured and got 21.5 feet on my tape measure. Notice in the picture below, I have a red arrow pointing to the measurement of my dumpster. That is pretty darn close if you ask me!

Dumpster Measurement

There are so many applications I could see this tool being used for. For instance, in the electrical industry it is always important to have an accurate measurement of cable runs so you order the appropriate amount of cable. Copper is expensive and having good measurements can save you a lot of money. Maybe you need to reseed your lawn but you’re not sure how many square feet you have. Google maps would be an excellent way to measure that distance. I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial. As always feel free to comment or as any questions.

How to Share Files in Windows 8

Windows 8 has the ability to share files between computers just like its predecessors. Unfortunately, the look of Windows 8 may make setting up files sharing a little difficult. Today, I would like to show you how you can easily share files using Windows 8.

First, position your mouse in the top right corner of the screen to bring out the charm bar. At the bottom of the charm bar there is an icon that looks like a little cog. This is the “Settings” icon. Click it and you will see the menu pictured below. Click the “Network” icon that you can see highlighted in red below.

Network Settings

Under the “Networks” menu, find your network and right-click it. You will see a menu that says “Turn sharing on or off”. Click this option.

Turn on Sharing

Click the option that says “Yes turn on sharing and connect to devices”.


Now, find the tile on the main screen labeled “Desktop”. This will take you to the traditional desktop screen.


Once you are in the desktop mode, go ahead and bring out the charm bar by positioning your mouse in the upper right corner of the screen. Choose the “Settings” icon and then choose “Control Panel” at the top of the screen. In the control panel window, you should see something similar to what I have pictured below. You will noticed I have highlighted a group and underlined an option that says “Choose homegroup and sharing options”. Let me give you a real quick overview of homegroup. Windows 7 and Windows 8 will allow you to share files using the homegroup feature. It is a very easy way to share files between computers without having to worry about user level permissions.


Pictured below, you can see the “Homegroup” screen. You have several options here. First, you can set what you want to share between computers. This is a real easy way to make an entertainment PC in your home because you can share movies and music with other devices in your house and stream them from your PC.


If you haven’t created the initial homegroup then instead of the picture above, you will see what is pictured below. At this point, you will want to click the “Create Homegroup” button and select what files you want to share. Then you will be able to see the options pictured above.

Create Homegroup

Once your group is created, you will also notice towards the bottom of the screen that there are other settings. One in particular I want to highlight is the option to “View or print the homegroup password.” Go ahead and click this option. Notice the long password at the top of the screen. This password is automatically generated for you by Windows 8. Even more cool, is they are nice enough to give you instructions at the bottom of the window so you know how to connect to shares on this computer. At this point you will want to write down the password generated by Windows 8.


Now that we have the initial homegroup created, we need to join other computers to it. Please note, only Windows 7 and Windows 8 can do homegroups. In the example below, I went to my Windows 7 PC and clicked the homegroup options as previously shown above. Notice that my Windows 7 PC sensed a homegroup had been started on the network. At this point I clicked “Join Now” at the bottom of the screen.

Join Group

Remember that long password I showed you earlier? This is why you need it because when you click the “Join Now” button, you will be prompted for the password to join the homegroup.  At this point, you decide what files you want accessible on the other PC and voila!, you have a homegroup.

Here’s how you can share a file using homegroups. On the Windows 8 PC, create a folder on the desktop. I called mine “Home Budget”, but you can call it whatever you wish. Now, right-click that folder and choose the “Share With” option. Notice in the picture below, you have the option to share with the ‘Homegroup” and give them “view” rights or “View and edit” rights. If you don’t want people on the other computer to be able to change files on the Windows 8 computer, choose the “view” only option.

Share With

So now the big question becomes, “how do I get this file from the other computer?” What you are looking for is a path. The easiest way to get that path is to right-click the folder, just like we did above, and choose “Properties”. You will see the window pictured below. Click the “Sharing tab” and notice the network path that is listed.


Now, go to your other computer, and click the “Start” menu. Where it says “search programs and files”, type the path that was shown to you on the properties menu exactly and hit “Enter”. This will take you directly to that folder.

Start Menu

Another way you can access files is to go to your “Computer” window from the start menu, and look on the left side of the screen for “Homegroup”. Under it, you will see all the computers that are members of your homegroup listed, as pictured below.

homegroup list

All the files that were shared by default on the Windows 8 computer will be listed in the window to the right of the homegroup list.

I hope this tutorial helps you in getting files shared across your computers. As always, feel free to comment or email me any questions you may have.

How To Unfriend Friends on Facebook?

Facebook is definitely a great place to find your old friends and acquaintances and keep up with their lives. However, there are times when you might come across people who are very noisy and outright irritating on Facebook.

If you are in such a situation, you might want to remove that friend from your list. If you are looking to do that, here are some instructions on how you can remove friends on Facebook or Unfriend friends on Facebook.

In order to remove friends or unfriend them on Facebook you will have to first visit their profile and then hover your mouse over the “Friends” button. This will now bring up a dropdown which will display you the various options for that friend.

Unfriend Facebook Friends or Remove Facebook Friends

You can either choose the option to stop displaying the friends posts in your news feed or completely “Unfriend” them using the option provided.

Bonus Tip: Looking to find out when someone unfriends you on Facebook? Check out how to find out when someone unfriends you on Facebook.


How to Create CBR, CBZ, CB7, CBT, CBA Comic Book Archives?

We have been tellings users on how they can open CBR, CBZ, CB7, CBT or CBA files on Windows or Mac, open CBZ, CBR, CB7 CBT or CBA files on Android and open CBZ, CBR, CB7, CBT or CBA files on iOS or iPhone. However, what if you want to create your own Comic book archive?

Well, creating a comic book archive is definitely easy and you can do it yourself easily. The only hard work in creating a CBZ, CBR or CB7 file is first scanning or downloading the images and then naming them in sequence. We’ll take a look at what the exact process is below.

How to Create CBZ, CBR, CB7, CBT or CBA Comic Book Archives

The most important step in creating a comic book archive is to first collect all the images you will be using to create the images. You can either download the individual images or scan them and store them some where.

Once you have all the images in place, you will have to rename them so that they are in sequence. For example, you can use the naming convention comicbookname-01.jpg, comicbookname-02.jpg, comicbookname-03.jpg and so on according to the page numbers of the book. Please note that the image extension may wary, so rename them accordingly.

Now once you have arranged the images you are ready to create a comic book archive. Please read the information below to understand how CBZ, CBR, CB7, CBT and CBA comic book archives differ.

Important Information for CBR, CBZ and CB7 files

  • CBZ file is also known as Comic Book Zip file and are renamed from a .zip extension
  • CBR file is also known as Comic Book Rar file are renamed from a .rar extension
  • CB7 file is also known as Comic Book 7z file are renamed from a .7z extension
  • CBT file is also known as Comic Book Tar file are renamed from a .tar extension
  • CBA file is also known as Comic Book Ace file are renamed from a .ace extension

Once you have understood the above conventions go ahead and create either a zip file, rar file or 7z file and then rename the files to .cbz extensions if it is a zip file, .cbr file if it is a rar file and .cb7 if it is a 7z file (See: How to Rename File Extensions).

That’s it. Once you have renamed the archive, you can then view the comic book archives on Windows, Mac, Android or iPhone devices.

Bonus Tip: CBZ files are supposed to be the best for viewing comic books. However, you can experiment with different formats to see which one works out for you.

How To Enable Hibernate in Windows 8?

One of the best features in Windows has been the ability to hibernate your PC and then log back in to the same state later on. However, the hibernate option is not traditionally available in Windows 8 and requires users to enable it.

If you are looking to enable the Hibernate option in Windows 8, you can follow the steps given below and you’ll see the Hibernate option in the power options for Windows 8.

Windows 8 Power Options Search

Step 1: Bring up the power options in Control panel by searching Windows 8 for “Power Options” and selecting it under the settings. Alternatively, you can also use the shortcut combination “Windows + I” and then select Control Panel from the list and search for “Power Options”.

Windows 8 Power Button Settings

Step 2: In the Power Options window, click on the link which says “Choose what the power buttons do” and then click on the link which says “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

Add Hibernate in Windows 8

 Step 3: Now scroll down till you see the “Shutdown settings” and then select the checkbox next to “Hibernate” and save your changes. Once you have made that change you will start seeing the Hibernate option when you try to shutdown, restart or sleep Windows 8.

That’s it, you can now put your Windows 8 PC into Hibernate mode instead of shutting it down.

Read some of our other Windows 8 Tips and Tricks Below

How to Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, Lock or Switch User in Windows 8?

While many of you might think that it would be trivial to perform such a task, it is definitely a little confusing for new users to shutdown, restart, sleep, lock or log off from Windows 8. Windows 8 does not have the traditional start button which has made it harder for users to actually find the shutdown button (Read: How to add Start Button to Windows 8).

If you are a confused user who has been searching for options to shutdown, restart, sleep, lock or log off from Windows 8, you will find all the information below.

Windows 8 Shutdown, Restart, Sleep, Switch User, Log Off and Lock options

Windows 8 provides a shortcut key combination in order to bring up the menu for performing settings change and viewing information about your computer. In order to find the menu for performing the above actions you will have to press the key combination “Windows + I” and then click on the “Power” button in the sidebar to bring up the options to Sleep, Shutdown or Restart the PC.

Shutdown, Restart or Sleep Windows 8

In order switch user you can use the famous key combination “Ctrl + Alt + Del” which will bring up options to switch user, lock the computer or log off from the current user. Alternatively, you could also use the “Windows + L” shortcut key combination to lock your computer quickly.

If you don’t want to go through all these hassles you can install the Windows 8 start button and get all these options right on the desktop itself.

Microsoft might have imagined Windows 8 in a different way, but traditional Windows users are going to find it hard to perform the simplest of tasks. Hopefully, they will learn their way around.

Read some of our other Windows 8 Tips and Tricks Below