From The Tips Box: Google Languages, Facebook Links, Maps

Readers offer their best tips for changing Google's default language in mobile browsers, freeing Facebook links from AVG Antivirus, and taking Google Maps in the car without printing them out.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Change the Default Language of Your Phone's Search Bar

Antriksh shows us how he forced Opera Mobile to search in English:

I love Opera Mobile (Opera Mini is very much similar, but I use Opera Mobile). But I had a problem with it. I heavily depend on the built-in search-bar. I don't like to browse to every time I want to search something. But, since I have come to Cambodia, when I use the search bar, it displays the Khmer version of the search engine.

The problem is that the script being different and not supported by Opera for mobile devices, I get it as a long chain of random characters and squares. This causes Opera to display the page zoomed out. So, annoyingly, I have to tap the screen once more everytime I have searched for something to zoom back in.

I searched a lot online for a way to make the English language default. But I didn't find anything, so I discovered it myself. So, here's how to do it:

  • Go to from the address bar. If you're reading this on a phone, open this in a new tab.
  • If you get the foreign language version, click ' in English'.
  • When the English homepage shows, click 'Settings'.
  • Now, make sure that the 'tips and messages' language is English, which should be so, by default.

    Press save.

  • Try searching for something from the search-bar.

If everything went well, it should work right. It probably downloads a cookie for your phone, which tells Google that you want the language to be English. If you clear your cookies, this functionality goes away. But you can do the procedure above to fix it back to normal.

This seems like a simple tip, but it's worth noting, since you need to change Google's language through the browser preferences and not Google's preferences on most desktop browsers. I don't know what other mobile browsers this works with.

Keep AVG From Hijacking Your Facebook Links

Jonathan Reese explains why Facebook was blocking his links:

Are you getting blocked by Facebook?

It's not just you. The dialog that pops up will happily notify you that an extension you're using in your browser is attaching spam to any links you want to post up. My initial internet rage was directed at Facebook for blocking my one and only Chrome extension; AdBlock. But that wasn't the problem.

My Antivirus is.

AVG latest edition casually hijacks links that you post on Facebook and happily inserts it's own "Verified by AVG link Scanner" tag to each post.

This is a shady, nasty, practice. I've never been a fan of AVG's misleading website. If you're trying to grab the free edition of their admittedly damned good antivirus software, you have to wade through a couple pages of upgrade incentives and offers, and be very careful where you click. And even after you've repeatedly chosen the free edition of the software, the installer itself gives you a one last chance to upgrade. So this is why we use Ninite to install.

But this is just sad. Here's how to disable the "feature", if you haven't uninstalled AVG entirely yet.

In AVG, under tools, Link Scanner, disable the "Verified by AVG..." check box. Disabling AVG's extensions in your browser alone will not solve the issue.

Email Google Maps to Your Phone to Avoid Printing

Eleraama shares a simple travel tip for those without smartphones:

I'm going to be making a rather long (11 hour) trip in the next couple of days, and so naturally turned to Google Maps for directions. Lacking a printer with a functioning ink cartridge at the moment, I carefully copied the instructions and considered how I could provide myself with a backup in case something happened to the crucial piece of paper. I don't have a smart phone, so just using the GPS on my phone was right out, but it struck me that I have an unlimited text messaging plan, and an MMS message is just an email.

Ten seconds later, I plugged the email address of my phone (mine was of the form [email protected] but of course it will vary based on your carrier, see this page) into the "send as email" function of Google Maps and about four seconds later had the instructions saved in something I'm not very likely to misplace.

Use Fruit Crates as Impromptu Cabinets

Gerardo Zamudio shows us how he created quick and easy "cabinets" with fruit crates:

Next time you go to your local farmers' market, ask if you can have one of those crates they use to carry fruit around. My wife figured they'd make great cabinets and hung them on the wall using two nails for each. They don't hold that many things but they make for great decorations. You can also paint any type of pattern on them to make them more interesting if you like.


    Google's language-handling is simpled f**ked if you travel internationally. They ignore the language of your browser UI and accept-language, your OS, your Google account settings (not just for language, but also for country and timezone) because they assume that the IP address location rules. Even the Google App UI on the iphone will change language in other countries.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now