Lifehacker readers offer their best tips on removing Android battery covers, seeing which friends have actually quit Facebook, and improving your Windows trackpad with a minimal tweak.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.
Open tricky Android back covers with a staple remover
Bilbo Baggins points to a more finger-friendly, frustration-reducing way to pop the back cover on certain Android phones:
I've noticed that a lot of Android phones (and even some feature phones) have those battery covers that are obnoxious to open. They require a fingernail and some dangerous prying. But, if you don't have a fingernail and/or need more leverage, try a staple remover (the kind with a tab, not the alligator kind.) More leverage, no fingernails, and most people have them.
Flip Through Any Mac App's Windows from the Dock
Pyrohacker notes that you don't even need to have an app in focus in Mac OS X to explore its elements through Exposé:
On Mac OS X, if you've got a gesture set for App Exposé (such as swipe down with three fingers), you can get an Exposé view of any app in your Dock. Place your pointer over the app's icon, and then perform the gesture. It'll apply to whatever app you're pointing at instead of the current app.
See Which Facebook Friends Have Deactivated Their Accounts
jryan727 notes a semi-new (or new to us) feature that makes it clear which friends have deactivated their accounts, versus those who just aren't that into you anymore:
Not sure if you guys covered this yet, but I just noticed that in my Facebook friends list, I now see anyone who has deactivated their account. Clicking on them displays a notice that their account has been deactivated, and gives me the option to unfriend them. This is pretty neat, as it makes it clear who has deactivated and who has just unfriended you. It also removes the ability to deactivate, remain friends with someone you're afraid will unfriend you (like an ex), and then creepily re-activate late at night to stalk them. That's probably for the best.
Improve Your Windows Trackpad with Generic Drivers
*le troll harkens back to our feature on two-finger scrolling on Windows and reminds us that simply grabbing drivers from the gold standard in trackpad makers can make for some nice improvements:
Almost all major laptop makers use a Synaptics touchpad, but provide their own tweaked (read stripped down) touchpad driver. The generic Synaptics drivers provide way more options than those supplied by the OEM (like for instance, the choice to use edge scrolling or two finger scrolling, or both, whereas OEM drivers usually force you to use either edge scrolling only, or two finger scrolling only). I personally like the momentum option, in which you can just flick your touchpad, and the pointer races in that direction. It's much better than having to to move your finger all the way across the touchpad to move the pointer from one end of the screen to the other.
Photo by Kai Hendry.