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How to keep what you watch on YouTube private


youtube_logoIf you are like me and like using YouTube, you might also know you can upload your videos to your YouTube Channel for viewing. When I upload my videos I want to control who sees my videos and make them private. How do I make these videos private?

A private video can only be seen by you and the users you select. Your video will not appear on your channel or search results and will be completely invisible to other users. If you have already uploaded your videos, you can still change the privacy settings by following the steps below:

  • Visit your Video Manager
  • Find the video you would like change, then click the Edit button
  • In the “Privacy Settings” drop-down menu, select Public, Unlisted, or, Private
  • Click Save changes

if you use your Google+ identity on YouTube (your channel will be linked to a Google+ page or profile), you will see a filed under the “Privacy Settings” drop-down menu where you can add the profiles or email addresses of the people with whom you’d like to share your video. Those people will also need a Google account to view your video and you can also share your video with Google+ circles.

Authentication error when opening Google Play app


Google_play_smallSeveral users have contacted me regarding problems connecting to Google Play “My apps”. The problem involves a well documented “Authentication is required. You need to sign into your Google Account.” This is a bug. It occurs if you have more than one Google account. The problem happens if your primary account isn’t authenticating, and the Google Play app decides the other account(s) are primary. This causes an authentication conflict.

You have two options to fix this problem.

  • Remove the non-primary account linked to your Google Play account – tap and hold and tap > Remove account
  • Remove all accounts in > Settings > Accounts > Google – as above
  • Once you remove the accounts, reboot the device
  • Once device has re-booted add your primary Google account (you will need your email and password)

You might also experience the above problem if you have one Google account. If you do, you can choose to remove the offending account as above and add the primary account after reboot. Various forum comments suggest using the “Stop” function in running apps (this is meant to clear the cached background process) > tap “SHOW CACHED PROCESSES” for Google Play Store (his was done on a Nexus 5 running 4.4.2) but this will not work.

Manage your Android device with Google Settings app


Google_settingsapp_iconI’ve been frequently asked how you can manage Google Settings content (this includes data requests from Google apps) and privacy. Most people I speak with didn’t even know there was an icon (app) on the home screen that allowed you to access a Google Settings app (it actually isn’t an app) which allows you to proactively manage your data privacy.

It’s actually a powerful tool that every Android device should have on the home screen by default. One theory I have why this isn’t the case is that Google doesn’t want you to know what it’s collecting. If there is public concern, Google can turn around and say we provide an app that allows users to manage the data flowing out of your device.

If you wish to manage you Google Settings more closely (and I suggest you take some time to look at these features), I recommend you click on the Google Settings icon, which can be found on your home screen.

Tap > Google Settings icon and this will present you with the following list:

  • Connected apps – these are apps that are connected to your Google account

How to delete your primary Google account on Android


Google_android_logoEvery Android device has a Google primary account. This account allow you fast access to all your Google apps and services. In some instances you might want another account as a primary Google account.

It’s actually not that clear on how you do this, other that doing a factory reset, which will wipe the device. A simple solution for you, would be to clear the app cache from Google apps and services and then you can go about creating a new account.

There are two methods you can use to delete your primary account data. The first involves deleting the cache from all your Google apps and services, but this takes time and you need to know which app data to delete. The second option is documented below, and is by far the easiest to use:

Go to > Settings icon > (scroll down to Accounts) > Tap Google icon, then the email address associated with this account. You should now see the following list of options linked to your account:

App Data; Calendar; Chrome; Contacts; Drive; Google Photos; Google Play Books; Google Play Movies & TV; Google Play Music; Google Play Newsstand; Google+; Google+Photos; Keep; People details and Sound Search for Google Play.

Google enforcing crackdown on deceptive Android ads


Google_android_logoLast week Google updated its policy which informs developers that Google will be cracking down on deceptive ads and other nefarious behaviours in Android apps.

Google’s approach to target the developers is for me also a message for the mobile ad networks and affiliates. It’s subtle, but equally direct and highlights Google’s awareness of the issues surrounding deceptive advertising on the Android platform.

The major change is the addition of a new section of the Google Play Developer Program Policy called “App Promotion”. The new section is for apps published on Google Play, which may directly or indirectly engage in or benefit from the following behaviours:

  • Promotion via deceptive ads on websites, apps or other properties, including simulated system, service, or app notifications or alerts.
  • Promotion or install tactics which cause redirection to Google Play or the download of the app without informed user action.
  • Unsolicited promotion via SMS services.

The policy says that it is a developers responsibility to ensure that no ad network or affiliate uses such methods to direct users to pages that make your app available for download – really? Talk about slightly passing the buck! App developers are also being warned about the following (app reviews would help enforce these changes):