Handy Tool For Downloading APK Directly From Google Play

I am recently working on some android device with OEM ROM that has no Google Play.  To test some features I need to use app on the Play and find this handy web tool to download APK directly from Google Play.  No more unknown-mysterious download site!

The web tool’s name is APK Downloader and I believe some of you may already heard it.  In fact it has been covered by Lifehacker earlier this year and could easily Google out.

To use it, simply go to Play and find the app you want to download APK, go to the app page and look for the page URL, copy the part after the ‘id=’ like below.


Then go to APK Downloader site and paste it to the input box, click ‘Generate Download Link’ (not the fake ‘Download’ button!, btw: the site would be much cooler if this Ad is not so cheaty).  A download button shall appear and click it to download the APK to your device.


For more information I recommend go check it out the Lifehakcer’s post.  (Credits to Lifehakcer and the original source  Digital Inspiration)



When I’m writing this post the site has been suspended (see the below picture, it still works yesterday), hope it will resume service soon.



Setting SMSC on Android 4.4 KitKat

Working and living in Hong Kong nowadays means inevitably you have to go to mainland China occasionally.  I need to do so nearly every week since I supervise my company’s China business.  Then to keep connected to the internet and stay reachable while using a comparatively low cost becomes a key issue to me.

I have not found a good solution until a few days ago I bought a dual number prepaid SIM from China Unicom in Shenzhen, China.  The SIM card allows me to make and receive calls, surf web with 3G connectivity in both mainland and Hong Kong, and costs the lowest among all options I knew.  However one issues pops up when I need to send SMS from Hong Kong to mainland, as I just find out it’s one way receiving only.

Checked around the forums in both regions and even abroad, I notice it is the SMSC setting of phone has to be changed to the SMS number provided by the SIM.  My Nexus 4 is just upgraded to KitKat yesterday so it gets a bit tricky to do so, and luckily I find a solution, as showed here:

  1. In the Phone app, dial *#*#4636#*#*, a menu will show up automatically, select ‘Phone Information’
  2. Scroll down and find ‘SMSC’, click ‘Refresh’ button on the right to see the current number.  In my case a number in quote is showed.
  3. Replace the number provided by the SIM.  In my case it looks like ‘+8613xxxxxx’, then click ‘Update’.
    Remark: Some posts mentioned that the number has to be converted to PDU format using a web app here, in which their phone is running ICS.  I find it not necessary in KitKat and perhaps it's an improvement.  Just remember to keep the quote after clicking the 'Refresh' and change only the phone number inside is OK.
  4. Nothing will happen and no notification pops up, exit and make a test SMS.  I send one to my own number and also a friend to confirm.
  5. Done.  It is as simple as that.


Use Gsyncit to sync Outlook 2010 calendar to Google calendar, then on every mobile devices

Wanted to sync my company calendar on Outlook 2010 to Google calendar for a long time, as if I can do that, then I can centralised all my calendars scattered in my work and home PC, iOS devices and Android devices in one place, and then change and view on all devices.

Previously I cannot do that since the outlook calendar is stored on my work PC which is local so cannot be accessed via Exchange in Google.

Gsyncit is a paid app but allow user to use its unpaid version to sync one outlook calendar to one Google calendar in two ways, which is quite enough for me.

Now I get what I want, feels good~