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17 hours ago

How to verify your Twitter account on Android

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Getting verified on Twitter with an Android phone is as easy as filling out a form.

Twitter recently opened up its verification procedure to anyone who wants to attempt to convince the company they are worth that coveted blue checkmark.

While it's still unclear how Twitter decides how one gets verified — those approved are "accounts of public interest," according to the company — the steps to get there are now much clearer.

How to get verified with your Android phone

  1. Head to Twitter's official verification page in your Chrome browser.
  2. Sign in to the Twitter account you want verified (if prompted).
  3. Read the information and tap Continue.
  4. Tap Next after verifying the account in question is the one you want verified.

  5. Enter between two and five websites to help Twitter identify your account.
  6. Enter up to 500 words to tell Twitter why your account should be verified.
  7. Tap Next once you are happy with your entries.
  8. Review your request and press Submit.

Once you submit your request, Twitter will then take some time to deliberate and will contact you over email to deliver the good, or bad, news.

What next?

If for some reason your request for verification is denied, you must wait 30 days to apply again — hopefully with a more convincing argument. Got questions? Leave a comment below!

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1 day ago

How to set up a 5.1 home theater system with Sonos for Android

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How to set up a 5.1 home theater system with Sonos for Android

Get BIG home theater sound with Sonos!

Sonos speakers are smart. "How smart?" you ask.

So smart that, when you combine a Sonos Playbar, Sub, and either two Play:1s, two Play:3s, or two Play:5s (gen 2), you can turn all the individual components into a bumpin' home theater system!

Note: Your rear surround speakers must both be the same model or this just won't work.

There are a couple different ways to do this, especially if you have an existing system that you're adding to. We're going to show you the easiest way to set this up. Here we go!

How to set up a 5.1 surround home theater system with Sonos for Android

To make life easier, you're going to want to factory reset all of the speakers that you have set up already.

Once that's done we're going to start by setting up the Playbar, which will prompt the setup of the rest of your home theater system.

  1. Launch the Sonos Controller app from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap Set Up a New Sonos System.
  3. Tap Next on the welcome screen.
  4. Tap Standard Setup so everything stays wireless.

    Tap Set Up a New Sonos System, tap Next, tap Standard Setup

  5. Tap Next on the "Standard Setup" screen.
  6. Tap Set up this player. Choose the Playbar from the list, if it prompts you.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  8. Tap Next.

    Tap NExt, Tap Set Up this Player, follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next

  9. Tap I see an orange light once you see the orange light flashing on the side of the Playbar.
  10. Tap Next on the "Wireless Setup" screen.
  11. Enter your Wi-Fi password into the field.
  12. Tap Continue.

    Tap I see an orange light, tap NExt, enter your Wi-Fi password, tap Continue

  13. Tap Next once the Playbar has been added to your network.
  14. Tap the dropdown menu.
  15. Tap the room in which you'll have your home theater setup.
  16. Tap Next.

    Tap Next, tap the dropdown menu, tap the room you'll have your setup in, tap Next

  17. Tap Next once your TV is turned off.
  18. Tap Add a Sub.
  19. Tap Next once you have plugged in your Sub. As the screen says, it can take up to 30 seconds for it to register (it's not kidding).

    Tap Next, tap Add a Sub, tap Next

  20. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  21. Tap Next once the Sub has been added.
  22. Tap Add Surrounds.

    Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next, tap Add Surrounds

  23. Swipe left and right to choose which players you have.
  24. Tap Set up these players, once you've chosen the Sonos model that you have.
  25. Tap Next on the "Add Left Surround" screen, once you've placed the speaker where you like it.
  26. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    Swipe left and right to choose a player, tap Set up these players once you've chosen, tap Next, follow the on-screen instructions

  27. Tap Next on the "Added Left Surround" screen.
  28. Tap Next on the "Add Right Surround" screen.
  29. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    Tap Next, tap Next, follow the on-screen instructions

  30. Tap Next on the "Added Right Surround" screen.
  31. Tap Next on the "Audio Setup" screen.
  32. Tap Next once you have moved to a central location in the room from which you will watch TV.

    Tap Next, next, next

  33. Tap the play button to start the Sub test sounds.
    • Tap No Difference if the alternating tones don't change in volume.
    • Tap A is louder if the Sub sounds louder when the letter "A" is highlighted.
    • Tap B is louder if the Sub sounds louder when the letter "B" is highlighted.
  34. Tap the play button to start the bass tones.
  35. Tap the bass setting that is most pleasing to your ear.
  36. Tap Next.

    Tap the play button, tap No Difference if neither tone is louder than the other, tap A is louder or B is louder if one is, tap the play button, choose a bass setting, tap Next

  37. You will be asked how far away from you your left and right surround speakers are. Tap one of the following options:
    • Less than 2 feet
    • 2 feet to 10 feet
    • More than 10 feet
  38. Tap Next on the "Audio Setup" screen.
  39. Tap Next on the "TV Sound" screen, once your Playbar is connected to your television via optical cable.

    Tap the option that best describes how far away from you your speakers are, tap Next, tap Next

  40. Tap Next once you have your TV turned on to a movie or show.
  41. Tap Next after setting your TV speakers to external. This can be done using your remote in your TV's sound settings.
  42. Tap Next.

    Tap Next, Next, Next

  43. Tap Successfully disabled, once you have your audio output set to external speakers.
  44. Tap Next.
  45. Tap Next on the "Remote Control Setup" screen.

    Tap Successfully Disabled, tap Next, tap Next

  46. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  47. Tap Next once your remote is set up.
  48. Press the volume button on your TV remote and tap an option.

    • A message is displayed
    • A volume level is displayed
    • Nothing is displayed

      Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next, press the vlume button on your remote and choose the option that best describes what you see

  49. Tap Next on the "TV Messages" screen.
  50. Tap Add Another Player if you wish to do so and follow steps 3-13. Otherwise, tap Not Now.
  51. Tap Next on the "Sonos Registration" screen.

    Tap Next, tap Add another player, if you wish to do so; otherwise, tap Not Now, tap Next

  52. Enter your email address.
  53. Check or uncheck the checkoxes, depending on whether or not you'd like to receive software and company emails from Sonos.
  54. Tap Next.

    Enter your email address, check our uncheck the checkboxes, depending on whether or not you want to receive promotional material, tap Next

  55. Tap Use Current Location to allow Sonos to use your location as part of the registration process.
  56. Enter your zip/postal code.
  57. Tap Next.
  58. Check or uncheck the checkbox, depending on whether or not you'd like to send usage data to Sonos.

    Tap Use Current Location, enter your zip/postal code, tap Next, check or uncheck the checkbox, depending on whether or not you want to share usage data with Sonos

  59. Tap Next.
  60. Tap Next on the "Registration Complete** screen.
  61. Tap Set Up Music Services if you wish to set up a music service. Otherwise, tap Skip to Sonos Menu.

    Tap Next, tap Next, tap Set Up Music Services, if you wish to do so; otherwise, tap Skip to Sonos Menu

It was a long road, but we got there! Now you can enjoy immersive 5.1 surround sound thanks to Sonos!

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3 days ago

How to keep your screen on in Pokémon Go without wrecking your battery the rest of the day

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Pokémon Go is a battery-killer. We all know this.

Like most people, when I started Pokémon Go, I would be walking around and having to turn my screen back on every minute or so when it timed out. To fix that frustration, I went into Settings, and under Display, I cranked my Screen timeout up to 10 minutes. Then my phone would stay on forever while I was listening to music, or looking at Twitter, so I was using the power button just as much.

But there is a better way! Actually there are a few better ways.

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6 days ago

How to make free Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts for Android

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How to make free Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts for Android

How do I make phone calls with Google Hangouts?

Why pay for domestic calling when you can make Wi-Fi calls to Canada and the U.S. for free with Google Hangouts? All you need is the Hangouts Dialer and you'll be able to dial any number and make a call via Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G (data rates apply, of course).

You can call internationally, but you will be charged Google's rates. That being said, Google's international rates are considerably cheaper than many leading telephone service providers' rates.

Here's how to make Wi-Fi phone calls using the Hangouts Dialer and Google Hangouts for Android!

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1 week ago

How to install and set up Authy for two-factor authentication on your Chromebook

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Authy is awesome if you want your two-factor authentication tokens on more than one phone. But it's not just for phones — it's great on your Chromebook, too!

We've talked about using Authy for two-factor authentication when you need your tokens on multiple devices, and how to get things all set up on your Android. If you've got a Chromebook, you'll also want to install the Authy extension. It's a minimal piece of software that only does exactly what it needs to do — fetch you a 2Fa token when you need it. Here's how to get it set up.

Download and install the Authy extension from the Chrome Web store. There's also an Authy Chrome app, which is recommended for Windows, Mac or Linux computers running the Chrome Browser. Either one will work, and the setup is the same. I recommend the extension for a Chromebook instead of a new app. When the install is done, you'll see a new icon to the right of the Omni-bar. Click it (or tap it) to open the extension window.

The setup screen will open. Authy needs to verify and authorize a new device on your account. Verifying everything is super-easy if you have Authy running on your phone, but you can also use an SMS message or a phone call to verify (or even set up a new account). For this article, we're going to assume you set up Authy on your phone. Because you should set up Authy on your phone. Just set up Authy on your phone, dammit.

Anyhoo, enter the phone number you have registered with Authy and click the button that says you're going to use another device to verify things. Now grab your phone, and check your notifications. You'll have one from the Authy app that says another device is asking for approval. Tap the notification (and enter your PIN for Authy if you set one up) and you can verify your Chromebook with a tap. You need to use 2Fa to set up Authy on a new device, but don't worry. You'll not need to do this again.

When things are done and you're approved, you'll see a list of the accounts you have in Authy. You'll also notice that you have a notification on the settings icon. Let's fix that setting first.

When you open the settings, you'll see Authy asking you to set up a master password for the extension. You'll need to supply this password every time you open Authy. You don't have to protect your Authy accounts on your Chromebook, but with no password, anyone can open the app and get a 2Fa token. I suggest you password protect Authy on your Chromebook. It's a minor inconvenience for an app you'll not need to open very often. But it's your call. I'll pretend everyone reading is going to protect the Authy app.

We're almost done. When you go back to the Authy window, you'll see a lock icon next to each account on your list. That's because you enabled encryption on your backups. You'll need to supply the encryption password to sync with your Authy account. To do that just tap the lock icon and enter the same password you used on your phone when you set Authy up.

And now you're done.

The next time you need to supply a 2Fa token on the web (or anywhere) you won't have to grab your phone. Click any account in the list and you'll get your token, with a handy button to copy it to the clipboard.

Your next step to protect your privacy is to add a USB Security key (or two) to your Google account so you always have a way in. Stay safe!

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1 week ago

How to connect a USB flash drive to your Android phone

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How to connect a USB flash storage device to your Android phone

How do I connect a USB flash storage device to my Android phone?

Say you're going to a party and your friends have asked you to play amateur DJ. Your phone has some music on it, but there's so much more on your thumb drive or external solid state drive. You don't want to bring an entire laptop to the party! Why not hook it up to your phone?

Another scenario: you're going on a long road trip or flight and you can't imagine anything better than watching movies the whole time. Problem is, you can't fit them all on the internal or removable storage on your Android phone. Bring your flash drive! It's full of movies!

Connecting a USB flash storage device to your Android phone is cheap and easy. Let's find out what you need and, finally, how to get everything connected and safely disconnected again.

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1 week ago

How to free up storage space on Android

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OnePlus 3 storage

How do I free up space on my Android phone?

There are a couple of super simple, straightforward ways to instantly give you more room for music, apps, photos, and more.

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1 week ago

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android

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How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android

How do I transfer my iPhone contacts to my Android phone?

You've made the brilliant decision to switch from iPhone to Android. Congratulations and welcome! Now you just need to get all of your contacts off your iPhone and onto your new Android phone and your Apple ties will be severed and you shall be reborn anew (or something like that).

Here's how!

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1 week ago

The Ultimate Guide to Pokémon Go

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Once you've learned the basics, it's time to dive deeper into Pokémon Go.

If you're here it's because you want to become the best Pokémon trainer that you can be. If you're just getting started with Pokémon Go, then you should check out our guide to getting started before diving in here. This guide is for those of you who are grinding levels, capturing Pokémon and taking over Gyms.

As you know by now, there is a lot going on with Pokémon Go, and we're going to detail most of it out for you here.

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1 week ago

Ask AC: Is it safe to use the Amazon App Store?

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Amazon is in a tough spot because of Google's "all or nothing" Unknown sources setting.

Since we're all fairly concerned about mobile security on a personal and professional level, we recommend that the phone in your pocket and full of your personal data has a locked bootloader and "Unknown sources" left unchecked. If you find a trusted app that needs to be sideloaded, disable the setting again once you've installed it. It's the last barricade between your data and an app that hasn't been vetted for safety.

Because we take this stance, more than a few folks have written in with the same question:

Is it safe to use the Amazon App Store? It requires Unknown sources be enabled.

First, thanks to everyone who asked. We love it when folks try to get the answers they need and try to help as much as we can.

The Amazon App Sore is a dilemma. The problem is that it can update apps over-the-air like Google Play or the Apple AppStore but to do this in needs the Unknown sources setting to be enabled. That means if you did sideload a nasty app that wants to install other, possible nastier, apps you let them try it. That's what Unknown sources is — it allows sideloading of apps that didn't come from Google Play and have the right signature.

Amazon does a good (4 stars; would buy again) job vetting the apps they put in their store. Apps must be approved before they are published — the same method Apple uses — and so far, we haven't heard of any slipping through the cracks and being harmful in any way. While Google has no public opinion of Amazon and their ventures with Android, BlackBerry has embraced them and it's an approved way to run Android apps on BlackBerry 10 devices. Their store is safe, and the apps you download from them are safe.

The hard part is offering a suggestion that works for everyone in this case. There just isn't one. As much as I hate to do it, this one gets two answers.

  • If you're a casual Android user — you don't read blogs every day or fiddle with settings and tweaks on your phone — leave the unknown sources box unchecked and skip the Amazon App Store. You'll find most of the apps in Google Play, and there's a good chance they will be a more recent version. This isn't fair to Amazon because they do run a tight ship, but that's just how Android works. This setting is an all-or-nothing thing.

  • If you are an enthusiast-type, go for it. Either manually toggle the setting when your phone tells you there's some sort of update, or run wide open and use good judgment for every app your download and install. You know the risks, and you own the hardware, so do what you please with it. Just be careful. Do it for old Uncle Jerry.

All this is more of a precaution that a reaction to anything. Malware isn't unheard of on Android, but the numbers you hear from companies who make money selling you security apps aren't quite as sensational when you consider the scale — there are about 1,600,000,000 Androids out there. And that's only counting the ones that have Google services installed. 10,000 is 0.000625% of the install base, and even 1,000,000 is less than 1%. But there's always a chance some crafty guy or gal can find a way to get your stuff. Do everything you can to keep your stuff safe.

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1 week ago

How to adjust screen brightness and sleep settings on Android

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How to adjust screen brightness and sleep settings on Android

How do I adjust screen brightness and sleep settings on Android?

On top of changing your phone's brightness, you can also customize the sleep settings, which allows you to choose how long it takes for your screen to shut when you're not using it. Here's how to adjust your brightness and sleep settings.

How to adjust your screen brightness on Android

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the Notification Shade. Depending on which Android phone you have, you may have to swipe twice.
  2. Tap and hold the brightness slider. It's the icon that looks like the sun.
  3. Drag the brightness slider to your desired brightness.
  4. Release the slider.

How to turn off Adaptive brightness on Android

Adaptive brightness gives your phone the ability to adjust the screen brightness automatically depending on the amount of light around you. The setting is typically on by default, but it's easy to turn off if you want to.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the Notification Shade. Depending on which Android phone you have, you may have to swipe twice.
  2. Tap on the settings button. It's the gear icon in the top right.

  3. Tap Display.
  4. Tap the On/Off switch beside Adaptive brightness.

You can follow these exact steps to turn the adaptive brightness setting back on whenever you need.

How to turn on Ambient display on Android

Enabling Ambient display allows you to view the time and notifications on your lock screen without having to press the power or home buttons.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the Notification Shade. Depending on which Android phone you have, you may have to swipe twice.
  2. Tap on the settings button. It's the gear icon in the top right.

  3. Tap Display.
  4. Tap the On/Off switch beside Ambient display.

Follow the same steps to turn off Ambient display whenever you want.

How to change the sleep settings on Android

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the Notification Shade. Depending on which Android phone you have, you may have to swipe twice.
  2. Tap on the settings button. It's the gear icon in the top right.
  3. Tap Display.

  4. Tap Sleep.
  5. Tap the amount of time you want. Your options are as follows:

    • 15 seconds
    • 30 seconds
    • 1 minute
    • 2 minutes
    • 5 minutes
    • 10 minutes
    • 30 minutes

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1 week ago

These are the Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and cheats you need right now!

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It's dangerous to go alone. Wait, what game are we talking about again?

Welcome to the life after level 5, Pokémon Trainer. It doesn't matter if you're Instinct, Mystic, or Valor right now, it's a war zone out there. There has never been a game to receive quite as much 24/7/365 action as Pokémon Go. You can take over a Gym in most areas right now and have it reclaimed for another team before you make it down the street. It's intense, exciting, and if you're not constantly playing you could find yourself at a very real disadvantage.

Unless, of course, you have this guide helping you out. We've collected a great list of tips, tricks, and sneaky little cheats to give you the upper hand when playing against other high level players out in the world. Are you ready for this?

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1 week ago

Pokémon Go: Common problems and fixes!

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 Common problems and fixes

Pokémon Go is shockingly popular. But it's not the most stable app at the moment.

With millions upon millions of players hitting the game, there are bound to be a few issues — particularly when the game relies on your phone's internet and GPS connections, as well as Niantic's servers.

Rather than have you track down things all over trying to fix issues, we've rounded up common Pokémon Go problems, and some solutions to fix them!

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1 week ago

Pokémon Go: Learn the basics

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Pokémon go is here and we've got all the details to get you started.

If you haven't already heard, there is a new game craze sweeping the world and it's called Pokémon Go. It allows you to wander the world catching adorable pocket-sized monsters and finding awesome new landmarks around your city as you do so. There's a lot going on with this game, but we've put together a guide to get you started.

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1 week ago

Pokémon Go Medals: How to unlock bronze, silver and gold for everything!

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They're mostly for rubbing in everyone's face, which is why you need all of them!

The Medal system in Pokémon Go is a little self serving for the moment. You don't gain anything by unlocking them, aside from a little note in your account saying you've unlocked them. That means there's a list of accomplishments you and your friends can compete on unlocking, and obviously the one with the most Medals unlocked is the best Pokémon Go player right?

Every Pokémon Go medal comes in Bronze, Silver, and gold. Here's what you need to do in order to unlock each of these Medals!

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