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2 days ago

PSA: Galaxy S6 heart rate sensor still causes issues with Google Fit

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Is your Galaxy S6 heart rate sensor lighting up whenever you touch it? Incompatibility with Google Fit is to blame, and there's an easy fix.

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3 days ago

How to use multiple accounts on your Chromebook

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Multi accounts on Chromebook

The little slogan for a Google Account is 'One Account, All of Google', but sometimes one account isn't enough to get you by.

Some of us need personal accounts, joint accounts, professional accounts, work-controlled accounts... really, it's enough to make your head spin. And while Chrome OS using your Google Account login is blissfully simple, it leaves many users confused as to how they use all of their Google Accounts on one machine, preferably at the same time.

Well, let's clear some things up: you can absolutely log into more than one Google Account at a time. Here's how.

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4 days ago

When to use HDR for photos on your Android

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HDR camera interface

Shooting in HDR isn't a cure-all solution, but it can definitely make up for shortcomings in your camera.

It's clear to see smartphone cameras have come a long way in just a couple of years, but what you may not realize is that a lot of the advancement can be attributed to software. When dealing with small camera sensors and lenses, like those on your Android, it takes finely-tuned processing to get a great-looking image from the data collected. It's true for casual snapshots in auto mode, but it's particularly true for HDR photography.

While HDR can't fix every problem with taking photos on your Android phone, it can certainly help your little camera produce appealing images that you'll really want to show off. HDR isn't a silver bullet, though — it really needs to be used in moderation for the best results. Let us show you when to flip the switch to HDR and when to go natural.

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4 days ago

The ultimate guide to Google+

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Google+ is a vast platform that most don't quite fully understand the value of.

This is everything you need to know about Google+, in one handy guide.

Google+ is the social backbone of the Google platform and a pretty decent social network for the millions of users who inhabit it. Thanks to its ties to Hangouts, Google+ can also become your own personal podcast, meeting space, or impromptu concert. Google+ Photos's freedoms and features have attracted photographers from around the world, and its simple editing tools and ability to share beautiful, full-size photos both with your friends and with the world have made it one of the better photo services out there today.

Even if you're not looking for a new social network, that little red logo for Google+ does a lot of things for you. You use it to log into websites without filling out the same 20 questions every time you want to comment on a blog. It unifies your experience across the Google platform, from commenting on YouTube videos to leaving a bad review on the Play Store or Google Maps to bringing in results from your circles whenever you do a Google web search.

And here's how to get the most out of it.

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6 days ago

How to run a poll on Google+

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Polls are a nice, easy ways to gauge opinions.

Politicians are always using polls to assess voter — and donor — opinions. Google Opinion Rewards pays us for answering their short polls. Here at Android Central, our weekly polls are one of the many ways we try to see what you, our readers, think about Android and the burning questions of the day. But what about when you want to get some opinions about which app is better, or what you should do with some old tech? Well, you can run your own poll, right there on Google+. In ye olden days, you ran a poll in Google+ by making a post, commenting on your own post with the answers, and then disabling any more comments. The votes were cast using +1s, but since you could +1 more than one comment and there was no further dialog, things got a bit hectic, and bit boring. Since Google bought and integrated the polling app company Polar into Google+ last year, giving us the ability to conduct our own proper polls at a whim, those days are behind us.

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1 week ago

How to turn photos into Android wallpapers

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You can tell a lot about a person by the wallpaper on their phone...

Be it a battery-efficient black wallpaper or one of the millions of pictures of your kids that has consumed every byte of free-space on your phone, a wallpaper says a lot about its user. Even if they're still using the bland, boring wallpaper that came with it. It says: my phone isn't here to look pretty, it's here to make calls and answer texts. But maybe that's not true. Maybe you just didn't like the wallpapers included on your phone and you didn't think about adding one of your own. Well, setting a new wallpaper is easy to do and something you really should do, as a good wallpaper can help give you a nice little pick me up every time you see it.

If you need some images to use as your wallpaper, check out our lovely wallpaper gallery!

Let's personalize!

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1 week ago

The best ways to get photos off your Android

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Photos aren't much good to you on a camera. They need to get off your camera to reach their potential.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you.

That means that your Android smartphone is likely the camera you use the most and the one you'll be taking pictures off of the most. Nothing can be quite as frustrating as taking a picture you need to print out, or send off to the print shop, but not being able to get it off your phone and onto your necessary machine. And while there are many, many ways to get a photo from your phone to your computer, cloud storage, or anywhere else you'd like to keep it, here are the best ways we've found to get from Point A to Point B.

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1 week ago

How to switch accounts on the Google+ app

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Things in mobile apps tend to not be in the same places as their desktop browser counterparts.{.intro}

Whether you're trapped between Google Apps and regular Google accounts, helping maintain a Google+ Page, or you're running an intricate multi-user text-based RPG through a G+ Community, switching accounts is one of those things that tends to make your digital life much easier. It hasn't always been easy to switch between accounts on Google's services, but the company has worked hard over the last couple of years to make that a priority. There can be no finer example of this progress than Google+, where it is positively effortless to switch between several different kinds of Google accounts in order to participate in Google+ in many different ways. The quick two-click switch offered on the browser version of Google+ is second only to the ease with which you can perform the same function in the app.

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1 week ago

How to Auto Backup images and movies to Google+

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The memories you capture with your smartphone don't have to disappear when something bad happens.

There are many photo backup services available to Android users today. Almost all of these services rely on offering a small amount of storage in a cloud backup somewhere, and when you take a photo or record a video that data is sent off to be stored until you need it. While each of these services offer something special, everyone with an Android phone and a Google account already has one of these services ready to go on their device. It's a part of the Photos app, which is actually a part of Google+. Auto-backup is simple, fast, and has several important settings that help ensure the service is something everyone can use if they choose.

The best part? All it takes is a single toggle to activate the service.

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1 week ago

How to get March Madness scores with Google Now

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The Big Dance is just beginning ...

And while there are apps aplenty to keep bracket-makers and die-hard fans watching and trash-talking, not all of us need that. Some of us just want to see how far our local team has gotten so far. Some of us just need a quick way to find out what channel the next good game's going to be on. Some of us just want a quick way to get the score and then get on with our lives.

Some of us just need Google Now.

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1 week ago

How Google+ affects your Google account

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Google has taken your data out of the individual silos you signed up for and created something bigger, but it's up to you to decide if that's good or bad.

When the service first launched, Google+ was described by its creators as a social layer for all of Google's products. This meant you could invite people to a document from Google Drive, check your notifications from Google Play Music, and effortlessly invite anyone with a Google account to a Hangout for anything from a quick friendly chat to a serious meeting. This plan has been scaled back a bit since its inception, as it turned out not everyone wanted every Google product connected to a highly personal social network, but there are still plenty of ways in which your Google+ account can affect your Google Account.

The good news is most of these things are actually quite helpful. The bad news is some of these things can't really be turned off.

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1 week ago

Hangouts and Google+

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Hangouts are nevermore than a mouse away in Google+.

Instant messengers and video chatting go hand in hand with social networks.

Facebook has Facebook Messenger, Twitter has direct messaging, and Google+ has Hangouts. However, Hangouts is a bit more than just the private messenger behind Google+ and Gmail, as Hangouts also powers one of the better live video broadcasting platforms on the net right now. Hangouts is an app with many tricks, talents, and features, and as a Google product, it crisscrosses several platforms, but none so much and so well as Google+.

So, anyone wanna hangout?

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2 weeks ago

Getting to know Google+ - Pages, Communities, and What's Hot

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Some areas of Google+ are great for immersing yourself in a topic, but it's easy to get overwhelmed when the signal to noise ratio tips.

Once you gotten yourself settled in to Google+, by which I mean your account has been completed and you've either located your current friends or gone out to find some new ones through Google's recommendations, it's time to really make the service yours. Google+ has some terrific tools filling your stream with as much or as little information as you choose, and that content can either be narrowed down to specific topics or a firehose of whatever is popular on the service right now. If you so choose, there are even tools to set yourself up as a broadcaster of exciting content. All you need to know is which buttons to push, and how to turn it all off if you've made a mistake.

We're going to explore some of the content-specific portions of Google+ here. Using Communities, exploring What's Hot, and how to set up and manage a Page.

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2 weeks ago

All about photos on Google+

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Photos can make or break your experience on social media.

While text may be the way we primarily communicate online, when we add visuals to our words, social media becomes a lot more fun, a lot more addictive, and to an extent a lot easier. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Communities like the Art of Bread probably could still capture interest and share recipes with text alone, but its the pictures that make not-so-diehard bakers come to drool and to learn. Pictures are also important to more technical pursuits on Google+ like beta testing. You could just describe the issue you're having with the new material beta in Nova Launcher, but when you have pictures to show your particular bugs, not only is it easier for users to report but it's easier for the developers to see.

Google+ has been a platform loved by photographers and artists because of the freedom offered by Google+ Photos. Photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Patrick Smith have racked up tens of billions of views. Yes, billion with a b. And their massive public collections of full-scale, quality photography has been put on display through Chromecasts all over the world.

So, what makes photos so special on Google+?

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2 weeks ago

Android 5.1: Muting your Lollipop phone overnight just got a bit easier

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Android 5.1 Mute option

Android 5.1 Lollipop brings new 'interruptions' options that make it easier to silence your phone while you're sleeping.

It's a long-running complaint with many Android Lollipop phones — you want to mute your phone, but that option's just not there anymore. Instead you have to deal with the slightly confusing interruptions system and decide whether you want to mute absolutely everything — including alarms — or set up "priority" mode and decide what you want to let through.

Now, thankfully, in the new Android 5.1 release, there's there's an easier way.

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