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14 hours ago

Best flash drives to expand your NVIDIA Shield Android TV's storage

20
Best flash drives to expand your NVIDIA Shield Android TV's storage

It's cheap and easy to expand the internal storage of your set top box.

The latest revision of the NVIDIA Shield Android TV may have lost its SD card slot, but it still has two perfectly good USB 3.0 ports that can work to expand your internal storage. You can attach just about anything to those ports, but with just 16GB of internal storage, many will want to fill one with an inexpensive flash drive that can be adopted into the system and work just as if it were internal storage.

NVIDIA actually makes a great set of recommendations for which flash drives work best with your Shield, and having done some research on them ourselves, we want to point out which ones are the drives to go with.

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19 hours ago

The Galaxy S8 is water resistant, not liquid resistant

34

Your phone has no fear when it comes to water but be careful with other liquids.

One of the features you'll find in most top-end phones in 2017 is water resistance. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from Samsung are no exception. Raining outside? No problem. The Galaxy S8's IP68 rating means the rain has no effect. The same goes for a splash at the sink, a dip in the pool, and maybe even a spilled soda or beer.

Yes, maybe. Not everything wet is water and even things that are mostly water might be best kept away from your water-resistant phone.

This doesn't only apply to the Galaxy S8, or even phones in general. Water resistant objects are designed to keep out water — exclusively. Because of the chemical composition of any liquid, anything water resistant might not be beer resistant. Or champange resistant, because science!

Rugged phone ratings: Everything you need to know

Liquids feel, well, liquidy. But all liquids have other things dissolved into them. Things like magnesium and calcium are in the water you drink and depending on where in the world you are you can have very hard water (lots of calcium and other dissolved minerals) or very soft water (very few dissolved minerals) or somewhere in between. The GS8 is designed to be soaked in good old tap water with no ill effects. You don't have to worry, but we don't recommend you take your phone snorkeling. (If you do, send us pics because that's pretty cool).

Other types of water, specifically distilled water and really hot water, are probably something you don't want to dunk your phone in. Science also means that distilled water is virtually free of any dissolved minerals and might be able to penetrate where "regular" water can't. Hot water, on the other hand, can loosen adhesives and gaskets.

A quick rinse to wash away chemicals or sticky liquids isn't going to hurt anything.

Other liquids like beer or antifreeze — or anything that's not just plain water — might have chemicals that can penetrate the water resistant barriers or just make a mess in speaker holes, headphone jacks, and SIM card slots. If you get something that's not water you'd drink on your phone, rinse it gently in the sink with room temperature water as soon as you can.

If you get the ports all gunked up, and it happens to the best of us, don't go jamming toothpicks or sewing needles in the nooks and crannies to scrape it out. Wipe it down with a damp washcloth and let the fabric scrub away the surface dirt and sticky stuff or take a toothbrush and gently work at it. If you do end up having to dig in any holes with anything smaller than your elbow, be super careful not to cause any damage to parts or finishes. All that is part of being water resistant and needs to stay as intact as it can.

You don't need to baby your Galaxy S8 when it comes to using it around the water. It's built for it! Just be mindful for spills and splashes of other liquids.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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21 hours ago

How to use Game Tools on the Samsung Galaxy S8

3

What are Game Tools and Game Launcher and why are they so important this time around?

Samsung introduced Game Tools on their phones starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and then retroactively added the feature to the Galaxy S6. Turning on Game Tools on those phones activated floating button, which provided easy access to a bunch of really handy settings for screen recording and avoiding distractions during gaming marathons.

With the Galaxy S's unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio, pretty much every game is going to feature ugly letterboxing by default.

A notable feature on the Galaxy S8 is the switch from physical buttons to on-screen navigation control. Samsung has integrated the Game Tools icon into the navigation bar when you're playing a game, keeping it always at close hand without a clunky floating button. It's a subtle but significant change that keeps everything in a standard location without distracting from the on-screen action.

With the Galaxy S's unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio, pretty much every game is going to feature ugly letterboxing by default. Samsung has addressed that with an option to scale and adapt games to fill the full screen built right into the Game Tools Menu. Other options let you disable notifications, turn off the home button's functionality during gameplay, as well as turn off touch sensitivity around the edges of the curved screen — all crucial features for not getting distracted while playing.

How to turn on Game Launcher

If you're planning to play games on your Galaxy S8, you'll definitely want to turn on Game Launcher, which unlocks the Game Tools menus during gameplay.

  1. Tap the Settings icon from your app drawer.
  2. Tap Advanced features.
  3. Tap Games.
  4. Tap the toggle switch to turn on Game Launcher.

To actually set up and configure the Game Tools settings, you'll need to actually launch a game and access the Game Tools menu.

How to use Game Tools while playing

Accessing the full suite of Game Tools options while you're playing a game is really easy — simply swipe to reveal the navigation buttons and you'll see two extra buttons flanking the standard home, back, and recent apps buttons.

The one on the left is the Game Tools main menu, while the one on the right can be set up as a shortcut to take screenshots or record video. If you're planning to record video, you'll want to tweak those recording settings there ahead of time.

The key features included in the Game Tools menu are:

  • Full Screen — Arguably the most important button in the menu. By default, games will play with letterboxed black bars on the top and bottom or sides (depending on orientation). Turning on Full Screen will scale up your games to make use of the full screen, edge to edge. Toggling this will force the game to restart.
  • No alerts during game — Pretty straight forward. This disables notifications from popping up and ruining your flow.
  • Hard press button lock — Disables the ability to accidentally tap the digital home button.
  • Edge touch lock — Disables touch sensitivity around the curved edges of the screen to help you avoid accidental touches.
  • Screen Touch Lock — Pauses the game and locks the screen. Swipe to unlock the screen and return to the game.
  • Screenshot — Tap to quickly take a screenshot while in the heat of the action. Sure beats trying to press the power and volume-down buttons!
  • Record — Lets you quickly record gameplay videos as you play, with options to record yourself via the front-facing camera and microphone for creating your own Let's Play videos and live streams.

These settings will remain in place across all your games, so you won't have to individually turn on Full Screen mode with all your games.

Opposite the main Game Tools menu is the shortcut button, which gives you quick access to one of three actions: take a screenshot, start and stop recording video, or turn on Screen Touch Lock. It's very easy to setup and can be changed on the fly as needed.

  1. Long press the Shortcut button.
  2. Select your preferred action.

If you're planning to record and share your gameplay footage, you'll want to head into the video record settings to set up things just the way you want. You have the option of including a profile image or logo on your video capture, or turn on the front-facing camera for that classic Let's Play picture-in-picture video format. You'll also want to set the video resolution, but be aware of that there are recording limitations — the Galaxy S8 is able to record up to 4GB per recording, which equates to 80 minutes of gameplay at 1080px resolution, its highest setting.

And that's it!

Have you been gaming on the Galaxy S8? What do you think of the Game Tools and how does the experience hold up against previous phones you've owned? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 day ago

How to customize the Galaxy S8's Always On Display

21
Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung has slowly improved its Always On Display — here's how to get started with it.

Even when your Galaxy S8's display is "off," it isn't really off. Always On Display triggers right away, and continues to show you useful information that's available at a glance so you don't always have to turn on the whole display just to check the time or see if you have notifications. It's a neat tool that works well right out of the box, but is even better once you get into the settings and customize things a bit.

How to customize Always On Display

To get started with customizing the Always On Display, head to Settings, Lock screen and security then Always On Display. Now let's see what's in there and what you can do with it.You have six different main clock styles to choose from: digital clock, analog clock, world clock, calendar, image and edge clock. They're all pretty self-explanatory and have small previews of what they look like generally.

Galaxy S8 Always On Display settings

  1. Tap the Always On Display style you want to use, and you'll launch into a customization screen where you can tweak different aspects of the screen.
    • The customization options differ based on which of the styles you're working from, but basically come down to the clock style, color and background.
    • With a few of the styles you'll also be able to tap on blank spots on the screen to add more information like a second clock or an image.
  2. To change different aspects of the screen, tap the buttons at the bottom of the editor to see the different options — swipe to the left to see extra options, if available.
  3. Once you're all tuned up just how you like it, tap Apply at the top of the screen.
  4. Now stay put in the Always On Display settings, because there are a few more changes you can make aside from the design.
    • By default, the phone is set to always show the Always On Display (I mean, it's right in the name!) but you don't have to keep it that way — you can set a schedule for when it is turned on.
  5. Tap the Show always toggle to turn it off, then tap Set schedule to choose when Always On Display is enabled.
    • For example you can only have it on during the working day, and off at night, to save battery.
  6. Scroll to the correct start time, then tap End and scroll to the correct end time and tap OK to set the schedule.

After a little back-and-forth tweaking things, you'll find a combination of styles and settings that work for you. It's a great way to customize the look and functionality of your Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 day ago

Understanding the Galaxy S8's display resolution options

20
Galaxy S8 Plus

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ default to 'Full HD+' resolution, but it's easy to go higher or lower. Here's why you might want to do that.

The Galaxy S8's Quad HD+ SuperAMOLED panel is one of its standout features. Indeed, that big, almost bezel-free display features heavily in Samsung's ads for the phone. By default, though, it's not set to run at its full, native resolution of 2960x1440, instead it's downsampled to "Full HD+," or 2220x1080. And if you want, you can set it to go even lower, down to "HD+" — 1480x720.

Let's take a look at the Galaxy S8's resolution options, and examine which level you might want to pick.

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1 day ago

How to turn off icon notification badges on the Galaxy S8

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Samsung Galaxy S8

This could be your favorite feature ... or it could annoy you every single day.

One of the features on Android that's requested frequently, particularly by anyone who's used an iPhone, is notification badges on app icons. That means that as notifications for that app pile up, a small circle with a number indicating the amount of unread notifications is placed on its icon. Listening to demand, Samsung includes this feature in the Galaxy S8 — but it isn't perfect.

So long as the app supports these notification badges, you'll see the number of unread notifications on that app icon. Unfortunately, unlike iOS this isn't a standard framework for Android apps, so only some of your apps have badges while others don't. That's annoying.

No matter which side of the issue you fall on, we can all agree that having a setting in the phone to turn off these icon badges would be a beneficial thing. Unfortunately, Samsung doesn't give us such a setting, so we have to go our own way.

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2 days ago

Your unlimited plan is probably ripping you off: How much data Americans actually use

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The numbers are in and you probably don't need an expensive unlimited data plan.

Unlimited data plans are back. Here's some insight into why that happened as well as a look at how much data we really use every month.

We've recently seen all four major U.S. carriers introduce or revamp their unlimited LTE data plans. Multiple times. For some of us, this is great news: The folks who use upwards of 10GB of data on a line they pay for themselves found plenty of creative ways to hold on to older unlimited data plans, and sometimes that could be a hassle. Now they are available with a click of the mouse.

Unlimited plans coming back to AT&T and Verizon are a direct result of tough competition in the industry.

This wasn't unexpected, really. Companies like T-Mobile and StraightTalk made people notice the cost vs. value proposition of a cell phone data plan. AT&T and Verizon enjoyed a consumer mindset that they offered something superior when for many, alternatives could be just as good. When people started to take notice of that, it was time for a small shake-up.

People who will utilize an unlimited data plan and get their money's worth are outliers. Everyone can have a month where they are traveling or otherwise away from Wi-Fi and use a good chunk of data, but when you look at the numbers telling how much data is used per person on average, you see that most people would be better served with a cheaper plan that offers a capped data allotment.

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The numbers back this up. According to NPD Connected Intelligence, one of the groups that your carrier and the people who made your phone use for insight into growth and planning, in 2015 the average amount of data used per person per month was about 3.5GB. During the same time period, customers on T-Mobile used an average of 5GB per month and Sprint customers used about 4GB per month; and both carriers offered unlimited data plans to any post-paid customer.

Why this is important

These are average numbers. That means that some people will be wildly outside the average on both ends: You might use 100GB of data per month but someone who uses 0.1GB per month offsets your input towards the average. An average can't predict the highest amounts of data being used (or the lowest) but it is a great way to determine how much data the average person uses each month. There's a lot of ways this data can be used and of course multiple ways it can be interpreted. For example, the average data a customer with access to an unlimited data plan uses isn't dramatically different from the amount someone without access to unlimited data is using.

People talking about new unlimited data plans means that they are doing what they were meant to do: Hype.

This means that the average person, regardless of network, doesn't need to pay for an expensive unlimited data plan. Unlimited plans are hypefests that get everyone talking about something as mundane and boring as a cellular provider. The hope is that you'll decide you need to sign up for one even though you don't need one. Sure, you might use a little more each month knowing that you have an unlimited plan, but generally, people who weren't using a large amount of data before aren't going to be using a lot of data after they switch. Old habits and all that.

None of this matters to the phone company. It has one goal: to make money. That's how business work. Every decision, every promotion, every marketing campaign and everything else is a way to try and make more money. A company won't be around for long if they aren't trying to bank a profit. And sometimes, how that profit can be shown on a quarterly earnings report matters as much as the amount that goes into the bank.

The ARPU

ARPU (Average Revenue Per Unit or User) is the total revenue coming in from the service divided by the number of subscribers. It's also a pretty big deal in shareholder's reports and earning's calls.

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ARPU is a number that translates into the amount of money a single line of service brings in over a set time. There can be a monthly ARPU or quarterly or yearly. This number includes all the money you pay to your carrier minus tax and regulatory fees. That means things like extras you may be paying for (international calling or live TV for mobile devices) are included as well as your normal contract or monthly price. The ARPU is an easy way for a company to track its income and growth over time, and each customer who pays for an expensive unlimited data plan brings this average up in a way that's statistically significant.

There is more than one way to count money.

Your carrier wants you to be excited about, and ultimately sign up for, an unlimited data plan because of how it affects the bottom line as well as how much.

Another way your phone company looks at their finances is with an eye towards profit instead of just income. The profit from a customer can be more important than the overall income generated from one. A company can be healthy and profitable even with a low customer count, or vice versa. We see this in action when companies give earnings results.

Income and profit are always two different numbers.

Consider a hypothetical that's not too far removed from actuality. T-Mobile keeps pulling more and more customers away from Verizon. But Verizon is making more money and has a higher value. That means Verizon is making more profit per customer than T-Mobile.

Calculating profit is pretty simple. The service an account uses is tallied then compared to the amount of income that account generates each month. If you sign up for an unlimited data plan and still only use 3-5GB of data per month, you help improve profit margins. All accounts are profitable, but some will be more profitable than others.

Don't hate the players

We're not trying to say your carrier is bad or unethical here. This is just how business works when it comes to a service provider.

Your phone company is supposed to make money if everyone is doing their job.

They need to offer you something that you feel is worth the monthly cost. If that means an unlimited data plan sounds like a good idea to you, one is available for you. With the U.S. telco market becoming more and more competitive it was a given that all companies would offer a fixed service that included unlimited data for a fixed cost. Users who needed such a plan would sign on and help improve that income per customer metric and users who didn't need an unlimited plan but signed up for other reasons helped improve the profit per user metric. This is how smart business works and the people in charge at your carrier are smart business persons.

The one thing to take away here is asking yourself how much data you need every month. No one answer fits everyone, but there is an answer that fits you. Compare how much you need to how much you're paying for, and then check out what's available. A final metric that's harder to measure is how happy a customer is because happy customers are loyal customers. Make sure you're using a service that works best for you and makes you be that happy customer.

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2 days ago

The five things you MUST do with your phone

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You know someone who treats their phone poorly, don't you. It's OK. ... We can fix that!

It's that time of year when we start to get all the hot new phones. (And our kids start asking when they're going to get one. Thanks, TV ads ...) So I'm going to take a look at the best of the best. Or the least best of the best. Or maybe just some weird stuff. We'll see. More on that in the coming days.

First, though: Five things that all folks need to do with their phones. For a lot of you reading this, they'll be old hat. But I'm always surprised at how many folks don't use No. 3. ... And you can't walk down the street without running into someone who has never thought to do No. 5. (Hell, there's a chance you're living with someone like that, too!)

Next: ICYMI, I'm giving away a Huawei P10, and you still have a few days left to enter!

Finally: Be sure to subscribe!

Modern Dad

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2 days ago

Galaxy S8 security: Which unlocking method should you use?

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The Galaxy S8 comes with several different ways to lock your phone. But they aren't all equal when it comes to keeping snooping eyes out of your stuff.

We think everyone should lock their phone and be sure to enable a find my phone feature that can erase it if it gets lost or stolen. This is the best way to make sure someone can't just pick it up and rifle through all your stuff. The Galaxy S8 has a handful of different ways to do it and they are a great balance of convenience versus security. We're here to help you pick the best method for you.

Passwords and PINs

This is always the best way to make sure only you can unlock your phone, but they are also the least convenient method and require you to type your passcode every time you need to look at the screen if your phone was locked.

If you use your phone for business or just have stuff on it that you think is worth protecting the best way you can, you'll want to use a password. Always use a strong password and follow a few basic steps:

  • Don't use a single word no matter how obscure you think it is.
  • Choose a password that's a minimum of eight characters.
  • Use numbers, special characters and both upper and lower case letters.
  • If you need to write it down just in case, don't write it on something you carry with you. Phones and backpacks get stolen, unfortunately.

You can use a password generator if you want something completely random. A strong password on an encrypted phone is a tough nut to crack even for law enforcement, so it's also difficult for you to bypass it. Do what you need to do so you remember it.

Your birthday makes a horrible PIN so don't use it.

If a company issued your phone to you they might have specific requirements or give you a password. Treat it the same way and don't write it down on a slip of paper in your wallet or purse.

For most practical purposes a 6-digit PIN is almost as good as a full-on password but has the bonus of being easier to remember. Just don't pick any number attached to you like a birthdate or numbers from another ID.

Biometrics

Samsung introduced the iris scanner with the Note 7 and improved it for the Galaxy S8. For the most part, it's a secure way to unlock your phone.

The mix of convenience and security makes fingerprints or your iris a good choice for locking your phone.

More testing needs to be done but it seems like it's difficult to "fake" your phone into unlocking with a photo of your eye. The iris scanner uses more than just photo matching here. In any case, the chances someone else would have a high-resolution photo of your eye to use and unlock your phone is pretty slim, so even if it can be done it probably won't happen in the real world. Plenty of people love the ease and speed of unlocking their Galaxy S8 using their eyes so you definitely need to give it a try.

The fingerprint scanner is still there, but it's been moved to the back. It works the same way fingerprint sensors work on most high-end phones and provided you take the time to set it up carefully it's a convenient way to unlock the screen without having to type anything.

One thing to know about both of these methods is that in some places law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone using a fingerprint or iris. Regardless of how you feel about this issue, you need to know that it's possible.

How to set up the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8

Because they offer a nice mix of convenience and security, we think using your iris or fingerprint is one of the best ways to secure your lock screen.

Face unlock: convenience above all

You can also use your face or a pattern to unlock your phone. Just know that Google and Samsung both acknowledge that these methods are fairly easy to bypass.

Face unlock can be fooled, but only by someone who already has a high-resolution photo of your face.

Face unlock on the Galaxy S8 has been refined over the way it's done in stock Android, but it's still pretty easy to get around. This is because it's simply matching certain features and areas of your face that it has stored during setup with what it sees in the camera. A high-resolution photo is good enough to fool face unlocking. One thing that doesn't get mentioned when people talk about bypassing face unlock is that chances are someone who finds or steals your phone won't have a high-resolution full-size photo of your head. While it's not very secure, not having access to that photo makes that a moot point.

Pattern unlock isn't insecure by nature. Drawing a pattern between nine random dots has plenty of combinations and isn't going to be easy to guess without special equipment. But your fingers make it pretty easy: they leave a trail of grease.

Your skin secretes natural oils to keep it from turning into leather. We've all seen how a phone screen can be smudgy and icky from fingerprints, and when you are tracing the same pattern to unlock your phone all day that leaves a nice trail for someone to follow with their finger. It's not easy to do, but you can do it on your friend's phone if you try a couple of times. And you can bet that thieves know to look for the tell tail smudge lines when they nab an Android phone.

Smart Lock

Smart Lock is the easiest of all ways to unlock your phone because it's automatic.

Smart Lock works for anyone when it's within range.

Using your location or a Bluetooth device like a key fob or wearable, you can set your phone to stay unlocked under certain conditions. When you want to use it the power button takes you right to your home screen or a swipe to unlock screen.

Smart Lock is a great way to unlock for people who have a smartwatch or a Fitbit. It's accurate and doesn't drain the battery very much. Just remember that anyone with your watch or within Bluetooth range can unlock your phone.

Using Smart Lock on the Galaxy S8: Everything you need to know

Your choice

Locks were invented to keep honest people out of things. We can never depend on a lock screen to guard our privacy alone, but it is part of the basics and something everyone should be doing. Just remember that there is always someone working on bypassing any security feature and we don't have to make it easy for the bad guys. Or sneaky little brothers or roomies.

How do you lock your phone? Are you digging the iris scanner or improved face unlock on the Galaxy S8? Holler in the comments and let us know!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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3 days ago

How to upload videos to YouTube

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Uploading videos on YouTube is easier than you thought.

YouTube is the biggest video platform on the planet, delivering everything from music videos to birthday parties to news and updates on the world. Uploading your own videos to YouTube is an easy process, with access to plenty of features to give you control over the end product.

How to upload a video to YouTube

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Enter a title for your video.
  5. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  6. Tap the arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to adjust the length of your video

While it's easy to record a video for uploading to YouTube, you might want to adjust where the video starts or stops. YouTube makes this easy for you, allowing you to drag and drop where each video begins and ends.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Tap and drag the blue bumpers to drag and drop to the length you want your video to be.
  5. Enter a title for your video.
  6. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).

  7. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to add music to your video upload

When it comes to the options that you have before uploading a video, one of the most popular features is the ability to add music to your video.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap on the music button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a musical note.
  5. Tap the plus sign on the bottom right corner of each track to add it to your video.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow on the right side of your screen.

How to add a filter to your YouTube upload

Not every video needs to look as realistic as possible, and with filters it's an easy process to go ahead and adjust the way that your video looks with as little effort as possible. You can pick from one of the filters YouTube has offered to immediately change the look of your video.

  1. Launch the Youtube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of the screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap the magic wand on the right side of your screen.
  5. Tap the filter you want to use.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

While uploading a video to YouTube can be a bare bones affair, by using the different features available to you it's easy to spice your video up in just a few short taps. You are able to adjust the way your video looks, whether it had background music, and adjust your privacy options all before uploading a photo.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

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3 days ago

Google Maps: Ultimate Guide

6

Make the most out of Google Maps.

Google Maps is a powerful tool that's used by over 1 billion people, and over the years the app has become more efficient at suggesting routes, offering detailed options for public transit, nearby points of interest, and so much more.

Google serves up directions for driving, walking, biking, or public transit. When you select the driving option, you can ask Google to suggest a route that avoids tolls, highways, or ferries. Similarly for public transit, you can choose your preferred mode of transportation.

Its sheer scale means that there are tons of features that aren't immediately visible, and that's where this guide comes in handy. If you're just getting started with Google Maps or are looking to discover new features the service has to offer, read on.

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3 days ago

Six things you need to do immediately after getting the Galaxy S8

59

Take some time to make your Galaxy S8 yours.

There's a lot going on inside the Galaxy S8. From the new design, which does away with much of the front bezels, to the relocation of the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone, the S8 is all new. But there are some holdovers from previous versions of the Galaxy lineup, including a number of software features that were present in previous iterations, updated and brought over to the S8.

To make the transition to the Galaxy S8 an easy experience, here's a list of six things you should do right after getting the phone and turning it on.

1. Make sure the navigation buttons are to your liking

If you're coming from another Galaxy phone, you may not feel the need to change the order of the virtual home buttons, but anyone else may be confused and irritated by the fact that the back button is to the right of the home key on the Galaxy S8.

The good news is that you can change where those buttons live just by going straight into the settings and making a quick switch. While you're there, be sure to pick a background color for your new virtual home and check 'Unlock with Home button' if you want to make unlocking the phone much easier.

How to switch the position of the navigation buttons on the Galaxy S8

2. Set up your preferred unlock method

There are a ridiculous number of ways to unlock your Galaxy S8, and you should take some time after setting it up to try them all out and discover which one works best for you.

Because the Galaxy S8's fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone, it may be difficult to reach for some people and requires the phone to be picked up from a table to unlock it. So it's a good idea to experiment with two new unlocking features — facial recognition and iris scanning — to see whether or not they suit your needs.

Of course, if neither of them do the trick, a simple wearable should suffice, but either way we'd recommend trying to get face recognition working, since it's nearly as fast and accurate as a fingerprint — and you don't even need to touch the phone.

Oh, and while you're in there setting up the face unlock or iris scanner, do yourself a favor and enable the feature that starts scanning immediately after the screen turns on. It's called "Iris unlock when screen turns on" or "Face unlock when screen turns on" in their respective setup areas.

The difference between iris scanning and face unlocking on the Galaxy S8

3. Enable 'Secure Startup'

It's great to have myriad ways to unlock your Galaxy S8, but great security is your responsibility, especially since, increasingly, your phone is your life and your lifeline.

One way to prevent unwanted hands or eyes on your data — even the notifications on your lock screen — is to enable Secure Startup, which requires a PIN or pattern before you even reach the Android lock screen. This ensures that if your phone is stolen or lost while it's off, no one will be able to see any personal information, since the phone's content is completely encrypted until after the secure unlock code is entered.

Understanding Direct Boot on Android

4. Tame that TouchWIZ launcher

The launcher on the Galaxy S8 is actually pretty darn good, but it can get better pretty quickly. The first way is to give yourself one of Samsung's beautiful Infinity Wallpapers, which shift and luxuriate as you move through the various screens. But unlike other live wallpapers, the Infinity Wallpapers also extend to your lock screen and always-on display, which makes spending some time choosing the right one even more essential.

The TouchWIZ Home launcher is also pretty customizable: You can enable an app drawer button if you'd prefer not to swipe up or down to get to your list of apps, and you can change the home screen grid to 5x5 to fit more on the screen at once. Finally, you can hold down on any home screen to align the icons to the top left or bottom right — or leave them strewn all over the place — to suit your desire for order or lack thereof.

5. Learn your gestures

There must be some advantage to moving the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone, right? Well, Samsung allows you to use it to activate the notification shade by swiping down on that fingerprint sensor. The feature isn't enabled by default, so you're going to want to head to the phone's settings and go to Advanced features and enable Finger sensor gestures.

It seems like a nothing add-on, but once you enable it you'll realize how convenient it is to be able to swipe down on the fingerprint sensor to check notifications, especially right after unlocking the screen.

More: How to quickly get to the GS8 camera with the power button

6. Don't waste that screen space

The Galaxy S8 has a new, taller screen, and some apps don't support that extra vertical space out of the box. But it's easy to force them to — just head to the settings, go to Display and Full screen apps and check off the ones you want to force to fill the whole screen.

Some apps don't look perfect when stretched, but we haven't noticed any that look downright wrong, and that's all we can really ask for, at least until developers build in support for this new, taller format.

In an 18:9 world, we need a new way to quantify screen size

Your turn

What are some of your essential out-of-the-box Galaxy S8 tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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3 days ago

How to customize the Galaxy S8 navigation bar and home button

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Galaxy S8 soft keys

It's easy to change the color or swap the order of your Galaxy S8's software keys.

The move to on-screen keys in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ opens up new possibilities for customization. Unlike capacitive and hard keys, the GS8's buttons and status bar — the back, home and recent apps keys you see at the bottom of the screen — are part of the display, and can be controlled through Samsung's software.

And it turns out there are a few neat ways in which you can personalize your Galaxy S8's buttons. Here's how:

Background color

Navigation bar options

As the name suggests, the background color option allows you to set the hue of the lower area behind the on-screen buttons. By default, it's white, though it's worth noting that this setting only affects Samsung's own apps — standard Android apps will use the regular black background or whichever color the app's developer specifies.

There are a few pre-selected colors for you to choose from, or you can tap the color wheel to pick one of your own.

Unlock with Home button

The Unlock with Home button option is self-explanatory. By default, pressing the virtual home button while the screen is off takes you to the lock screen, where you can swipe to unlock using pattern, PIN, face unlock, or irises. (Or simply swipe to unlock if you're using Android's Smart Lock feature.)

With this option enabled, your phone will unlock immediately — after first checking your face, irises, or asking you for a PIN or pattern. (With Smart Lock, you'll simply press to unlock.)

Note: This setting won't affect how the fingerprint scanner works. If you have fingerprint unlock set up, unlocking via the fingerprint scanner will always bypass the lock screen.

Button layout

Button layout

By default, the Galaxy S8's keys are arranged in the same order as older Samsung phones — recents - home - back. If you're used to the button layout used by most other Android phones — back - home - recents — you may want to switch to this layout.

How to switch the position of the navigation buttons on the Galaxy S8

Home button sensitivity

This one's self-explanatory: You've got five levels of sensitivity to choose from to decide how hard you'll need to press the screen for the GS8 to register a hard press on the home key.

Obviously, this only applies to hard presses such as when you're unlocking the phone or using the home button from within a full-screen app where the soft keys are invisible.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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4 days ago

How to enable or disable the LG G6's camera roll — and why you may want to leave it off

6
LG G6

The LG G6 lets you see a scrolling strip of recent photos, but you may want to leave it off for quicker camera load times.

The LG G6 has a lot of neat features that utilize the taller 18:9 aspect ratio, letting you see more at once. One of those can be found in the camera app. The filmstrip view — officially called "camera roll" — gives you a scrolling vertical strip of recent photos off to the left of your main viewfinder. It's a great way to use up some of that extra height, since the sensor itself shoots in 4:3 natively.

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4 days ago

How to back up your Android launcher, and why you should

31

You backup your photos, your music, your documents… Why not your launcher?

We've all been there. You get a new phone and want it to feel familiar, like the one you just replaced. But all your app icons and widgets are all over the place. If you use a custom launcher, it's possible to quickly get right back to where you were before, by using a backup and restore feature.

Here's how.

Update April 2017: We've taken off Google Now Launcher, as it will be retiring soon and its backup system in not transferrable to other launchers, and Apex Launcher, ahead of its re-launch. We've also added Evie Launcher, Smart Launcher, and Yahoo Aviate.

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