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19 hours ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop basics: How to get more life between charges with battery saver

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The top Android OEMs all offer a battery saving mode on their phones, and with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has it, too. No-one likes getting caught short without a charger in sight. The good news is that it's a doddle to set up and use, just so long as you know where to find it. It's easy to miss if you're not aware of where to find it.

That's where we come in. So, here's where to find it and how to use it to help extend your battery life as far as you can.

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2 days ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop basics: How to turn on the developer settings

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This is one of those really basic things for most folks here. We get that. But it's worth a reminder for those new to Android (hi, new folks!), and new to Android 5.0 Lollipop. And so it deserves a quick minute of our time.

Android 5.0 basicsMost of what you'll see in the Lollipop developer settings (at least as of the updated preview) is the same as what you'll find in KitKat. Go to Settings>About phone and hit the build number 7 times to unlock things. And most of us won't need to go anywhere near most of the options. (USB debugging really is the only one I ever need to touch.) It is worth noting, however, that you won't find an option to either use the Dalvik or experimental ART runtime. That's because (and, again, those of you in the back of the class should know this already) the new Android Runtime is the default in Android 5.0, and it's been built to run apps compiled for Dalvik as well. This is a good thing.

You'll find some new media options for an experimental HTML5 player and USB audio, some Wifi tweaks, and a few other things that frankly I have no business mucking about with.

Hack responsibly, folks.

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3 days ago

Inside car mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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We're all aware of the dangers of using a smartphone behind the wheel, but as they're ever more the center of our connected lifestyles there are several things it can do for you. Music, navigation, hands-free communication, for example.

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1 week ago

Connectedly: Ultimate Guide To Pebble

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Pebble Guide

The Pebble may have been a first smartwatch for many, but it was far from the first smartwatch made available to the public. And in fact, the Pebble wasn't even the first smartwatch from Eric Migicovsky. Stepping back for a moment — for those not familiar with the name — Eric Migicovsky is the founder of Pebble. Along with that little tidbit, we've got so much more information about the Pebble in that's worth knowing.

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1 week ago

VoLTE - how to use it and why you should

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Voice over LTE is a big deal, and we're finally getting our first tastes of it

Here in the U.S., carriers are slowly starting to roll out the red carpet for Voice over LTE. If it is available in your area and through your carriers, taking advantage of the upgrade currently depends on your having the right hardware. Once you have everything you need, setting VoLTE up on your phone is very easy and well worth it.

Let's take a deeper look.

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1 week ago

How to use Moto Migrate to transfer your 'stuff' to your new Moto X

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Moto Migrate

I gotta have my stuff!

While it's not as flashy as talking to your phone and using those admittedly cool voice actions built into the new Moto X, there's a slick little tool in the app drawer that a lot of people will find useful — Moto Migrate. It's been around since the first iteration of the Moto X, and if you talk to people who have used it, most will say it worked great. It just never caught the spotlight like the other features, because it's one of those apps you use once then never look at again.

I've been fiddling with it, and noticed a few changes (mostly good changes) so I wanted to talk about it a little bit, and hopefully folks buying a new Moto X will see how it works and get some use out of it. I did!

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2 weeks ago

How to have a good Twitter profile

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Twitter good profile hero

Join this former Twitter skeptic as he determines what makes a Twitter profile good

OK, guys, I'm going to have to be honest. I was a little intimidated when I found out I'd be writing an article like this. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that I was just shedding my Twitter skepticism. As I used Twitter more, the more I realized Twitter is actually pretty cool and has its uses. I also admitted that I still was not yet tweeting much myself. And everybody will have a different idea of what makes something "good"; it is a rather subjective term.

Still, I can sure share what I think makes a good profile. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter, too. We all have something we can learn from each other.

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2 weeks ago

How to set 'do not disturb' on the Moto X

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Shhh!

One of our favorite features that manufacturers and developers have brought to Android the past couple of years has been a way to set a "do not disturb" mode. When we want to get a little bit of sleep, or any sort of a rest from the constant beeping and chiming our wee electronic masters use to rouse us, it's nice to be able to set things up so that the phone will shut up, then come back to life when we want it to.

On the Moto X, this is easy to do through the recently rebranded Moto app. Here's how it's done.

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2 weeks ago

Staying safe with Google Wallet

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Google Wallet can be as secure as a physical card at your favorite retailers - or even more secure, considering tokenization makes cards stolen in recent hacks such as the Target and Home Depot breaches useless. But how do you keep someone else from stealing your phone to pay for stuff? How do you keep the other side of your digital wallet secure? Well, it's quite simple, and coming right up.

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3 weeks ago

How to upgrade the RAM in your HP Chromebox

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HP Chromebox RAM upgrade

You just need a screwdriver, a new stick of RAM and 20 minutes to upgrade your HP Chromebox

Chromeboxes are a great inexpensive way to get another computer in the house, and with how often they go on sale you could get one for less than $150. Unfortunately if you go with the HP Chromebox you're getting a desktop machine with just 2GB of RAM, and depending on what your plans are for it that's not going to be enough.

Now this little micro-sized desktop isn't made to be upgraded per se, but thankfully at least the RAM slot is easily accessible. If you've picked up an HP Chromebox and want to make the move from 2GB to 4GB of RAM, we have the guide for you. Read along and see our step-by-step instructions for the upgrade process.

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3 weeks ago

Best Tasker plugins

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Tasker is a mighty powerful app in its own right, but I'll confess, one of its best features is the plugins that help it do even more than it could on its own. (The best feature is — and always will be — the wonderful support community that gathers around this app.) Plugins come in many sizes and shapes, but a few stand head and shoulders above the rest.

We've covered some of these before, and others will be making their first appearance. Without further ado, let's get automating!

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3 weeks ago

My Android is slow: 5 things you can do to speed your phone back up

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Lots of stuff going on

Make your Android fast again — it is possible

We've all been there. You have a fancy, new, highly complex Android-powered computational device that can do everything from checking your email to surfing the web to controlling your microwave so your popcorn doesn't burn. It's shiny, and screaming fast while doing all the things we wanted it to do. Everything is roses all around.

Android Central BasicsFast forward a year down the road, and besides the shiny wearing off, things aren't as zippy as they used to be. Apps take longer to open and run. Transitions between screens take longer to redraw than we would like. The speed demon that your device once was is starting to get a little frustrating to use. Your Android is slow.

Don't fret. This happens to every computer, even the Android one you carry in your pocket. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to alleviate your pain and get back to Speed Racer mode again. None are difficult, and we're going to take a look at the five best things you can do to "fix" a slow Android.

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3 weeks ago

Get a new Samsung phone? Here are six things to turn off

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When it comes to the sheer number of features offered, Samsung's TouchWiz is pretty much unmatched. If you can imagine it, chances are it's a feature on the latest Samsung phones like the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Alpha. Many of these features are useful, but there's some stuff enabled out of the box that you might want to selectively turn off.

Read on to see which six features we find ourselves killing off when we start using a new Samsung phone.

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3 weeks ago

Top Combo Crew tips and tricks for smashing high scores

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Combo Crew is a beat 'em up game designed specifically for mobile play. The name of the game is all about building the largest combo you can during each level. The bigger your combo, the greater your score, plus you'll unlock great rewards. Choosing from a variety of characters (including guests from Street Fighter and Another World) and then setting out to pound the hordes of enemies is a fierce good time. Combo Crew costs 99 cents in the Google Play Store and has in-app purchases.

Unlike most beat 'em ups, Combo Crew isn't just about knocking out enemies and clearing the level. You'll need to keep that combo up and complete various missions in order to unlock everything the game has to offer. Our all-new tips and tricks guide will help you hit the ground running in this classic game of fisticuffs.

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4 weeks ago

Here's everything you can command your new Moto X to do by voice

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Moto Voice on Moto X

What's easier than telling your new Moto X to tell you all the things you can command it to do with your voice? Why, getting one of us to tell you first.

Moto Voice is the new-and-improved voice integration that does a lot of what you get with Google Now, but with a few Moto X-specific features as well. When you first set up Moto Voice it'll recommend you take a spin through this list. But if you're still trying to figure out if the Moto X is right for you (and we highly recommend taking a read through our full Moto X review first), here's a preview:

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