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15 hours ago

How to extend your Android Wear battery life

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All the wires

Use these tips to get the most out of that little block of polymer

If you picked up an Android Wear watch, or know someone who picked one up, or just listen to what people are saying on the Internet, you know that battery life is a big issue for many new watch owners. The need for frequent charging combined with a tiny proprietary charging cradle to keep track of isn't the best experience in the world. Never mind the fact that finding a second charger is a bit like pulling hens teeth, so you have to take it with you or be at the same spot every time you want to top things up.

We've been testing different things over the past couple of weeks, and now we can stretch things out a bit further, and in a pinch can go two full days without the watch meeting the charger. Everyone uses their watch in different ways, but using these tips will keep your watch on your wrist — and off the cord — longer.

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1 day ago

How to build your own Bluetooth streaming home audio system

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DIY Bluetooth audio streamer

Get superior audio quality without spending a ton of money

There are a lot of ways to stream music at home. Dedicated Bluetooth speakers, like the Supertooth Disco or Jawbone Jambox work well, but because they are designed for portability they don't sound all that great. At home, the Chromecast is cheap and easy if you already have a home A/V system to distribute the music, or you can splurge and pick up a Sonos for better sound and features like multi-room broadcasting. But, as we all know, a DIY junkie always has his or her eyes open for something better.

I've got an alternative that lets you not only stream music from your Android (or any portable device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 or higher with A2DP) or computer, but will sound as good as you want it to sound, determined on how much you want to spend on speakers. Realistically, you can spend $200 and have the very best audio possible while streaming over Bluetooth, or you can spend $100 and have something that sounds really good and the satisfaction that you did it yourself.

And it's really easy to set up once you figure out which parts to buy.

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1 day ago

How to change your location settings in Android

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Android location

Sometimes it's best to hide your location in Android

ACU- SecurityWhen you first set up your Android smartphone you'll be asked about location services, and whether you want the phone to use them. Google has its own services, and sometimes your carrier will have its own that you'll need to approve as well.

That's just part of the deal, though. There actually are a few other options for location services in Android. And they can all affect your security.

Let's take a quick look.

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2 days ago

Using the LG Health app on the LG G3

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LG Health

LG is helping you track your daily exertions on the G3, if you know where to look, that is

You'd be forgiven for not realizing, but on the LG G3 you can track your daily activities with the built in LG Health application. It's actually a pretty nice application to have around to track your daily steps, runs, or map your favorite routes.

You'll not find it in the app drawer, though, so the first thing we need to do is get to it.

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4 days ago

How to send and receive money with Google Wallet

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Google Wallet

No matter the amount, Google Wallet has you covered for person-to-person money transfers

ACU — Google WalletGoogle Wallet does plenty of things, including letting you make mobile payments at some of your favorite stores and hold all of your loyalty cards, but one of its huge values is as a person-to-person money transfer service.

It's one of the lesser-known features of Google Wallet, but it actually works really well for transferring money — from small to very large amounts — to a friend or family member with nothing more than the Google Wallet app and an email address. Whether you're asking a friend to send you a few bucks for that time you picked up the tab at a restaurant, or you need to send a few hundred dollars to your brother to buy some concert tickets, Google Wallet has you covered.

Read along and see how quick and easy it can be to manage money transfers in the Google Wallet app.

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5 days ago

YouTube 101: How to change video streaming quality

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YouTube video quality

This is how to change the streaming quality of YouTube videos on your Android device

There are several reasons you may want to change the streaming quality of YouTube videos. You may want to downgrade the video quality because you want to cut down on the amount of data watching the video consumes. Or you may want to upgrade the video quality because you want to see more detail. Just remember that the video quality will be limited by the quality in which the video is uploaded in the first place.

After you've signed in to the video sharing service, let's talk about changing the streaming quality of YouTube videos. We'll be using the official YouTube app.

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6 days ago

How to set a sleep timer in Sonos

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Sonos Play 1

If you've got anything at all from Sonos — be it the smaller Play 1 speaker, or the room-filling Play 5, or perhaps a Soundbar — you're going to want to use it as much as you can. For one, Sonos is excellent. It sounds great and is one of the easiest ways to stream music wirelessly through your home. But it's also not inexpensive, and so I'm making a point of using it whenever I can.

When I was a kid I'd fall asleep listening to the old-school CNN Headline News on AM radio. (And that says more than a few things about me.) CNN has changed more than a bit since then. But then again so have I. And I'm now making it a point to put on something relaxing as I'm passing out.

To that end, there's a sleep timer available in the Sonos app, but it's a wee bit buried. Here's where to find it.

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1 week ago

How to take and share pictures on the Galaxy S5

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera

The Galaxy S5 has a pretty great camera, and the power of Android lets you share your pictures quickly with little effort

Samsung improves on the camera quality with each successive iteration of its Galaxy S lineup, and the S5 is no exception. The 16MP camera has ultra-fast focusing, fantastic detail in daylight and more shooting modes than you can shake a stick at. Pair that up with Android's native ability to share images to pretty much any app or service imaginable, and the Galaxy S5 is a fantastic every-day camera you can have with you to share the moments that matter most with the people you want.

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1 week ago

How to refocus photos with the LG G3 camera

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There's no need for any extra apps, the G3 can do it out of the box

Refocusing photos – or blurring parts of it out to create a depth of field effect – is all the rage these days and if you've picked up a new LG G3 you'll be pleased to hear you can do it out of the box. No need to download additional apps, such as Google Camera, with the Magic Focus mode in the stock LG camera app you can take and refocus photos with ease.

Here's how it works.

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1 week ago

How to customize the lock screen on the LG G3

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LG G3 lockscreen

LG lets you tweak the G3 lock screen to get it just how you want it

As far as lock screens go LG has long made some of the better OEM efforts. That trend continues with the new G3 and it doesn't end with what you see out of the box. There are a bunch of different options available to tailor your G3 lock screen experience from wallpapers to widgets via app shortcuts.

It's incredibly simple to change up what's on your lock screen. Everything is contained within one handy menu, and to get at it you'll need to head into Settings > Lock screen. Then the fun stuff can begin.

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