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2 weeks ago

Moto X (2014) camera tips and tricks

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Moto X camera

The Moto X's camera is more than adequate if you know your way around it.

Motorola's original Moto X didn't have the greatest camera in the world. The 2014 model is a marked improvement, but still not as big or powerful as newer models like the Samsung Galaxy S6. It's a 13-megapixel shooter, and it's got a camera app that brings with it some of our favorite camera features and not a whole lot else. And we're going to show you how to make the most of that camera when you just have to get a shot — or a selfie — right now.

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2 weeks ago

How to pin (and unpin) apps in the Sense Home Widget

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HTC One M9 Sense 7 app pinning

The Sense Home Widget on the HTC One M9 is trying its hardest. It's taking a look at where you are, when you're there and what apps you're using and then surfacing them to the home screen in its predictive, adaptive widget. And it does OK. But sometimes you might want to make sure an app stays put, say, while you're at home versus on the road. And for that there's "pinning."

And this is how you pin an app to the home screen in Sense 7.

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3 weeks ago

How to enable Dropbox integration into the file manager on your Chromebook

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Dropbox on Chromebook

Yo dawg, we heard you liked cloud storage on your Chromebook so we put more cloud in your cloud.

Well, we didn't do it of course, but Chrome developer Yoichiro Tanaka has found a way to integrate all of your Dropbox into the file manager app on your Chromebook. Or Chromebox. Or that crazy thing that runs Chrome OS from LG that I secretly want.

The good news is that it works very well, even at version one. The great news is that it's super-easy to install and use. We like easy. You like easy. Have a look and see just how easy it is.

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3 weeks ago

The Chromebook Help app: Why you can safely give your parent a Chromebook

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Chromebooks are supposed to be 'made for everyone', but that doesn't mean it doesn't take adjusting to.

Just as there's some adjustment to using any new computer — even one with the same operating system — Chromebooks take a little fresh thinking and a little time to get the hang of for most users. While it may not seem like much of a difference to you, if you're getting ready to give a Chromebook to a friend of family member who isn't a huge fan of changes in their technology, you can expect things to get a little bumpy in those first days and weeks while they're essentially re-learning how to use a computer. And while you may not be able to take every single call from them about how to do this or that, there is someone who is there all the time to help.

It's called the Chromebook Help app, and it's here to — you got it — help.

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3 weeks 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 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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4 weeks 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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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