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2 weeks ago

Ask AC: Why won't my alarm sound after the Lollipop update when on mute?

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Here's one from our forums that we've been hearing. A lot. And experiencing ourselves as well.

If your phone's been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop and it's using Google's new interruptions scheme — that is, All, Priority and None — you might find yourself selecting "None" and using it as a way to mute your phone. I've done it. I still do it. But there's a big catch.

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2 weeks ago

Updating your apps through Google Play

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App updates in Google Play

Keeping your apps up-to-date

Now that you have some great apps installed on your Android — whether you have just a few or have went wild and installed all the apps — you'll want to keep them all up to date. Apps get updated for different reasons. Sometimes developers offer new features or a new look to things, other times updates address pesky bugs that keep things from being perfect. Updates are important, and so is managing them on our end.

The Play Store app gives us a little leeway with how and when we update our apps. You can let things be more or less automatic and update themselves (apps that need new permissions are never automatically updated) or you can manually go through and inspect each update before it's installed. Both methods have their advantages.

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2 weeks ago

The basics of Google Maps for Android

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Google Maps

Google Maps is one of the biggest and best products from Google, and its integration and power within Android is one of the main selling points for many phones today.

Google Maps

But with a system this powerful things start to get complicated, and it isn't always obvious how to do the most basic things you want to do in a mapping app. Whether you're opening up Google Maps for the first time on your new phone or just need a refresher on the app you've kept on your home screen for months, we're here to help. Read along for our quick guide to the basics of Google Maps on Android.

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2 weeks ago

Using your Google Play wishlist

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The wishlist is a great place to stash things for later, but that's about it

Google Play's wishlist is something of an oddity. You can't share your wishlist. People cannot buy you things off your wishlist. Because of this, most users seem to think the wishlist in Google Play is useless, but they are wrong! Oh, yes, it does have a purpose!

You just have to ignore the name.

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2 weeks ago

How to keep Facebook's app from making those annoying sounds

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Facebook

Facebook has decided to have its app make all sorts of exciting sounds like "bleep" and "bloop" and "blop" when you do things. Like when you like a post. Or when you refresh the feed. Or when you leave a comment. It's annoying at best. (And heaven help you — and especially those around you — if you're on an already-bleep-bloop-blop-happy phone.)

The good news is it's easy to turn off — and you don't have to mute your entire phone to do it.

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2 weeks ago

Sharing app links on Google+

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Sharing apps

Sharing app links is easy — especially via Google+

Apps in Google Play are plentiful, and when you get right down to it, finding good apps can sometimes be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, or a diamond in the rough. And diamonds are awesome, so you should share them with your friends when you find them. Sharing them on Google's own social platform Google+ is a little easier than most other platforms, but sharing your apps with the world certainly isn't hard, especially when you're doing it on your Android device.

Time to socialize.

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 4 Safe Mode: What you need to know

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Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a useful tool, provided you know how you got there in the first place

Safe Mode is one of those "features" that you're more likely to stumble across accidentally than seek out and use on purpose, but in either case it's important to know what it's all about. It's a very helpful troubleshooting tool to diagnose when you're having problems with your phone, letting you temporarily turn off user-installed apps. But even if you don't end up needing it for its intended purpose, knowing how to get back from an accidental boot into Safe Mode is also a helpful bit of knowledge to have.

Let us show you the ins and outs of Safe Mode on the Galaxy Note 4.

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3 weeks ago

Keeping your spending in check with Google Play credit

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Playing it up

Taking away your IAP keys

Google Play wants you to use a credit card for all of your purchases. And while that makes perfect sense, it's not always practical, especially on accounts used or controlled by your kids. And to that end, Google Play has a simple system you can use to rein in their — or your own — spending, and we know it works. How do we know?

We have kids of our own.

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3 weeks ago

How to use a Google Play gift card

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Google Play not only is the largest app store in the world but also a music subscription service, a bookstore, and a video store. Google Play gift card make an excellent gift (hence the name), but that's not the limit of their use. Since Google restricts underage users from Google Wallet, Google Play gift cards are the only way for your munchkins to purchase content. Here's where to find them and how to use them.

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3 weeks ago

How to enable Easy Mode on the Note 4 (and why you might want to)

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Easy Mode on the Note 4

Whether it's for a short time or permanently, Easy Mode keeps things simple on your phone

We all have a seriously powerful computer in our pockets, and the Galaxy Note 4 takes that notion to the extreme with its laundry list of features backed up by high-end internals and a large screen. We know not everyone needs access to all of those features at once, though, and luckily there's a simple way to scale down the experience with Samsung's "Easy Mode" on the Note 4.

Whether its because the phone will be used by a less-experienced user or you just want to simplify things for yourself for a short period of time, Easy Mode will give your phone an easier-to-handle home screen experience, basic settings and access to just the things you need with fewer frills. Best of all it's easy to switch between Easy Mode and your standard home screen layout without losing any data or settings. If you (or someone you know) may have a use for Easy Mode, be sure to read along and get all the details on how to use this feature on your Galaxy Note 4.

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3 weeks ago

Ask AC: Can I install Android apps on more than one device?

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My Apps

Have all your apps, everywhere

We get questions, and often they are from users new to Android or from folks with their first smartphone. One question we get a lot is about installing an app from Google Play on more than one Android device. People want to use the same app they paid for on their phone and their tablet, or their work phone and their own phone, or share it with their family. Or they want to play the same game no matter which device they have on hand. We get it — we need to do the same thing.

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3 weeks ago

How to remove your payment information from Google Wallet

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Google Wallet and Google Play are wonderful services, and they're very convenient when you want to make a quick movie rental or order a new album. However, as easy as it is to put your payment information into an account to authorize a purchase, taking it back out isn't exactly difficult, but you do have to know where to look for it. Maybe you just wanted to buy your kid some Google Play credit and forgot it'll save your information. Maybe you just decided to buy your friend an app yourself since they don't quite understand the concept of buying apps yet. Whatever the case, you want your payment information back before they get into trouble with it.

Here's how to do it.

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3 weeks ago

Android 101: Getting Started with Google Play

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The Google Play Store probably is your best bet for finding the apps you need

So, you've got your Google Account, and now you want to dive into the rest of the Google Play Store. Well, there's a small trick to that. See, you can go into the Play Store and use it for movies, music and books without an Android device, but in order to install or purchase anything in the apps section, you have to add your Google Account to an Android device first. Slight bummer, I know, but is there really much point in buying apps if you can't install them on a device?

So, grab yourself a phone or tablet and let's get started.

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4 weeks ago

Google 101: Setting up a new Google Account

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Google Play, Chromebooks, Gmail ... all these wonderful services start with (and require) a Google Account. And whether you're setting up a professional account to help field headhunters and job offers, or finally offloading one of your tweens to their own account, setting up a Google account is simple and quick, but there are a few tricks to it.

Let's open the door to the wonderful world of Google.

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1 month ago

Ultimate Guide to Google Play

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Play, Play, Play!

How to get the most out of the Google Play Store

Google Play is the cornerstone of Google's ecosystem of content and becoming a critical part of Android. It reaches almost all of Android and through Play Services is capable of fixing many of Android's problems. Google Play also is a content library and ecosystem that is accessible on more platforms than almost any other. Born as the Android Market, it's grown from just a home for apps and is now the one-stop shop for applications, books, movies, music, TV shows — basically anything and everything that you can buy and use on your Android phone or tablet.

And we can help you get the most out of Google Play across your devices. Stick around and we'll show you a few new tricks.

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