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5 months ago

How to use Do Not Disturb on the HTC One M8

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HTC One M8 Do Not Disturb

This may be the most important feature on any smartphone

Our phones make a lot of noise. They chirp. Beep. Vibrate. Sing. Howl. And if you're the popular type (or, worse, work with folks across many time zones), your phone can be worse than a newborn at 3 a.m. or a dog in a thunderstorm. Fortunately, smartphone manufacturers are finally baking in "Do Not Disturb" functions.

Here's how to use Do Not Disturb in Sense 6 on the HTC One M8.

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5 months ago

How to change the apps in your HTC One M8 lock screen dock

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HTC One M8 lockscreen

App shortcuts are easy to switch out on the new HTC One, with one caveat

HTC was one of the first Android manufacturers to allow for app shortcuts in its lock screen, giving quick access to some of your most frequently used applications without actually having to unlock the phone first. That feature returns on the HTC One M8.

By default, you've got four app shortcuts on the lock screen: Phone, Messages (texting), Internet and Camera.

But what if you want different apps there? It's pretty simple to switch out.

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5 months ago

Want to downgrade Android? Sure thing, but first ...

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Android Version

In this segment of Ask AC, we tackle what you need to know before you decide to downgrade Android on your phone

Most of us here are update junkies. When a new version of Android (or anything, for that matter) is announced, we start bouncing off the walls and worrying about when we get a chance to have it and enjoy the changes. When it's a new version of our operating system, things get even more frantic. We look for leaks, we try custom ROMs based on the new stuff, and we're ready to sideload the minute the right files appear. It's half the fun of owning an Android, and we just love the fluid state of software and the constant changes.

But not everyone feels this way.

Some of us need to stay on an old version — or think we need to stay on an old version. Maybe you've read about some bugs that you don't want to encounter. Or maybe the new version breaks support for something you want or need. Or battery life issues and reports have you skittish. There are any number of reasons to want to go back, but it's not as simple as it sounds in most cases.

Let's discuss both the reasons for needing to downgrade your Android, as well as the feasibility of doing the deed.

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6 months ago

How to AirPlay music and video from Android to your Apple TV

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AirPlay to Apple TV

No iPhone or iPad behind doesn't mean you can't still AirPlay content to your Apple TV

It isn't inconceivable that you own both an Android phone or tablet and an Apple TV. Sure, we're fans of Chromecast in these parts, but the Apple TV still has a lot to offer, especially if you're heavily involved in the iTunes content ecosystem.

One party piece that the Apple TV offers to iPhone and iPad owners is AirPlay. Wirelessly streaming music and video, mirroring the display on your iOS device or Mac, it's a tremendously handy thing to have. But just because you've got an Android phone or tablet doesn't mean you can't join in with some of the AirPlay action. Head on past the break to see a couple of ways to AirPlay your locally stored music and video from your Android device to your Apple TV.

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6 months ago

How to easily sync your iCloud calendar to Android

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iCloud calendar

One app makes it simple to keep using your iCloud calendar on Android

With all the awesome Android devices on the market today, it's perfectly understandable if you're ditching your old iPhone and coming to join us where things are more Google flavored. But, with leaving one ecosystem completely comes the problem of moving all your stuff with it.

iPhone owners may well have relied upon iCloud in a similar manner to Android users relying on Google. Fortunately, there's always something you can do to bring thing with you and here we're going to look at syncing your existing iCloud calendars to your Android device. You need not move it all to Google Calendar since there's a really simple way to carry on using it. Head on past the break to see how.

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6 months ago

How to rid your Xperia phone of Sony's anti-shatter film, and what to replace it with

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Xperia Z1 Compact

Want to ditch the fixed Sony screen protector? There are a couple of options to consider

Sony's fixed screen protectors — officially known as "anti-shatter film" — are finally a thing of the past with the Xperia Z2 series. But the vast majority of Sony smartphones on the market today still come fitted with these slimy-feeling plastic sheets over their displays — and sometimes on the back glass, too.

These don't just make your glass-clad phone feel like plastic, they're also way easier to scratch than the reinforced glass used by most smartphones displays. To cite a couple of examples — Andrew Martonik tore a scratch across the face of his Xperia ZL when it brushed the corner of a MagSafe connector. And the ASF on my own Z1 Compact was dented by a USB connector dropping onto it from a height of around six inches. You'd understandably expect a high-priced piece of consumer electronics to be more resiliant than this, and that's no doubt why Sony has ditched the ASF for its early 2014 flagship.

But what if you've damaged the fixed screen protector on your Xperia phone, or you just don't like the way it feels and want to get rid of it? Well, the process is actually relatively simple — and there are a few options open to you when it comes to replacing the shipped screen protector.

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6 months ago

How to set up your iCloud email account on Android

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iCloud Email

There's no need to abandon your iCloud email address when you get a new Android device

If you're moving to an Android device from an iPhone or iPad, there's every possibility you're already set up and using an iCloud email address. Android devices require you to have a Google account and accompanying Gmail address, but you might want to keep using your iCloud account for email. And that's just fine.

The good news is it is perfectly possible to get your iCloud email address up and running on your Android device. It's pretty straight forward but does involve a little effort on your part. Head on past the break to see how.

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6 months ago

How to stop the flood of QuizUp notifications on your phone

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QuizUp Settings

Fear not, you can cut down on the number of QuizUp notifications without uninstalling the game altogether

The day has finally come when the folks on Android can get in on the QuizUp craze, and we're quickly finding out that the game is both fun and extremely annoying with notifications. Being a social game, QuizUp strongly encourages the use of Facebook or Google+ login along with Google Play Games, which has the upside of getting you playing with your friends and the downside of notifying you about every. single. game.

Luckily after a bugfix update the app should at least now obey your setting selections, so you now have a few options to make QuizUp a little less bothersome in your notification bar. There's the semi-annoying step of simply removing your Facebook or Google+ account from the game, and of course the nuclear option of blocking QuizUp notifications at the system level. Hit the break and see the process — you may just be able to keep this fun game installed after all.

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6 months ago

LG's Mini View shrinks things down for better one-handed use

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Sometimes a big phone is just too big — LG's Mini View scales it down

So you bought a giant phone. In the case of the LG G Pro 2, you've bought yourself a 5.9-inch phone. That's a whole lot of phone. And at times it might be too much, leaving you longing for simpler days, when you were able to use your phone with one hand. 

(We'll save for another time the idea that perhaps you should have bought a smaller device.)

LG's got your covered with the G Pro 2. With a simple swipe across the on-screen buttons you can enable Mini View, which shrinks things down to a more manageable size.

And that's just the beginning, really. Mini View has some flexibility to it.

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6 months ago

How to use Knock Code on the LG G Pro 2

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Knock Code will come to other LG phones via software updates this year

With Knock On — wherein you tap the display twice to turn on your phone — has been one of our favorite new features of the past few months. LG introduced it with the LG G2 in 2013, and it returned with the LG G Flex toward the end of the year. And now, in 2014, LG's taking things a step further.

Introducing Knock Code. It's available now on the LG G Pro 2 and will come to other current LG phones later this year via a software update.

As the name implies, you'll no longer be limited to only unlocking your phone — now you'll be able knock (OK, tap, really) as a security function. 

Let's take a closer look.

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7 months ago

The Room Two Walkthrough: Chapters 1 and 2

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Need a hand getting through the beginning of The Room Two? We've got step-by-step instructions for you.

The Room Two was launched last week on Android, and though some of you may have already started chewing on this devilishly difficult and gorgeous puzzle game, there may be many that are simply stumped at a particular point. We’re going to walk you through the solutions for the first two chapters to get you on your way. Keep in mind that these are some significant spoilers. Don’t read ahead unless you’re well and truly stuck! You can also make use of the in-game hints in the top-left. That said, also be sure to take the time to read the notes left around each level and soak up some of the excellent story.

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7 months ago

How to get your iTunes music onto Android

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Getting your Apple based music onto your Android device need not be a chore

If you've been a long time user of an iPod, iPhone or iPad there's a good chance that the majority of your digital music collection is tied up inside iTunes. If you're moving on to pastures new with an Android device in your hand you're going to want to be able to listen to your music. While there is no iTunes for Android, there are actually a few different ways for you to get your groove on.

We've singled out three methods in particular to look at, and we'll take you through them after the break.

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7 months ago

An Android device and a DSLR can be really good friends

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With just a USB OTG connector your Android device can be a great addition to your camera gear

Cameras generally scare me, but I do like exploring as many avenues as possible in pursuit of a good workflow. I recently picked up a new Canon 600D camera, and like all good nerds immediately started to look about for cool stuff I can do with it. Since I'd picked up a Canon, one of the first Android apps I looked at was the pretty excellent DSLR Controller by Chainfire. And, in hooking it up, I came across something that took me a little by surprise.

With no additional apps or tinkering, the Moto X I'm currently using asked me what app I wanted to use with the USB device. Two of the options were for photo import. This might be common knowledge to some of you guys out there, but it surprised me, so I figure I can't be alone.

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7 months ago

Everything you need to know to get started using the Xposed Framework

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There is a lot to know about the Xposed Framework, and a lot that could go wrong — use this guide to get started

So you have an Android phone because you know you can bend and twist just about everything in the software until you make it just right. You've done the custom ROM thing, but there are still things you want to tweak. That's where the Xposed Framework comes into the picture.

Xposed is a base system that allows you to download modules, each of which can make one or more changes to the UI of your device. Things like adding the three dot menu to every app, or enabling the full 20MP sensor for Superior Auto in Sony cameras, or any manner of changes. There's a whole list of modules you can download and install at the Xposed repo site.

Because it's such a powerful tool, there are also a million things that can go wrong if you just jump in without knowing what you're doing. You should definitely read all the documentation, but AC Forums Ambassador Golfdriver97 has also whipped up a really handy getting started guide to keep you pointed in the right direction. Read it. Twice.

Half the fun of hacking your phone is fixing it when you've broken it, but some tools are a bit more complicated than others. Xposed is powerful, and guides like this one are a great way to keep things going smoothly.

Read the getting started with Xposed Framework guide

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7 months ago

How to: Tell Google Now who your mom (or dad) is

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Add relationships to your contacts with simple voice actions to make hands-free calling and texting simpler.

Google Now is getting smarter and more useful by the day, and Google's latest development is in voice actions with relationships rather than people's names. Starting today, you can now use Google Now to call people with close relationships to you via voice command. For example, you can now simply say "Call Mom" or "Send a text to my wife" rather than using their full names. If you have yet to assign a relationship status to a contact, you'll get a simple on-screen prompt to assign contacts to the relationship.

If you're interested in setting up this capability on your own phone, it's an extremely simple process:

  • Open Google Now and tap the microphone button at the top (or use the "OK Google" hotword on the Nexus 5).
  • Simply say "Call my ..." appended by the person you wish to call (mom, brother, wife, grandfather, etc.).
  • If you have yet to assign a relationship to that name, you'll be prompted again to speak the person's name.
  • Tap to confirm the name, or pick from your contacts manually.
  • If there are multiple numbers associated with the contact, select your preferred number for voice dialing.

And that's it! From that point forward, you can use relationship names rather than people's names for voice actions. While we're sure there are more, we've found these actions to work with: mom/dad, girlfriend/boyfriend, sister/brother, cousin, grandmother/grandfather. Give it a try with calls and texts — it may save you some time the next time you need to make a hands-free communication.

Source: Google

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