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7 months ago

How to make and receive calls with WhatsApp for Android


Call in real time to anywhere in the world and do so without having to pay by the minute… Or having to pay at all!

Sometimes, texting and video messaging just doesn't cut it. Maybe it just feels a little impersonal or maybe you just can't wait to hear a loved one's voice in real time, instead of some pre-recorded message.

WhatsApp still has you covered with their wonderful call feature. You can place and receive calls via an internet connection and it doesn't cost you a penny (except, perhaps, for data charges). Who you gonna call? You decide!

How to make calls with WhatsApp

There are two methods to make calls with WhatsApp. I'll go over both here, just in case you feel like switching it up now and then.

Make a WhatsApp call from the Calls screen

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap Calls on the upper left of your screen, or swipe right to view your call log.
  3. Tap the phone button at the top right of your screen. It's the little phone receiver with the plus sign.

    Launch WhatsApp, tap calls, phone button

  4. Tap the contact you'd like to call.

    1. Tap the red phone button to end the call.
    2. Tap the redial button if you'd like to call someone you've called before. It's the telephone receiver on the right of the contact in your call log.

      Choose a contact, red button to end call, redial if desired

Make a WhatsApp call from the Contacts screen

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap Contacts on the upper right of your screen, or swipe left to view your contacts.
  3. Tap the contact you'd like to call.

    Tap contacts, choose a contact, phone icon

  4. Tap the phone button at the top of your screen. It's the telephone receiver.

  5. Tap the red phone button to end the call.

Now you'll be able to call other WhatsApp users any time of day, from anywhere you can connect to the internet (just don't forget about those possible data charges). Pro-tip: call friends on the other side of the world and speak at length about how cool it is that it's 4:30 a.m. where they are and only 6 p.m. where you are.

How to receive calls with WhatsApp

You've been waiting to hear about your best friend who's just gone into labor and that call finally comes that the baby's here and you have no clue how to pick it up! Don't panic. We've got you covered!

WhatsApp calls come in just like regular phone calls, so don't worry about missing them if you don't have the app open.

Accepting a WhatsApp call

  1. Slide the green phone icon to the right.
  2. Tap the red phone button to end the call, as shown above.

Declining a WhatsApp call

  1. Slide the red phone icon to the left.
  2. Tap the message icon at the bottom of the screen to decline with a message.

    Tap and slide to accept, tap to decline, decline with a message

Voilá! You're making and receiving calls like a big shot. Always keep in mind that any time you use WhatsApp with your mobile data, instead of using Wi-Fi, you may be racking up data charges, depending on your plan.

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7 months ago

How to backup and restore your WhatsApp messages with Google Drive


Wanna hold on to all of your WhatsApp messages? Save 'em! Switching phones? Take 'em with you!

Maybe you like to use WhatsApp for work because it's free and easy to use. Maybe it's just a convenient way to keep in touch with friends. Either way, you probably have some pretty important messages and media in there, and it'd be a shame if it all suddenly disappeared. That's why it's a great idea to backup your messages, photos, and videos.

How to backup your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive

Luckily, WhatsApp automatically backs up and saves your messages to your phone's memory on a daily basis. However, depending on your settings, you can also backup your chats to Google Drive. This way, just in case you have to delete WhatsApp from your phone, your messages will be safe. Just be sure to back things up before you uninstall the app.

Google Drive is a great way to backup all your WhatsApp messages. You can switch from Android phone to Android phone and you'll be able to have your messages and media follow you wherever you go. It's also a bit of extra insurance in case WhatsApp decides to one day crash beyond repair and you end up having to uninstall and reinstall it. Here's how to backup with Google Drive:

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the menu icon on the top right of the screen. It's the three vertical dots.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Launch whatsapp, tap menu, settings

  4. Tap Chats and calls.
  5. Tap Chat backup.
  6. Tap Google Drive settings to choose the frequency with which you'd like to backup your chats.

    Tap chats and calls, chat backup, choose frequency

  7. Tap Account.
  8. Tap the account you would like associated with the backup.
    • Tap an account in the list
    • Tap Add account to add an account not found on the list or to create a new one.
  9. Tap Allow.

    Tap account, choose an account, tap allow

  10. Tap Back up over.

    • Tap the circle next to "Wi-Fi" to backup over Wi-Fi only.
    • Tap the circle next to Wi-Fi or cellular to backup via Wi-Fi or wireless data, keeping in mind that you could accrue data charges.

      Tap backup over, choose connection

  11. Tap the box next to "Include videos" to backup video messages.
  12. Tap Back Up to manually back your phone up now.

    Tap box to include video, Tap Back up to manually backup

Now that everything's backed up, you'll be able to restore your chats every time you reinstall WhatsApp, no matter the device. Note that whenever you backup to Google Drive, WhatsApp also backs up to your phone's internal memory as well, which means it'll take up some space. If you have a preinstalled file managing app, or one like ES File Explorer, you'll be able to go in and make room if you need to.

It may be prudent to plug your phone in when backing up, as the first backup could take a while, depending on the sizes of your chats. The nice thing is that every backup you perform after the first one will be incremental, which means it will add to the current backup, instead of erasing everything and starting again or adding an entire backup over the old one, taking

How to restore WhatsApp chats from a Google Drive backup

Everything's backed up. Great! You've changed phones or have had to reinstall WhatsApp. Not so great. Now how do you get all your chats back? Here's how!

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Verify your phone number when prompted.
  3. Tap Restore.
  4. Tap Next when the restoration is complete.

    Verify your phone number, tap restore, next

  5. Set up your profile just like you did the first time.
  6. Tap Next at the top right of the screen.
  7. Tap Continue.

    Set up profile, tap next, continue

Now you can access your WhatsApp chats on any Android phone that has WhatsApp installed. All you have to do is sign in.

How to move your WhatsApp messages to a new phone using Google Drive

You're wading through the jungle in Borneo. Of course, you're using WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends back home because hey, it's free. Suddenly, an orangutan swoops in, grabs your phone, and crushes it into dust between its able hands.

No worries! You've already followed the steps above and are properly backing up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive, so all you have to do is grab a new phone and move all your chats over. Confused? Don't be! Here's how:

  1. Add the same Google account to your new phone that you used to perform the backup on your old phone.
  2. Install WhatsApp on your new device as you did on the previous one.
  3. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  4. Tap Agree and continue.
  5. Verify your phone number, just like you did the first time you set up WhatsApp.

    Launch whatsapp, tap agree and continue, verify phone number

  6. Tap Restore to restore your WhatsApp chats from your Google Drive backup.
  7. Tap Next.

    Tap restore, next

And away you go! Your WhatsApp on your new phone is just like it was on your old phone. Thanks, Google Drive!

Note: This process isn't entirely foolproof and may not work every time. You may have to uninstall WhatsApp and reinstall it a couple times for the restore to take effect. If there are messages you really want to save, you may want to copy them to a computer or some other device to make sure you have them forever. Also beware that continually reinstalling WhatsApp may result in a temporary ban, since you phone number has been recognized. In short, WhatsApp can be just a little fickle.

If you'd rather not bother with Google Drive, you can always save your chats to an SD card and transfer them that way. This is a rather complicated process, since you can't just simply move WhatsApp from your phone's internal memory to an external SD card; you can only move its data. So, when we say it's a complicated process, we mean it's more like a migraine, and we don't recommend it if you can avoid it. However, if you must, check out WhatsApp's "Restoring or transferring a backup" instructions.

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7 months ago

How to delete your account from WhatsApp for Android


No longer want to use WhatsApp? Deleting your account is easy.

If you no longer want to use WhatsApp, or if your WhatsApp data becomes corrupted, you can take care of this by deleting your WhatsApp account and uninstalling the application.

How to delete your WhatsApp account for Android

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen or the app drawer. It's a green speech bubble with a white outline and a white telephone receiver inside.
  2. Tap on the more options button. It's the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
  3. Tap on Settings. It is the last choice in the pop-up menu.

  4. Tap on Account.
  5. Tap on Delete my account. It's the second option up from the bottom of the list on the Account screen.

  6. Type your phone number in the box provided.
  7. Tap the DELETE MY ACCOUNT button.

  8. Tap DELETE MY ACCOUNT again on the next screen. You can give a reason for why you're deleting your account there, if you like.
  9. Tap the DELETE MY ACCOUNT button on the final screen.

After you tap the big red button, your WhatsApp account and all of your data will be deleted from your phone and WhatsApp's servers. If you want to get back into using WhatsApp, you'll have to start from scratch and create a new WhatsApp account.

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7 months ago

What is a DAC, and why should I care about having a good one?

Premium audio

LG already has a DAC in the V10 and is bringing another (from Bang & Olufsen!) as an option to the LG G5.

A DAC is a Digital-to-Analog Converter. We're going to focus on how things relate to your smartphone, but a lot of other things you probably have — like a DVD player or a computer — also have a DAC inside and they work the same way. A DAC has one task — convert digital audio information into an analog signal that can be sent out to a speaker or amplifier.

While that's the correct and simple definition of a DAC, it's important to understand the difference between digital audio data and analog signals to see why having a good DAC matters.

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7 months ago

Ask AC: Can I use a Qualcomm Quick Charger with my Nexus 6P or 5X?


As long as you use the right cable, yes. But you can't get quick charging without the right quick charger.

We get this question a lot. "Is it OK to use my Quick Charge 2.0/3.0 charger with my new Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X?" I completely understand why we get the question, and am happy to see people asking. With several different methods of rapid charging, new USB connectors, new USB standards (that nobody is fully using because they aren't finished) and cables that can burn up phones and laptops, asking questions is a good idea. Nobody likes it when things go boom. Except this guy.

The short answer — as long as you're using a good cable, your phone will charge. It will charge slower than it does with the included Nexus charger, but it doesn't get too hot or catch on fire or pop the circuit breaker when you plug it in. But that's a boring answer and doesn't let me sit at my desk and play with things. Let's take a closer look.

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7 months ago

How to enable encryption in Android


Locking down your Android is easier than you think.

Since October 2015 with the launch of Android Marshmallow on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, encryption is now enabled by default on Android. It's also not a simple matter to turn it off — it requires unofficial software and a custom kernel — so there's really nothing you need to do. The instructions below are for phones running Android Lollipop, which are a large portion of the install base. We've kept them available in case you need them.

We've talked a bit about encryption recently, specifically Android's full disk encryption setting. You can read a bit about what encryption on Android is and how it works here, and you can have a look here to see why you may or may not want to use it and how it affects you. Right now, let's have a look at how to enable it if you decide you need (or want) it.

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8 months ago

Tips and tricks for a better dock


The dock is one of the most important pieces of the home screen.

It's where you put your most-used apps, it's our quick-launch guide to our device. What we keep on our dock says a lot about who we are and how we use our phones, and most docks are woefully under-utilized. Docks aren't exactly the sexiest thing to talk about, much less theme, and most themers don't even mention the dock in their instructions beyond talking about their icon pack.

The apps on your dock are there for a reason, but that's not to say they're the only things that have to be there, Docks may look boring, but trust me, they can be functional, fashionable, and downright sneaky.

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8 months ago

Using KWGT, a what you see is what you get widget-maker


Welcome to the wonderful world of WYSIWYG editors.

You're putting together a new theme, and you just can't get the pre-made widgets from your various apps to mesh with your wallpaper and icon pack. Nothing to do but settle with an ill-fitting widget or go without, right? Wrong! When life gives you lemon widgets, we make our own lemonade widgets.

KWGT, like Zooper and UCCW, is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) widget editor. You can take a built-in widget template and edit it, or you can build your own widgets from scratch, layer by layer. Today, we're going to take a look inside this somewhat intimidating-looking app and show you what you need to know about building in it.

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8 months ago

The definitive guide to Amazon Prime benefits


The benefits of an Amazon Prime membership are well worth its annual cost of $99 — here's how.

We're big fans of Amazon Prime, not just for its vast library of movies and TV shows, but the awesome shipping perks as well. Signing up for Prime gives you access to a bunch of useful benefits, whether you're a movie/TV show junkie, avid online shopper, bookworm, or you just need somewhere to back up all your mobile photos without restrictions on space. There are plenty of worthwhile services to take advantage of, all of them easily accessed through your Prime account at any time.

Check out the menu the the left to learn more about some of Prime's benefits and how they can work for you.

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8 months ago

Smart Storage on the Nextbit Robin: Explained


We've heard a lot about how the Nextbit Robin will use the cloud to give you more space on your phone, but we've finally had a chance to actually play with it and can explain how it works from the user perspective. The short version is that it's simple and works well.

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8 months ago

How to use Samsung Email


Samsung Email is the default email application that ships with all Samsung phones and tablets. What's really great about it is that it can handle multiple email accounts so that you can manage your work and personal emails from one client, rather than having to switch programs around.

The downside is that it takes a little set-up before you can start using it. That's where this guide comes in. From setting up Samsung Email for the first time to adding different email accounts, this guide will walk you through the process step by step.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive into the wonderful world of Samsung Email and see how you can make it work for you.

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8 months ago

Using folders on your home screen and how to make the most of them


Not every home screen has to be a grid of individual icons.

When building your home screen and getting things laid out the way you want, we tend to talk about widgets and wallpapers and icon packs. That overlooks a simple but powerful tool when it comes to organizing our apps: folders. Folders are by no means a new concept for launchers, but they come with no small amount of stigma, especially when it comes to their looks. Thankfully, there are a few tricks for both using them and theming them that might help you learn to bite the bullet and fill up some folders.

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8 months ago

How to use Samsung Galaxy Apps, the Samsung app store


Get all you can out of your Samsung experience with Galaxy Apps!

Galaxy Apps is Samsung's app store, housing all the Samsung apps that are available only to Samsung users. Through Galaxy Gifts, Samsung users have access to free premium apps that enhance their Samsung experience.

This is Samsung's alternative to Google Play and you may want to create a Samsung account, since Samsung will update a lot of their system apps from there.

Here's how to get started!

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8 months ago

What the HTC One A9's 'decrypt storage' boot prompt is about


The HTC One A9 may boot up a little differently than your previous Android phone. There's a new step to take between turning your phone on and it fully booting up. That's another feature of Android Marshmallow — or, rather, a feature being re-enforced in Marshmallow: Encrypted storage. And while HTC could do a better job of making it sound less scary the first time you see it, you should be happy it's there.

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8 months ago

Home screen layouts and how to theme them


Even if you don't actively theme your phone, you do actively lay out your home screen.

While we've spent a fair amount of time talking about themes and how to build them these last few months, there is one aspect of home screen launcher theming that we've been mum on: layouts, the way you arrange the apps and widgets on your home screen. This is in part because layouts aren't always a part of theming, in fact I try to avoid specific layouts in my themes so it's more accessible to users of varying tastes. But layouts are important, whether you intend to theme your phone or not.

Some people like their home screen to have as little on it as possible. Others want everything on the home screen they possibly can squeeze in there. Some of us are a little of column A and a little of column B, because we believe that the space on our home screen is meant to be used, but we don't need/want to cover up every inch of it. But all of us can benefit from seeing the differences and the benefits of each approach.

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