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11 months ago

Get your Google Photos library started with the desktop uploader

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Google Photos Apps page

Google Photos is the new hotness in online picture management, and we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to give it a try.

Problem is, unless you've had Google+ automatic photo backup turned on the past couple of years, your photo library is probably looking pretty barren. And even if you have had auto backup on your phone(s), you haven't likely uploaded all of your past photos from before Google+ (or Google itself) existed.

If you're looking to get your Google Photos library started or filled up with a long history of photos, there's no better way than installing Google's desktop uploader app and getting them all up there in one fell swoop. We're going to show you how to do it.

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11 months ago

What to do if you forgot your Samsung Galaxy S6 lock screen password

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Having trouble getting past your Galaxy S6 lock screen? We're here to help.

Uh-oh. You've recently set up a lock screen backup password on your Samsung Galaxy S6, but you've plumb forgot it. Luckily there are two simple ways to reset your passcode and get back into your phone, provided you have some other critical knowledge to prove you deserve back in. Let us show you how to get back into that phone.

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11 months ago

LG G4 one-ups the Galaxy S6 with this important privacy feature

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Removing location information on the LG G4 is easier than ever. Here's how to do it.

We've talked any number of times about location tracking and how it works in Android. A lot of time you'll want to use it. Sometimes you won't. And you've got plenty of options and complete control over your location settings. One important feature for phones to have is the ability to easily remove GPS data from pictures you've taken. We've walked you through how to remove location data from pics on the Galaxy S6, which was fairly easy.

But LG has made that important privacy feature even easier with the LG G4.

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12 months ago

Getting acquainted with the new Google Photos on Android and the web

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Google Photos on Android

Google Photos is finally here, and that means we have a new photography tool to play around with on our phones and computers.

After being tied completely to Google+ (woefully) for some time, Photos has finally been broken out into its own apps for Android, iOS and the web. Google Photos, as it's now known, adopts the same icon as the old app (which was really just a stub to the Google+ back end) as well as many of the same features, but is also developing its own identity since gaining independence from Google+.

That means you technically no longer need a Google+ account to use it, and your photos now get a first-class experience with their own apps and website.

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1 year ago

Ask AC: Do I need a special cable for Android Auto?

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As we trudge through the early days of Android Auto, one question tends to pop up more than others in our Android Auto forums. And that is this:

Do you need a special cable to use Android Auto?

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1 year ago

Getting to grips with the HTC One M9 camera app

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HTC One M9 camera app

Even as the debate surrounding the HTC One M9's camera rages on, there's no denying HTC has one of the most feature-filled camera apps of any high-end smartphone. There's a huge number of different modes to use and settings to tweak — from the usual options like HDR and panorama to recent additions like the new RAW camera, which lets you to take your smartphone photography the next level.

We'll take a look at everything the HTC camera app has to offer after the break.

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1 year ago

Delta accidentally updates to a developer version of its Fly Delta app

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Delta Air Lines has (inadvertently, we presume) pushed an update to its Fly Delta app that actually is a developer version and won't let you log in. Here's how to fix that.

If you've happened to update to the latest version of the Fly Delta Android app today and suddenly find that you can't log in, you're not alone. Delta apparently has uploaded a signed developer version — changing the name of the app to Fly Delta QA (or, ironically, quality assurance) — instead of a proper one for those of us in the cheap seats. And while the update indeed does make it easier to get to a boarding pass on your Android Wear watch, it also opens up some internal server options. We've confirmed the developer build, as first brought to our attention by Jason Rabinowitz on Twitter.

Not being able to log into the app is a headache, but it shouldn't keep you from boarding a flight until it's fixed.

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1 year ago

How to bring your iTunes music library onto the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Samsung Galaxy S6

Here's how to load up your Samsung Galaxy S6 with your whole iTunes library without a fuss.

Chances are you have a carefully curated music collection with iTunes, but struggle with the idea of moving it all onto your Samsung Galaxy S6. We're going to outline the options available so it can be as painless as possible. If you want to do it manually, you can plug in your S6 over USB, but usually working with a cloud service or a third-party Wifi sync application can be more useful in the long run.

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1 year ago

How to use shortcut keys on the LG G4

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Quickly launch the LG G4's camera or QMemo+ notepad with a double-press of the volume key.

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1 year ago

Adding custom ringtones and sounds to your Android

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Ringtones declare to the world not only that you have a call, but who you are. Say something with yours.

Android is all about customization.

Don't like your launcher? Get a new one. Don't like your grey keyboard? Theme it up! Got the same ringtone as that annoying co-worker at the other end of the newsroom? Just don't like the lame sounds that came with your sweet new phone? No problem. Once you get the hang of it, the world is your ringtone.

Let awesome ring.

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1 year ago

RAW images and Android - everything you need to know

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Android Camera

RAW image capture brings new possibilities to Android photography, but not everyone will need or want to use it. Or can.

You've probably seen (or heard) a bit of talk about RAW images and Android lately. Some of us are pretty excited about what this brings to our smartphones, and the very cool stuff we can do with RAW images transferred to our computers. And some of us are a little confused about what a RAW image is, and why all these Android camera nerds are excited about it.

Simply put, having a camera on your Android that takes RAW images means you have a better set of image data to use when editing the picture than you would with a standard jpeg image. While the small sensor and fixed focal length on a smartphone means it won't measure up to a "real" camera, you can now capture shots with your Android that simply weren't possible before. HDR can only do so much ...

Let's get our hands dirty and look at what a RAW image is, and what you can do with one once you've captured it.

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1 year ago

How to change the LG G4's lock screen app shortcuts

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It's relatively easy to change the G4's lock screen app shortcuts — but Smart Lock can throw a wrench into the works.

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1 year ago

How to get photos off the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Get your favorite pictures easily and quickly off your Samsung Galaxy S6 to where they need to go.

You've been taking a ton of pictures with the stellar camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6, and now you want to work with them elsewhere. Here are the easiest ways to get your photos tucked away for long-term storage, shared to the world, or put on your computer for more extensive editing.

Get started on moving photos off your Samsung Galaxy S6

Auto back-up

In the long run, automatic cloud back-up is the easiest way to get a hold of your images on your computer. This sends your pictures to a remote server where you can access them from anywhere. By default, these uploads stay private until you manually share them with others. Though this system is mainly a safeguard for pictures in case something happens to your phone, it's also a really useful way to manage your photo library. And Google's own cloud backup is a popular and easy-to-use option. Let's go through the steps on how to set that up.

  1. By default, the Photos app will be tucked under the Google folder on your Galaxy S6. Not to be confused with Gallery, which is Samsung's app. Tap Photos to open it.
  2. Tap the three dots in the top-right to bring up the menu, and tap Settings.
  3. Tap Auto Backup at the top.
  4. If the toggle at the top-right isn't switched to the right, go ahead and tap it to enable auto backup. You'll also find other options here to fine-tune your backup preferences.
  5. Go to your Google+ page on your computer's web browser.
  6. Click the drop-down menu in the top-left that reads "Home", and click Photos.
  7. Browse your photo collection as you like. The Highlights section will show up by default in an attempt to group your shots automatically, but you can see everything by clicking All photos in the middle at the top. Clicking an image will bring it up to full size, or you can click the checkmark in the top-left of each photo to select several. After doing so, click the More menu at the top in the middle, then click Download to save those pictures to your computer.

There are a number of services that offer automatic cloud backup. Bundled with the Galaxy S6 is a Microsoft OneDrive promotion that includes a little bit of extra storage if you sign up. Dropbox is big too of course, though you may hit your storage allotment quickly, depending on your plan and how many pictures you take. Flickr, on the other hand, is a veritable bottomless pit for photo storage with 1 TB available for free. Facebook's photo backup is especially handy for those that spend a lot of time on the network, though might be a write-off if you're prickly about its privacy policies.

A few tips before setting up an auto-backup on any of the above services.

  • Upload over Wi-Fi only. The battery life on the Galaxy S6 is precious, so you don't want to be uploading full resolution images over your cell network if you can at all help it. Just about every cloud backup service has this option, so make sure it's toggled on in the settings. That said, you may sometimes have to wait for backups to automatically kick in. Don't count on the auto back-up method if you need access to your photos right away.

  • Install a desktop client. Depending on the service you're using, there should be a way to have your computer automatically download images from the cloud as they become available. This effectively keeps your photo library between your phone and computer in sync. That means your pictures are backed up immediately and you can quickly launch into editing on your computer.

  • Prune your photo collection regularly. Even if storage limits aren't a concern whatsoever, your batch of photos can become a logistical nightmare if you don't pull out the valuable pictures and delete the bad ones every once in awhile. Often these services will take any and all images from your phone, including screenshots or music album art, which can make a real mess of things.

Share

The Share menu is perfect for quickly shooting out a single picture or a small batch to another destination.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Hold your finger on the thumbnail of a photo you want to share. Continue tapping on other photos you want to include.
  3. Tap the Share icon in the top-right. It looks like three dots with two lines connecting them.
  4. Chose the source you want to share to. The list of available options will grow as you install more apps.

E-mail is a common enough way to get a picture from point A to point B, though maximum file sizes can get in the way. I personally like using Pushbullet to get pictures directly to my computer. It needs either a desktop or Chrome app to work, but it's otherwise quite efficient. If you don't feel like dealing with more software, there are always direct Bluetooth transfers. They can get your pictures to your computer, tablet, or someone else's device once paired. Wi-Fi Direct and Quick Connect are similar options, though device compatibility is much more limited and a little fiddly.

You can also use this method to share your pictures to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, provided you have the apps installed.

USB

When all else fails, there's always plugging your phone directly into your computer. This can be helpful when you want to copy photos to a thumb drive to give to someone else, or doing a bulk local backup. If you're on a Mac, you may need to install Android File Transfer beforehand.

  1. Your Galaxy S6 came with a microUSB cable. The narrow end fits into the bottom, and the wide end goes into your computer. Plug 'em in!

  2. Your Galaxy S6 should show up as a drive in My Computer or Finder. If it doesn't, swipe down from the top of the S6's screen, and check the notification tray for USB options. You may need to tap the icon, then check off Camera (PTP) if it isn't already active.

  3. Open the Galaxy S6 through My Computer or Finder and open the folder called DCIM, and then the folder called Camera inside there.

  4. Drag and drop the the photos you want to whichever destination is convenient. The desktop is an easy enough home if you're only working with the photos temporarily.

That's it!

It's a straightforward job getting your photos off your Samsung Galaxy S6 once you decide how you want to do it. If you're having any issues, sing out in the comments.

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1 year ago

How to set up and start using WhatsApp for Android

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how to get started with whatsapp

WhatsApp lets you stay in contact all around the world!

WhatsApp is no doubt a popular instant messenger application. It's easy to see why, since the service is free and allows people to connect with each other via chat or voice wherever they are in the world.

How to create your account in WhatsApp for Android

Eager to see which of your friends are on WhatsApp? Well, the first thing you need is an account.

  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 Agree and continue
  3. Type your cellular phone number in the dialog box.

    Launch whatsapp, then tap agree and continue, then type phone number

  4. Tap OK to confirm that it's okay for WhatsApp to verify your phone number.
  5. Tap SKIP. It's in the bottom left corner of the white pop-up box in the middle of your screen.
  6. Tap Continue. It's the big button at the bottom center of your screen.

    Tap ok, then tap skip, then tap continue

How to invite someone to WhatsApp

WhatsApp pulls contacts from your phone's address book, and those that already have a WhatsApp account are available to chat with instantly. But what if some of your friends don't have a WhatsApp account? The invite feature creates a text message addressed to the person you want to invite including a link for them to download WhatsApp.

  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 INVITE to add someone from your phone's contact list. It's the green button with white text to the right of the person's name.
  3. Tap the send button to send the person you're inviting a text. It's an orange circle with a white envelope in the center at the bottom right of your screen.
  4. They will appear in your contacts lists once they download and create an account for WhatsApp.

    Launch whatsapp, then tap invite next to the person's name you want to invite, then tap the send button

How to add someone who isn't already in your phone's contacts

You don't need to have somebody in your phone's contacts first to add them to your WhatsApp chats — you can add them right from the app! If they've already got a WhatsApp account, you can start messaging them right away.

  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 new contact button. It's a picture of a person's head and shoulders with a small plus above their left shoulder.
  3. Type the person's name in the name field
  4. Type in the person's phone number.
  5. Tap the SAVE button. It is located on the top right of your screen.

    Launch whatsapp, then tap add button, then type person's contact information, then tap save

This will add the person to the contacts list on your phone. WhatsApp will update your contact list in-app with the new contact — if they already have a WhatsApp account, then they will automatically appear as a WhatsApp contact.

How to refresh your contacts list in WhatsApp for Android

When you add someone to your phone's contact list and they are already a WhatsApp user, you may need to refresh your in-app contacts list to see them appear there.

  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 looks like three dots aligned vertically and is in the top right hand corner of 'your screen.
  3. Tap on Refresh. It is the first option in the pop-up menu.

    Launch whatsapp, then tap the more options button, then tap refresh

How to create a new broadcast in WhatsApp for Android

A broadcast is like a group, except that the messages you send via a broadcast list are received as individual messages by the people in the broadcast. Each individual is unaware of who else is receiving your message. Think of it as an email BCC, but for WhatsApp.

  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 looks like three dots aligned vertically and is in the top right hand corner of 'your screen
  3. Tap on New broadcast. It is the second option in the pop-up menu that comes up

    Launch whatsapp, then tap more options button, then tap new broadcast

  4. Tap on the add button. It's a plus sign on the right side of the name field near the top of the New broadcast screen.
  5. Tap on the check box beside each person's name that you want to include in the broadcast list.
  6. Tap done. It's the button on the top right corner of your screen.
  7. Tap the create button. It is in the top right corner of your screen.

    Tap add, then check the boxes by each name you want to add, then tap done, then tap create.

That's it for creating a Broadcast list. From there you can compose your WhatsApp Broadcast message like any other message, including attaching images, video, locations, and more.

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1 year ago

How to use the search feature in WhatsApp for Android

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Find whatever you're looking for in WhatsApp for Android!

When you have a large circle of friends and family and you have five chats going at once, it's hard to keep track of who said what. WhatsApp's search feature lets you limit your search by chat or call. You can also search your contacts list, which is quite handy when you need to send someone a message and need to scroll through a hundred names.

How to search calls in WhatsApp for Android

If you want to find out whether you called someone, you can easily search the WhatsApp call logs to find out.

  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 calls button to highlight it. It is on the left side of your screen just below "WhatsApp".

  3. Tap on the search button. It looks like a magnifying glass and is the first button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  4. Type the name you want to search for into the bar at the top of the screen. WhatsApp will filter your calls by the search term.

You've searched and you've found the one you are looking for. Now, go ahead and send them a message.

How to search text chats with WhatsApp for Android

If your significant other sends you a grocery list in WhatsApp, you can easily search for and pull up the message. It saves you the dirty looks when you get home, as well as keeping you off the couch!

  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 search button. It looks like a magnifying glass and is the first button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  3. Type in whatever you want to search for in the search bar at the top of the screen. WhatsApp will search the names and text of your chats and then display the matches.

Once you've found a message, you can reply to it or forward it to someone else.

How to search your contacts in WhatsApp for Android

If you have a lot of contacts in WhatsApp, you can find just the person you're looking for in just a few taps.

  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 contacts button. It is near the top right corner of the screen, underneath the add contacts button and the more options button.
  3. Tap on the search button. It looks like a magnifying glass and is the first button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

  4. Type in the person's name you want to search for in the search bar at the top of the screen.

  5. You should see that person's name on the screen.

Now that you found someone to talk to, you can call them any time.

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