Headlines

1 year ago

How to turn on and off contact images in the new Gmail

38

The new Gmail turned on contact images, but that doesn't mean you have to stick with them

We took a look at the latest update to Gmail the other day in a broad sense, but there are so many small changes in this update that we think a few warrant extra attention. The most noticeable change comes by way of new contact images next to emails, which are turned on by default. The issue is that not everyone has a contact image associated to each person that will send them mail, meaning there are often big, randomly-colored letters next to the emails instead. We wouldn't disagree if you thought this was a waste of space and looked a bit cartoonish, so here's how to turn them off.

From the main Gmail inbox view, head to your settings (via your phone's hardware menu button or the action bar menu), then select "General settings" from the first view and uncheck the box labeled "Sender image". Back out to your inbox view and you'll now get a wider view of your emails without distraction. Unfortunately this means you can no longer hit the images as a way to select multiple messages; you'll now have to initiate that multi-selection with a long-press on any email in the list instead.

Stick around after the break for a video walkthrough of how to turn on and off the new contact images, and a clear explanation of how navigating the interface changes slightly when you do so.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Slide, tap, and tab: A look at Gmail's new interface

77

New mail categories make their way over from the web; updated design sheds an action bar for a cleaner look

Google is currently in the process of rolling out a newly redesigned Gmail app -- version 4.5 if you're counting -- that is the first major redesign in some time, bringing with it a few new features to improve your mobile email experience. It's a necessary update in many ways, bringing the design up to speed with the latest UI elements introduced at Google I/O as well as falling in-line with the latest features being added to the Gmail web interface. And let's face it, the previous Gmail app has had the same basic design for far too long.

While it was extremely functional, there wasn't a whole lot to be excited about with Gmail until this week. Things are changing though, so let's take a look at some of these new features and try to make sense of it all. Stick around with us after the break and see what's new.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Don't hit your cap: A few tweaks to cut down on Google Play Music data usage

130

'All Access' doesn't have to mean 'all of your data cap'

Google Play Music is a pretty great service, especially when you have chosen to give up $9.99 per month for the new "All Access" subscription service. Without any thought of what music I own, what device I'm on or what I've loaded on my device, I just opened up Google Play Music and listened to the new "Random Access Memories" album by Daft Punk. Within seconds it started streaming in continuous high quality and I got to enjoy the entire album without a second thought.

But there's one small issue -- streaming that album just cost me over 290MB towards my monthly data cap.

In its attempt to make a seamless streaming experience for users, Google has somewhat obscured and selected the settings that make the user experience in Google Play Music as great as possible by default. This is certainly the right choice on average -- users don't want to spend their time tweaking settings, they just want to listen to their music anywhere and any way. But for those who are going to utilize Play Music daily and for hours at a time, there are settings that can be tweaked to make sure you're not unnecessarily using mobile data.

So what can you do to limit the amount of data usage from Play Music? Stick with us after the break and learn a few tips to keep from using up your monthly data cap with just streaming music.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to turn on data compression in Chrome 28 Beta

24

Help save that valuable mobile data with just a few taps in Chrome Beta

One of the lesser talked-about features rolled out at Google I/O last week was a new option for Chrome on mobile devices to cut down on the bandwidth used while browsing. Well the feature has been rolled out in an experimental capacity as part of the latest Chrome Beta update on Android, and it's a quick way to help save on data usage while browsing. Like most systems that work to preserve data while browsing, Google routes your browsing traffic through one of its own proxy servers, compressing it along the way as data is sent back and forth to your phone. Correctly, Google has chosen to only route HTTP connections through the proxy, and HTTPS request will always be sent directly. Google claims data savings can be as much as 50-percent, which is nothing to sneeze at.

To enable this new feature, you'll have to be running the latest Chrome Beta update (version 28, technically) on your phone or tablet. You will likely be greeted by a splash page the first time you open Chrome Beta after the update, but if you're not, head to the browser settings, scroll down to "Bandwidth management" and then tap "Reduce data usage" and hit the button at the top right to enable it. (If you don't see the option, try heading to "chrome://flags" in the navigation bar and enabling it manually.) You'll be able to come back after you do some browsing and see how much data you saved by enabling this new feature.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Keep up with Google I/O 2013 from home

10

Won't be in sunny California for Google I/O? Don't worry, you can still keep up with all of the action

We're just a few short days away from Google's yearly developer conference, and while only a few thousand lucky individuals will be in attendance, everyone will have a chance to watch from afar. As you would expect, Google is dedicated to making video of every single session from the conference available online, and even live streams as much coverage as possible.

Watching the keynote

Of everything at Google I/O, what many are looking forward to most is the keynote. Although it's going to be hard to top skydiving with Google Glass onto the convention center, we'll all want to be watching it live to see what they can do this time. Luckily Google will be streaming the keynote live at 9am PT on May 15th. This is the only keynote of the conference and It's going to be a whopping 3 hours long, so be sure to plan your restroom breaks accordingly.

Following sessions

Google has posted a complete list of sessions that will be available, each falling into one of the broader "tracks" such as Android, Chrome, Google+ and Glass. Using the session browser, you can choose to follow specific tracks, or you can look more broadly at the entire show. If a session you're interested in isn't broadcasted live, Google plans to make recorded versions available on its official Google Developers Youtube channel as soon as possible.

Install the app

The official Google I/O app has just been updated for this year's conference, and it has a whole lot of useful information. Not only can you follow all of the session times and keep tabs on what's coming next with scheduled alerts, but you can also watch any of the live streamed sessions. The I/O 2013 app will be your guide to everything Google for all three days next week.

We'll be there too!

Don't forget that Phil and Jerry will be covering everything they can get their hands and eyes on at this year's I/O, with all of the top-notch analysis you've come to expect from Android Central.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Galaxy S4 quick tip: Disable 'Auto adjust screen tone' for brighter whites

20

A simple setting change can get you extra brightness on web pages and documents

The Samsung Galaxy S4's Full HD SuperAMOLED screen is the best AMOLED display we've seen on a smartphone. However if you're noticing subpar brightness some of the time, there's an option in "Display settings" you might want to take a look at.

By default, the Galaxy S4 and many other Samsung devices ship with "Auto adjust display tone" turned on. You can find it under Settings > My device > Display > More settings. When enabled, it tweaks the display brightness based on the on-screen image to avoid burning through an excessive amount of juice. Most of the time you might not notice this, but there's an easy way to see its effects.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to turn off the new persistent Facebook notification

43

Wade through the tangled mess of Facebook notification settings

Facebook likes to do a lot of "opt out" rather than "opt in" changes on its app updates, and the most recent culprit is a new persistent notification for users to keep up with their Facebook notifications at all times. The notification will pop up when you first install the new version of the Facebook app, and will stay in your bar until you tap part of it to enter the app or tap a small "x" on the right side to dismiss it, much like notifications from media players. Unfortunately, it will keep coming back if you don't go change the settings in the Facebook app. To disable it, open your Facebook app, tap "menu" (or the soft menu key) and tap into the Facebook settings. Scroll down to the very bottom of the list, where under "Advanced Notification Settings" you should see an option to uncheck "Ongoing notifications". (Some users report not seeing the setting, which we have yet to figure out the reason behind.)

While you're in there, you can also choose to disable any other notification from Facebook. This will be especially important if you happen to like the ongoing notification, because if you keep the other notifications turned on you will receive two Facebook notifications any time that something happens. We know, Facebook's settings are a mess, but if you're going to keep the app installed the least you can do is keep the notifications in check.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to get lock screen widgets on the Samsung Galaxy S4

37

Lock screen widgets are easy to enable on the Galaxy S4, but there are a couple of extra settings to get to grips with

When you first pick up the Samsung Galaxy S4, it might appear that lock screen widgets aren't available. After all, the default lock screen is just a big clock widget with "life companion" or some other message up top. But as an Android 4.2 device, the S4 includes full support for lock screen widgets, it's just a case of enabling them in the phone's lock screen settings.

Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen and check "Multiple widgets." Once you've done that, you're able to swipe to the right and add more lock screen panels. There's the standard list of Google widgets as well as some new stuff from Samsung, including a new WatchON widget. This ties into the WatchON app, which is the Peel-powered universal remote included on the Galaxy S4, giving you an expandable universal remote right from your lock screen. Third-party offerings like Dashclock Widget should work just fine, too.

In stock Android, there's always a camera shortcut on the right-most lock screen panel. On the GS4 you can choose what goes here -- either a big, Nexus-style camera shortcut or a grid of favorite apps. Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Favorite apps or Camera to configure this.

Like some of the other Samsung widgets, the main clock widget is customizable too. You can change or get rid of the message, have a dual clock if you're roaming overseas and customize the style and size of the on-screen fonts.

Check the quick video demo above to see lock screen widgets in action on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to get to Google Now on the Samsung Galaxy S4

19

Google's predictive search app is alive and well on the Galaxy S4 -- and there are a few ways to get to it quickly

On many Android phones with on-screen keys, getting to Google Now -- the excellent predictive/voice-controlled search app in Android 4.1 and above -- is simply a matter of swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It's not quite as simple as that on the new Samsung Galaxy S4, but fear not, there are still a few quick and easy ways to get to the new Google Search app.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Using 'Multi-window' on the Samsung Galaxy S4

30

Samsung's full-screen multi-tasking feature returns on the Galaxy S4. Here's where to find it and how to use.

A favorite feature of the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's 'Multi-window' multitasking capability is included out of the box on the Galaxy S4. It's probably one of the coolest software tricks Samsung has come up with to date, but it's easily overlooked if you don't know it's there.

To use Multi-window, you'll first need to enable it in the quick settings area. Drag the notification bar down, hit the block icon in the top right corner and make sure "Multi-window" is lit up. From there, you can toggle the Multi-window bar on or off by long-pressing the back key. It's possible to move the bar around by long-pressing the rounded tab while it's open. (To move the tab up or down, simply long-press and drag up or down when the bar doesn't have focus.)

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Three ways to add camera shortcuts to the Galaxy S4 lock screen

19

As with many features of the Galaxy S4, there's more than one way to get a camera shortcut on the lock screen

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is brimming with features, but right out of the box you could be forgiven for thinking there's no way of unlocking the phone straight into the camera app. Like many of the S4's advanced features, this is optional, and disabled by default. Enabling it is easy enough, but as it turns out there are three different kinds of camera shortcuts you can put on the Galaxy S4's lock screen.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to change the Galaxy S4 lock screen message

21

The tag line for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is "Life companion." And that's a fine slogan. But if you're a little tired of seeing it on your phone every time you turn it on, you're not alone. 

Fortunately, it's easy to change. Samsung's taking advantage of the lock screen widgets in Android 4.2.2 to provide that custom greeting, clock and date as soon as you wake the phone. You can change the font, color and size, remove the clock and date if you want -- or get rid of the widget altogether.

See also:

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to turn off those annoying Galaxy S4 sounds

49

If you're new to the Samsung Galaxy S4, you might well think you're under attack by bloops and bleeps and drops -- the cacophony of "nature' sounds Samsung's got baked into everything these days. They're there by design, of course. That whole "designed by nature" thing started last year with the Galaxy S3, and it continues in the latest iteration. They're not necessarily that harsh, they can just get a little old after the first five minutes.

Those of us who have been using Samsung devices for a while are more used to this, of course, and are pretty adept at turning them off. This post isn't for you. Move on. But things have changed a little bit in Samsung's latest, so here's your primer for getting rid of those annoying system sounds.

More: Check out our Galaxy S4 forums!

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

How to get to the developer settings on the Galaxy S4

25

It's worth a quick reminder that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one one of the first devices to actually launch with Android 4.2.2.  And it's also worth a reminder that the developer options are hidden by default starting with that version of Android. As those of us who have been using Nexus devices for the past quickly learned, you'll need to spend about 20 seconds and a few taps of the ol' index finger -- OK, any finger will do -- to open up the nether regions of your Galaxy S4. 

So. You're sure you want to do this? You want to unlock the developer options on your Galaxy S4? Cool. Here's how.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Remove duplicate and empty Google+ photo albums in your Gallery

49

It's a work-around, but there is a way to delete those pesky empty Google+ albums from your Gallery

Has your Gallery gone haywire with blank and duplicate Google+ albums? Don't worry, you're not alone. Since the implementation of Google+ Instant Upload and its deep integration into the included Gallery app, more and more of the photos you see on your device aren't actually... on your device. This all works great until there's an issue -- and what many people have been experiencing is duplicate, blank, and mislabeled albums showing up in their Gallery.

The problem is there's no way from the Gallery to manage these photos, it has to be done on the web. If you've been having issues with weird albums showing up in your Gallery, hang tight after the break and see if we can do something about that.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages