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3 weeks ago

Pokémon Go: The ultimate guide

64

Once you've learned the basics, it's time to dive deeper into Pokémon Go.

If you're here, it's because you want to become the best Pokémon trainer that you can be. If you're just getting started with Pokémon Go, then you should check out our guide to getting started before diving in here. This guide is for those of you who are grinding levels, capturing Pokémon and taking over Gyms.

As you know by now, there is a lot going on with Pokémon Go, and we're going to detail most of it out for you here.

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3 weeks ago

5 important things to know about Google Play Family Libraries

35

I have a nice Google Play Movies library. And now, so does the rest of my family.

Google Play rolled out Family Libraries earlier this week in 8 countries. It allows families to share content from almost every section of the Google Play store with the whole group. Now, rather than buying all your content with one account and adding that account to every tablet/phone in the family, everyone can buy what they want and share it. It sounds great, and it's a leap forward for family content management on Android and Google's properties but there are a few things you should know.

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3 weeks ago

How to save your battery while playing Pokémon Go

34

You can't catch 'em all, if your battery dies.

So you're all-in on Pokémon Go — hunting through your neighborhood for PokéStops, Gyms, and of course, Pokémon. After a couple of hours, you realize that this game is an absolute battery drainer. But don't worry, it's not just you — this game uses mobile data, GPS, your screen and your camera, and that means sucking down a lot of battery every minute you're playing.

Pokémon Go is a high battery use application, which in more general terms, means that it can eat through your battery faster than you would think. So we've spent some time finding the best ways to save, and extend your battery life to get you the most time out there hunting Pokémon.

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4 weeks ago

How can I check and see if my phone is rooted?

28

Did all this stuff work? Am I rooted? Here's how to tell.

So you just went through a bunch of instructions you didn't fully understand, or downloaded some program to your computer and let it run, and your phone is supposed to be rooted. (And yes, naysayers, this is more common than you think — not everyone lives and breathes this stuff.) How can you be sure it worked?

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4 weeks ago

How to sign up for Google Play Family Library

29
How to sign up for Google Play Family Library

How can I share all my Google Play apps, movies and music with my family?

Sharing your Google Play apps and media with your family has never been easier, thanks to Google Play Family Library. It lets you connect up to five of your family members to a shared library of content, including a shared family-use credit card, so everyone can share their favorite movies, TV shows, music, books and apps.

While this was designed for families, you should also be able to create a shared library of content between your group of best friends, so you can all stay caught up with your favourite movies and TV shows, and play that cool new game your friend has been raving about.

Setting up a Google Play Family Library is an easy process, you just need to ensure you use your personal gmail account. Google accounts for Business are unable to be used for creating a Google Play Family Library.

How to sign up and get started with Google Play Family Library

  1. Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer
  2. Tap the Menu icon. It's on the left side of the search bar.
  3. Tap Account.

    Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer. Tap the Menu icon. It's on the left side of the search bar. Tap Account.

  4. Tap Family.

  5. Tap Sign up for Family Library.
  6. Tap Sign up.

    Tap Family. Tap Sign up for Family Library. Tap Sign up.

  7. Tap Continue to set yourself as the Family manager.

  8. Tap Continue. Doing so accepts the Google Play terms of service and Google's -privacy policy.
  9. Tap Set up to set up a family payment method.

    Tap Continue to set yourself as the Family manager. Tap Continue. Doing so also accessp the google play terms of service and privacy policy.

  10. Confirm your preferred credit card is selected and tap Accept. (Editors note: Google Play won't let you take a screenshot on screens related to credit cards)

  11. Tap Continue to begin adding things to your Family Library.
  12. Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases now, or add them individually later, then tap Continue.

    Confirm your preferred credit card is selected and tap Accept. Tap continue to begin adding things to your family library. Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases now, or ad them individually later, then tap Continue.

  13. Tap Continue to invite family members to your group. They must be 13 years old or older with a personal google account to join. Alternatively, you can tap Skip and add family at a later date.

  14. You'll be asked to verify the CVC for the credit card you entered in step 10. Enter the three digit code found on the back of your credit card, then tap Verify.
  15. It's time to start sending invitations! Swipe to scroll through your Contacts and find the family (or friends) you wish to add to your share group. Alternatively, tap Add recipients at the top to search or manually enter a Gmail address.

    Tap Continue to invite family members to your group. They must be 13 years old or older with a personal google account to join. Alternatively, you can tap Skip and add family at a later date. You'll be asked to verify the CVC for the credit cart you entered in step 10. Enter the three digit code found on the back of your credit card then tap verify. Swipe to scroll through your contacts and find the family or friends you wish to add to your share group. Alternatively, tap add recipients at the top to search or manually enter a Gmail address.

  16. Tap Send once you're ready to send your invitations.

  17. Tap Got it to complete the setup process.

    Tap send once you're ready to send your invitations. Tap Got it to complete the set up process.

You're all set up! Once you're family members (or friends) accept their invitations, you'll all be able to enjoy your shared Google Play content.

How to accept a Google Play Family Library invitation

If you've been invited to join a Google Play Family Group, you will have received an email invitation. We'll start with accepting the invitation via the email on your phone.

  1. Launch the Gmail app from your home screen or app drawer
  2. In the invitation email, tap Accept Invitation. This will launch Chrome.
  3. Tap Get Started.

    Launch the Gmail app from your home screen or app drawer. In the invitation email, tap accept invitation. Doing this launches Chrome. Tap Get started.

  4. Enter your account password and tap Sign in to login to your Google account. This will launch the Google Play Store.

  5. Tap Use account to confirm you want to use this account to join the Family group.
  6. Tap Join. This also accepts the Google Play terms of service and Google's privacy policy.

    Enter your account password and tap Sign In to login to your Google account. This will launch the Google Play Store. Tap Use account to confirm you want to use this account to join the Family group. Tap Join. This also accepts the Google Pay terms of service and Google's privacy policy.

  7. Tap Continue to add your previously purchased items to your family library.

  8. Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases now, or add them individually later, then tap Continue.
  9. Tap Got it.

    Tap Continue to add your previously purchased items to your family library. Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases nwo, or add them individually later, then tap continue. Tap Got it.

You're now set up for the Google Play Family Library. Next, we'll show you how to check out the shared content available.

How to access content from your Google Play Family Library

Once you've got your Google Play Family Library set up and everyone has joined and added their personal content to the shared folder, it's easy to access and install them right from the Google Play Store on your phone. For this example, we'll access the shared apps and games.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store from the home screen or app drawer
  2. Tap the Menu icon. It's on the left side of the search bar.
  3. Tap My apps & games.

    Launch the Google Play store from the home screen or app drawer. Tap the Menu icon. It's on the left side of the search bar. Tap My apps & games.

  4. Tap the Family Library tab.

  5. You'll see the list of apps and games available to your entire family group.

    Tap the Family Library tab. You'll see the list of apps and games available to your entire family group.

From there, it's as easy as tapping the apps you want and going through the standard installation process.

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4 weeks ago

How to fix Galaxy S7 battery life problems

124

The Galaxy S7's battery is bigger than before, but you still don't want to waste what you have.

The eternal quest for longer battery life in smartphones continues on, as evermore efficient chips and bigger batteries are in a battle with new software, apps, features and big screens. You want your phone to do everything, but also do it for a very long time — and those things are at odds, especially if you don't want to be chasing around a wall outlet everywhere you go.

The Galaxy S7's 3000 mAh battery is bigger than last year's Galaxy S6 and offers really solid battery life, actually, but if you consistently find your GS7 coming up short at the end of the day we have a handful of tips for you to get the most out of what battery you have.

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4 weeks ago

Add some MrMobile flair to your Android phone with this theme

12

We're all very proud to have MrMobile with us.

Michael Fisher, aka MrMobile, does video like almost no one else on the net right now, and his smooth performances bring another level of class to the videos he's sharing with us. He makes the technology he talks about more approachable not just for die-hard enthusiasts but for the everyman on the street who just wants to know what's the best phone on Android right now or what the hell this Pokémon GO thing is.

With his fancy new set and his fancy new logos came the obvious idea that we needed to bring that MrMobile flair to the home screen. The simple custom theme below is simple, distinct, and MrMobile-approved. Here's what you need to get it done:

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4 weeks ago

How to set up and use Google Drive on Android

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How to set up and use Google Drive on Android

How do I use Google Drive on Android?

Google Drive is one of the handiest cloud storage services around, giving you 15GB of free space, which you can access from just about any device with an internet connection. The age of USB thumb drives is over.

When you set up your Android phone, you would have been prompted to add your Google account, which is all you need to use Google Drive. Here's how to set up your personal Google Drive and use some of its main functions.

How to add an account your Google Drive on Android

If you've already set up your Gmail account on your phone, then you'll just have to launch Google Drive and perform steps 1-3 below. If you'd like to add another account, like a work email address, continue on after step 3.

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the next arrow in the bottom right corner through the start screens.
  3. Tap Done in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  4. Tap the menu button in the top left corner of your screen. It looks like ☰.

    Tap the next arrow, tap Done, tap the menu button

  5. Tap the dropdown arrow next to the current account that's associated with your Google Drive.
  6. Tap Add account.
  7. Tap the type of account you'd like to use. You can even use Twitter!

    Tap the dropdown arrow, tap Add account, tap the type of account you want to use

  8. Enter your security measure if you have a pattern lock or PIN lock on your phone.
  9. Enter your email address or login credentials, depending on what type of account you chose to add.
  10. Tap Next.
  11. Type in your Password and tap Next in the bottom right corner.

    Enter your security measure, enter your email address, tap next, enter your password, tap next

  12. Tap Accept.
  13. Tap the circle next to a payment option.
  14. Tap Continue.

    Tap Accept, tap a payment option, tap Continue

The account will now be added to your phone and can be used with other Google apps, like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and more!

How to upload files to your Google Drive on Android

You can upload Microsoft Word documents, Google Docs, photos from your Gallery, and tons more!

  1. Find the document on your phone that you'd like to upload to Google Drive. In this example, we're using a photo from the Gallery.
  2. Tap the share button. It'll usually look like a left-pointing triangle, with a dot at each point.
  3. Tap Save to Drive.

    Find the document you want to share, tap the share button, tap Save to Drive

  4. Tap Allow if prompted to allow Google Drive access to your files.
  5. Add a title to the document if you'd like and tap Save in the bottom right corner of your screen.

    Tap Allow, add a title if you want, tap Save

Your file will now be uploaded to your Google Drive where you can view it from any device on which you can access Google.

How to view files in your Google Drive on Android

Viewing your files in Google Drive on Android is as easy as launching the app from your home screen or app drawer. That's it! When you launch the app, you'll be brought to your Drive with all of your files right there for you to scroll through and view. Just tap a file to open it.

You can search for files by name by tapping the search icon (usually looks like a magnifying glass) and typing the name of the file you'd like to view.

How to share files from your Google Drive on Android

You can share any file from your Google Drive, either by sending the physical file or by sharing a link that will allow someone to view the file in your Google Drive (they won't be able to see anything else).

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the more button on the file you want share. It looks like three vertical dots.
  3. You have two ways to share your file:
    • Tap Share link to send someone a link to this file in your Google Drive.
    • Tap Send file to send someone the physical file.
  4. Tap a sharing method. You can share files via email, Facebook, messaging, and much more!

    Tap the more button, tap Share link or Send file, tap a sharing method

Now you can just share the file or the link via the method you've chosen normally. If you're sending it as a message, just tap the send button like you would for a text message. If you're sharing it via email, you can add a message and add multiple recipients, just like normal!

How to view files that were shared with you via Google Drive on Android

If you have notifications for Google Drive turned on (which they usually are by default), you can just tap the notification and it'll open right to the file that's been shared with you. If you dismissed the notification by mistake or just didn't get one, here's how to view files that have been shared with you!

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of your screen. It looks like ☰.
  3. Tap Shared with me.
  4. Tap the file you'd like to view.

    Tap the menu button, tap Shared with me, tap the file you want to view

How to download a file from Google Drive

If you're transferring files via Google Drive and want to save a hard copy to your phone, you just have to download the file.

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the more button on the bottom right of the file thumbnail. It's the three vertical dots.
  3. Tap Download.

    Launch Google Drive, tap the more button on a file, tap Download

The file will now be downloaded to your phone. You'll receive a notification when it's downloaded, and you can tap that to view it or look in your file storage.

How to check your storage in Google Drive on Android

Google Drive starts you off with 15GB for free, and if you find you're saving a lot to your Google Drive, it's probably best to keep an eye on your storage.

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of your screen. It looks like ☰.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Launch Google Drive, tap the menu button, tap Settings

The first item in the Settings list is Storage and beneath it, it'll tell you how much of your 15GB you have used. If you're just using your Drive to save Google Docs, it's going to take you a very long time to fill it up.

How to delete files from your Google Drive on Android

If you do find your Google Drive is getting a bit full because you've been using it to save photos, videos, music, and a ton of other stuff, you can choose to pay to upgrade your storage or take the frugal route and delete some stuff!

  1. Launch Google Drive from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the more button on the file you'd like to delete. It's the three vertical dots in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail.
  3. Tap Remove, which is at the bottom of the options.

    Launch Google Drive, tap the more button on a file, tap Remove

The file will now be removed from your Google Drive, but you can always re-upload it if you need to.

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4 weeks ago

How to fix Samsung Galaxy S6 battery problems

Samsung Galaxy S6

How do you fix Galaxy S6 battery life problems? Here are our top power-saving tips!

With a brilliant display, powerful processor and plenty of software features, you may find yourself draining down the relatively small batteries on the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge a bit faster than other phones, but that doesn't mean the phone's battery life is completely out of your control.

With just a handful of tips — some specific to the GS6 series, others you can use on any Android phone — you'll be able to make the most of the sealed-in battery on the Galaxy S6, and we're going to tell you all about them.

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1 month ago

Where to buy Google Play gift cards

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Where to buy Google Play gift cards

Where can I buy Google Play gift cards?

Looking to buy a Google Play gift card for that special Android user in your life? We at Android Central just want to let you know that you're a good person.

Google Play gift cards just don't seem to be as ubiquitous as iTunes gift cards, but they're actually a lot easier to find than you think.

Here's where to find Google Play gift cards in your region!

USA

Denominations: $10, $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Target
  • Sam's Club
  • CVS
  • Kroger
  • Walgreens
  • Best Buy
  • 7-Eleven
  • GameStop
  • Dollar General
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walmart

Online:

The good ol' U.S. of A. is the only place where you can send someone Google Play credit online and you can even gift Google Play Music subscriptions. You just have to make sure that the recipient is registered for Google Play in the U.S. as well. To share the Google Play love:

Canada

Denominations: $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Sobeys
  • Safeway
  • Loblaw
  • 7-Eleven
  • Best Buy
  • Mac's/Couche-Tard
  • London Drugs
  • Walmart
  • Circle K
  • Provigo

Online:

You can't send Google Play credit from one Google Play account to another in Canada right now, but you can gift a Google Play Music subscription:

UK

Denominations: £10, £25, £50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • ASDA
  • WHSmith
  • Currys PC World
  • Boots
  • Clintons
  • Wilko
  • McColl's
  • Co-op
  • Argos

Online:

You can send Google Play credit in the UK, but you can give the gift of tunes in the form of a Google Play Music subscription:

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1 month ago

How to recover deleted text messages on Android

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How to recover deleted text messages on Android

How do I recover deleted text messages on Android?

Sure, there are many sites that claim to offer recovery services, but you'd need to be running a rooted device. As noted by AC's Jerry Hildebrand, Android has used TRIM on the internal storage since 2012, so deleted data is constantly being overwritten. Chances are, unless you acted immediately after deleting the messages, they will be gone forever, in short order.

But if you want to make sure you never lose texts again — whether by mistake or when switching over to a different device — here's how to do it, using an app appropriately called SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite.

How to backup your SMS messages

The first thing you'll need to do is download the free SMS Backup & Restore app from the Google Play Store.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore.
  3. Tap SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite, which should be the top result.

    Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer, Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore, then tap the free SMS Backup and Restore app, which should be the top result

  4. Tap Install.
  5. Tap Accept.
  6. Tap Open once the app has been installed.

    Tap Install, Tap Accept, and then tap Open once the app has been installed.

  7. Tap Backup once the app has opened.
  8. Tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap Custom Folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or in a specific folder on your phone.
  9. Tap the checkbox next to the things you want backed up, especially the text messages (it's why you're here, right?).

    Tap Backup once the app has opened, tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap custom folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or a specific folder on your phone. Next, tap the checkbox next ot the things you want backed up, in particular text messages, because that's why you're here, right?

  10. Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up.
  11. Tap the file name next to Text Messages if you want to re-title it yourself.
  12. Tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

    Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up, tap filename next to Text Messages if you want to retitle it yourself, then tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

  13. Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up.
  14. Tap your choice between Local Backup only or Local Backup and Upload, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email. To upload your backup, you'll need to install an Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore.
  15. Tap OK.

    Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up. Tap your choice between **Local Backup only** or **Local Backup and Upload**, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email.  To upload your backup, you'll need to install an [Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore, tap OK.

If you decide to only back up your messages locally, you'll get a message warning that you risk losing your backups if you lose or damage your device. You'll also be warned that if you set backups to be stored in the default internal storage, you'll want to transfer them to an external storage device whenever you decide to switch phones.

Your text message conversations will now automatically be backed up to wherever you chose to back them up!

How to restore your SMS messages

Once you've got your SMS messages backed up (again, if you just found this article and didn't have your messages backed up somehow, you're essentially out of luck), you can restore them on a new device or on the same one.

  1. Launch SMS Backup & Restore from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Restore.
  3. Tap the checkboxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

    Launch SMS Backup and Restore from your home screen or app drawer, Tap Restore, then check the boxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

  4. Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one.
  5. Tap Restore.
  6. Tap OK. This info box informs you that to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

    Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one, tap restore, tap OK. This info box informs you that you need to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

  7. Tap Yes. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring.
  8. Tap Close once the restore is completed.

    Tap **Yes**. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring, then tap close once the restore is complete.

And there you have it! Your messages (and maybe even your call logs) have been restored! If you've decided to back up your data to a cloud service, you should also be able to restore your old messages onto a new phone by following the same steps. Since the data is stored in an XML file, it's compatible with any Android device, no matter the make or model.

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1 month ago

How to use Prisma for Android

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What is Prisma and how does it work?

These days, it's not enough to make a simple photo effects app. To stand out, companies need to create effects using complicated machine learning algorithms that create creative and unique pieces of art in the style of Munk, Picasso and Van Gogh. At least that's what the team behind Prisma believes.

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1 month ago

How to fix 'Snapchat login temporarily failed' error on Android

7

How do I fix login temporarily failed on Snapchat?

Unfortunately for users on Android devices, Snapchat has a habit of not always logging people into their accounts. While trying to open the app, some users have come across a message that reads:

"Oh no! Your login temporarily failed, so please try again later. If your login continues to fail, please visit https://support.snapchat.com/a/failed-login :)"

Snapchat has stated that Snapchatters using a rooted Android device may encounter this message more than others. While this is frustrating, there are a couple of other reasons this message could be appearing on your phone screen. Snapchat recommends three things to try if your login isn't working:

  1. Make sure you're using the official Snapchat app from the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Double check that your system clock and date is correct.
  3. Confirm that you have a valid Google Account on your Android device.

Once you verify that you have a valid Google Account, you can manually sync your account to your phone to make sure your Google Account is working.

How to sync and verify your Google Account on your Android phone

  1. Launch Settings from your home screen, the Notification Shade, or the app drawer.
  2. Tap Accounts. You may have to scroll a bit to find it.
  3. Tap Add account.

    Launch Settings from the home screen and then tap accounts. Tap add account.

  4. Tap Google.
  5. Enter your email.
  6. Tap Next.

  7. Enter your password.
  8. Tap Next
  9. Tap Accept in the lower right corner.

  10. Tap Next in the lower right corner.
  11. Tap a payment information option.
  12. Tap continue in the lower right corner.

  13. Tap Google.
  14. Tap the more button; it's the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  15. Tap Sync now.

If your Google account isn't valid, you may see a Sync Error message appear.

What do you think?

Is there a way you've tried that helps get rid of Snapchat's error message on your Android phone? Let us know what other techniques have worked for you and which ones haven't.

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1 month ago

Prisma: Blank notification appearing after using the app? Here's the fix!

7
Prisma notification

If you're seeing an empty Prisma notification that you can't swipe away, you're not alone. Fortunately there's an easy fix.

As Prisma for Android becomes more popular, a handful of bugs in the AI-enabled photo app are starting to emerge. One of the most confusing glitches has to do with an empty notification that'll show up in your notification after using the app. On most versions of Android it's not obvious which app is creating the notification, and it can't be dismissed normally, so it'll just sit there — pretty frustrating.

Fortunately there's an easy fix.

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1 month ago

How to remove the Prisma logo watermark from your photos

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Prisma

A simple settings change can remove the unsightly Prisma logo from your pics.

With the unique photo-filtering app Prisma now available on Android, it's worth underscoring one of the most important settings changes you can make. By default, Prisma adds its own logo to every image you share from the app. But it's easy to disable this watermark from within the app's settings.

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