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1 week 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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2 weeks 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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2 weeks ago

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

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Android Version

Whether you need to downgrade your Android version or just think you want to, there are some things you need to know.

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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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