The new Hangouts is beautiful, and more than a little confusing now that it can integrate with Google Voice
Google Hangouts is getting a pretty major refresh, and it now integrates with Google Voice. And there's a new Hangouts Dialer to contend with if you want to use both together. If it's all just a wee bit confusing, we understand. Google Voice has never been much of a mainstream product, never mind that it's damned useful. And Hangouts as a means of mobile messaging sort of started as one of those Google+ features we were were force-fed at the beginning, again, never mind just how good it actually is.
And now it's all coming together. But it also can be more than a little confusing.
Here's the deal, as we understand it, in plain English.
I love Tasker. And I say it a lot. I say it so much that my keyboard's prediction now pops up Tasker after I type the word love. And Tasker can do a lot. A whole lot. But in order to do it, it needs to be programmed or you need to stick a button on your home screen, or a gesture control. I covered voice controls last time, and today, rather than using them for media controls, we'll be using them for something far more helpful: squeezing more battery out of your phone. I was also contacted by the wonderful wizard of Tasker plugins, João Dias, and he gave me a more targeted manner of playing media using his AutoShare plugin, which I'll share later in the article.
Know what to do with everything you receive in Gmail
For most people, Gmail is one of the most important tools in their daily lives. The problem is that most get so many emails that it is hard to keep your inbox organized and not full of random, unnecessary emails. Gmail offers users multiple ways to organize and sort their emails into different folders, tabs, and tags but in a time where Google's search can scan millions of words per second why is it necessary to put so much effort into keeping your Gmail organized? Luckily, Gmail has an archiving tool that will help you clean up the interface without causing you to spend several days placing each email into a distinct folder.
Here's a quick, useful trick for anyone picking up the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or its curved-screen sibling, the Galaxy Note Edge. As with earlier Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices, there are a few ways you can take a screenshot on the Galaxy Note 4 — using either a button combination, a swipe gesture across the screen, or the S Pen stylus.
For experienced Samsung users, things are much the same as before. But if you're coming over from an iPhone or some other device, it's worth brushing up on the basics.
Free to play games are often little more than cynical unending grabs at players' wallets. But every now and then a free to play game comes along that is actually fun for free and paying players alike.
Metal Slug Defense from SNK Playmore is one of those games. Just as Rhythm of Fighters adapted the KOF series into a mobile-friendly music game, this one turns the venerable Metal Slug series of run-and-gun shooters into a unique and addictive tower-defense game. Want to know which upgrades and units will help you beat the game? Then read our latest tips and tricks guide.
If you're new to Android completely or even if you just picked up a new device for the first time, there's one pretty annoying Google Play Store setting that you're probably going to want rid of as soon as possible. We're talking about the one that adds a shortcut to your homescreen for each and every application that you ever download.
Luckily, putting a stop to that isn't a difficult process. Here's how.
Google Wallet has been around for a few years now, but most American users couldn't really use it before last November when Kit Kat landed and brought a new method for mobile payments and a method to try and prevent carriers from blocking the app.
But if you think Google Wallet's just for tap-and-pay, you're sadly mistaken. There's a lot more to Google Wallet, and there's something for everyone here.
We've said a million times, and we'll say it till we're blue in the face. Lock your smartphone. Lock your smartphone! We were also slightly dismayed (though not exactly surprised) to hear in our recent poll that a good third of our readers do not lock their phones. And we say unto you, there is absolutely no excuse not to, especially considering the vast array of options we have to do it now. Actually, you can wait a few minutes and pick from this list at the end. But right after. Not after a few rounds of Duet. Not after watching Netflix. Right then.
Now, you can lock (and unlock) your smartphone many, many ways, and they all have their benefits and their drawbacks, but somewhere, some mixture of method will work for you. So, let's get to it, shall we?
You can request for websites to not keep track of your activity when using Chrome
When you browse the Internet, the sites you visit pick up bits of information about you and your online habits. Some information, like websites you've visited, may be shared with third parties. Those third parties may use the information for advertising or gathering reporting statistics. You can request for that information to not be be tracked, and therefore not shared. However, as we discuss below, a website may or may not honor that request. Keep in mind that we're not trying to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt; we're just trying to let you know what your options are.
Chrome isn't the only browser that gives you the "Do not track" option. For example, Firefox has been doing it for a while, too.
We'll be talking about how to set "Do not track" when using Chrome on your Android device.
Kairosoft is the Japanese developer responsible for Game Dev Story and many more simulation games. A lot of their games are really similar to each other, but each one still has a unique setting that gives it special appeal. For instance: ninjas!
Google brings us wonderful services and the Android ecosystem, but let us remember that its primary function is as a search engine. And secondarily it's to sell ads — and targeted ads, at that. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that, as ads keep on the lights at Google and keep the lights on for many, many sites around the world wide web. And targeted ads help keep the stuff you'd never, ever spend money on away from your eyeballs.
But how does Google know what you want to see? How do those ads target you, and what does Google think you like? And how can you change it if they're wrong, or if you think they're wrong to do it in the first place?
Let's dive into the wonderful, wonderful world of ad optimization.
Android is for everybody, and that includes people who need help seeing/hearing or otherwise operating their device. To this end, there are system-wide accessibility settings baked right into Android, and you can control them through the Accessibility section to the Settings app. It's right at the bottom near "About phone" and developer settings.
Your own device may have much, much more — the LG G3, for example, has enough to fill a post all its own — but so long as you have Android, you should at least have these.
You can protect your privacy and cover your tracks by clearing your browsing data in Chrome for Android
We've all been here: A friend asks to borrow your phone (or just steals it), and you start to sweat, fully aware of what's lurking there in your browser history.
What if they see that you're secretly addicted to looking up random cat facts? What if they discover whatever other guilty pleasure you may have? Don't worry. With just a simple preventative measure, we can keep all those things secret. With Chrome on Android, we can clear our browsing data, or the browsing history.
Part of the "One account, all of Google" thing we wrote about recently is that it brings all of your services and data together on your android device once you log in.
But sometimes, you don't need all of your accounts on all of your apps. Such as Google+. I have a professional account (well, professional-looking account, anyway), and all I do with it is apply for jobs. I don't need it in Google+, I only need it in Gmail, and so, I'm logging it out of Google+. Or maybe your business uses Google Apps, and so you've got a superfluous Google+ account with it, too.
Here's how you can silence that second account forever, without actually deleting it.
Enough is enough sometimes — here's how to mute threads on Google+
Google+ is a wonderful place of conversations. But unlike real conversations, when you get bored, you can't just walk away. That's what the mute button is there is for. It lets you get out of a conversation and the flood of notifications an active post can bring. You can also use the mute button on individual people, which we genuinely hope Google is working on bringing to real-world conversations. Muting is also a handy thing for posts that disgust/horrify/enrage or otherwise evoke an emotional response you don't need to see more than once.
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