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2 weeks ago

How to save your battery while playing Pokémon Go

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

So Pokémon Go is here. You've gotten logged in and created your avatar, you've even chosen your starting Pokémon . Now it's time to go hunting through your neighborhood for PokéStops, Gyms, and of course, Pokémon . Be sure to keep a close eye on the battery of your phone though, otherwise you might lose power right as you are about to catch the next pocket monster for your collection.

Pokemon 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 Pokemon. Keep scrolling for the nitty gritty details.

Check your brightness

While this seems like a no-brainer, the first thing that you can do to help with the battery drain is take a look at your screen brightness. By turning it down you can grab yourself up some more time for gameplay. The big problem with this is if you are playing outside in a super sunny area. Turning the brightness down can make it much harder to see your screen much, much harder to see. Depending on the weather though, turning down that brightness can ensure that you can play for much longer.

Enable Battery Saver Mode

This game has a special Battery Saver baked right in! It's designed to dim your screen and slow the refresh rate while you're walking, and it works really well as long as you remember to use it. When this mode is enabled, all you have to do is point the top of your phone towards the ground, like you would do when holding the phone down at your side while walking. By doing this instead of just turning your phone screen off while walking between 'Stops and Gyms, you will still get vibration notifications when a Pokemon pops up on screen for you to catch.

To enable Battery Saver, all you need to do is: 1. Tap your Poké Ball 2. Tap Settings 3. Tap the empty circle next to Battery Saver

Turn off Augmented Reality features

Want to know what drains your battery faster than having the screen on the whole time? Using your camera the whole time. Within Pokémon Go you have a choice between turning your camera on or off. If it is on, then when it's time to capture a Pokémon your camera will open up. You'll see your intended Pokémon in front of you in AR while your actual surroundings are just behind it. While this is awesome, and leads to some fantastic photos, you're bleeding battery in this mode, especially during a Gym battle. However, if you turn the camera off you can ensure that your battery will last at least a bit longer.

All you need to do in order to disable this feature is flip the little switch with AR next to it the next time you go to catch a Pokemon. You'll see a new background and your battery will thank you.

Invest in a battery pack

If you're really gung ho about going out and hunting down Pokémon for hours, then investing in a portable battery pack might be your best bet. You can find these just about everywhere, and they can make sure that your phone doesn't die just as you are about to capture the Pokémon you've been hunting for hours. All battery packs are not made equal, so be sure to do your homework before purchasing one. This may be the easiest way to ensure that you can get hours of fun out of the app before being forced to head back to home and recharge your phone.

Read: Best external battery packs for Pokémon Go

For now, there isn't a single easy way to adjust the amount of battery that Pokémon Go is consuming. Hopefully in time, we'll see a battery saved added to the app for itself. In the meantime you can use these tricks to help ensure that you can play for as long as possible. Have you had issues with your battery while playing Pokémon Go? Do you have a battery saving trick that we missed and should know about? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Pokémon Go

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2 weeks ago

Adding a USB Security Key to your Google account is a good idea — and here's how to do it

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Two-factor authentication can protect your account, and a USB Security Key makes for a great backup if you lose your phone.

We've gone over why using two-factor authentication on your online accounts is a good idea, and showed you how to set it up for your Google account as well as how to get started with Authy if you use more than one phone or computer. But we're not done yet!

There is a third thing you can do to help secure your Google account, and this one also is a cover-your-butt backup in case you lose your phone — and the authenticator app you installed on it. We're talking about USB Security Keys. They're relatively cheap (starting at about $10), easy to set up and can get you into your Google account from any computer anywhere.

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2 weeks ago

Ask AC: What do I need to do when I change my SIM card?

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Going to change your SIM card? It's usually simple, but here are a couple of things to know before you look for a paperclip.

Todd from Belfast writes in:

"I travel a lot with my new job, and the company doesn't like us to use the issued phone for personal calls and texts. Is there anything I need to know when I'm changing the SIM card on my LG Android phone?"

Hi, Todd! Changing your SIM card is mostly a plug and play affair. Chances are that all you need to do is shut the phone off, pull out the old one and pop in the new. You really don't need to shut the phone off if you know how to manually refresh your network connection. But turning things off is usually easier because a reboot is quick and simple. When you reboot, it should just work. But there are a couple things you should know and keep in the back of your mind whilst you're plugging and playing.

  • Some phones, like the single-SIM version of the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5 and many others, share a single slot for both the SIM card and the SD card. When you pop out the tray, be ready for two little things that can get lost easier than you think to come out with it. If your phone is similar, and the SD card will pop out along with the SIM card, you need to either unmount the SD card or just shut the phone off. I suggest the latter.

  • Your phone may not have the right APN (Access Point Name) programmed in the system. If you can't get a connection, or can't send or receive texts, or your data speeds are 2009 slow you need to check out the settings. We have a complete walkthrough for that if you need it.

Read: What is an APN, and how do I change it?

  • Your phone needs to be unlocked. We don't mean the bootloader or root or Cyanogen or anything of the sort, we're talking about network unlocked. If you bought your phone direct from a carrier — especially in North America — it could be locked to their network. If this is the case, you'll not be able to add a new APN or change to another APN, and nothing is going to work. You can talk to your carrier or use a third-party unlocking service to "fix" it.

Read: The best unlocked phones

These are worst case scenario type things. Usually, just shutting your phone off and changing the SIM card will do the trick as long as the phone itself has support for the network you're trying to use. But it's always good to know the what-ifs!

Good luck, Todd, and enjoy your travels!

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3 weeks ago

How to save and screenshot Snapchat Snaps on Android

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How to save Snapchats on Android

How do I save my Snapchat snaps? This is how. (And it's about to get even easier.)

Snapchat has become a social media art form, so it's no surprise that people want to preserve their Snapchat artistry. Saving your snaps is a lot easier than you may think, so here's how to capture and save your snap without having to screenshot yourself.

Note: Snapchat recently announced Memories — a new way to save your Snaps and Stories. We'll update this post once the feature has rolled out.

How to save your Snapchats on Android

  1. Launch Snapchat from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Either take a new Snap, or open one you've already done.
  3. Tap the download button on the bottom left of your screen. It looks like an open box with a downward-facing arrow.

    Launch Snapchat from your home screen, tap the shutter button, then tap the download button.

A prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen letting you know that your video or picture has been saved to your Android phone's gallery.

How to save other people's Snapchats on Android

  1. Launch Snapchat from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Swipe right to your chat page.
  3. Tap on the snap to open it.
  4. Take a screenshot of the image or video. The way you take a screenshot will depend on your phone, but it's usually a combination of the power and volume buttons.

    Swipe right to your chat page, tap on the snap to open it, once it appears just screenshot it with your phone.

Fair warning

Every time you go to take a screenshot of a video or photo that's been sent to you, Snapchat will automatically inform the person on the other end that you saved their snap via a notification and a screenshot icon. While this may not seem like a huge thing, it actually makes saving other people's snaps nearly impossible.

Some people have taken to using screen recorders to save other people's snaps, while others will use a separate phone altogether to quickly take a photo of other people's Snapchat's.

Don't bother trying to delay the screenshot notification by turning off Wi-Fi or your mobile data either – the person on the other end will eventually get that screenshot notification no matter what.

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3 weeks ago

How to track your Android phone

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How to track an Android phone

How do I track my Android phone? There are quite a few tools at your disposal.

Worried about misplacing your phone or (worse yet) having it stolen? Ease your fears and set up a tracking system before your worst case scenario strikes. For best locating results, your phone should be connected to a Wi-Fi signal, but GPS and mobile networks will still manage to pinpoint a fairly accurate location. You must also have a Google account for virtually all of the tracking services available, whether they are built in or downloaded.

How to enable Android Device Manager on your phone

In newer Android phones, the Device Manager is already located conveniently in your Settings app, so there's no need for any extra downloads. This locating service has essentially amalgamated with Google to make finding your phone easier. There are just a couple of things you'll need to activate.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Security.
  3. Tap Device Administration.

    Launch Settings, tap Security, tap Device Administration

  4. Tap Android Device Manager so that a checkmark appears in the checkbox.
  5. Tap the back button in the top left corner of your screen.
  6. Tap the back button again in the top left corner to return to the main Settings menu.

    Tap Android Device Manager, tap top left arrow, tap left arrow again

  7. Tap Location in the main Settings menu.
  8. Tap the switch beside Location at the top of the screen so that it turns on.
  9. Tap Mode.

    Tap Location, tap the switch beside Location so that it turns on, tap Mode

  10. Tap High accuracy so the circle is filled in.
  11. Tap the back button in the top left corner.
  12. Tap Google Location History.

    Tap High accuracy, tap top left arrow, tap Google Location History

  13. Tap the switch beneath Location History so that it turns on.
  14. Tap the switch beside your device so that it turns on.

    Toggle on and make sure device is toggled on

How to locate your phone using Google

Should you happen to lose your phone, you can locate its whereabouts by logging into your Google account from any computer or even from another phone.

  1. Launch a web browser from a phone, tablet, or computer.
  2. Navigate to Google if it is not your default search engine or home page.
  3. Type find my phone android in the Google search bar.

    Launch web browser, navigate to google, type find my phone android

  4. Tap on Android Device Manager (usually the first option in the search).
  5. Enter your email address and password just as though you were checking your email.

    Tap the first Android Device Manger option, enter your email and password

When your phone is located, you have three options to choose from:

  • You can Ring your phone so that it makes noise (even if you had it on silent). This feature is helpful if the map indicates that the phone is within earshot and you simply can't see it.
  • You can Lock your phone so that the finder can't access your home screen. This feature is most helpful if your phone wasn't previously secured with a passcode or a fingerprint sensor.
  • You can Erase your phone. This is the best option if you know for certain that you aren't likely to retrieve your phone.

    Choose to ring, lock, or erase phone when located

If you are trying to locate your phone with Android Device Manager and it doesn't seem to be working, the most likely cause is that your phone is not currently connected to Wi-Fi or an available network. In this case, it's important to keep trying; the moment your phone does make that connection, it will appear on the map.

If you want to download a tracking app for fear of a missing phone crisis, there are a number of options to choose from, and we're highlighting some choice picks for you.

Family Locator

Family Locator app

The Family Locator app by Life360 is essentially a GPS tracker for phones but is especially useful for families with multiple phones in use. Your family members become a "Circle", the app's name for a closed group of people who consent to having their phones tracked in real time. Your family members will appear on live maps within the app as little icons so that you can see where everyone is at any given moment.

The app also allows you to chat with people in your Circle or broadcast a meeting time and location. And, of course, if a phone from within your Circle is ever lost or stolen, the app will track it on the map.

Download: Family Locator (Free with in-app purchases)

Cerberus anti theft

Cerberus anti theft app

This locator app from Cerberus offers an impressive array of remote control features if you find your phone has been lost or stolen. You'll still be able to lock, ring, or erase your phone, but you'll also be able to remotely access your camera or sound a loud alarm from your phone, even if it was on silent mode when you lost it.

The advanced features allow you to hide Cerberus in your app drawer so that it can't be detected if and when your phone is found or stolen. Your missing phone will transmit data to you via the Cerberus website or via SMS text from another phone with the Cerberus app installed.

Download: Cerberus anti theft (Free with in-app purchases)

Prey Anti Theft

Prey Anti Theft app

The Prey Anti Theft app is impressive in that three different devices can be protected through one download. You'll have the ability to sound an alarm from your missing phone, take screenshots if it's in use, and lock down the device the moment you realize it's missing.

Once you've downloaded the app, it will walk you through a series of tutorials to show you how to use your Prey Account to track your phone. The app itself is free and doesn't require additional purchases in order to access the high-end features.

Download: Prey Anti Theft (Free)

Lost Android

Lost Android app

Lost Android will allow you to have remote access to your missing phone via their website. Here, you'll be able to erase sensitive information if you fear that your phone may never be returned, or send messages to your phone in the hopes of someone finding and returning it.

Additionally, you can choose to remotely forward any calls you may be missing to another number and record a running list of any calls or messages made or photos taken with your phone.

Download: Lost Android (Free with in-app purchases)

Where's My Droid

Wheres My Droid app

The basic features of the Where's My Droid app allow you to ring your phone if you misplace it, locate it via GPS on Google Maps, and use a passcode to prevent unauthorized changes to apps on your Android phone. Stealth Mode also prevents anyone who finds your phone from seeing your incoming text messages; instead they'll see a customizable attention word that alerts them of the phone's lost or stolen status.

The Pro version of the app, which you pay to use, lets you remotely wipe data from your phone, use a landline to access your phone, and remotely lock the device.

Download: Where's My Droid (Free with in-app purchases)

The bottom line

If your phone is stolen or found and it's then factory reset, you will not be able to rely on any apps or services to find your it; a factory reset will wipe out any of the original data, accounts, or passwords that are needed to remotely find your Android phone.

As always, exercise caution when retrieving a lost or stolen phone. If you have any concerns about it being lost or stolen, it's best to set up and test your preferred tracking system as soon as you buy it, and contact the police. It can be a bit of extra front-end work to register some apps, but it will be more work trying to locate a missing phone if no safety nets are in place at all.

How do you track?

What app do you use to track your Android phone, if any at all? Let us know in the comments section below!

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3 weeks ago

I rooted my Nexus 5X for themes, and here's what I learned

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Believe it or not, I like simple.

That may not sound quite right for a themer, but I do. I well and truly do love simple. That's why I loved Motorola's phones and the Nexus approach to Android. But there are limits to what you can do in the simple sandbox, while your bootloader is locked and your phone is stock. You can replace your launcher, but you can't replace the blinding white in all the Google apps. You can't bring back that seek bar in the Play Music notification you've missed for two years. And you can't get into the nitty gritty details of choosing how your Android system looks and behaves. For that, you need complete control of your device.

And that's why I've gone back into the chaos theory that is root.

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3 weeks ago

How to install and set up Authy for two-factor authentication on your Android

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Using two-factor authentication is a great way to protect yourself and your data. It's also fairly easy to do once you get used to having an extra step when you first use an account on your Android. Using it on multiple devices is easy with Authy.

There are several great apps you can use on your phone to get a 2FA (that's the abbreviation for two-factor authentication and it's much easier to type) token when you need one, and if you have multiple things with a screen that may need access to 2FA codes, Authy is pretty hard to beat. After you set up an Authy account, you can install the app on all your Android devices and any computer that has the Chrome web browser and the Authy extension installed. The first thing you need to do is install the Authy app from Google Play on a phone with a working SIM card.

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3 weeks ago

How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

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How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

What to do when you've lost your Google contacts?

If you think you've somehow lost all of your Google contacts on your Android phone, don't sweat. The Google account associated with your Android device (that you likely set up when you set up your phone) keeps a handy backup for just such an occasion.

If your Google account is synced with your phone, then you should be able to restore a backup of all of your contacts as far back as 30 days. You'll just have to access and restore things via your computer. Here's how.

How to recover lost Google contacts for Android

You would've had to enter all of your contacts into your Gmail account for this to work. Google won't retrieve contents stored on your SIM card.

  1. Launch your web browser from the desktop, taskbar, Dock, or application folder of your computer.
  2. Navigate to your Gmail account.
  3. Click the Gmail dropdown in the upper lefthand corner of your screen.
  4. Click Contacts.

    Click Gmail. click Contacts

  5. Click More just under the search bar.
  6. Click Restore Contacts...

    Click More, click Restore Contacts...

  7. Click a time to restore to. If you click Custom you can set it to restore from as far back as 29 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes ago.
  8. Click Restore.

    Choose a time to restore to, click Restore

  9. Pick up your Android phone.
  10. Launch Settings from your home screen, the Notification Shade, or the app drawer.
  11. Tap Accounts.
  12. Tap Google.

    Launch Settings, tap Accounts, tap Google

  13. Tap the account that your contacts are associated with if you have more than one.
  14. Tap the menu button in the top righthand corner of your screen. It's three vertical dots.
  15. Tap Sync now.

    Tap your account, tap the menu button, tap Sync now

Your phone should now sync with your Google account and the Google contacts you thought were lost from your phone should now be right back where they belong.

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3 weeks ago

What is Project Fi, how does it work and why do I want it?

250

Google's own carrier offering definitely has some appeal.

If you're an Android enthusiast, you've likely already heard of Project Fi. But that doesn't mean you necessarily know everything about it, so we're here to give you the high-level look at the carrier option that comes directly from Google. Namely, just what the heck it is, how it works compared to other carriers and maybe a few reasons why you'd want to try it.

If you're interested in checking out phone service from Google, be sure to follow along with some of the high points below and get acquainted with Project Fi.

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3 weeks ago

How to back up your Android

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Losing your stuff is no fun. Neither is trying to get it all back on a new phone. Here are some tips to make it easier to keep everything important backed up.

We keep a lot of things on our phones. We have pictures and videos, details about the people we know, schedules and important dates and more. Many of us depend on our phones to help keep track of a good part of our daily lives. With all this stuff stored in one portable place, it can be a disaster if we lose it all. Some of us have been there — our phones were lost or stolen or broken. It's not fun to try and sort it all out on a new phone, Not fun at all. That's why it's important to try and copy everything in another place and keep a backup of your important data.

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3 weeks ago

How to turn off Facebook Live notifications

11

We've all seen what fireworks look like. This Fourth of July, do yourself a favor and disable Facebook Live notifications.

Good news, everyone! Facebook has made it easier than ever to broadcast what you're doing, live. Bad news, everyone! Facebook has made it easier than ever to broadcast what you're doing, live. And the thing about live video is that it's pointless if nobody's watching. So Facebook makes sure that you get a notification every damn time one of your friends (or a page that you follow) goes live.

Sometimes that's great! Especially when it's the Android Central Facebook page that's doing the streaming, right?

Other times, it's downright awful. Holidays such as the Fourth of July here in the U.S. are one of those times. We've all seen fireworks before. Many of us will be out watching them, live. (Like, in-person.) So the last thing we need is 200 notifications of other people broadcasting their own fireworks experiences over relatively low resolution.

(Note that this only works from the full Facebook site, not m.facebook.com (which your phone will try to send you to), or from within the Facebook app.)

Here's how to to turn off Facebook Live notifications:

  1. Go to your Facebook settings. Drill down to Settings>Notifications>On Facebook.
  2. Now choose "Edit." (Note: This link should take you directly.)
  3. Toggle "Live Videos" to OFF.

Note that this only works from the full Facebook site, not m.facebook.com (which your phone will try to send you to), or from within the Facebook app.

Alternatively, if you just want to kill Facebook Live notifications from a single person or page, you can do so from within the notifications themselves. Just long-press on the person you want to squelch, and then choose whether to dismiss that single notification, or to turn off all notifications of live videos from that person.

Unless you absolutely hate any use of Facebook Live, we might suggest not turning off these notifications permanently. While they might get annoying when you've got groups of friends all showing the same thing (and the same thing that you yourself might be doing), you might well miss something interesting other times.

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3 weeks ago

How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

15
How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

How do I back up my photos and video to my computer?

You have all these awesome photos and video on your phone, but what happens when you decide to buy a new phone or your storage becomes too full to take any more? Back it all up to your computer or the cloud!

There are a couple incredibly easy-to-use apps that let you store your photos and videos in the cloud or download them to keep forever.

How to back up your photos and videos to the cloud or your computer using Google Photos

Google Photos now comes standard on many an Android phone and it's a great way to store photos on your phone or to seamlessly upload them to Google Drive. If you don't have it, it's a free download in the Google Play Store.

Once it's downloaded, you just have to allow Google Photos access to your photo and video library, tap Backup and Sync and all of the photos and video on your phone will appear for you back up, share, and even edit!

How to back up your photos and video to the cloud using Google Photos

  1. Launch Google Photos from your home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap the photo you'd like to upload to Google Drive or tap and hold a photo and select multiple photos to upload.
  3. Tap the share button at the top of the screen. It's a right-facing 'V' with dots on each point.
  4. Tap Save to Drive.

    Tap the photos you would like to back up, tap the share button, tap Save to Drive

  5. Tap Account to choose which Google account's Google Drive you want to save to.
  6. Tap Folder to select the folder within that Google Drive that you'd like to save to.
  7. Tap the folder you'd like to save to and tap Select Folder in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.
  8. Tap Save in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

    Tap account to select a Google account, tap Folder to select a folder, tap the folder you want to save to, tap Select folder, tap Save

Your photos will then be uploaded to that location in your Google Drive and you'll receive a notification when it's complete.

Google Drive gives you 15GB of storage for free, so depending on the size of the photos and video you're saving, you'll likely be able to save thousands of photos and hundreds of videos.

How to back up your photos and videos to your computer using Google Drive

Once you've saved your photos to Google Drive via Google Photos, you can download them to just about any device with an internet connection. Here's how to save them to your computer.

  1. Launch your web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to your Google Drive.
  3. Click the folder or photo in the list that you'd like to download.
  4. Click the more button on the upper right of your screen. It looks like three vertical dots.
  5. Click Download.

    Click the photos and video you would like to download from Google Drive, click the more button in the upper right of your screen, click Download

The photo(s) or video will now save to the downloads folder on your computer. You can do this with as many items as your computer's hard drive will hold. It may then be a good idea to transfer them to an external hard drive for safekeeping.

How to back up photos and video to the cloud or your computer using Dropbox

Dropbox is a free app that gives you up to 2GB of online storage for free. You can't go wrong with double-free! All you need to do is create an account, download the app on your phone and on your computer, and you're ready to start backing up your photos and video to both the cloud and your computer.

How to back up photos and video to the cloud using Dropbox

You'll first need to sign up for and create an account with Dropbox on your computer.

  1. Launch your web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to Dropbox.com.
  3. Click create an account.
  4. Enter your first name, last name, and email address into the fields. You can also choose to Sign up with Google.
  5. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms and conditions.

    Click create an account, enter your information, and click the checkbox to agree to the Dropbox terms and conditions

  6. Click Create an account.
  7. Click the Free Download button to install Dropbox on your computer.

    Click Create an account, click the Free Download button

Next, you'll want to install and set up Dropbox on your Android phone if it isn't already. Then you can upload photos and video until your folder is full! Here's how:

  1. Download the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch Dropbox from your home screen or the app drawer.
  3. Tap Sign in.
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Sign in.

    Tap Sign In, enter your email address and password, tap Sign In

  6. Tap the add button. It's the plus sign in the blue circle.
  7. Tap Upload photos or videos.
  8. Tap the photo(s) and video you'd like to upload to Dropbox.
  9. Tap Upload in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.

    tap the add button, tap Upload photos and videos, tap the photos and video you want to upload to Dropbox, tap Upload

Your photos and video will now be uploaded to your Dropbox folder, which you can access from just about any device with an internet connection.

How to backup photos and video to your computer using Dropbox

  1. Launch the Dropbox app on your computer or visit dropbox.com.
  2. Sign in if you're not signed in automatically.
  3. Click the photo or video you'd like to download to your computer.
  4. Click Download in the top righthand corner of your screen.

    Click the photo or video you would like to download, click Download

The photo(s) and video will now appear in your downloads folder on your computer. Now they're yours to do with as you like! If you'd really like to save them, it's probably a good idea to back them up again to an external hard drive.

If you're using the Dropbox app on your computer, you can just open the file and save it like you would any other document.

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3 weeks ago

How to set the default keyboard on your Android phone

54
How to set default keyboard on your Android phone

Setting up a default keyboard on your Android phone is a lot easier than you think!

One amazing thing about Android phones is the plethora of customization options you have, including the option to change keyboards. There are a bunch of great keyboard apps for Android to choose from, so find the one that feels right for you.

We'll be working with the SwiftKey keyboard today to show you how to set a default keyboard on your Android phone, but the process is the same no matter which keyboard app you choose .

  1. Download and install new keyboard.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Find and tap Languages and input. It should be under the Personal submenu.

  4. Tap on current keyboard under Keyboard & input methods.
  5. Tap on choose keyboards.
  6. Tap on the SwiftKey keyboard you would like to set as default.

  7. Read the Attention prompt that comes up on screen and tap OK if you wish to continue.
  8. Make sure the switch beside the keyboard has changed from gray to green.
  9. Go back to the main language & input screen.

  10. Tap on current keyboard again.
  11. Select the SwiftKey keyboard. This will save automatically.
  12. Make sure the keyboard is working by writing a quick message to someone.

Enjoy using your new third-party keyboard on your Andriod phone! If for any reason you want to go back to the stock keyboard or want to try out a different keyboard, it's the exact same process

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3 weeks ago

How to use LG Bridge with your LG phone

25
How to use LG Bridge with your LG phone

How do I use LG Bridge with my LG phone?

LG Bridge is software available for Windows PC or Mac OS that lets you backup, restore, and update your LG phone, and transfer files wirelessly between computer and LG phone. It's easy to set up and easy to use. Here's all you need to know about using LG Bridge with your LG phone.

How to download and install LG Bridge on your computer

The following steps will get you and your computer prepared for everything LG Bridge has to offer, including backups, restorations, file transfers, and software updates.

  1. Navigate to the LG Bridge help page from your computer's web browser.
  2. Click the download link beside either Windows PC or Mac OS depending on what you use. In this case we chose Windows PC. The file will download.
  3. Click LGBridge_Setup.exe in your web browser's download bar.

    Click the download link beside either Windows PC or Mac OS. Click LGBridge_Setup.exe.

  4. Click Next.
  5. Click the checkbox beside I agree to all of the terms below.

    Click Next. Click the checkbox beside I agree to the terms below.

  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Install.

    Click Next. Click Install.

  8. Click Next when the install is complete.
  9. Click Finish.

    Click Next. Click Finish.

  10. Launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu.
  11. Click LG AirDrive in the top menu.
  12. Click Sign in with Google or Sign in with a different account if you don't have a Google account. In this case we chose to sign in with Google.

    Click LG AirDrive. Click Sign in with Google or Sign in with a different account.

  13. Type your email address.
  14. Click Next.

    Type your email address. Click Next.

  15. Type your password.
  16. Click Sign in.

    Type your password. Click Sign in.

  17. Click Allow.
  18. Set your birth date.

    Click Allow. Set your birth date.

  19. Click Save.
  20. Click the circle beside Terms of Use so that a checkmark appears.

    Click Save. Click the circle beside Terms of Use.

  21. Click Agree.
  22. Click OK.

    Click Agree. Click OK.

How to back up your LG phone using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.

    Launch LG Bridge. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.

  8. Click Back up.
  9. Click the checkboxes beside anything you want to back up.

    Click Back up. Click the checkboxes beside anything you want to back up.

  10. Click Start when you are ready to back up your phone.
  11. Click OK. Your phone will begin the back up process.

    Click Start when you're ready to back up your phone. Click OK.

How to restore your LG phone using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect automatically to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  8. Click Restore.

    Click LG Backup in the top menu of the LG Bridge window. Click Restore.

  9. Click the backup that you'd like use to restore your phone.
  10. Click Next. Your files will be prepared for a restoration.

    Click a backup with which you'd like to restore your phone. Click Next.

  11. Click Start.
  12. Click OK. Your files will be restored.

    Click Start. Click OK.

How to update your LG phone's software using LG Bridge

  1. Connect your LG phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the home screen.
  3. Tap the USB notification.

    Swipe down from the top of the home screen. Tap the USB notification.

  4. Tap File transfer.
  5. Tap Just once. Your phone will connect to your computer through LG Bridge.

    Tap File transfer. Tap Just once.

  6. On your computer launch LG Bridge from your desktop or Start menu. Your phone will connect automatically to your computer through LG Bridge.
  7. Click Software update in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  8. Click Software update. LG Bridge will automatically check the software version of your phone.

    Click Software update in the top menu of the LG Bridge window. Click Software update.

Our phone is up to date so we unfortunately can't show you any further steps. If your phone is out of date, just follow the on-screen steps to update your software.

How to wirelessly transfer files between your LG Phone and computer using LG Bridge

Make sure LG Bridge is running on your computer before beginning these steps. Also note that LG AirDrive, the feature that lets you transfer files wirelessly, isn't available on all LG phones and cannot be downloaded.

  1. On your LG phone tap the Settings icon on your home screen or in the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Networks tab.
  3. Tap Share & connect.

    Tap the Networks tab. Tap Share and connect.

  4. Swipe up in the Share & connect menu.
  5. Tap LG AirDrive.
  6. Tap Sign in.

    Swipe up in the Share and connect menu. Tap LG AirDrive. Tap Sign in.

  7. Tap Sign in with Google or Sign in with another account depending on what you signed in with in LG Bridge on your computer. In this case we sign in with Google.
  8. Tap Allow.
  9. Tap your account or Add account if your account is not listed. In this case we chose Add account.

    Tap Sign in with Google or Sign in with another account. Tap Allow. Tap your account or Add account.

  10. Enter your email address.
  11. Tap Next.
  12. Type your password.

    Enter your email address. Tap Next. Type your password.

  13. Tap Next.
  14. Tap Accept.

    Tap Next. Tap Accept.

  15. On your computer click LG AirDrive in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.
  16. Click Connect. Your computer will search for your phone and will connect automatically.

    Click LG AirDrive in the top menu of the LG Bridge window.Click Connect.

  17. Click View files. A new window will open.
  18. Double-click Internal storage.

    Click View files. Double-click Internal storage.

You can now drag and drop files between your computer and your phone.

Your connections

What do you use to back up, restore, and update your LG phone? Will you use LG Bridge now that it's been explained here? Let us know in the comments section below!

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3 weeks ago

How to back up your music files to your computer or online storage

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How to back up your music files to your computer or online storage

How do I transfer music from my Android phone to my computer?

If you have all your beloved music on your Android phone, then it's probably a good idea to back it up, especially if you plan on buying a new phone. You can choose to back up your music to a computer or you can back it up to the cloud so that you can access it from virtually any device (pun intended).

We have a few apps that we like to use to make backing up music easier. Here's how to back up your music (just in case).

How to back up your music files to online storage

Backing up your music to the cloud is the first logical step if you want to make sure that if your phone craps out, your music doesn't go down the toilet with it. There are two awesome apps you can use that your music files can follow you wherever you go.

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is where it's at when it comes to file storage. You get 15GB of free storage space! Depending on file sizes, 15GB is nearly 4,000 songs. Just like Dropbox, Google Drive is ubiquitous; if you have a device with an internet connection, you can access your Google Drive, thanks to the cloud. If you have a Gmail account, then you have Google Drive.

You can listen to the music you upload right in Google Drive or you can download it for offline listening and you bet your sweet patoot that you can share anything and everything via a link to that file or folder, even with non-Google users (the heathens!).

If your Android phone didn't come with Google Drive, it's a free download on the Google Play Store.

To set it up, you just sign in with your Gmail address and password. From there, you just tap the big ol' + button to upload files or folders. To upload music, just choose Audio from the list of options. You can upload as many songs as you'd like (or your 15GB limit will allow). If your Google Drive starts to fill up, just download files to your computer and transfer them to an external hard drive, if that's your fancy.

To access Google Drive on your computer, just hit up drive.google.com and sign in. You'll walked through a simple setup process and then you'll be ready to go. Google Drive is seamless, so you can enjoy your favorite music on just about any device.

Dropbox

Dropbox

A basic Dropbox account is free and comes with 2GB of storage. All you need to sign up is an email address and a pocket full of dreams (pocket full of dreams is optional). Visit Dropbox.com, enter your name, email and a password and you're on your way.

2GB isn't exactly a ton of storage, so you may want to download music to your computer as you transfer more into your Dropbox folder.

Here's how to intstall Dropbox on your computer:

  1. Launch your web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to Dropbox.com.
  3. Click create an account.
  4. Enter your first name, last name, and email address into the fields. You can also choose to Sign up with Google.
  5. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms and conditions.

    Click create an account, enter your information, click to agree to the terms and conditions

  6. Click Create an account.
  7. Click the Free Download button to install Dropbox on your computer.

    Click Create an account, click Free Download

Next, you'll want to install and set up Dropbox on your Android phone if it isn't already. Here's how:

  1. Download the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch Dropbox from your home screen or the app drawer.
  3. Tap Sign in.
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Sign in.

    Tap Sign in, enter your email address and password, tap Sign in

You can tap Not Now through the "Set up Dropbox on your computer" stuff, since you've already done that.

Now when you want to upload files, create folders, take photos to upload, and a lot more, you just press the big + button. To add your music to your Dropbox folder, just select Audio from the list of options that pops up.

Once your music is in the cloud, you'll be able to access it from any device that has Dropbox on it and, even better, you'll be able to share it all with friends, even those without Dropbox! They'll simply receive a link and will have full access to the music you've shared.

Dropbox isn't just for music; you can upload video, photos, text files, and just about everything in between. It certainly beats the hell out of having to connect a USB cable from your computer to your phone and you can easily make files available offline by downloading them from your Dropbox folder.

Android File Transfer

Android File Transfer

If you're a Mac user and a cloud hater, you have a somewhat easier solution when it comes to getting music from your Android phone onto your computer: Android File Transfer. It's not the greatest app in the world, but it gets the job done.

There isn't much to the setup process; you just download it, install it, and that's it. When you connect your Android phone to your Mac via USB, Android File Transfer will open automatically. You may have to tap Allow on your phone before you're able to access its contents on your Mac.

Once you do have access, you'll be able to access all of the files that are stored on your Android phone, as well as any that are stored on your microSD card, if you use one. From there, you can just drag and drop music at will into folders on your computer . The best part is that you can drag out entire folders, instead of having to tap, hold, and select all, like you do on your phone.

One caveat: do not try to move too much music at once. One of the reasons Android File Transfer isn't so great is that it seems to just crap out if you overload it. When transferring music, do so in smaller batches under 1GB. Otherwise, you might get halfway through transferring a batch and it'll just stop and you'll have to dig around and figure out exactly where it stopped and where to start again.

It may be a bit of a pain in the hiney, but if you want music from your Android phone on your Mac and you refuse to use a cloud-based service, then it's the only way.

Windows users have it even easier

If you're using a computer running Microsoft Windows (version 7 or later) all you need to do is plug in your phone to a USB port using the supplied cable. A regular Windows Explorer window will open with your phone's contents right there for the taking.

The bottom line

Using a cloud-based service to transfer music from your Android phone to your computer is definitely the best practice since you can access your music from just about any device with an internet connection and you can download your tunes for offline listening.

The sharing feature is also a great reason to use Google Drive or Dropbox since most songs are too large to email normally and the folks you share with can choose to download the music you send or play it right there in the Google Drive or Dropbox link.

If you're tinfoil and fear the cloud and have a Mac, then use Android File Transfer. But only if you have to.

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