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1 month ago

The first things to do when you get a new Android phone

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What's in the box?

A few tips to make the first hours easier ... and more fun.

Setting up a new Android can be fun. It can also be easy — just follow the setup application when you first start the phone. This will get you where you need to be with little or no fuss. The folks making our phones have really worked out ways to make setup easy and frustration-free.

Of course, you don't have to follow the manufacturer setup process and can do things in your own order. In the end, you'll have everything you want working the way you want. That's what Android is about — flexibility. If you're a power-user, or just want to jump in and start using your new gadget without wading through the set up process, we've assembled a guide to get you started. We might know a thing or two about setting up phones.

In either case, these tips and tricks are a great resource for everyone.

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1 month ago

How to use Easy Mode on the Galaxy S6

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Easy Mode

If the Samsung Galaxy S6 is simply too much phone, you can scale things back (and make them bigger!) with Easy Mode.

Not everyone wants a zillion features on their phone. And even though Samsung has sort of streamlined TouchWiz in the Galaxy S6 (mostly by rearranging things or removing some options altogether), there's still a lot going on here. Maybe too much for you.

So if the default user experience is overwhelming, there are options. And one is the built-in Easy Mode. Here's how to use it:

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1 month ago

How to improve your HTC One M9's battery life

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HTC One M9 battery

A few simple tips and tricks to help your M9 last longer

Despite boasting a slightly higher-capacity battery than its predecessor, the HTC One M9 hasn't brought about a huge jump in battery life compared to the M8. There's still a lot of power-hungry hardware to run, and as such the M9 is good for about a day of use most of the time. Like most phones, more intensive use might have you reaching for your charging cable before the end of the day.

So how can you get more out of your M9's fixed battery, and solve any battery drain issues you might be experiencing? We've got a few tips for you after the break.

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1 month ago

How to turn off Briefing on the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Samsung has changed a lot of the software on the Galaxy S6, but it kept the "Briefing" screen — but you can turn it off.

Whether you know it as My Magazine or the newer name Briefing, this Flipboard-powered news reader is again turned on by default as the left-of-main home screen on your Galaxy S6. While it may be a decent replacement for opening a dedicated news reading app for some, chances are not everyone wants to have it loaded up and would prefer to have their own content there. We'll show you how to turn off Briefing and reclaim that home screen space.

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1 month ago

The ultimate guide to Android photography

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Android Photography

All you need to know about using the camera on your Android in one place.

For many people, the camera is one of the deciding factors when buying a new phone. Some phones have better cameras than others, but chances are the Android you have now (as well as the next one you buy) is capable of taking very nice pictures, once you learn a bit about how it works and ways to tweak the performance.

We have a full Android Photography hub filled with great articles about pictures and taking them with your Android, but we also wanted to group the best tips and tricks to get the most out of your camera in one place. You've found that place.

Have a look through this great set of tips — from beginner to expert — and get on the path to taking better pictures with your Android.

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1 month ago

How to get better battery life on the Moto X (2014)

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The Moto X's battery is on the smaller side, but it can still get the job done.

The Moto X will get you through the day if you handle it well, but after one too many close calls rushing for your charger when that warning tone plays its grating notes, you may be wondering how you can keep your phone alive just a little longer to get you through the day. Maybe after months of hard usage, your Moto X just isn't quite keeping a charge as long as it used to. While quick-charging can help get your Moto X energized enough to play for a few hours quickly, here's what you can do to keep that battery going.

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1 month ago

How to customize the on-screen navigation buttons on the HTC One M9

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HTC One M9 navigation buttons

If back, home and multitasking just aren't enough for you on the HTC One M9, the new Sense 7 gives you the option to add a fourth button.

The ability to add and rearrange the on-screen navigation buttons on an Android smartphone isn't exactly new — but it is new to Sense 7 on the HTC One M9. And it takes just a few taps to get the job done. Here's how it works:

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1 month ago

Where's the Flashlight app on the HTC One M9?

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One of the most-used applications on any smartphone isn't where it used to be. But, yes, the flashlight lives.

If you've noticed something missing from the app drawer on the new HTC One M9 thus far, you're not alone. And it's one of those apps that you might well not see is missing until you absolutely need it. So where's the M9 flashlight?

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1 month ago

How to set up the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

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Samsung Galaxy S6

The Galaxy S6 has a pretty extensive setup process, but it accomplishes a lot the first time you turn your phone on.

While it sure would be nice for every phone to have the same exact setup process when you first turn it on, that just isn't the case. Even within manufacturers, new versions of software usually bring a new setup process, and while they may be familiar they aren't always the same. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge guide you through the process pretty smoothly and get a lot done in just a few steps — let us walk you through it.

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1 month ago

How to set up the HTC One M9

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HTC One M9 setup

New to smartphones? Just want a sneak peek at what to expect? Here's how to set up your new HTC One M9.

If you're a smartphone veteran, setting up a new phone is like putting on pair of shoes. Or socks. Or anything you do over and over. But if you're new to smartphones, or new to HTC smartphones, or just want a detailed look at what you'll be agreeing to when you turn on the HTC One M9 for the first time, this post is for you.

Here's a quick walkthrough of the basic setup process for the M9. It'll vary a little as carrier get their hands on things, but this will give you the broad strokes.

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1 month ago

BoomSound settings on the HTC One M9

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HTC BoomSound is more than just a switch — it's worth getting to grips with the various sound modes on the HTC One M9.

BoomSound, HTC's audio enhancement setup, is no longer the straight on-off toggle. On the HTC One M9, BoomSound comes enhanced with Dolby Audio processing tricks, and with it a handful of different sound modes to get to grips with, whether you're listening using headphones or the device's thunderous front-facing speakers.

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1 month ago

Moto X (2014) camera tips and tricks

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Moto X camera

The Moto X's camera is more than adequate if you know your way around it.

Motorola's original Moto X didn't have the greatest camera in the world. The 2014 model is a marked improvement, but still not as big or powerful as newer models like the Samsung Galaxy S6. It's a 13-megapixel shooter, and it's got a camera app that brings with it some of our favorite camera features and not a whole lot else. And we're going to show you how to make the most of that camera when you just have to get a shot — or a selfie — right now.

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1 month ago

How to pin (and unpin) apps in the Sense Home Widget

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HTC One M9 Sense 7 app pinning

The Sense Home Widget on the HTC One M9 is trying its hardest. It's taking a look at where you are, when you're there and what apps you're using and then surfacing them to the home screen in its predictive, adaptive widget. And it does OK. But sometimes you might want to make sure an app stays put, say, while you're at home versus on the road. And for that there's "pinning."

And this is how you pin an app to the home screen in Sense 7.

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1 month ago

How to enable Dropbox integration into the file manager on your Chromebook

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Dropbox on Chromebook

Yo dawg, we heard you liked cloud storage on your Chromebook so we put more cloud in your cloud.

Well, we didn't do it of course, but Chrome developer Yoichiro Tanaka has found a way to integrate all of your Dropbox into the file manager app on your Chromebook. Or Chromebox. Or that crazy thing that runs Chrome OS from LG that I secretly want.

The good news is that it works very well, even at version one. The great news is that it's super-easy to install and use. We like easy. You like easy. Have a look and see just how easy it is.

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1 month ago

The Chromebook Help app: Why you can safely give your parent a Chromebook

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Chromebooks are supposed to be 'made for everyone', but that doesn't mean it doesn't take adjusting to.

Just as there's some adjustment to using any new computer — even one with the same operating system — Chromebooks take a little fresh thinking and a little time to get the hang of for most users. While it may not seem like much of a difference to you, if you're getting ready to give a Chromebook to a friend of family member who isn't a huge fan of changes in their technology, you can expect things to get a little bumpy in those first days and weeks while they're essentially re-learning how to use a computer. And while you may not be able to take every single call from them about how to do this or that, there is someone who is there all the time to help.

It's called the Chromebook Help app, and it's here to — you got it — help.

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