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3 weeks ago

How to back up the data on your Galaxy Note 7 before returning it for recall

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You'll need to switch phones when you turn in your recalled Note 7, but you can still keep your stuff.

If you're going to be taking advantage of Samsung's voluntary recall for the Note 7 (and you should) you probably want to keep a few things stored on it. Besides the obvious — things like your address book or email — you likely have pictures, music, and other important stuff on the thing. You don't have to lose it when you get a new phone.

The first thing to remember is that your Note 7 runs Android with Google's services. That means a lot of your data can be backed up to your Google account in the cloud. This is how Android was designed to work — it's a cloud-based operating system.

Email, contacts, and calendar

If you're using Gmail, your email is already backed up. Google's Contacts and Calendar work the same way. If you are signed into any of these services and use them, you can pick up right where you left off on any device, anywhere by signing in with the same account.

If you're using another online-based email service, like Yahoo! or Microsoft's Outlook.com, it sill works the same way. The data isn't tied to your Google account, of course, but once you sign back in with the same login you'll have access to everything again. This is true for email, address book, and calendar with most online services.

If you're syncing a POP email account (like the one from your internet provider) you will need to check the settings on your email account itself to see how message syncing is done. The people who provide you the service can help if you have any questions. For any local (read: not online) address book or calendar apps, you'll need to check the app settings and see if there is an export feature.

Finally, if you have your work email, contacts and calendar on your Note 7 you need to ask your friendly IT person what to do.

Your media

Chances are you are using the Note 7 camera to take a picture or two, and you want to keep them. You might have a handful of music files and a video or two on there as well. Luckily, backing media files up is easy.

You can store pictures on your computer and transfer them via a USB cable, or you can store them in the cloud. If you were to ask my recommendation, I'd point you towards Google Photos. But there are other services like Dropbox that work, too.

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

If you have a computer, backing photos up is easy. There's an advantage to using your own local storage to keep photos — there is no image loss or resizing involved. Hit the link above to see all your options and how to get started.

Music files work mostly the same way. Services like Google Play Music or Amazon Music let you use the cloud, or you can plug into your computer and copy between phone and PC at will. One advantage of using a cloud service is being able to stream your songs from any device, but the files may take a hit on quality. If your music is stored in a lossless format or a very high bitrate Mp3 make sure to keep a copy on your computer. Click the link below to see your options and how they work.

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

Samsung Smart Switch

If you're going to stick with the Note 7 or use any other Samsung Galaxy phone, you can use a service from Samsung called Smart Switch.

Using the cable that came in your box (and the adapter if you need it) you can copy all the data from all your apps, the apps themselves, all your accounts and all of your media files / SD card content from your Note 7 to a computer or another Galaxy phone. The program is easy to use and does a pretty good job.

How to use Samsung Smart Switch to back up your Galaxy phone

There are a couple things to keep in mind here.

  • Smart Switch is only an option if the phone you're putting the data on is a Samsung Galaxy phone. Smart Switch can pull the data off of any Android or iOS phone, but it can only copy it back to a Galaxy model.
  • If you're going to be using a really old Galaxy phone — something like the Galaxy S3 or Note 2 — you might have issues with apps and their data. Things have changed a lot in the past couple of years.
  • Any loaner you get from your carrier might not be compatible with Smart Switch. Your carrier isn't going to be handing out brand new Samsung phones like candy. Expect something that they wouldn't care about losing.

And remember — if you're returning your phone through your carrier or a Samsung store, they can help make sure you keep everything that's yours and help you get it on a new phone. It's OK to ask for help!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 weeks ago

How your phone can help before and during a hurricane

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Hurricane season is upon us, and your smartphone is now one of the most important tools in your preparedness kit.

You don't want to be caught unawares when a hurricane hits, and as we've learned recently, they can arrive unexpectedly, and in unexpected places. There's no better time than now to bone up on some of the best ways to keep current on what's out there, and how to stay safe if a storm comes your way.

And just like with everything else, our smartphones now play an integral part with that.

I've lived on the Gulf Coast my entire life. I've been through storms. God willing, I'll never go through another. But either way, I'll be ready. Let's take a look at a few ways you can be, too.

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3 weeks ago

Has my Galaxy Note 7 been recalled?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7

How do I know if my Note 7 has been recalled?

When it comes to product recalls, there's usually a process for finding out just which units have been recalled. In the case of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung has announced that every phone sold has been recalled, removing any questions you may have had as to whether or not your phone is headed back to the manufacturer.

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3 weeks ago

How to download and manage apps from the Google Play Store

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How do I download and manage apps and games through the Google Play Store? {.intro}

Whether this is your first smartphone or just your first using Android, there's a lot to love here, and it all starts with finding some apps to fill that new phone (or tablet) with. Google Play is the app store that Google runs, and it's also an important piece of Android's security as it scans apps before and after they're downloaded and monitors them for unusual activity. It can be a bit overwhelming when you first open up Google Play, but don't worry, we're here to help you get started!

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3 weeks ago

How to disable DT Ignite bloatware

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How do I get DT Ignite bloatware off of my phone?

If you own a Verizon HTC 10 and noticed it's felt a bit slower after the latest software update, the issue might be related to a pesky piece of bloatware called DT Ignite. Typically hidden from the list of installed apps by default, DT Ignite is used by a bunch of carriers install on Android devices. [AC's own Jerry Hildebrand wrote a primer on the bloatware that you should definitely read.

In a nutshell, DT Ignite is basically a system program that runs in the background and allows carriers to advertise and install other apps on your carrier-branded phone. Fortunately, it can be disabled.

How to disable DT Ignite

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the notification shade.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap Apps (might be labelled Applications or Applications manager depending on the phone you're using). NOTE: Some phones may show DT Ignite as an installed app, while others will lump it in with the system apps. See steps 4 and 5 if you cannot locate DT Ignite in the Apps settings.

  4. Tap the menu button in the top right corner. It should look like three dots or lines.
  5. Tap Show system. This will reveal all hidden system apps running in the background.

  6. Find and tap on DT Ignite.
  7. Tap Disable.

And that's it!

AC has confirmed that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Rogers, America Movi, Vodaphone and Deutsche Telekom sell phones with DT Ignite installed, but not every phone they sell will include it.

Your phone might also have a DT Ignite folder on the storage. Once you disable the app and uninstall anything it downloaded, you can safely delete this folder.

HTC 10

HTC Best Buy Verizon Sprint

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4 weeks ago

How to use Google Cast in Chrome

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Google Cast is now integrated into Chrome, making it easier to stream content to Cast-aware devices.

After two years, the Google Cast protocol has shed its beta tag and is now fully integrated into Chrome. Google launched the Cast extension as a way of connecting Chromecasts and Cast-enabled Android TVs to Chrome, but with today's native integration you no longer need the extension to stream content from the browser to other devices.

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4 weeks ago

How to set up the iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7

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How do I set up the iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7?

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 is one of the best phones of the year. Aside from its great design and incredible feature set, it has one big thing that sets it apart: an iris scanner.

Here's what it is, and how to set it up.

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4 weeks ago

How to take better photos with a Galaxy phone

9

How do I take amazing photos with my Galaxy phone?

Shooting phenomenal photographs with your DSLR can be relatively easy, but getting the same stunning quality and clarity with your smartphone is a bit more of a challenge.

Luckily there are some surefire ways to get high-quality photographs with your Galaxy phone. Here are a couple of things to try the next time you're lining up a shot to capture that picture-perfect moment!

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4 weeks ago

Pokémon Go: Common problems and fixes!

 Common problems and fixes

Pokémon Go is shockingly popular. But it's not the most stable app at the moment.

With tens of millions of players hitting the game, there are bound to be a few issues — particularly when the game relies on your phone's internet and GPS connections, as well as Niantic's servers.

Rather than have you track down things all over trying to fix issues, we've rounded up common Pokémon Go problems, and some solutions to fix them!

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1 month ago

How to enable Night Mode on your Nexus in Android 7.0 Nougat

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How do I enable Night Mode in Android 7.0 Nougat on a Nexus device?

During the Android 7.0 Nougat Developer Preview, Google experimented with a system-wide Night Mode that offered a number of improvements to compatible Nexus phones to allow them to work better at night and in other low-light situations. Unfortunately for tinkerers (but completely understandable for a variety of reasons), that mode was hidden in the run-up to Nougat's release — but with a little help you can get at least some of those features back.

While the overall dark theme is not available, Nexus devices running Nougat (5X, 6, 6P, 9, Pixel C) can activate a handy blue light filter similar to the one found on the Galaxy Note 7. Here's how.

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1 month ago

How to download and install MIUI 8 on the Redmi Note 3

15

With an OTA update underway, installing MIUI 8 on the Redmi Note 3 is as easy as it gets.

Xiaomi started rolling out the stable MIUI 8 ROM on August 23, seeding the OTA update to the Mi 4i and Redmi Note. The update is now making its way to the Redmi Note 3. If you're rocking the budget handset, it's time to make the switch to MIUI 8.

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1 month ago

How to get Android 7.0 Nougat on your Nexus right now

147

How do I get Android 7.0 Nougat on your Nexus phone right now?

Android 7.0 Nougat is officially available for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Pixel C (and the General Mobile 4G Android One), but your phone may not get the OTA (over-the-air) update for another couple of weeks. If you don't have a Nexus, you can get a feel for when (or if) your phone will get Nougat based on our expectations.

If you know your way around a command line, you can skip the waiting game by downloading the factory image for your particular device and flashing it on top of your software. But there are some caveats you need to know about when flashing a factory image, so read on to find out what you need to know.

Updated on August 26 with new information and latest links to OTA files.

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1 month ago

How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7 after using Secure Folder

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How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's Secure Folder gets in the way of Google's launcher.

Google Now Launcher is one of the most popular third-party launchers out there, but it unfortunately doesn't always play nicely with the Galaxy Note 7. It turns out that Samsung's KNOX security platform causes issues with Google Now Launcher when both are in use. That actually shouldn't be a surprise if you've used the Galaxy S7, Note 5 or S6, either — this longstanding issue has annoyed plenty of people over multiple generations of phones.

We have a couple of tips to hopefully get them both working together, though. Let us show you what you can do about it.

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1 month ago

How to take better photos with your Android phone

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How to take better photos with your Android phone

Take your Android photography to the next level with these tips and tricks for capturing masterpieces with your smartphone.

Many Android phones come with a high-quality camera designed to capture your subject's tiniest details and features, and while they're not technically on the same level as a DSLR camera, you can still take the perfect picture with just your phone if you know how to use it. Even if you're a beginner, you can quickly learn how to capture amazing photos with your Android phone (and if you actually are a beginner, be sure to check out our top 10 Android photography tips for beginners!)

Here are some helpful tricks to help you take better photos with your Android device!

Explore your camera settings

Get acquainted with your phone and all the camera settings before you start shooting, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable capturing your shots!

While shooting from your phone's stock camera is great for 99.9% of pictures — especially if you've got a recent Samsung, LG or HTC phone — playing around with the various modes and settings can really allow you to experiment and get creative.

Make sure your lens is clean

While this may seem like an obvious one, cleaning your phone lens can be a lot harder to remember than cleaning your DSLR lens. After all, there's no lens cap protecting your Android phone's camera from dirt and scratches like professional cameras have.

Carrying around a small lens cleaning cloth, or even having small micro fiber lens cleaning patches stitched to the inside of your purse or your jacket are simple ways to remind you to clean your phone lens and screen, so you're always ready to take the clearest shots with your phone.

Or just use your shirt.

Don't forget to clean your front lens, too! We break down how important cleaning your lenses can be in our top 8 tips to make you an Android photography expert.

Forget the flash: use external lighting

When it's dark outside, it's a knee-jerk reaction to turn on the flash to light up your photos, but it's not always the best for picture quality. In fact, we'll go one further: Don't bother using your flash. Nearly ever.

Always try to find a natural light source when you're shooting your photos. If you're at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal, try to get a seat by a window, so you can capture all the meal's details with the perfect lighting. If you're looking to take a selfie, try posing in front of a big window. This won't only make your face and features light up – even on a cloudy day – but it will darken the background and make you the center of attention.

If it's absolutely impossible to capture your picture without natural lighting (and sometimes that's the case), try your best to find another external light source, like a lamp or even a candle. While it may seem silly, almost any other lighting will look better than the flash, especially since you then have more control of what you choose to light and highlight in your photographs.

Crop, don't zoom

Just like your Android phone's flash, zoom is another readily available option for phoneographers that should be avoided like the photographic plague.

Zoom can lower the quality of your pictures, and you might actually be cutting out something you didn't notice in the photo that you may find amazing when you glance at the picture during editing.

It's hard to remember when you're shooting, but your Android device is not the same as a DSLR camera: you can't just zoom in on something and have the quality stay virtually the same. A lot of professional photographers avoid the zoom altogether and prefer to crop strategically in the editing process afterwards, so they don't miss out on anything they captured in the picture.

If you really need to get in close with your subject, pick yourself up and physically move closer to it rather than using your zoom. This is the best way to get creative control over your photo subject without using zoom to mess up the picture's overall quality.

Burst first, ask questions later

Bursting may seem like a lazy way to take pictures, but it's probably the most efficient way to capture your perfect shot!

Whether it be selfies, landscapes, or a masterpiece of a meal, using burst is a great way to take a bunch of photos without stress: just hold down the shutter button and your phone will take rapid-fire shots that you can browse through later to find the perfect one.

While a bunch of the pictures you take with burst will be terrible and totally unusable, there are bound to be a few gems hiding in there. Take the time to go through your burst shots and pick out the best ones, and always remember to delete the bad burst photos so they don't take up space on your phone.

Find a favorite photography editing app

After you're done shooting, you're going to want to up your photo game by editing your pictures with your favorite editing app.

There are plenty of photo editing apps to choose from out there, and all of them do their own unique things like overlay certain filters, allow you to edit brightness and contrast, and even add text or stickers to your photos.

Photo editing apps are also a great tool to have if you're not confident with the photos you've taken. You can even salvage some photographs through a little bit of editing and tweaking if you're worried about quality.

Follow your favorite photographers on social media

Sometimes taking the best pictures with your Android phone doesn't start with your camera app; it starts with a quick visit to social media to get motivated from Android phone photographers who are already taking beautiful pictures!

Following some of your favorite photographers on social media is an amazing way to get ideas, see what kind of art other people are creating, and get motivated to go out and start shooting. Some may even respond in the comments if you ask them how they shot a certain subject in a certain style or how they managed to edit a specific photograph to look a certain way.

Creep around the discover page on Instagram and see what other Android phone photographers have shot. Start by mimicking a style you're fond of, and it will eventually evolve into your own.

Some photographers on social media even share their own tips and tricks for shooting, so be sure to check out a bunch of different profiles for inspiration.

Your turn

Are there any tips and tricks for shooting amazing photos with your Android phone that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 month ago

How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

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How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

How can I use my fingerprint to unlock my Galaxy Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7 features a lightning-quick fingerprint scanner which lets you unlock your device with just a touch of the Home key. If you decided not to add your fingerprints during the initial setup, you'll be happy to know it's easy to add a fingerprint — or two, or three.

How to add a fingerprint on your Galaxy Note 7

  1. Tap to open Settings from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Lock screen and security.
  3. Tap Fingerprints.

    Launch **Settings** from the home screen or app drawer, tap Lock screen and security, tap Fingerprints.

  4. Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern or whatever method you've set up. This is a security check to make sure no one else is able to add their own fingerprint your phone.
  5. Next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off.
  6. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%. The more different parts of your fingerprint that your phone can scan, the quicker it will be to unlock your phone.

    Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern, next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%.

  7. Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone.
  8. Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close.
  9. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

    Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone, then Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

Adding additional fingerprints will let you unlock your phone regardless of which hand you're holding it in, or make it easier to unlock your phone if it's laying on a table.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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