Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Google Pixel: Google Store | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer R13

Headlines

2 weeks ago

Your phone is part Android and part Google, and probably part Samsung

31

The software on every Android phone is different because it comes from several different places.

This is a question that pops up from time to time, but because the Google Pixel ships with different apps and services — namely Google Assistant — than other phones it's become a little more frequent. We saw the same thing when Google Wallet first appeared, and we'll see it again when the next phone from Google has something others don't.

People get a little confused — rightfully so — about what comes with Android and what apps and services are from Google or Samsung or any other company. In other words, why do I have this app and not this app? Not everyone keeps up to date on mobile tech, so if you're coming from an iPhone where there are four or five different models to choose from but even last year's models have the same software on them you might expect it to be the same way on Android.

Android comes in lots of flavors.

To answer that, you need to remember how Android is distributed to the people who make our phones.

Android isn't a thing that can be wrapped up and given or sold to a company to install. Companies like Samsung have access to the code itself and can build it into almost anything they want. As long as the final product meets the criteria given by Google to make sure it's compatible with applications built for its version, Samsung can have at it with the rest and add to it. That's why Android is so different when you compare phones from one company to phones from another.

Google adds software to Android

But a good bit of Android is still the same, even if the icons and colors are changed. That's because there are specific apps — both part of the source code as well as apps made by Google for their web services which are not part of Android's code but needed to get permission to use Google's Play Store — which also isn't part of the Android code. These are what we call "Google Apps." They are made so you can use Google's products and services on the phone, and they are there for two reasons.

Google adds a few bloatware apps, too.

The first is because some of them need to be installed on every single phone to make sure all the apps in Google Play will work. Even if you never open it, you need a few apps like Chrome installed on your LG V20 or whatever phone you have to make sure it can run apps from the Play Store. The other is that these are the services Google wants you to be able to use out of the box. Google gets it's way here because it's an all or nothing agreement — if you want the phone you're making to be able to use the Play Store, you have to also include these other apps. At least for now, because the EU doesn't like that (and maybe they are right).

The actual agreement about what apps need to be there and what ones don't can change from time to time but some are always part of it:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Chrome
  • Google Search
  • Google Talkback
  • Various apps needed to synchronize all these services

Every phone that has the Google Play Store preinstalled will have these core apps. The model or version doesn't matter. Some are necessary, others are there because Google just wants us to see them. And many of them aren't part of the Andriod code so won't be available for phones built without Google Play Store access.

The company who made your phone is next

The next step is the people who made your phone adding their software or the apps a wireless carrier requests installed. These are included for the same reasons Google apps are. Some of them are essential so things on the phone can work. Others are for services and apps they want you to be able to use right away. And there can be a lot of differences here.

Samsung adds a ton of features and apps to help use them.

Using Samsung as our example again, a very high-end phone like the Galaxy S7 edge or the new Galaxy S8 we expect to see soon will have exclusive features, Right now, these are Samsung's best phones and they want you to think they are worth the cost when compared to other models that are cheaper. Verizon (or AT&T or any other wireless company) does exactly the same thing and has some apps put in place to make sure you see them right away or to help you pay your bill.

Of course, none of these apps go along with Android. All of these apps belong to Samsung and Verizon (in our example) respectively. Models made for specific regions and models made for different carriers can vary a little bit. But this is how the people who made the phone and the people who sell the phone want it to be, and they are really choosy. They want you to be a happy customer and try to offer a mix of features and apps so that there is something there everyone will like,

But what about Google Assistant!

This same process applies to phones sold by Google. Every Nexus Phone and every Pixel phone have all had the core apps from Google to be compatible and to make sure you see an app like Gmail so you don't go looking for a replacement. Sometimes we see a phone sold by Google with an exclusive app from Google. Like Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is there because Google thinks that some people will find it a reason to buy their phone instead of somebody else's, and probably because it is so much easier to deploy on a phone that they can update directly and isn't going to sell tens of millions of units, Slower sales mean far fewer chances for a particular bug to affect as many people.

Google uses Assistant as a selling point for the pixel, but it's also branching out.

We've already seen Google Assistant announced as coming to Android TV and Android Wear. Companies like NVIDIA and Sony and LG will have it in their 2017 lineup. There is no word from Google about Assistant becoming available for any other phone including their own Nexus 6P. Some of us here at Android Central are pretty sure it will because Google loves data. My guess is that they will try to get it into the Play Store eventually so hundreds of millions of people have a chance to use it.

This can all be a bit confusing if you're used to iOS or even Windows or BlackBerry. It gets even more confusing when you see different phones on different versions of Android and they have different features. But it's also a reason so many people prefer an Android phone. There are so many choices that one of them will be what you're looking for.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

How to watch Super Bowl LI on your Android phone or tablet

46
How to watch Super Bowl LI on your Android phone or tablet

How can I watch the Super Bowl on my Android phone? Depends: live or after the fact?

Game day approacheth! Super Bowl parties shall abound, but what if you can't make it to one? What if you're stuck somewhere without a TV? What if you wanna watch the Super Bowl in the bath? You can — on your Android phone or tablet. But how?

Here's how:

In the U.S.

If you're in the U.S., lucky you! You have more options than most for watching the Super Bowl live. If you can't be around for the live game, you still have options to watch after the fact.

Fox Sports GO

This is your best option for watching the Super Bowl live. The Fox Sports GO app will be streaming the game in its entirety, including commercials. The real kicker? It's free. You won't need to prove you're a cable subscriber or any of those shenanigans. Just download the app and the game is yours.

Download: Fox Sports GO (Free)

NFL Mobile (Verizon customers only)

If you're with Verizon, you also get to watch the Super Bowl for free with the NFL Mobile app. Hell, if you want to switch to Verizon, know that next year you'll get all the regular season and playoff games, as well as the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl for free.

Download: NFL Mobile (free, with in-app purchases)

Outside the U.S.

Unless you have a TV subscription, there's unfortunately no way to stream the Super Bowl live and for free on your Android phone or tablet, though there are paid options.

Canada only: CTV GO

If you have a cable subscription that includes CTV, you'll be able to live stream the Super Bowl in the CTV GO app, with proof of subscription.

Download: CTV GO (free)

U.K., India, and everywhere else: NFL Game Pass

This option isn't cheap, but it's virtually the only way you'll see the Super Bowl on your Android phone or tablet. For $34.99 USD, you get the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl (now passed), as well as access to the NFL Network 24/7, coach's film, game replays, and more through February 17, 2017.

For $35, it might not seem worth it, but for the die-hard NFL fan living outside the U.S., it's really your only option.

Subscribe to NFL Game Pass ($34.99)

That's pretty much it

If you're wanting to watch Super Bowl LI on your Android phone or tablet, those are really your only options at this point, aside from some less-than-legal shenanigans.

How are you watching this year? Got another option for streaming on Android? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

If you're not doing this with all your accounts, you're doing it wrong

20

If you're not using a password manager and two-step authentication, you're most likely doing things wrong.*

This 4-minute video may change your life. Or at least convince you that strong passwords and two-factor authentication are a must.

Oh, wait. You already use a password manager? You already have 2FA on all your accounts? Great. But chances are you know someone who doesn't. And you have got to share this video with them. We're to the point that these basic security measures are a must. (Don't believe me? Ask this guy.)

Some MUST-HAVE links that go along with this little rant:

Repeat: Strong, unique passwords and two-factor authorization are two of the most important things you can do online.

Subscribing to Modern Dad is a third. You can do that here!!!

*Unless you're one of those people who has a crazy sort of brain that can do a one-time password sort of thing mentally. In which case remind me to buy you a beer and never ask how you do such a thing.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

How to play Steam games on PlayStation VR

How to play Steam games on PlayStation VR

Can I play PC games on my PSVR?

Sony's entry into the virtual reality world has so far been a hit — their head-mounted display is as comfortable as they get, and the library of quality games continues to grow. For some of you, however, PlayStation VR games might not be enough. Besides, you have that enormous Steam library sitting there just begging to be played.

Thanks to the developers of Odd Sheep Games and their software, Trinus PSVR, you can now enjoy both VR and non-VR games from your Steam library on PSVR. If this is something you've always wanted to do, we're here to show you how to get it all set up.

Read more at VR Heads!

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

How to replace your laptop with a tablet

35

If you're looking for true mobility with your devices, sometimes even a laptop can be too much. Tablets are ubiquitous, and with the right preparation, can easily replace a laptop for your (lighter) work days. If you're hesitant about making the move from laptop to tablet, let me assuage your fears.

I'm Michael Fisher, though you probably know me better as MrMobile, and yes, I'm writing this from a tablet. Sometimes all you need is to sit at a cafe, drinking coffee and typing on a device that can comfortably fit inside a SCOTTeVEST. I know that's all I need. slurp ahhh.

Featured devices

Stay social, my friends

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Get pumped for the big game with our Super Bowl themes!

5

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALLLLLLL?????!!!!!!!

The parties are prepped. The commercials are cued. The fans have completely taken Houston — as an Austinite, you can have it, by the by. Super Bowl LI is Sunday, and that means it's time to give the teams their theming due. Only one team may walk outta Texas with a ring, but both teams and their fans can deck their phones in these simple, sporty themes on their Android phones.

So, I say again: are you ready for some football?

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to mute Google Home's microphones (and why you need to)

25

OK Google, stop listening to me.

I love being able to yell across the room to tell my Google Home to fast forward a song or play the news. But whenever I try to use Google Assistant on my Pixel within earshot of the always-on speaker, the Home almost always intercepts, even if I need something only the Pixel can do, like search my contacts or set a reminder — which Google Home still can't do. Sometimes we need to stop Google Home from butting in, and thankfully, it's really easy to do.

And you don't even have to get off the couch to do it.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to replace Shield Android TV remote batteries

17
How to replace Shield Android TV remote batteries

When your remote batteries finally die, swapping them out is a quick task.

NVIDIA redesigned its TV-style remote that comes with the new Shield Android TV so it's no longer rechargeable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In turn, you get a remote that gets one year of battery life with average use, meaning you don't have to think "is my remote charged?" when you go to turn on your TV.

But after a year of use — or perhaps a bit less if you use it a ton — you'll want to replace the integrated batteries. Thankfully it's a job that only takes a few minutes and will cost you just a couple of dollars once you know the right batteries to buy.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to set up GameStream on your NVIDIA Shield TV

3

Play your favorite PC games on your Shield TV with GameStream.

The PC vs. console debate has raged on amongst gamers on forums and chatrooms for decades. But it's 2017, and there's more parity between console and PC gaming than ever before. Furthermore, thanks to GameStream for the [NVIDIA Shield Android TV], you can stream your favorite PC games straight from your computer to your living room TV and play from the comfort of your couch with your Shield controller in hand.

There are over 200 titles compatible with GameStream, so you're bound to find some of your favorite PC games to play on your Shield. Do note that your PC will be inaccessible while streaming games to the Shield, an important thing to note if you share your PC with your family or roommates.

See the NVIDIA Shield TV at Amazon

But before we go any further, here's what you'll need to get things set up:

To maximize your Wi-Fi strength, you'll want to ensure that your PC is connected to the internet via a wired ethernet connection so that your Wi-Fi can maintain a strong connection between your Shield and your PC no matter where they are in your home.

Once you've confirmed your PC is compatible, you're ready to get things set up.

  1. On your PC, download and install GeForce Experience.
  2. Log into your NVIDIA account in GeForce Experience. If you have yet to set up an account with NVIDIA, you can create one from scratch, or use your Google or Facebook account.
  3. Check for the latest updates to the GeForce Game Ready driver in GeForce Experience.
  4. Download and install latest updates.
  5. Once the updates have installed, go to the GeForce Experience Settings — the icon looks like a gear.
  6. Select Shield from the side menu.
  7. Ensure that GameStream is turned on.
  8. Switch over to your NVIDIA Shield TV.
  9. Go to GameStream from the main menu.
  10. Log into the same NVIDIA account logged into GeForce Experience.

Now you're PC and NVIDIA Shield are connected and you're good to stream any of the GameStream-supported games that are installed on your PC to the Shield. GeForce Experience will automatically scan your computer for any compatible games installed. When you go to the GameStream menu on your Shield, you should also see Steam as an option, which allows you to stream any games you've got installed on your PC from your Steam library.

Some games may require a keyboard and mouse setup. The NVIDIA Shield TV offers support for both Bluetooth and wired USB keyboards and mice, so you should hopefully be able find something that works around the house. If not, we'd recommend getting the Logitech K400r, which includes a keyboard and trackpad for a great wireless experience in your living room.

Once you've got everything set up, your favorite PC games will load and play just as fast and smoothly as any Android games or apps downloaded onto your Shield TV.

Android Gaming

Best action games for Android

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to enable lock screen notifications on the Huawei Mate 9

1

Here's how to add app notifications to the Huawei Mate 9 lock screen and fix one of the phone's biggest out-of-the-box issues.

I really like the Huawei Mate 9. It's a great phone with a lot of things going for it. But one of the things that, by default, is missing from the phone is lock screen notifications — those incredibly useful cards that let you know, when you turn on the display, what's coming through.

By default, most apps have their notifications disabled in EMUI 5.0, as Huawei aims to keep the lock screen clean and to force people to unlock their device to see exactly what's happening with their notifications. If you want to change that, and I suggest you do, you'll need to enable lock screen notifications manually for each app you want to see.

Here's how to do it.

How to enable lock screen notifications on the Huawei Mate 9

  1. Swipe down on the notification shade from the home screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Apps.

     Swipe down to reveal the notification shade, tap the settings button, tap Apps

  4. Select the app you want to change from the list.
  5. Tap on Notifications.
  6. Enable Display on the lock screen.

    Tap the app you want to change, tap notifications, tap Display on the lock screen

That's it! There's one more thing you can do to customize the experience: If you want the notification on the lock screen without the actual information, you can enable the confusingly titled "When locked", right underneath the toggle above to hide the content until the phone is unlocked.

Huawei Mate 9

Jet.com Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to enroll in the Android 7.1.2 Beta Program

37

How do I sign up for the Android Beta Program?

If you're eager to try Android 7.1.2 and have an eligible Nexus or Android One device, the Android Beta Program is for you.

Like many big software projects, Android is made better by open beta testing. As part of Google's new maintenance release schedule, we'll see scheduled periodic updates outside of any bug or security patches and major version changes. The latest beta is for Nougat 7.1.2 and begins in January 2017. But if you're willing and able to run beta software on your phone, you can sign enroll in the Android Beta Program and get the first taste today!

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How do you use your old Android phones or tablets?

85

What are the best ways to repurpose an Android device?

There's a great thread going on right now on Reddit asking people to sum up how they use their old Android phones and tablets.

From security cameras to timelapse builders to permanent media servers, there are a lot of ways you can repurpose old Android phones and tablets — especially now as they are not going obsolete nearly as quickly.

Some people choose to use old Android phones as personal media players for their kids, as Wi-Fi is pretty ubiquitous and microSD cards can stand in for low storage space. Others use their old phones as dashcams to record potential car accidents or incidents on the road.

The best microSD cards

So how do you use your old Android phones or tablets? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to use adoptable storage on the NVIDIA Shield Android TV

6
How to use adoptable storage on the NVIDIA Shield Android TV

Few people think about the amoung of internal storage in their set top box — that is, until they run out of space.

So much of our content is streamed today rather than downloaded for offline playback, and for a majority of people that means the 16GB of internal storage on the Shield Android TV is actually sufficeint. For those who know from the get-go that they'll need a lot of storage, the Shield Pro with its 500GB hard drive is there for an extra $100 at the start. But most people will want to add storage to their box later, and that's where adoptable storage comes in.

Adoptable storage, which was introduced in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, gives users the power to plug in any storage device over USB and have the system recognize it as a continuous piece of storage indisinguishable from the memory soldered to the board internally. It's a critical feature that so many people can benefit from, and we're going to quickly show you how to use it on the Shield Android TV.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How does Google keep me safe while using Chrome?

12

What Google does to keep you safer and let you know they're doing it in Chrome.

You've probably heard that the Chrome browser helps make sure you don't visit websites that may be harmful on accident. That's true, but like most things in Chrome, there's also more information available for every web page you visit when it comes to trust. It's actually right there in front of us all the time right in the omnibar. Let's have a basic look at what Google does to make sure your safe on the web when using Chrome.

Every website is given a trust rating by Google. There are based on what's called a certificate and data collected by Google's Safe Browsing program. Google's Safe Browsing is an index of the web (yes, all of the web) that will warn you before you load a site that may be unsafe by pausing the loading of the page and warning you. You'll see some information that tells you what Google thinks is wrong and the option to continue to the page or to go back a step to the last page you visited.

We blocked the website address in this image to make sure nobody tries to visit it, but you would normally see it in the text. Any web page that Google's Safe Browsing engine suspects of having malware or collecting your user data will be flagged this way. Safe Browsing is built into Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Safe Browsing isn't something that was made to compete in any sales market. It's a service from Google's web security team that other companies can use and help make better so we're all safer on the internet.

Safe Browsing stops you from going directly to a web site that Google has flagged as harmful.

Chrome also has another safety check in place that uses a site's SSL certificate. A certificate is a small data file that is uploaded on a website's server that binds a cryptography key to that particular site. When a proper certificate is installed on a server, it activates the HTTPS protocol so secure connections between the web server and you are possible. This way, things like credit card transactions, personal details, and data transfers stay between you and the site you're visiting. A certificate also ties a site's domain name, hostname, company name, and location together.

Google has a list of companies that provide these SSL certificates who are trusted. Anyone can create an SSL certificate, and if you work for a company with a big intranet (web pages for internal use) or that uses their own VPN credentials you probably have a custom certificate from your IT department you need to mark as trusted in some applications. Those don't go into Google's master list but are treated the same way because you (or your IT department) explicitly said they were trustworthy.

Using the SSL certificate (or lack of) Chrome will give a website one of four ratings.

  • Secure. This web page is using a valid SSL certificate and all the data going back and forth is only available to you and the server you're visiting.
  • Info. This site isn't using a valid certificate, but there is no reason to suspect any hanky panky is going on. You can click the icon to get the details.
  • Not Secure. There is something wrong with this site's privacy settings and someone else might be able to see the data you're sharing with it.
  • Dangerous. Avoid this site because your private information is at risk. If you didn't disable Safe Browsing you'll get the warning page before you arrive at a site with this rating.

You find these icons in the omnibar (Chrome's version of an address bar) in your browser. You can click on any of them and you'll get all the details Google has about the site as well as links that might help explain what you're seeing.

SSL certificates are becoming more and more necessary and common. You'll find that most companies with a big online presence use them. But you also might need to make sure you're using the right URL to get there!

Android Central is an example. We have a recognized SSL certificate, and you'll be able to use it with Chrome if you visit https://www.androidcentral.com. You'll see the lock icon along with our company name in Chrome's omnibar and that means that everything you type or otherwise enter on one of our pages is encrypted so that only you and we can read it.

SSL certificates are a great way to make sure the data you send to any web page is encrypted and secure.

But we also need to be legacy compatible. We want someone with an old Android tablet or one they bought that doesn't have Google's software available to be able to visit using a browser that can't use certificates or might have difficulty rendering sites that have them. If you visit http://www.androidcentral.com (notice the use of http versus https) you'll see the info icon. You can click on that icon and it will tell you that your connection isn't secured.

Many sites are this way, so be sure to update all your bookmarks to use the https address!

Chrome isn't the only browser that helps make sure you're safe on the web. Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple and everyone else wants your experience to be the best it can be so you keep using their products. But Chrome gives plenty of details to help you know what's going on and we want to make sure you know how to find them.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

How to use Game Tools on the Samsung Galaxy S7

7

Game Tools makes gaming easier on your Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is an outstanding phone, and our pick for the best phone for gamers.

Besides the outstanding hardware, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge rise above the rest due to some tools designed specifically for gamers that you can activate from your phone's settings.

Here's some info about what Game Tools and Game Launcher offer, and how to activate and use these services on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

(Note: These features were also retroactively added to Samsung's entire Galaxy S6 line up as well.)

See at Amazon

What are Game Tools and Game Launcher?

Turning on Game Tools activates a handy floating button that provides easy access to a bunch of really important settings that are great to have on hand during a gaming marathon. This includes quick access to disabling distracting notifications, locking out the recent and back keys, and a button for minimizing the game.

You also get two tools for sharing what you're playing: Screenshot and Record. Screenshot allows you to quickly tap twice to grab a screenshot of what you're playing without resorting to awkwardly pressing the home and power button, and record lets you screen record yourself playing on your phone, with options in settings to overlay an image or video of yourself playing for recording Let's Play videos to share on YouTube, Twitch, or other social media.

Turning on Game Tools activates a handy floating button that provides easy access to a bunch of really important settings.

Game Launcher creates an icon for your home screen that, as the name implies, allows you to launch all your games from one place. It allows you to toggle the Game Tools icon without heading back to Settings, and also lets you launch a game muted if you're in a quiet place, or quickly turn on power saving modes. Ultimately, it allows you to keep an uncluttered home screen while still giving you quick access to all of your favorite games.

How to turn on Game Mode and Game Launcher

Both Game Mode and Game Launcher are turned off by default, so you'll need to go into Settings to turn them on.

  1. Open Settings from your home screen and or app drawer.
  2. Swipe up to scroll down.
  3. Tap Advanced Features.

4. Tap Games. 5. Tap Game Mode or Game Launcher to learn more about their features and find the toggle switch for them on or off. 6. Tap the switch to turn Game Mode on.

It's the same process to turn on Game Launcher, which offers three pages of information on the different features included:

How to use Game Tools

Ok, so you've turned on Game Tools in settings and you're ready to play. When you load up a game now, you'll now see a floating red button along the edge of the screen. That's your Game Tools menu, and you're able to tap and hold to drag it wherever is most convenient for you on the screen.

Tap it at any time to bring up the Game Tools Menu. From there, you can quickly toggle some really handy features, such as turning off alerts while you're playing the game and disabling the recent and back buttons — a frequent frustration for some.

If you're interested in using the screen record option, you'll want to tap Settings first. It includes a bunch of important features and settings that you'll want to set up ahead of time, including setting up an avatar or live video recorded from the front-facing camera while you play, along with options to record audio from the microphone so you can provide your own live commentary as you play, or choose to only record the game audio. Lastly, you're able to set the resolution your video will be recorded at along with bitrate settings.

What are your thoughts?

Do you find these tools useful, or not worth the effort to set them up? Let us know in the comments!

Android Gaming

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages