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1 month ago

Use the Google Drive desktop app to save local copies of your Google Photos library

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Google Photos

Google Photos is primarily an online experience, but you can take things offline for your own backup with Google Drive.

One of the best features of Google Photos is that you can access your pictures from any device that has a web browser or a Google Photos app, but the fact that it's kind of a black box and you don't know where exactly your photos are can be a little bothersome. Sure you can download copies of any photo you want from your library, but having an automatic local copy of photos as they are uploaded is even better.

With the Google Drive desktop app and a few tweaks you can have just that — we'll show you how to set it up and a few of the limitations of the system.

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1 month ago

How to turn off the weather animation on the LG G4 lock screen

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If you work in an office without windows, seeing if it's raining on your lock screen seems like a great idea. But sometimes, it just isn't.

Maybe the rain animation on your phone just reminds you that you can't go for that jog or force the kids to go outside to play and give you five minutes of peace. Maybe you think it's a waste of memory and processor power. Maybe it just looks weird with your wallpaper. Whatever the case may be, you don't need an animation on your LG G4's lock screen pretending your phone's in a shower.

Here's how to get rid of it.

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1 month ago

Using EasyHome on the LG G4

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Whether you're new to smartphones or just new to this one, EasyHome is there to help you use your phone.

Your home screen — the place you first see when you unlock your phone or hit the home button — is run by a type of app called a launcher. There are many launchers for users at every skill level, and while the Home launcher that LG ships with the G4 is fairly standard, they've gone a step simpler with EasyHome. This launcher is stripped down and super-sized so that icons are easier to read and touch. Maybe you're new to Android and aren't used to your home screen and your app drawer being separate things. Maybe you're looking for a setup that's a bit easier on the eyes and a bit bigger for your thumbs. Maybe you just bought this phone for a relative and you need a home screen that won't confuse them.

EasyHome is here for you.

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1 month ago

How to tether on the LG G4

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While we have Wi-Fi in a great and growing number of places, we sadly do not have it everywhere yet.

While Project Loon and other such projects are trying to bring Wi-Fi to more and more of the world, until it happens, tethering is here to get us by. You can tether through Bluetooth and sometimes through USB, but tethering through a Wi-Fi hotspot can support multiple devices at a time and faster speeds than Bluetooth. And while hotspotting can be a bit of a battery hog, the LG G4's 3000mAh battery can take it better than most.

Ready to get connected?

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1 month ago

Managing your shared photo links in Google Photos

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Google Photos shared links

Google Photos doesn't always share a plain image, it sometimes uses a link — and that adds some complication.

We're used to photo editors and services having their own specific ways of sharing items, and with Google Photos there are a few quirks to understand. When sharing basic photos and collages from your phone via the Google Photos app you'll be able to send just the image, but if you're using the Photos website or sharing more complex content like a story or movie, you'll be sharing a goo.gl/photos link.

This will be confusing for folks until Google Photos starts to gain more popularity and regular use, but the great part about sharing a link is that you control its destiny after sending it out into the wild. We're going to show you what exactly a Google Photos link gives those you share it with, and how to effectively manage the links once you send them. Read along.

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1 month ago

How to turn off Smart Bulletin on the LG G4

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Smart Bulletin — LG's answer to HTC BlinkFeed — can be wonderful if you use LG's apps. But what if you aren't?

Smart Bulletin puts your appointments, step count, and your TV remote just a simple swipe away, but maybe you use Google Fit instead of LG Health. Maybe you use Spotify, not LG's Music app. Maybe QRemote doesn't work with your Insignia television. Whatever the case may be, Smart Bulletin isn't as smart as you'd like, and you'd like it to stop taking up space on your LG G4's homescreen.

Here's how to make it go away.

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1 month ago

How to edit the homescreens on the LG G4

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This homescreen needs some originality.

Our phone likely the device you use the most, and one you keep with you almost all the time. You'll pick a case that meshes with your style; why not make your homescreen match your style and your digital habits, too?

This is the LG G4. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I must master my phone as I master my life... and while your homescreen may not be the most important thing to learn on a new phone, having a homescreen that fits your habits will make using your phone faster and less frustrating. Whether you're the type to put all your app icons on your homescreen or you like to keep things simple and clean, there's a homescreen for everyone, and it probably isn't the one that was pre-configured on your phone. Besides, you're gonna look at this phone at least 30 times a day, you might as well put a wallpaper on it that makes you smile.

Let's personalize!

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1 month ago

How to take a screenshot with Cyanogen OS

Taking screenshots is easy with Cyanogen OS.

So you've got your Cyanogen OS device, and now you want to know how to take a screenshot. Maybe it's because you've found something that could in fact alter the space time continuum and you need proof, or you just want to show off your awesome new wallpaper. Either way, you need to know the best way to pull that off, right?

Well, we've got you covered with a few ways to make sure you snag that perfect screenshot.

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1 month ago

Where did Auto Awesome go in Google Photos?

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Creations in Google Photos

Creations are a new thing with Google Photos, and it's basically just a re-branding of the old Auto Awesome features you're used to.

Dropping the Auto Awesome name was something that came along with the loss of the Google+ baggage, and the new name is a bit more intuitive and descriptive. Creations are animated pictures, edited still photos, collages, stories and movies that are created based on photos and videos that you upload to Google Photos. They can happen automatically or conjured up manually if you're so inclined — let us show you how they work in the new Google Photos.

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1 month ago

How to change the on-screen buttons on the LG G4

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While most phones stick to the standard Back-Home-Recent button arrangement, there are a few that ignore that and do what they want (l'm looking at you, Samsung). And now, you can, too.

The on-screen buttons on the LG G4 are customizable, and while we wish we could make them a little bit smaller, we're quite grateful that you can at least change the order and add an extra button if you so choose. Whether you want to add a dedicated dual-screen button to take full advantage of the G4's 5.5 inches, or if you just want to switch the back and recent buttons to match what you had on your old phone, here's how to do it.

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2 months ago

Accessibility features on the LG G4

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Accessibility isn't a feature on the minds of most users, but to those who need them they can make or break the experience for them.

If you want to market your phone to everyone, you need to design it for everyone to use, and that means designing it for those who maybe can't hear the notification tones that most users take for granted. It means designing it for those who need a little more room to grab the phone. While Google has provided some accessibility features for stock Android, manufacturers often go above and beyond this to help disabled users better use their devices. LG is no different, and we praised the accessibility features in the LG G3 last year, so we're happy to say that they haven't messed with it too much this year, but they've made a few more wonderful touches for this year's LG G4.

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2 months ago

Understanding 'Assistant' in Google Photos, and what it can do for you

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Understanding Assistant in Google Photos

There's lots to wrap your head around in Google Photos, but the new Assistant feature is here to help.

Whether you want to check up on the status of your photo backups, see the Creations that Google Photos has made for you, or be alerted of space to be freed up on your device, Assistant is the place to go. It's just a tap, swipe or click away from your photo library, and it'll keep you in the loop with what's going on in the Google Photos world.

It's like an all-in-one notification center for everything that's happening with your photos, and it's quite useful. And here's how you use it.

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2 months ago

All about Smart Bulletin on the LG G4

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Devoting a page of a user's homescreen to an aggregation of information and widgets is nothing new.

Smart Bulletin on the LG G4 is on the left-most page of your homescreen — or rather, it is the left page of your home screen if you're using the stock launcher. Like HTC Blinkfeed, it's meant to be a one-stop shop for information about your phone, except rather than focusing on your social media and news, Smart Bulletin focuses on data from your phone itself. Think of it as a screen-sized collection of scrolling widgets, sort of like Google Now on the Google Now Launcher, except there's no search and all of the widgets relate to LG's apps rather than Google services.

So, what can this pastel-painted widget wall do? More importantly, should you even bother?

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2 months ago

What happens when you delete pictures in Google Photos?

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What happens when you delete pictures in Google Photos?

With potentially unlimited storage at your disposal there are few reasons to delete photos, but if you do there are a few things to know.

Whether you need to clear out duplicates, limit the amount of full-resolution storage you're taking up or just get rid of some old shots you no longer want, you may need to delete photos from your Google Photos albums from time to time. The "access all of your photos everywhere" system is really cool, but it also introduces a few head scratching moments when you go to delete photos from the service.

We're going to help clarify the situation, and once you understand the system you won't be so worried about what's happening to your photos.

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2 months ago

How to block calls on the LG G4

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With all that our smartphones do, it's often easy to overlook some of the actual phone functions of the device.

It's something we hope we'll never need, but you certainly want to have it — and more importantly, know how to use it — should the need ever arise. Maybe you just need to block that one friend who hasn't quite taken the hint that you're not interested in their drunk dials anymore. Maybe someone sent your number to a list of trolls and you're getting crank called at all hours of the night. Whatever your needs, call blocking is here to help, and it hasn't changed much from the LG G3.

Here's where to find it on the LG G4.

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