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1 year ago

How to switch accounts on the Google+ app


Things in mobile apps tend to not be in the same places as their desktop browser counterparts.{.intro}

Whether you're trapped between Google Apps and regular Google accounts, helping maintain a Google+ Page, or you're running an intricate multi-user text-based RPG through a G+ Community, switching accounts is one of those things that tends to make your digital life much easier. It hasn't always been easy to switch between accounts on Google's services, but the company has worked hard over the last couple of years to make that a priority. There can be no finer example of this progress than Google+, where it is positively effortless to switch between several different kinds of Google accounts in order to participate in Google+ in many different ways. The quick two-click switch offered on the browser version of Google+ is second only to the ease with which you can perform the same function in the app.

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1 year ago

How to Auto Backup images and movies to Google+


The memories you capture with your smartphone don't have to disappear when something bad happens.

There are many photo backup services available to Android users today. Almost all of these services rely on offering a small amount of storage in a cloud backup somewhere, and when you take a photo or record a video that data is sent off to be stored until you need it. While each of these services offer something special, everyone with an Android phone and a Google account already has one of these services ready to go on their device. It's a part of the Photos app, which is actually a part of Google+. Auto-backup is simple, fast, and has several important settings that help ensure the service is something everyone can use if they choose.

The best part? All it takes is a single toggle to activate the service.

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1 year ago

How to get March Madness scores with Google Now


The Big Dance is just beginning ...

And while there are apps aplenty to keep bracket-makers and die-hard fans watching and trash-talking, not all of us need that. Some of us just want to see how far our local team has gotten so far. Some of us just need a quick way to find out what channel the next good game's going to be on. Some of us just want a quick way to get the score and then get on with our lives.

Some of us just need Google Now.

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1 year ago

How Google+ affects your Google account


Google has taken your data out of the individual silos you signed up for and created something bigger, but it's up to you to decide if that's good or bad.

When the service first launched, Google+ was described by its creators as a social layer for all of Google's products. This meant you could invite people to a document from Google Drive, check your notifications from Google Play Music, and effortlessly invite anyone with a Google account to a Hangout for anything from a quick friendly chat to a serious meeting. This plan has been scaled back a bit since its inception, as it turned out not everyone wanted every Google product connected to a highly personal social network, but there are still plenty of ways in which your Google+ account can affect your Google Account.

The good news is most of these things are actually quite helpful. The bad news is some of these things can't really be turned off.

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1 year ago

Hangouts and Google+

Hangouts are nevermore than a mouse away in Google+.

Instant messengers and video chatting go hand in hand with social networks.

Facebook has Facebook Messenger, Twitter has direct messaging, and Google+ has Hangouts. However, Hangouts is a bit more than just the private messenger behind Google+ and Gmail, as Hangouts also powers one of the better live video broadcasting platforms on the net right now. Hangouts is an app with many tricks, talents, and features, and as a Google product, it crisscrosses several platforms, but none so much and so well as Google+.

So, anyone wanna hangout?

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1 year ago

Getting to know Google+ - Pages, Communities, and What's Hot


Some areas of Google+ are great for immersing yourself in a topic, but it's easy to get overwhelmed when the signal to noise ratio tips.

Once you gotten yourself settled in to Google+, by which I mean your account has been completed and you've either located your current friends or gone out to find some new ones through Google's recommendations, it's time to really make the service yours. Google+ has some terrific tools filling your stream with as much or as little information as you choose, and that content can either be narrowed down to specific topics or a firehose of whatever is popular on the service right now. If you so choose, there are even tools to set yourself up as a broadcaster of exciting content. All you need to know is which buttons to push, and how to turn it all off if you've made a mistake.

We're going to explore some of the content-specific portions of Google+ here. Using Communities, exploring What's Hot, and how to set up and manage a Page.

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1 year ago

All about photos on Google+


Photos can make or break your experience on social media.

While text may be the way we primarily communicate online, when we add visuals to our words, social media becomes a lot more fun, a lot more addictive, and to an extent a lot easier. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Communities like the Art of Bread probably could still capture interest and share recipes with text alone, but its the pictures that make not-so-diehard bakers come to drool and to learn. Pictures are also important to more technical pursuits on Google+ like beta testing. You could just describe the issue you're having with the new material beta in Nova Launcher, but when you have pictures to show your particular bugs, not only is it easier for users to report but it's easier for the developers to see.

Google+ has been a platform loved by photographers and artists because of the freedom offered by Google+ Photos. Photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Patrick Smith have racked up tens of billions of views. Yes, billion with a b. And their massive public collections of full-scale, quality photography has been put on display through Chromecasts all over the world.

So, what makes photos so special on Google+?

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1 year ago

Android 5.1: Muting your Lollipop phone overnight just got a bit easier

Android 5.1 Mute option

Android 5.1 Lollipop brings new 'interruptions' options that make it easier to silence your phone while you're sleeping.

It's a long-running complaint with many Android Lollipop phones — you want to mute your phone, but that option's just not there anymore. Instead you have to deal with the slightly confusing interruptions system and decide whether you want to mute absolutely everything — including alarms — or set up "priority" mode and decide what you want to let through.

Now, thankfully, in the new Android 5.1 release, there's there's an easier way.

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1 year ago

Managing your Google+ stream


The Google+ homepage — called the stream — can be somewhat unpredictable at times. That label at the top may say All Circles, but posts from your communities and from complete strangers — in the form of Extended Circles or Hot and Recommended posts — wind up here, too. It can be wild, it can be unruly, or — even worse — boring if you don't have your stream set up right. But with a few simple tools, you can try to tame your Google+ stream and sculpt your stream into a fountain of knowledge.

Or a black hole of fan community posts, gifs, and cat videos. We're not judging.

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1 year ago

Zen and the art of Google+ circles

Circles in Google+ provides layers to your interactions.

Circles — like Google+ itself — are often misunderstood.

See, on most social media platforms, lists are something of an afterthought. You follow someone and then you add them to a list through the profile options or some similar method. On Google+, your lists — called Circles — are front and center. Anyone you follow must belong to one of your circles, and you can add them to more than one if you so choose. And while you may have everyone you follow in a 'Following' circle and have that be the end of it, managing your circles is about more than just getting their posts. In fact, circles have as much to do with your outgoing posts as incoming ones.

Let us begin on the path to enlightenment, or at least better circle management.

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1 year ago

Getting started with Google+


If you already use Google, making the jump to Google+ is surprisingly easy.

In several subtle ways, you probably are using parts of Google+ already. Your Google+ profile goes a lot of places. It ties into the Google Play store, putting a name and face to your +1s, ratings, and reviews. It ties into YouTube, tying together your comments and allowing you to reply to subsequent comments more easily from the notifications count that appears on most Google websites. Your Google+ profile photo may well already be in the top corner of your quick settings screen on your Android devices. If you're sending emails to Inbox users, your Google+ profile photo even shows up on your emails. So even if you're not going to be hanging out in your stream or the plentiful beta communities all day every day, you should at least set it up and put your smiling mug up in place of that little blue silhouette picture.

Time to visit the haunted mansion.

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1 year ago

Does the switch to Daylight Saving Time mean I have to do stuff to my Android?

Date and time settings

Let's do the timewarp again ...

The yearly springing forward of time for much of the US is upon us, and this inevitably leads to folks new to the platform wondering what they have to do to their Android so things work right after the switch. If this sounds like you, we've got good news:


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1 year ago

How to take a screenshot on the HTC One M9

There are a couple of easy ways to capture what's on your M9's screen

There are a bunch of reasons why you might want to capture what's on your HTC One M9's's screen and keep it for posterity. Maybe you want to show off a cool app, quickly share something with a friend, or make a quick copy of some important information. Whatever the case, there are a couple of ways to take a screenshot on the HTC One M9, and for the most part everything works just as it does on earlier phones like the M8.

So if you've used an HTC phone before you'll probably be right at home. But if you're new to Android or HTC, or just want to reacquaint yourself with the basics, we've got a quick guide to taking screenshots on the HTC One M9 after the break.

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1 year ago

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S6

These two shortcuts let you easily take a screenshot on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge

Just like earlier Samsung phones, taking a screenshot on the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge is simple enough once you know how. So if you're upgrading to Samsung's 2015 flagship from a previous Galaxy phone, chances are you'll be right at home — taking a screenshot works just as it does on the GS5 and earlier handsets.

But if you're new to Samsung or Android in general, it's worth recapping this basic function, as there are countless situations where capturing an image of your phone's screen can be useful.

Let's take a look at the two main methods.

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1 year ago

How to use your Android to prepare for severe weather

The ice storm cometh!

Severe weather takes many forms.

Blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, even haboobs can turn a regular day into a disaster, and if you're not prepared, it can turn from disastrous to downright dangerous. While you're stocking up the liquor cabinet, boarding up the windows, and collecting the games/movies from around the house to keep any little ones happy and distracted, don't forget to prepare your phone for the rough road to come. There's a lot more to preparing your phone for severe weather than just charging it up.

Be prepared.

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