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1 year ago

What to do if the Android 5.0.2 update sends your Nexus 9 into a bootloop tizzy

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Nexus 9 factory reset

The Android 5.0.2 update apparently is breaking some Nexus 9s. But it's possible to reset your way out of it.

Strange things are afoot with the Nexus 9. The Android 5.0.2 update that started rolling out a couple days ago — that's the one ahead of the Android 5.1.1 update that'll drop any time now — has been sending some tablets into a bootloop tailspin. That's absolutely not the sort of thing anyone wants to see happen with an update, and it's sure not something you expect from what's supposed to be the most unadulterated Android experiences.

There have been a number of reports of "bricked" Nexus 9 tablets in Google's support forums, our own forums and other online watering holes. (In fact, my Nexus 9 went into bootloop limbo as well.)

The good news is that there are options should your tablet be soft-bricked (that's as opposed to actually dead) after taking this update.

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1 year ago

Understanding 'Applications' settings on the Samsung Galaxy S6

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The Galaxy S6 has a lot of storage, but that doesn't mean you should let your apps run wild.

Running a modern smartphone takes a little bit of maintenance, which is a bit unfortunate but not something that we can't handle in order to make the most of our phones. For the Galaxy S6 that involves hopping into the "Applications" area of the settings to poke around, and knowing what you're doing before you get there is always a good idea. We're going to run through the most important parts of the applications settings on the GS6, and show you which ones you need to know about.

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1 year ago

How to use Samsung Smart Switch

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Galaxy S6 Smart Switch

Samsung makes it mostly effortless to switch away from just about anything to something with Galaxy in the name.

Migrating from one Android device to another got marginally easier with Android 5.0 — especially if your old device is NFC-enabled and most of your data lives in Google's clouds — but it's not perfect. More important is that if you're moving from an iOS device, it's still kind of a hassle. Samsung's solution for this is Smart Switch, and it is now baked into the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge at startup. If you're planning on moving to a shiny new Galaxy in the not-so-distant future, you probably want to familiarize yourself with this software. With that in mind, lets take a quick tour through Samsung Smart Switch.

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1 year ago

What is Samsung Quick connect on the Galaxy S6, and what can it do?

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Quick connect is one of those features that Samsung really wants you to use, but nobody does.

Whether you're familiar with Quick connect only because your carrier has decided to plant it permanently in your notification shade or because you've gone looking for it, we won't blame you if you don't know what it actually does. This semi-ambiguous utility has been present on the past few generations of Samsung devices, and it's an all-in-one app to display content from your phone to devices that support protocols like WIfi Direct and Miracast.

And while you may not have given it a second glance before, Quick connect is one built-in utility you might actually want to use — let us explain how it works.

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1 year ago

How to change your quick settings on the Galaxy S6

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The quick settings are one of the more important sets of options on any phone — and Samsung's got a bunch of choices.

There are a ton of settings on the Samsung Galaxy S6. Go ahead and try to count them. We'll wait. ... ... ... OK, we're done waiting. And Samsung knows you don't necessarily want to spend all day getting to them as well. So there are 10 quick settings at the top of the notification shade when you pull it down. You see five by default, then can scroll through to the others.

But that's just the start. There actually are 16 quick settings choices on the T-Mobile version of the GS6. The Verizon model, on the other hand, has 19. So there are choices to be had. What you see will vary depending on what version you have.

And here's how you can swap 'em out.

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1 year ago

How to remove photo location info on the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Samsung Galaxy S6 gallery info

Samsung makes it easy to remove (or add) geotagging on the Galaxy S6. Here's how.

Having location information attached to pictures you take with your phone can be a lot of fun. Any number of applications and services can organize your shots by location, or create albums and slideshows from various events you've been to.

But location information also brings about privacy concerns. Maybe you don't want the world to be able to see where your house is. Where your children live. Or where you just installed that new 60-inch television. That's where EXIF data — also know as metadata — comes in. It's a little bit of information that's embedded in the pictures you take. It can tell you the model of camera you're using. The time and date. Information about the aperture and ISO of the shot you took. And, of course, location data.

And Samsung makes easy it toggle geotagging — as well as making it easy to scrub some of this from your images that you've taken already. Here's what's up.

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1 year ago

How to take a screenshot on the LG G4

So you want to take a screenshot on your shiny new LG G4. This is a step, capturing a single moment in time that could possibly spin the planets out of alignment and alter the course of the universe forever. Or, more likely, you just want to show somebody something. But that whole universe-changing thing could, theoretically, happen.

Anyway. There are a couple ways to take a screenshot on the LG G4. And these are they:

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1 year ago

These are the first things to turn off on the LG G4

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We really do hate starting out on a new phone with a negative, but sometimes it just has to be done. And such is the case with the new LG G4. There are a few features that you're probably going to want to do without, and sooner, rather than later.

So with that, these are the first few things we'd turn off on the LG G4.

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1 year ago

Where's the Weather app on the Galaxy S6?

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Samsung will happily show you the weather all over the Galaxy S6, but there's no icon in the app drawer.

While you may have a favorite weather app to turn to for what is happening near you, a lot of folks rely on whatever app is handy. For some that means the weather notifications through Google Now are perfect, while others rely on that quick glance baked into their favorite clock widget. Like most Android phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge offers a clock widget with weather built in that pops up as soon as you hit the home screen for the first time. This same weather information is available on the lock screen, as well as the Information Stream on the Galaxy S6 edge. It's powered by Accuweather, and works reasonably well for offering up a quick glance at your current weather.

The only thing missing is the actual app. At least, that's how you'd probably feel if you went looking for this app in your launcher. What you're seeing here is another example of Samsung's integrated apps, which means you've got a couple of options for accessing and using the app to get your weather.

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1 year ago

Getting started with Android Auto in your car

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Android Central Choice Award

Android Auto is devilishly simple. Google's done a great job even in its first iteration.

Android is everywhere. In your pocket. On your wrist. Occasionally (and unfortunately) on your face. In your living room. Even in your kitchen. And now Android is in your car. In 2014 Google announced Android Auto. And in 2015 it finally became a reality.

Android Auto is devilishly simple. You plug your phone into a compatible receiver — either the infotainment system that comes with your car, or an aftermarket head unit — with the same sort of cable you use to charge. Your phone — and the apps you already have — then push information to the large display that's in your car. No more horrible user interface. So many new features, all with one goal at hand — keeping your phone out of your hand, and you safer behind the wheel.

We get that you might be a little wary of using a smartphone — a tool that by definition is distracting — in the car. But Google's done a great job even in its first iteration. So let's walk through the basics of Android Auto, and what you can expect when using it.

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1 year ago

What it's like to use Amazon Prime Now

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Amazon Prime Now

Amazon's same-day delivery service is slightly awkward, but incredibly useful.

I am well and truly embedded in the Amazon shopping ecosystem. Having things shipped to my door, often within 36 hours of having placed the order, is something I use several times a week nowadays. It's useful for regular day-to-day items, but incredible for last minute birthday and Christmas stuff. When Amazon announced Prime Now, an extension of their shipping service that allowed for same-day — even same-hour — delivery, I was plenty excited. Since I live in the suburbs, just about 35 minutes without traffic from Amazon's Baltimore facility, it seemed unlikely I'd be able to participate in the service anytime soon.

Last week, however, the Prime Now app lit up and claimed I could order things and have them delivered to my house within an hour. It turns out Prime Now and Prime offer wildly different experiences, and choosing between the two for orders in the future is going to be its own unique little first world problem.

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1 year ago

How to use Theater mode on Android Wear (and why you might want to)

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One of the complaints many early Android Wear users had was actually a complaint from everyone around those users: their watches kept lighting up in a dark theaters.

My variant on this complaint was a little bit different. I like to dance in my bedroom, in the dark. Totally in the dark, I will turn on Google Play Music, and I will have a little dance party. And every time I raised my wrist, every time my watch brushed my skin, it would light up and totally kill the mood. Then came the Android Wear 5.0 update and with it came the end of those bright screens with the arrival of Theater mode.

So, how do you turn it on, and what else is it good for?

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1 year ago

You can now send yourself a note or set an alarm from a Google desktop search

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With some new commands you can now set alarms and send notes to your Android device, right from a Google desktop search.

Google recently added the ability to send directions to your phone right from a desktop search on your computer, and now they have added even more options. You can now set an alarm on your Android device as well as send notes to it, all right from a Google desktop search.

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1 year ago

Do I need a Samsung Account on my Galaxy S6?

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For better or worse, the Galaxy S6 really wants you to have a Samsung Account.

Much like a Google Account is basically required if you want to make the most of any Android phone, a Samsung Account is starting to become an integral part of owning a Samsung phone. Creating or signing into your Samsung Account is baked right into the setup process for the Galaxy S6, and while you're technically able to skip on past it, you're really best off signing in.

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1 year ago

The Galaxy S6 edge: Here's what that crazy curved display can do

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The curved display on the Galaxy S6 edge can do quite a bit. But what you see is up to you.

As the name implies, the big selling point for the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge (and that "edge" indeed is lowercase, boys and girls) is, in fact, the edge. Or, rather, the edges. Both of them, sloping down from the top of the phone into the thin metal band that is the side of the phone.

But is it merely form? Or is there actually some function to the edge?

The answer, of course, is both. Here's what all you can do with those curved parts of the Samsung Galaxy 6 edge.

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