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2 months ago

How to see what Google thinks you like

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Google Ad Settings and how to tailor them to you

Google brings us wonderful services and the Android ecosystem, but let us remember that its primary function is as a search engine. And secondarily it's to sell ads — and targeted ads, at that. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that, as ads keep on the lights at Google and keep the lights on for many, many sites around the world wide web. And targeted ads help keep the stuff you'd never, ever spend money on away from your eyeballs.

But how does Google know what you want to see? How do those ads target you, and what does Google think you like? And how can you change it if they're wrong, or if you think they're wrong to do it in the first place?

Let's dive into the wonderful, wonderful world of ad optimization.

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3 months ago

Basic accessibility settings in Android

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Hiding at the bottom of the Settings app is a nifty little tool

Android knows that we all have different needs

Class is in session, and this one is ADA-compliant!Android is for everybody, and that includes people who need help seeing/hearing or otherwise operating their device. To this end, there are system-wide accessibility settings baked right into Android, and you can control them through the Accessibility section to the Settings app. It's right at the bottom near "About phone" and developer settings.

Your own device may have much, much more — the LG G3, for example, has enough to fill a post all its own — but so long as you have Android, you should at least have these.

Open it up and let's explore it together.

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3 months ago

How to clear your browsing data in Chrome

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Chrome history

You can protect your privacy and cover your tracks by clearing your browsing data in Chrome for Android

 ChromeWe've all been here: A friend asks to borrow your phone (or just steals it), and you start to sweat, fully aware of what's lurking there in your browser history.

What if they see that you're secretly addicted to looking up random cat facts? What if they discover whatever other guilty pleasure you may have? Don't worry. With just a simple preventative measure, we can keep all those things secret. With Chrome on Android, we can clear our browsing data, or the browsing history.

Here's how:

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3 months ago

Google+: How to log out of a secondary account

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Part of the "One account, all of Google" thing we wrote about recently is that it brings all of your services and data together on your android device once you log in.

But sometimes, you don't need all of your accounts on all of your apps. Such as Google+. I have a professional account (well, professional-looking account, anyway), and all I do with it is apply for jobs. I don't need it in Google+, I only need it in Gmail, and so, I'm logging it out of Google+. Or maybe your business uses Google Apps, and so you've got a superfluous Google+ account with it, too.

Here's how you can silence that second account forever, without actually deleting it.

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3 months ago

Google+ and the mute button — meet your new best friend

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Enough is enough sometimes — here's how to mute threads on Google+

Google+ is a wonderful place of conversations. But unlike real conversations, when you get bored, you can't just walk away. That's what the mute button is there is for. It lets you get out of a conversation and the flood of notifications an active post can bring. You can also use the mute button on individual people, which we genuinely hope Google is working on bringing to real-world conversations. Muting is also a handy thing for posts that disgust/horrify/enrage or otherwise evoke an emotional response you don't need to see more than once.

So let's talk about shutting things up.

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3 months ago

How to auto-reject phone calls on the LG G3

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Whether you're trying to reject all phone calls or just selected numbers, on the LG G3 it's a simple process to achieve your desired results. We've already looked at how to reject an incoming call with a custom message to the caller, now let's take it a little further by telling the phone to auto-reject based on certain parameters.

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3 months ago

How to change apps on the LG G3 QuickCircle Case

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LG G3 QuickCircle Case

The LG G3 QuickCircle Case is a fun little accessory that both protects your phone and gives you a bit of extra functionality via that porthole in the front. And with a tap and a swipe, you can easily go from seeing what time it is to using a few apps with the case still closed.

By default, LG loads you up with a handful of app shortcuts. But you can pick and chose as you like.

Here, now, is how to change which apps appear on the LG G3 QuickCircle Case.

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3 months ago

Tasker tips and tricks

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Some of my voice controls in Tasker. They're awesome

Another day, another task

We've covered Tasker and the very basics of how to use it, and now, it's time for you to start playing a little bit on your own. Think of Tasker as a toy as much as a tool and you can really let loose and have fun in it. Voice controls, plugins and a little ingenuity can turn your phone into your butler, your study buddy, and your best friend.

Now, today I'm just going to go over a few things that can help you pick a project you'd might like to do, or help you when you get stuck and the support communities aren't being responsive, which is admittedly rare.

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3 months ago

How to link your bank account to Google Wallet

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Google Wallet bank account hero image

Google Wallet makes it easy to use your bank account to pay — here's how to set it up

ACU — Google Wallet Google Wallet, as our very own Phil says, "was born from the idea that it should be easy to pay for things with your phone." Google Wallet does make that pretty easy, especially when you have your bank account linked to it.

I think of Google Wallet as acting like a debit or credit card sometimes, at least in the sense that it allows you to send and receive money to and from other businesses and individuals. It particularly acts this way if you transfer money to and from your Google Wallet Balance, which allows you to make purchases from some brick and mortar retailers that accept Google Wallet "tap and pay". A good number of online retailers also accept Google Wallet. All are made possible with your bank account linked to Google Wallet.

Here's what you need to do to set things up.

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3 months ago

How to use autofill forms in Chrome

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Chrome Autofill

ChromeWhen you log into your Google account within Chrome on any platform, Google syncs your history, bookmarks, settings, and almost all information saved within your previous browser sessions. (Assuming you've told it to, of course.) While it can be handy to have your previous history or bookmarks always up to date on all of your devices, Chrome also tries to assist you in tedious tasks such as filling out forms that involve your name, address, and much more information about yourself.

Chrome does this by auto saving your form history and includes it with the data that is synced between all of your browsers. In Chrome for mobile, Google allows the user to not only turn on this feature but to also browse saved autofill form data, create new profiles for future forms, edit what has been saved, and to add credit cards to make purchases easier.

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3 months ago

Operation Clean Slate: clearing your history in YouTube

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Youtube histories are a wonderful way to look inside someone's soul...

How to cover your tracks and clear your YouTube history

Welcome back to class. Today, we're watching videos.

Your YouTube history is fairly easy to find and clear out if need be, but what about the search history? Do you want it to autocomplete to "red hot baby mommas" every time you're looking for a Red Hot Chili Peppers video? Did you forget to switch accounts before handing it off to your little ones and now your recommendations are littered with those mind-numbing toy demos?

Or, yes, worse. Much, much worse.

Never fear, we can scrub that data from YouTube and get you back to what you really want to see — more cat videos.

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3 months ago

How to save data when using Google Chrome

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How to save bandwidth in Google Chrome hero image

You can use Chrome to save data, and this is how you get that going

Unfortunately, I am on a limited data plan with my carrier. I know that most of you are probably in the same boat. And on limited data plans, data saved is data earned. Many popular music streaming apps have made it possible to save data by storing music on our devices. Google also makes it possible for us to save data using its Chrome web browser. That's definitely something I can get behind. Data savings are made possible by compression from Google's servers.

So how do you go about it on an Android device? Let's find out! It's not too painful of a process.

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3 months ago

Did your LG G3 recommend you delete the Downloads app? Here's how to get it back

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LG G3

LG's smart clean might see an accidental deletion of the downloads app, here's how you get it back

We've already looked at how Smart Clean on the LG G3 can help you reclaim some of your storage space, but did you know that it's also quite easy to delete the Downloads application from the phone with it, too? If this happens to you you'll still be able to get to everything in your downloads folder through File Manager, but fret not, because getting the Downloads app back is easy. So long as you know where to look for it.

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3 months ago

Everything you need to know about Android and Wifi

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Android Wifi Guide

The ultimate guide to Wifi and Android

Everyone with a smartphone knows about Wifi. If nothing else, you know it's what happens when you get your AT&T phone too close to a Starbucks and your Internet gets faster (or slower) because you were automagically switched from a cell tower connection to a closer — but lower-powered — wireless connection that's made available for the public.

Of course, there is a lot going on to make that connection happen. While we're not going to dig into anything too technical like the software stack or the radio interface hardware, we are going to talk about the things you and I, as users, should know.

Don't worry, this'll be fun!

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3 months ago

Google+ Notifications: How and why to use them

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Mr. Jingles is a friend you should see often, but not all the time...

Too many notifications can quickly overwhelm your brain

Welcome back to class, today's guest lecturer is Mr. Jingles...We've been over why you should use Google+, and now that we've covered Circles and Communities, it's time to go over something that's almost more important than either of them: Notifications. Yes, notifications in Google+ are important because they can make or break the Google+ experience for you. If you're always flooded with notifications, then you'll eventually drown in them and lose interest. If you don't get notifications often enough, you'll forget G+ is here, or think that no one is engaging you or your content, which makes you feel unwanted and leave. And nobody wants that.

Now, many of the settings and preferences I'm about to reveal are personal, but I will be trying to explain them and explain why you do or don't want to consider them in as objective a way as possible. Your mileage may vary.

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