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2 years ago

Ask AC: What's that star in my notification area?

Android Lollipop priority star

Welcome to the wonderful, confusing world of Android 5.0 notifications

Update: A lot of the headaches here are being addressed either by the manufacturers, or by Google itself in the upcoming "M" release of Android.

This question still hits our inbox from time to time, and it's worth a quick reminder. Android 5.0 Lollipop — at least in its current, unadulterated form — changes the way notifications work. Or, more specifically, there are now three ways they'll be presented to you. The firehose is simply called "All." That is, you'll see every notification there is to see in your notification area. You'll get a buzz, or hear the notification tone.

Then there's "Priority," which brings us back to the question at hand. You can designate specific apps as being "Priority," and then you'll get only "Priority" notifications.

So what's a "Priority" notification? And what's it have to do with that star up there? Glad you asked.

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2 years ago

How to take a screenshot on the Blu Vivo Air

Want to take a screenshot on your Blu Vivo Air? Here's how!

Taking a screenshot on the super-slim Blu Vivo Air is incredibly easy: you hold down two buttons. Which two? Glad you asked. Power and volume down. And as it would turn out, both of these buttons are on the left side of the device, and if you're holding the Vivo Air in your left hand, they fall right under your left thumb. So while you can use two of your phalanges to trigger the screenshot, with a bit of practice you can use just your left thumb.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Note 4 battery life tips

Galaxy Note 4 battery

The battery is big enough for most, but you can always improve

The Galaxy Note 4's 3220 mAh battery is pretty large by today's standards, and gives the big phone solid battery life figures for most people. But counteracting that large battery are a powerful processor, bright QHD display and tons of software features, which can really chew into battery life depending on how you use the phone.

Most folks can make it through a day with battery to spare, but for those who find their Note 4's battery coming up short sometimes you may need to pull out a few tricks to get the most out of that limited battery capacity. Samsung includes a few intuitive features on the Note 4 to improve battery life, but it's all about how you use them. Read along with us and see how you can squeeze the most out of your Note 4's battery.

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2 years ago

How to transfer files between your Nexus 6 and computer

File transfer Nexus 6

Transferring files is easy for most of us

Most of us reading here have a computer of some sort. Maybe it's at home and you use it to play games or to surf the Internet, or maybe it's at work and you do things that aren't nearly as fun as playing games and surfing the Internet. But if you do have a computer, chances are you'll want to copy some files between it and your Nexus 6.

While the Nexus 6 doesn't use a file system that most home computers can recognize natively, it does make use of MTP (the Media Transfer Protocol) to be able to send and receive files to and from almost every computer out there. The best news is that it's all pretty simple.

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2 years ago

Trouble sending MMS on the Nexus 6? Here are a couple solutions

Lollipop Messenger

Problem lies with Google Messenger and APNs used by some carriers

Mobile communication might be shifting more towards data-based services all the time, but the humble text message (SMS) and multimedia message (MMS) aren't going away anytime soon. Both are vital functions of any smartphone, and so when one of them's not working on your device, it's no small deal. Recently we've discovered an issue affecting the stock Google Messenger app loaded on the Nexus 6 on some carriers.

Specifically, we've found that out of the box, the Nexus 6 (and Nexus 5 on Lollipop, should you download Google Messenger) fail to send MMS messages on certain carriers, including EE in the UK. (Receiving MMS seems to be unaffected.) It's a frustrating problem, but fortunately there's an easy fix.

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2 years ago

Using Smart Lock on Lollipop? Use this trick to manually lock in an instant


Using Smart Lock on Android 5.0 is a great way to balance security and convenience, using a trusted location, Bluetooth device or NFC tag to bypass lock screen security without entering a PIN or lock pattern. However it's possible you might not want your phone completely unlocked all the time, which is why there's a simple way to manually lock your device — requiring your PIN, pattern or password to unlock — with just a button press from the lock screen.

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2 years ago

How to take great pictures with your Nexus 6

Nexus 6 camera

A few simple tips to get better shots from your Nexus 6's camera

Let's face it — Nexus devices aren't exactly renowned for their imaging prowess. Even with new additions like optical image stabilization (OIS) and HDR+ mode, the cameras of the Nexus 6 (and the Nexus 5 before it) are best described as finicky. It's possible to get great photos from the Nexus 6's 13-megapixel shooter with a little patience, but there are a few simple directions you can follow to maximize the number of high-quality shots, and reduce the likelihood of coming out with a dud.

On the whole, these come down to knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the Nexus 6's camera setup, and adjusting your shooting accordingly. Join us after the break for a quick primer on using the Nexus 6's camera.

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2 years ago

Nexus 6 battery life tips

Nexus 6

Make the most of your Nexus's battery

Battery life is one of the areas of smartphone tech in which there's still much room for improvement. As a cutting edge handset, the Nexus 6 includes some of the latest developments in mobile tech — wireless charging, quick charging through the bundled Motorola Turbo Charger, and improvements on the software side thanks to Google's "Project Volta."

Despite this, there going to be times where you wish you were able to squeeze more juice out of this gigantic phone's equally enormous 3,220mAh battery. As we mentioned in our review, the device's battery life is pretty good, but not astonishingly so. So it's worth going over a few basic steps to help you get the most out of your battery.

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2 years ago

How to add a trusted place in Android 5.0 Lollipop

Smart Lock Trusted Places

No longer bother with you lock screen at home

With the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has brought a new type of Smart lock to the operating system — Trusted locations. Don't let the name fool you though, these smart locks aren't a new way to lock your device, these are actually new ways to unlock your phone or tablet. With the Trusted places lock your Lollipop device will disable its lock screen security when you are in a designated location.

It's super convenient, and quite easy to set up as well. Read along and we'll show you the way.

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2 years ago

How to fix poor audio on your Nexus 9

Surrounded by sound

Not all audio tracks are created equal, turning off the emulated 'surround sound' may help

Ever fire up a movie (even one you've downloaded) in the Google Play Movies and TV app on your Nexus 9, and noticed the sound was just horribad? That underwater warbly sound likely isn't an issue with your new tablet, or with the movie you just rented or bought — it's probably an incorrect setting.

There's not much we hate more than bad audio around these parts, so lets have a look at how you might be able to fix it.

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2 years ago

How to get your iTunes music onto Android


Getting your Apple based music onto your Android device need not be a chore

If you've been a long time user of an iPod, iPhone or iPad there's a good chance that the majority of your digital music collection is tied up inside iTunes. If you're moving on to pastures new with an Android device in your hand you're going to want to be able to listen to your music. While there is no iTunes for Android, there are actually a few different ways for you to get your groove on.

We've singled out a handful of methods in particular to look at, and we'll take you through them step by step.

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2 years ago

Attentive Display settings on the Moto X


We've all been there: we're reading an article — maybe one of the lovely reviews here on Android Central — and then your screen turns off because you didn't scroll up in however many seconds. It's not your fault we fit so many words on your screen. Then you have to fumble around for the power button to turn it back on and find your place again.

Don't you just wish there was a way to keep the screen on just a little longer while you're looking at it? Well good news, everyone! Motorola has added in a handy feature on the Moto X called Attentive Display, and it's here to end those days of mashing the power button.

And all you have to do is look at your phone.

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2 years ago

Privacy policy on the Moto X


Privacy and smartphones is something of a popular — and important! — topic, especially after the last few years of spying scandals and security breaches. It's often not clear how much data from your device is being collected, not just by your apps and by Google, but by the manufacturers. It's also often unclear just how to turn that off on your phone should you wish to not have your data being shared with them.

Well, Motorola wants to respect your wishes, and so the company has made it easy not only to disable device feedback but also for Moto X users to see exactly what the privacy policy for its phone is.

It's transparency done right, and it's worth highlighting here.

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2 years ago

What is a Motorola ID?


It seems that every time you set up a phone, the manufacturer wants you to not only log into Google, but register for their own system. Acer ID, Samsung account, LG Account — and Motorola ID, which we're prompted for on our lovely Moto X or Moto G.

So, just was is this Motorola ID used for, and do you really need to use it?

Let's find out together.

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2 years ago

How to: Forward email to your main Gmail account so Google Now sees it

Google Now Flights

Take time to set up a few filters, and you'll enable a much better Google Now experience

As much as we'd love to condense all of our digital lives into just one email address, it just isn't feasible. And now with services like Google Now scanning our email inbox to surface relevant information — like shipped packages, upcoming flights, event reminders and the like — in other places, it's even more troublesome when you have data strewn about across several addresses. Google Now gets more powerful every week with additional features, but only if you have everything landing in one inbox.

With a little work on your part and some filters, you can give Google Now the information it needs so that you can use it to the fullest — and you won't have to shut down all of your other email addresses to do it. Cut out a block of time, open up all of your email accounts, and let us show you how to make this work.

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