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3 months ago

How to take better photos with a Galaxy phone

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How do I take amazing photos with my Galaxy phone?

Shooting phenomenal photographs with your DSLR can be relatively easy, but getting the same stunning quality and clarity with your smartphone is a bit more of a challenge.

Luckily there are some surefire ways to get high-quality photographs with your Galaxy phone. Here are a couple of things to try the next time you're lining up a shot to capture that picture-perfect moment!

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3 months ago

Pokémon Go: Common problems and fixes!

 Common problems and fixes

Pokémon Go is shockingly popular. But it's not the most stable app at the moment.

With tens of millions of players hitting the game, there are bound to be a few issues — particularly when the game relies on your phone's internet and GPS connections, as well as Niantic's servers.

Rather than have you track down things all over trying to fix issues, we've rounded up common Pokémon Go problems, and some solutions to fix them!

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3 months ago

How to enable Night Mode on your Nexus in Android 7.0 Nougat

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How do I enable Night Mode in Android 7.0 Nougat on a Nexus device?

During the Android 7.0 Nougat Developer Preview, Google experimented with a system-wide Night Mode that offered a number of improvements to compatible Nexus phones to allow them to work better at night and in other low-light situations. Unfortunately for tinkerers (but completely understandable for a variety of reasons), that mode was hidden in the run-up to Nougat's release — but with a little help you can get at least some of those features back.

While the overall dark theme is not available, Nexus devices running Nougat (5X, 6, 6P, 9, Pixel C) can activate a handy blue light filter similar to the one found on the Galaxy Note 7. Here's how.

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3 months ago

How to download and install MIUI 8 on the Redmi Note 3

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With an OTA update underway, installing MIUI 8 on the Redmi Note 3 is as easy as it gets.

Xiaomi started rolling out the stable MIUI 8 ROM on August 23, seeding the OTA update to the Mi 4i and Redmi Note. The update is now making its way to the Redmi Note 3. If you're rocking the budget handset, it's time to make the switch to MIUI 8.

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3 months ago

How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7 after using Secure Folder

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How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's Secure Folder gets in the way of Google's launcher.

Google Now Launcher is one of the most popular third-party launchers out there, but it unfortunately doesn't always play nicely with the Galaxy Note 7. It turns out that Samsung's KNOX security platform causes issues with Google Now Launcher when both are in use. That actually shouldn't be a surprise if you've used the Galaxy S7, Note 5 or S6, either — this longstanding issue has annoyed plenty of people over multiple generations of phones.

We have a couple of tips to hopefully get them both working together, though. Let us show you what you can do about it.

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3 months ago

How to take better photos with your Android phone

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How to take better photos with your Android phone

Take your Android photography to the next level with these tips and tricks for capturing masterpieces with your smartphone.

Many Android phones come with a high-quality camera designed to capture your subject's tiniest details and features, and while they're not technically on the same level as a DSLR camera, you can still take the perfect picture with just your phone if you know how to use it. Even if you're a beginner, you can quickly learn how to capture amazing photos with your Android phone (and if you actually are a beginner, be sure to check out our top 10 Android photography tips for beginners!)

Here are some helpful tricks to help you take better photos with your Android device!

Explore your camera settings

Get acquainted with your phone and all the camera settings before you start shooting, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable capturing your shots!

While shooting from your phone's stock camera is great for 99.9% of pictures — especially if you've got a recent Samsung, LG or HTC phone — playing around with the various modes and settings can really allow you to experiment and get creative.

Make sure your lens is clean

While this may seem like an obvious one, cleaning your phone lens can be a lot harder to remember than cleaning your DSLR lens. After all, there's no lens cap protecting your Android phone's camera from dirt and scratches like professional cameras have.

Carrying around a small lens cleaning cloth, or even having small micro fiber lens cleaning patches stitched to the inside of your purse or your jacket are simple ways to remind you to clean your phone lens and screen, so you're always ready to take the clearest shots with your phone.

Or just use your shirt.

Don't forget to clean your front lens, too! We break down how important cleaning your lenses can be in our top 8 tips to make you an Android photography expert.

Forget the flash: use external lighting

When it's dark outside, it's a knee-jerk reaction to turn on the flash to light up your photos, but it's not always the best for picture quality. In fact, we'll go one further: Don't bother using your flash. Nearly ever.

Always try to find a natural light source when you're shooting your photos. If you're at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal, try to get a seat by a window, so you can capture all the meal's details with the perfect lighting. If you're looking to take a selfie, try posing in front of a big window. This won't only make your face and features light up – even on a cloudy day – but it will darken the background and make you the center of attention.

If it's absolutely impossible to capture your picture without natural lighting (and sometimes that's the case), try your best to find another external light source, like a lamp or even a candle. While it may seem silly, almost any other lighting will look better than the flash, especially since you then have more control of what you choose to light and highlight in your photographs.

Crop, don't zoom

Just like your Android phone's flash, zoom is another readily available option for phoneographers that should be avoided like the photographic plague.

Zoom can lower the quality of your pictures, and you might actually be cutting out something you didn't notice in the photo that you may find amazing when you glance at the picture during editing.

It's hard to remember when you're shooting, but your Android device is not the same as a DSLR camera: you can't just zoom in on something and have the quality stay virtually the same. A lot of professional photographers avoid the zoom altogether and prefer to crop strategically in the editing process afterwards, so they don't miss out on anything they captured in the picture.

If you really need to get in close with your subject, pick yourself up and physically move closer to it rather than using your zoom. This is the best way to get creative control over your photo subject without using zoom to mess up the picture's overall quality.

Burst first, ask questions later

Bursting may seem like a lazy way to take pictures, but it's probably the most efficient way to capture your perfect shot!

Whether it be selfies, landscapes, or a masterpiece of a meal, using burst is a great way to take a bunch of photos without stress: just hold down the shutter button and your phone will take rapid-fire shots that you can browse through later to find the perfect one.

While a bunch of the pictures you take with burst will be terrible and totally unusable, there are bound to be a few gems hiding in there. Take the time to go through your burst shots and pick out the best ones, and always remember to delete the bad burst photos so they don't take up space on your phone.

Find a favorite photography editing app

After you're done shooting, you're going to want to up your photo game by editing your pictures with your favorite editing app.

There are plenty of photo editing apps to choose from out there, and all of them do their own unique things like overlay certain filters, allow you to edit brightness and contrast, and even add text or stickers to your photos.

Photo editing apps are also a great tool to have if you're not confident with the photos you've taken. You can even salvage some photographs through a little bit of editing and tweaking if you're worried about quality.

Follow your favorite photographers on social media

Sometimes taking the best pictures with your Android phone doesn't start with your camera app; it starts with a quick visit to social media to get motivated from Android phone photographers who are already taking beautiful pictures!

Following some of your favorite photographers on social media is an amazing way to get ideas, see what kind of art other people are creating, and get motivated to go out and start shooting. Some may even respond in the comments if you ask them how they shot a certain subject in a certain style or how they managed to edit a specific photograph to look a certain way.

Creep around the discover page on Instagram and see what other Android phone photographers have shot. Start by mimicking a style you're fond of, and it will eventually evolve into your own.

Some photographers on social media even share their own tips and tricks for shooting, so be sure to check out a bunch of different profiles for inspiration.

Your turn

Are there any tips and tricks for shooting amazing photos with your Android phone that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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3 months ago

How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

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How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

How can I use my fingerprint to unlock my Galaxy Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7 features a lightning-quick fingerprint scanner which lets you unlock your device with just a touch of the Home key. If you decided not to add your fingerprints during the initial setup, you'll be happy to know it's easy to add a fingerprint — or two, or three.

How to add a fingerprint on your Galaxy Note 7

  1. Tap to open Settings from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Lock screen and security.
  3. Tap Fingerprints.

    Launch **Settings** from the home screen or app drawer, tap Lock screen and security, tap Fingerprints.

  4. Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern or whatever method you've set up. This is a security check to make sure no one else is able to add their own fingerprint your phone.
  5. Next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off.
  6. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%. The more different parts of your fingerprint that your phone can scan, the quicker it will be to unlock your phone.

    Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern, next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%.

  7. Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone.
  8. Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close.
  9. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

    Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone, then Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

Adding additional fingerprints will let you unlock your phone regardless of which hand you're holding it in, or make it easier to unlock your phone if it's laying on a table.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 months ago

How to fix a slow Android phone

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Galaxy S7 edge

Make your Android fast again — it is possible

We've all been there. You have a fancy, new, highly complex Android device that can do everything from checking your email to surfing the web to controlling your microwave so your popcorn doesn't burn. It's shiny, and screaming fast while doing all the things we wanted it to do. Everything is roses all around.

Android Central BasicsFast forward a year down the road, and besides the shiny wearing off, things aren't as zippy as they used to be. Apps take longer to open and run. Transitions between screens take longer to redraw than we would like. The speed demon that your device once was is starting to get a little frustrating to use. Your Android is slow.

Don't fret. This happens to every computer, even the Android one you carry in your pocket. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to alleviate your pain and get back to Speed Racer mode again. None are difficult, and we're going to take a look at the five best things you can do to "fix" a slow Android.

Note: To keep you up to date with the latest information, we're periodically updating this page.

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3 months ago

How to format the microSD card in the Galaxy Note 7

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The SD card slot is back with the Galaxy Note 7 — now here's how you get started when you first pop it in.

microSD cards are hardly new to Samsung phones, but after the feature was removed in Note 5 we wouldn't blame you if you'd forgotten the basics of using one in your phone. But Samsung has changed the software a bit in the Galaxy Note 7 as well, hiding a few basic features — chief among them being the ability to format the SD card after you insert it.

Want to know how to get it done? We have the steps right here.

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3 months ago

How to fix Galaxy Note 7 battery life problems

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How to fix Galaxy Note 7 battery life problems

Use these tips to make the most of the battery inside your Note 7.

Even though the Galaxy Note 7's battery is 500 mAh bigger than last year, and with regular use the full 3500 mAh cell should make it through a day, for some people that's just not enough. Whether it's a daily or irregular occurrence, there are likely to be times when you need to get just a little more out of your Note 7's battery, and thankfully there are several ways to do that, with varying amounts of trade off in terms of experience.

Whether you just want to get a bit more from your Note 7's battery or make sure you can always go a full day no matter what, we have the tips and tricks you need to extend its battery life. Read on.

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3 months ago

Best Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and cheats

It's dangerous to go alone. Wait, what game are we talking about again?

Welcome to the life after level 5, Pokémon Trainer. It doesn't matter if you're Instinct, Mystic, or Valor right now, it's a war zone out there. There has never been a game to receive quite as much 24/7/365 action as Pokémon Go. You can take over a Gym in most areas right now and have it reclaimed for another team before you make it down the street. It's intense, exciting, and if you're not constantly playing you could find yourself at a very real disadvantage.

Unless, of course, you have this guide helping you out. We've collected a great list of tips, tricks, and sneaky little cheats to give you the upper hand when playing against other high level players out in the world. Are you ready for this?

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3 months ago

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

How to take a screenshot on the Galaxy Note 7

How do I take a screenshot on the Galaxy Note 7?

Taking a screenshot on your phone is one of its most basic functions, but the Galaxy Note 7 follows previous Notes by giving you several ways to capture your screen. Though you still have two simple ways to take a regular full-screen screenshot to share or keep for yourself, there's also an option to take a so-called "scrolling screenshot" to capture even more. You can also use your S Pen to draw on and manipulate screenshots with Screen Write.

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3 months ago

8 things to know about the Galaxy Note 7's SD card slot

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Galaxy Note 7 SD card slot

Samsung brought the SD card slot back to the Note line — now it's time to reacquaint yourself with it.

Note buyers have spoken: they wanted an SD card slot back in their phone. Samsung listened, and the Galaxy Note 7 brought back the SD card slot just like the Galaxy S7 did — hiding right in there next to the SIM card.

Things mostly pick up right where they left off with the SD card slot on the Note 4, though the software and capabilities have changed a bit. If you have a Note 7 or are getting ready to pick one up, these are the things you should know about expanding the storage in your phone.

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3 months ago

How to set up and use Google Duo

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Do you duo?

A simple cross-platform mobile video chat that actually works!

Duo is Google's latest foray into video calling, and rather than basing it on your Google account or your email, it's tied to your phone number, making it easier for you to chat with the contacts that are already in your phone. Google launched Duo on Google Play and on iOS so you can chat with friends on Android and Apple. The keyword for Duo is simplicity, and here's how simple the app is to use.

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3 months ago

Adding custom ringtones and sounds to your Android

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Android is all about customization.

Don't like your launcher? Get a new one. Don't like your gray keyboard? Change it up! Got the same ringtone as that annoying co-worker at the other end of the room? Just don't like the lame, old sounds that came with your sweet, new phone? No problem - we have options. Once you get the hang of it, the world is your ringtone.

Let awesome ring.

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