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4 months ago

How to install Android apps from the Google Play website

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Installing Android apps to your phone or tablet from any computer with a web browser

Google is one of the biggest web service companies around. Their cloud-based apps and services can do some pretty wild and wonderful things, and we're about to look at one of them -- installing apps to your Android device remotely through the Google Play website.

All the complicated issues, like making sure apps are compatible and available for you, or keeping track of which device(s) you're currently using are done by Google behind-the-scenes, leaving us with just a few clicks needed to make some serious magic happen. All you need is an Android device registered with Google Play, and a computer with a modern web browser.

There's a complete video walkthrough of the process after the break, but we'll spend a few minutes and talk about it as well. This is the way I install almost all my apps, because I only have to find them once and can install them to any device I may have in service. It goes a little something like this.

Visit our Google Play mini-site for everything there is to know about Google Play

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4 months ago

This tip will change the way you use the Secret app forever

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Secret

Kill the notifications. Just kill 'em all.

Secret — as in the app that lets anyone post anything anonymously (as if the Internet wasn't full enough of that already) — will long spur debate of whether it's the greatest thing to hit our phones since the last greatest thing, or whether it's just more crap. (I might have tipped my cards there a bit.)

One thing that's not really disputed, however, is that its Android notifications are next to worthless, nor are they properly implemented. There's absolutely no reason to have a half-dozen notifications telling you somebody said something. It's a waste of space.

Complicating matters is that while Secret isn't the world's worst-looking app, it's also not exactly designed in the standard manner. So the settings are a little bit hidden. We'll help you turn off those blasted notifications for good, though.

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4 months ago

What to do if you lose your phone

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Lost phone

Android Central University — Security

Your Android smartphone is the most personal computer you own. No other device is with you virtually every second of every day, and so over the course of a standard two-year contract you'll be presented with plenty of opportunities to misplace it.

Fortunately, over the past few years Android has grown has grown into mature, stable mobile OS with an abundance of security features designed to help you out in just such an eventuality. But the solution isn't entirely technological, and there are a few common sense tips you should follow as well.

Let's walk through some top precautions to take to better protect your Android phone from loss, along with some tips in the event that you've already lost your phone.

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4 months ago

Five tips for avoiding viruses and malware on your Android

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Apps be careful

Keeping infected apps off your Android requires common sense more than anything

Android Central University — SecurityIt's not exactly a secret that Android's pretty open, and that it's possible for bad people to do bad things with apps. That's possible with any computer system, of course. And like any other computer system, Android has checks and balances that help keep you safe. Most of them are done without you having to lift a finger. There are gates that have to be opened for malware to get through, and chances are the bad guys are hoping you'll hand them the key in the first place.

There are basic steps you can take to help make sure that doesn't happen.

We'll walk you through five easy ways for keeping virus- and malware-laden apps off of your Android.

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4 months ago

How to use S Note on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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The S Note app will come pre-installed on your Samsung Galaxy S5 and is a quick and convenient way to take both typed and handwritten notes on the go. You can even sync them with Evernote if you choose so they're available everywhere.

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4 months ago

How to change languages on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 supports a handful of languages right out of the box. You can apply them not only as your system language, but as the keyboard language as well. So if whatever language came pre-selected on your Galaxy S5 isn't your native language, you can easily change it within settings.

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4 months ago

What is the Raspberry Pi?

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Raspberry Pi

It's the little circuit board that has captured the hearts and minds of the makers, the tinkerers, and the hackers.

But the Raspberry Pi is more than that. It is the gateway to the Internet of things, and the tool to teach the next generation how to create it.

In 2006, some great minds at the University of Cambridge's computer lab started to notice a difference in the applicants for the schools Computer Science program. The hackers, hobbyists and electronics aficionados that made up the bulk of the students applying in the 1990s had been replaced by folks with little to no experience in the darker arts and if anything, had mostly web-programming experience. While there's nothing wrong with web-programming, the world needs nerds, too. They got together and did what they could do to tackle the problem, and the Raspberry Pi was born. Fast forward to the 2010s, and the idea has blossomed into the Raspberry Pi Foundation and a low-cost, highly-capable single board computer — the Raspberry Pi — is available to help teach computer science and electronics to both this generation of makers as well as the next.

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4 months ago

Updating your Android apps: Choosing automatic or manual, and how to get it done

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Google Play Settings

Keep your apps up to date at the pace you want

Android Central UniversityAs the number of apps on our (sometimes multiple) devices continues to grow, it becomes quite a chore to keep them up to date on a weekly basis. App developers are pushing out updates just to change app icons or small strings of text, and for this reason (among others) Google has set the Play Store to update apps automatically by default. Still, some of us would prefer or be better off not updating apps without our explicit permission and action.

So which path is right for you? Do you let the Play Store do its thing and simply find out an app was updated when you check your notifications, or do you hop into the Play Store and manually hit the box to let the bits flow for just that single version number jump? Let's dive into the details.

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4 months ago

How to use the Galaxy S5's slow (and fast) motion video features

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Galaxy S5 Camera

Between high frame rate and high-resolution video, today's smartphones are proving to be quite capable video cameras. And the Galaxy S5 is no exception — it offers both UHD video and several different video shooting modes, including slow motion, to let you unleash your inner videographer. Toggling to the right video mode for each occasion is easy, but there are a few different choices that need to be made before you can simply point and shoot.

Let's take a quick dive into the Galaxy S5's slow and fast motion video modes, and see how you can unleash the power of your phone's video camera.

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4 months ago

Ask AC: How many installs does an app really have?

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Gmail app listing

As Gmail passes 1 billion downloads, we take a look at what that actually means

Gmail has surpassed 1 billion downloads on Google Play, and Vincenzo on Twitter asks a fair question: Does that count app updates?

Android Central UniversityThat's an easy answer, actually, but we'll go one further and explain exactly what you're looking at when you see an app's download numbers in the Google Play listing. There are downloads, and then there are downloads. There are installations. There are uninstalls. There are folks who use the same app on more than one device. Gmail, for instance, is on every device that has official access to Google Play. Same for Google Maps. And other apps.

So what counts as a download? And what do all the numbers mean when you're trying to judge whether you want to install an app?

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4 months ago

How to change your wallpaper on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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Here's one for you folks new to smartphones, and new to the Galaxy S5.

Part of the excitement of getting a new phone is being able to personalize it. Externally we have cases and accessories that make our devices an extension of our personality. When it comes to making the software our own, that's where things like downloading apps and customizing the look and feel come in. If you've got a new Galaxy S5, changing the wallpaper should be one of the first items on your personalization list. Here's how:

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4 months ago

Your top OnePlus One questions answered

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OnePlus One

Coming around on a week since getting our hands on a OnePlus One, we've been deep in the forums answering your questions about the latest CyanogenMod device. We're seven pages into the discussion right now, and while there have been a lot of unique questions, some of the same big questions are being asked.

In order to give some deeper thoughts on each of the big questions, we've rounded them up and condensed down to eight big questions, covering a lot of the curiosity around the OnePlus One. Narrowing things down also lets us give a more in-depth answer to each, which means we can get a better explanation of how we feel on each subject. Read long with us and check out the top questions about the OnePlus One, and our answers.

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4 months ago

How to access and use the hidden Service Menu on the Galaxy S5

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How to access and use the hidden Service Menu on the Galaxy S5

Samsung phones have long come with a hidden Service Menu, and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. While many people won't ever have a need to access the Service Menu, it's a good feature to know about in case you run into issues with your Galaxy S5 and want to troubleshoot it on your own first. (And seeing as how most of us reading this love to tinker and can't keep our hands off the big red button, well ...)

You can test sensors, make sure the touch screen is in working order, and lots more. Follow along and we'll show you not only how to access the hidden Service Menu, but how to use the features inside of it.

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4 months ago

How to use Private Mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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How to use Private Mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5

Private Mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a convenient way to hide files you don't want seen by others, without the need for any third-party apps. When you're in Private Mode, all your photos, videos, and other files will be viewable. Exit Private Mode and hand your phone to somebody else. You can rest assured they can't see any of your hidden files, unless they know your code or unlock pattern.

Here's how to set up Private Mode on the Galaxy S5 and get started with it:

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4 months ago

How to set up your Galaxy S5 for better one-handed use

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How to set up your Galaxy S5 for better one handed use

If you're finding the Galaxy S5 to be a little too big for comfortable one-handed operation, there is something you can do about it. TouchWiz comes with a handy feature that makes one-handed use more comfortable and less awkward. Here's how to enable and start using it:

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