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5 months ago

How to save a map for use offline in Google Maps

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Offline Maps

Sometimes, you have to go off the grid

Android Central University — Google MapsGoogle has reintroduced offline maps in a recent update of the Google Maps application, and as Google often does, they leave a little mystery about how you can use them and how to download one.

That's where we come in. We'll show you how to download and "install" a map for offline use and tell you how you can use them so you're not searching support docs when the time comes. It's really easy, and you already have everything you need installed!

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5 months ago

'My Apps': What is it, and what can you do with it?

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Google Play Store

Take control of the installed apps on your devices

Android Central UniversityGoogle Play has made some serious usability improvements since it launched to replace the now-ancient-sounding Android Market, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still have a few tricks up its sleeves. One of the best features of the Play Store is its ability to keep track of every app you have installed, or did have installed in the past. And with the crazy number of apps available, we wouldn't blame you if you had trouble keeping track of them. The "My Apps" section of the Play Store app is the powerful portal to these app listings, and we're going to show you how to take advantage of its capabilities.

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5 months ago

Updating your Nexus — Everything you need to know

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Nexus phones

Nexus phones are easy to update by design — here's how to take advantage of that

More people than ever own a Nexus device. From the introduction of the Nexus One in January 2010, and through the subsequent releases to the Nexus 6 in 2014, the numbers keep growing. Plus, we've got the Nexus 7 tablets (one name, two models from 2012 and 2013) that are still popular devices, as well as the new Nexus 9. And we can never forget the Nexus 10

While the idea of what "Nexus" actually means seems to vary from release to release, what hasn't changed is that these remain some of the most "open" and "developer-friendly" devices available. They're great for veteran hackers who want to do some serious customizations, or for the inexperienced folks who want to get their feet wet and learn their way around Android. (Or, they can just be great phones for those who don't care to tinker.)

Nexus devices also generally are the first to receive new Android operating system updates. When a new version of Android is announced, it's safe to say it'll be available on a Nexus device first. And, traditionally, other recent Nexus devices are first in line for updates. That's changed somewhat with the introduction of "Google Play experience" devices, and Motorola's close involvement with Google, and so it's caused a bit of a firestorm. 

Regardless, Nexus devices actually offer several ways of updating to the latest operating system. They are:

This isn't a step-by-step tutorial of how to update your Nexus device. Think of it as a (relatively) basic primer for the options available. Let's discuss the differences between these options, and which is best for you.

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5 months ago

The LG G3 has a menu button; here's where to find it

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LG G3 menu button

LG swapped out the menu button on this year's phone but still left access should you need it

Like Samsung and the Galaxy S5 before it, LG has swapped out the permanent menu button for the more "normal" recent apps switcher on the G3. In 2014 there really shouldn't be any actual need for a menu button in applications, but like Samsung, LG has left the menu button lurking on the G3 should you ever need it. There's just no mention of where it actually is.

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5 months ago

How to use Guest Mode on the LG G3

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Guest mode on LG G3

Guest Mode lets you give other people limited access to your LG G3

We've all been there — you want to show someone something on your phone, but without handing over the keys to all your personal data. There are third-party apps that can help out, but the LG G3 comes with a built-in feature that makes it easy to give other people limited access to your device.

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5 months ago

How to customize the LG G3's on-screen buttons

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Add, re-style, rearrange or hide your buttons on the LG G3!

Like the G2 before it, the LG G3 sports on-screen buttons so changing your key setup is just a matter of software. And the Korean manufacturer has a whole menu area dedicated to customizing the phone's on-screen keys. Head past the break to find out how you can add up to five keys to your button panel, and change the way they look.

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5 months ago

How to get rid of the LG G3's extra 'G' home screen

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LG G3 Smart Bulletin

Want to disable the LG G3's Smart Bulletin feature? It's just a settings menu away!

Among the LG G3's many new features is Smart Bulletin, an extra home screen page located to the left of all your other home screens. You'll see it represented by a "G" in the scrolling bar of home screens.

By default it's split between the LG Health application and Smart Tips, which gives you hints about features of the phone you might not be using. If's a useful option to have, but fortunately if you find Smart Bulletin isn't for you, it's easy enough to turn off.

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5 months ago

How to add, buy and read a book from Google Play Books

Google Play Books can make any Android device a great eReader, but how do you use it?

Android Central University — Google Play BooksSure, Kindles and Nooks have (relatively) long been forces to reckon with in the digital book arena, but Google Play Books allows you to enjoy your favorite page turners on so many more Android devices.

But how to get started? How do you buy and add books to your library? How do you even go about reading the darn books on the device? It's not anything too crazy, we promise. Read on to find out the answers to these and other burning questions you may have.

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5 months ago

How to use your songs as alarm tones on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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Galaxy S5 custom alarm tones

Wake up to your favorite song every morning in a few simple steps

Waking up in a morning is a chore at the best of times, but waking up to some of your favorite music can make it, well, a little easier. On the Samsung Galaxy S5 you're able to add such songs to the stock alarm clock app with ease. You only need to know where to look.

So head on past the break and we'll show you how.

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5 months ago

How to add the World Cup 2014 schedule to Google Calendar

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World Cup 2014 Calendar

Keep up with all of the action from Brazil and never miss a match

World Cup 2014 is only a week away, and if you're interested in keeping up and watching as many games as possible this year, one of the best ways will be to add the full schedule to your Google Calendar. For big events such as the World Cup, Google creates shareable calendars that are updated and maintained for you, letting you simply follow along and not worry about keeping up with the gritty details of every single match.

It just takes a trip to the Google Calendar website and few easy steps, and you'll be following along with all of the action from Brazil. Read along and see how it all comes together.

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5 months ago

How to add loyalty cards to Google Wallet

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Google Wallet loyalty cards

Google Wallet can do some pretty cool things, like store your loyalty cards — and we're here to go through the process with you

ACU — Google WalletImagine you're at the store — one of those stores that gives you some kind of financial incentive to carry around a loyalty card. But, in your frantic rush out the door, you forgot that little piece of plastic. Sure, maybe you could enter your phone number to get the same rewards or discount, or you could just pull out your phone. For many of us, the latter may be the cooler and/or more convenient option.

Since Sept. 2013, Google Wallet has allowed you to do just that. You can store loyalty card information in the app.

You may be wondering, "How do I get started?" Good news: it's really not all that complicated. And we're here to walk you through it. You'll be able to leave those plastic loyalty cards at home in no time.

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5 months ago

How to start and stop Dropbox photos syncing to your Samsung Galaxy S5

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One of the nice features in the Samsung Galaxy S5 gallery app is Dropbox photo syncing. If Dropbox is your chosen destination for photo storage in the cloud there's every chance you'll love this. It's also a feature bound in frustration for some, since it seems to be able to enable itself automatically once you're signed into Dropbox on your phone – or at least that's how it went down for us.

Thankfully turning it on and off is a simple process so long as you know where to look. As is turning it back on again if you decide you do want it. Head on past the break to see how.

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5 months ago

Six tips for creating awesome video highlights in Sense 6

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Six tips for creating awesome video highlights in Sense 6

The video highlights feature in Sense 6 lets you quickly and easily create quick 30 second montages that you can then share on social media or directly with friends and family. Sense will choose photos, videos, and Zoes that are stored on your device and mash them up. From there you can add a theme complete with music, and you're done. However, software isn't perfect and video highlights are no exception. Here are some tips on creating even better video highlights in Sense 6!

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6 months ago

Using Extreme Power Saving Mode on the HTC One M8

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Using Extreme Power Saving Mode on the HTC One M8

What Extreme Power Saving Mode is and how it can help you make the most of your HTC One M8's battery life

The HTC One M8 may have more than average battery life for a smartphone of its size, but that doesn't mean we won't run into situations where we can't get to a charger and we're running low on battery life. For that, there's Extreme Power Saving Mode. This feature can help you conserve as much battery life as possible, hopefully until you can get to a charger again.

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6 months ago

The LG G3's rear power and volume buttons

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LG G3

LG's latest flagship handset continues its tradition of back-mounted keys

LG broke the mold last year with the G2, switching from the tried-and-true side-mounted power and volume keys and putting its buttons on the back. And it worked pretty well, allowing the company to slim down its bezels while keeping the main keys relatively accessible. (Though that said, we were less enamored with the inferior design that featured on the Verizon G2.)

Back buttons quickly became a signature LG feature, arriving on devices like the G Flex and G2 Mini, and they're back on the company's 2014 flagship, the LG G3.

Check out our video after the break.

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