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4 months ago

How to use a Google Play gift card

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Google Play not only is the largest app store in the world but also a music subscription service, a bookstore, and a video store. Google Play gift card make an excellent gift (hence the name), but that's not the limit of their use. Since Google restricts underage users from Google Wallet, Google Play gift cards are the only way for your munchkins to purchase content. Here's where to find them and how to use them.

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4 months ago

How to enable Easy Mode on the Note 4 (and why you might want to)

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Easy Mode on the Note 4

Whether it's for a short time or permanently, Easy Mode keeps things simple on your phone

We all have a seriously powerful computer in our pockets, and the Galaxy Note 4 takes that notion to the extreme with its laundry list of features backed up by high-end internals and a large screen. We know not everyone needs access to all of those features at once, though, and luckily there's a simple way to scale down the experience with Samsung's "Easy Mode" on the Note 4.

Whether its because the phone will be used by a less-experienced user or you just want to simplify things for yourself for a short period of time, Easy Mode will give your phone an easier-to-handle home screen experience, basic settings and access to just the things you need with fewer frills. Best of all it's easy to switch between Easy Mode and your standard home screen layout without losing any data or settings. If you (or someone you know) may have a use for Easy Mode, be sure to read along and get all the details on how to use this feature on your Galaxy Note 4.

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4 months ago

Ask AC: Can I install Android apps on more than one device?

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My Apps

Have all your apps, everywhere

We get questions, and often they are from users new to Android or from folks with their first smartphone. One question we get a lot is about installing an app from Google Play on more than one Android device. People want to use the same app they paid for on their phone and their tablet, or their work phone and their own phone, or share it with their family. Or they want to play the same game no matter which device they have on hand. We get it — we need to do the same thing.

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4 months ago

How to remove your payment information from Google Wallet

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Google Wallet and Google Play are wonderful services, and they're very convenient when you want to make a quick movie rental or order a new album. However, as easy as it is to put your payment information into an account to authorize a purchase, taking it back out isn't exactly difficult, but you do have to know where to look for it. Maybe you just wanted to buy your kid some Google Play credit and forgot it'll save your information. Maybe you just decided to buy your friend an app yourself since they don't quite understand the concept of buying apps yet. Whatever the case, you want your payment information back before they get into trouble with it.

Here's how to do it.

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5 months ago

Android 101: Getting Started with Google Play

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The Google Play Store probably is your best bet for finding the apps you need

So, you've got your Google Account, and now you want to dive into the rest of the Google Play Store. Well, there's a small trick to that. See, you can go into the Play Store and use it for movies, music and books without an Android device, but in order to install or purchase anything in the apps section, you have to add your Google Account to an Android device first. Slight bummer, I know, but is there really much point in buying apps if you can't install them on a device?

So, grab yourself a phone or tablet and let's get started.

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5 months ago

Google 101: Setting up a new Google Account

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Google Play, Chromebooks, Gmail ... all these wonderful services start with (and require) a Google Account. And whether you're setting up a professional account to help field headhunters and job offers, or finally offloading one of your tweens to their own account, setting up a Google account is simple and quick, but there are a few tricks to it.

Let's open the door to the wonderful world of Google.

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5 months ago

Ultimate Guide to Google Play

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Play, Play, Play!

How to get the most out of the Google Play Store

Google Play is the cornerstone of Google's ecosystem of content and becoming a critical part of Android. It reaches almost all of Android and through Play Services is capable of fixing many of Android's problems. Google Play also is a content library and ecosystem that is accessible on more platforms than almost any other. Born as the Android Market, it's grown from just a home for apps and is now the one-stop shop for applications, books, movies, music, TV shows — basically anything and everything that you can buy and use on your Android phone or tablet.

And we can help you get the most out of Google Play across your devices. Stick around and we'll show you a few new tricks.

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5 months ago

How to use the Finger Scanner on the Galaxy Note 4

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Galaxy Note 4 Finger Scanner

Increase security and also speed up the login process in a few key apps

Though the Finger Scanner wasn't as big of a deal at the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 as it was when it debuted on the Galaxy S5, Samsung kept it around hiding within the home button ready to boost your phone's security. The swipe-style scanner may not be as convenient as what's available on some phones, but the way its integrated into the phone to work for your lockscreen, Samsung Account, PayPal and other apps makes it valuable to set up.

The setup process takes some time, as does getting the right feel for how to swipe on it for the best results, but in the end it's a net positive. Read along and let us show you how to get the Finger Scanner up and running.

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5 months ago

How to adjust video auto-play settings in the Facebook app

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Facebook changes a lot of things on us automatically, whether it's on the web or on your phone, and one of the more annoying "features" turned on automatically is auto-play videos. From Facebook's perspective auto-play videos seem great — videos are loaded in the background so they play instantly, and as you scroll through your timeline they catch your eye since they're playing without your interaction.

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5 months ago

How to factory reset your Nexus 6

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There are a few reasons why you might want to factory reset your Nexus 6, reverting it back to its out-of-box condition. Maybe you've decided to sell your device. Perhaps you want to eliminate any problematic apps and start again from scratch. Whatever the reason, it's easy to clear out your apps, photos and other content and start again from scratch.

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5 months ago

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

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Android Lollipop priority star

Welcome to the wonderful, confusing world of Android 5.0 notifications

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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5 months 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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5 months ago

Galaxy Note 4 battery life tips

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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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5 months ago

How to transfer files between your Nexus 6 and computer

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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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5 months ago

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

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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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