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4 months ago

Add some MrMobile flair to your Android phone with this theme

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We're all very proud to have MrMobile with us.

Michael Fisher, aka MrMobile, does video like almost no one else on the net right now, and his smooth performances bring another level of class to the videos he's sharing with us. He makes the technology he talks about more approachable not just for die-hard enthusiasts but for the everyman on the street who just wants to know what's the best phone on Android right now or what the hell this Pokémon GO thing is.

With his fancy new set and his fancy new logos came the obvious idea that we needed to bring that MrMobile flair to the home screen. The simple custom theme below is simple, distinct, and MrMobile-approved. Here's what you need to get it done:

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4 months ago

How to fix Samsung Galaxy S6 battery problems

Samsung Galaxy S6

How do you fix Galaxy S6 battery life problems? Here are our top power-saving tips!

With a brilliant display, powerful processor and plenty of software features, you may find yourself draining down the relatively small batteries on the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge a bit faster than other phones, but that doesn't mean the phone's battery life is completely out of your control.

With just a handful of tips — some specific to the GS6 series, others you can use on any Android phone — you'll be able to make the most of the sealed-in battery on the Galaxy S6, and we're going to tell you all about them.

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4 months ago

Where to buy Google Play gift cards

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Where to buy Google Play gift cards

Where can I buy Google Play gift cards?

Looking to buy a Google Play gift card for that special Android user in your life? We at Android Central just want to let you know that you're a good person.

Google Play gift cards just don't seem to be as ubiquitous as iTunes gift cards, but they're actually a lot easier to find than you think.

Here's where to find Google Play gift cards in your region!

USA

Denominations: $10, $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Target
  • Sam's Club
  • CVS
  • Kroger
  • Walgreens
  • Best Buy
  • 7-Eleven
  • GameStop
  • Dollar General
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walmart

Online:

The good ol' U.S. of A. is the only place where you can send someone Google Play credit online and you can even gift Google Play Music subscriptions. You just have to make sure that the recipient is registered for Google Play in the U.S. as well. To share the Google Play love:

Canada

Denominations: $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Sobeys
  • Safeway
  • Loblaw
  • 7-Eleven
  • Best Buy
  • Mac's/Couche-Tard
  • London Drugs
  • Walmart
  • Circle K
  • Provigo

Online:

You can't send Google Play credit from one Google Play account to another in Canada right now, but you can gift a Google Play Music subscription:

UK

Denominations: £10, £25, £50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • ASDA
  • WHSmith
  • Currys PC World
  • Boots
  • Clintons
  • Wilko
  • McColl's
  • Co-op
  • Argos

Online:

You can send Google Play credit in the UK, but you can give the gift of tunes in the form of a Google Play Music subscription:

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4 months ago

How to recover deleted text messages on Android

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How to recover deleted text messages on Android

How do I recover deleted text messages on Android?

Sure, there are many sites that claim to offer recovery services, but you'd need to be running a rooted device. As noted by AC's Jerry Hildebrand, Android has used TRIM on the internal storage since 2012, so deleted data is constantly being overwritten. Chances are, unless you acted immediately after deleting the messages, they will be gone forever, in short order.

But if you want to make sure you never lose texts again — whether by mistake or when switching over to a different device — here's how to do it, using an app appropriately called SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite.

How to backup your SMS messages

The first thing you'll need to do is download the free SMS Backup & Restore app from the Google Play Store.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore.
  3. Tap SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite, which should be the top result.

    Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer, Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore, then tap the free SMS Backup and Restore app, which should be the top result

  4. Tap Install.
  5. Tap Accept.
  6. Tap Open once the app has been installed.

    Tap Install, Tap Accept, and then tap Open once the app has been installed.

  7. Tap Backup once the app has opened.
  8. Tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap Custom Folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or in a specific folder on your phone.
  9. Tap the checkbox next to the things you want backed up, especially the text messages (it's why you're here, right?).

    Tap Backup once the app has opened, tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap custom folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or a specific folder on your phone. Next, tap the checkbox next ot the things you want backed up, in particular text messages, because that's why you're here, right?

  10. Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up.
  11. Tap the file name next to Text Messages if you want to re-title it yourself.
  12. Tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

    Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up, tap filename next to Text Messages if you want to retitle it yourself, then tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

  13. Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up.
  14. Tap your choice between Local Backup only or Local Backup and Upload, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email. To upload your backup, you'll need to install an Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore.
  15. Tap OK.

    Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up. Tap your choice between **Local Backup only** or **Local Backup and Upload**, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email.  To upload your backup, you'll need to install an [Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore, tap OK.

If you decide to only back up your messages locally, you'll get a message warning that you risk losing your backups if you lose or damage your device. You'll also be warned that if you set backups to be stored in the default internal storage, you'll want to transfer them to an external storage device whenever you decide to switch phones.

Your text message conversations will now automatically be backed up to wherever you chose to back them up!

How to restore your SMS messages

Once you've got your SMS messages backed up (again, if you just found this article and didn't have your messages backed up somehow, you're essentially out of luck), you can restore them on a new device or on the same one.

  1. Launch SMS Backup & Restore from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Restore.
  3. Tap the checkboxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

    Launch SMS Backup and Restore from your home screen or app drawer, Tap Restore, then check the boxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

  4. Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one.
  5. Tap Restore.
  6. Tap OK. This info box informs you that to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

    Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one, tap restore, tap OK. This info box informs you that you need to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

  7. Tap Yes. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring.
  8. Tap Close once the restore is completed.

    Tap **Yes**. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring, then tap close once the restore is complete.

And there you have it! Your messages (and maybe even your call logs) have been restored! If you've decided to back up your data to a cloud service, you should also be able to restore your old messages onto a new phone by following the same steps. Since the data is stored in an XML file, it's compatible with any Android device, no matter the make or model.

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4 months ago

How to use Prisma for Android

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What is Prisma and how does it work?

These days, it's not enough to make a simple photo effects app. To stand out, companies need to create effects using complicated machine learning algorithms that create creative and unique pieces of art in the style of Munk, Picasso and Van Gogh. At least that's what the team behind Prisma believes.

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4 months ago

How to fix 'Snapchat login temporarily failed' error on Android

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How do I fix login temporarily failed on Snapchat?

Unfortunately for users on Android devices, Snapchat has a habit of not always logging people into their accounts. While trying to open the app, some users have come across a message that reads:

"Oh no! Your login temporarily failed, so please try again later. If your login continues to fail, please visit https://support.snapchat.com/a/failed-login :)"

Snapchat has stated that Snapchatters using a rooted Android device may encounter this message more than others. While this is frustrating, there are a couple of other reasons this message could be appearing on your phone screen. Snapchat recommends three things to try if your login isn't working:

  1. Make sure you're using the official Snapchat app from the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Double check that your system clock and date is correct.
  3. Confirm that you have a valid Google Account on your Android device.

Once you verify that you have a valid Google Account, you can manually sync your account to your phone to make sure your Google Account is working.

How to sync and verify your Google Account on your Android phone

  1. Launch Settings from your home screen, the Notification Shade, or the app drawer.
  2. Tap Accounts. You may have to scroll a bit to find it.
  3. Tap Add account.

    Launch Settings from the home screen and then tap accounts. Tap add account.

  4. Tap Google.
  5. Enter your email.
  6. Tap Next.

  7. Enter your password.
  8. Tap Next
  9. Tap Accept in the lower right corner.

  10. Tap Next in the lower right corner.
  11. Tap a payment information option.
  12. Tap continue in the lower right corner.

  13. Tap Google.
  14. Tap the more button; it's the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  15. Tap Sync now.

If your Google account isn't valid, you may see a Sync Error message appear.

What do you think?

Is there a way you've tried that helps get rid of Snapchat's error message on your Android phone? Let us know what other techniques have worked for you and which ones haven't.

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4 months ago

Prisma: Blank notification appearing after using the app? Here's the fix!

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Prisma notification

If you're seeing an empty Prisma notification that you can't swipe away, you're not alone. Fortunately there's an easy fix.

As Prisma for Android becomes more popular, a handful of bugs in the AI-enabled photo app are starting to emerge. One of the most confusing glitches has to do with an empty notification that'll show up in your notification after using the app. On most versions of Android it's not obvious which app is creating the notification, and it can't be dismissed normally, so it'll just sit there — pretty frustrating.

Fortunately there's an easy fix.

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4 months ago

How to remove the Prisma logo watermark from your photos

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Prisma

A simple settings change can remove the unsightly Prisma logo from your pics.

With the unique photo-filtering app Prisma now available on Android, it's worth underscoring one of the most important settings changes you can make. By default, Prisma adds its own logo to every image you share from the app. But it's easy to disable this watermark from within the app's settings.

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4 months ago

How to verify your Twitter account on Android

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Getting verified on Twitter with an Android phone is as easy as filling out a form.

Twitter recently opened up its verification procedure to anyone who wants to attempt to convince the company they are worth that coveted blue checkmark.

While it's still unclear how Twitter decides how one gets verified — those approved are "accounts of public interest," according to the company — the steps to get there are now much clearer.

How to get verified with your Android phone

  1. Head to Twitter's official verification page in your Chrome browser.
  2. Sign in to the Twitter account you want verified (if prompted).
  3. Read the information and tap Continue.
  4. Tap Next after verifying the account in question is the one you want verified.

  5. Enter between two and five websites to help Twitter identify your account.
  6. Enter up to 500 words to tell Twitter why your account should be verified.
  7. Tap Next once you are happy with your entries.
  8. Review your request and press Submit.

Once you submit your request, Twitter will then take some time to deliberate and will contact you over email to deliver the good, or bad, news.

What next?

If for some reason your request for verification is denied, you must wait 30 days to apply again — hopefully with a more convincing argument. Got questions? Leave a comment below!

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4 months ago

How to set up a 5.1 home theater system with Sonos for Android

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How to set up a 5.1 home theater system with Sonos for Android

Get BIG home theater sound with Sonos!

Sonos speakers are smart. "How smart?" you ask.

So smart that, when you combine a Sonos Playbar, Sub, and either two Play:1s, two Play:3s, or two Play:5s (gen 2), you can turn all the individual components into a bumpin' home theater system!

Note: Your rear surround speakers must both be the same model or this just won't work.

There are a couple different ways to do this, especially if you have an existing system that you're adding to. We're going to show you the easiest way to set this up. Here we go!

How to set up a 5.1 surround home theater system with Sonos for Android

To make life easier, you're going to want to factory reset all of the speakers that you have set up already.

Once that's done we're going to start by setting up the Playbar, which will prompt the setup of the rest of your home theater system.

  1. Launch the Sonos Controller app from your Home screen or from the app drawer.
  2. Tap Set Up a New Sonos System.
  3. Tap Next on the welcome screen.
  4. Tap Standard Setup so everything stays wireless.

    Tap Set Up a New Sonos System, tap Next, tap Standard Setup

  5. Tap Next on the "Standard Setup" screen.
  6. Tap Set up this player. Choose the Playbar from the list, if it prompts you.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  8. Tap Next.

    Tap NExt, Tap Set Up this Player, follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next

  9. Tap I see an orange light once you see the orange light flashing on the side of the Playbar.
  10. Tap Next on the "Wireless Setup" screen.
  11. Enter your Wi-Fi password into the field.
  12. Tap Continue.

    Tap I see an orange light, tap NExt, enter your Wi-Fi password, tap Continue

  13. Tap Next once the Playbar has been added to your network.
  14. Tap the dropdown menu.
  15. Tap the room in which you'll have your home theater setup.
  16. Tap Next.

    Tap Next, tap the dropdown menu, tap the room you'll have your setup in, tap Next

  17. Tap Next once your TV is turned off.
  18. Tap Add a Sub.
  19. Tap Next once you have plugged in your Sub. As the screen says, it can take up to 30 seconds for it to register (it's not kidding).

    Tap Next, tap Add a Sub, tap Next

  20. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  21. Tap Next once the Sub has been added.
  22. Tap Add Surrounds.

    Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next, tap Add Surrounds

  23. Swipe left and right to choose which players you have.
  24. Tap Set up these players, once you've chosen the Sonos model that you have.
  25. Tap Next on the "Add Left Surround" screen, once you've placed the speaker where you like it.
  26. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    Swipe left and right to choose a player, tap Set up these players once you've chosen, tap Next, follow the on-screen instructions

  27. Tap Next on the "Added Left Surround" screen.
  28. Tap Next on the "Add Right Surround" screen.
  29. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    Tap Next, tap Next, follow the on-screen instructions

  30. Tap Next on the "Added Right Surround" screen.
  31. Tap Next on the "Audio Setup" screen.
  32. Tap Next once you have moved to a central location in the room from which you will watch TV.

    Tap Next, next, next

  33. Tap the play button to start the Sub test sounds.
    • Tap No Difference if the alternating tones don't change in volume.
    • Tap A is louder if the Sub sounds louder when the letter "A" is highlighted.
    • Tap B is louder if the Sub sounds louder when the letter "B" is highlighted.
  34. Tap the play button to start the bass tones.
  35. Tap the bass setting that is most pleasing to your ear.
  36. Tap Next.

    Tap the play button, tap No Difference if neither tone is louder than the other, tap A is louder or B is louder if one is, tap the play button, choose a bass setting, tap Next

  37. You will be asked how far away from you your left and right surround speakers are. Tap one of the following options:
    • Less than 2 feet
    • 2 feet to 10 feet
    • More than 10 feet
  38. Tap Next on the "Audio Setup" screen.
  39. Tap Next on the "TV Sound" screen, once your Playbar is connected to your television via optical cable.

    Tap the option that best describes how far away from you your speakers are, tap Next, tap Next

  40. Tap Next once you have your TV turned on to a movie or show.
  41. Tap Next after setting your TV speakers to external. This can be done using your remote in your TV's sound settings.
  42. Tap Next.

    Tap Next, Next, Next

  43. Tap Successfully disabled, once you have your audio output set to external speakers.
  44. Tap Next.
  45. Tap Next on the "Remote Control Setup" screen.

    Tap Successfully Disabled, tap Next, tap Next

  46. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  47. Tap Next once your remote is set up.
  48. Press the volume button on your TV remote and tap an option.

    • A message is displayed
    • A volume level is displayed
    • Nothing is displayed

      Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Next, press the vlume button on your remote and choose the option that best describes what you see

  49. Tap Next on the "TV Messages" screen.
  50. Tap Add Another Player if you wish to do so and follow steps 3-13. Otherwise, tap Not Now.
  51. Tap Next on the "Sonos Registration" screen.

    Tap Next, tap Add another player, if you wish to do so; otherwise, tap Not Now, tap Next

  52. Enter your email address.
  53. Check or uncheck the checkoxes, depending on whether or not you'd like to receive software and company emails from Sonos.
  54. Tap Next.

    Enter your email address, check our uncheck the checkboxes, depending on whether or not you want to receive promotional material, tap Next

  55. Tap Use Current Location to allow Sonos to use your location as part of the registration process.
  56. Enter your zip/postal code.
  57. Tap Next.
  58. Check or uncheck the checkbox, depending on whether or not you'd like to send usage data to Sonos.

    Tap Use Current Location, enter your zip/postal code, tap Next, check or uncheck the checkbox, depending on whether or not you want to share usage data with Sonos

  59. Tap Next.
  60. Tap Next on the "Registration Complete** screen.
  61. Tap Set Up Music Services if you wish to set up a music service. Otherwise, tap Skip to Sonos Menu.

    Tap Next, tap Next, tap Set Up Music Services, if you wish to do so; otherwise, tap Skip to Sonos Menu

It was a long road, but we got there! Now you can enjoy immersive 5.1 surround sound thanks to Sonos!

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4 months ago

How to keep your screen on in Pokémon Go without wrecking your battery the rest of the day

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Pokémon Go is a battery-killer. We all know this.

Like most people, when I started Pokémon Go, I would be walking around and having to turn my screen back on every minute or so when it timed out. To fix that frustration, I went into Settings, and under Display, I cranked my Screen timeout up to 10 minutes. Then my phone would stay on forever while I was listening to music, or looking at Twitter, so I was using the power button just as much.

But there is a better way! Actually there are a few better ways.

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4 months ago

How to make free Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts for Android

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How to make free Wi-Fi calls with Google Hangouts for Android

How do I make phone calls with Google Hangouts?

Why pay for domestic calling when you can make Wi-Fi calls to Canada and the U.S. for free with Google Hangouts? All you need is the Hangouts Dialer and you'll be able to dial any number and make a call via Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G (data rates apply, of course).

You can call internationally, but you will be charged Google's rates. That being said, Google's international rates are considerably cheaper than many leading telephone service providers' rates.

Here's how to make Wi-Fi phone calls using the Hangouts Dialer and Google Hangouts for Android!

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4 months ago

How to install and set up Authy for two-factor authentication on your Chromebook

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Authy is awesome if you want your two-factor authentication tokens on more than one phone. But it's not just for phones — it's great on your Chromebook, too!

We've talked about using Authy for two-factor authentication when you need your tokens on multiple devices, and how to get things all set up on your Android. If you've got a Chromebook, you'll also want to install the Authy extension. It's a minimal piece of software that only does exactly what it needs to do — fetch you a 2Fa token when you need it. Here's how to get it set up.

Download and install the Authy extension from the Chrome Web store. There's also an Authy Chrome app, which is recommended for Windows, Mac or Linux computers running the Chrome Browser. Either one will work, and the setup is the same. I recommend the extension for a Chromebook instead of a new app. When the install is done, you'll see a new icon to the right of the Omni-bar. Click it (or tap it) to open the extension window.

The setup screen will open. Authy needs to verify and authorize a new device on your account. Verifying everything is super-easy if you have Authy running on your phone, but you can also use an SMS message or a phone call to verify (or even set up a new account). For this article, we're going to assume you set up Authy on your phone. Because you should set up Authy on your phone. Just set up Authy on your phone, dammit.

Anyhoo, enter the phone number you have registered with Authy and click the button that says you're going to use another device to verify things. Now grab your phone, and check your notifications. You'll have one from the Authy app that says another device is asking for approval. Tap the notification (and enter your PIN for Authy if you set one up) and you can verify your Chromebook with a tap. You need to use 2Fa to set up Authy on a new device, but don't worry. You'll not need to do this again.

When things are done and you're approved, you'll see a list of the accounts you have in Authy. You'll also notice that you have a notification on the settings icon. Let's fix that setting first.

When you open the settings, you'll see Authy asking you to set up a master password for the extension. You'll need to supply this password every time you open Authy. You don't have to protect your Authy accounts on your Chromebook, but with no password, anyone can open the app and get a 2Fa token. I suggest you password protect Authy on your Chromebook. It's a minor inconvenience for an app you'll not need to open very often. But it's your call. I'll pretend everyone reading is going to protect the Authy app.

We're almost done. When you go back to the Authy window, you'll see a lock icon next to each account on your list. That's because you enabled encryption on your backups. You'll need to supply the encryption password to sync with your Authy account. To do that just tap the lock icon and enter the same password you used on your phone when you set Authy up.

And now you're done.

The next time you need to supply a 2Fa token on the web (or anywhere) you won't have to grab your phone. Click any account in the list and you'll get your token, with a handy button to copy it to the clipboard.

Your next step to protect your privacy is to add a USB Security key (or two) to your Google account so you always have a way in. Stay safe!

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4 months ago

How to connect a USB flash drive to your Android phone

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How to connect a USB flash storage device to your Android phone

How do I connect a USB flash storage device to my Android phone?

Say you're going to a party and your friends have asked you to play amateur DJ. Your phone has some music on it, but there's so much more on your thumb drive or external solid state drive. You don't want to bring an entire laptop to the party! Why not hook it up to your phone?

Another scenario: you're going on a long road trip or flight and you can't imagine anything better than watching movies the whole time. Problem is, you can't fit them all on the internal or removable storage on your Android phone. Bring your flash drive! It's full of movies!

Connecting a USB flash storage device to your Android phone is cheap and easy. Let's find out what you need and, finally, how to get everything connected and safely disconnected again.

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4 months ago

How to free up storage space on Android

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OnePlus 3 storage

How do I free up space on my Android phone?

There are a couple of super simple, straightforward ways to instantly give you more room for music, apps, photos, and more.

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