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2 days ago

You can now interact with Cortana from your phone's lock screen

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Microsoft continues to flesh out Cortana's functionality on Android phones.

Still waiting for your phone to receive Google Assistant? Perhaps you've considered downloading Microsoft's own personal assistant, Cortana to your phone. With its latest update, Microsoft has added some interesting features including the ability to interact with Cortana without having to unlock your device.

In a previous update, Microsoft added lock screen functionality that let you see your daily schedule via Cortana on your lock screen. This latest update now gives you the option to ask Cortana questions, add reminders, and more without needing to unlock your phone. Microsoft has improved other aspects of the app, adding dedicated buttons for creating reminders and lists as well as improving reminders in general as well as location-based triggers.

Cortana is a compelling option for a mobile personal assistant, especially if you regularly use a Windows 10 PC. Its cross-platform functionality means you can quickly set a reminder to pick something up at the store while working on your PC, then Cortana will remind you on your phone when you arrive at the store.

Previously only available in the U.S. and UK, Microsoft has also extended Cortana for Android and iOS to Australia. Microsoft says they plan to continually improve the Cortana experience on Android, so if you plan on using it be sure to send any feedback you have in a Google Play Store review.

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2 days ago

How to enable night mode on the Galaxy Tab S3

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Avoid messing up your circadian rhythm with the built-in blue-light filter.

I love to read late at night, but doing so on a backlit tablet display isn't the best idea before settling in for some shut eye. Studies have shown that the blue-hued light emitted from screens are detrimental to keeping the circadian rhythm functioning as it should.

Samsung equipped the Galaxy Tab S3 with a yellow-hued night mode so that when you're using the tablet before bed – reading digital magazines or e-books, for instance — you aren't surreptitiously telling your brain you're avoiding rest. You can set it up to automatically switch on after sundown, or toggle it on from the Quick Settings.

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2 days ago

Samsung is planning to offer the Note 7 as a refurbished device

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Samsung unveils plans for recycling and reusing recalled Note 7 phones.

As the world waits for the Samsung Galaxy S8 release, Samsung has announced its plans for recycling — and refurbishing — the millions of recalled Note 7 devices.

Back in February, Samsung denied it had plans to sell refurbished Note 7s in India and Vietnam but it has since changed its tune, stating "applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand."

Given that the batteries were to blame for the Note 7's spectacular fiery failures, the plan for refurbishing the device would likely require installing a smaller battery before offering them as refurbished or rental units in select markets. No word on release timelines or which markets will see the refurbished Note 7.

Meanwhile, the remaining recalled devices will be sent to electronics recycling companies where they will be stripped of components such as semiconductors and camera modules which will be reused for test sample production purposes. The remaining components will be sent to eco-friendly companies that specialize in extracting precious metals from the devices.

Would you buy a refurbished Note 7? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 days ago

Google Play now gives away a paid app every week

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Android has millions of free titles, but some paid titles need to be shared.

There are millions of free apps available on the Play Store, and many of them are pretty great. But there are also millions of paid apps that don't always get the attention they deserve.

Now, Google wants to highlight a few of those paid titles by offering a free app or game of the week. The first one is Card Wars — Adventure Time, a lighthearted card trading and battle game that usually runs for $2.99, but this week is going gratis.

Like Apple's version of the same, it appears Google will highlight a single title each week, and chances are it will be a paid game that also has in-app purchases. That benefits both Google and the developer, since it gets a chance to add millions of new users and ramp up revenue.

This isn't the first time Google has given away paid apps for free. It started the practice in its then-nascent Family section back in 2015, but that particular enterprise seems to have faded away for this more broad version.

Android Gaming

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3 days ago

What big carriers won't tell you about prepaid alternative carriers

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Being informed is great for us, but big carriers would rather keep you in the dark when shopping for phone service.

There are plenty of reasons to use an MVNO instead of one of the four major network providers here in the U.S. We have talked about many of them and most center on the service to cost ratio and how an MVNO can usually be a better value for most people. We think that value is a big consideration — who doesn't love paying less without getting less?

There are a few little things that carriers won't mention about MVNOs that can make using one even more attractive. Here are a few things you won't hear about when you see a commercial from the Big Four.

These are the cheapest data plans you can buy in the U.S.

They are MVNOs themselves

All four carriers have at least one MVNO that is part of their corporate entity. They can incorporate them individually and appoint someone else as a company CEO, but when you follow the money back to the bank it's going to the same account in the end.

All four carriers run one or more MVNOs.

They have several reasons for doing this. One is that if they didn't, they would risk losing more customers to smaller companies that operate independently as MVNOs. For example, Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Sprint Corporation. Together they have about 11 million subscribers. Sprint can't afford to lose revenue from 11 million accounts, and the revenue from Boost and Virgin USA goes directly to Sprint.

What is an alternative carrier?

Sprint also has its own Sprint-branded prepaid service. It doesn't try to hide the fact that it owns Boost or Virgin USA, but it lets them act as if they were their own MVNO because they can offer different plans at different prices marketed to all types of customers. You can feel good about saving money on Boost instead of paying more for a Sprint plan, even though you are on a Sprint-owned plan and network.

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Sprint counts everyone with a Sprint postpaid plan and one of its MVNO subscribers in its subscriber count every quarter because it's all the same company. It sees the value in an MVNO for the same reasons we see the value: to get more for less. It's not just Sprint: AT&T and T-Mobile both run their own MVNOs for the very same reasons. (Verizon offers prepaid service, but only as part of its main brand. It also sells its service to other alternative carriers.)

You are paying for things you don't need or use

If you have a post-paid account with one of the four major operators in the U.S. you are paying for things you don't use. You don't use them because you don't need them.

Customer service, international "extras" and other plan perks aren't free. Neither is the cost to develop and maintain extra services the companies offer like live TV broadcasts or cloud storage accounts or NASCAR sponsorships. The cost of all these things, as well as corporate facilities and accountants and lawyers, come from you and me. It's part of our monthly bill and a big reason why you pay more for a data plan than you would through an MVNO. Many of us make use of some of these services, but think about the ones you don't use and are still paying for.

An MVNO buys bulk data from these same carriers at a highly discounted rate. It can pass those savings on to you because it isn't building billion-dollar corporate headquarters or paying millions of dollars to be an internet television service provider. It deals in phone calls and data plans. That's what it sells you and that's what you are paying for.

Hardly anyone needs huge data plans

Someone is going to comment that he use hundreds of gigabytes per month on his unlimited data plan. I'm sure that's true, and it's great that there's an option to do it. But the simple fact is that most of us don't use very much data, and the smaller 1GB or 2GB plans are all we would ever need. We still want to help save you money if you need unlimited data, though.

Which unlimited plan should you buy: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon?

This doesn't diminish anyone's need for 100GB of data per month. If you need that much, stick with one of the Big Four and their unlimited plans. But if you don't need a shared family plan with 10GB of data for your family, you don't have to pay for it. An alternative carrier usually offers small data packages or services that can be maintained by paying for calls and texts that you can top up with data as you need it. This can mean substantial savings over the course of a year compared to even the smallest "smartphone" data package from a postpaid carrier.

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They use the same wires as an MVNO

T-Mobile (for example) has the same network footprint as MetroPCS (which is an MVNO that's really part of T-Mobile like we talked about earlier) or any other MVNO that uses T-Mobile's network. It doesn't split the network into different areas when it sells wholesale data to another company.

A carrier only has one network and it's the one it also sells to MVNOs.

If it tells you it has a bigger network footprint it's because is paying another carrier to use its data network in some places. This is more common that you think, and even the U.S. telecom giants that are AT&T and Verizon have agreements with other carriers for places where their networks needs some help. If you are in one of these areas, some features of the plan you pay for aren't going to work, and your data speeds may be diminished, but it's still better than a dead spot. And cheaper than network expansion.

This isn't a bad thing. Plenty of people travel all over the place and need service to follow them, and roaming agreements between companies help make that happen. But for the majority of its network coverage map, the service and data connection is the same as an MVNO that uses its network.

They love MVNOs as much as we do

Selling bulk data to an MVNO is very profitable for a big carrier. It doesn't need to do anything extra when selling wholesale data to an MVNO so it means it is getting more (money) for less (work).

Alternative carriers have to maintain the network for their own customers. They have to expand the network for their own customers. They have to improve the network for their own customers. These are real costs, and selling data to an MVNO helps the bottom line because there isn't anything they need to do after they sell it.

They can even make more money by offering things like billing services and in-store sales for an MVNO as an extra service. And after all that, your MVNO can still offer service cheaper than the company it is buying it from. Makes one wonder just how much profit is in every megabyte of data the Big Four sells, doesn't it?

An MVNO isn't making deals with hardware companies

At least not as many deals and not the same kinds of deals.

For a long time, AT&T was very interested in getting you to buy an iPhone every year. That's because it had a special deal with Apple, and for that deal to be profitable it had to sell a whole lot of iPhones. That's great for Apple and AT&T, but not so great for you and me.

A Galaxy S7 works great on an MVNO, but nobody is pressuring you to buy one.

That hasn't changed now that everyone can use a Galaxy S7 on any network (it's awesome on an MVNO, by the way!). Apple, Samsung, LG and everyone else works with the major carriers to find ways to make even more money, and employees are directed to do certain things to help make it happen.

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When you sign up for service from an alternative carrier, you might find a deal on an older model phone or a refurbished phone, but nobody is there to steer you towards a specific brand or model. MVNOs are interested in selling you good, cheap phone service. Not the next big thing from Samsung or Apple.

And that next big thing from Samsung or Apple will work just fine if it's what you really want.

Alternative carriers are businesses and designed to make money. They aren't out to be our friends or to operate at a loss. But there are plenty of reasons why they can make money by selling the same service for a lot less, and the Big Four carriers don't really want to talk about them.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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3 days ago

Where to buy the Moto G5 Plus in the U.S.

6

The Moto G5 Plus is coming to the U.S. Here's where to get it!

The Moto G5 Plus is probably your best bet for an unlocked smartphone in the U.S. under $250. It's fast, has a great camera, decent software, and many other reasons you may want to pick one up.

If you want to buy a Moto G5 Plus, you can do so beginning March 31 in the U.S.

Which version should you buy?

In the U.S., you can't buy the Moto G5 Plus from a carrier, so you're going to be getting it unlocked at one of the company's many retail partners, or directly from Motorola itself.

The two configurations are identical but for RAM and storage amounts:

  • The $229.99 version comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
  • The $299.99 version comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

They are otherwise identical.

Moto G5 Plus specs

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from Motorola

Motorola is the main place to buy the Moto G5 Plus in the U.S., since it comes directly from the manufacturer, unlocked and ready to go in two varieties — a 2GB RAM/32GB storage version and a 4GB RAM/64GB storage version — and two colors.

Motorola is also offering low-rate financing, and a 5% discount when you complete your order, bringing the more-expensive model down to $284.99.

See at Motorola

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from Amazon

Amazon is another great option for the Moto G5 Plus, largely because it offers the phone in four varieties: the same two models as above, plus Amazon's Prime Exclusive versions, which bring down the price $45 and $60 respectively. In exchange for the discounts (and you must be a Prime member to receive them), you have to deal with Amazon's lockscreen ads and a bunch of pre-installed apps, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're looking for the lowest price on these phones.

See at Amazon

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from Best Buy

The Moto G5 Plus from Best Buy is a good deal because it comes with a free Incipio case with each purchase.

The phone is available in either size or color (Lunar Gray or Fine Gold) and is otherwise priced the same as from Motorola — $229.99 or $299.99.

See at Best Buy

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from B&H

B&H is increasingly becoming a go-to site for buying unlocked phones, and if you live outside of New York or New Jersey the company doesn't collect taxes, which means that you can potentially save a couple of dollars on your purchase.

B&H offers both versions of the Moto G5 Plus — the 32GB and 64GB models — at their standard $229.99/$299.99 prices.

See at B&H

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from Newegg

Newegg is also a reliable place to get your unlocked phones because it offers inexpensive shipping, and free 3-day shipping for Premier members. Newegg isn't giving away any free stuff or discounting the phones, but if you're already a member of the site, it's a good option.

See at Newegg

Buy the Moto G5 Plus from an alternative carrier

The Moto G5 Plus doesn't have any official carrier presence in the States, but it will be sold through a few alternative carriers, also known as MVNOs.

See at Ting

Ting and Republic Wireless will all offer the phone when it's available on March 31, and if you're looking to bundle a phone with some service, they may be good options, especially if you want to get it with financing.

See at Republic Wireless

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3 days ago

You can already buy Samsung Galaxy S8 cases

27

If you know for sure you're getting the Samsung Galaxy S8, you can already buy some cases.

Samsung is set to officially unveil the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on March 29, and is expected to start shipping out to stores and pre-orderers by late April — but that doesn't mean you need to wait to start shopping for cases.

Case manufacturers are often some of the first to receive concrete specs and design details for new phones so that they can have their own accessories and products ready to be sold on day one. Search Amazon for "Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases" and you'll find a whole bunch of options populating your search results, so you can start buying cases for your phone right now… But should you?

We've vetted a few case options that are up on Amazon right now if you're that eager, but we're still waiting a lot of major manufacturers to jump into the game yet.

Moko Heavy Duty Case with Holster Belt Clip and Kickstand

Moko offers cheap and rugged cases for phones, and this dual-layered case will offer some great protection for your brand new device — if you don't mind completely covering the sleek design.

There are ample cutouts around the charging port and headphone jack so you don't have to worry about your accessories not fitting, and there's a lip around the screen for added protection. Moko also includes a convenient kickstand for hands-free viewing on the back, along with a belt clip holster if you're into that sort of thing.

Available for $9, it's a cheap investment for those who absolutely want to keep their phone protected the minute they take it out of the box.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Case

Another rugged case we've seen available so far is the Unicorn Beetle case from SUPCASE. We've recommended this case style before for other cases because it's got a heavy-duty build to it while remaining slim and stylish.

It's really the only other option we've seen on Amazon that's worth recommending so far.

See at Amazon

VRS Design Cases pre-order

VRS Design is showcasing its full line of Galaxy S8 cases on its website. They're all available for pre-order and will begin shipping out on April 3.

They offer a number of great protection choices for the S8 — from sleek and simple clear cases to stylish wallet folio options. You'll definitely want to check them out!

See at VRS Design

Spigen cases leaked

While not officially out yet, Spigen cases have started to leak out recently — Android Pure first leaked a render of the Spigen Rugged Armor case for the S8 and then later more Spigen case renders a few days later.

These cases are currently not available for purchase from either Amazon or Spigen's website, but they're clearly on their way. Spigen is one of our most trusted brands for cases, so if you love their styles, we recommend waiting until they officially go on sale.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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3 days ago

How to clean your PlayStation VR

Keeping your PlayStation VR clean is easier than you might think.

Taking care of your PlayStation VR means making sure that it stays nice and clean. After all, nobody wants to accidentally overheat their system because of dust, or wear a headset that is covered in someone else's dirt. Thankfully, keeping your system clean is quite easy and we've got all the details for you here.

Read More at VR Heads!

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3 days ago

New leak reveals alleged spec sheet of Xiaomi's Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus

13

Latest rumor suggests the Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus will be powered by the Snapdragon 835.

Xiaomi is rumored to unveil its 2017 flagships — the Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus — on April 11, and a recent leak gives us a look at the alleged spec sheet of both devices. According to the leak, both the Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus will be powered by the Snapdragon 835, contradicting earlier rumors that Xiaomi will initially launch a variant with the Snapdragon 821.

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3 days ago

HTC Vive: The Ultimate Guide

If you're new to the HTC Vive or a VR veteran, this is your ultimate guide!

Earlier this year HTC debuted it's first virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive. With the intention of providing high quality experiences to the masses, the headset has emerged as a consumer favorite as of late.

Whether you're just starting out with the platform or been rocking a headset since launch, we've complied the best tips and tricks to take your experience that extra bit forward. From buyer's guides, tutorials and troubleshooting, we're sure to cover your needs!

Read more at VR Heads!

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3 days ago

Ace the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam with this certification prep course, now just $49.99

Whether you are looking to start a new career or just advance the one you are in currently, you'll need some certifications under your belt to make you stand out above the others. Unfortunately, getting certifications can be a time consuming and expensive process. You need time to study, money to pay for the courses, and then you just have to hope that you can keep up with that and your regular job. Well, it doesn't have to be that way.

Master Project Management for less! Learn More

How does lifetime access to more than 76 courses that contain just shy of 40 hours of training sound? Well, with this awesome certification training package you can work towards becoming certified in one of the industry's most respected certification organizations. You'll be able to access the material 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can do things on your schedule, and this will also help you meet that 35 contact-hour requirement for the exam and certification.

For just $50 you'll have access to:

  • Get lifetime access to 76+ courses & 35+ hours of training
  • Become certified by one of the industry's most respected & in-demand certification organizations
  • Take lessons from a company that's approved by Project Management Institute® to meet the strict educational criteria necessary to earn the PMP® & CAPM®certifications
  • Access the material 24/7 so you can learn when you have time
  • Meet the 35 contact-hour requirement for the PMP® exam & certification
  • Maintain your certification by meeting the required Professional Development Units

Normally, this certification training would set you back nearly $1,500, but if you act quick you can pay just a small fraction of that. What better way to work towards you new goal than on your own schedule, right?

Save big for a limited time! Learn More

Don't miss out on this huge 96% savings because this deal won't last forever. Make the purchase now, and thank yourself later.

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3 days ago

Moto G5 Plus review: The new standard for budget phones

87

The quick take

Android Central Choice Award

The Moto G5 Plus is an awesome little phone, and that it's available for just over $200 is one of its greatest assets. Things could have gone either way for the Motorola brand under Lenovo, but it seems that the Moto G line has maintained what made it great in the first place: excellent hardware coupled with simple, unencumbered software, and a price tag that screams value.

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3 days ago

High-end smartphones account for just 29% of Samsung's sales in Q1 2017

13

Samsung is relying on the mid-range segment to drive growth.

Samsung posted a record $7.8 billion operating profit in Q4 2016, but it looks like the company isn't making as much money from high-end devices as it previously used to. In a report published today, The Investor shared findings from South Korean investment fund Hana Financial Investment, which stated that the revenue from high-end smartphones accounted for just 29% of Samsung's global sales in Q1 2017. That's down from the 40% the company enjoyed in 2015 on the back of the Galaxy S4.

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3 days ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 vs. ASUS Chromebook Flip: Which one is better for productivity?

23

Tthe Galaxy Tab S3 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip are exceptional as productivity machines. But one is better for productivity.

I've always been particularly dubious about whether a tablet could fulfill all my productivity needs. And that's why I purchased an ASUS Chromebook Flip: to write copy and edit photos, and then upload all that to the internet. I need to be able to do this quickly and efficiently, which is possible on Chrome OS.

I'd hoped the Galaxy Tab S3 could have shattered those preconceived notions I had about tablets since it comes bundled with a ubiquitous pressure sensitive stylus, the S Pen. But after a week with it as my secondary productivity machine, I went crawling back to my Chromebook. There are still some elements of the Android tablet interface that make it clunky to use for work, and even though Samsung's S Pen makes the Tab S3 such a pleasant experience, it's not enough that I could trust it out on the road as my only productivity device.

Scrawling is nice, but typing is faster

Typing is faster than writing.

I'd much prefer to type on the Chromebook Flip than scrawl out my notes with the Tab S3.

The Galaxy Tab S3's S Pen is incredibly convincing. It's easy to use, to wield, and to write with. You can use it to crop parts of the screen as you need to save a screenshot, or draw on parts of the screen and save that as a diagram. You can even write on the screen while it's off — sort of — and that's my favorite feature because I'm constantly scrawling throughout the day. I can even launch a new Google Keep post-it to scribble down what I need — another great feature to have, particularly if you're furiously jotting down shorthand.

But you don't need to pay the money that's required of the Tab S3 to get that sort of functionality from a tablet-like device. The Chromebook Flip flips into a tablet, which you can then use with a cheap stylus for diagram drawing. It's not as good at handwriting as the S Pen, but it is better for typing marathons; its keyboard is soft and velvety, and more comfortable to use compared to the constricted layout that's offered with the Tab S3's optional $130 keyboard.

See at Amazon

Apps are better with a desktop

The desktop can help you get more done.

The desktop can help you get more done.

Apps are a major part of the productivity realm, and thankfully, many companies have embraced the life of the mobile worker. You can find most of the Microsoft Office suite in the Google Play Store, for instance, as well as various titles from Adobe's camp. There are also apps for other services you might need for work, like VPN clients, chat applications, and collaborative boards. Since Chrome OS has adopted Android apps, these suites have also become available to the Chromebook ecosystem, though many of them also sport companion browser apps.

The Chromebook can use Android apps; Android tablets don't have the flexibility of Chrome apps.

Using Android and Chromebook apps interchangeably have made me realize that I have an easier time flipping between apps on Chrome OS not only because I have a choice between the app and the web app, but there's a desktop available for sprawling out that work. I can spread out windows and place them around as I need them to compare information between apps. I can also easily drag and drop between apps and services without having to tap a multitasking button and sifting between the apps I'm using. And though the Tab S3 employs Nougat's excellent multi-window feature, having to set up two apps side-by-side while up against a deadline is a major stressor. I can move faster on a Chromebook.

Dealing with photos

Photos aren't easy to edit on the Tab S3.

RAW photos aren't easy to manage on the Tab S3.

I'm sticking to the Chromebook Flip, primarily because it can handle a massive batch of those RAW files where the Tab S3 can't.

Neither the Galaxy Tab S3 nor the Chromebook Flip are particularly outstanding at importing a massive batch of RAW photos, but I've found that it's easier to develop a method to the madness with Chrome OS. I set up a virtual "My Documents" folder where I can store RAW files and import only the ones I need into an editing app like Polar. I also appreciate the physical sensation of dragging and dropping files around, which is possible on Chrome OS — even though the trackpad on the Chromebook Flip isn't very good.

I also tend to use a microSD card in an adapter in my DSLR, so that I can mount the card inside the Chromebook. I can do the same with the Galaxy Tab S3 and its expansion slot, but the way that Android handles SD cards means that some apps won't accept the methods of storage, and so I can't access those files or open a batch of them in an editing app.

Which is it? The Chromebook

Which one to use?

Which one to adopt for work?

I worry for my future as I'm realizing that I may be the last generation that's used to a desktop-style environment; that relies on that drag-and-drop sensation in our digital lives. Is my inability to catch on to the Tab S3's tablet interface a true folly of Android's? Or is it that I'm just not used to interface's mechanisms because that's not what I've been conditioned to use?

The answer to that lies in another story, for another time. For now, I'm sticking to the Chromebook Flip as the secondary work machine, primarily because it can handle a massive batch of those RAW files where the Tab S3 can't. Multitasking between windows is easier, too, and though the Chromebook doesn't play as nicely with a stylus, I hardly found myself missing the S Pen after putting it down.

Everyone has different needs, which is what makes the variety of technology that's available so exciting for the rest of us. My experience shouldn't deter you if you're looking to adopt a tablet-only lifestyle, and the Tab S3's S Pen capabilities may be worth the price for you. If you're an artist or a creative type who needs to physically write to be prolific, you're likely to have a better experience with Samsung's tablet than with a convertible Chromebook and some after-market stylus.

See Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 at Amazon See ASUS Chromebook Flip at Amazon

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3 days ago

How to set up Google Photos

18

Never lose a photo again, once you've set up Google Photos.

Having access to all of your photos at a swipe is kind of like living the dream, at least for many photographers it is. If you're snap-happy, then you owe it to yourself to make sure that you never lose another photo again with Google Photos. This service will back up, store, and organize your photos so that as soon as you capture that moment it's protected from accidental deletion when your phone runs out of storage space. Getting everything set up is a quick process, provided you already have a Google account, and in many cases comes preloaded on your phone.

Why use Google Photos?

While we may think of our phones as a repository for our entire lives, they have finite storage space. When you broach that limit, having your photos backed up means that you can delete them off of your phone without losing them entirely. Likewise, if your phone suffers a tragic fall, or swim in the pool, and doesn't survive, your photos will.

By saving and uploading your photos to a personal cloud, you can share them and access them from whatever device you like. For parents especially this service becomes invaluable in ensuring that you get to keep every memory in technicolor.

Step by step instructions for setting up Google Photos

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google account.
  3. Choose desired quality setting.

  4. Wait for your Photos to sync, and get started!

Step by step instructions for choosing device folders

  1. Open Google Photos
  2. Tap the overflow icon that looks like 3 lines in the upper left corner of your screen
  3. Tap the gear icon to open Settings

  4. Tap the first option, Back up and sync
  5. Tap Back up device folders
  6. Tap the toggle to choose which folders are backed up to Google Photos

Step by step instructions for choosing image upgrade quality

When setting up your Google Photos account, you also have a choice in your image upload quality. There are two options open to you, high quality, or original quality. Choosing high quality will score you unlimited storage, with photos stored at 16MP and videos stored at 1080p. Choosing original quality will count against your Google account storage, but all photos and videos are stored at the quality you shot them — including RAW files. This especially handy if you're shooting in resolutions higher than 16MP, or in RAW.

It's also worth noting that Pixel users get free storage of all photos and videos in original quality, without it counting against your Google account storage.

Choose your image quality while setting up Google Photos

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Follow the directions to set up an account.
  3. When the Back up and sync page appears tap on change settings.
  4. Choose between original and high quality for your uploads.

Change your image quality in the settings

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap on the overflow icon that looks like 3 horizontal lines in the upper left corner.
  3. Tap on Settings

  4. Tap on Back up and sync.
  5. Tap on Upload size.
  6. Choose your image quality to upload.

Do you use Google Photos to save all of the shots on your camera roll? Is there a part of setting up Google Photos that we missed? Do you still have questions about getting Google Photos set up and ready to go? Be sure to drop us a comment below and let us know all about it!

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