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1 month ago

Smart Text Selection finally available in Google Chrome

1

More than three months later, Smart Text Selection finally makes its way to Google Chrome.

Android 8.0 Oreo introduced a lot of new features for our favorite mobile OS, and in my opinion, one of the most underrated ones in Smart Text Selection. This is something that's been available since 8.0 Oreo was released in August, but now on December 6, the stable version of Google Chrome is just now being updated to support it.

Smart Text Selection is coming to Google Chrome as part of the v63 update that's rolling out to the Play Store now, and as long as you're running either 8.0 or 8.1, it should work without any problems.

As a quick refresher, Smart Text Selection suggests different actions based on certain text that you're highlighting/copying. If you highlight an address, you'll get a new prompt that takes you right to Google Maps and automatically fills in said address. If you do the same with a phone number, you'll get a prompt to take you to the dialer. It's not a mind-blowing feature, but it is one of the more practical ones found in Oreo.

Now that we're talking about it, have you been using Smart Text Selection?

Android Oreo

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1 month ago

Setting up a kid-friendly Android device

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Be involved in your child's digital life.

While handing your phone or tablet off to a child can offer a moment of peace while they are distracted by a game or video, there's a lot more to the experiences children can have in Android. Choosing the right device for them to enjoy is only part of the process, though. Android is primarily made for adults, so there's a little bit of setup necessary to make your average smartphone or tablet child-friendly.

Here's a quick tour through those steps, and some tips on keeping your child safe through Android.

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1 month ago

Google Sheets updated with new machine learning features

6

Sheets is gaining automatic suggestions to speed up your workflow.

If there's one thing that's been synonymous with Google this year, it's been machine learning. Google's gone all-in with machine learning and artificial intelligence for many of its services and apps, and the latest to be injected with these is Google Sheets.

Google made this announcement via a blog post on December 6, and the biggest changes coming as a result of this include automatically-suggested actions based on what you're doing. Now, Sheets can automatically suggest a pivot table to visually represent your numbers, data for rows and columns when working with a pivot table, and formulas that are based around the data you're working with.

Along with this, Google says financial professionals will be able to "use everyday language to ask questions of their data and have the answer returned as a pivot table."

These new features will start making their way to G Suite users soon, and you can find more exact details here.

Android 8.1 Oreo exits beta, now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

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1 month ago

Best music player apps for Android

44

Get the best music experience on your Android phone or tablet with these great apps

Over the years music fans have gradually changed how they listen to their music, and what they listen to it on. With the rise of the smartphone, it's only natural that now the one device we carry with us everywhere is also our primary media player. On Android, we're also fortunate that there's a huge community of developers that create apps that can better the experience we're provided by the folks who made our phones.

The Google Play Store has many music-related apps to choose from, but some do stand out from the crowd. It'd be impossible to look at all of them, so here we've chosen some that we think are some of the best there is. Let's take a look.

DoubleTwist Cloudplayer

DoubleTwist Cloud Player

We've talked about DoubleTwist a lot around these parts and with good reason. DoubleTwist became a favorite of Android users that had deep roots in the iTunes ecosystem and still is. The base app has been replaced on this list by Cloudplayer, a newer offering that looks great and has hooks into some of the most popular cloud storage services to deliver your music.

We're not talking about hooking into streaming services, either. Create your own cloud streaming library with your own music, a Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive account, and DoubleTwist Cloudplayer. Access to these is unlockable via an in-app purchase, but the basic app is free. And the basic app will also play your lossless FLAC files.

That in-app purchase also unlocks AirPlay support and the equalizer tools to help you get the most from your music. And like the older app, you can still use it to listen to radio and podcasts, too, as well as now having support for both Android Wear and Android Auto. A pretty well stocked one stop shop for all your audio needs.

Find DoubleTwist on Google Play

Google Play Music

Google Play Music

Not just a music player, but we have to include Google Play Music. While it doesn't have the deep customization or power features of something like Poweramp, it offers what many others do not; that huge cloud library for your own music. After all, without the music to listen too, what good is a killer music player?

That's not to say Google Play Music isn't a good music player, because it is. Being a Google product it integrates perfectly with your device – including the sweet lock screen artwork. But the real value is in that cloud storage. It means you can take your music collection with you on whichever Android and iOS device you own. Sure, you need to offline some of that from time-to-time, but it's always with you.

Google also has its own store and streaming service built into the same app making it a superb one stop shop for all your musical needs. What it lacks in features compared to others it makes up for the inconvenience.

Check out Google Play Music for yourself!

Shuttle Music Player

Shuttle Music Player

Shuttle is perhaps one you've not heard of before, but one that's definitely worth your attention. Unlike a heavy duty app with has tons of settings and customizations, Shuffle offers a portion of that with a much more lightweight look and feel.

It comes with a sleep timer, gapless playback, a choice of a few different themes, built-in equalizer and much more. And for the Materiyolo kids out there, it's pretty much perfect in how it looks. It comes in free and paid versions, but with the paid version just $0.99, it also represents fantastic value for money.

Grab Shuttle from Google Play

Amazon Music

Amazon Music

Google isn't the only provider on Android offering an all-in-one store, cloud and player solution. Amazon has its own thing going on and combines its Prime Music streaming service with its music store and a decent looking music player all in one. If you're a Prime subscriber in selected markets you'll have Prime Music and so you'll need this on your phone. Amazon also offers you a cloud locker, much like Google, to access music you already own on any of your devices, and the app will play anything you have stored locally.

It doesn't offer some of the techy stuff that audio nerds will find in some other apps on this list but it does give you lyrics. Sing along while you're on the bus to work!

Take a closer look at Amazon Prime Music

GoneMAD Music Player

GoneMAD Music Player

GoneMAD boasts over 250 customizations, so needless to say we're not going to talk about them all, here. Add to this over 1000 themes and what you've got is a music app that really can be tailored to suit your own personal tastes. On the techy front it boasts gapless playback, support for a whole bunch of formats including lossless audio, smart playlists, an equalizer, multi-window and much, much more. You can even go back to the old UI if you don't like how it looks right now.

The app is free to download for 14-days and after that, if you like it and want to keep using it, you'll need to buy the full version. And you might just want to do that.

Check out GoneMAD on Google Play

Rocket Music Player

Rocket Music Player

Rocket is another hugely popular music player for Android with a bunch of good reasons to choose it. You've got a stylish minimalism mixed with a 5-band equalizer, folders support, Chromecast, video and podcasts and much much more.

That's just in the free app. If you upgrade to Premium you also get a bunch of different themes, support for lossless audio, a 10-band equalizer and a whole bundle of other features to perfect your audio experience.

Grab Rocket Music on Google Play

Pulsar

Pulsar Music Player

Not everyone has the budget to pay for a monthly subscription to get access to a decent music player, which is why Pulsar makes our list. Absolutely free, this pared down, Material Design app aims to get you to your music without any hassle involved.

Pulsar is absolutely free and even better, free of all advertisements. It doesn't offer many in-depth features but does include a pretty solid equalizer. It automatically syncs missing album artwork, has a home screen widget, Chromecast and Android Auto support, and access to Last.fm for playing the radio if that's your gig.

Find Pulsar on Google Play

Apple Music

An entire generation grew up depending on Apple for their Music needs thanks to iTunes. While you may not have a lime green iPod anymore, you can still access your library from your Android phone with Aplle Music.

Your subscription will give you access to streaming music services, but your Library will still hold all the music you already know and love. You can purchase and download music right to your phone, edit which items show up in your library when you open it, and you can add music to your Library if you listen to them while music is streaming.

For anyone who has already bought into the iTunes ecosystem, this is a great option to keep everything nice and streamlined. And for $9.99/month after the free trial, the streaming features are highly competitive.

Check out Apple Music on Google Play

Your picks?

There are plenty of great music players available for Android, but these are our picks for the best of the best. Do you have a suggestion that should have made this list? Is your favorite player here? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Updated December 2017: We've updated this post with new music player apps that are awesome on Android.

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1 month ago

YouTube won't be available on Fire TV or Echo Show starting January 1

121

Google and Amazon's war rages on.

When the Echo Show first launched, one of its biggest draws was the ability to watch YouTube on it. Google pulled the YouTube app from the Show in September claiming that it didn't follow the company's terms of service, but in late November, YouTube made an appearance on the Show once again in the form of a web browser. Now, Google is striking back even harder.

A spokeswoman for Google recently talked with CNET and announced that YouTube would be disappearing from not only the Echo Show on January 1, but also all of Amazon's Fire TV devices.

Per the spokeswoman:

We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services, but Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest's latest products.

Followed up by:

Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.

The removal of YouTube from the Echo Show was already a big enough pain when it first happened, but eliminating YouTube from Amazon's much more popular Fire TV products will likely hurt the company quite a bit more. I don't know about you, but if I had a Fire TV, this would be reason enough for me to jump ship to something like Roku or Android TV.

If you're heavily invested in Amazon's digital video services and the removal of YouTube is a deal-breaker, you have other options out there. All Roku devices can access the Amazon Video app, and on the Android TV side of things, the NVIDIA Shield TV is still your only way for consuming Amazon content.

It's unclear how long YouTube will remain absent from the Echo Show and Fire TV, but in any case, this is not good news for Amazon fans.

Amazon Fire TV

Buy at Amazon

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1 month ago

AI.type virtual keyboard leaks personal data for 31 million Android users

20

Yeah, this isn't good.

Third-party keyboards on Android have been tremendously popular for years, and one of the biggest ones – AI.type – recently had personal data leaked online for 31 million people that have downloaded it according to Kromtech Security Center. Seeing as how that's 77.5% of AI.type's 40 million global users, there's a good chance your data is at stake if you use or have used the app in the past.

How in the world did this happen?

AI.type's main server is owned and run by Co-Founder Eitan Fitusi, and despite having over 577GB worth of user data on it, the server wasn't protected by any sort of password. Only personal data for Android users is apparently stored, and while Fitusi has since secured the server, it clearly wasn't done fast enough.

According to ZDNet, personal data that's been leaked includes the following:

  • Full name of users
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Cell phone service provider name
  • IP address
  • ISP name
  • Info from Google accounts (DOB, photos, gender)
  • City and country of residency
  • IMSI and IMEI numbers
  • Make/model of device(s) app was installed on

Users of the free version of AI.type appear to have more data collected than those that opted for the paid version, and this is something that AI.type consciously does per its privacy policy as a way to make money with more personalized ads.

Users of the free version of AI.type are at a greater risk.

Along with the leak, we also get to see that AI.type might not have been so truthful with claims of its users' privacy being its "main concern."

Text entered using AI.type is recorded and then saved for an undisclosed amount of time and emails, passwords, and other sensitive information are saved by those using the keyboard despite AI.type claiming to "never share your data or learn from password fields."

Speaking to ZDNet, Head of Communications at Kromtech Security Center, Bob Diachenko, said:

Theoretically, it is logical that anyone who has downloaded and installed the Ai.Type virtual keyboard on their phone has had all of their phone data exposed publicly online. This presents a real danger for cyber criminals who could commit fraud or scams using such detailed information about the user.

In other words, if you've ever used AI.type, you have reason to be concerned right now.

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1 month ago

Android 8.1 Oreo exits beta, now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

29

Here's what's new with Android's latest!

After two developer previews to test the waters before a final release, Google is now pushing out Android 8.1 to the general public to Pixel and Nexus devices. This is a pretty minor update for Pixel 2 users, but for those rocking older Google hardware, there's actually a lot of new stuff to check out.

The reason for this is that 8.1 brings the Pixel 2 software experience to devices like the first-gen Pixel, Nexus 6P, 5X, etc. This means you'll have now have a Google Search bar below your dock, the At a Glance widget at the top for weather and calendar info, light and dark themes that automatically turn on based on which wallpaper you're using, slightly transparent Quick Settings menu and – most importantly – a proper Oreo easter egg.

For older hardware and the Pixel 2, you'll see that the navigation bar turns to a white background with gray buttons in settings and certain apps in an attempt to fight off burn-in found with the Pixel 2 XL, in addition to it now dimming when not being used.

With the Pixel 2 specifically, Google's Pixel Visual Core is now available for developers to tap into. Lastly, all of the fixes found with the latest December 5, 2017 security patch are here as well.

This update comes alongside the release of Oreo for Android Go hardware, and if you want to get 8.1 on your phone without waiting for the OTA, you can find and download the system images here.

How to get the latest version of Android 8.1 Oreo on your Pixel or Nexus

Android Oreo

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

YouTube wants to have 10,000 humans reviewing videos on its site by 2018

9

Big changes are on the way to keep content creators and advertisers as happy as can be.

Unless you've been living under a rock over the past few months, chances are you've heard a thing or two about YouTube's "Adpocalypse." In YouTube's constant fight to remove extremist and exploitive videos from its site with machine learning, content creators of all size are being hit with demonetized video after demonetized video in cases where they shouldn't be.

YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki recently published a blog post talking about what the company is doing to address videos that need to be addressed and leaving innocent ones alone, and a big part of Wojcicki's message has to do with human moderators.

There's no shortage of horror stories from creators who have been mistakenly hit with YouTube's machine learning system, and Wojcicki says that the YouTube team has manually reviewed more than two million videos since this past June to help the system become smarter and smarter. In an effort to expand this even more –

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

Also, to help increase transparency between YouTube and its many creators –

In 2018 we will be creating a regular report where we will provide more aggregate data about the flags we receive and the actions we take to remove videos and comments that violate our content policies. We are looking into developing additional tools to help bring even more transparency around flagged content.

Lastly, Wojcicki says YouTube will be taking "a new approach to advertising" in which there are advertiser-friendly put in place in regards to what videos are suitable for ads and increasing the number of human advertisement reviewers so that ads on running on the right videos and removed from ones that aren't advertiser friendly. According to Wojcicki, YouTube will be talking with creators and advertisers over the coming weeks about these changes.

Stories are coming to YouTube as part of expanded Community feature

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1 month ago

Google will soon let you pay and manage your bills with Tez

0

In honor of 12 million users, Google has big things in store for Tez.

This past September, Google launched a new mobile payment service in India called "Tez." The goal of Tez is to allow users to send money to friends and make payments to merchants, and it appears to have taken off quite well as Google recently announced that the service is about to cross 12 million users.

Google made this announcement at an event it held in New Delhi, and along with this, unveiled a new feature that will allow users to pay and manage their bills right within Tez.

There are more than 70 service providers throughout India that have already partnered with Google for this feature, and it'll enable folks in the country to manage payments for their phone service, electricity, heating, etc.

Tez will show your full billing history and let you pay for new ones with just a few taps.

You'll be able to view your full billing history for these various services in Tez, and when it comes time to pay a new one, all you'll have to do is tap the "Pay bill" button since the amount that's owed is automatically entered for you.

Tez's new bill payment feature will be available through an update that'll land in the coming weeks, and next year Google will focus on adding even more features to it so smaller businesses and independent contractors can use it for their services as well.

Google Tez: Everything you need to know

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1 month ago

Google Maps gets a dedicated two-wheeler mode in India

3

Google Maps now shows directions for two-wheelers in India.

Google has introduced a motorcycle mode in Google Maps that allows those on two-wheelers find the best route for their commute. The feature is designed for India, the world's largest two-wheeler market. With most bylanes in the country not wide enough to accommodate cars, launching a dedicated two-wheeler mode allows those on bikes and scooters find more optimized routes.

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1 month ago

Target Wallet is yet another mobile payment service to keep track of

24

Joking aside, this is a pretty nice setup for Target shoppers.

Services like Android and Samsung Pay are likely what you use the most for paying with your phone at stores, gas stations, and more, but then you have things like Walmart Pay that are proprietary ways of using your phone to pay for things at specific stores.

Target just released its own proprietary payment service in the form of Wallet, and although having to keep track of yet another mobile payment solution might sound like a hassle, Wallet actually looks like a pretty good gig for avid Target shoppers.

Wallet is available within the main Target app, but unlike something such as Walmart Pay, you can only add a Target REDcard as a payment method. Target's REDcard is available as either a credit card or debit card that's linked up to your bank account, and the big draw to it is that you get a 5% discount whenever you use it at Target.

Wallet also ties into Cartwheel (Target's digital coupon clipping service), so when you scan your barcode at checkout, you can pay and have your coupons apply in one single action. You can't currently add gift cards to Wallet, but Target says this functionality is coming soon.

Target Wallet is available to use starting today on Android and iOS.

If you shop at Target, does this sound like something you'd be interested in?

Google Express partners with Target, Assistant shopping coming to phones

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1 month ago

Android December 2017 security bulletin now live, updates coming Dec 5

7

No functional changes this time around.

December is now upon us, and while that means snow, Christmas, and hot cocoa for some parts of the world, it also means a new security update for Android. Google officially released the December 2017 security bulletin on December 4, but this one's not nearly as intensive as last month's.

November's security bulletin was the first one that introduced functional updates as part of a monthly security patch with the new Pixel/Nexus bulletin, but there aren't any functional changes to be found this time around.

The 12-5 patch will start rolling out to Pixel and Nexus devices starting tomorrow, December 5, while the 12-1 patch will be used for other gadgets.

If you're interested in reading the full details for this month's bulletin, you can find the Android Security Bulletin here and the Pixel/Nexus one here.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Best Buy Verizon Google Store Project Fi

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1 month ago

How to activate Reading Mode on the OnePlus 5T

4

How do I enable Reading Mode on my OnePlus 5 or 5T?

Reading Mode is a great and relatively new feature to OxygenOS that adjusts the way your device displays color — in fact, it gets rid of color altogether, turning your display completely monochromatic and mimicking the look of a Kindle.

As the name suggests, this is best used for reading e-books, though the possibilities are really endless; you could just as easily use Reading Mode for scrolling through Twitter or writing an essay in Google Docs.

Note: This feature is available in OxygenOS version 4.5 and newer for the OnePlus 5 and 5T.

Why would you want to use Reading Mode?

Just like Night Mode, Reading Mode eliminates blue light, which is known to negatively impact sleep cycles and cause eye strain, making for an experience that's easier on the eyes. It may not seem like much at first, but given how many hours most people spend staring at screens each day, it can really make a difference in your physical and mental health — not to mention it's easier on your phone's battery.

The software is also smart enough to understand when Reading Mode isn't useful. As soon as you launch an app like the camera or gallery, color automatically begins to fill the display, turning back to grayscale after you hit the home button or switch back to a different app.

OxygenOS: Top 10 features you need to know

How to enable Reading Mode

If you have a OnePlus 5 or 5T with OxygenOS 4.5 or newer, enabling Reading Mode is simple.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap the Display submenu.
  3. Tap Reading Mode.
  4. Under Activate manually, slide the Turn on Reading Mode toggle.

Just like that, you'll notice the color fade out of your display as it shifts to grayscale. Having no color at all can be a bit jarring though, so you might just want to enable Reading Mode within certain apps — luckily that's just a few taps away while you're still in the Reading Mode settings.

How to turn on Reading Mode automatically within certain apps

  1. Within the Reading Mode settings, tap Add apps for Reading Mode.
  2. Scroll through your list of apps and tap the apps you want to enable.

That's it! From there you can just hit the back button and the apps you selected will begin to open in grayscale moving forward. Your battery and your eyes will thank you.

Questions? Comments?

Have any burning questions about Reading Mode, or just want to share how you've been using it? Sound off in the comments below!

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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1 month ago

Google starts cracking down on Android apps handling personal data

7

It's important to keep your personal data safe, and Google's helping to make this as easy as possible.

In our world of phones, computers, apps, and more, it's becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that your privacy is as well protected as possible. Mobile applications are notorious for collecting data and information that it shouldn't, and Google recently announced a couple new measures it'll be putting in place to help crack down on this.

These new moves are part of Google's Unwanted Software Policy, and the main goal of them is to provide users with warnings on apps that are trying to collect any of their data.

With the first update –

Apps handling personal user data (such as user phone number or email), or device data will be required to prompt users and to provide their own privacy policy in the app.

Along with this, Google also announced –

If an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use.

Google says it'll be applying these new rules to apps in the Play Store and in markets where the Play Store isn't available, and the effects of said rules should start to be seen in 60 days. If apps are discovered collecting personal data without your consent, you'll get a warning via Play Protect.

These are all the Android devices updated to fix KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability

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1 month ago

Google's 'Santa Tracker' begins its journey to Christmas (and presents)!

1

December is here, and that means Google's Santa Tracker is ready to show you the path to Christmas Eve.

Thanksgiving is over, and for many families that means it is time to start decorating for Christmas. While you're busy setting up a tree and figuring out which bulb in your impossibly long strand of lights is in need of replacing, it may have slipped your mind that Google's Santa Tracker app and website started unlocking fun things for you to do with your family.

Not to worry, we're here with a friendly reminder.

For the uninitiated, Google's Santa Tracker is an absurdly large digital undertaking that seems to grow in functionality every year. While there are several Santa Tracker apps and websites out there, Google's offering combines a web app and an Android app to offer a 25-day experience that is all about Santa and Christmas. Each day there's a new activity to unlock, and this year Google's teasing a new drawing experience as well as an app for taking "Elfies" and "the largest online multiplayer snowball fight ever". At the end of the journey, there's a "live" Santa tracker that shows you where on Earth the big man in red is currently flying around.

If nothing else, this is a fun app to Chromecast to your TV throughout December so your kids can see the countdown to Christmas and a great look at the fun and educational activities Google sprinkles throughout the month. Since Google is always adding new things, we're sure to see something fun for everyone before the tracker goes live. Enjoy!

Take me to the Tracker!

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