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3 months ago

How to change the default apps on Google Home

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Personalize the apps that Google Home uses.

Google Home makes it easy to keep track of your busy life and enjoy some music when you're relaxing at home. When you're ready for some music or you want to check up on the news, though, you'll want to be sure that the default apps are the ones that you want to use. Adjusting default apps is different for each service, but we have the details for you here!

How to adjust your default music app

Google Home supports Pandora, Spotify, and Google Play Music for all your jamming needs. To use anything but Google Play Music — which is already linked to your Google account — you'll need to link an account. After you've done that, all you need to do is tap on the music service you are interested in using.

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap the menu button (it looks like three horizontal lines).

    Open the Google Home app, tap the menu button

  3. Tap Music.
  4. Tap the circle next to the music service you want to change to.

    Tap Music, tap the circle next to the music service you want to change to

Read more: How to use Google Home to listen to music

How to adjust your news sources

Getting the headlines you care about from Google Home (rather than all the superfluous news that is out there) is a handy way to get a head start on your day. To personalize the news you want to hear about, you just need to adjust the news sources Google Home will read to you. There is a fairly extensive list to choose from, and you can even tweak the order of what news is delivered first.

  1. Open Google Home.
  2. Tap the device icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the menu button for Google Home (it looks like three vertical dots).

    Open Google Home, tap the device icon, tap the menu button.

  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap More under Google Assistant settings.

    Tap Settings, Tap More.

  6. Tap News.
  7. Tap Add new sources.
  8. Tap a checkbox to select new sources.

    Tap News, Tap add new sources, tap a checkbox to select new sources

Questions?

Do you still have questions about changing default apps for Google Home? Is there one that we should have included? Be sure to leave us a comment below and let us know about it!

Google Home

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3 months ago

How to fix LG G6 battery life problems

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How to improve LG G6 battery life

There are many ways to make sure your battery goes the full day, every day.

No matter how good battery life is on a phone, we always want more. The LG G6 manages to do pretty well with its 3300mAh battery, getting most of us through a full day on average — but of course, we don't use our phones the same every day.

Whether it's turning into a regular occurrence for your phone to hit 50% before lunch, or just a here-and-there situation of needing to be sure that you'll have enough battery for well into the night, there are a handful of things you can do to make the most of your LG G6's battery. And now that LG's leading device no longer offers a replaceable battery, these tips may be even more important to know.

Watch for battery-hungry apps

LG G6

One of the biggest (and easiest to pick up) issues that can destroy your battery life is a power-hungry app (or three) that start taking up more than their fair share of resources when they're not actively being used.

Open your Settings, head into Battery & power saving and tap Battery usage to see what's going on. For most users, individual apps won't crack the top five spots on the most-used chart. If you see one on there — perhaps a social media or streaming app — that's high on the list but hasn't actively been used that day, consider force stopping it with the "Stop" button or rebooting your phone; there's a chance it may have been a one-off issue.

Keep an eye on it for the next couple of days and make sure the problem doesn't resume. If it does, you can go through the app's settings to see if there are any you can tweak so it doesn't wake up so often — if it persists, you may want to uninstall the app.

Uninstall or disable unused bloatware

LG G6 disabled apps

Pre-installed and unwanted bloatware is still a scourge on our daily lives, but you do have some control. Depending on where you bought your phone you'll have varying levels of pre-installed apps, but there's a good chance you could be looking at two dozen apps you just don't want. These apps may wake up and use battery throughout the day — while it's probably not a lot of battery, it's still wasted charge either way.

Go into your Settings, Apps and scroll through the list. If you don't want the app, tap on it and you'll see a large "Uninstall" or more likely "Disable" button at the top. Uninstalling does what you think it does; disabling simply turns off the app but keeps it on your phone to be enabled later if you wish.

One word of warning: if you're not sure what an app is, it could be an important part of a different app. If you disable an app and find that it's causing issues with another feature or service on your phone, get ready to go back in and enable that app again to fix it. You can quickly sort for disabled apps by tapping the "All apps" dropdown in the Apps menu and selecting "Disabled."

Turn off unused radios like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

LG G6 quick settings

If you don't regularly use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth throughout the day, you can choose to turn them off and save a little battery life. Having the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles in your notification quick settings makes it easy to turn them back on when you need them.

Keep in mind the location accuracy consequences of turning off radios.

Most of us do use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth throughout the day, though, and in those cases it's best to just keep the radios on for your own benefit. There's also the added benefit that your phone actually uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to help locate your phone as a combined system along with mobile network triangulation and GPS.

This system uses battery, though — if you want to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for your own uses but not let the system use the radios for location, you can head into Settings, Location, tap the overflow menu in the top-right corner and tap Scanning. Uncheck Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning. This will save some battery, but be aware that these settings are turned on by default for a reason, and having them off may impact your phone's ability to locate itself in the world when you're using apps that benefit from location information.

Configure battery saver mode

LG G6 battery saver mode

LG offers a relatively simple one-level battery saver mode, and it can be enabled either immediately using the notification quick settings or set up to turn on automatically at 15% or 5% battery. Most people will want the balance of having it auto-enable at 15% battery, since that gives you a chance to more gracefully finish off your battery over the course of a few hours, while keeping the phone at its full potential for the first 85%.

No matter when you enable battery saver, you get the same effects to extend the life of the phone: brightness is turned down, vibrations are reduced throughout the system, apps can be restricted when in the background so they don't drain your battery unless you're using them. When battery saver is on you'll get a permanent notification letting you know what's going on, and you can tap that notification to go into the battery saver settings.

Battery saver will automatically turn off when you plug your phone in or unplug it again after charging above the 5% or 15% threshold if you have auto-enable turned on.

Make a few changes to your Display settings

LG G6 display settings

Smartphone displays continue to get more efficient, but lighting up a big, bright panel is still one of the biggest drains on your LG G6's battery. Making a few changes to the way it behaves can save you a notable amount of juice throughout the day. Open Settings and find Display to start checking out your options. Here are the big three to look at:

  • Brightness: The lower you set your brightness, the less power the screen uses. But if you set it low and find you're just adjusting it manually all of the time anyway, you may want to just leave auto-brightness on and deal with the slight battery consequences.
  • Always-on display: The always-on display provides useful information, but drains more than its fair share of battery. You can turn it off entirely, or perhaps set a "daily timeout" so it starts turning on later in the morning and turns off early in the evening.
  • Screen timeout: Again in the self-explanatory realm, if your screen is on longer it's using more battery. By default the screen stays on for one minute after you've last touched it — consider dropping down to 30 seconds.

Update to the latest software

LG G6 software update settings

Now of course there's always the opportunity that new software can also bring some headaches, but in general you'll always want to keep your phone and apps up to date. On the LG G6, you can check for new firmware from Settings, About phone, Update center. You'll see an "App Updates" option to update LG's own apps, but the more important one is "Software Update" which can update your phone's operating system.

You should keep the apps you installed from Google Play up to date as well. Open the Play Store, swipe in from the left edge and tap My apps & games to check for updates. You can just tap "Update all" at the top if you see updates that are available.

Turn off automatic updates from Google Play

Google Play automatic updates

It may seem a little counterintuitive if you take our advice to keep apps up to date, but in terms of maximizing your battery life you won't want to keep Google Play automatic updates turned on. If you have "auto-update apps" turned on in the Google Play Store settings, the phone can check and download updates regardless of how concerned you are about your current battery life.

If battery life is the main priority, turn off automatic updates off entirely, and make sure to be diligent about manually checking on your own. While you're in the Play Store settings you can check the box next to "App updates available" under notifications, which will alert you when updates are available but let you decide when to update.

If you don't want to have to think about updates at all, but want a more battery-friendly setting, tap on Auto-update apps in the Play Store settings and select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only. This way the phone won't download apps over mobile data, which will save you on your data plan but also in overall battery usage.

Check out the 'battery optimization' settings

LG G6 battery optimizations

These settings aren't necessarily about raw battery savings as much as they are about finding a balance between app performance and battery life. Going back into the Battery & power saving settings, tap on Ignore optimizations (oddly named, to be honest) to manage which apps the system can aggressively slow down in the background to save battery.

Most people won't want to touch these settings.

By default, the system will be willing to optimize and slow down apps when they're not actively being used. This is great for battery life, and overall most people will prefer this. But on an app-by-app basis, you can choose to whitelist certain apps to perform however they want without the system scaling them back. Good examples of this are perhaps travel apps when you're on a vacation or perhaps a messaging app that you absolutely cannot miss a notification from.

Again, for the most part, you won't need to step into these settings unless you notice something odd happening with your apps not working properly. If you choose to ignore optimizations for some apps, be sure to check back in using the methods discussed earlier to make sure the apps aren't running rampant with your battery in the background.

Take advantage of Quick Charge when you do have to power up

Quick Charge charger

Yes, this isn't exactly fixing any battery life woes you may have — but sometimes your battery is going to die earlier than you want because you're simply using the phone more than usual. Battery drain isn't always going to be tied to something wrong or bad happening on your system, and if you have to charge up during the day you might as well keep it as brief as possible — in comes Quick Charge 3.0.

Quick Charge is an intelligent charging system that focuses on hitting your phone with a very fast initial charge — well over 1% per minute — and then tapering off after the first 30 minutes or so to preserve the battery's longevity. This means if you put your LG G6 on a Quick Charge 3.0 charger (Quick Charge 2.0 and 1.0 chargers will work too), like the one included in the box, you'll be able to add a significant amount to your battery in about 15 minutes.

If that's all the time you have, and you can get your phone plugged into either a wall, car or battery charger, make sure it supports the Quick Charge standard to make the most of the time.

Update, July 2017: Article improved with all of the latest battery-saving tips and tricks.

LG G6

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3 months ago

How to change your ringtone on the Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Everyone wants to keep their ringtone game strong.

Changing the ringtone was one of the first ways to personalize our phones, and all this time later it's still one of the first things we do — even on a super-advanced device like the Galaxy S8. Whether you're willing to settle with one of the dozens of pre-loaded ringtones or want to get something unique, here are the steps you need to follow to change your ringtone.

How to change your Galaxy S8's ringtone

  1. Open the Settings and find Sounds and vibration.
  2. Tap on Ringtone and then scroll through the list to find one you want.
    • When you tap a selection, you get a preview of what it sounds like.
  3. If you want to add a custom ringtone, scroll to the very bottom and tap Add from phone.
  4. You can choose the default sound picker, or from other apps like Drive and Dropbox.
    • In order to select a ringtone from these, it will have to already be saved to your device.
    • Once you find the sound file you want to use, it will be available in your settings.

Changing ringtone on the Galaxy S8

Hey, some people will be just fine with the default ringtone on their phones — but why not go with something unique? Find the one that fits your personality and go with it. And it's super easy to do!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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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3 months ago

Put some summer magic on your home screen with this theme pack!

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Summer is here, and it feels like it will never end.

The days are longer, the days are hotter, and there's not nearly as much to do when going outside feels like walking into an oven. Summer is about staying cooler and staying entertained, and we can kill two birds with one stone by putting some cool new themes onto our home screens. A new theme can make your phone seem like a brand new toy, no matter how long you've had it. And if that theme reminds you cooler locals and cooler characters, it can help chase away the miserable thoughts of how miserably hot it is outside your doorstep.

And if they happen to be Disney? Well, that's just some nice, cool icing.

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3 months ago

Best alternatives to T-Mobile

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If you like T-Mobile's coverage, check out these alternatives that use T-Mobile's coverage.

T-Mobile, like the rest of the Big Four U.S. carriers, is keen on selling access to MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators). This is great: it benefits T-Mobile (income without any investment), the MVNO (no need to build its own network), and us (more choices at different prices).

And a lot of MVNOs use T-Mobile's network, either exclusively or in combination with other carriers. They cover just about every price point, offer options with large buckets of data, and can duplicate most of the experience of having a "proper" T-Mobile account. You can find a full list of them below, but we're going to focus on a few options users like you have called the best and that we agree belong on this list.

More: Complete list of T-Mobile MVNOs

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MetroPCS

MetroPCS isn't technically a T-Mobile MVNO. T-Mobile owns it, but MetroPCS operates independently and has different policies, pricing, and features.

The carrier offers plans with calling, texting, and data packages for people who use both a lot and a little bit of each. Plans start at $30 per month, which includes all taxes and extra fees.

MetroPCS also uses what it calls "Data Maximizer" to deliver streaming video at a resolution it claims is ideal for smartphone screens. It also offers the same Music Unlimited packages that T-Mobile offers, where streaming music from select services will not count against your data tally.

If you look at what people have to say about MetroPCS on the web, you'll see positives like great pricing and customer service, and negatives like poor coverage or network issues. We say that MetroPCS has always provided exactly what was expected and we have had no issues to note with coverage or customer service.

Learn more at MetroPCS

Walmart Family Mobile

Walmart Family Mobile has leveraged T-Mobile's network with a storefront presence unmatched by any other MVNO. We've all seen the signs for phones and plans when at Walmart and some of its offerings are great.

We love the $24.88 plan that offers unlimited talk and text combined with 1GB of LTE data (your connection drops to 2G speeds once the data limit is reached). It's perfect for people who don't use a lot of data while away from Wi-Fi but still need a bit for things like navigation or making reservations. It's also the best plan for anyone who needs a second line but will rarely use it.

The other end of the spectrum has unlimited talk and text bundled with 15GB of LTE data for $49.88. 15GB per month is approaching power-user territory, and if you don't use more than 15GB each month, why pay more for an unlimited plan?

User experiences seem to vary with Walmart Family Mobile, just as they do with every service. The pros look to be the price of both the phones and the service (you can also bring your own compatible phone) and cons include poorly trained sales and support staff and the ubiquitous coverage complaints.

We've found Walmart Family Mobile to deliver the service as promised and have had no issues getting a service plan via the web or in-store.

Learn more at Walmart

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Mint SIM

Mint SIM is an MVNO much like the others, with a special twist on how you can buy service.

While you can buy a package of talk, text, and data for a month, you can also buy extended service for as long as one year for significant savings. It offers the small (2GB), medium (5GB), and large (10GB) plans for one month, three months, six months, or one year.

$35 gets you a single month plan with unlimited talk and text as well as 2GB of LTE data (which drops in speed once your limit is reached), or $399 gets you a full year's worth of service including 10GB of LTE data. (There are also a bunch of promo codes avaiable for new users right now.)

If you know how much service you'll need buying in bulk can be a considerable saving. Mint SIM uses aggressive pricing to provide long-term value, as well as cheap packages for monthly users.

More: The AC Community Mint SIM review

More at Mint SIM

Ting

Ting is another MVNO that offers more than just a choice between monthly plans. It lets you mix and match to find a plan with the right amount of talk, text, and data for you without paying for things you won't need. Best of all, Ting doesn't bill you for service you didn't use.

At the end of the month, you're billed for the amount of service you actually used, not what the plan said when you bought it. This can be a great way to save money while still keeping an option to use more data when you need it.

Experiences across the web tend to love the pricing structure and ability to build a plan tailored for data users who don't make many calls. Negatives complain of poor customer service and coverage or data speed issues.

We think Ting can be a great provider if you know what you need versus what you don't, and love the billing for just what you used instead of the label on the plan.

More at Ting

There are plenty of T-Mobile MVNOs that aren't on our best list but still might work great for you. We can't use them all at once and things change quickly when it comes to carrier resellers. If you have a great experience and think we should give any company a second look, sound off in the comments below!


Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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3 months ago

Best tricks to fix YouTube's most annoying features

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YouTube is a simple service with a lot of not-so-simple problems to it.

It's easy for YouTube to frustrate users because beneath the cat videos and endless comment sections are a lot of features that can really make or break your experience. You thought you turned off Autoplay, but it still seems to be turned on when you're showing your family videos on the TV. You get notifications when people across the house are casting. Why? And more importantly, how do you end these annyoances? Here's how.

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3 months ago

New low-energy mesh standard makes Bluetooth the Internet of Thing's best friend

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Bluetooth could be the standard that turns the internet of things into something we can care about.

Chances are that when you hear "Internet of things" you don't have high expectations. I feel you. Unfortunately, the real internet of things isn't as exciting as some envisioned, and the devices and software used for shipping containers or a big library just don't have a wow factor.

That will change eventually, and we'll have consumer things that are useful, different and we can actually touch them. But first, some standards need to be worked out.

The current IoT is a mess of standards and protocols and things that just won't work with each other. That's really different from something like, say, Bluetooth, which just works everywhere and with practically everything. That's why it was important for Bluetooth SIG (the companies and people who develop and maintain Bluetooth standards, among other things) get serious about the IoT, and the new Low-Energy mesh protocols shows that they are very serious about the future running on Bluetooth.

These headphones can talk with your phone. Or your computer. Or your watch. But not your step tracker.

LE mesh brings a new many-to-many connection model where devices can talk to each other directly instead of going through a central server. This means a device that supports the latest Bluetooth LE standards can support a one-to-one (1:1) connection, like your phone "talking" to your headset, a one-to-many (o:m) connection, like a beacon that connects to a server which shares data across the internet, and the new many-to-many connection where a sensor or beacon or audio device could connect to another beacon or audio device directly.

More importantly, data can be shared directly without being sent through a server that has to process it and determine where it needs to go. This does two things: it streamlines applications and installations that use it, cutting out a middleman that's one more spot for latency or errors, and it open Bluetooth LE devices to new use cases.

Bluetooth LE mesh means your Fitbit can talk to your scale without asking your watch to do it.

The Bluetooth SIG gives some great examples of how this new standard can be practical for existing use cases. Building automation — including your smart home — can have hundreds of individual smart parts. Getting them all to talk together means a better way for the user to do things with simple commands and almost endless customization of sensors acting on data they receive from other sensors.

Their example of using LE mesh for asset tracking, where hospital equipment is tracked using a sensor on the machinery or service cart, shows one huge advantage — the 33-foot barrier has been breached and signals can be chained almost endlessly so a server can talk to a device at distance. Range has always been one of Bluetooth's weaknesses and a scenario where many sensors are in use and they can connect and pass data means less "server" devices are needed.

This FitBit Surge can tell your phone you've hit your goal, but it can't tell your headphones to play the "Tada!" sound to congratulate you. Yet.

We're not sure how new devices will take advantage (or if they will at all) of this new connection method. Certainly, those boring things like keeping tabs on where a portable X-ray machine is sitting will benefit, but what if cars can talk to each other or even a road sign? There's a lot of data out there that could be collected and used for ... something. Hopefully something cool that makes our lives easier and better.

We'll just have to wait and see, but we can be thankful that a group like the Bluetooth SIG is getting serious about making things work with each other. Their efforts, along with those of Google, Apple, Microsoft and endless component vendors will eventually form methods that get things on the same page, and the more good ideas that are developed mean it will get her faster and be better.

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4 months ago

Top Allo features you need to know

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'Allo Allo.

Allo is Google's latest attempt at a messaging app that competes with the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, both of which boast a userbase of over a billion users. The main differentiator for Allo is Google Assistant, a chatbot that provides answers to your queries by drawing on the search giant's machine learning smarts. AI is at the core of Google's strategy, with Assistant available on hundreds of millions of phones as well as the Google Home and Android TV.

These are the top Allo features you need to know. If you're just installing the app, be sure to check out our setup guide.

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4 months ago

How to fix OnePlus 5 battery life problems

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How to fix OnePlus 5 battery life problems

No matter how long your battery lasts, there will always be someone who needs more.

The OnePlus 5 has above-average battery life thanks to its lean software, efficient processor, and 3300mAh battery. But not everyone uses their phone the same way or has the same demands from the limited power supply — some of us need more longevity than others. This difference in configuration means that some may have a combination of factors leading to lower battery life than expected.

If you're in need of longer battery life from your OnePlus 5, we have a handful of great tips to help you out. Read on.

Look for unnecessarily power-hungry apps

Misbehaving apps are one of the most common causes of bad battery life, and they can often be the easiest ones to diagnose as well. Head into your Settings and then Battery to see your usage over the last charge cycle — it's best to do this near the end of the day to get the most complete picture of things.

Apps should be conscious of your battery life, too.

You'll see many typical battery drainers here like Wi-Fi, cell standby, Android System, and the screen, but if you see an individual app cracking the top few places in usage there's a good chance it's doing something it isn't supposed to. Now if you just spent the last 3 hours streaming Google Play Music, it's understandable that it used a lot of battery, but if you haven't opened Facebook all day and it took up 8% of your battery, it's worth investigating.

The best thing you can do is reboot your phone or at least force close the app in question, followed by clearing its data to start over from scratch. If it continues to drain your battery, consider uninstalling it altogether.

Turn off Google Play auto updates

Google Play auto updates

Google Play has this pesky habit of automatically updating apps, and sometimes with app updates actually changing its settings back to auto-update apps. You can understand why, because most people don't want to think about app updates, but then again most we want to control just what happens on our phones too.

To save battery life, you can turn off automatic updating of apps through Google Play. Go into Google Play, open the sidebar menu and tap Settings then tap Auto-update apps to adjust the setting. Most people will be okay with letting app updates happen on Wi-Fi, but if you want to keep your battery life in check you should turn it off entirely.

Just remember to check periodically for updates or at least turn on notifications for pending updates so you don't forget.

Turn off radios you're not using

OnePlus 5 location settings

This is something simple you can to to save battery life, though the amount saved isn't necessarily going to be substantial. If you're not going to be using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for a long period of time, it's worth simply turning them off.

If you're extra worried about battery life and want the full effect, you should also turn off the feature that lets the phone scan for Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices to improve location services. You can find the setting in Settings, Location and Scanning under the menu button. You can turn off one or both as you see fit — just remember that this may negatively impact an app's ability to accurately locate your device in the world.

Tweak your display settings

Smartphone screens are more efficient than ever, and the OnePlus 5's 1080p panel really doesn't use much juice, but there is still a direct correlation between screen brightness and battery usage. To save battery, consider dropping the screen brightness using the slider in the notification shade quick settings.

Extra battery life is great, but so is being able to see your screen.

Unless you can remember to constantly be on top of adjusting your brightness, the best balance of usability and battery will be simply using the "Adaptive brightness" setting. When you're outside or in a bright room it'll crank up so your view isn't impacted, but when it's darker it will save battery (and your eyes) by lowering it. Extra battery life is great, but so is being able to see your screen in every situation!

While you're in the display settings of your phone, consider turning down the "Sleep" time. This is the interval at which your screen will dim and turn off when it hasn't been touched. Simply moving from 1 or 2 minutes down to 30 seconds will have a positive influence on your battery life over the course of the day.

Use Battery saver mode

The built-in "Battery saver" mode does exactly what it says: saves you battery. It does so by reducing your brightness, throttling back performance, cutting back vibration, limiting location services and cuts way back on apps accessing data in the background. Adding it all up, it can seriously improve longevity without dramatically impacting your experience.

Battery saver walks a nice line of improving battery life while keeping your phone usable.

You can turn on Battery saver manually from the notification shade quick settings, or you can also set it to come on automatically — most people will choose the latter. In Settings, Battery and Battery saver you can choose when it comes on. Simply choose between 15% and 5% battery to have it trigger; if it is on, it'll turn off automatically when you plug your phone in.

You won't want to use your phone in Battery saver mode all of the time, but if you're in a situation where you know your battery is draining quickly and you can't afford to have it die on you before the end of the day it's worth being proactive and tossing on Battery saver early.

Take advantage of Dash Charge

Yes, we know, this doesn't exactly make your battery itself last longer — but it does help your phone get through the heavier-than-usual days you sometimes encounter. If you get to the point where your battery is draining faster than expected, and you have a long day ahead of you, the best thing you can do is toss it on a proper Dash Charge charger for a little bit.

Because of the way Dash Charge works, you can get an incredible amount of charge back in just 15 or 30 minutes — probably enough to comfortably make it through the rest of you hectic day. There's a Dash Charge charger in the box with the OnePlus 5, and you can also get a compatible car charger from OnePlus.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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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4 months ago

Google Keep: Ultimate guide

71
Google Keep

Create lists, transcribe recordings, doodle, collaborate on to-do lists, and much more with Google Keep.

Google Keep isn't your average note-taking client. While the app sports a minimal interface and is easy to pick up and use, it offers a set of powerful tools that make it an effective task management utility. From creating collaborative to-do lists to transcribing voice notes and saving bookmarks, the app does it all.

The best part about Keep is that all changes are synced automatically, giving you quick access to your notes across all your devices, and on the web. Here's what you need to know to get started with Google Keep.

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4 months ago

Best HDR-capable TVs under $500

29

HDR video needs the right display, and you can get a great one for under $500.

HDR can make a dramatic difference in how things on your TV look when you're watching, and since more and more HDR content is being produced and released, your next TV should support it. Paired with a Chromecast Ultra, you can have your own theatre experience right in your home.

That doesn't mean you have to break the bank, though. There are a few great HDR-capable sets that check in under $500 to give you the higher contrast, better color accuracy and wide color gamut used to display HDR content.

More: What is HDR?

Hisense 50H8C 50-inch

Hisense may not be a common household name in many places, but that doesn't mean you should overlook its television sets. Over the past few years, the company has made huge improvements to its sets, adding a number of key features that people look for when buying their next television. From its built-in smart features to HDR compatibility and more, you get a whole lot more than you would imagine when buying the Hisense 50H8C.

From PCMag's review of the TV:

The Hisense 50H8C offers very good performance at a very low price for a 4K television. Even with its excellent color accuracy, though, it fails to stand out in the rapidly expanding budget 4K category. Hisense's Linux-based, Android-like smart TV interface is a bit awkward compared with the more accessible systems used in Roku TVs, and the fact that only half of the HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0 (and those ports are the less conveniently placed ones) hinder this otherwise strong television.

It may not offer all the bells and whistles that some other sets do, or the best performance, but for the price it is hard to beat this one. You can pick up the 50-inch Hisense for just $500 at many retailers, making it quite a deal.

See at Best Buy

LG Electronics 43UJ6300 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

LG makes televisions for just about any budget. The 43-inch UJ6300 brings LG's famous display technology, a sizeable display and a great price tag in addition to 4K HDR capability.

The UJ6300 is the 2017 update of the 43UH6100, which received great reviews. Rtings.com has this to say about the UJ6300:

The motion handling of the UJ6600 is good. It has a fast response time, resulting in only a short trail following fast moving objects. The backlight flickers by default, and there is, unfortunately, no option to reduce this frequency and clear up fast-paced content. Movies from a Blu-ray player or DVDs are smooth, but some minor judder is present when movies are watched from a HTPC or cable. Most people don't notice this so it isn't an issue.

They love the lack of input lag, but ding the set for non-uniform black levels and brightness. It rates a 7.1 out of 10 on their scale and is great for mixed use.

The LG UJ6300 gives you 4K HDR capability paired with the webOS operating system, and is a great value if you're looking for an HDR smart TV under $500.

See at Amazon

Samsung Electronics UN40MU6300 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Most any list of best TVs will have Samsung representing a model that fits the category. Of course, they have a compelling 4K HDR TV that checks in under $500.

The UN40MU6300 is a 40-inch set that brings Samsung's UHD color management, backlit LED panel and connectivity options through the Samsung One Remote. It's also a smart TV with access to Samsung Apps and the SmartView mirroring service so you can share content from your Samsung phone.

Rtings.com likes the contrast ratio and no input-lag response, but dings the set for picture quality when sitting at an angle. The end score is 7.4 out of 10. They had this to say about the set overall:

It has a great contrast ratio, which means it has deep and even blacks that are essential for a great picture. The MU6300 also has low input lag, making it a good choice for a gaming TV. It doesn't have the widest viewing angles, but it deals with reflections and gets bright enough to be suitable for most environments.

At the price point, the Samsung UN40MU6300 will give you one of the best 4K HDR TVs you can buy.

See at Amazon

Your favorite?

If you have a favorite HDR TV that checks in under $500, be sure to drop a link in the comments so everyone can have a look.

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4 months ago

How to manage the YouTube app for Android

6
Managing YouTube

How do I upload to YouTube on Android?

Watching videos and subscribing to channels is what YouTube's all about, but there's so much more you can do, like uploading your own videos, messaging other YouTubers, and all those settings that'll help make your experience more enjoyable and help keep your data usage to a minimum.

Here's how to manage YouTube so that it works for you.

How to change upload network preferences

You can set whether or not you want to upload videos when not connected to Wi-Fi. If you don't want to eat up too much data, you'll want to upload only when connected to Wi-Fi.

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Into Settings

  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap Uploads.
  6. Tap either Only when on Wi-Fi or On any network.

    Tap General, tap Uploads, choose a setting

How to limit mobile data usage

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Into Settings

  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap the switch next to Limit mobile data usage. When enabled, you'll only be able to stream in HD when connected to Wi-Fi.

    Tap General, tap the switch next to limit mobile data usage

How to manage notifications

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings. Don't tap Notifications here as it just takes you to your current notifications.
  4. Tap Notifications.

    Into Settings

  5. Tap the switch next to each notifications setting you'd like to disable.
  6. Tap Subscriptions: Notify me via.
  7. Tap Push and email, Push only, or Email only.

    Tap the switch next to each setting you'd like to enable/disable, tap Subscriptions: Notify me via, tap an option

How to disable Autoplay

Do you find it ridiculously annoying when you've played a video and the next suggested video starts immediately after? You can turn that off.

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Into Settings

  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap the switch next to Autoplay.

    Tap General, tap the switch next to Autoplay

How to enable/disable Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode is a way to filter content that may be deemed inappropriate for children. It can get a little annoying, though, if you enjoy reading the comments, since it hides those by default (because YouTube comments).

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Into Settings

  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap the switch next to Restricted Mode to enable/disable it.

    Tap General, tap the switch next to Restricted Mode

How to change content location

You won't be able to view region-locked content, since that has more to do with your Google account and other factors, but you can change what videos might be suggested for you, as well as what ads you see.

  1. Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap your avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Into Settings

  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap Content location.
  6. Tap a region.

    Tap General, tap Content location, tap a region

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

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4 months ago

How to install and use Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11

2
HTC U11

Install an app for yet another bit of artificial intelligence.

Those who are already invested in the Amazon Echo ecosystem may be looking to continue that experience on their phone — and with the HTC U11, that's now possible. Using Amazon Alexa on the U11 is nearly the same as using the voice control system on an Echo speaker, and that's really cool. Here's how to get it set up.

How to Install Alexa on the HTC U11

Getting started with Amazon Alexa is as easy as installing and launching an app. But as a prerequisite, you'll need to be on the latest firmware — 1.13.651.6 or later for the Sprint model and 1.16.617.6 or later for the U.S. unlocked model.

  1. Head to the Google Play Store and install the "HTC Alexa" app.
  2. Open the HTC Alexa app and sign into your Amazon account.
  3. Accept the prompt to grant location access to Alexa.
  4. Tap Next and then Finish and you'll see the Alexa voice prompt for the first time.
  5. Tap the Settings gear to see the short list of settings.
    • Here, you can simply turn off the voice trigger and Edge Sense trigger.
  6. Though not required, it's also useful to install the generic Amazon Alexa app.

    • The Alexa app lets you configure Alexa on your U11 the same way you would an Amazon Echo speaker.

    How to install and use Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11

You can get started with Alexa right away after these steps. Just start talking to it!

How to use Alexa on the HTC U11

As is always the case, there's more to configure with Amazon Alexa on the U11 to make it extra useful. Here are some useful tips.

  • There are three ways to trigger Alexa

    • Open the HTC Alexa app on your home screen.
    • Configure Edge Sense to launch Alexa with a short- or long-squeeze action.
    • Simply say "Alexa" near your phone — and yes, it even works when the screen is off.

      How to install and use Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11

  • You can tweak many aspects of the Alexa experience in the Amazon Alexa app

    • Set up your Flash Briefing, configure skills, add your interests, and more.
    • You can do almost everything with Alexa on the U11 as you can with an Echo speaker.
  • You can continue to use Google Assistant with a long-press of the home button, even while Alexa is enabled with a squeeze or hotword.

Though you won't find that Alexa can completely replace Google Assistant, it will be useful to configure and keep around if you also have Echo devices in your home.

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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4 months ago

How to reset the Galaxy S8 to factory settings

15

How do I reset the Galaxy S8 to its factory settings?

The Galaxy S8 is a great phone, but sometimes you're put in a position where you need to bring it back to the state you found it, be it for performance reasons, bugs, or to sell.

Whatever the cause of the reset, it's fairly easy to do it. Here's how:

How to factory reset the Galaxy S8 from inside Android

The easiest way to factory reset the phone is to do it from within Android. But before you do anything so drastic, ask yourself a couple of things:

  • Have I backed everything up?
  • Have I tried every other course of remedial action, such as deleting an app suspected of causing slowdown?
  • Have I called technical support to work through the problem with Samsung directly?

If you've answered yes to all those questions, you may proceed.

  1. From the home screen, swipe down on the notification shade.
  2. Tap on the Settings button (looks like a cog icon).
  3. Scroll down and tap on General management.
  4. Tap on Reset.

  5. Tap on Factory data reset.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset.
  7. Enter your PIN, password or pattern to proceed.
  8. Wait until reset completes.

Note: Factory resetting your phone can cause data loss if you haven't backed everything up.

How to factory reset your Galaxy S8 from outside Android

If for some reason your Galaxy S8 isn't able to boot into Android and you still want to factory reset it, the instructions are little harder, but they accomplish the same thing.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy S8 (if it's not already).
  2. Hold down the Volume up, Bixby, Power buttons simultaneously until the Samsung logo shows up on the screen. Lift fingers.
  3. You'll see an Android figure with the words No command on screen. Wait a few seconds.
  4. Once the black background with colored text appears, use the volume down button to scroll to Wipe data/factory reset.

  5. Use the power button to select Wipe data/factory reset.
  6. Use the volume down button to scroll to Yes.
  7. Use the power button to select Yes.

What about Factory Reset Protection when selling a device?

If you're factory resetting the Galaxy S8 prior to selling it (which you should always do), you'll need to remove your Google account from the phone prior to resetting it.

That's because, by default, your Galaxy S8 uses a Google feature called Factory Reset Protection, which requires a new user to log into the last Google account that was used on the phone. This prevents would-be thieves from stealing a phone, resetting it and using it as new. But it also prevents would-be buyers from enjoying a new phone if they don't have you nearby to bypass that protection.

Note: Factory Reset Protection only kicks in if you factory reset your phone using the bootloader method explained above. If you go through the reset procedure by entering a PIN, password or pattern, FRP is automatically disabled, since you've essentially verified your identity to Android prior to performing the reset. You only need to manually remove a Google account if you're planning to reset the phone in the bootloader menu prior to selling.

Questions?

Some some questions about these procedures? Got a better way? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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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4 months ago

Top things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8's SD card slot

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Galaxy S8 SD card

SD cards are mostly plug-and-play, but you should know a few things to make the most of yours.

After a short blip with the Galaxy S6 series, Samsung is back to making a microSD card slot one of its core tenets. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have an SD card slot that lets users choose just how much storage they want to add, even though fewer people will need one with the new higher default storage of 64GB internally.

Whether you've already purchased and installed your microSD card or are trying to learn a bit more about them before getting one, we have you covered. Here's what you need to know about the microSD card slot on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Adoptable storage isn't here — and that's OK for most people

Sticking with its legacy of devices, Samsung is continuing to use the SD card as removable storage rather than the newer "adoptable storage" system. What that means is that instead of integrating the SD card into the internal storage, it remains its own separate volume. You have to choose to put a file either on the SD card or the internal storage — it won't be able to span the two seamlessly, which takes a bit more management.

In practice, this has the benefit of being more familiar to those who used SD cards in previous Samsung phones or have used them typically with computers or cameras. You can remove the SD card from a Galaxy S8 freely without worrying about how it will affect the system, because you only lose the data files on the card. You can pop out the card, put it in your computer and transfer files to and from it, then put it back in the phone with no worries.

Not every app can be moved to the SD card

Galaxy S8 app to SD card

One of the downsides of using the SD card as removable storage rather than adoptable storage is that there are limitations on what files can be moved. For the most part, you can think of the SD card as a place to store big chunks of data, not live applications that you need to access regularly.

You can have photos, music, videos, podcasts, and documents all stored on your SD card without issue, and those are great ways to free up space on the faster, more versatile internal storage. But you won't be able to move most apps or games to the SD card, as they need to be on the internal storage in order to run. You may find that some simple apps or assets for apps that don't need to be run on demand can be stored on the card — but as a rule, you shouldn't count on being able to move apps to the SD card.

Pictures and video save to the card by default

Because the types of data you can put on an SD card are limited, the Galaxy S8 wants to take advantage of it automatically for types of data it knows it can move there. The best example is the camera, which automatically starts saving photos and videos to the SD card as soon as you insert one. You'll get an alert the first time you open the camera after inserting a card that burst shots will still save to the internal storage, though.

If, for whatever reason, you don't want photos and videos to save to the SD card, you can head into the camera's settings, then storage location, and tap it to change back to device.

It's worth mentioning that Samsung has worked out one of the more annoying issues with storing photos on the SD card in that you can now use other gallery apps — like Google Photos — to manage those photos stored externally. Simply give the gallery app of your choice (so long as it is designed properly for Android 7.0) permission to access your SD card, and you'll be able to delete, edit, and move photos on the SD card with that app instead of relying on Samsung's Gallery.

With a good card, you don't have to worry about performance

One great thing that's happened in the world of SD cards (well, all storage really) in the past couple years is the proliferation of amazingly fast cards at reasonable prices that anyone can manage. Earlier on in the life of Android phones, it was rather hit or miss as to whether or not the card you bought was fast enough to consistently be used inside an Android phone, and now that's rarely the case.

Stick to big brands and look at ratings online before buying, but chances are if you find a modern card out there it's going to do what you need it to do in a Galaxy S8.

More: Best microSD cards for the Galaxy S8

Where to find good SD cards

A rising tide of storage quality has lifted all boats, but that doesn't mean every card is created perfectly equal. You still want to make a well-educated decision about the SD card you buy. There are so many available out there and many places to buy, but we've narrowed down a few for you to choose from if you want to let us do some of the hard work for you.

Removing your SD card also removes the SIM

It's a small thing, but you should remember that your SD card lives in the same tray as your SIM card. So if you plan on using the removable storage capabilities of your SD card for transferring files back and forth with a computer, you're going to knock out your cellular service while you do it.

In some cases, removing the SIM card and reinserting it will require a full device reboot to get your mobile data back up and running. If you can't manage to wait a few minutes without data, pull out your SD card at a different time!

You can encrypt your SD card for your safety

Galaxy S8 SD card encryption

One of the other small downsides of an easily removable SD card that's formatted as removable storage is the data on there can be easily accessed by anyone with a SIM tray tool — they don't even have to unlock your phone to get it. Of course, the best way to secure your phone is to not let anyone have it in the first place, but accidents happen — and the best way to secure the data is to encrypt the card. With encryption enabled, the data is only readable by the Galaxy S8 that encrypted it and only when the phone is unlocked.

To encrypt your SD card, head into the phone's settings, lock screen and security, and encrypt SD card. The process will only take a few seconds if you don't have much data on it, but it could take a while longer if you've already loaded it up before encrypting.

Now, there's one big downside to this: when you encrypt the SD card, it also can't be read by your other devices. That means that if you pop out the SD card and put it in your computer, the computer won't be able to read the data. It also means if you break your phone beyond repair, you will lose the SD card data forever. If your intention is to use the SD card in your Galaxy S8 as a quick way to transfer large amounts of data between devices, you'll have to use a USB cable from your phone or decrypt the card first.

Update July 2017: Updated with the latest information on using an SD card in your Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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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