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6 months ago

How to use Media Volume Sync on the Galaxy S8

8
Bluetooth blues

Bluetooth volume can be a little odd.

The volume range on some Bluetooth devices is really small; on others the steps are too far apart. Sometimes you need to adjust both volumes, and sometimes it'd be nice to only have to turn up one volume instead of two. Samsung gets this, so they have a setting for Bluetooth volume on the Samsung Galaxy S8 that makes things a little easier for most devices…

And it really messes things up for others. Here's how to get it set properly for your particular Bluetooth situation.

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6 months ago

How to use one-handed mode on the Galaxy S8

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How to use one-handed mode on the Galaxy S8

Not everyone has the same sized hands.

Samsung's move to tall and narrow displays on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have made them even easier to use, but that doesn't mean its one-handed mode has gone away. It's still super easy to shrink down your screen to something you can easily reach with your thumb, and you have two different ways to get it done.

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6 months ago

How to back up photos and videos to the cloud

How to back up photos and video to your computer or the cloud

How do I back up my photos and video?

Update May 1, 2017: This article has been updated to make sure the information is fresh and works with the latest versions of the apps we recommend.

You have all these awesome photos and video on your phone, but what happens when you decide to buy a new phone or your storage becomes too full to take any more? Back it all up to the cloud!

There are a few incredibly easy-to-use apps that let you store your photos and videos in the cloud.

How to back up your photos and videos to the cloud or your computer using Google Photos

Google Photos is one of the best ways to store, backup and view your photos if you have a smartphone. It will also seamlessly upload them to your Google account storage. If you don't have it, get it. It's a free download in the Google Play Store.

Once it's downloaded, you just have to allow Google Photos access to your photo and video library, tap Backup and Sync and all of the photos and video on your phone will be copied to the cloud where you can access them from anywhere!

See everything you need to know in the Google Photos Ultimate Guide

How to back up your photos and video to the cloud using Google Drive

  1. Launch your gallery application from your home screen or from the app drawer. We're using Google Photos in our examples.
  2. Tap the photo you'd like to upload to Google Drive or tap and hold a photo and select multiple photos to upload.
  3. Tap the share button. It's usually at the top of the screen. It's a right-facing 'V' with dots on each point.
  4. Tap Save to Drive.

    Tap the photos you would like to back up, tap the share button, tap Save to Drive

  5. Tap Account to choose which Google account's Google Drive you want to save to.
  6. Tap Folder to select the folder within that Google Drive that you'd like to save to.
  7. Tap the folder you'd like to save to and tap Select Folder in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.
  8. Tap Save in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

    Tap account to select a Google account, tap Folder to select a folder, tap the folder you want to save to, tap Select folder, tap Save

Your photos will then be uploaded to that location in your Google Drive and you'll receive a notification when it's complete.

Google Drive gives you 15GB of storage for free, so depending on the size of the photos and video you're saving, you'll likely be able to save thousands of photos and hundreds of videos. The best part is you can access or download them from any device with a web browser.

See everything you need to know in the Google Drive Ultimate Guide

How to back up photos and video to the cloud using Dropbox

Dropbox is a free app that gives you up to 2GB of online storage for free. You can't go wrong with double-free! All you need to do is create an account, download the app on your phone and on your computer, and you're ready to start backing up your photos and video to the cloud where almost any device with a web browser can access them.

You'll first need to sign up for and create an account with Dropbox. You can do that through a web browser at the Dropbox website. Next, you'll want to install and set up Dropbox app on your phone. Then you can upload photos and video until your folder is full! Here's how

  1. Download the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch Dropbox from your home screen or the app drawer.
  3. Tap Sign in.
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Sign in.

    Tap Sign In, enter your email address and password, tap Sign In

  6. Tap the add button. It's the plus sign in the blue circle.
  7. Tap Upload photos or videos.
  8. Tap the photo(s) and video you'd like to upload to Dropbox.
  9. Tap Upload in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.

    tap the add button, tap Upload photos and videos, tap the photos and video you want to upload to Dropbox, tap Upload

Your photos and video will now be uploaded to your Dropbox folder, which you can access from just about any device with an internet connection. If you're using the Dropbox app on your computer, you can just open the file and save it like you would any other document.

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6 months ago

What do all those networking terms mean? Network nerdery for dummies

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Making sense of those acronyms and abbreviations.

"Hey, man. Did you hear that Qualcomm's new X20 modem is rated for cat 18 LTE, carries 12 spatial streams and is 4x4 MIMO capable? Isn't that cool?"

Maybe that's cool, but really how is a regular person with a regular job or who goes to regular school and has regular hobbies supposed to know? It sounds like a secret code with all the abbreviations and acronyms, and the companies who want us to buy it aren't any better at explaining: "10 times faster" "5G" "Gigabit". Those words may convey the right message — that things will be fast — but take no time to say why or how.

A lot of tech talk is this way. Engineers are lazy when it comes to typing or writing. Things like "power over Ethernet" instantly become PoE, or "impedance" becomes Z (I is for current. Of course it is.). That's why you hear words and phrases like QAM that don't mean a thing unless you stop and look them up. And usually, the answer is filled with other acronyms and abbreviations. Did I mention that engineers are lazy typists?

Because Qualcomm and some of their partners are working on changing the whole game when it comes to better wireless networking, you'll be hearing or reading this kind of stuff a lot. Here's some help so you know wtf those nerds are talking about!

  • 4G stands for fourth generation wireless. 3G was the third generation, and so on. There are standards, but companies like AT&T are allowed to just use the G as a marketing term.
  • LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It's based on the old standards but has evolved to be faster and better at carrying data.
  • cat usually follows LTE when talking about wireless. It simply stands for category. Higher numbers are faster.
  • Carrier aggregation (sometimes LTE CA) is part of the advanced LTE standards that lets a network combine LTE signals. More radio waves equal more and faster data. You'll see it expressed as "5x20MHz" which is not an acronym and means five 20MHz signals.
  • QAM is short for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. It's a method to take two different instances of the same shape signal wave and put them 90-degrees out of phase. Modulation and demodulation use both amplitude and phase to process the signal. Wireless networks and phones (and cable boxes and HDTV tuners) are designed to use Quantized QAM because square waves offer more bits per symbol with a lower SNR.
  • The entire section above this one is because I know there are some budding engineers that will read this and want that explanation. For everyone else, QAM is a way to send a signal that carries more data with less noise than there would be if you amplified a single "regular" signal. A higher number means more data and faster speeds.
  • MIMO stands for multiple inputs, multiple outputs. It's an antenna design that has both the device sending a signal and the device receiving the signal using more than one antenna at the same time, This means the signal can carry more data and have fewer errors.
  • Spatial streams are how a MIMO setup carries different signals on each antenna. The receiving device (your phone) puts them all together into one signal filled with lots of data. This is also called multiplexing. The more streams that can be sent at the same time, the more data is in the stream when they are put back together. 12 streams are better than 10.

This is a good start. You won't turn into a wireless engineer by reading it and there are a lot of technicalities not included here. That's by design — someone has to try and turn all this stuff into something everyone reading about it can understand.

And there a a lot more abbreviations, acronyms, and insanity when it comes to telecom terms, Toss out the ones you know in the comments so we all can have a better understanding of why our stuff is supposed to be faster in the 5G future.

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6 months ago

How to use Kodi to watch live TV

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Kodi is a terrific cord-cutting tool, and it's really simple to watch live TV with it on your favorite Android.

To be clear, this isn't about watching TV channels delivered over the internet (IPTV) but actual over-the-air (OTA) channels. With the right hardware and matching plugins, adding your OTA TV to the main Kodi interface is a breeze. Android TV can integrate Live TV itself, but if you're a fan of having everything inside the Kodi interface then this one is for you.

For the purposes of this guide, we're using a HDHomeRun Connect tuner, but the process is the same for other supported PVR hardware. You also must have set up your hardware first before going into Kodi.

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6 months ago

How to use Game Tools on the Samsung Galaxy S7

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Game Tools makes gaming easier on your Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is an outstanding phone, and our pick for the best phone for gamers.

Besides the outstanding hardware, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge rise above the rest due to some tools designed specifically for gamers that you can activate from your phone's settings.

Here's some info about what Game Tools and Game Launcher offer, and how to activate and use these services on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

Note: These features were also retroactively added to Samsung's entire Galaxy S6 line up as well.

See at Amazon

What are Game Tools and Game Launcher?

Turning on Game Tools activates a handy floating button that provides easy access to a bunch of really important settings that are great to have on hand during a gaming marathon. This includes quick access to disabling distracting notifications, locking out the recent and back keys, and a button for minimizing the game.

You also get two tools for sharing what you're playing: Screenshot and Record. Screenshot allows you to quickly tap twice to grab a screenshot of what you're playing without resorting to awkwardly pressing the home and power button, and record lets you screen record yourself playing on your phone, with options in settings to overlay an image or video of yourself playing for recording Let's Play videos to share on YouTube, Twitch, or other social media.

Turning on Game Tools activates a handy floating button that provides easy access to a bunch of really important settings.

Game Launcher creates an icon for your home screen that, as the name implies, allows you to launch all your games from one place. It allows you to toggle the Game Tools icon without heading back to Settings, and also lets you launch a game muted if you're in a quiet place, or quickly turn on power saving modes. Ultimately, it allows you to keep an uncluttered home screen while still giving you quick access to all of your favorite games.

How to turn on Game Mode and Game Launcher

Both Game Mode and Game Launcher are turned off by default, so you'll need to go into Settings to turn them on.

  1. Open Settings from your home screen and or app drawer.
  2. Swipe up to scroll down.
  3. Tap Advanced Features.

  4. Tap Games.

  5. Tap Game Mode or Game Launcher to learn more about their features and find the toggle switch for them on or off.
  6. Tap the switch to turn Game Mode on.

It's the same process to turn on Game Launcher, which offers three pages of information on the different features included:

How to use Game Tools

Ok, so you've turned on Game Tools in settings and you're ready to play. When you load up a game now, you'll now see a floating red button along the edge of the screen. That's your Game Tools menu, and you're able to tap and hold to drag it wherever is most convenient for you on the screen.

Tap it at any time to bring up the Game Tools Menu. From there, you can quickly toggle some really handy features, such as turning off alerts while you're playing the game and disabling the recent and back buttons — a frequent frustration for some.

If you're interested in using the screen record option, you'll want to tap Settings first. It includes a bunch of important features and settings that you'll want to set up ahead of time, including setting up an avatar or live video recorded from the front-facing camera while you play, along with options to record audio from the microphone so you can provide your own live commentary as you play, or choose to only record the game audio. Lastly, you're able to set the resolution your video will be recorded at along with bitrate settings.

What are your thoughts?

Do you find these tools useful, or not worth the effort to set them up? Let us know in the comments!

Android Gaming

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6 months ago

Best flash drives to expand your NVIDIA Shield Android TV's storage

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Best flash drives to expand your NVIDIA Shield Android TV's storage

It's cheap and easy to expand the internal storage of your set top box.

The latest revision of the NVIDIA Shield Android TV may have lost its SD card slot, but it still has two perfectly good USB 3.0 ports that can work to expand your internal storage. You can attach just about anything to those ports, but with just 16GB of internal storage, many will want to fill one with an inexpensive flash drive that can be adopted into the system and work just as if it were internal storage.

NVIDIA actually makes a great set of recommendations for which flash drives work best with your Shield, and having done some research on them ourselves, we want to point out which ones are the drives to go with.

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6 months ago

The Galaxy S8 is water resistant, not liquid resistant

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Your phone has no fear when it comes to water but be careful with other liquids.

One of the features you'll find in most top-end phones in 2017 is water resistance. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from Samsung are no exception. Raining outside? No problem. The Galaxy S8's IP68 rating means the rain has no effect. The same goes for a splash at the sink, a dip in the pool, and maybe even a spilled soda or beer.

Yes, maybe. Not everything wet is water and even things that are mostly water might be best kept away from your water-resistant phone.

This doesn't only apply to the Galaxy S8, or even phones in general. Water resistant objects are designed to keep out water — exclusively. Because of the chemical composition of any liquid, anything water resistant might not be beer resistant. Or champange resistant, because science!

Rugged phone ratings: Everything you need to know

Liquids feel, well, liquidy. But all liquids have other things dissolved into them. Things like magnesium and calcium are in the water you drink and depending on where in the world you are you can have very hard water (lots of calcium and other dissolved minerals) or very soft water (very few dissolved minerals) or somewhere in between. The GS8 is designed to be soaked in good old tap water with no ill effects. You don't have to worry, but we don't recommend you take your phone snorkeling. (If you do, send us pics because that's pretty cool).

Other types of water, specifically distilled water and really hot water, are probably something you don't want to dunk your phone in. Science also means that distilled water is virtually free of any dissolved minerals and might be able to penetrate where "regular" water can't. Hot water, on the other hand, can loosen adhesives and gaskets.

A quick rinse to wash away chemicals or sticky liquids isn't going to hurt anything.

Other liquids like beer or antifreeze — or anything that's not just plain water — might have chemicals that can penetrate the water resistant barriers or just make a mess in speaker holes, headphone jacks, and SIM card slots. If you get something that's not water you'd drink on your phone, rinse it gently in the sink with room temperature water as soon as you can.

If you get the ports all gunked up, and it happens to the best of us, don't go jamming toothpicks or sewing needles in the nooks and crannies to scrape it out. Wipe it down with a damp washcloth and let the fabric scrub away the surface dirt and sticky stuff or take a toothbrush and gently work at it. If you do end up having to dig in any holes with anything smaller than your elbow, be super careful not to cause any damage to parts or finishes. All that is part of being water resistant and needs to stay as intact as it can.

You don't need to baby your Galaxy S8 when it comes to using it around the water. It's built for it! Just be mindful for spills and splashes of other liquids.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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6 months ago

How to use Game Tools on the Samsung Galaxy S8

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What are Game Tools and Game Launcher and why are they so important this time around?

Samsung introduced Game Tools on their phones starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and then retroactively added the feature to the Galaxy S6. Turning on Game Tools on those phones activated floating button, which provided easy access to a bunch of really handy settings for screen recording and avoiding distractions during gaming marathons.

With the Galaxy S's unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio, pretty much every game is going to feature ugly letterboxing by default.

A notable feature on the Galaxy S8 is the switch from physical buttons to on-screen navigation control. Samsung has integrated the Game Tools icon into the navigation bar when you're playing a game, keeping it always at close hand without a clunky floating button. It's a subtle but significant change that keeps everything in a standard location without distracting from the on-screen action.

With the Galaxy S's unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio, pretty much every game is going to feature ugly letterboxing by default. Samsung has addressed that with an option to scale and adapt games to fill the full screen built right into the Game Tools Menu. Other options let you disable notifications, turn off the home button's functionality during gameplay, as well as turn off touch sensitivity around the edges of the curved screen — all crucial features for not getting distracted while playing.

How to turn on Game Launcher

If you're planning to play games on your Galaxy S8, you'll definitely want to turn on Game Launcher, which unlocks the Game Tools menus during gameplay.

  1. Tap the Settings icon from your app drawer.
  2. Tap Advanced features.
  3. Tap Games.
  4. Tap the toggle switch to turn on Game Launcher.

To actually set up and configure the Game Tools settings, you'll need to actually launch a game and access the Game Tools menu.

How to use Game Tools while playing

Accessing the full suite of Game Tools options while you're playing a game is really easy — simply swipe to reveal the navigation buttons and you'll see two extra buttons flanking the standard home, back, and recent apps buttons.

The one on the left is the Game Tools main menu, while the one on the right can be set up as a shortcut to take screenshots or record video. If you're planning to record video, you'll want to tweak those recording settings there ahead of time.

The key features included in the Game Tools menu are:

  • Full Screen — Arguably the most important button in the menu. By default, games will play with letterboxed black bars on the top and bottom or sides (depending on orientation). Turning on Full Screen will scale up your games to make use of the full screen, edge to edge. Toggling this will force the game to restart.
  • No alerts during game — Pretty straight forward. This disables notifications from popping up and ruining your flow.
  • Hard press button lock — Disables the ability to accidentally tap the digital home button.
  • Edge touch lock — Disables touch sensitivity around the curved edges of the screen to help you avoid accidental touches.
  • Screen Touch Lock — Pauses the game and locks the screen. Swipe to unlock the screen and return to the game.
  • Screenshot — Tap to quickly take a screenshot while in the heat of the action. Sure beats trying to press the power and volume-down buttons!
  • Record — Lets you quickly record gameplay videos as you play, with options to record yourself via the front-facing camera and microphone for creating your own Let's Play videos and live streams.

These settings will remain in place across all your games, so you won't have to individually turn on Full Screen mode with all your games.

Opposite the main Game Tools menu is the shortcut button, which gives you quick access to one of three actions: take a screenshot, start and stop recording video, or turn on Screen Touch Lock. It's very easy to setup and can be changed on the fly as needed.

  1. Long press the Shortcut button.
  2. Select your preferred action.

If you're planning to record and share your gameplay footage, you'll want to head into the video record settings to set up things just the way you want. You have the option of including a profile image or logo on your video capture, or turn on the front-facing camera for that classic Let's Play picture-in-picture video format. You'll also want to set the video resolution, but be aware of that there are recording limitations — the Galaxy S8 is able to record up to 4GB per recording, which equates to 80 minutes of gameplay at 1080px resolution, its highest setting.

And that's it!

Have you been gaming on the Galaxy S8? What do you think of the Game Tools and how does the experience hold up against previous phones you've owned? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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7 months ago

How to customize the Galaxy S8's Always On Display

21
Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung has slowly improved its Always On Display — here's how to get started with it.

Even when your Galaxy S8's display is "off," it isn't really off. Always On Display triggers right away, and continues to show you useful information that's available at a glance so you don't always have to turn on the whole display just to check the time or see if you have notifications. It's a neat tool that works well right out of the box, but is even better once you get into the settings and customize things a bit.

How to customize Always On Display

To get started with customizing the Always On Display, head to Settings, Lock screen and security then Always On Display. Now let's see what's in there and what you can do with it.You have six different main clock styles to choose from: digital clock, analog clock, world clock, calendar, image and edge clock. They're all pretty self-explanatory and have small previews of what they look like generally.

Galaxy S8 Always On Display settings

  1. Tap the Always On Display style you want to use, and you'll launch into a customization screen where you can tweak different aspects of the screen.
    • The customization options differ based on which of the styles you're working from, but basically come down to the clock style, color and background.
    • With a few of the styles you'll also be able to tap on blank spots on the screen to add more information like a second clock or an image.
  2. To change different aspects of the screen, tap the buttons at the bottom of the editor to see the different options — swipe to the left to see extra options, if available.
  3. Once you're all tuned up just how you like it, tap Apply at the top of the screen.
  4. Now stay put in the Always On Display settings, because there are a few more changes you can make aside from the design.
    • By default, the phone is set to always show the Always On Display (I mean, it's right in the name!) but you don't have to keep it that way — you can set a schedule for when it is turned on.
  5. Tap the Show always toggle to turn it off, then tap Set schedule to choose when Always On Display is enabled.
    • For example you can only have it on during the working day, and off at night, to save battery.
  6. Scroll to the correct start time, then tap End and scroll to the correct end time and tap OK to set the schedule.

After a little back-and-forth tweaking things, you'll find a combination of styles and settings that work for you. It's a great way to customize the look and functionality of your Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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7 months ago

Understanding the Galaxy S8's display resolution options

20
Galaxy S8 Plus

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ default to 'Full HD+' resolution, but it's easy to go higher or lower. Here's why you might want to do that.

The Galaxy S8's Quad HD+ SuperAMOLED panel is one of its standout features. Indeed, that big, almost bezel-free display features heavily in Samsung's ads for the phone. By default, though, it's not set to run at its full, native resolution of 2960x1440, instead it's downsampled to "Full HD+," or 2220x1080. And if you want, you can set it to go even lower, down to "HD+" — 1480x720.

Let's take a look at the Galaxy S8's resolution options, and examine which level you might want to pick.

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7 months ago

How to disable icon notification badges on the Galaxy S8

8
Samsung Galaxy S8

This could be your favorite feature ... or it could annoy you every single day.

One of the features on Android that's requested frequently, particularly by anyone who's used an iPhone, is notification badges on app icons. That means that as notifications for that app pile up, a small circle with a number indicating the amount of unread notifications is placed on its icon. Listening to demand, Samsung includes this feature in the Galaxy S8 — but it isn't perfect.

So long as the app supports these notification badges, you'll see the number of unread notifications on that app icon. Unfortunately, unlike iOS this isn't a standard framework for Android apps, so only some of your apps have badges while others don't. That's annoying.

No matter which side of the issue you fall on, we can all agree that having a setting in the phone to turn off these icon badges would be a beneficial thing. Unfortunately, Samsung doesn't give us such a setting, so we have to go our own way.

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7 months ago

The five things you MUST do with your phone

9

You know someone who treats their phone poorly, don't you. It's OK. ... We can fix that!

It's that time of year when we start to get all the hot new phones. (And our kids start asking when they're going to get one. Thanks, TV ads ...) So I'm going to take a look at the best of the best. Or the least best of the best. Or maybe just some weird stuff. We'll see. More on that in the coming days.

First, though: Five things that all folks need to do with their phones. For a lot of you reading this, they'll be old hat. But I'm always surprised at how many folks don't use No. 3. ... And you can't walk down the street without running into someone who has never thought to do No. 5. (Hell, there's a chance you're living with someone like that, too!)

Next: ICYMI, I'm giving away a Huawei P10, and you still have a few days left to enter!

Finally: Be sure to subscribe!

Modern Dad

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Check out the gear I'm using!

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7 months ago

Galaxy S8 security: Which unlocking method should you use?

42

The Galaxy S8 comes with several different ways to lock your phone. But they aren't all equal when it comes to keeping snooping eyes out of your stuff.

We think everyone should lock their phone and be sure to enable a find my phone feature that can erase it if it gets lost or stolen. This is the best way to make sure someone can't just pick it up and rifle through all your stuff. The Galaxy S8 has a handful of different ways to do it and they are a great balance of convenience versus security. We're here to help you pick the best method for you.

Passwords and PINs

This is always the best way to make sure only you can unlock your phone, but they are also the least convenient method and require you to type your passcode every time you need to look at the screen if your phone was locked.

If you use your phone for business or just have stuff on it that you think is worth protecting the best way you can, you'll want to use a password. Always use a strong password and follow a few basic steps:

  • Don't use a single word no matter how obscure you think it is.
  • Choose a password that's a minimum of eight characters.
  • Use numbers, special characters and both upper and lower case letters.
  • If you need to write it down just in case, don't write it on something you carry with you. Phones and backpacks get stolen, unfortunately.

You can use a password generator if you want something completely random. A strong password on an encrypted phone is a tough nut to crack even for law enforcement, so it's also difficult for you to bypass it. Do what you need to do so you remember it.

Your birthday makes a horrible PIN so don't use it.

If a company issued your phone to you they might have specific requirements or give you a password. Treat it the same way and don't write it down on a slip of paper in your wallet or purse.

For most practical purposes a 6-digit PIN is almost as good as a full-on password but has the bonus of being easier to remember. Just don't pick any number attached to you like a birthdate or numbers from another ID.

Biometrics

Samsung introduced the iris scanner with the Note 7 and improved it for the Galaxy S8. For the most part, it's a secure way to unlock your phone.

The mix of convenience and security makes fingerprints or your iris a good choice for locking your phone.

More testing needs to be done but it seems like it's difficult to "fake" your phone into unlocking with a photo of your eye. The iris scanner uses more than just photo matching here. In any case, the chances someone else would have a high-resolution photo of your eye to use and unlock your phone is pretty slim, so even if it can be done it probably won't happen in the real world. Plenty of people love the ease and speed of unlocking their Galaxy S8 using their eyes so you definitely need to give it a try.

The fingerprint scanner is still there, but it's been moved to the back. It works the same way fingerprint sensors work on most high-end phones and provided you take the time to set it up carefully it's a convenient way to unlock the screen without having to type anything.

One thing to know about both of these methods is that in some places law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone using a fingerprint or iris. Regardless of how you feel about this issue, you need to know that it's possible.

How to set up the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8

Because they offer a nice mix of convenience and security, we think using your iris or fingerprint is one of the best ways to secure your lock screen.

Face unlock: convenience above all

You can also use your face or a pattern to unlock your phone. Just know that Google and Samsung both acknowledge that these methods are fairly easy to bypass.

Face unlock can be fooled, but only by someone who already has a high-resolution photo of your face.

Face unlock on the Galaxy S8 has been refined over the way it's done in stock Android, but it's still pretty easy to get around. This is because it's simply matching certain features and areas of your face that it has stored during setup with what it sees in the camera. A high-resolution photo is good enough to fool face unlocking. One thing that doesn't get mentioned when people talk about bypassing face unlock is that chances are someone who finds or steals your phone won't have a high-resolution full-size photo of your head. While it's not very secure, not having access to that photo makes that a moot point.

Pattern unlock isn't insecure by nature. Drawing a pattern between nine random dots has plenty of combinations and isn't going to be easy to guess without special equipment. But your fingers make it pretty easy: they leave a trail of grease.

Your skin secretes natural oils to keep it from turning into leather. We've all seen how a phone screen can be smudgy and icky from fingerprints, and when you are tracing the same pattern to unlock your phone all day that leaves a nice trail for someone to follow with their finger. It's not easy to do, but you can do it on your friend's phone if you try a couple of times. And you can bet that thieves know to look for the tell tail smudge lines when they nab an Android phone.

Smart Lock

Smart Lock is the easiest of all ways to unlock your phone because it's automatic.

Smart Lock works for anyone when it's within range.

Using your location or a Bluetooth device like a key fob or wearable, you can set your phone to stay unlocked under certain conditions. When you want to use it the power button takes you right to your home screen or a swipe to unlock screen.

Smart Lock is a great way to unlock for people who have a smartwatch or a Fitbit. It's accurate and doesn't drain the battery very much. Just remember that anyone with your watch or within Bluetooth range can unlock your phone.

Using Smart Lock on the Galaxy S8: Everything you need to know

Your choice

Locks were invented to keep honest people out of things. We can never depend on a lock screen to guard our privacy alone, but it is part of the basics and something everyone should be doing. Just remember that there is always someone working on bypassing any security feature and we don't have to make it easy for the bad guys. Or sneaky little brothers or roomies.

How do you lock your phone? Are you digging the iris scanner or improved face unlock on the Galaxy S8? Holler in the comments and let us know!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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7 months ago

How to upload videos to YouTube

11

Uploading videos on YouTube is easier than you thought.

YouTube is the biggest video platform on the planet, delivering everything from music videos to birthday parties to news and updates on the world. Uploading your own videos to YouTube is an easy process, with access to plenty of features to give you control over the end product.

How to upload a video to YouTube

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Enter a title for your video.
  5. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  6. Tap the arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to adjust the length of your video

While it's easy to record a video for uploading to YouTube, you might want to adjust where the video starts or stops. YouTube makes this easy for you, allowing you to drag and drop where each video begins and ends.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Tap and drag the blue bumpers to drag and drop to the length you want your video to be.
  5. Enter a title for your video.
  6. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).

  7. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to add music to your video upload

When it comes to the options that you have before uploading a video, one of the most popular features is the ability to add music to your video.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap on the music button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a musical note.
  5. Tap the plus sign on the bottom right corner of each track to add it to your video.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow on the right side of your screen.

How to add a filter to your YouTube upload

Not every video needs to look as realistic as possible, and with filters it's an easy process to go ahead and adjust the way that your video looks with as little effort as possible. You can pick from one of the filters YouTube has offered to immediately change the look of your video.

  1. Launch the Youtube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of the screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap the magic wand on the right side of your screen.
  5. Tap the filter you want to use.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

While uploading a video to YouTube can be a bare bones affair, by using the different features available to you it's easy to spice your video up in just a few short taps. You are able to adjust the way your video looks, whether it had background music, and adjust your privacy options all before uploading a photo.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

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