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3 weeks ago

If you're buying Beauty and the Beast, make sure to connect Disney Movies Anywhere

35

Most digital copies are a letdown. Disney's are not.

We've all seen it: buy the movie before it's out on Blu-ray, and you don't get any special features, and your copy is stuck in one store forever. It sucks, right? WRONG! Disney has a digital system that makes buying the movie early an actually tempting thing to do, and it all has to do with connecting digital stores and awesome app implementation.

Before you go buy Beauty and the Beast, please download Disney Movies Anywhere. You will not be disappointed.

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3 weeks ago

9 things to know about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium

29

A big, beautiful new phone, but it may not be worth the price.

Sony's latest flagship is the Xperia XZ Premium, and it's really nice. It's one of those phones you don't want to touch because it's so nice to look at. You may also not want to touch it because the damn thing is incredibly shiny, exposing fingerprints as well as any mirror. And it may not be worth buying because, well, there are just better devices out there at a lower price.

Interested in this phone? Here are a few things you need to know about Sony's best phone ever.

This is Sony's second 4K phone, but its first with HDR

Sony debuted the 4K smartphone in 2015 with the Xperia Z5 Premium, and this year's follow-up has a better, brighter 5.5-inch 4K panel with a trick up its sleeve: HDR support.

Content that supports HDR — High Dynamic Range — will look more vivid and colorful on the XZ Premium's 4K display. Let's just hope that app developers get up to speed with supporting it — Netflix, at the moment, still only supports the LG G6.

Beyond that, the screen itself is really good for daily use. It's bright, crisp and colorful — and Sony gives you a few display settings to tweak it how you want it to look.

The camera is new, but isn't the best

People don't buy phones; they buy cameras that connect to the internet. Sony understands this and has designed its devices around the camera experience for years. But as much as it's tried to outdo the likes of Samsung, LG, and Apple, it continues to come up short.

There's a massive speed improvement, but the end results aren't matching the competition.

Sony thinks the XZ Premium has what it takes to beat the competition in 2017 with a new "Motion Eye" camera setup that lowers the resolution from 23 megapixels to 19 while increasing the size of the individual pixels, ensuring improved low-light results. At the same time, a new connection between the camera sensor and the phone's memory allows for caching of photos — predictive capture, as it's called — five times faster than any previous Sony phone, so no frames are lost during quick-shutter action shots.

The results are good, but not great. This is indeed the fastest Sony camera we've seen yet when it comes to opening and capturing — whether it's a single shot or a burst. But the results are mixed, not necessarily jumping to the top of the heap with the leaders such as the Galaxy S8, LG G6 and HTC U11. Sony still highly over-sharpens photos in "auto" mode and requires tweaking in "manual" mode if you want anything better.

You can capture slo-mo video at 960fps

Yup. Insane.

It may only be 720p but think about the contrast between a regular 30fps capture and something as smooth as 960fps, slowed down to look great on this big, beautiful screen.

You can only take very short clips and it takes a bit of time to get used to how the interface for super-slow-motion works, but it's a great trick that sets the XZ Premium apart from most other phones.

The glass back is reflective AF

Seriously, this is just about the most reflective phone we've seen — right on par with the HTC U11. The Luminous Chrome variant is the worst offender, offering an easily-tarnished mirror finish that shows off every fingerprint.

As long as you're not too particular, and walk around with a microfiber cloth in your bag or pocket, the Xperia XZ Premium could stay pristine, but it's likely to pick up hairline scratches pretty quickly — a problem with all phones, but exacerbated by the reflectiveness of the Gorilla Glass 5.

You get dual speakers and a headphone jack

It's easy to complain about the size of the bezels above and below the XZ Premium's display, but Sony is at least putting part of that space to good use. In an increasingly rare combination, Sony includes both dual front-facing speakers and a headphone jack on the phone.

The speakers sound pretty good and of course have the direct advantage of firing toward you rather than down and away, though I have to say the volume doesn't top out as high as the HTC U11's combined speaker approach.

There's still no fingerprint sensor in the U.S.

Seriously Sony, this is getting ridiculous. We know there's some sort of contractual obligation that's limiting Sony's ability to include a fingerprint sensor in its U.S. phones, but consumers don't care about the reasoning — they just want a fingerprint sensor.

For a phone this high-end and expensive, it's just downright frustrating to not have this core smartphone feature found in phones as cheap as $200.

It's water resistant and dustproof

Like most Sony phones of the last few years, the Xperia XZ Premium is IP68 water resistant and dustproof. The ratings mean you can submerge the phone in up to one meter for an extended period without incurring damage. And, of course, there are no port covers to worry about.

More: What do IP ratings mean?

It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

We may be beyond it by the time the phone is released but the Xperia XZ is currently certified for Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which means that it will support all the latest goodies from Google, including rounded icons, image keyboards, and more.

Sony's skin continues to be very light and very fast, and there's no question that the company has learned its lesson in deviating too far from Google's recommendations. This isn't Samsung; Sony doesn't have the customer loyalty, nor the resources, to develop great custom skins, so the more it keeps to Google's Android the better.

Most of the XZ Premium's interface is unchanged from the Google Pixel, and the launcher even includes the Google Now feed to the left like Google's own launchers. Sure you get some Sony apps and icons, but it's nothing offensive or getting in your way. And of course because Sony sells unlocked and not through carriers, you don't get any extra carrier bloatware.

The price is high — probably too high

As you'd expect for a phone with the title "Premium" right in the name, the Xperia XZ Premium is expensive. It goes on sale in the U.S. on June 12, and the price tag is $799. That's the upper edge of what most people are willing to pay for a phone — the only other mainstream offering challenging that price is the Galaxy S8+ at $825.

With a price like that, it makes you really question whether the Xperia XZ Premium could be a true competitor. For all of its great improvements, features, and design, it still has a handful of missteps that are tough to overlook when there are other great phones out there for less money.

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3 weeks ago

Best T-Mobile Prepaid Phones

Update, June 2017: The entire list has been refreshed to show the best options for someone buying a phone to use on T-Mobile prepaid.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

See at T-Mobile See at Best Buy

The Galaxy S8 has slick redesigned hardware with tiny bezels that let it have a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Though its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you piles of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a wide range of potential buyers.

One more thing: Of course, you can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ for a bit more screen and battery life.

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Why the Galaxy S8 is the best

Samsung's Galaxy S brand carries considerable weight in the mobile world, and the Galaxy S8 continues to both leverage that brand while also offering a fantastic overall smartphone experience that today's consumers want. Once again, Samsung took its core principles of great hardware, a top-end display, waterproofing, solid cameras and mounds of features and updated it all for 2017.

The result is a fresh design that shrinks down the display bezels and really smooths out all of the sharp edges to give you a sleek, thin phone with a really large display that doesn't feel that large. The extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio comes in at 5.8-inches across on the Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inches on the Galaxy S8+, and in both cases feels quite a bit smaller than the numbers would lead you to believe.

The sleek body still packs in top-end specs, of course, starting with that magnificent Super AMOLED display and backing it up with a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895, 4GB of RAM, larger 64GB of storage (plus an SD card slot), a new USB-C port and locking it all down with waterproofing. The batteries are no bigger than last year's models, but battery life hasn't taken any hit. On the other side of the hardware, there's one big downside: Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to an awkward position on the back next to the camera, leaving you with the less-consistent and less-convenient face scanning and iris scanning instead.

Samsung continues to make phones with all of the design and features people are clamoring for.

The camera experience has actually changed more on the front than the back with a new 8MP unit that packs auto focus. But the 12MP rear camera is still no slouch — Samsung has improved its processing to get even more out of this setup, and it remains a competitor for the best overall smartphone camera out there.

The ongoing point of contention when it comes to Samsung phones is the software, and that's the same once again on the Galaxy S8. Samsung continues to put in a massive number of features without removing any from years prior, leaving you with lots of things to get in the way and confuse you when you're trying to get the basics done. On the other hand, it's hard to find someone who can't get done what they need to get done right out of the box on this phone. It truly is aimed at being relevant to as diverse a set of consumers as possible, and it succeeds on that point.

By putting up with a few of the out-of-the-box quirks and taking some time to set it up how you like it, the Galaxy S8 can do anything you want and get it done at a fast pace while looking great as well.

Best clean experience

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip — in either the 5-inch or 5.5-inch size — and its spec sheet is still capable, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM powering its QHD display

But the Pixel really makes its case because Google owns both the hardware and the software. Even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse. It's fast, clean and lovely to use with Google's apps and services. The downside is the Pixel can't match the others in terms of raw features.

Then there's the camera, which continues to be one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization that gives you silky smooth video recording.

Bottom line: Google doesn't compete in the raw number of features, but offers a sleek, consistent and holistic experience that absolutely deserves praise.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. we suggest considering buying through Google Fi.

Best for less

LG G6

See at T-Mobile See at B&H

The LG G6 uses a tall 18:9 display and tiny bezels (hey, it even came out before the Galaxy S8) to give you a larger screen in a smaller body. The all-new metal-and-glass design may not be totally inspired, but it's built amazingly well and incorporates lots of little features — like waterproofing — to help it hold up over time.

All of the internal specs you expect are here, even though the battery isn't removable like its predecessors. The one downside here is regional differences: the higher-quality Quad DAC is exclusive to Asia, while wireless charging is only for the North American market.

LG's dual camera setup has returned but with a refined emphasis on the wide-angle camera so it packs the same sensor as the standard camera. The main camera takes fantastic photos to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, and the wide-angle shooter adds in something that no other phone offers.

Bottom line: This is LG's best flagship phone to date, and going a step further it's one that comes in at a notably lower price than the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel XL.

One more thing: Shop around a bit before buying, and you may find a discount or deal.

Best inexpensive

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

The Moto G line no longer really resembles its first couple of models, and now focuses on trying to offer a bit of a flagship experience at a much lower price point. The Moto G5 Plus, starting at just $229, aims to offer some high-end, interesting features in both hardware and software.

A Snapdragon 625 processor and 3000mAh battery give you fantastic battery life and performance, and you get up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage inside along with a couple other solid features like a fingerprint sensor and fast charging. The software is typical clean and useful Moto, though a couple of its features have started to reach toward the "gimmick" range.

Yes this is a phone launched in 2017 still using the older Micro-USB charging port, lacks NFC and isn't exactly the most beautiful phone to look at. But what you're getting here for a price of $229 or $299 is great.

Bottom-line: For a really good experience that isn't going to cost you a bunch, it's hard to beat the Moto G5 Plus.

One more thing: While you can get a lower-end model with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, we strongly recommend pitching in $70 more for the 4GB/64GB model.

Conclusion

For most people, the Galaxy S8 will serve as the best possible choice with its excellent design, top-end hardware, great camera and piles of software features. It's hard to go wrong with this phone, whether you're choosing the Galaxy S8 or the larger Galaxy S8+.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

See at T-Mobile See at Best Buy

The Galaxy S8 has slick redesigned hardware with tiny bezels that let it have a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Though its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you piles of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a wide range of potential buyers.

One more thing: Of course, you can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ for a bit more screen and battery life.

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3 weeks ago

How to fix Galaxy S8 battery life problems

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Galaxy S8 power usage screen

Battery life on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is actually pretty good — but it can always be better.

After the first couple of week using a phone where battery life seems great, things can go south as we load up our new phone with all kinds of things and turn on every last feature. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ aren't immune to battery shortcomings if you push them hard enough, and that means you'll be looking for ways to scale things back and return to great battery life.

We have a handful of solid tips here to help you get the most out of your Galaxy S8 or S8+ battery, whether you're currently happy with its longevity or not. Read on.

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3 weeks ago

YouTube TV vs. Sling TV: Which one is worth the monthly subscription fee?

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Should you pick Google's live TV service that's limited by area, or does Sling TV's tiered pricing seem more up your alley?

The greatest gift given to me by Google and Sling is the promise of live TV wherever I am on whatever device I have in my hand — as long as I'm paying the monthly subscription fee, of course. I've missed cable so very much; the on-demand way of life is certainly appealing when your world is upside down and your schedule is constantly in flux, but as I've been adjusting my life to be more serene and scheduled, it means I've also found time to sit down and watch my favorite shows in real time.

At present, YouTube TV and Sling TV are the two over-the-internet television services worth choosing between if you want cross-platform watchability. (Hulu's Live TV is currently available in beta, but we'll revisit it once it's fully launched. Plex also offers a live option, but it's limited to Android TV.) They both offer ways to watch live television while you're on the go or at home, as well as a vast on-demand library and cloud DVR capabilities.

Their pricing structure isn't the same, however, and I found that overall, YouTube TV is the better deal for those who want a fluid television experience with recording capabilities. If only it weren't so limited by region.

Update: A correction has been made to the Sling TV Extra's list to explain that they're only available to Sling Orange subscribers. Also updated to add that Sling TV's DVR capabilities are supported on Apple TV.

The all-inclusive nature of YouTube TV

YouTube TV

There is a definite difference between marketing strategies for YouTube TV and Sling TV. The former seems more positioned as an add-on to your already involved YouTube experience — the fourth thing you see when you scroll through the app on an Android device is original YouTube Red content. But for the most part, the subscription content you view on YouTube and the television you watch with YouTube TV remains mostly segregated.

For $35 a month, YouTube TV offers 46 different channels, including the major network television stations, a bevy of live sports channels, and bilingual content from Telemundo. You won't get all the local channels like you would with regular cable, however, which means you'll miss out on PBS and public access television in the crawl. (Thankfully, PBS is already available to stream for free online.)

If you're aching for more than what YouTube TV currently offers, add-ons are pretty limited.

If you're aching for more than what YouTube TV currently offers, add-ons are pretty limited. You can add on a Showtime package for $11 extra a month, or Fox Soccer Plus, which offers access to all the big matches for $15 a month. If you desire more, you'll have to satiate your desire for more content by subscribing to a third-party video streaming service, like Netflix.

YouTube TV is only available in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area (I've tested it as far out as San Jose and as far north as Petaluma), Chicago, and Philadelphia. If you're not in either of these areas, you won't have access to the service, nor can you watch any recorded content you may have set up beforehand. I had to pay Google Play on top of my monthly subscription to YouTube TV while I was in Iceland, for instance, to stay caught up on my shows regardless of the fact that I had programmed YouTube to record them. This isn't live TV on the go.

If you're a television buff, however, and you're wholly devoted to staying on top of your favorite shows as they debut on television, YouTube TV's built-in nearly-unlimited DVR feature is incredible. You can set it up to record any show or movie as it plays on live television, or follow your favorite sports teams for that matter. You can then access those recordings from your TV Library and they'll stay in your crawl for up to nine months or until you've finished watching them.

Perhaps my favorite feature of YouTube TV is the ability to enable family sharing with up to five additional people. My gal pals and I are all enraptured fans of the Real Housewives series, and I shared my account with them so that we can all stay up to date on the various shenanigans without each of us having to pay individually for the varying sessions through an on-demand video service. And if we feel like binge watching, the subscription to YouTube TV also provides access to all of Bravo's on-demand content right from within the app.

The a la carte offerings of Sling TV

Sling TV

Sling TV is a much better alternative to cable for the sheer fact that it offers more choice. In fact, it seems to have built a subscription model based entirely on the fact that it is a viable option to cable. What you pay monthly for Sling TV varies on which package you choose, as there are a multitude of tiers and add-ons to choose from. Here's a sampling of some of what's available.

Sling Orange

At the basic $20-per-month plan, you get ESPN, TNT, TBS, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Travel Channel, CNN, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Comedy Central, AMC, IFC, A&E, History Channel, Lifetime, Bloomberg, Newsy, Flama, Viceland, AXS TV, and Cheddar.

Note that some of these channels, including Newsy and Cheddar, are already streaming for free on rival apps like Pluto TV.

Sling Blue

For $25 a month, Sling Blue offers access to the same content as Sling Orange — except for ESPN, strangely — as well as access to content from Fox, NBC, and Viacom's respective channels. Some of those channels include Bravo, NBC Sports, Syfy, and Univision. You'll also need to pay for this tier if you want to share your account, and even then you can only enjoy up to three streams at a time.

Sling Blue+Orange

Getting overwhelmed by choice? That's okay — that's often a byproduct when the service is a la carte. If you want to add a fourth person to stream, you can pay $40 a month for the Sling Blue+Orange tier, which also unlocks access to ESPN, the Disney Channel, and Freeform. (And if you've got a teenager in the house, you'll definitely want to subscribe to Freeform.)

The add-ons

But wait, there is quite literally more! If you'd like to watch any of the premium television channels in real time, you can subscribe to them for an additional fee. HBO is $15, for instance, while Cinemax is $10. STARZ is also offering a premium pay package for $9, and that includes STARZ Encore. Lastly, SHOWTIME and its affiliated channels can all be added on for an extra $10 a month.

And then, there are more

If you want even more content, here are a sample of some of the packages you can purchase for an additional $5 with a Sling Orange subscription:

  • Heartland Extra, which adds PixL, Family Net, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, and RFD-TV.

  • Kids Extra, which includes Disney Jr., Disney XD, Boomerang, NickToons, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Sling Kids, Duck TV, and Baby TV.

  • Sports Extra, which adds the SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, NHL Network, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, Campus Insiders, and Outside Television.

  • Comedy Extra, which bundles MTV, TruTV, Spike, MTV2, CMT, Logo, TV Land, GSN, and El Rey.

  • Lifestyle Extra, which comes with the Cooking Channel, DIY, truTV, WE tv, FYI, LMN, VH1, BET, Vibrant, Oxygen, and E!.

  • Hollywood Extra, which includes both live and on-demand content from EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, Sundance TV, Fandor, Turner Classic Movies (also known as TCM), and HDNet Movies.

  • News Extra, which includes channels from Fusion, HLN, News 18 India, Euronews, NDTV 24x7, France24, RT, BBC World News, MSNBC, CNBC , and TheBlaze.

  • And lastly, you can choose from Broadcast Extra, which only available in select cities. This package includes ABC, Univision, and UniMas.

There are also extra tiers if you speak Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, French, German, and Brazilian Portuguese. You can view the entirety of the constantly changing lineup here.

After reading all this, you might feeling a little overwhelmed. I don't blame you: signing up for Sling TV is a bit of an experience, as it's not merely a "tap to subscribe with your Google account" kind of service the way that YouTube TV is. Sling TV does do all of the calculations for you as you add on packages, however, so you can see in real time how much a monthly subscription will cost you. At the very least, the lowest Sling Orange tier seems to offer all the basic channel necessities, including ESPN for the sports buffs.

With so many options, just signing up for Sling TV is a bit of an experience.

Sling TV also has the advantage of working across a variety of devices. Whether you've got several set-top boxes, game consoles, or smartphones laying around, they're all capable of working with Sling TV's apps. However, as Android users you might find that Sling TV works better on a wired, connected device rather than through Google casting. I can report that I had several issues with regards to streaming Sling TV from my smartphone to the Chromecast, to the effect that the app would randomly freeze up during an advertisement or start over the video feed.

Perhaps the biggest caveat, however, is that Sling TV doesn't bundle in Cloud DVR like YouTube TV. It's a $5 add-on, though it's limited to the Sling Blue and Blue+Orange tiers. It also only offers a 50 hour recording limit, though the videos will stick around as long as it takes you to watch them — there is no nine-month limit like there is on YouTube TV.

Sling TV's DVR services are available on Roku devices, Roku TVs, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Android devices, and Apple TV. It's a bit more robust than YouTube TV's offerings, too, since you can choose how to record, like whether it's limited to one time or all showings of a specific program. You don't get that kind of control over recordings with YouTube TV.

The apps

From left to right: YouTube TV's front page; your personal library in YouTube TV; the Live TV crawl.

As far as Android app capabilities go, YouTube TV has a number of user interface features working against it. The minute I log into my account, I'm bombarded with all the available content, which can be overwhelming when all I wanted to do was catch one particular show. The Android app also has a propensity to auto start whatever I was watching last, so if the media volume is loud for whatever reason, it can be pretty startling.

I was not a fan of Sling TV's Android app, but that's because of its constant crashing and casting issues, which I mentioned above. I have a Roku box as a backup for when things just don't Chromecast, but I much prefer to be able to grab my phone and send the stream to the television than have to navigate through another system just to watch TV.

Both interfaces have their quirks, but Sling TV's app wasn't as stable as YouTube TV.

Sling TV's user interface is a tad better than YouTube TV's in the sense of how it organizes the content, though I'm not a fan of its droll color scheme. When you start up the app, it takes you directly to your own customizable landing page, the idea being that you're immediately led only to the content you'd view. If it were me, for example, I'd set it up with Bravo and E! as my bookmarks, and HGTV as backup. This way, I'm always privy to what trash television is on when I launch the app. If you need to jump into the main channel guide, it's easily accessible in the overflow menu.

Conversely, YouTube TV requires you scroll over twice to the left. This is fine, and I appreciate the ability to quickly swipe over without even thinking about it to get to what's on TV, but with the aforementioned auto play issue it can be a little slow to load the latest even on my Pixel XL.

I'd wager the reason that Sling TV's app interface is so much more navigable is because the company behind it knows television. There's a bit of a standard to navigating TV; you know how to jump into it wherever there's a Guide button on the remote, for example, and Sling TV sticks to those typical conventions. YouTube TV, on the other hand, seems more designed for smartphone users, which results in one long, giant page that requires you scroll through a massive number of thumbnails to find what you want. The thumbnails are fine because I can more quickly scan what's on TV with them there, but man, they are not pretty to look at.

Which one to choose?

Choosing between YouTube TV and Sling TV can seem like a whopper of a choice to make, but the good news is that both services offer trial periods. YouTube TV is currently offering a promotion that gets you a month free of the service, plus a free Chromecast after you subscribe. Sling TV is running a similar promotion with a week free of service, plus a free Roku Stick when you subscribe.

There's another way to look at the two services if you're choosing between the two: YouTube TV is made for smartphone users and those who are deeply entrenched in Google's ecosystem. I like that the app is immediately visible from the Google Home app, for instance, and that all I have to do to log in to the service is link up my Google account. YouTube TV is meant for the Google user, which is also why it works nearly impeccably on both the first- and second-generation Chromecast streaming sticks.

Make your decision based on price and where you expect to use the service most.

Sling TV is made for people who want to ditch their cable companies. It offers the most variety and the most choice, but it's modeled after the way we wish cable companies would operate. Its services really are a viable option to a Comcast or Time Warner account, and the barrier to entry is relatively low. All you need is a little device that supports the service, which you can buy almost anywhere those things are sold.

In the end, your choice will rely mostly on price. I'd suggest tallying out what it is you pay for separate streaming services and attempting to whittle it down to which would be the most cost efficient and which works best in your region and with the devices you have in your home. Note that both services also offer a giant heaping of movies and on-demand video, which could help as you're deciding which streaming services to stick with.

Regardless of whether you choose YouTube TV or Sling TV, It'll be interesting to see how other rival services, like Plex and Hulu, will manage throw a wrench into the live television experience. It's also possible that this particular idea of live television anywhere will become merely another essential add-on to our already constantly-connected lives.

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3 weeks ago

How to manage the microphone and camera privacy settings on your Chromebook

1

Because nobody wants to accidentally see you in your underwear.

The WebRTC protocol is a really cool thing. It's that thing a website can do that lets you use your microphone and camera on any website without installing any extra plugins or using Flash. This is the kind of stuff we need if we want everything on the web to just work everywhere.

But having a microphone and camera active is one of those things that you probably want to only happen when you want it to happen. It's important to make sure your privacy settings are in order here since every Chromebook has both a mic and a camera. Thankfully, it's also easy to do once you know where to look.

Finding the settings

By default, your Chromebook is set to ask you when a web page wants to use the mic and camera. That's good because the setting is buried in the "advanced" section of the settings page. But you still might want to have a look to see what sites you've allowed or blocked and change things if they need to be changed.

  1. Click the Notifications symbol inside the status area. That's the bell in the bottom right corner where your account picture lives.
  2. Click the Settings symbol (the gear), then click Advanced settings.
  3. Click Privacy, you'll see Content settings.
  4. In the pop-up window that appears, scroll down to find Camera and Microphone. They each have their own settings page, but adjusting things is exactly the same for each.

Changing the settings

  • At the top of the window that opens you can choose which device you're changing settings for. If you have a separate mic or camera plugged into your Chromebook, make sure to adjust the settings for both it and the built-in one.
  • Next, you see a switch that says Ask before accessing (recommended). If this switch is on it will be blue and when a website wants to use your mic or camera it will prompt you with a dialog popup that asks for permission before going any further. This is probably what you want to happen, so make sure it's switched on.
  • Next is the Block list and the Allow list. These are websites that you have previously blocked or allowed access to your mic and/or camera. You can remove websites from either list by clicking the X on their list entry.

Unfortunately, there is no setting to allow or block a site just once. When you choose to do either that site is put on the corresponding list and you're not prompted the next time you visit and the site wants to access your mic or camera. This is convenient for a website like Google Hangouts, but not so great for privacy in general. We suggest that you have a look and which sites can have access every once in a while and remove any that you feel shouldn't be there.

Chromebooks

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 weeks ago

How hot does your Galaxy S8 get while it's charging?

67

Several forum members have reported concern over how hot their devices are while plugged into the wall.

Following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it seems admittedly easy to cry wolf when any Samsung smartphone becomes even a little warm. But the way forum user, amyf27, describes how hot their Galaxy S8+ got while charging via a USB-C adapter, it's hard not to be a little curious.

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amyf27 05-31-2017 10:05 AM “

Yesterday I was charging my S8+ with a Samsung Micro Usb cord with UsbC adapter, Samsung wall end. Changed fine but got hot. Temp according to the app went to 104.5°. It's been fine since but that raises a little concern.

Reply

One user noted that the cause for all this might be due to Samsung's apparent use of QuickCharge 2.0, which is less efficient than later versions and causes more heat to build up.

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flyingkytez 06-01-2017 08:26 AM “

It's using the old version of quick charge, and the old version does got hot from what I remember. If you're concerned, turn off quick charge and just leave it charging overnight.

Reply

Of course, it's possible that the reason this user's Galaxy S8+ is feeling hot is that it is physically hot outside. We're nearing summertime, after all, and as the weather increases in heat, so will the electronics around us. Here's your PSA to always use the charger that comes inside the box with your device.

What about you? Have you tried checking the Galaxy S8 or S8+ with an app like CPU-Z, which offers a readout of your device temperature?

Join the discussion in the forums!

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 weeks ago

How to set up Android Pay

8

How to set up Android Pay and add your preferred payment and loyalty cards.

Since it was first introduced back in 2015, Android Pay has been steadily rolling out around the world, most recently arriving in Canada. With more shops supporting Android Pay via NFC and more banking institutions offering the service to its clients, there's no better time to start setting up Android Pay on your phone. Here's how to get started.

Setting up Android Pay the first time

When you load up Android Pay for the first time and log into your preferred Google account, the app will automatically recognize any credit cards associated with your Google Play account and request to add them to Android Pay. Depending on the banking institution, you may need to go through a verification process to confirm things.

You'll also be asked to allow Android Pay a slew of permissions as you'd expect, including NFC which you'll absolutely need to turn on if you want to use Android Pay's tap-to-pay features. The app will also request to be your primary payment method. You may only see that notification if you've previously used Samsung Pay or another banking app.

How to add a credit or debit card

While Android Pay will automatically add any credit cards associated with your Google Play account, chances are you have other credit or debit cards you'd also like to use. You can find out which banks are supported in the USA. In Canada, most major banks offer Android Pay support but it is currently unavailable to Canadian credit union members.

  1. Tap to launch the Android Pay app.
  2. Tap the add card icon, which looks like a "+" symbol.
  3. Tap add a credit or debit card
  4. Follow along with the onscreen instructions. You'll have the option to scan your card using your phone's camera or manually enter your card information.

Once your card has been added you will be required to activate it via your financial institution.

How to add a loyalty program card

Android Pay is also a great way to keep all your loyalty cards in one convenient place.

  1. Tap to launch the Android Pay app.
  2. Tap the add card icon, which looks like a "+" symbol.
  3. Tap Add a loyalty program.

  4. Use the search bar to find the loyalty card you wish to add.

  5. Use your phone's camera to scan your card's barcode or manually enter your card's info to add it to Android Pay.

How to add a gift card

On top of your debit, credit, and loyalty cards, you can also use Android Pay to store all your gift cards digitally and in one place.

  1. Tap to launch the Android Pay app.
  2. Tap the add card icon, which looks like a "+" symbol.
  3. Tap Add a gift card

  4. Use the search bar to find the associated business for the gift card you wish to add.

  5. Enter the gift card information and tap Save.

Your gift card along with the remaining balance will be displayed amongst your other cards.

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3 weeks ago

How to set up peripherals to use with Samsung DeX

1

It's easy to do, though you'll want to pair your Bluetooth peripherals first.

The Samsung DeX isn't a replacement for your laptop, but it does make a nice little companion computer for when you're on the go. Don't forget the peripherals, however, which you'll need if you want to actually use the desktop mode to get things done. If you're curious about what kind of peripherals to actually purchase for the device, we've got suggestions for that, too.

If you're planning to use Samsung DeX on the road, make sure that you pair all of the Bluetooth-connected peripherals before you leave the house. This way, everything will be raring to go once you plug the Galaxy S8 into the DeX dock at your final destination.

How to pair Bluetooth peripherals to Samsung DeX

You can save yourself a ton of headache if you elect to pair all of your Bluetooth peripherals to the Galaxy S8 or S8+ before you play it into the DeX dock. This is all possible from the Settings panel.

  1. In the notification shade, tap the Settings icon.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the toggle to turn on Bluetooth.
  4. Tap the device you want to pair under Available Devices.

Once the peripheral is paired, you'll see it appear under Paired Devices. Tap the Settings icon in the same line for more options, including the ability to rename the peripheral or unpair it entirely. Now that everything is paired, the Bluetooth peripherals that tag along on your journey will work instantly with the Galaxy S8. You can even test what you've paired while the device is in phone mode before plugging it into DeX.

How to set up USB-connected peripherals

The nice thing about the Samsung DeX is that you can use almost any USB-connected peripherals you might have lying around. All you have to do is plug them in while the DeX dock is operating and they should be instantly recognized.

Plug anything that's USB-connected in and it just works.

I tested the ability with both a wired mouse and a USB-connected one. The latter was of the Logitech Unifying receiver variety, and I didn't have to install software to have the scroll wheel and back buttons properly work. You can also an external webcam or high-performance microphone if you have the appropriate third-party apps installed. By default, the Galaxy S8 supports OTG, so it theoretically accepts anything that's USB-connected. You can also use DeX to offload files and apps from external flash drives.

The DeX options screen.

Note that some keyboards may require a bit of a learning curve as you figure out which keys correspond to what. Under Language and input, select Physical keyboard to take a peep at the keyboard shortcuts. You can also adjust the Pointer speed in the DeX settings panel.

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 weeks ago

Using Alexa Conversations to make calls

5

You can make calls through Alexa! But what does that actually mean?

Alexa Conversations is Amazon's way of offering a way to contact other Alexa users with either your voice or an app, and it works great as long as you remember where everything is. It also helps if you have lots of friends and family who also use Alexa.

Want to send messages with Alexa? Here's your guide!

Here's a quick how-to on Alexa Conversations!

How to make a call with Alexa Conversations

Calling friends with Alexa Conversations can be done in two different ways. The first was is using your voice, which goes a little like this:

Alexa, make a call.

Saying this will cause Alexa to ask you who you want to call. From here, you can speak the first name of anyone in your Alexa contacts list. This list is created when you install the Alexa app on your phone. The Alexa app checks your contact information and checks to see if any of those people have an Alexa account. If they do, you'll see their name in the contact list and be able to speak their name to your Echo.

Once you say a name, the call will begin. The recipient's Alexa devices and apps will start ringing. This means the call can be answered from an Echo or an app on a phone with the same basic result.

The other way you can make a call is directly through the Alexa app on your phone. It's simple enough to do, as long as you know where all the buttons are.

  1. Open your Alexa app
  2. Tap on the Conversations tab at the bottom of the app
  3. Tap the People icon in the top right of this page
  4. Tap the contact you want to call
  5. Tap the Phone button in the top right

This will start the call, after which everything is the same as using your voice. When a call is over, you'll see the call details next to the contact in your Conversations tab with any messages you've sent.

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3 weeks ago

All about Chrome Notifications settings

3

Cut through the noise and see what's important by setting up your Chromebook notifications.

Just like Windows or macOS, your Chromebook can get desktop notifications. These can come from web pages, extensions, and apps (including Android apps), and they all live down in the status area where your profile photo is. Managing them is easy once you know where to look!

How to manage global website notification settings

  1. Click the Notifications symbol inside the status area. That's the bell in the bottom right corner where your account picture lives.
  2. Click the Settings symbol (the gear), then click Advanced settings.
  3. Click Privacy, you'll see Content settings.
  4. In the pop-up window that appears, scroll down to Notifications.
    • You can turn on a prompt that asks you each time a website wants to send you a notification by moving the switch.

For any websites that can send notifications, you'll be prompted when you first visit if this setting is enabled. If you turn it off, websites will send notifications by default. You'll also see two lists: a Block list and an Allow list. Sites in either will override this global setting.

How to manage individual website notification settings

You can also manage notifications that you've already allowed. You'll find every website that can send you a notification listed here. Changing the settings is simple:

  1. To change the setting for a site that's listed, click the three dots in its entry in the list and use the combo box to choose Block or Allow.
  2. To delete a site and fall back to the default global setting the next time you visit, click the X on its entry.
  3. To create a new exception for a website or domain:
    • Decide if you want to add a website to the Allow list or Block list. This will override any global setting.
    • Click the ADD label on the right side of the page.
    • Enter the web address in the text box that opens.
    • Insert a star Shift 8 [*] before the domain name. It should look like this [*.]androidcentral.com. This would affect both www.androidcentral.com and forums.androidcentral.com.
    • You can also use an IP address or an IPv6 address instead of a hostname.

Once you've entered the website or domain and saved, every visit to this site will follow your Block and Allow list rules for notifications instead of using the default setting.

Managing notifications for app and extensions

An app or extension that wants to send you desktop notifications will ask you the first time it tries. You also might find extra settings inside the app or extension itself. If you have allowed notifications for an app or extension and want to change the setting:

  1. Click the bell symbol in the notifications area, next to the clock.
    • Any notifications you have waiting will pop up.
    • If you have no notifications pending, you'll see No notifications.
  2. In the pop-up window, click the Settings icon that looks like a gear.
  3. Find the app or notification in the list and uncheck the box next to it.
    • If you added an exception using the directions above, unchecking its box here will remove it from the list.
    • If an app or extension updates, its entry will stay on the list but its box will be unchecked. This is because you need to grant permission the first time the new version runs.

Desktop notifications can be pretty handy, but it's also easy to get overwhelmed. Use these tips to set things up so you get the information you need without a bunch of extra notification cards that aren't as helpful.

Chromebooks

Android Marshmallow

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 weeks ago

How to connect your favorite music to Alexa

6

Listening to music with Alexa is as easy as connecting the app you want to use!

Most of us spend some time every day listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. For some folks, it's how they workout at home, while others like to lounge on the couch and listen to a good story after a hard day at work. It doesn't really matter why you want to listen using Alexa and your Amazon Echo, just that you know how to do it when you are ready to relax with some tunes.

How Alexa lets you listen to your music

Alexa has tons of great features that you can use to stay up to date on the news, weather, and more. It also allows you to connect a variety of music and audiobook apps, so that when you want to listen to some music you're good to go. This should only take a few short minutes, and it's all done from within the Alexa app.

From within the app you can connect 6 different music specific apps, 2 different audiobook apps, and even Dish for video. You just need to take a few minutes on your phone to link the accounts so that Alexa can access the music you've already saved or liked in those apps.

Now it is worthwhile to mention that not every music app is available to link with Alexa, and once you have linked an account you'll want to adjust your default music apps from within the settings. This is so that when you tell Alexa to play an album, she accesses music from the correct app, rather than always trying to use Amazon Music.

How to connect a music app to Alexa

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the overflow icon in the upper left corner.
  3. Tap Music, Video, and Books.

    Open the Alexa app, Tap the overflow icon, Tap Music, Video and Books

  4. Tap the music app you want to link.
  5. Tap Link your Account.
  6. Log in to the account you want to link.

    Tap the music app you want to link, tap link your account, log in to your account

  7. Tap Okay to link the account.

    Tap okay to link the account, and you're done!

Are you listening?

Have you connected a music app to Alexa? Is this how you like to listen to music or podcasts when you're at home? Be sure to leave us a comment below, and let us know about it!

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot

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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3 weeks ago

Where to buy the BlackBerry KEYone

44
BlackBerry KEYone

It's time to put your money where you want your keyboard to be.

The BlackBerry KEYone is on sale now, and it's available just about anywhere you'd want to buy it. The pricing is a notch below what you'd expect to pay for other flagship phones, which is nice, but really we know you're considering the KEYone for one main reason: that hardware keyboard.

If the keyboard entices you, we have all of the places where you can buy the KEYone across the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany.

United States

Canada

United Kingdom

Germany

BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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 weeks ago

How to set up the Secure Folder on the Samsung DeX

0

You don't even have to set it up through DeX if you don't want to.

Having people snoop around your stuff when you're not at your desk is seriously infuriating. Unfortunately, your best bet against this kind of personal violation is to take advantage of some of the available measures you can set up beforehand.

If you've got a Samsung DeX in your possession for dressing your regular smartphone as a desktop compute, you can set up the Secure Folder on the Galaxy S8 beforehand with a virtual compartment of sorts where you can store apps and files you hold near and dear to your heart. But if you didn't set it up before docking the Galaxy S8, you can do so later in the main DeX interface. Before you attempt to set up anything, however, make sure you've got an active Samsung account.

How to set up the Secure Folder on the Samsung DeX

  1. Open up the Device Settings from the notifications shelf.
  2. Scroll until you see the Lock screen and security section.
  3. Scroll until you see Secure Folder.
  4. Log in with your Samsung account to begin the process.

Once you've started the process and you're all signed in and ready to rev it up, you'll have to set up a Pattern, PIN, or Password to unlock the folder from DeX. Afterwards, you'll see the Secure Folder pop up on screen with a few apps already installed. You can add more as you please.

What else can the Secure Folder do?

Everything the Secure Folder can do on Samsung DeX is possible through the Galaxy S8. Here's more information on how to set up the Secure Folder so that you get the most use out of it.

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 weeks ago

How to create playlists in Kodi

1

Use Kodi playlists to binge your favorite shows or keep the music going at your party.

Kodi is a great way to organize and enjoy all your favorite media in one convenient place. Better yet, it's available on so many different devices, from PCs and Macs, Amazon Fire TV to Android phones and Android TV boxes.

For the sake of this guide, we'll be focusing on Kodi for Android because we're Android Central and that's what we do, so we'll be using touchscreen terminologies (tap, long press etc.), but the steps should be transferrable across all Kodi-supported platforms. For example, a tap will be a left-click on your computer or a press of the select button on your TV box remote, and a long press will be a right-click or a long press of the select button on your remote.

Without further ado, let's dive in!

How to queue content to autoplay

Looking to binge through a whole season of your favorite show or have Kodi autoplay a series of videos like Netflix does? It's easy and doesn't actually require you to go into the playlist menu — we'll get to that later.

You're able to have separate queue playlists going for music and video content. We'll show you how to set one up using video as our example.

  1. Launch Kodi from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Videos
  3. Tap Files.

  4. Tap the source where you've stored your files. In this example, the media was stored on a microSD card.

  5. Tap on the folder containing the files you want to queue up.

  6. Long press on a video file to reveal the context menu.

  7. Tap Queue item.

This will add that video to your active queue playlist, which lives in the Music section of Kodi. You're able to add entire folders to your queue by following steps 6 and 7 with a folder instead of a file.

How to manage your Queue Playlist

So you've added a whole bunch of awesome stuff to your queue playlist but now you want to remove some repeats and re-order things. Here's how to find and manage your playlist.

  1. Tap Music.
  2. Tap the settings icon. It's in the bottom-right corner and looks like a gear.

  3. Tap Current playlist. This will bring you to your queue playlist and display the order of all the content you've added.

  4. To reorder or remove a file, long press to reveal the Context menu.

  5. Tap Move up, Move down, or Remove

How to save and/or clear your queue playlist

If you want to start from scratch and clear your playlist without removing each file individually…

  1. On the playlist screen, tap the Settings icon, the gear in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Tap save to save the playlist for later (you'll be prompted to give it a name), or clear to clear all items from the playlist.

Saved playlists will be found in the Music section even if they contain videos.

How to create a permanent playlist

The queue content playlist is great if you're just wanting to quickly watch some shows back to back or throw on some music quickly, but if you want to build out some playlists to listen to at work or for a party. Here's how to create your own.

  1. Tap Music.
  2. Tap Playlists.

  3. Tap New playlist.

  4. Tap Files to browse to where your music (or video) files are stored.

  5. Long press on the folder or file you wish to add to the playlist

  6. Tap Add.

  7. When you've added all the songs you desire and you're ready to save, tap the settings icon. It's the gear in the bottom-right corner.

  8. Tap Save playlist. You will then be prompted to give your playlist a name.

You can use that same settings menu to open an existing playlist for editing purposes.

What are "smart playlists"?

Smart playlists use a set of rules to automatically scan your music or video database and create a playlist based on the parameters you set out. To use these you must first use a scraper addon for Kodi to retrieve standardized metadata information for all of your media. This is a great option if you've got a ridiculous amount of music or videos and want to sort them out in different ways, say a music playlist of a specific genre, or a movie playlist of your favorite actor.

Here's some quick info on some reliable scraper addons for movies, music, and tv shows, which include links to their respective repositories:

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