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12 months ago

Common Galaxy S7 problems and how to fix them

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The Galaxy S7 is an awesome phone, but it's not without its problems. Here are some of the most common issues and how to fix them.

Back in March of last year (has it been that long already?!), the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge launched to outstanding reviews and plenty of plaudits for both its hardware and software. But given that the phone is approaching its one-year anniversary, it's not surprising that some issues — both hardware and software — have arisen in that time.

Samsung has been generally good about correcting the major ones through software updates, but there are some big issues that users can address on their own.

Battery life problems

The Galaxy S7 suffers from battery issues more so than the larger Galaxy S7 edge — the former has a 3000mAh batter to the edge's 3600mAh cell — but they're both prone to getting beaten by the daily grind.

  • The first thing you're going to want to do is eliminate any errant battery-sucking apps that you've downloaded from the play store. Facebook and Facebook Messenger continue to be two that are repeatedly brought up by members of the AC community as being the worst battery offenders. Facebook can be accessed from the mobile web, and Facebook Messenger, well — just get WhatsApp and call it a day.
  • To check whether an app is using an unreasonable amount of battery, dive into Settings --> Battery --> Battery usage to isolate the misbehaving entity.
  • These potentially problematic apps extend to bloatware installed by your carrier. If you use a Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T model, in particular, you'll benefit from deleting or disabling some or all of the pre-installed apps on the phone.
  • You can also disable the always-on display by going to Settings --> Display --> Always-on display and turning everything off. The feature was added to the Galaxy S7 for its convenience, and because the phone uses an efficient SuperAMOLED panel, but just because it's efficient doesn't mean it doesn't help to disable it.

How to fix Galaxy S7 battery life problems

  • Finally, if you're running Nougat — and you soon should be, if you're not already — you'll notice that battery should improve just by doing the upgrade. Why? Because Samsung has made a change to the default resolution of the Galaxy S7 that uses less energy. It's not magic, but you'll probably benefit from a couple extra hours of uptime as a result. Win!

Slow performance

This is a big category, and pretty hard to pin down, but we'll go through some of the most common solutions. Obviously, slow performance can be indicative of an errant app that may also be sucking up battery life, so dealing with this may help the other. Phones are known to slow down over time as people add more and do more with them.

Free up internal storage

The Galaxy S7 has 32GB of internal storage, and once you fill that up, the phone may begin to chug. The system will alert you when you get really close to the edge, but even before then, deleting some of those larger apps and games may do the trick.

It may also be a good idea to upload your photos to Google Photos so you can delete them locally. Google Photos offers unlimited free high-quality backups, along with at least 15GB of full-quality backups, on any phone, including the Galaxy S7. It's also likely pre-installed on your device — just look for it in the Google folder on your home screen, or in the app drawer.

How to use Google Photos on Android and the web

Change launchers

On the surface, changing launchers may not seem like it will do anything, but it does: Samsung's TouchWIZ launcher is notoriously slow, especially with all the features enabled (like Flipboard Briefing, which you should probably turn off).

To fix that, you may want to change launchers to something a bit more lightweight and performant. May we suggest one of the following?

The best Android launchers

Factory reset your phone

There are myriad reasons your phone may be bogged down, and merely deleting apps, changing launchers or disabling some features may not do enough.

If you're running into a virtual brick wall, back up everything in Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, or wherever else you tend to store your virtual goods, and start over.

How do you do that on your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge?

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Backup and reset.
  3. Scroll down and top on Factory data reset.
  4. Tap on Reset Device.

Once you reset, you'll have to log in again to your various accounts and apps, but your apps should download automatically once you log into your Google account.

Wi-Fi & Bluetooth issues

Among the most common problems on a smartphone today, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth problems can be caused by a number of factors, many of which are outside of your control.

When troubleshooting these wireless connections, it's important to establish whether the issue is indeed your phone or the object(s) you're connecting to, and the fastest way to determine that is to use another phone or tablet to connect. If that other product has no connectivity issues, then it's worth pursuing a fix on the Galaxy S7 or S7 edge itself.

  1. Make sure you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, wait a few seconds and turn it back on. If that doesn't fix the problem, head to the next step.
  2. Restart your phone. Sometimes all that's needed a quick kick to the reset button and you're good to go.
  3. If Wi-Fi problems persist, try forgetting the network by holding down on the SSID (name) and tapping Forget network. Then re-enter the password.
  4. If Bluetooth problems persist, try unpairing the object from your phone and re-pairing. To do that, tap on the little cog icon next to the product's name and hit Unpair. Put the speaker or whatever you're connecting to in pairing mode and connect again.

How to fix Wi-Fi problems on the Galaxy S7

Random restarts and boot loops

A common occurrence, especially in more recent months, has been Galaxy S7 units randomly freezing while in use, restarting, or what's known as boot looping, which finds the phone stuck in a cycle where it attempts to boot into Android but somehow gets stuck and performs the process all over again.

Like with all the above issues, there are a number of potential issues causing this, from errant apps causing overheating to problems with an Android update to a corroded or damaged mainboard.

To troubleshoot, work from easiest solution to most difficult.

  1. If your phone boots into Android but is randomly restarting, it may be overheating or have a problematic app. Follow the instructions above to isolate the malefactor.
  2. If deleting all potentially problematic apps doesn't work, reboot into the recovery and clear the cache partition.
  3. If that doesn't work, it may be time to reset the phone completely. If you can't get into the phone, follow the instructions to factory reset the phone from the recovery menu.

Other issues

What are your main issues with the Galaxy S7 or S7 edge? We'll keep this article updated as new information becomes available!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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12 months ago

How to change the default launcher on the Huawei Mate 9 and EMUI 5.0

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How do I get rid of the launcher on my EMUI 5.0 phone? Easily!

The Huawei Mate 9 comes with its own pretty good launcher — though it helps to add an app drawer — but if you prefer something different, as many people do, it's easy to change.

The phone ships with EMUI 5.0, which is a big update over what shipped on older Huawei devices, but there are still too many menus. In particular, it's still too difficult to change the default launcher. But with these steps, you can do it in a snap.

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12 months ago

NVIDIA Shield Android TV: Top tips and tricks for your set top box

13
 Top tips and tricks

The NVIDIA Shield Android TV is a powerful set top box with plenty of advanced capabilities.

You may initially buy the Shield Android TV for a basic set of tasks, but it's almost a guarantee that you'll want to do more with it when you discover all that's possible with this box. Between its expandable ports, extra software, solid peripherals and gaming capabilities, the Shield Android TV can grow with you.

To help you make the most of your box, we have a great list of tips and tricks for you to check out and put to good use in your entertainment system.

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12 months ago

How to fix Moto G4 and G4 Plus battery life problems

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If you're facing battery life issues on the Moto G4 and G4 Plus, there are a few things you can try.

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus represent the biggest change to come to the Moto G series since its inception. The phones are the first to feature Full HD displays, with Motorola bumping the screen size to 5.5 inches. The G4 Plus is also the first to feature a fingerprint sensor.

There isn't a lot that differentiates the Moto G4 from the G4 Plus, at least not when it comes to features that affect battery life. As such, the steps mentioned below are valid for both variants of the handset.

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12 months ago

Super Mario Run on Android: What we know so far

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Here we go! (not quite yet for Android users, though...)

Super Mario Run is finally here, seeing a release in over 150 countries through the iOS App Store.

Super Mario Run was first announced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind the most iconic character in video games history, at Apple's event back in September, where the game was revealed as an iOS exclusive at launch and demoed live on stage.

What's it all about? What's this I hear about it requiring a constant online connection? How much does it cost? When's it coming to Android?

You've got questions, we've got answers! Here's what we know so far.

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1 year ago

How to take light painting photographs with the Honor 6X

0

Take the guesswork out of light painting and let the Honor 6X do it for you.

The Honor 6X features a solid rear-facing camera that's equipped with a bevy of fun camera modes to help spark creativity. One of those features is light painting mode, a photographic technique that can only be composed with a long exposure.

Most smartphones now come equipped with "manual" camera settings so that you can control things like the exposure and shutter speed, but the Honor 6X helps take the guesswork out of setting that up. Here's how to use it.

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1 year ago

How to save your Vine videos before they disappear

1

Vine is going away. Here's how to download all of your loops in video format!

Twitter is doing some housecleaning, and is [getting rid of its Vine social network in the process](/twitter-shutting-down-vine-video-sharing-app. On January 17, the app will no longer allow users to upload new Vines, and is purging its extensive database of 6-second masterpieces.

If you're looking to hold onto your Vines, here's how to download them, or get them emailed to you, in video format.

  1. Open Vine for Android.
  2. Log in using your Twitter account or another email.
  3. Tap the Profile icon on the right of the tab.
  4. Tap Save Videos.

  5. Decide whether you want to receive an email with the download link or to save the videos to your phone.
  6. If saving to your phone, decide which videos you want to save.
  7. Tap Save.

That's it! Now your Vines will be saved to a special folder under the same name in your gallery. Each file will have a long string of numbers with no file extension, but they can be renamed to .mov or .mp4 — they're simply H.264 files at 480x480 with AAC audio.

Have fun!

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1 year ago

How to fix a broken Galaxy S7 edge screen

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Here's what you need to know if the screen on your Galaxy S7 edge breaks.

Chances are you will break the screen on your phone one day. If it hasn't happened to you yet, you have it to look forward to. They're glass — which is pretty fragile — and we carry them around all day every day in our pocket or bag or even in our hand. No matter how careful you are, your phone is bumped and squished and dropped. If you break the screen on your Samsung Galaxy S7 edge you'll want to get it fixed. Here's what you need to know about repairing or replacing the screen.

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1 year ago

How to enable fingerprint gestures on the Honor 6X

4

This is how to turn on the magic of the Honor 6X's rear-facing fingerprint sensor.

The Honor 6X may be cheap in price, but it's an appealing buy precisely because it packs a few features you'd normally see paired with a flagship.

The 6X comes able with a few fingerprint gestures, including the ability to use the rear-facing sensor as a shutter button for the camera app. You can also use it to swipe down on the notifications shade, for those times when you've only got one finger that's mobile. Here's how to enable these gestures and four others.

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1 year ago

New NVIDIA Shield Android TV: Everything you need to know

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NVIDIA Shield Android TV

The latest Android TV box continues to drive the industry.

NVIDIA made a splash at CES 2017 when it unveiled a new version of its extremely popular Shield Android TV box. The new Shield Android TV has a similar design, identical internals, same price and similar value proposition as the original, and isn't even getting a distinctive name to separate it from the first model.

So what has changed, and what can you expect to get in the new Shield Android TV? Well there's still plenty to unpack here.

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1 year ago

Common Amazon Echo problems and how to fix them

13

What to do when your Amazon Echo isn't working right?

The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are the best voice-controlled smart home speakers you can buy. They work with many different smart home products and services, and there's a bunch of really cool stuff you can do with them.

But as we all know, it's not always sunshine and roses with technology. Things fall out of sync or stop connecting and when they do it can be very frustrating. Fortunately, we're here to help with some sound advice for common problems you might run into with Alexa and your Amazon Echo.

See at Amazon

Echo speaker frequently disconnects from the wireless network

It's the number one issue you're likely to face when setting up any wireless device in your home. If you find your Amazon Echo is suddenly struggling to stay connected to your wireless network, you're best to power-cycle everything — that means your modem and/or router, and the Amazon Echo speakers that are experiencing connectivity problems.

If you're still running into issues, you may need to move your Echo speaker closer to the wireless router, or alternatively it might be an issue with other devices in your house, such as your microwave, causing interference on the 2.4GHz network. If you have a dual-band router with 2.4GHz and 5GHz, you should go into your Alexa app and set the Amazon Echo to connect to the 5GHz signal from your wireless signal — as long as it's close enough to get a good signal.

Alexa is triggered by TV shows or news casts

If you're in love with your Amazon Echo and using Alexa, chances are you're going to be interested in watching shows or newscasts about your home AI assistant. But this may inadvertently lead to Alexa being triggered by the magic wake word and a command from a TV show character or news reporter — which you may have experience first hand if you live in San Diego.

If this is a reoccurring issue for you, there are a couple quick fix options you can consider. First, consider moving your Alexa away from the TV or speakers so that it won't be as actively listening for wake words from the things you're watching. Ideally, Amazon recommends placing it at least eight inches away from a wall, in as central and open a location as you can find. If you're having issues, you can change the wake word from Alexa to either "Amazon" or "Echo" from the Alexa app settings. Unfortunately, custom wake words are not yet available.

If you want to make sure Alexa can understand your voice, you can always go into the Alexa app settings and redo the voice training session.

Alexa won't connect to other devices

One of the best parts about owning an Amazon Echo is using it as the access point to all the other smart devices you may have throughout your home. But as easy as things are to set up and use, occasionally you may find that things have fallen out of sync.

There's a number of smart lights and other products available that work with Alexa, so the first step of determining where the problem will be to figure out how the device is connected to Alexa. Some products work directly with Alexa, while other smart home products must first be connected to their own hub, which is what Alexa communicates with. As mentioned above in the section on Wi-Fi connectivity, your first step should always be to power-cycle everything that isn't connecting and see if they connect once power is back up.

If that doesn't help, you'll want to go into the Alexa app on your phone and check in on the devices' status, or search for your product in the skills section. Alternatively, some products can only work with Alexa via an IFTTT recipe. If you've power cycled everything and you're still having a problem with a device or service connected via a Skill or IFTTT Applet, then you'll want to go through the process of setting up the device from scratch again.

How to reset and start from scratch

If all else fails and your Amazon Echo speaker is still acting funny, then it might be time for a hard reset on the speaker itself. If you have an Amazon Echo or first generation Echo Dot, you'll need a paperclip to press the hard reset button on the underside of the speaker's base. If you've got a second generation Dot, press and hold the Microphone Mute and Volume Down buttons together until the ring turns orange, usually around 20 seconds or so. The ring will then turn blue.

Once you've reset your Amazon Echo, you'll need to go through the setup process again, starting with connecting it to Wi-Fi and configuring your Amazon account.

How has your experience been?

Have you run into any of the problems we've outlined above? Got any new problems or (even better) some solutions to share? Drop a comment below!

Amazon Echo

See at Amazon

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1 year ago

How to disable 'power-intensive app found' notification on the Huawei Mate 9

5

How do I turn off that annoying "power-intensive apps" notification on EMUI 5.0?

One of the Huawei Mate 9's charms is its 4000mAh battery, which allows the phone to last more than one day on a charge. But the reason for the phone's long uptime isn't all due to the battery size itself; Huawei has optimized EMUI 5.0, based on Android 7.0 Nougat, to notify the user (you) of apps that use an excessive amount of battery in the background.

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1 year ago

How to install new games on your NES Classic

62

The NES Classic — you saw our first vid on it, right? — is a cool little piece of nostalgia. But it's sorely lacking in the games department. Or, rather, it REALLY needs a way to add games.

Fortunately the NES community has answered, and in a big way. And after a few rounds of tinkering we now have a super easy way to add games to the NES Classic.

I used the "hakchi2" method. You'll want to read through the instructions yourself, but here's the gist of how I did it, boiled down from a reddit post ... and another Reddit post. Full props to those folks!

You'll need at least Windows 7 to get this done.

OBLIGATORY WARNING: You're doing this at your own risk. If your teeth loosen and your eyes start to bleed, I didn't do it.

  1. Download hakchi2 and unzip: direct download link
  2. Browse to your saved ROMs, and decide what you want to install on the NES Classic. (I kept the original 30 games, too.)
  3. Find box art — either use your own, or just hit the handy Google button in the GUI to automagically search. (Nice touch!)
  4. Plug your NES Classic into your PC using the Micro-USB cable. Leave the console turned off. We're going to enter FEL mode.
  5. Hold down the reset button on the front. Then press (and release) the power button. After a few seconds, release the reset button. You won't actually see anything happen.
  6. You should now be able to hit the sync button in the hakchi2 program. (If you didn't get the FEL mode thing right, it'll tell you. I didn't do it right the first time and nothing blew up.)
  7. Reboot the NES Classic.
  8. Profit!

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