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1 month ago

How to use Instant Tethering with your Chromebook

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Instant Tethering is a feature designed to enable to the clunkiness of signing into a portable hotspot. Here's how to set it up!

Public WiFi is pretty common at this point, though it's usually slow and insecure. Because of this, many users will instead tether their laptops and tablets to their phone's cellular connection to connect to the web. Creating a portable hotspot has its own issues, include a clunky setup and connection process.

Chrome's Instant Tethering feature has come to alleviate the clunky connection process at least. It's also restricted to those who are using a Chromebook and one of Google's Pixel smartphones, so most Android users can't use the feature at this time. Having said that, let's get into setting up Instant Tethering.

  1. Pair your Chromebook and Pixel phone with each other with Bluetooth.

  2. On your phone, open the Settings app and tap Google Services & preferences.

  3. Scroll down and tap on Instant Tethering.

  4. Make sure the Provide data connection option is enabed.

  5. On your Chromebook, click on your photo in the lower right corner, then click network settings. Enable Mobile Data.

  6. You will get a notification on your phone to verify the connection to your Chromebook. Tap on the notification and tap Connect.

That's not quite as easy as setting up a traditional hotspot, but the payoff comes when you need to connect your Chromebook to your phone again. Simply unlock your Chromebook, and you'll see a notification asking if you'd like to connect to the phone's hotspot. Tap "Connect", and that's it! You're online and ready to go!

Do you use Instant Tethering on your Chromebook? Let us know down below!

Chromebooks

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1 month ago

How to get free mobile hotspot from your Android phone

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Certain carriers prevent customers from using the mobile hotspot feature, but this guide may help get around that restriction.

While most carriers now offer some sort of unlimited plan, but most of these have some restrictions (which is the textbook definition of irony, but I digress). The most common restriction is tethering data: while users can use their data on their phones for whatever they desire, using that same data bucket while connected to computer is either not allowed, or has limits.

There are features in Android that let carriers check if a user has paid for tethering or mobile hotspot — different carriers use those terms interchangeably — and disable the feature if the user doesn't have the feature on their plan.

There are some ways around this. Certain applications in the Play Store claim to help users bypass the carrier restrictions, and use their data however they intend. In our test case, we're evaluating applications while using a Pixel 2 XL and Cricket Wireless's Unlimited plan without official tethering.

EasyTether Full for Windows, macOS and Android tablets

EasyTether Full allows users to tether their laptop, desktop or tablet over USB or Bluetooth in order to share mobile data with the second device. Before trying to share data for the first time, users will need to download the necessary drivers or tablet-side application.

The drivers and tablet application can be downloaded to the phone application and moved over via USB cord. Unfortunately, the tablet-side application does not allow data to be shared with a Chromebook, and ChromeOS does not allow for drivers to be installed by the user. Because of this, EasyTether will not work for Chromebook users.

Magisk manager for Chrome OS and everything else — Root required

Covering 98% of all users makes EasyTether simple to recommend, but there are some situations where it wouldn't be sufficient. Besides not being available to ChromeOS users, EasyTether also wouldn't work for users who want to connect a game console to their mobile data, or for anyone who needs to connect more than one device at once.

In these cases, the only working solution we found was to root the phone and install Magisk Manager. Within Magisk Manager, navigate to the package installer and scroll down to the package titled "Tethering Enabler." Press the down arrow within that block to download the package, and it will install. Once this is done, reboot your device, and you'll be able to use the hotspot feature as normal.

Other options

It seems like a bit of a cop out, but the best option may be a different plan or carrier. Writing this guide made me finally try MetroPCS after using Cricket for about two years, and I'm glad I tried them. T-Mobile — which owns MetroPCS — has much better coverage in Indianapolis, with my phone working perfectly in areas that were previous dead spots.

Another solution would be using a different phone

I was hesitant to try MetroPCS in my rural hometown, but I found out that T-Mobile has expanded their coverage there as well. It's not good by any definition of the word, but I can make phone calls, get text and instant messages and stream music (but not video). That's much more than I could say the last time I tried to use T-Mobile's service in my hometown. MetroPCS has an unlimited plan with tethering for the same price as my current Cricket plan, and I will be moving my personal line over soon.

Another solution would be using a different phone. I spent the better part of 2017 using the OnePlus 3T. One of the most handy features (for me) of Oxygen OS is that it doesn't have the hooks the carriers use to check if a user has paid for the tethering feature. Because of this, tethering just works whenever the user turns it on, regardless of whether the user has paid for tethering or not.

I also tried other applications from the Play Store that may or may not work. Some users on other carriers and with other phones have had success, but I did not. All of these applications have free tiers though, so they're worth a shot:

Did any of these methods work for you? Let us know down below!

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1 month ago

Setting up a kid-friendly Android device

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Be involved in your child's digital life.

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

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

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1 month ago

How do I know if my phone is unlocked?

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An unlocked phone is the key to getting service from an alternative carrier.

We talk a lot about using MVNO carriers as a way to find a cheaper alternative for service. It's something that's gaining popularity and while it isn't exactly mainstream just yet, it's getting there. We think that's great because having even more choices can't be a bad thing. But in most cases, before you can try any other service provider, you'll need to have a SIM-unlocked phone. That means you can use a SIM card from any company and as long as the hardware is compatible with the network, it just works.

While some of us already know if our phones are unlocked or how to check, here's what you need to know if you are looking for a little help.

More: Best Unlocked Phone

Where did you buy it, and how?

In the U.S., Verizon is the only carrier who is consistent with selling all their smartphones unlocked. What we mean here is that if you walk into a Verizon store or use their website and buy a phone made for Verizon with their name on it, it's probably going to be SIM unlocked. Note that this doesn't mean you should buy a Verizon branded phone to use on a different network because SIM unlocked doesn't mean fully compatible. Just that Verizon is OK with you putting another SIM in the phone and letting the hardware try to connect to a different network.

The other three networks, as well as Best Buy or other third-party carrier resellers, are not as reliable when it comes to selling unlocked phones. Some are, some aren't — but every one of them can be unlocked, because that's the law.


If you bought your phone from Amazon or B&H or another online retailer, it told you in the listing if it was unlocked. If you don't remember, a quick call or email to customer service will help you find a copy of the listing to double check. Of course, if you bought your phone directly from the manufacturer, if it was listed as unlocked it will be and there is no need to check. All phones sold directly from Google and Apple (if paid in full at time of purchase) are unlocked, and many phones from other manufacturers are sold directly and SIM unlocked, too.

For the rest of the phones out there, there's really only one fool-proof way to check — try it.

Use a SIM card from a different carrier

You'll see references to the website imei.info that claim you can check online. While that might be true, the service costs money and has been incorrect five out of five times I have tried. I'll come right out and say it — don't bother.

You can call your carrier or the carrier or MVNO you're thinking of switching to. There is a database of IMEI numbers and it says which phones are unlocked or blacklisted. You might not have any luck here, though, because the person answering the phone might not be able to give you that information. Either because they don't have access to it or they aren't allowed to tell you over the phone. It's worth a try if you don't have access to a SIM card from a different company, though.

If you do have access to a SIM card from a different carrier, checking is pretty simple.

  • Make a phone call using the right SIM card if possible. This is to check that the phone is working properly. Call your mom and tell her hello; she'll appreciate it.
  • Shut off the phone and remove the SIM card. Look in the manual or online if you're not sure how to do this, and if you need a SIM card removal tool, a paperclip works fine.
  • Put the different SIM card in the phone and power it back on.
  • If you're greeted with a dialog box telling you to enter an unlock code, your phone is SIM locked to the carrier it was originally purchased from.
  • If you don't see this, check that it says you have service. If you do, your phone is probably unlocked. Try making another phone call. Mom won't mind two calls on the same day.

If you can't call using the different SIM card, you'll probably get a recorded message with some error code. you can jot down the code and check online to see why the call can't be completed so you know if it's because of a SIM lock or because of incompatible hardware.

If your phone is SIM-locked, don't fret. As mentioned, a carrier has to unlock a phone unless you owe money on it according to U.S. law. Give them a call and they will help you.

When you don't need a SIM-unlocked phone

At the top of this article, we said in most cases you do need a SIM-unlocked phone to try another carrier. That's true, but there is one popular use-case where it doesn't matter: using a T-Mobile branded phone on an MVNO using T-Mobile's network.

T-Mobile actively assists resellers, and they don't require a reseller (that's what an MVNO is) to require you to have an unlocked phone to connect. If your phone says T-Mobile on it or on the box, it will work on most MVNOs that use T-Mobile's network. [And there are a lot of them](/Complete List of T-Mobile MVNOs).



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1 month ago

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

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Get the latest version of Android on your phone on your own terms.

Now that we're well in the swing with Android Oreo, Pixel and Nexus owners are clamoring to get the latest updates to Android 8.1 as soon as possible. But Google doesn't always push these over-the-air updates as soon as people would like, which is where this guide comes in. Using the tips below, you can sign up for the Android beta program, sideload factory images, or OTA updates to your Nexus or Pixel device as soon as they are available.

These phones aren't just bought by developers. If there's a single reason for consumers to buy a Pixel or keep using a Nexus device, it's this: the newest software first. Period.

The easiest way

If you don't want to mess with unlocking your bootloader or the command line, you will get an update to Android 8.1 if you're part of the Android Beta program. That means that if you have one of the eligible devices, you can simply visit the Android Beta portal and opt-in to the beta, which will then prompt Google to send your phone or tablet an over-the-air update. If you're already in the public beta, you will receive an over-the-air update to the final version of Android 8.1 Oreo shortly.

  1. Head to Android Beta program portal on your Pixel or Nexus phone or tablet.
  2. Sign into the Google account associated with that phone.
  3. Scroll down to Your eligible devices.
  4. Find the device you want to enrol in the Beta program and tap Enrol device.
  5. Follow the prompts to accept the over-the-air download.

Note: To leave the beta program, simply press the button on the Android Beta program page to unenroll. Your phone will receive an over-the-air update to return to the stable version of Android 8.0 Oreo, but your phone will be wiped clean upon rebooting, so back up your stuff.

Which devices are eligible for the Android beta program?

The preview is supported on the following phones and tablets:

  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel C
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 5X

If you can't wait

If you simply can't wait for the Android beta, flashing the new version of Android is going to be your best bet.

But before we go into the steps of sideloading Android updates, it is strongly recommended that you have previous knowledge of working with the Android SDK (software development kit) and Terminal (OS X or Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows), as it is possible to harm your device if something were to go wrong in the following process.

If you need to download the Android SDK you can grab it from the Android Development website and follow their instructions on how to install it correctly. For the following process, all you will need is the adb and fastboot files which are located in the Platform Tools folder.

Additionally, all the following commands are written as they would be in Terminal on a Linux or OS X platform. If you are following this guide and using a Windows machine, you will not need to use the "./" seen in the guide.

Enable developer settings and USB debugging

  1. Go to your Settings and scroll down to About Phone/Tablet
  2. Tap on the Build number seven times until the dialog box says you are now a developer
  3. Go back to the Settings menu and you should find a new option called Developer options. Click into the Developer options
  4. Make sure that the developer options are turned on and that USB debugging is checked on
  5. If you're upgrading a device running Lollipop or higher, make sure Enable OEM unlock is checked
  6. Plug your device into your computer and click "OK" on the dialog box asking you to Allow USB debugging while connected to the computer. You can also select to always allow access on that computer

If done correctly, this will be everything you will need to do on your phone or tablet for the moment.

Unlocking your bootloader

Nexus devices and Pixel phones bought from Google directly have a bootloader you can unlock. If you want to manually flash software, you'll need to do this.

To do this you must first boot into your bootloader. You can either manually turn off your phone or tablet and hold down the power button and the volume down button to enter your device's Bootloader Menu or you can enter the following commands into your terminal or command prompt.

Run the following command to make sure your device is properly connected to your computer. If it returns a string of characters it means that you are all set to start updating your device.

./adb devices

Now to enter into the Bootloader menu just run the following command.

./adb reboot bootloader

At the bottom of the screen, there will be several things listed including the lock state of the device. This should say locked unless you have unlocked your bootloader in the past and never went back and locked it again.

To unlock your bootloader, which is required only when flashing a stock firmware image (not sideloading and update, which we'll get to soon), you must enter the following commands. Remember that when unlocking your Nexus' bootloader it will factory reset your device, so you will lose everything stored on it. If you have not yet backed up anything important on your device you can hit the power button while Start is highlighted in the Bootloader menu and this will boot you back into your device like normal. Now back to unlocking your bootloader.

On older devices (pre-Marshmallow), you used:

./fastboot oem unlock

On newer devices you'll use:

./fastboot flashing unlock

A dialog will appear on the device asking if you are sure about unlocking. Again this will factory reset your device, so if you want to back out of the process you just need to select no with the power button. If you are ready to unlock your bootloader you press the volume up button and then the power button to confirm that you wish to unlock your bootloader.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

It is recommended to reboot the bootloader just to give itself a check to make sure everything is working correctly before moving onto the next step.

Flashing the stock firmware image

Now that your bootloader is unlocked, it's time to flash the new firmware. To find the system images, head on over to the Factory Images page, find your device, and download the latest factory image available. It is easiest to then uncompress the file in the Platform Tools folder where the adb and fastboot files are so that you don't have to type the path to the different files when flashing the firmware. (Or if you know that you can drag a file into a terminal window to copy the path, just do that.)

To begin, make sure you are still in the bootloader menu on your device and double check that your bootloader is in fact unlocked.

First, make sure that your computer is communicating correctly with your phone or tablet. As long as your device's serial number comes back as a connected device you are ready to begin updating your device.

./fastboot devices

Now it is time to flash the updated bootloader with the following command.

./fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader file].img

You will not see anything on the screen of your device but there should be a dialog in your terminal or command prompt. When it is done flashing the bootloader you should reboot back into the bootloader as to make sure everything is still working correctly.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Next you flash the updated radios. This step is only necessary if you are updating the firmware of a phone or tablet that has cellular radios built into it.

./fastboot flash radio [radio file].img

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Finally, it's time to flash the actual system image to your phone or tablet.

Warning: The following line of code will wipe your device. If you do **not* want your device to be wiped, remove the "-w" from the command. The update should still take just fine, and it will not wipe your user data.

./fastboot -w update [image file].zip

When this is done, your phone will restart itself and boot up normally. As this process clears all data from your device, it will take slightly longer for your device to boot up for the first time. Once you have been greeted with the device setup walkthrough process, you know you have successfully flashed a new version of the firmware.

If you do not want to enter the commands manually there are scripts included inside the compressed folder containing the system image that will do most but not all of the heavy lifting for you. The flash-all script files will automate the flashing of the bootloader, radios (if needed), and the system image. The problem with this process is that you must first make sure that your phone is in the bootloader menu and its bootloader must be unlocked before starting the script. Of course, if these are not already done the script will fail to run and nothing will happen.

Flashing an OTA update image

If you don't want to unlock your bootloader, you can sideload an OTA update. That is, you're going to download to a computer the update file your phone normally would grab itself over the air (thus OTA), and then push it over via the command line.

It used to be that we'd have to hunt for the OTA file location when a phone would download it, and use that to pull the file from Google's servers. And we can still do that if we want ... but Google now provides OTA images for download. (You can find them here). This is a smaller file that just brings you from the previous version to the latest version — it isn't a complete operating system that could be loaded onto a phone fresh.

Just as is the case with the factory image update, put the OTA file in the Platform Tools directory to simplify the process of sending the file to your phone.

First, make sure that your computer is communicating correctly with your phone or tablet. As long as your device's serial number comes back as a connected device you are ready to begin updating your device.

./adb devices

Next, put your device into the bootloader menu by either the following command or by holding down the power button and the volume down button while it is turned off.

./adb reboot bootloader

Now use the volume down button twice until you have scrolled to Recovery mode, and press the power button to select it. It will look like your phone is restarting itself but an image of an Android with a red exclamation mark over it will appear. Next hold down the power button and press the volume up button, and you will be in recovery mode.

Now that you are in the Android system recovery, use the volume down button to highlight apply update from ADB and press the power button to select it. The text on your Nexus' screen will now say that you can send the OTA to the device using adb.

./adb sideload [OTA file].zip

In your terminal or command prompt you will see a dialog that shows you the progress of transferring the update to your phone or tablet and once it has been completely transferred you can read what is happening with the update live on screen. Again, once the process is done your phone will restart itself and attempt to boot normally. You have successfully updated!

Getting the newest software updates on your Nexus or Pixel is easy to do but understandably difficult the first time. Once you've gone through this process several times it will become second nature to you, so don't be discouraged. Luckily Nexus devices are extremely easy to get back into working order if something gets installed wrong or flashed incorrectly — so don't be alarmed if you've pressed the wrong button.

If you have any trouble along the way, be sure to hop into the forums and ask for help!

Update, December 2017: This post was updated with current links and references to Android 8.1 Oreo.

Android Oreo

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1 month ago

Setting a Chromebook up for enterprise use

0

Chromebooks are super awesome for enterprise use, and here's how to get one set up for your business!

Chromebooks are awesome for enterprise use. My day job involves me managing laptops and desktops for a ~500 person non-profit, and most of our employees use a Chromebook or Chromebox for their day to day work. All the tools we use are web based, so they can be accessed from any web browser. For this scenario, a Chrome device makes a lot of sense because of how easy to use, secure and easy to manage they are.

There is one minor hoop to go through for using a Chromebook or Chromebox as an enterprise user. Your business will need a G Suite account account, and you'll need to be designated as an administrator for G Suite. Once those are done, we can start getting devices set up.

Unlike Windows which has a few different versions, Chrome OS is Chrome OS. It doesn't matter if a device is used in a home, in a business or as a kiosk, it all runs the exact same software. The light install size of Chrome OS also makes wiping and setting up a device super fast, since you don't need to wait hours install the operating system. Here's how you'll register a new Chromebook or Chromebox for your company:

  1. Power on the device, and connect it to the Internet. At the startup screen, where you'd typically enter your email address, press Ctrl+Alt+E.
  2. Enter your administrator email address, password and two-factor authentication method. And that's it! The device is now registered to your business, meaning an administrator can track its location and remotely wipe it if necessary.

This will use a Chrome device license, and if the device is ever lost or stolen, the license can only be transferred to another device of the same exact model. Keep this in mind when you're buying devices for your company.

Lock a device to Hangouts Meet

For all its missteps in the consumer market, Hangouts is still great for businesses that primarily use Google services and Chrome devices. Our conference rooms all run on Hangouts, and we've started completing intakes for patients over Hangouts as well. Google offers certain Chromeboxes that are already set up to be locked to Hangouts and installed in a conference room, but any Chrome device can be setup this way because — again — they all run the same software Setting up a new device for Hangouts is mostly similar to the above steps, but before getting started you'll need to have your conference rooms set up in Google Calendar

  1. Power on the device, and connect it to the Internet. At the startup screen, where you'd typically enter your email address, press Ctrl+Alt+H.
  2. Enter your administrator email address, password and two-factor authentication method.
  3. Select a calendar from your directory.

Now when the selected room is added to a meeting, the meeting will be displayed on the device's screen and the room will be able to connect automatically to the meeting.

Does your business use Chromebooks? Let us know down below!

Chromebooks

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1 month ago

Don't go to a carrier just to get phone financing

65
AT&T

There are better ways to buy a phone affordably than running to the nearest carrier stores.

Ever since traditional two-year phone contracts fell out of vogue, carriers have come up with new and inventive ways of locking you in. One of the best examples of this is a monthly installment payment plan for a new device. It's so simple to walk into a carrier store and walk out with a phone for $0 down, paying that total over the course of the next 12, 18, or 24 months. It just gets baked right into your monthly phone bill — super easy.

But it's also super restrictive, because just like a two-year contract, your phone's cost is once again tied to the carrier. What if you want to take your phone elsewhere? You have to pay it off at the carrier, cancel your service, and move. And if you're financing a $700+ phone (or four), that could be tough — so now you're staying with a carrier you don't want to be with, just because you need longer to pay off the phone.

At the same time, people keep going to their carrier because they often think that's the only way they can get long-term, interest-free financing on what are increasingly expensive phones. But actually, you can get financing with identical terms from all of the major phone companies today, as well as from many retailers that sell phones — even phones that are exclusive to your carrier.

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Financing from the phone companies themselves

Samsung financing page

Phones are expensive, and the top-end models are seemingly increasing in price over time. More and more companies are also offering unlocked models that don't have the option of carrier financing. To help keep the phones accessible, they're offering no-interest financing for these phones.

HTC offers financing with up to a 24-month no-interest term for purchases over $599. That means a new HTC U11 at $649 will set you back $28 per month. Pay it off in full on time and you won't pay a penny over that price.

Samsung's financing offers a no-interest term for everything it sells over $250, with varying terms based on the amount financed. It typically reserves 24-month financing for $1499+ purchases but also offers it for its top-end phones; that would price out a new $725 Galaxy S8 at $30.21 per month over two years, again with no extra financing charges. The nice thing here is you can buy carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ with Samsung's financing, meaning you can get the exact model you want, without having its financing tied to the carrier.

Motorola will let you finance its phones using the third-party service Affirm, and its terms are very similar to the others. 6-, 12-, or 18-month financing terms are available depending on the purchase price, and there's no interest or additional fees. The financing offers are available through Motorola's website, whether you're buying an unlocked phone or carrier-exclusive model.

Google has 24-month no-interest financing on phone purchases from the Google Store. So you can pick up that Google Pixel XL directly from Google for $32.04 per month, rather than going to Verizon just to pay over time. Accessories and less expensive items have 6- and 12-month financing options as well.

OnePlus has one of the weakest financing options, but then again, it also has some of the cheapest top-end phone models. When shopping on the OnePlus store, all purchases over $99 are able to be financed with PayPal Credit over 6 months with no interest if paid in full in that term.

Financing from retailers

Amazon financing page

If the phone you're looking at doesn't have manufacturer-backed financing, there's a chance you could finance it with similar terms from a third-party retailer instead.

Amazon, where we all buy so many small things, offers convenient financing for larger purchases, like phones. The financing is no-interest like the others, and the length of financing offered depends on the purchase price. A $149+ phone can be paid off over 6 months, but a $599+ purchase gives you 12 months to pay it off.

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Best Buy will let you buy anything in its store with monthly payments if you sign up for its own-branded credit card. Purchases over $199 can get 6-month no-interest financing, and purchases over $399 get 12-month no-interest financing. This goes for unlocked phones but also carrier-branded phones, which is a great piece of flexibility — just be sure not to confuse it with the carrier-backed financing Best Buy also offers.

Seriously, consider financing outside of the carrier

As you can see, there are several different ways to buy the latest devices on a monthly installment plan while keeping that bill separate from your commitment to the phone carrier itself. It also gives you the ability to shop around and potentially find better deals at the manufacturer or retailer of your choice without giving up monthly financing. While it's a slightly bigger hassle to deal with two bills instead of one, the freedom of having your long-term phone financing separated from the carrier is worth it. Get the phone you want, the way you want.

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1 month ago

How to enable Night Light blue light filter on Chrome OS

20

Night Light is a feature that lets users avoid eye strain when using a screen late at night, and it is now available for Chrome users.

As someone who spends most of his waking day staring at one of a few screens, night mode is my favorite feature to come along in the last few years. On Windows, Android and iOS, users can flip a switch to filter out the blue light spectrum coming from their screen.

The blue part of the color spectrum has some interesting effects on the human eye — exposing yourself to too much of this light at night will make it much harder to get to sleep. Fortunately, Chrome users also have the option to toggle night mode as well.

This feature is available in the stable channel of Chrome OS, which means users don't need to deal with potentially buggy software to enable this. It does require a trip to the Chrome flags page, rather than just flipping a toggle in settings. There are some extensions available on the Chrome Web Store that duplicate this feature, but having it as part of the operating system will make the feature more stable and less likely to impact your battery life. Here's how to enable the Night Light feature:

  1. Open a new tab, and type chrome://flags into the address bar.
  2. Hit Control+F on your keyboard to search for text in the page.
  3. Type Night Light to find the night light setting.
  4. Click Enable under the setting.
  5. Click Restart Now to restart the device so the setting can take effect.

Now, you'll have the Night Light toggle available to you in the quick settings menu. Here's how to toggle the Night Light setting:

  1. Click on your account photo in the lower right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on the moon icon to turn Night Light on.
    • When you're ready to turn the filter off, simply click on the moon icon again.

We used this feature on newer Chromebooks without issue, but an older device may not have the feature available or it might be less stable. The color temperature and schedule can be set from within the settings app, under the display section. Are you going to use Night Light on your Chromebook? Let us know down below!

Chromebooks

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1 month ago

Where to buy the LG V30

153

When and where can I get the LG V30?

The LG V30 is one of the most interesting devices of the year so far. It's got a big, near-bezelless design that eschews many of the design characteristics of its predecessors, the V10 and V20, but maintains their focus on high-quality audio and unique camera features.

The V30 is getting a wide release in North America, with a number of carriers supporting the product.

Let's break it down individually by country and carrier.

U.S. carriers

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is now selling the V30 starting at $80 down and $30 per month for 24 months, or an outright cost of $800. Like Sprint, you also get a free Daydream View and content pack with purchase.

The V30 is T-Mobile's first phone to support its nascent 600Mhz spectrum, which will give the phone better performance in low-density rural areas.

T-Mobile is offering a pretty great deal for the V30, too: buy a phone on a new or existing line and get a $500 rebate when purchasing a second V30 with a second new line. When buying with an Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), users get an LG G Pad X or G Pad X2 PLUS for free with purchase.

See at T-Mobile

AT&T

The V30 is now available at AT&T online and in-store. It costs $27 per month for 30 months on AT&T Next, or $810 in total. AT&T has a deal for a "free" second V30, but there are a lot of conditions:

"For a limited time, buy an LG V30 and get one FREE when you add a line and buy both on AT&T Next with monthly eligible wireless and have eligible DIRECTV service."

It works on the company's so-called 5G Evolution network, which is equivalent to the fastest 4G LTE speeds today. That's because the V30 takes advantage of new technologies like 4x carrier aggregation, 256QAM modulation, and 4x4 MIMO antenna placements, as well as unlicensed spectrum standards like LTE-U and LAA.

See at AT&T

Verizon

The LG V30 is now available at Verizon for $35 per month for 24 months, or $840 outright. Verizon is giving away a $200 prepaid credit card and a free Google Daydream View with every purchase, which is nice.

See at Verizon

Sprint

Sprint is one of two U.S. carriers selling the LG V30+, which is the 128GB version of the regular LG V30. It's now available for $0 down and $38 per month for 24 months, which works out to $912 outright. Like AT&T, users signing up for a second account and service will get a second LG V30+ for free.

Sprint is going deep on the V30+, too. It's offering a free Daydream View headset and "Top VR content bundle" with every unit, and is the only carrier bundling LG's QuadPlay earbuds in the box.

See at Sprint

US Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the second carrier selling the LG V30+, but unlike Sprint, it also sells the standard V30. The regular V30 costs you $19.50/month on a 30-month installment plan, or you can choose to pay a prepaid price of $799.99. As expected, the V30+ is slightly more expensive at $21.16/month or $849.99 on prepaid.

No matter if you purchase the V30 or V30+, U.S. Cellular will also throw in a free Daydream View headset and Top VR Content Bundle similar to what Sprint is offering.

See at US Cellular

U.S unlocked

Despite previously listing that the unlocked LG V30 would be available for purchase on December 5, B&H began selling the phone a few days earlier on December 1. The phone's only available in Cloud Silver, and you'll pay $819.99 for the unlocked privelege. B&H offers free shipping, and as long as you order outside of New York and New Jersey, you won't have to pay taxes.

LG also says on its website that the phone will be available at Amazon and other retailers in the coming months.

See at B&H


Canada

On October 12, LG Canada announced that the LG V30 would be available in Canada starting October 20.

It's sold at Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Fido, Koodo, and Freedom Mobile.

The phone starts at around $300 on a 2-year contract with optional financing and subsidy, $500 with just subsidy, and $1100 outright.

Updated, December 1: You can now buy the LG V30 unlocked from B&H!

LG V30

Amazon Best Buy Verizon AT&T

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1 month ago

Should you use your Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL on Project Fi?

53
Google Pixel 2

For some people, getting a Pixel is a sure thing — the next question is which carrier you should choose.

If you're already set on buying a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, or even have one already, you may be thinking about switching carriers at the same time. Google's own Project Fi service is quite popular, but unless you had a previous Nexus or Pixel phone, you haven't even had the choice to use it. So now that you can use Project Fi, we're going to help you decide whether or not it's the right carrier for your shiny new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.

Who should use their Pixel 2 on Project Fi?

Project Fi

Project Fi has a solid set of clear advantages when compared to a "traditional" carrier. For the most part, it boils down to just how simple Project Fi is compared to the competition. With Fi, you don't have any sort of contract, fine print, agreements or even set plans to decide on. You simply pay $20 per month for the base service, and then $10 per gigabyte of data thereafter. That's it! The Fi app and website make your data usage, account management, and billing super simple, removing the stress of dealing with your phone service. You also get a combined nationwide cell network that utilizes T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular towers.

Project Fi is simple, flexible, and intuitive — so long as you don't use much data.

That makes Project Fi useful for people who need to have coverage wherever they go, but at the same time are willing to actively cut back on data usage to save money. Data usage is billed down to the megabyte, so every time you hop on Wi-Fi or wait to make a big download there's a direct correlation to having a lower bill at the end of the month. If you're regularly in the 2-3GB range monthly, you will probably find this to be a good deal compared to your current service.

If you use your phone internationally often, Project Fi is a fantastic choice. You can use your phone exactly as you do at home and pay the same $10/GB, and even save on calls back to the U.S. when you use Wi-Fi or the Hangouts Dialer. You don't have to change your plan or buy an international package before you leave — just turn on your phone in a new country, and you have service right away.

Sign up for Project Fi


Who should use their Pixel 2 on a different carrier?

SIM cards

Conversely, many of the core tenets of Project Fi can make it instantly unappealing to many Pixel 2 owners. The biggest issue for most people will be the cost of data. At $10 per gigabyte, with no savings or discounts available, Fi gets really expensive if you're using a lot of data on a consistent basis. Anyone who uses 5GB or more in an average month will likely be better off paying for one of the unlimited plans available from the other carriers.

If you use lots of data or have a demanding family plan, you should look elsewhere.

The same goes for people who want to combine multiple lines of service with a family plan. Project Fi does offer a group plan option, but the savings with extra lines are minimal and in the end the same $10/GB data restriction is going to get in the way. The limitation of only being able to use Nexuses, Pixels and the Android One Moto X4 on Project Fi may also be a consideration if you need an inexpensive phone for your children on a family plan.

One other aspect of this whole comparison to consider is that you don't have to stick with Project Fi if you're just looking to save money. Yes Project Fi can be a very inexpensive way to get service on a new Pixel, but there are also many great prepaid carriers that offer more data for the money — just remember it comes at the expense of many of the extra features that make Fi so appealing.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Best Buy Verizon Google Store Project Fi

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1 month ago

How to change your software channel on Chrome OS

0

Chrome OS has a stable, beta and developer channel. Here's what they mean and how to switch between them.

One of the greatest strengths of Chrome OS is its stability: whenever I hand someone a Chromebook or set them up with a Chromebox, I know they're not going to run into any problems. But for those that like to tinker — like me — there is the option to test new features for Chrome, at the possible expense to stability.

Every Chrome device shares the same software, with everything working the same from one device to another. Something like the Pixelbook will perform faster in some scenarios than a lower end Chromebook, but everything will look and function the same. Each Chrome device can be on one of three software channels: the stable channel, the beta channel and the developer channel.

Stable channel

Every Chrome device runs the stable channel out of the box, and that's the channel the device will remain on if the user does nothing. The stable channel isn't absolutely flawless — no software is — but it will be the most stable operating system a user could have. The stable channel of Chrome OS is updated at a minimum every six weeks as new versions of Chrome rollout.

Beta channel

The beta channel is a great middle ground between the rock-solid stability of the stable channel and the super-experimental developer channel. I spent most the last year on the beta channel on various Chromebooks to use Android apps, and things mostly worked without issue.

The beta channel is also a great way for web developers to make sure their websites will still display properly on new versions of Chrome, and address any problems that arise before the update rolls out to the stable channel. Experimental features may be listed inside the settings application, or by visiting the Chrome flags page. The beta channel is updated at least once every two weeks to deliver bug fixes, with OS upgrades coming at least once per month.

Developer channel

Chrome OS has the developer channel we'll discuss here, as well as the developer mode that lets users gain deeper system access and install different flavors on Linux. While they sound similar, they don't have anything to do with each other other than being power-user features on the same operating system. A user can have developer mode enabled, but still be using the stable channel of the OS.

The developer channel is for folks that really like to experiment with new features, with a major cost to stability. The developer channel is updated one or two times per week with new features and bug fixes.

Moving between channels

Moving between software channels is easy to do. If you're moving from the stable channel to beta or developer — or from beta to developer — all your data will remain in place. If you're moving from developer to beta or stable — or from beta to stable — your Chrome device will need to be Powerwashed, erasing your account and any local data you have. Setting up a Chromebook as new is super simple, so even with a Powerwash the whole experience shouldn't take more than ten or fifteen minutes. To change your Chrome OS channel:

  1. Once logged into your device, click on your account photo in the lower right, then click the gear icon. This will open the Settings app.
  2. Click the hamburger icon on the upper right of the settings window, then click About Chrome OS.

  3. Click Detailed build information to view which channel you are on.
  4. If you would like to change the channel, click CHANGE CHANNEL, then select the channel you would like to move to.

  5. Your device will download the software for your desired channel, then reboot and Powerwash itself if need be. And that's it!

Chromebooks

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1 month ago

Instagram Stories on Android: Everything you need to know

6

Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing social network, and Stories is one of its most intimate components.

A few years ago, Instagram was just a simple competitor to services like VSCO and Hipstamatic, known for heavy-handed filters, square crops, and hashtags. Today, with over 700 million monthly users, it's one of the largest social networks around, and its new ephemeral Stories feature already has more users within its first year than Snapchat, the popular app that it, ahem, borrowed from.

Snapchat on Android: Everything you need to know

No matter your feelings on Instagram essentially cloning Snapchat, it's hard to argue against reaching a larger audience. With over 200 million daily users, Stories is a great way to keep up with friends and idols alike — of course, it's yet another way to keep them in the loop about your own life, too. The simpler interface versus Snapchat doesn't hurt either, but that doesn't mean it isn't still complicated. Lucky for you, there's a comprehensive guide for that — and you're looking at it.

Download: Instagram (free)

Getting familiar with Instagram Stories

How to view stories

Maybe the most straightforward part of using Instagram Stories is viewing them. From the main screen (denoted by a home icon in the bottom left corner), you'll notice a row of circular icons at the top displaying the profile pictures of the users you follow who have posted stories within the past 24 hours. You can scroll through the list to find a particular user and tap their icon to view their story, or just hit the Watch All button above the icons. Once you've viewed someone's entire story, the red outline around their profile picture (indicated unseen content) will turn gray.

While you're viewing a user's story, their username is displayed in the top left corner of the screen, along with how long ago the content was posted. A bar at the top indicates the length of the story, and if there's more than one entry in the story that line will be split into equal segments for each part. From there, you can tap on the left or right side of the screen to progress forward or backward through each story — once you finish a user's story, you'll automatically advance to the next user in the list until you've seen every new post.

One more thing — you can do more than just look while you're viewing someone's story. You can send a private message to a user in response to part of their story by tapping the camera icon or text field at the bottom. You can also send part of someone's story to another user by tapping the paper airplane icon.

Of course, not everything is appropriate for social media, and in the case of Instagram, that includes "violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content" (per Instagram's terms of use). If you come across a story in violation of Instagram's policies, you can report it using the overflow button inside of the text field.

How to post your own stories

Alright, so it turns out viewing someone else's story is actually pretty simple after all. Now let's tackle posting stories of your own.

Start by swiping right from the main feed to access the camera; you've undoubtedly done this by accident a few dozen times by now, and you'd be forgiven for confusing this panel for the camera accessed by the plus icon in the middle of Instagram's navigation bar (which is for capturing photos and videos to post on your profile). Instead, this is the hub for all of the tools that'll help you post the best stories possible.

Near the bottom of this screen, you'll see a few tools; namely a shortcut to your recent shots, a flash toggle, the shutter button, the camera switcher, and face filters. There are also a few shooting modes beneath those tools, including live, Boomerang, Superzoom, rewind, and hands-free, as well as a shortcut to your story settings in the upper left corner.

We'll get to all of that in a bit, but the first thing to do is just take a photo! You can tap the shutter button to quickly take a photo, or hold it down to start capturing video — you can shoot for up to 15 seconds, or let go at any time to stop recording early. If you want to zoom while recording, just slide your finger up or down from the shutter button. Sometimes you might want to share something you've already shot, and that's okay too — just tap the camera roll button in the bottom left corner or swipe up from anywhere in the viewfinder to access all of the photos and videos you've captured in the last 24 hours. Once you've captured something worth posting, you can add it to your story by tapping Your Story at the bottom of the screen.

Adding text or drawings

Before you post your first story, you might want to spruce it up with some text. You can tap anywhere on the screen to bring up a text input field, and resize your text or change colors using the accompanying tools. Typing @ followed by someone's username (like, oh I don't know, @androidcentral or @hayatohuseman) will tag that user in your story, notifying them of the post and creating a link for other users to view their profile. You can also make your text more visible by tapping the button in the middle of the top row to create a white or translucent background.

You can also draw on your story by tapping the marker icon in the upper right corner. There are a few different brush tips to choose from, including a marker, a highlighter, glowing ink, and chalk, as well as an eraser and an undo button to fix small mistakes. Just like with text, you can choose from a number of different preset colors, or pull a color from your shot using the dropper tool.

Face filters

Would it really be a Snapchat clone without silly face filters? You've probably already noticed the smiley face icon in the bottom right corner that looks like a toggle for beautification mode. Tap it or press and hold anywhere in the camera viewfinder, and a scrollable row of face filters will appear at the bottom of the screen. It isn't just the feature itself that's been ported over, either — the filters themselves are nearly identical replicas of some of Snapchat's most popular effects, including a cat and dog, sunglasses, and an actual beautification filter.

Still, original or not, these face filters are a fun way to add some flair to a selfie, and the tracking is actually surprisingly good. The filters are able to detect facial movements like raising your eyebrows, opening your mouth or nodding your head, and they react accordingly with different effects and animations.

Latest Instagram update adds face filters and more

Stickers

Filters are yet another whimsical addition to your stories that can add context, viewer participation, or just simple amusement. To access stickers, tap the icon in the top right corner next to the text and marker icons. You'll be greeted with a vertically scrolling list with dozens of custom stickers, along with all of your phone's supported emoji to use as stickers. Options range from seasonal stickers (my list is overwhelmingly autumn-themed at the moment) to labels that are clearly catered towards millennials (lit, yasss, it me, ugh, savage, etc).

There are stickers to add the current time or temperature to your story, and you can use the location sticker to tag places of interest just as you would with a regular photo upload on Instagram. You can also use the hashtag sticker to reach a wider audience through Instagram's search tools, or run a poll that viewers of your story can vote on.

Live on Instagram

Back to those different shooting modes in the Stories camera. Instagram wasn't satisfied with just taking on (and overtaking) Snapchat, so it went after live streaming platforms like Periscope as well. From the viewfinder, slide the mode selector all the way to the left to access live mode. You can hit Start Live Video to begin publicly streaming, and Instagram will send a push notification to some of your followers letting them know you're live. Viewers can comment in real time, and at the end of your broadcast the entire stream can be rewatched in your story, denoted with a play button in your story icon.

You can also add a second person to your live stream using the Add icon near the bottom right of the screen. A list will appear with the users currently watching your stream, any of which can be invited to join in a split-screen view. This feature is great for increasing audience engagement during a live stream, and you can remove the second party at any time.

Instagram now lets you live stream with a friend

Boomerangs

Boomerangs are one of my favorite parts of Stories. They're essentially just animated GIFs for Instagram, with the added bonus of not igniting tired arguments over pronunciation. To start capturing one of your own, swipe over to the Boomerang mode in the Stories viewfinder. An infinity symbol will appear in the shutter button, and tapping it will record a one second looping video that you can edit and share to your story just like any other capture. You can also press and hold the shutter button to capture a longer Boomerang, cutting off after about three seconds.

It hasn't been updated in over a year, but there's also a standalone app for capturing Boomerangs, which you can then share to Instagram or Facebook. The nice thing about both the app and the shooting mode in Instagram is that if you really enjoy a particular capture, it doesn't have to stay confined to your story — you can post Boomerangs to your regular feed the same way you would a photo or video.

Download: Boomerang for Instagram (free)

Superzoom

Superzoom is a just-for-fun feature that, while not particularly useful, will still probably get a laugh out of you when you use it. When recording in Superzoom mode, a dramatic sound effect will play as the camera automatically zooms in on a subject. Switch to the Superzoom shooting mode and a box will appear, denoting where the camera will zoom. The camera immediately begins searching for a face to track, and if none are found it will default to the center of the frame. Once you start shooting, it's just like any other video — edit away and share it to your story!

Rewind

This one's pretty self-explanatory. From the rewind shooting mode, you can either tap the shutter button or press and hold to begin recording a video. Once you've finished, Instagram will take a second to process the footage and begin playing it back in reverse. This is a bit less robust than Snapchat's rewind function, which is applied as a filter rather than an entire shooting mode; because of this difference, you can't change a reversed clip to play back the right way if you change your mind, so make wise use of this effect.

Hands-free stories

As a guitarist who sometimes like to share snippets of songs I'm working on to my story, I really appreciate Instagram's final shooting mode for Stories, hands-free video. In this mode, you can simply tap the shutter button to begin recording a video, as opposed to needing to press and hold in the normal shooting mode. If you aren't musically inclined, that's okay — there are plenty of handy uses for this feature, none of which can be done on Snapchat.

It's worth mentioning that this feature can be subverted by simply uploading an existing video clip you shot in your phone's native camera app, but there's just something different about recording directly from the app you're sharing to.

Having trouble?

I really like Stories, and Instagram as a whole, but neither is without its flaws. Luckily whenever there's a problem, Instagram is quick to resolve it, but it's still good to be aware of the occasional setbacks.

Instagram taking new steps to reduce offensive and spammy comments using machine learning

How to stop Facebook and Instagram notifications from driving you crazy

Got any other tips or tricks?

We tried to make this as detailed as possible, but if we missed anything, let us know in the comments below and we'll update the article as new features come to Instagram Stories.

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1 month ago

Which MVNOs work with more than one carrier?

16

These are the alternative carriers that lease coverage from more than one of the Big Four carriers.

We talk a lot about carriers and MVNOs here because having good wireless service goes hand in hand with your Android phone. And the service being good is the most important part. We can't stress enough that saving a few dollars each month to get service that doesn't work very well is a bad move; Verizon is expensive, for example, and worth every penny for a lot of people because of its coverage.

Multiple networks are especially great for families, who don't always live in the same place.

That's why getting service from an MVNO that works with more than one network can be important! With a company like Google's Project Fi, if coverage from one carrier is bad in the place you're at, you will jump over to another automatically. With most others, you have a choice of carrier when you first sign up and can switch the next month if you like. That's a great way to make sure you always have a good signal, and we think it's pretty cool.

Here's a list of MVNOs that provide service on multiple carrier networks. Note that this isn't an endorsement of any of them, it's just a list so you know where to start looking!

Company AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon US Cellular Best Cellular Yes Yes Yes Yes No Boom Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes No campusSIMs Yes No Yes No No Consumer Cellular Yes No Yes No No Eco Mobile No Yes Yes Yes No Expo Mobile No Yes No Yes No Flash Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No FreedomPop1 Yes Yes No No No good2GO Mobile Yes yes No No No Hayai Mobile Yes No Yes No No Jolt Mobile Yes No Yes No No Net10 Wireless Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OTG Mobile No Yes Yes Yes No Project Fi2 No Yes Yes No Yes Proven Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No Puppy Wireless No Yes No Yes No Red Pocket Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes No Republic Wireless No Yes Yes No No Straight Talk Yes Yes Yes Yes No Telcel América No Yes Yes No No TextNow No Yes Yes No No The People's Operator USA No Yes Yes No No Ting No Yes Yes No No TracFone3 Yes No Yes Yes Yes US Mobile No No Yes Yes No Zing Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No

1Voice calls are VoIP only, but not counted against a data cap

2Also uses the Three network in the UK

3TracFone's US Cellular service supports feature phones only

That's a pretty long list, and it's been culled to not include companies that only service business account or companies who force you to buy a special phone. It also doesn't include special operators that only provide service for you if you are part of a specific group, such as the armed services or the right credit union. The operators in this list will all sell you service that anyone can use with any compatible phone, anywhere in the U.S.

Your experience?

Have you tried any of these service providers? There are names we all know, names we've heard of, and names that aren't familiar at all here. If you have any experience with any of these companies, please let us know how it went in the comments.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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1 month ago

Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8+: Which should you buy?

86
Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8+

Samsung has put potential buyers in a tough spot.

The Galaxy Note 8 hype started building pretty much as soon as the Galaxy S8+ hit store shelves, and now that the new Note is available we have an actual head-to-head comparison on our hands.

Samsung is obviously happy when consumers are in the position of choosing between two of its phones rather than pitting one against a competitor. But which one is right for you? We're here to help you make that decision.

What the Galaxy Note 8 does better

The Note 8 is the new hotness, and it's understandably the top-end phone in Samsung's lineup and therefore will get plenty of advertising weight behind it. That will drive people into stores to check it out … but what exactly does it do differently from the Galaxy S8+?

Well, to set the stage let's quickly recap what's the same. You're getting the same core specs, screen quality and hardware features in both phones. For example you get the same Snapdragon 835 or Exynos CPU, 64GB of storage (with SDcard slot), QHD+ resolution Super AMOLED display, metal-and-glass body with waterproofing, and so on.

Yes the Note 8 is larger, but the hardware improvements are miniscule.

Yes the Note 8's screen is larger … 0.1-inch larger, at 6.3-inches in total. It's a hardly perceptible difference. Inside you get 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB — not a big deal now, but could be potentially useful in the future. The hardware design is slightly tweaked to accommodate it all, with more tightly rounded corners, but the proportions and materials are identical to that of the Galaxy S8+. The fingerprint sensor is in the same location as well, which definitely isn't a positive in either case.

The two big features that are actually substantially different on the Note 8 are the new camera experience and the S Pen. The Note 8's primary camera is actually the same as the GS8+, but it's also paired up with a secondary 12MP camera that has a telephoto lens that enables lossless zooming and software-based depth of field effects. It's more capable than the Galaxy S8+, for sure, but your day-to-day shots will be the same on either phone.

The S Pen is entirely unique to the Note lineup, and enables quick hand-written notes, annotation and precise control of small objects on the screen. If you've had a previous Note, you'll get it; if you haven't, you probably don't see the value. Go try it for yourself to see where you land on it.


What the Galaxy S8+ does better

For most people with no previous feelings about the type of phone they want, the Galaxy S8+ will likely be their initial choice. That will primarily come down to price and therefore value: the Galaxy S8+ is over $100 cheaper than the Note 8, even at MSRP, and because it's a few months older it's already on a discount. That's for about 90% the same hardware and experience.

The Galaxy S8+ gives you 90% of the experience for roughly $200 less.

Yes the screen is smaller, but unless you're holding both phones together you wouldn't be able to tell the 0.1-inch difference. And the Galaxy S8+ is definitely easier to handle (relatively speaking), being just a tad narrower and also considerably lighter — 22 grams, or about 12% — than the Note 8.

That's all while holding nearly the same specs, aside from the aforementioned lower RAM in the GS8+. Of course there's the positive trade-off of having a slightly larger 3500mAh battery to work with here — not a huge difference, but a little extra reserve you can count on nonetheless.


Which should you choose?

Going into this comparison, we're taking as a given that you're drawn to the core Samsung features, design and software. Thankfully Samsung shares so many features between these two phones it makes that part easy.

So comparing the Note 8 and the Galaxy S8+ head-to-head, the decision process is rather simple. If you want the biggest and most capable phone that Samsung offers, you go with the Note 8. Its screen is marginally larger, it has more RAM, it offers the S Pen you can't get anywhere else and it has the only dual camera setup in Samsung's lineup.

On the other hand, if you have no desire to use the S Pen, and don't see the small screen size bump as a benefit, you're going to be better served by the Galaxy S8+. It's a little smaller, has a larger battery and is less expensive than the newer Note 8. Given these few differences, most people will simply gravitate to the Galaxy S8+ as a default — and they'll probably make the right choice. The most likely Note 8 buyers are those who are opinionated about its few extra features from the start.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Best Buy

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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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1 month ago

Sprint outage? Here's what you need to do!

18

Is your Sprint service more like a crawl? Here's what to do when there's an outage!

Whether it's a natural disaster, power failure, or network issues, Sprint outages happen. They're inevitable and totally suck when they happen, but there are things you can do to alleviate some of the frustration. Here's what to do!

Troubleshoot your devices

First thing's first: Is the issue on just one of your devices, like your phone or computer? If that's the case, then it could be the device acting up, so power it off, wait a few seconds, and power it back on again. Also be sure to check all network connections and make sure everything's configured properly.

If you're noticing the issue on several devices (every family member's phone is having problems with texting), then you're likely facing an outage.

Visit an outage website

There are quite a few websites that document carrier outages in the U.S., allowing you to see if other people are having the same woes you are before having to sit on hold with Sprint to find out if anything is wrong.

downdetector.com is one of the more popular options, offering a graph of Sprint issues over the last 24 hours, as well as a map showing you which areas the outage may be affecting most. Outage.Report is another good option, featuring a live coverage map as well.

Either way, check online before contacting Sprint, because if there is an outage, you may be waiting a long time to talk to someone.

Check out the My Sprint app

If you're an Android user, you should already have the My Sprint app installed on your phone; if not, grab it on Google Play. If you're an iPhone user, you can download it right from the App Store.

Sprint claims it can help you diagnose network problems and service and coverage issues. You can even report issues like dropped calls, texting issues, slow data speeds, or no service at all.

Contact Sprint

If all else fails or if you want to know just how long an outage might last, contact Sprint directly via phone or online chat. Check out Sprint's support center page for specific issues, and click the yellow chat button when it appears after a few seconds. Chat is open 24/7.

You can also call customer service at 1-844-382-3312. You can also tweet directly to Sprint @sprintcare or message customer service on Facebook.

You can also report a network issue by signing into My Sprint.

Contact Sprint

Carriers

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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