Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Android

Find your recently uploaded pics on Google Photos, even if they date back many years

How to find your recently uploaded pics on Google Photos, even if they date back many years by androidpolice.com

I love Google Photos and I keep recommending it left and right to anyone I know. But Photos isn't perfect and there's still a lot that the service could do to improve the user experience. For example, the ability to order photos in different ways is missing — you get reverse chronological and that's it. If you're only backing up recent images as you take them, that's not an issue, but if you're uploading older photos, it becomes near impossible to find those images and edit, share, or make albums of them. You might scroll and scroll, try to search for the date if you remember it, and sometimes nothing works. There is one little trick though.

LastPass Authenticator

LastPass Authenticator by logmeininc.com

LastPass Authenticator is a multifactor app for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. It supports 3 ways to log in:

  • Time based 6-digit codes
  • One-tap push notifications
  • SMS 6-digit codes

LastPass Authenticator is also TOTP compliant, meaning it’s compatible with all apps and websites that support Google Authenticator. That means you can conveniently manage Multifactor Authentication for multiple services, all from LastPass Authenticator.

Tips to Help You Master Gboard for Android

20 Tips to Help You Master Gboard for Android by android.gadgethacks.com

Typing on a mobile device has come a long way since the days of flip phones. Today, there are awesome keyboard apps like Gboard, which integrates Google search features and makes typing a breeze. But the whole experience still stands to improve if you take some time to learn a few useful tips.

Gboard incorporates everything we've come to expect from a modern keyboard, including emoji support and voice typing.

Yes, You Should Still Change Your DNS Settings for Better Internet

Yes, You Should Still Change Your DNS Settings for Better Internet by gizmodo.com

The DNS (Domain Name System) server settings on your laptop, phone, or router are your gateway to the web—converting easy-to-remember domain names into actual internet IP addresses, just like your contacts app converts names into actual phone numbers. You can change which DNS server your devices use though, and perhaps get yourself a faster, more secure internet connection along the way.


How to Change the DNS Server on a Chromebook by howtogeek.com

Chromebooks allow you to set a custom DNS server, but Google doesn’t make the option easy to find. There are many reasons to change your DNS server, after all.

– Things You Can Do in Android 9 Pie

12 Cool Things You Can Do in Android 9 Pie That You Couldn't Do Before by gizmodo.com

Android 9 Pie is finished and heading out now to Pixel devices, with phones that were part of the Android P beta program next in line. Whether you’ve been following the development of the OS for the last six months, or you’re completely new to it, here are some of the cool tricks that are now possible on Android devices. 

Moto X4 vs. Moto G6

Moto X4 vs. Moto G6: What are the differences, and which should you buy? by androidcentral.com

Motorola has been busy these last few months, putting out a range of different phones at different price points. While we like the modular Moto Z3 Play, it's a bit expensive compared to the rest of the lineup at $499. The company's lower budget selection is arguably much more important; there are plenty of great options in the $500 ballpark, but Motorola is one of the few companies that consistently puts out high-quality, inexpensive phones.

The Moto G6 is the company's latest in its wildly popular line of low-cost phones, modernizing the brand with 2018 design traits and refreshed internals. Last year's mid-range Moto X4 is coming down in…

* Turn Your Smartphone into an Early Warning System

How to Turn Your Smartphone into an Early Warning System for Almost Anything by gizmodo.com

Our phones affect our lives in all kinds of ways, from socializing to travel, but these ever-present pocket gadgets can also act as early warning devices for a host of important alerts—from life-saving notifications to convenient warnings about your commute. Here we’ll show you what’s possible, and which apps you’ll need. 

NeverSSL

NeverSSL by NeverSSL.com

This website is for when you try to open Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc on a wifi network, and nothing happens. Type "http://neverssl.com" into your browser's url bar, and you'll be able to log on.

The Best Cell Phone Plans for Families

The Best Cell Phone Plans for Families by reviewgeek.com

Finding the right cell plan for you and your family can be a challenge. While many plans are simpler than ever before, the difference between carriers is still vast. Here are the plans that deserve a closer look.

Before choosing a plan, however, you need to figure out what your family needs. How many lines do you need? Is streaming king so you need as much data as possible? Do you prefer one video service over another?

Waze now works in standalone Android Auto

Waze now works in standalone Android Auto on your phone by androidpolice.com

When Waze finally added support for Android Auto last year, it unfortunately required a proper Auto head unit, a discovery that tainted the good news. That's no longer the case as Waze recently started working in the standalone version of Auto, the one that uses your phone as a display and doesn't necessitate any other additional gear.

If you have both Android Auto and Waze installed on your phone, you can tap on the navigation icon in the Auto menu and you should see both Google Maps and Waze as options…

Set up Android Auto on your phone

How to set up Android Auto on your phone so you'll actually use it by androidcentral.com

When Google first announced Android Auto, it was a fairly basic app that let you connect and display a limited amount of information from your phone to your car via a wired connection to an aftermarket in-dash display head unit. Automakers eventually supported the platform as more cars included touch displays in their interface, but unless you're driving a newer model car from 2016 on there's a solid chance the car you're driving isn't equipped to support Android Auto.

Prevent some spam calls from interrupting you

Google’s Phone app can now prevent some spam calls from interrupting you by theverge.com

Google’s Phone app can now automatically filter out calls that it detects to be spam, sending them directly to voicemail. Your phone won’t ring, and you won’t even get a missed call notification for any calls that Google weeds out.

If the spam callers leave a voicemail — you know, like the usual spiel about charges being filed against you over back-owed taxes — that will still find its way to your voicemail inbox.

I barely noticed a difference using this $250 smartphone

I barely noticed a difference while I was using this $250 smartphone after using $800 phones for years by businessinsider.com

I looked around the subway one day and noticed people with expensive smartphones, like the $1,000 iPhone X and $800-plus Galaxy S9, and I questioned whether those people getting more out of their expensive smartphones for their day-to-day apps than I was with this $250 device.

I was streaming my music via Bluetooth, streaming videos, browsing the internet and social media, sending emails and messages, video calling with family abroad, and using all the apps I usually use without a hitch on the Moto G6.

How to Make Your Phone’s Fingerprint Reader More Accurate

How to Make Your Phone’s Fingerprint Reader More Accurate by howtogeek.com

 

Fingerprint readers on phones have made devices more secure and faster to unlock, at least when they work on the first try. If you have trouble unlocking your phone quickly, there are things you can do to improve your device’s fingerprint reader.

Biometric identification on phones has come a long way over the last few years, with both Apple and Google building…

Factor Authentication (and Sync Your Codes Between Devices)

Factor Authentication (and Sync Your Codes Between Devices) by howtogeek.com

Strong passwords are not enough anymore: we recommend using two-factor authentication whenever possible. Ideally, that means using an app that generates authentication codes on your phone or a physical hardware token. We prefer Authy when it comes to authentication apps—it’s compatible with all sites that use Google Authenticator, but is more powerful and convenient.

MoviePass: Everything you need to know

MoviePass: Everything you need to know by androidcentral.com

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, there's a good chance you've heard a thing or two about MoviePass. Although the company was founded way back in 2011, it's picked up a lot of steam over the past year or so with its too-good-to-be-true offer of allowing you to see one movie per day for just $9.95/month.

10 Phone and Laptop Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

10 Phone and Laptop Problems You Shouldn't Ignore by gizmodo.com

If you own a phone or a computer (and we’re assuming you do) there are bugs and annoyances that you just have to learn to live with. On the flip side, there are also problems that hint at something much more serious going on with your device—issues you shouldn’t learn to live with, but should address at the earliest opportunity. 

Third Party Gmail Apps Have Full Access to Your Email

Reminder: Third Party Gmail Apps Have Full Access to Your Email by howtogeek.com

Remember that “cool” free Gmail app you installed years ago and then forgot about? It probably still has access to your email, and actual humans might be sifting through them.


Ensuring your security and privacy within Gmail by www.blog.google

We make it possible for applications from other developers to integrate with Gmail—like email clients, trip planners and customer relationship management (CRM) systems—so that you have options around how you access and use your email. We continuously work to vet developers and their apps that integrate with Gmail before we open them for general access, and we give both enterprise admins and individual consumers transparency and control over how their data is used.

Google’s data-saving app can now set daily limits

Google’s data-saving app can now set daily limits and show a map of nearby Wi-Fi networks by theverge.com

Google is updating its data-saving Android app Datally to give you more ways to control how you and others use data on your phone. The app is getting several new features including the ability to set daily data usage limits and a guest mode to control how much data a friend uses when they borrow your phone. Datally was first launched in November to help people in emerging markets with limited data.

Google Translate’s Offline Mode Just Got a Lot Better

Google Translate's Offline Mode Just Got a Lot Better by lifehacker.com

Google Translate is an app that’s been critical to my success when traveling in other countries. When you don’t speak the language (or don’t speak the language well) somewhere you’re traveling, being able to quickly look something up, or speak into the phone to create a translation you can use to chat with that guy on the street can be a lifesaver. 

Should you switch to Project Fi?

Should you switch to Project Fi? These are the pros and cons by androidpit.com

If you're fed up with being charged through the nose by your mobile carrier, there might be a cheaper solution for you straight from Google. Project Fi, Google's attempt to disrupt the wireless industry with cheaper plans, has been active for a couple of years now. But is it worth the switch? We take a look at the state of Project Fi today to find out.

What is Google Smart Lock, Exactly

What is Google Smart Lock, Exactly? by howtogeek.com

Google does this thing where it uses bad names for products. Then it re-uses those names for other products, confusing everyone. Such is the case for Smart Lock, which is technically three different things, depending on whether you’re talking about Android, Chromebooks, or passwords.

Here’s are the three different things that are housed under the Smart Lock name:

What do the symbols on my screen mean?

What do the symbols on my screen mean? by lowdown.carphonewarehouse.com

At the top of your phone’s screen you might have seen letters and numbers like G, H+ and 4G. These tell you the speed of internet connection your phone is currently receiving. Don’t confuse them with Wi-Fi though, which you'll normally find in offices, cafes and your home.

Here’s a little summary to get you up to speed.

Google Duo – Share your Android phone’s screen

Google Duo can share your Android phone's screen by engadget.com

Google Duo has just made it easier to play tech support to friends and family: the video chat app's latest version comes with the ability to share your screen during a call. To access the feature, simply tap on your screen to see the new screensharing icon above the camera-flip one. Tapping the new icon brings up a prompt warning you that Duo will start displaying everything on your screen. If you choose to continue, a red border shows what the person on the other end of the line can see.

Android Messages – copy two-factor codes

Android Messages now makes it really easy to copy two-factor codes by theverge.com

Google is rolling out a small but helpful upgrade to Android Messages: the ability to copy two-factor authentication codes with a single tap, right from a notification.

If you use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts, you’re probably used to this process: type in your password, wait for a text messaged code to arrive, memorize…

Datally: mobile data-saving & WiFi app

Datally: mobile data-saving & WiFi app by Google by play.google.com

Data doesn’t have to be confusing, hard to control, or expensive.

Saving mobile data is easy with Datally, a smart new app by Google. It’s a mobile data manager that will help you monitor, save, and gain control of your data. Through tracking and controlling app data usage, you save more data and get the most out of your phone.

Google I/O 2018 – Duplex: A.I. Assistant

Google just gave a stunning demo of Assistant making an actual phone call by theverge.com

Onstage at I/O 2018, Google showed off a jaw-dropping new capability of Google Assistant: in the not too distant future, it’s going to make phone calls on your behalf. CEO Sundar Pichai played back a phone call recording that he said was placed by the Assistant to a hair salon. The voice sounded incredibly natural; the person on the other end had no idea they were talking to a digital AI helper. Google Assistant even dropped in a super casual “mmhmmm” early in the conversation.

Best Chromebooks 2018

Best Chromebooks ​2018 by Laptopmag.com

Chromebooks have come a long way, with solid performance available for a couple hundred bucks. Here are top picks for businesses, schools and families.

Chromebooks have become familiar sights on best-selling laptop lists thanks to their low-prices, long battery life and an internet-focused operating system that's easy-to-use. But don't rush right into buying one; there are plenty of questions to ask first, including whether or not aChromebook is right for you. 

Android Features You Probably Forget to Use

7 Handy but Hidden Android Features You Probably Forget to Use by ComputerWorld

Android is practically overflowing with options, and it's easy to lose track of some useful stuff along the way.

With every new Android version comes a flurry of fresh features. Some of them immediately transform the way we work, while others just quietly fade away without making much noise.

Then there are the features that fall somewhere in between — features that seem useful, maybe pique our interest, but then get lost in the shuffle and forgotten in day-to-day use. Especially when said features are…

Thanks for the suggestion Jay!


Oh, Oreo! 8 things to try when you get Android 8.0

So you've got Android 8.0 on your phone — now what? Take a bite out of Oreo with these tasty must-try features.

Noosfeer – One-click Saving of Any Page

Noosfeer Is a Content Reader and Aggregator.

Using Noosfeer you'll have clean articles and personalized recommendations without annoying ads. They load 10x faster, they use 20x lesst mobile data and you can read them offline on any device.

Each time you stumble upon a page you want to read but don't have the time, add it to your reading list. Stop accumulating 'to-read' tabs and links, have them in one beautiful place.

Browser Plug-ins for

When you find something on the web that you want to read later, put it in Noosfeer. It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection and without downloading an app.

Phone and Tablet Apps

Web articles are over saturated. Lots of annoying ads, slow connections and heavy websites hold us back from staying informed. – Noosfeer simplifies your reading. Use Noosfeer to have simplified articles loading faster, consuming less memory and accessible offline. – And keeps you informed. Create a reading list with your favorite topics and articles. Noosfeer provides suggestions, so you can stay up-to-date and expand your knowledge.

Information overload is slowly killing our productivity and our capacity to stay informed.

A reading list is the best tool to read more and be productive. It is like a to-do list filled with the articles you want to read when you have the time (whilst commuting, on the toilet, eating breakfast…).

Carry Around Your Google Account’s Backup Two-Step Verification Codes in Case Your Phone is Stolen

Carry Around Your Google Account's Backup Two-Step Verification Codes in Case Your Phone is Stolen by lifehacker.com

Two-step verification is great. However, if you happen to lose your phone and don’t have a few backup codes on you then it can make finding your device on the fly a bit complicated. You can score backup codes whether you use SMS or an Authenticator app for verification (you should really be using an Authenticator app), and carrying

How to Fight Mobile Number Port-out Scams

How to Fight Mobile Number Port-out Scams by krebsonsecurity.com

T-Mobile, AT&T and other mobile carriers are reminding customers to take advantage of free services that can block identity thieves from easily “porting” your mobile number out to another provider, which allows crooks to intercept your calls and messages while your phone goes dark. Tips for minimizing the risk of number porting fraud are available below for customers of all four major mobile providers, including…

Android Battery Life Issues

Project Fi Support suggestions to resolve Android phone and tablet battery life issues. 

Most phone and tablet batteries will drain quickly as the device is used more often or more intensively. If you feel your battery is draining too fast, we need to determine if this is due to reasonable usage or due to a faulty battery. Below are some steps and tips that may help identify and resolve the issue.

You can also check out Tips for making your battery last YouTube video.

Step 1: Restart your device.

Restarting your phone will clear temporary files and may resolve any app-related issues.

  1. Hold the Power button until a menu appears prompting you to power down the device.
  2. When the device powers off completely, press and hold the Power button until your device powers on again.

Step 2: Check for system updates for your device.

Downloading and installing system updates for your device can help prevent and resolve issues with your device.

  1. Go to Settings > System > System updates.
  2. If a system update is available, download it.

Step 3: Check for apps updates on the Play Store.

Downloading and installing available app updates will ensure that the app is working as intended, which includes fixes for bugs and issues on previous versions.

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Touch the Play Store icon > touch My Apps to view your downloaded apps.
  3. Apps with available updates are labeled "Update." It's recommended that you select Update All, but you can individually choose which apps you want to update.

Step 4: Settings adjustments and other actions.

a) Use the Recent Apps button to close unused apps that may still be running.

  • The Recent Apps button is the third touch button at the bottom of your device that looks like a square.
  • When you touch the Recent Apps button, you can swipe left or right on an app to dismiss it.
  • Some Android users are not aware that apps on the Recent Apps list are running in the background and may be contributing to memory and battery consumption.

b) Temporarily turn off features, not in use.

  • Location services and GPS: Settings > Security & Location > Location and if the location switch is on, tap it to turn it off.
  • Bluetooth: Settings > Connected devices and if the Bluetooth switch is on, tap it to turn it off.

c) Use Airplane mode in low/no coverage areas if you cannot use or don't plan to use data over your mobile network.

  • Settings > Network & Internet and tap the Airplane mode switch to turn it on.
  • Although mobile network connections are disabled in airplane mode, Wi-Fi can be re-enabled: Settings > Network & Internet and tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn it back on.

d) Enable auto brightness.

  • Settings > Display > and tap the Adaptive brightness switch to turn it on.

e) Reduce the delay before the screen goes to sleep. The screen is often the most significant drain on the battery, and this step will reduce drain when the screen is not in use.

  • Settings > Display > Advanced > Sleep > 15 seconds.
    • Nexus devices: Settings > Display > Sleep > 15 seconds.

f) Minimize use of graphics or memory intensive apps when you need to conserve battery. This could include video streaming, gaming, or camera use.

g) If you know you are going to use intensive features more than usual, such as when traveling, plan in advance.

  • Plug in your charge cable while using GPS navigation in your car, if able.
  • Carry around your USB cable and plug into USB ports to charge, if able.
  • Bring a backup battery for your device when taking many photos and videos, if possible.

h) Disable application notifications from apps that are giving you unwanted or too many notifications.

  • Settings > Apps & notifications > App info >  tap the specific app > App notifications > and tap the topmost switch.
  • Touch the Back button (curved arrow toward the bottom left of the screen) and repeat as necessary for other apps.

i) If you're using a tablet and have multiple user profiles, switch to unused profiles and (similar to step a) use the Recent Apps button to close all the apps open on that profile.

  • Alternatively, you can delete unused tablet user profiles: Settings > Users > touch the trash can to the right of the profile you wish to remove. The primary user profile can't be deleted.

If your battery still drains unusually fast after going through all the above basic steps, try these steps below.

Step 5: Use the Battery settings.

  • Visit Manage battery life help article.
  • Check battery level & usage details of your device to determine if any unused features or third-party installed apps are draining the battery quickly.

Step 6: Enable safe mode on your device.

In safe mode, all third-party applications will be disabled. This can help pinpoint issues caused by third-party installed apps. To restart your device in safe mode:

  1. Ensure your device's screen is on, then press & hold the Power button.
  2. Touch & hold the Power off option in the dialog box.
  3. Touch OK in the following dialog to start safe mode.
  4. To exit safe mode, turn your device off and on again.

It's recommended that you try safe mode for a few hours or up to a full day, if able. If your battery continues to drain abnormally quickly, please contact me to discuss further options. 

Hidden Android Settings You Should Know About

24 Hidden Android Settings You Should Know About by popsci.com

Customize your phone to better suit your needs.

Android phones come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but within, they all run the same basic operating system. That Android code includes settings that let you tailor your smartphone to your needs. In this guide, we collected 24 lesser-known customizations for you to toy with.

Google Backup & Sync Desktop Update

Google Backup & Sync for Desktop Gets a Big Update With Ignored File Types, Photo/video-only Sync, and More by androidpolice.com

Google completely revamped the desktop Google Drive client this year with the move to Backup & Sync. The initial rollout was a bit of a mess with Google essentially breaking Drive for some people. It eventually worked all that out, and Backup & Sync has been running smoothly since then. There haven't been many feature additions, but there's a big one rolling out now. In the latest version, you have more control over which files are synced, and it's easier to add new folders to Drive.

The latest version of the Backup & Sync client has build number 3.38.7642.3857. Here's what you can expect to see when you update.

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