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You made a wise decision on finally getting an Android phone. A smartphone allows you to do so much more than just texting. With interesting articles, amazing videos, buzzing social networks, and educational content you’ll always find something to occupy your time. There are endless possibilities just waiting for you to explore them!

Setting up your first Android smartphone can be overwhelming for new users. But, with the following useful tips the process can be made simple:

Language

When turning on your Android smartphone for the first time, you’ll be prompted to enter choose a preferred language. From a list of many selections, select your language choice. This is the language used for your system as well as its menus.

SIM Card and PIN

If you haven’t done so already, you will be prompted to insert your SIM card. Check your manufacturer’s directions to ensure proper placement. Next, you’ll be required to enter the PIN number of your SIM card. In most cases, this number is located in the SIM package.

Wi-Fi Network

You are now able to connect to a wireless connection within range. Simply choose the network and enter the required password, if needed. Finally, hit “Connect”.

During this stage, it’s highly recommended to connect to Wi-Fi for new app installation and updates.

Google Account

A Google account is central for Android devices. This will sync everything, such as your email, contacts, photos, your apps and their data, and your YouTube subscriptions. That’s why the Google account used for this device should be only yours and not shared.

During setup, you should have received prompts to add a Google account. However, if there were no prompts to do so, creating one is easy. Go to Settings > Accounts > Add Accounts, Google. You can create a new one or log into your existing account.

You’ll now be able to choose everything you want synced with this account. It’s recommended to sync all services available.

Security Code

You’ll be prompted to enter a security code to protect your device. This is highly recommended.

At this time, you can also add a PIN for when you start your smartphone. This is also recommended.

Notifications

When your phone is locked, there are 3 options to choose from for how content is displayed. Make your selection, this can always be changed later.

Update Android and Software Installation

Go to Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check for Updates Be sure to only install and update software when connected to Wi-Fi due to large data usage.

Personal Touches

Finally, browse around your smartphone to find all the different ways you can personalize your device. This includes sounds, settings, wallpapers, and much more!

Here are some other tips for transferring your data from your old phone to your new, as well as backing up as you go! You don’t want to lose anything!

Gaining rapidly in popularity is voice assistants. Siri has shown great benefits of efficiency among users of iPad and iPhone. The great news is, you don’t need to switch from your beloved Android to an Apple product to receive these awesome benefits. Alternatives to Siri are available for Android and are also growing in popularity.

Voice assistants listen to you when you speak. They are a great time saver by eliminating the need for typing. Try one of the following secure voice assistant apps to easily search for things for you:

Google Now

Already available on Android devices by default, Google Now gathers information important to you before you need it. This personal assistant uses suggestions based on your past search history, inbox history, and also what you’ve watched.

Google Now informs about traffic jams on your commute; tells you what time to arrive to catch that flight; also, shows the extended weather forecast.

What makes Google Now stand out among competitors is its outstanding voice recognition. It understands what you are trying to ask in addition to knowing what words are used in your questions.

Using the words, “OK Google,” start living your life more efficiently.

Cortana

Microsoft’s Cortana is now also available for Android devices. Cross-platform makes Cortana appealing to users of Windows 10. Just one of its great benefits is the ability to send text messages via your PC. Also, users can speak to their PC in the same they speak to their tablet or smartphone giving Cortana an advantage over Google Now.

Robin

Many people don’t enjoy sharing information with the makers responsible for personal assistants. This is understandable. Using a personal assistant from a smaller developer, such as Robin is another option to choose.

Robin is a great challenger of Siri and is funnier than Google Now. This is a hands-free solution to find answers for communication, directions, and locations. Robin also has remarkable voice recognition.

Smart Voice Assistant

Smart Voice Assistant allows users to assign and activate their own custom keywords during setup. Additionally, users can assign custom names to phone numbers and contacts. The setup process may feel tedious, however, once finished, you know what your assistant can do for you.

Commands can be issued anytime thanks to the app running in the background. Fully dictate text messages you want to send, and have Smart Voice Assistant read any responses you receive. This is helpful when trying to drive but needing a text sent immediately.

There is no need to go without a personal assistant with your Android device. Whether you choose to use Google Now or go for one of the other apps, you’ll find efficiency at your fingertips.

Here is some more info on the worst apps, best reading and chatting apps for Android, as well to check out!

Image: Pexels.com

Getting a new phone can give you a feeling of excitement, yet at the same time, somewhat apprehensive. Moving all your data to a new Android device can be a daunting task. There are apps, contacts, photos, customized settings, downloads, and backgrounds to be tackled. This can be very time-consuming for anyone.

However, you can effortlessly transfer data to your new Android device by planning and know which apps and setting to use.

Android Backup Service Tool

Android Backup Service is the most crucial tool used to ensure an effortless transfer. Some personal setting it can save to the cloud includes:

  • Wi-Fi Passwords and Networks
  • Date and Time Settings
  • Google Calendar Settings
  • Wallpapers
  • Display Settings
  • Input and Language Settings
  • Gmail Settings

This tool also allows backup of many third-party apps as well.

Go to Settings > Backup and reset to ensure Backup my data feature is enabled. Be sure to choose which account you want to be used for backups if your device has more than one account used for Google.

When turning on your new Android Device you will be prompted to enter credentials for your Google account. If your backup is then recognized by the device, it asks if you want that backup used. Hit Yes.

Manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony have additional features for backup and transfer. However, these features are useful only if moving to a new phone by the same manufacturer.

Photos Transferring

Google Photos is the easiest, streamlined method for transferring photos. Also, with Google’s desktop uploader, any images on your other computers will be available on your Android device as well.

First, you want to ensure backup for photos is turned on. Keep in mind: there may be several folders available on your device such as Screenshots, WhatsApp Images, Camera, etc. Every photo file you want backup must be turned on manually.

Begin by opening Google Photos then head over Menu (three horizontal lines) > Settings > Backup and Sync > Back up device folders. Next, move over the toggle for every folder you wish to backup.

After newly logging onto your Android device, all backup photos should be available in their app.

Passwords

Smart Lock is great for saving your passwords for many apps on Android. However, not all developers have developed the technology needed to save them. Also, it is not advised to save passwords in browsers due to security reasons.

LastPass is a dedicated password manager with many options available to choose from. Best of all, it’s Free!

Moving to a new Android device does not have to be complicated. Making sure you have the correct tools is a way to make the move effortless! Remember these other tips for data on your Android device, too! 

Everyone knows that some app on Android drains your battery. These apps run all the time in the background, even when not in use. Your battery is draining dry, they use motion sensors, ping the internet, etc. Although, many apps are guilty of this behavior, some are guiltier than others. Unfortunately, popular apps are usually the biggest culprits.

However, thanks to research performed by antivirus creators, tech fanatics, and mobile carriers, we not know which are the worst apps on Android draining your battery. The following apps made it to the top of the list:

1. Facebook and Facebook Messenger

One of the worst apps draining your battery is also the world’s biggest social network. These reports show the Messenger app as well as the Facebook app ranking high as battery drainers.

Solution:

Uninstall both apps from your Android device and install Messenger Lite and Facebook Lite. These are lightweight alternatives offered by the company. They both use fewer resources, data, and battery. Some functions, however, are not available with the Lite versions such as video calling.

2. Snapchat

Snapchat ranks as the most battery draining app for social media on every report. Many users notice a significant boost to their battery once they uninstalled Snapchat.

Solution:

One of the new features for Snapchat is Travel Mode. By enabling this images and videos available in your feed are not pre-loaded. This feature can be found in the app’s settings. Also, to save even more battery, disable location tracking. Take note though, filters are disabled also when disabling this feature.

3. Samsung Devices Default Apps

As an Android user, you know about its problem with bloatware. This is seen mostly on Samsung devices with their priority apps preinstalled. You probably noticed you do not use many of these apps. However, they are draining your Android battery while they continue to run in the background.

Solution:

Preinstalled apps can’t be removed unless the Android device is rooted. Disabling is your next option. Head to Settings > Applications > Applications Manager > All select Samsung App link. Next, uncheck “Show notifications”, select Clear Data, and finally click Disable. Repeat this for all apps you do not use from Samsung.

You probably noticed most of the apps from Samsung are redundant and can be replaced with better alternatives located at the Play Store. For instance, try Google Assistant rather than S-Voice app.

4. Outlook Email App

Microsoft Outlook is great, however, it’s a battery drainer.

Solution:

If email apps didn’t sit in the background refreshing, they would be of no use. Trying an email app that isn’t a leech on your battery is the solution. With the many email apps to choose from at the Play Store, Inbox by Gmail is one of the most popular.

The good news with Android batteries, they are beginning to increase the sizes available in phones.

If you’re one of the many fans of Spotify on Android, but only use it for loading radio stations and your playlist, you are missing out. Many other features are available with this app that many people are unaware of. Below you’ll find greatest hidden features you should begin to use to take full advantage of Spotify for Android.

1. GPS Navigation

If you are a user of GPS navigation with your phone, while at the same time listening to Spotify, you know how much of a pain it is to switch from one app to the other. Google-owned Waze navigation app and Spotify integration have made that a thing of the past. The two apps seamlessly work together. You can choose to keep Spotify in the foreground or Waze. The choice is yours.

In Spotify settings, activate the feature and install the Waze app.

2. Autoplay Feature

Just because your playlist is finished playing, there is no reason to stop listening to music. With the Autoplay feature, similar tracks of music will continue to play once the last song from your playlist is finished. If this feature is not already enabled, turn it on by going to Settings and toggle Autoplay.

3. Improve Sound

Spotify has some options available to improve the sound settings that go beyond their default setup. These options are found in Settings. One to look at would be Crossfade. This feature is found under Playback, fading currently playing tracks out while fading in the next one. Crossfade is disabled by default.

Normalize volume is another sound feature. By default, this feature is on. This feature allows all tracks to be played at approximately the same volume.

Next, Equalizer, located at bottom of screen. A new portal opens when tapping on this. This allows the audio output to be adjusted.

4. Advanced Search Options

In the Spotify for Android app search operations, you can dramatically narrow down your search. Results from your search can be limited to specific albums, artists, genres, years, or new releases. Some useful operators to use include the following:

  • album:[name] – to see albums only with that title name
  • track:[name] – to see track only with that title
  • artist:[name] – to see results from only the artist entered
  • year:[year-year] or year:[year] – to see results from only that range of dates or year
  • tag:new – to see only new releases
  • OR, NOT, or AND – to see results that contain either, both, or exclude one.

The Spotify website shows the complete list of options you can use in your search.

Check put their website for more useful features you may not know about to get the most from Spotify on Android.

Have Fun: 2017 Best Android Games

Posted on May 18, 2017
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We have the most recent list of 2017 Best Android Games! This list can help you choose between the many titles available at the Play Store. Check these out!!

Super Mario Run

Finally, a mobile Super Mario game is here! In December, it arrived as an exclusive at the App store, but now it is also available for Android for Free.

Super Mario Run features easy gameplay. There are simple mechanics and one-touch play with this exciting game. However, to unlock a full version of this game, you will need to pay.

Golf Clash

One of the newest games on our list, Golf Clash has already proved popular. Unlike timely nine or eighteen-hole golf games, all games are only one hole and are against real players.

If you and your opponent use the same amount of shots to sink the golf ball, then you must win an in a shootout with who is closer with a one-shot. This is a free game with in-app purchases available.

Table Tennis Touch

One of the best ping-pong games available for Android is Table Tennis Touch. Controls with this game are simple with an immense amount of precision is required. Sidespin, backspin, smash shots, and topspin with just a swing.

Play online or against AI. This game costs $0.99 and also available are in-game add-ons. 

Rolling Snail

A simple game, Rolling Snail is an easily addicting puzzle game.

The aim of this game is to get the snail to move to the portal. To roll along, players must draw a line. You need to sometimes snip or remove lines or drop a rock to help him. Although it sounds too easy, it’s an excellent occasional puzzle game.

Do you prefer to play offline? Then the next games are perfect for you to try!

Shadow Fight 2

A new Shadow Fight 2 is still enjoyable to play after three years. A number of downloads this game has should tell you enough with more than 100 million.

Of course, this game doesn’t use your data making it a plus, there is also no real people playing with you. Enter a series of battles, gain weapon skills, and learn moves. A huge plus with this game is it not being a button masher. The form is important and timing as well. Shadow Fight 2 is available for free.

Doodle Bowling

Even with a name Doodle Bowling, there is no need to be good at sports or even a likeness to sports.

With simple line drawings, play your way through frames. Swiping up, right, or left is all that’s needed to shoot the ball and control its spin. Although this isn’t a game that will keep you occupied for hours, but for short fifteen minutes breaks you will remain entertained.

With different lanes as well as graphics. This game is available for free. Don’t forget these tips and tricks for your Android or know how to speed up the playing time on your phone! 

Enjoy!

Android 7.0 Nougat promises to bring with it many new features. Available features will enhance both your security and enjoyment. Most smartphones will receive this update, which is why we believe learning about some of these new features is important to you.

File Encryption Activation

File encryption can be found in developer settings. Although it may not seem like a big deal, it actually can be. First, encryption is only performed on user data. During booting process, your PIN or unlock pattern would not be needed. What this means, if for some reason your phone unintentionally restarts, you’ll still have a functioning alarm clock allowing you to wake in time. The boot process will be much faster as well. However, to switch to file encryption from full disk encryption, a full wipe is required.

Data Saver

Android 7.0 Nougat has a new feature: Data Saver. This feature allows for you to use less data while not connected to Wi-Fi.

To activate go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Data Saver. Once activated, you can choose which apps are allowed to use background data while all other can’t. However, these apps are not entirely prevented from using data services which are needed, but most background activity will be disabled.

Pinned Apps

In security settings, you will be able to enable a pinning feature. This feature allows other open apps to be hidden under a pinned app.

Multi-Window View

The multi-window view is one of the most anticipated parts of Android 7.0 Nougat. With an easy double tap, it will be possible to run side by side apps and switch between apps. This makes the user experience much better for many reasons. Watch a video on YouTube while at the same time, texting your friend. Or, read an online recipe while also scoping out your favorite social media sites.

Save Battery and RAM

In the majority of instances, unnecessary resources are used for background services. You can stop running these services by heading over to developer settings. Simply, restart the stopped app or your smartphone to restart background services.

Silent Alert Display

With this new feature, you will be able to mute notifications you receive from various apps. To set this feature, touch and hold an app’s notification and then select “Show notifications silently”. Go into setting to change and filter apps as you desire.

Settings Access

The setting menu with Android 7.0 Nougat has been also improved. The left margin is where the main menu is now hidden allowing you to access it quickly.

These features are just a few of the great improvement and new features await you with Android 7.0 Nougat. Enjoy!