Use Cortana to Sync Notifications from Android with Windows 10

All that is needed, Windows 10 Anniversary Update on your PC (which most people already have) and Microsoft’s Cortana on their android phone to sync Android with your Windows PC.

The Cortana App on Play Store

The official Cortana app is free for download and use and is available in the Play Store. Head on over there to download and install the app on your Android phone.

Your Windows 10 PC must have an active Microsoft account in order for Android notification sync to work. Use this same Microsoft account to sign in on the Cortana app. Once successfully signed in, tick the box located next to Let Cortana respond to Hey Cortana commands. You will now see Cortana begin to run.

Cortana Setup

On the top-left of your screen, press the three-line icon for menu choices. From the list, select Sync Notifications. From here, choose which notifications to sync with your PC. Default notification options include text messages, missed calls, and warning of low battery.

App alerts can sync as well by selecting App Notifications Sync from the bottom of the list. However, to select this option you must allow Cortana permission to notifications on your Android. After you agree, press Choose which apps to sync with a list of your available apps. To choose an app, simply slide over the button located next to it.

Everything’s finished! The action center on your Windows 10 PC will now show the notifications from your Android.

Alerts & Actions

With everything set up and ready to go, it’s time to learn what types of alerts you receive and action you can take.

  • Dismissing notification alerts on your Windows 10 PC dismisses them on your Android as well.
  • Alerts show on your Windows 10 PC about missed calls. Your contact list is synced with these missed calls on the chance it is from someone listed. This allows you to quickly respond back. Also, you can reply to missed calls by sending a text message through your Windows 10 PC.
  • Your incoming text messages are shown on the Windows 10 PC. From here, you can directly reply to them. In addition, you can send quick replies through the notification window pop up.
  • The majority of popular email apps and messaging apps work with the quick reply function.
  • If you find it becomes annoying due to receiving many alerts, notifications can be disabled from the Windows 10 PC itself. Head to Settings by pressing the cogwheel icon and select Don’t show notifications for this mobile app.

Now, thanks to Microsoft’s Cortana, a third-party app such as Pushbullet is no longer needed to sync your notifications. Cortana IS Siri’s alternative on Android devices.

Effortlessly Transfer Data to Your New Android Device

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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! 

Tip and Tricks for Google Assistant Users

Smartphone’s operating on at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow have Google Assistant available to them. Utilizing Google Assistant can be helpful to you in your daily life. We’ve compiled some of the most helpful tips and tricks to optimize your use.

1. Read & Send Your Messages

Google Assistant is great at easily sending your messages. It also works to easily read your messages as well. Just ask Google Assistant something similar as “read my text messages from today”. Also, reply to one of your messages with the same conversation. What’s more, extend this feature to other messaging services, email service, and Whatsapp.

2. Unlock Your Android Device

Using Smart Unlock, you can unlock your Android by using simple voice commands. Just saying “OK Google” can now bring your phone to life. Go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock option. Next, you want to set up for Google to recognize your voice begin by toggling on Trusted Voice.

3. Take Control of Phone Settings

Google Assistant helps to control your Androids settings. While controlling setting for such things as Hotspot, Bluetooth, etc., has become easier with the introduction of Android Nougat; you can receive help from Google Assistant as well.

Toggling all setting is capable with Google Assistant. For example, you might say, “turn on flashlight” to assist you while in the darkens.

4. Control Your Music

Google Assistant can not only find music it also plays music. This is awesome for ones who listen to music often during their day. At this time, however, there are only a small number of apps which can take advantage of this. Default apps include YouTube and Google Play Music.

Other apps include Spotify and Pandora and more are being added.

5. Photos Grabbing

Have Google Assistant easily grab photos for you, even ones saved from years ago. Other Google apps are integrated which helps make this feature work wonderfully. It can even grab pictures from a specific place or of specific people. However, be sure to label people in your Google Photos app.

An example you can say, “show pictures from 2015” or “show picture of mom”.

5. Get Latest News

You can get the latest news from around you and across the globe with Google Assistant. Get the latest weather also. You might want to ask “do I need an umbrella today?”. Or, ask for weather anywhere in the world. There are no limits.

6. Play Games

You can play some fun, time passing games with Google Assistant. One of these games, where people never bored from, is Emoji Movies.

You’re able to do so much with Google Assistant such as asking for jokes, or its likes and dislikes. Note, unlike most other assistances, this one is available when you have no internet access.

Supercharge Your Android Smartphone with These Incredible Tips

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Android fans understand, after using their device for some time, performance seems to diminish. This is especially true for users that pack their device with Play store apps. This is due to the lack of memory and unnecessary apps running, which happens with all major O/S. However, there are some ways to speed up your device and get back that amazing experience.

To enhance your Android device performance, here are some incredible tips for you to try:

Memory Cleaner: Google Play Store has memory cleaner apps to download and install on your device. These cleaners delete junk files as well as clear memory on your Android. Clean Master is the one most recommended and is simple to use.

Up-to-Date Android Firmware: Be sure your Android device is updated with the latest firmware. By doing this, you are ensured to gain access to new releases and enhancements of Android. Google updates, features, performance, and stability become available to you by staying up-to-date with the Android firmware.

Up-to-Date Apps: Play Store apps receive updates regularly to repair any issues and to also add features to an app’s latest version. By keeping your apps up-to-date, you will get the best performance and speed available.

Manage Unwanted Apps: Android apps use space and reduce speed on your device due to their background processes running. Remove any apps you do not need or use often to speed up your devices performance. Also, if you want to keep the app but want to performance, it can be disabled by “Performance assistant.” By disabling the app, files are not changed or removed and can be re-enabled at any time.

High-Speed Memory Card: Your Android device major storage is the memory card. To add more space and speed to your device, it is preferred to use high-speed memory cards, such as Class 6 or Class 10.

No Live Wallpapers: Avoid using live wallpapers. Unfortunately, this great feature drains battery life and utilizes a lot of processes.

Fewer Widgets: Even though widgets can be fun, they can use up memory. When widgets do not run in the background, they still remain active. Due to this reason, try using only widgets which are necessary.

Automatic Syncing Off: When using syncing for your Android, you are notified when you receive an update or new email because of the device checking at different intervals. This uses a battery and slows down performance. Turn off automatic syncing.

Root Android Device: This is a way to speed up an Android device dramatically to see a significant performance improvement. Root of an Android device should only be done by a professional with knowledge and experience.

You should see a definite enhancement in performance after applying these tips to your Android device.

Android Protection with Security & Antivirus

android security protection

Protection for Android Smartphones

It’s common knowledge that antivirus protection is needed on your laptop or desktop computers. These machines must have constant defense against cyber criminals . However, should an Android smartphone have similar protection? To answer this quickly, yes. Protect android with security apps that can defend against known security vulnerabilities.

Play Store Security Apps

Unfortunately, stores selling Android apps, which includes Google Play Store, tend to be laid back when it has to do with screen apps. Because of this, apps containing malware keep finding their way into these stores. One threat that continuously pops up over the last few years is Ransomware. Save yourself several headaches by protecting against this if you accidentally get yourself one of these malicious apps.

Android operating system has more than ninety-five percent of mobile type malware targeting it. Thankfully, with this many threats, there are numerous high-quality security and antivirus protection Android apps available. Choosing which one you want to use basically depends on the interface you believe is easier to use.

AV-Test.org test rank the following apps with top marks:

  • Alibaba Mobile Security
  • ESET
  • AVL by Antiy
  • G Data
  • BullGuard
  • Baidu
  • Sophos
  • BitDefender
  • Qihoo 360
  • Kaspersky Lab

Apps must pass tests of detection on more than three thousand pieces of malware from the real-world to receive high marks for AV-Tests.org. They must also have little effect toward the battery life of the phone, and no false alarms can be triggered. Many of these security apps have other features included. Qihoo 360’s sports Privacy Protection and ESET’s Security Audit, to name a couple.

Firewall Protection

For added protection to your Android smartphone, you can install DroidWall that provides you with a firewall. However, the majority of these apps require that your device is rooted, which can open it up to further dangers. A firewall increases the security, but the way in which Androids are typically attacked, having a firewall is not necessarily required.

Take a crucial step to protect your Android smartphone against malvertising.  There are not as many options available for protection against malvertising due to how new it has become a major threat. Disconnect is an excellent privacy browser extension. They offer their users Disconnect Malvertising as a solution for anti-malvertising which can be downloaded for to your Android phone. Adblock Browser, from Adblock Plus, stops ads even before they have a chance to load.

No matter what you download to your phone, it is always a good idea to have some protection. Using one of these options above, you should be protected correctly.

Top Picks for SMS Apps for Android

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Use These Top Android App Picks

SMS has been the way to go for text messaging for a very long time now. These are extremely easy to use, and the majority of cell phone plans offer their customers an unlimited number. Lucky for you, there are a plethora of apps compatible with Android that is able to send and receive SMS messages. Some offer tons of features while others provide only the needed basics.

Google Messenger

Google Messenger SMS app is great for people looking for something simple without too many extra features. It is pleasant to look at with Material Design, and some features included are SMS blocking, text search, audio messages, and location sharing. Google Messenger app is totally free and meets the majority of user’s needs.

Chomp SMS

Chomp SMS is known as an excellent app for Android and has been around since FroYo and Éclair. Time has not taken away any popularity of Chomp SMS and it still grows today. Make text messages look how you want by using their theme support. This app also includes widgets, more than 800 emoticons, fast pop up replies, and SMS blocking. This SMS app for Android is one for people who like a lot of options with their themes. Users love also love that this app is free.

EvolveSMS

An Android app that has great popularity is EvolveSMS. This app provides users with several incredible features. One of their features allows users the ability of easier messaging by swiping between conversations rather than hitting back buttons and another button for the other conversation and so forth. Some other amazing features EvolveSMS offers include password support, Android Wear support, and notifications which are customizable. Free to download and use with in-app purchases available.

Signal Private Messenger

If you are familiar with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts, you’d probably feel right at home when looking at Signal Private Messenger. This Android SMS app is very similar to them. However, this app uses a system with phone numbers to search for people and if they do not have Signal Private Messenger, a regular SMS is sent out instead. For users that want an app that focuses on security, this is perfect for you. There is end-to-end encryption for the prevention of prying eyes from the powers that be. To receive full security, both users must be using Signal Private Messenger. However, even as a standalone app, this works exceedingly well. You would be happy to know this app supports phone calls, is open source, and best of all- Free!!!

Keep in touch by using one the great SMS Apps available for your Android device! Make sure to check out these Android apps you can use while offline, too!

Bloatware-Wasting Your Android System Resources

Android Bloatware

Bloatware got you down?

Stop Wasting System Resources

Android bloatware is what we call the factory installed apps and carrier installed apps loaded in android devices.  Remember your excitement when opening up  a brand new android smartphone? The whole feeling is great, opening the package, little extras in the box, and peeling off that plastic covering the front. Finally, turn it on and watch it finish its boot animation to fully see your Android.  When you take a look inside the app drawer your smile quickly goes away. Your focus turns to all these unwanted pre-loaded apps within your Android.

Removable Bloatware in Android

Some manufactures of Androids claim their bloatware will be removable. This is not speaking entirely truthfully, however. Users can delete some pre-installed apps, not all of them. Users only have the capability to disable some of the apps.   We are still stuck with some apps whether we want them or not. The amount of apps which can be disabled or deleted depend on your region and carrier. If you buy an android which is carrier-specific there is going to be more non-deletable, non-removable bloatware.

Why We Deal With Bloatware

Most of us believe tons of pre-loaded bloatware that we do not want or have no need for, should no be on our Android smartphones. We purchase with our own hard earned money and expect a good experience. Android users should have a say what apps are on our phones using up precious system resources and storage space. Manufacturers of these phones need to allow us the ability of deleting any apps we want, not just some of them. As the owners of android phones, we should decide if these are apps we want.  We can go to the Google Play Store and download them.

We wouldn’t buy albums with ads or Blu-ray players with commercials.  Why do we deal with this on our android smartphones and tablets? They take up plenty of system resources and space, but we still take it. Let us face that bloatware is not going anywhere anytime soon. They could present these factory and carrier apps to us differently instead of forcing them down our throat. I doubt there is one person that uses every single pre-loaded app they are made to have on their phone. They could offer different pre-loaded packages for our phones for use to choose from.  We might consider some of them useful, such as “entertainment package”, “gamer’s package”, or “office package”.

How to Get Rid of Bloatware

Manufacturers put bloatware into our Android smartphones. We as consumers will continue to purchase them despite this. Contact an experienced professional to root your android in order to rid your device of bloatware. Benefits include increased performance and battery life, along with many other advantages.