Backup Your Pics Using Google Photos

Google Photos is a fantastic way to backup your pictures. In addition to backing up your Android photos, this remarkable app provides ways to edit, share, and gives you great control over each aspect of the image. This includes choosing which folders to back-up, viewing pictures you previously shared, and the image quality to upload your photo. With Google Photos, never lose a photo again.

Set-Up Google Photos

To begin, open Google Photos and sign in to your Google account. If you don’t already have one, take a minute to create one. You are offered two choices on the image quality to upload your photos – original or optimized. Choose original if you’re planning on creating a photo book, you’re a somewhat serious photographer or want little quality degradation for archiving. Keep in mind, the 15GB of storage on your Google account is quickly used up with original back-ups. However, unlimited storage is available for optimized photos and is great if planning on sharing online mostly, such as with social media or email.

When back-up takes place, there is much flexibility available with Google Photos. To ensure you’re not using too much data, you can choose to only back up when over Wi-Fi. Also, to minimize battery usage, you can choose for back-ups only to occur while the phone is charging.

Google Photos is more than backing up your Android photos. Select which folder you want backed-up, downloads, screenshots, Instagram, and more. Head to Back up & sync > Back up device folder to change folders on/off options.

You also have the choice to manually back-up an individual video or photo. Open the desired image, select the three-dot menu located on the top-right, and select Back up now. More than one item can be selected for manual back-up.

Google Photo Assistant

With Assistant, you receive updates about your Google Photos library. When photos are being backed-up or a new Creation is available, a card similar to those on Google Now appears. The assistant can also inform you when your internal storage is running low and allows you to clear out photos that you’re already backed-up to your Google Photos account. Different actions are available with each card.

Search

Sort through your photos quickly and automatically by people, places, and things. Find a photo of your daughter’s first day of school with just a few taps. You’ll be amazed at how accurate search is.

Shared Albums

Google Photos makes sharing easy. Either choose the album you wish to share, hit the share icon, and enter the email or name of the person to send it to. Or, create a new Shared Album where you can decide on whether the people you share with can or cannot contribute to the album.

Explore the many other different ways Google Photos can make your images awesome!

Greatest Android Wireless Chargers for Your Device

Img: pexels.com

Wireless charging is supported by many Android phones, usually by way of Qi wireless standard. It is not always necessary to spend a ton of money on a charger with the same logo as your phone. There are numerous wireless chargers available at an affordable price, also some super high-quality ones as well. Continue reading to learn about some of the greatest Android wireless chargers for your device.

Samsung Convertible Wireless Charging Stand

Watch videos or watch for notifications while charging with this Qi-compatible charger that easily props up for your phone. Compatible with the new Note 8 and the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and S8, S8+. This stylish charger has a leathery cover material, making it an attractive desk accessory for both office and home. Available on Amazon for just $55 in a creamy tan or black.

Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Pad

Only 5W of power was delivered with the chargers of the past. But, three times the power output is supported by the latest Qi standard, providing recharging that is three times faster. This Fast Charge Wireless Pad by Samsung is one of the first to provide this standard. Although this wireless charger is not cheap, currently on Amazon for $39, it has an excellent improvement over older pads. Of course, prior to purchase, be sure your Android device is compatible with fast charging.

IKEA Nordmarke Wireless Charging Pad

IKEA is the creator of four Nordmarkes: available in white or wood, they offer a single-device charger and a triple-device charger. The Vitahult wireless charging cover is also sold by IKEA. This cover is for phones without Qi receivers inside. Both wireless charging pads are simple to put together, with the single-device model available for only $27.99 and only $64.99 for the triple-device model.

PowerBot

PowerBot PB1020 is available for an amazing price of only $10.99. That is an incredible discount on the recommended retail price of $39.99. With energy smart management, you can expect this Qi charger not to use much power once your phone is finished charging. At such as low price, you could easily by one for work, home, or for travels.

Incipio Ghost 220

This three-device charger is more expensive than most at $69.99 and for good reason. Ghost 220 can simultaneously wirelessly charge 2 Android Qi devices while at the same time charging a third device by way of USB. Of course, this wireless Android device charger is not fancy to look at, being a black slab, but who chooses a charger based on looks anyway?

With the numerous wireless Android device chargers available, you are sure to find one that fits all your needs so your battery doesn’t completely die out.

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.

Great Features to Get the Most Out of Spotify for Android

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.

Increase Security and Enjoyment with Android 7.0 Nougat

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!

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.

Rescue Your Data with MicroSD Card Repair

Your smartphone’s internal memory can be extended with a MicroSD card. This helps create more space for you to store photos music, video, and other important files. However, if your MicroSD card stops functioning suddenly, what would happen? Or, if a file is deleted on accident?

Your files should be backed up regularly. By doing so, repairing your MicroSD card might not be necessary if something unexpectedly should happen. You would already have backed up file copies to replace what is lost.

The following are ways for you to save your data from a broken MicroSD card on Android devices:

Microsoft Windows

  • Repair your card and backup your data by using Microsoft Windows.
  • Turn off the phone.
  • Remove your MicroSD card.
  • Plug into Microsoft Windows PC.

If the card is recognized by your PC, you want to right-click and select Properties. Next, make your way to the Tools tab and in the Error Check area, select Check Now.

The MicroSD card should be repaired once the initial check is complete. If successful, you will again have access to your data.

However, if your card is not recognized by Windows, open System Manager and selects Disk Management from the left list. From the right-hand view, if you see your card, right-click and change both the path and drive letter. When the new window appears, select Add and choose a drive letter for your card. Once done, your card should be visible within Windows Explorer. This should repair your card as already described above.

DiskDigger

If Microsoft Windows didn’t fix your problem, DiskDigger might help. During their test period, you can utilize the program for free or $14.99 for a single user license for your PC.

After downloading and installing DiskDigger, open the program and choose your card. Now select the Next tab 3 times for DiskDigger to begin scanning your card. Keep in mind, this process can take a while. Once finished, retrieved files will be shown. Choose the files you wish to save and select Recover selected files.

For MicroSD card repair directly from a rooted smartphone, there is a DiskDigger version available for Android at the Google Play Store. With the DiskDigger free version, you can restore videos (3GP and MP4) and images (PNG and JPG). If you wish to repair other files as well, their Pro version can help you.

Mac OS X

If you are a Mac user, Data Recovery Wizard can help restore your data to the MicroSD card. This is available for free from Data Recovery Wizard website.

Once you are finished downloading and installing the program, insert your card and begin the program on your Mac. Follow on-screen instructions. Choose the card and data types you wish to restore and when finished scanning, you will see what can still be retrieved. Finally, choose where you want the file saved.

Before thinking you lost all your stored data, try the above programs or contact IQ Android Services to help salvage them.