Buying an Unlocked Smartphone

I buy a lot of unlocked smartphones. In fact, as I type this, in front of me, there are eight smartphones on my desk and every single one of them is “unlocked.” Why do I buy them, you ask? For a number reasons, all of which I mentioned in this lengthy piece written about a year ago. The basics are this, though – they give me flexibility to test different networks, they often get faster software updates than carrier phones, they tend to be less expensive, and have far fewer bloatware apps than their relatives who are attached to carriers. They are the phones I will continue to choose time and time again.

With that in mind, I get the feeling that many of you are still confused as to what an unlocked smartphone is and may even need help in buying one. So today, let’s take a few minutes to talk through some of the things to look for when buying an unlocked smartphone.  (more…)

Tip: Not Seeing Podcasts in Google Play Music App? Hit the Refresh Button.

If you have yet to see the Podcasts section show up in your Google Play Music app, a simple tap on the “Refresh” button in settings should force it to arrive. Seriously, just pop into your app, slide out the side navigation menu, tap on Settings and then “Refresh” and you should then see the option for Podcasts just under Music Library.  (more…)

FYI: A Few ADB Commands Will Get You Adoptable Storage on the Galaxy S7

Samsung may have left out one of Marshmallow’s potentially more innovative features in adoptable storage, but that doesn’t mean the possibility of it isn’t buried beneath a couple of adb commands. That’s right, Paul Modaco has come up with a simple guide for for enabling adoptable storage, which means you can combine the storage of a microSD card with the internal storage of your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge.  (more…)

Quick Look: Galaxy S7 Motion Photo, a Simpler Take on Apple’s Live Photos

We’re not even 24 hours into our full Samsung Galaxy S7 coverage, yet we’ve already unboxed it, talked about how it handles app storage with SD cards, and showed you just how careful you need to be when inserting your nano SIM and expandable storage. Up next, we’re taking a look at the phone’s Motion Photo feature, which Samsung hasn’t exactly been bragging about, likely because everyone in the media will refer to it as a copy of Apple’s Live Photos. Is it? No. Let’s not forget that HTC was doing a Live Photo experience years before Apple sniffed it, so I’d just say that this is Samsung’s take on that whole idea.  (more…)

Inserting SIM and MicroSD Card in Your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge

With the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung brought back the microSD card slot to much delight. While they may have skipped on Android 6.0’s Adoptable Storage, there may not be that big of an issue, because they are still allowing you to move apps over to an inserted SD card and take advantage of cards up to 200GB. Since many of you may be coming to the S7 or S7 Edge from a previous Galaxy device and haven’t seen Samsung’s newest implementation of an SD card slot, we thought we’d share that with you today.  (more…)

FYI: Google Tips and Tricks Portal Keeps Growing, is Worth a Bookmark

I believe this whole Google tips and tricks thing started back in April of last year, but either way, it’s worth checking out and a bookmark if you haven’t done so already. Haven’t seen it yet? Well, Google is up to 154 tips for getting the most out of their products at this point (they add new ones all the time). And since most of you use Google products…  (more…)

How to: Turn Off T-Mobile’s Binge On

T-Mobile and John Legere aren’t having a very good day. Everyone has reacted to his reaction to accusations that their Binge On service has some pretty serious flaws. Hot takes are everywhere. It’s hella hot in the hot take department right now. If you aren’t hot-taking T-Mobile’s Binge On, then you probably should be. But don’t come with that weak hot take-ness. You need to bring extra heat to your hotter than hot, hot take of John Legere’s hot take.

This post, however, isn’t a hot take. This is something simpler. This is a quick guide on how to turn off T-Mobile Binge On and move on with life.  (more…)

Tip: Don’t Forget About the Nexus 6P’s Notification Light

Did you know that the Nexus 6P has a notification light? It does. It’s not on by default, though, which is a shame, because it’s a nice addition to the phone’s Ambient Display. If you are the type who gets up from a desk repeatedly throughout a day or is without your phone for lengthy periods of time, this can come in handy, as it lets you know that you still have notifications, long after Ambient has gone away.  (more…)