How to: Use Google Voice SMS with Hangouts

When Google finally introduced SMS into Hangouts, an immediate sadness overcame the Google Voice users in the building, as the apps aren’t officially ready to work together. In fact, Google has said that full Google Voice integration is potentially months off and going to take time, because there are some security concerns that need to be addressed first. At the time of SMS launch into Hangouts, only Sprint SMS and Google Voice integration was officially compatible, though we’re pretty sure that T-Mobile customers can now join in on the fun.

What if I told you that wasn’t 100% true and that any Google Voice user can at least send and receive SMS through Hangouts? Whether you answer that or not, I’m here to tell you that you can. Here is how it works.  (more…)

Tip: Changing the Default SMS App in Kit Kat [Beginners Guide]

Shortly before Google released Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” into the wild, they announced that a change was coming to how the OS tolerated SMS apps. In the past, you could have any number of apps on your phone set to receive SMS messages. From the stock messaging app to third party beauties like Sliding Messaging, the whole SMS world was wide open and a free-for-all of sorts. So with Kit Kat, Google has tried to tighten that all up by limiting the OS to allowing one app to essentially send and receive SMS and MMS messages.

As is the case any time a change like this happens, we want to make sure you know how to handle it going forward. Google has actually built in a system setting for Android 4.4 that allows you to toggle between SMS apps that are installed on your phone, you just need to know where to find it. Let’s open the beginners’ guide and take a look!  (more…)

Android 4.4 Tip: Screen Recording Takes Screenshots to a New Level

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Does anyone remember how long it took for the Android team to include native screenshot taking without root in Android? I believe it wasn’t until Android 4.0 that one could take a screenshot without needing root and a 3rd party application or the Android SDK. We never really could figure out why it lacked such functionality, but now you can take one on most phones by hitting Volume Down + Power at the same time for a couple of seconds. On Samsung devices, I believe it’s Volume Down + Home. Either way, it’s there and has been there for some time now.

Guess what? You now have even more screenshot power thanks to Android 4.4 and its new “screenrecord” functionality. It’s glorious, by the way.  (more…)

How to: Remove Galaxy Note 3 SIM Cards (Updated)

galaxy note 3 sim

This morning, I attempted to remove the SIM card out of my international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variant and struggled mightily until giving up and going with a pair of pliers to snatch the little guy out. You see, Samsung chose not to spring-load their SIM slot on the Note 3, so you can’t use a nail to press the SIM in to release it. It’s a weird move, since almost every other phone on the planet has a spring-loaded SIM Slot. It definitely threw me for a loop, causing way too much stress over something as minuscule as a SIM card.

As it turns out, I’m not alone in struggling with the Galaxy Note 3 SIM removal process. I took to Twitter to see if there was a personal lack-of-SIM-removal-DNA on my part or a wide-spread dealio and was told that many have struggled to remove the SIM from their Note 3. Some used paper clips, others used mighty amounts of pressure from their now-purple fingers, and a couple worked with extra sticky tape. As much as it makes me feel better than I wasn’t alone in the process, I need to point out that we are all fools. Samsung had us covered from day 1, we just needed to dig a little deeper in the boxes that our phones arrived in.  (more…)

30+ Galaxy Note 3 Tips and Tricks

samsung galaxy note 3

With the imminent release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on carriers across the U.S., today seemed like the perfect day to push out our tips and tricks video for the device. In past episodes of this series, we stuck to a “20+ tips and tricks” limit, but there are so many new features in the Note 3 that we had to extend it beyond 30. And truthfully, these 30+ quick hitters are just the tip of the iceberg – this phone is packed full of features that would probably require two or three more videos to cover.  (more…)

How to: Upgrade Phones at Verizon and Keep Unlimited Data

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What’s the number one worry around these parts when it comes to upgrading to a new phone? Keeping unlimited data on Verizon, of course. Over the last couple of years, we have seen wireless carriers realize how important data is to their bottom lines and future earnings potential, which has in turn allowed them to start charging you a premium for every single GB you consume. With that realization and price hike, we also saw the death of unlimited data and the introduction of tiered or shared data plans that offer you less for a steeper price. Yes, you are now getting screwed by most carriers. They are finding ways to take away your unlimited data, while offering up services and phones that beg you to consume more, so that they can continue to nickel and dime you. It’s a terrible situation for consumers, but since you have chosen a carrier more than likely because they offer you superior coverage in your area, you are stuck taking it.

Thankfully, there are a few ways for you to work the system to continue to enjoy that unlimited data that you locked into years ago. We have a couple that we’d like to go over to, so that as you approach contract end dates, you’ll know the proper steps to take to not give up your freedom.  (more…)

20+ Tips and Tricks for the Moto X

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Shortly after we got our hands on both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, we put together a couple of 20+ tips and tricks videos to help new users know all of their best features. Both videos were well received, so a similar tutorial for the new Moto X seemed like it was needed as well. This phone could be the next big thing (Samsunged!) if Motorola can market it right and MotoMaker can ditch its AT&T exclusivity. As you all know, we’re big fans of the phone after having spent a couple of weeks with a Verizon variant. We really can’t wait for it to launch to hear what your thoughts are on it, even with its “mid-range” specs.

If you do decide to pick on up, this lengthy tips and tricks video should help you take it to its full potential. Also, don’t forget to read our Moto X review if you haven’t already. Oh, we also unboxed one of the first custom Moto X devices to date, which you can see pictured above.  (more…)

How to: Cut a Micro SIM Into a Nano SIM for Your Moto X

Today, you are going to learn something you probably never knew you could do. OK, that’s probably not 100% true. I’m sure many of you knew that you could cut down a SIM to a micro SIM, but with nano SIM cards on the horizon, we thought we should point out that the same procedure can be done from micro to nano as well. Phones like the Moto X (and yes, the iPhone 5 too) use nano SIM cards, so should you choose to buy either of them, you’ll either need Verizon (or your carrier of choice) to provide you with a new SIM or you can perform surgery. We tend to prefer surgery (because it’s fun), which is why this tutorial has been born. Also, I have an NFC SIM for use with Isis and didn’t feel like dealing with the process of getting a new one when beginning my Moto X review. I figured the least I could do was show you some action.

Ready to do this?
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