How to: Setup and Use WiFi on Android Wear

The Android 5.1.1 update for Android Wear introduced what I would consider to be the most important new feature since the platform launched. I’m talking about WiFi connectivity of course, which lets you have some freedom from your phone and the Bluetooth connection that previously tied phone to watch.

With WiFi connectivity on your watch, you could leave your phone on the other side of your house or office, lose that Bluetooth connection, yet still sync notifications to your wrist. You still get to interact with notifications, respond to messages via voice, and launch Google voice actions. This really is one of those game-changing type features because it allows your watch to be less reliant on having your phone nearby at all times.  (more…)

Tip: Save Yourself 2 Minutes of Hell by Skipping the Android Wear Intro Tour

If you own an Android Wear device, you know how finicky the device can be, especially if you have even considered switching it to a new phone. In fact, every time I try to attach an Android Wear watch to another phone (or attempt to trick it into pulling an OTA), I have to factory reset it. It’s a massive pain in the ass to me, but then again, most people probably won’t be switching their watch over to another phone as regularly as I do.

But let’s say you do switch more often than any normal human should. You probably can’t stand the tutorial that pops up each and every time you reset your watch, right? You know, the frustrating-to-navigate tour that includes confusing swiping instructions and a random temperature screen that still isn’t even a real thing. Guess what? You can skip it!  (more…)

Tip: How to Get Rid of “Invert Colors” Quick Settings Tile on Your Moto X

This might be the most random of posts, but because a number of you are noticing a new “Invert Colors” option in your quick settings pull-down on the Moto X (2nd gen) within the last day, we wanted to touch base on the topic. Yes, for whatever reason, a number of you started seeing the button yesterday and are wondering why it’s there and how you can get rid of it. While we don’t know why it is randomly showing up for users who have never touched the option before, we can at least help most/some of you get rid of it.  (more…)

Tip: Chrome Beta 44 Flag Gives New Tab Screen Icons Instead of Thumbnail Previews, Looks Great

Tucked inside the latest Chrome Beta for Android (v44.0.2403.30) is a Flag that turns the thumbnail previews on your “New Tab” screen into icons. You can see it in action in the shot above. How clean is that?

On the flip side, you have the default setting pictured below, which shows those thumbnails, to let you know where you last left your most recently/often visited sites.  (more…)

Chrome’s Touch to Search is Awesome, But No, It Isn’t Google Now on Tap

Just over a week ago, Chrome for Android received an update to version 43.0.2357.78 that included a feature called Touch to Search. If you have used the Chrome Beta within the last several months, you know exactly what this feature is. If you haven’t, well, you have probably emailed us within the last couple of days thinking that Chrome is now capable of doing the recently announced Google Now on Tap magic that was introduced at Google I/O. We get why you would think that, because Touch to Search is quite awesome, but no, it’s not exactly Now on Tap.

Still, let’s talk about!  (more…)

Android M Feature: Quickly Uninstall Apps From Home Screens

This may seem like an incredibly minor change for Android M, one that probably doesn’t really deserve a write-up, but dammit, I appreciate the hell out of it. For far too long have I found myself annoyed at having to go find an app in the app drawer to then uninstall it through a long press-and-drag to the top of the screen, rather than use the shortcut to it that is already on a home screen. Others who uninstall apps often know exactly what I’m talking about.

Well, you can now quickly uninstall apps in Android M by using their shortcuts on home screens. Boom.  (more…)

Android M Feature: “Peeking” is the New Name for Heads-Up Notifications

A good word to describe Android M would be “control.” Android M may not give users the big, sweeping UI changes and feature introductions of Lollipop, yet instead focuses on giving users more control over their phones. From controlling app permissions to the way settings and quick toggles show, the Android team is really letting your Android phone be customized to your liking.

Another area that they are giving you additional control over can be found in the “Apps notifications” area in Sound & Notifications. Here, we’ll find a new option in addition to blocking and priority toggles that were first introduced in Lollipop. It’s listed as “Allow peeking,” with peeking as the new name for Lollipop’s heads-up notifications. That’s right, the new name for heads-up is “peeking.”  (more…)

Android M Feature: Light Colored Status Bar Could Mean Dark Notification Icons in Apps

I know I said we were done with the Android M features for today, but this one just popped up courtesy of Googler Roman Nurik. According to a post of his over on Google+, in Android M, we could see things like notification and system status icons flip from white to dark depending on the app and the color of the app’s status bar.  (more…)