How to: Store Music on Android Wear for Offline Playback

With an update to Android 4.4W.2, Android Wear now supports music playback while offline, which is a fancy way of saying that it is not connected to your phone. This is a pretty useful new feature, as you can pair your watch with a Bluetooth headset, leave your phone behind, and enjoy music on the go (it’s great for workouts where you don’t want to lug your massive phone around).

Since many of you are now receiving this new 4.4W.2 update, we thought it was time to walk you through the steps on how to setup this new functionality. The entire process can be a bit tricky, and is also insanely slow, so let’s talk it out together.  (more…)

Quick Tip: How to Change the Watch Face on Android Wear

A lot of you early adopters are buying and receiving your Android Wear smartwatches, so we thought it would be a good time to start showing you around the OS, teaching a few of you the basics of Google’s new wearable platform.

Android Wear is very simplistic, and most settings can be accessed by simply using your voice. However, the OS was made to be touched and interacted with, so if you are not in a position to talk to your watch – you are in a movie theater for example – then it is good to learn a few tricks.

The first step all Android Wear device owners should know is how to change your device’s watch face. Both the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch come with a lot of different pre-loaded watch faces, so let’s take a look at how to switch through them all.  (more…)

Securing Your Passwords with an Android Password Manager [Beginner’s Guide]

Let’s just get this out there: remembering passwords is the worst. We all know that we are supposed to have complicated, long passwords that have nothing to do with our history. We are supposed to have a new password for every site and the list goes on from there. Unless you are a human supercomputer, doing all that is not very easy.

Luckily for us, there is a growing market out there for password managers and lockers that make the whole process very easy. Let’s take a look at few of these services that are out there and discuss just how you can use them to keep your accounts and passwords safe.  (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…)

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…)

How to: Factory Reset a Chromecast

chromecast

The Chromecast, Google’s new HDMI dongle, is largely thought to be nothing short of a bundle of awesome, especially at its $35 price point. But there still may be times when it has issues and needs troubleshooting. Since there isn’t much of an interface outside of a “Ready to Cast” screen and the help of an Android app, performing tasks like a factory data reset could be somewhat confusing. So if you ever run into a point of no return and are completely frustrated, this is how you can start over from the beginning.  (more…)

An Overview of Android Lock Screen Security Options [Beginners’ Guide]

android lockscreen

Since your phone is with you at all times, the likelihood of it getting left behind at a bar, restaurant, gym, or other location that you previously visited is probably pretty high. And since we live in a world that isn’t always filled with angels, the chances of that left-behind-phone getting stolen and fondled deeply without your approval is probably even higher. Your first line of defense against evil doers is your lock screen.  (more…)

How to: Set an Alarm on Your Android Phone [Beginners’ Guide]

alarm3

(Samsung alarm)

Does anyone actually own a physical alarm clock anymore? You know, one of those big boxes with glowing lights, the worst radio speaker in history, and that likely has a broken limb thanks to being knocked off your night stand a time or two? For many, you could put these in the same category as dinosaurs as most have switched over to their phone full time as an alarm replacement. After all, your phone is with you every step of the day, including during times of travel, so why not make it your bedside and morning companion?

In this quick guide, we’ll look at setting up an alarm in the simplest of ways. This isn’t rocket science, but it’s definitely something you should all know how to do. The only tricky part depends on the type of device you have. Motorola, stock Android and Samsung all do things slightly different, so we’ll take a look at each.  (more…)