Android Beginners’ Guide – Droid Life https://www.droid-life.com An intense Android news community bringing you the latest in phones, rooting, apps, and reviews. Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:48:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to: Connect to Google Home Over Bluetooth https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/18/google-home-bluetooth-pairing-how-to/ https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/18/google-home-bluetooth-pairing-how-to/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:00:55 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=204779

Back at Google I/O, Google announced that Bluetooth pairing was on the way to Google Home, leading way to more flexible music control. Rather than needing Google’s built-in Chromecast support or for your favorite apps to get onboard, you could instead just pair your phone to Home over Bluetooth and play as you would with … Continued

How to: Connect to Google Home Over Bluetooth is a post from: Droid Life

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Back at Google I/O, Google announced that Bluetooth pairing was on the way to Google Home, leading way to more flexible music control. Rather than needing Google’s built-in Chromecast support or for your favorite apps to get onboard, you could instead just pair your phone to Home over Bluetooth and play as you would with any other Bluetooth device. It’s a feature that probably should have been there from day 1. That argument aside, Bluetooth pairing is now available on Google Home.

Because the setup for Google Home Bluetooth connections isn’t the most straight forward thing at the moment (we can’t find a voice command to get this going), we thought we’d walk you through the somewhat tedious process. It involves the Google Home app, finding a semi-hidden setting, putting your Home in pairing mode, and then connecting through your phone’s Bluetooth settings.

Instructions – Pair Bluetooth to Google Home

1. Open the Google Home app (install it if you don’t have it).

2. Tap the Devices button in the top right corner of the app’s main screen.

3. Find the Google Home you want to pair over Bluetooth.

4. Tap its menu button and choose “Settings.”

google home bluetooth pairing google home bluetooth pairing

5. Under “Device info” choose “Paired Bluetooth devices.”

6. Tap “Enable Pairing Mode” in the bottom right corner.

google home bluetooth pairing google home bluetooth pairing

7. After that, you’ll go into your phone’s Bluetooth settings and look for your Google Home device. It should be there available as a Bluetooth connection option.

8. Tap on it to connect and allow whichever permissions it asks that you are comfortable with.

google home bluetooth pairing google home bluetooth pairing

9. And that’s it! You are connected over Bluetooth.

10. To remove a connected device, you’ll head back into Google Home “Paired Bluetooth devices” and tap the “X” next to devices you want unpaired.

google home bluetooth pairing

11. Going forward, as you disconnect and want to reconnect, just look for your Google Home in your Bluetooth settings. It should always be there for connection once you have previously connected.

Here’s to hoping a voice command to take the place of this arrives soon.

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Google Home Calling: Everything You Need to Know https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/16/google-home-free-calling-setup-assistant/ https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/16/google-home-free-calling-setup-assistant/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:04:08 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=204643

You now know that Google Home calling is starting to rollout and should be on your units within a week if it isn’t already. As fun as that sounds, blasting out Google Home calls to friends, family, and random businesses after an evening full of drinking, I’m sure you have some questions too. In this … Continued

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You now know that Google Home calling is starting to rollout and should be on your units within a week if it isn’t already. As fun as that sounds, blasting out Google Home calls to friends, family, and random businesses after an evening full of drinking, I’m sure you have some questions too. In this post, we’ll try to answer as many as we can with a little help from Google.

When is Google Home calling arriving?

Again, it started rolling out today! Google expects that to continue “over the coming week,” so you should have calling on your Google Home within a few days if it hasn’t already arrived.

How to place a call on Google Home

1. With a Google Home in house and connected to WiFi, just say, “Hey Google, call <insert person or business>.” If calling is live on your devices, it should fire right up and walk you through any additional steps needed. If it’s not available yet, you’ll be told so.

2. You can specify businesses by name to have them called, be more vague and suggest something like “Call nearest liquor store,” call individual people on your contacts list, ask Home to “redial,” or spell out a full phone number.

3. If you call someone who has multiple numbers listed, Google will read out the numbers and ask which you’d like to call.

4. To end a call you can tap on the top of Google Home or say, “Hey Google, hang up/stop/end call.”

5. That’s seriously it. If your Home is updated with the feature, you just make calls by asking it to call people or businesses.

Use Google Assistant while on Google Home calls

While in call, you can place people on hold and ask the Google Assistant info. You do this by either pressing and holding the top of Google Home (the touch sensitive part) or by asking for help with the “Hey, Google” command. During that Assistant session, the other person on the line can’t hear the Assistant nor can you hear the person on the other end. It’s very much a private Assistant session that ends once Google gets you your requested information.

Also, you can’t use all Google Assistant features on a call. Here is the list of stuff that won’t work while on a Google Home call:

  • Listen to music, news, or podcasts
  • Listen to My Day
  • Use Apps for the Assistant
  • Make another phone call
  • Play games

Using Google Contacts with Google Home calls

Google Home uses your Google Contacts list to help it place calls to individuals. In order to get that synced up properly, you’ll need to head into the Google Home app, make sure you are on the same WiFi network as your Google Home units, then run through Menu>More Settings>Devices and choose the device you want to have access to your Google Contacts. For each device you want to give access, you’ll then toggle the “Personal results” option on.

google home calls

Additionally, to sync contacts everywhere, make sure you head into the Google app on your phone and follow through Settings>Accounts and Privacy>Google activity controls>Device information. Turn that on if it isn’t.

Caller ID for recipients

When you place Google Home calls, they’ll show up as “unknown” or “No Caller ID” on the other end to the recipient. Google says that they will allow you to show your mobile number later on this year, but not right away as the option isn’t ready for prime time. However, if you are a Google Voice or Project Fi user, you can have your number show up from day 1.

To set that up, head into the Google Home app, slide out the side Menu>More settings>Calls. Once in there, you’ll see the screen below and can choose your Google Voice or Project Fi number. If you’d rather your Home calls remain unknown, there is an “Unlisted” option too. My guess is that when the option to show your mobile number arrives, it’ll be found in this exact spot.

google home free calling

Google Home calling multi-user access

Since Google Home supports multiple users by voice, Google Home calling does as well. Google will use each person’s own contacts list when placing calls to individuals. This, of course, only works properly if you’ve setup multiple users.

Can you call 911?

Nope! At this time, 911 is not supported.

Can you accept incoming calls?

Nope! Google says that this option isn’t currently possible nor do they have details to share at this time. This also means you can’t block people, which makes sense since…they…can’t…call you anyway.

Does Google record your calls?

Nope! Google records the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” command each time it is said, but then stops recording once that has finished. So should you ask Google Home to call someone, it won’t continue recording as you talk – it’ll stop the minute you finish the “Hey Google, call Bob” line.

For more info on Google Home calling, head over to Google Support.

Buy Google Home: Best Buy | Walmart | Target

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How to: Setup Google Allo on Web https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/15/how-to-setup-google-allo-web/ https://www.droid-life.com/2017/08/15/how-to-setup-google-allo-web/#comments Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:49:19 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=204524

Need the quick and easy instructions on how to setup Google Allo for Web on your Android phone and Chrome browser? It’s super simple and I’m sure you can do this on your own, but for those who need some visual aides, we’ve got them. Let’s walk you through it! Setup Allo for Web: 1. … Continued

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Need the quick and easy instructions on how to setup Google Allo for Web on your Android phone and Chrome browser? It’s super simple and I’m sure you can do this on your own, but for those who need some visual aides, we’ve got them. Let’s walk you through it!

Setup Allo for Web:

1. Install Google Allo on your Android phone (iOS pairing not yet supported).

Google Play Link

2. Setup the app by confirming your phone number, adding a profile picture and your name, choosing a Google account for backups, etc.

3. Once done, slide out the side menu in Allo to find the “Allo for Web” option

4. Tap that and you’ll then be asked to open allo.google.com/web on your desktop Chrome browser.

5. You’ll also be asked to scan a QR code on that page with your Allo app.

6. Once scanned, you should immediately see Allo sign-in on Chrome and be ready to chat with your synced conversations from the Android app. It’ll look like this.

setup google allo for web

7. And yep, Google Assistant is there! You can bring it into conversations or you just have your own individual help session with the Assistant.

8. Additionally, you’ll see options within chats for emoji, stickers (and downloadable sticker packs), and attachments. Allo, like in the app, will show you quick response recommendations too.

9. You have access to some settings, which you’ll find by clicking on your profile picture on the web.

10. You’ll get desktop notifications too, along with sounds and message previews if you allow them.

11. Keyboard shortcuts!

allo keyboard shortcuts

12. Need to remove your Chrome connection? Easy, just go back into the Allo Android app, swipe out the navigation menu, tap again on “Allo for Web,” and you’ll see all of the instances that you’ve signed in. Tap the trash can next to each one individually to sever that connection. Or you can “Sign out of all computers.”

13. And that’s all for now!

// Google Support

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Google’s Switch-To-Android Site Helps Sad iPhone Users Get Tech Happy Again https://www.droid-life.com/2016/12/13/how-to-switch-iphone-to-android/ https://www.droid-life.com/2016/12/13/how-to-switch-iphone-to-android/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2016 23:52:47 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=194630

If you are currently using an iPhone, chances are you are sad. Why do I assume that you are sad? We all know that you’d rather be on Android, yet you keep hesitating to break free because all of your out-of-touch friends who still think iPhones are a status symbol and that they’ll be left behind without iMessage, … Continued

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If you are currently using an iPhone, chances are you are sad. Why do I assume that you are sad? We all know that you’d rather be on Android, yet you keep hesitating to break free because all of your out-of-touch friends who still think iPhones are a status symbol and that they’ll be left behind without iMessage, won’t join you. And look, they probably never will, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to find happiness. You deserve this, my friend.

To help your transition over to a smartphone world filled with diversity, openness, and less “courage,” Google has put together a simple set of steps on a newly revamped Switch website. The steps to get you easily over to Android from iOS are pretty easy and basically involve installing Google Drive. I’m not kidding, it’s that easy. 

In the tutorial, which you can find here, Google shows you that migrating to Android is as simple as installing Google Drive, telling it what you want backed up (contacts, calendar events, photos & videos), letting it finish backing up, and then signing in to your same Google account on your new Android phone to let everything restore. Oh, don’t forget to kill iMessage too.

To get started, install the Google Drive iOS app.

 

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Tip: If Your Galaxy S6 is Unresponsive or Frozen, Do This https://www.droid-life.com/2015/04/15/galaxy-s6-edge-frozen-fix/ https://www.droid-life.com/2015/04/15/galaxy-s6-edge-frozen-fix/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:34:54 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=165578

Because you can’t pull the battery if something goes wrong with your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge and it freezes, you should probably know how to fix it. Well, you should at least know how to reboot it and unfreeze the little guy. Thankfully, Samsung is here to save the day with a helpful … Continued

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Because you can’t pull the battery if something goes wrong with your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge and it freezes, you should probably know how to fix it. Well, you should at least know how to reboot it and unfreeze the little guy. Thankfully, Samsung is here to save the day with a helpful tip that won’t go away in your notification area until you view it. 

That notification reads, “If your device is unresponsive, press and hold the Power key and the Volume down key simultaneously for more than 7 seconds to restart it.” Oh, they also have flagged this as a “Help Advice Tip.”

Got it? If your Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge is frozen or unresponsive, hold Power and Volume down for more than seven seconds and it should reboot. Boom.

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Cut, Copy, Paste, Select All in Android 5.0 “Lollipop” [Beginners Guide] https://www.droid-life.com/2015/02/02/cut-copy-paste-select-all-in-android-5-0-lollipop-beginners-guide/ https://www.droid-life.com/2015/02/02/cut-copy-paste-select-all-in-android-5-0-lollipop-beginners-guide/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 23:46:25 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=160765

Over the weekend, as I was slaving away in the kitchen doing my breakfast chef thang, my wife sat playing with our son on the floor, trying to figure out how to copy an RMLS listing number from an email into a web browser on her Nexus 5. Since I do tasks like that all of the … Continued

Cut, Copy, Paste, Select All in Android 5.0 “Lollipop” [Beginners Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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Over the weekend, as I was slaving away in the kitchen doing my breakfast chef thang, my wife sat playing with our son on the floor, trying to figure out how to copy an RMLS listing number from an email into a web browser on her Nexus 5. Since I do tasks like that all of the time, I shouted from across the room, “It’s the card-stacked looking icon to copy!” That description made little sense to her, because well, it’s not actually a great description, so I ended up walking away from my sizzling bacon for a few minutes to help her figure it out. We walked through the process, to which she said two things – “What are all these silly icons?” and “How is anyone supposed to know that that is what they do?” I really had no response, other than, “You are right. I could see how those could be confusing.” And with that, the inspiration for this post! 

Back in 2012, Google introduced new cut, copy, paste, select all buttons with Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. We wrote up a similar post to this at that time, but thought a refresher was in-store to make sure everyone knows how to do something that should be simple, like cut, copy, paste, or select all, on your phone.

So for those who don’t know, this is what the new cut, copy, paste, and select all buttons look like in Android 5.0 “Lollipop.”

cut copy paste lollipop2

cut copy paste lollipop3

  • Select All:  The square with the square-ish arrangement of dots around it (far left icon), is your Select All button. Why on Earth that symbolizes selecting all is beyond me, but that’s what it is.
  • Cut:  The scissor icon is the Cut button. Makes sense, right?
  • Copy:  The “card-stacked” icon, as I called it, or the icon that is showing two of something, as if you just copied it, is the Copy button.
  • Paste:  The button on the far right is for Paste, and that makes sense because it is mimicking a clipboard.

Pro tip:  Long pressing on any action bar icon will help to identify them by popping up a text bar describing the action. Should you forget what each button does and not have time to find this post, remember this.

Cut, Copy, Paste, Select All in Android 5.0 “Lollipop” [Beginners Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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How to: Sign a PDF on Android Without Printing a Thing https://www.droid-life.com/2015/01/13/sign-pdf-android-without-printing/ https://www.droid-life.com/2015/01/13/sign-pdf-android-without-printing/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:40:53 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=159356

Now that it is 2015 – hell, even dating back to 2012 – you should know how to sign a PDF document without having to print a piece of paper. If you don’t yet, that’s OK, because the inspiration behind this post is the fact that almost the entire Droid Life team had no idea how to … Continued

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Now that it is 2015 – hell, even dating back to 2012 – you should know how to sign a PDF document without having to print a piece of paper. If you don’t yet, that’s OK, because the inspiration behind this post is the fact that almost the entire Droid Life team had no idea how to do this until a day or so ago (you know who you are). Thankfully, we can teach you in the easiest of ways, because Adobe Reader has signature support built in. Didn’t know that either? Well, good, now you do. 

I don’t think I need to run down the benefits of being able to sign a PDF on your Android device, without having to print/sign/fax/scan/shred a piece of paper, but I will anyway. First, it saves you a ton of time. Instead of printing, then signing, and then scanning before emailing, you can do it all with a couple of taps. Adobe Reader lets you open a PDF document, sign it securely, and then email, all without opening a printer or scanner or having to waste a piece of paper.

Second, printing paper to sign it before then trashing it is a complete waste. Save this Earth, folks! On that note, once you print, sign, scan, and email a piece of paper, what do you do with it afterwards? Shred? Yep, another machine you can completely avoid by signing digitally.

Finally, signing a PDF on your Android device can be done from anywhere. At a basketball game in the evening when an important document comes through? You can sign and send it from your seat. On a nude beach with a Mai Tai in hand when your next contract needs signing? Done without needing to cover up those privates.

See, how awesome is signing a PDF on your Android device?

Instructions


1.  Download Adobe Reader from Google Play and install it (It’s free!). [Play Link]
2.  Open a PDF file that needs to be signed.
3.  When prompted, choose Adobe Reader to open it.

*Adobe Reader also has a document viewer in the left slideout navigation menu in case you have downloaded a PDF, but can’t seem to find it. Adobe Reader tries to scan your storage for PDFs. You may find it there.

4.  With PDF open, find the areas that you need to fill out and tap on the screen.
5.  A top menu should appear that looks like this:

pdf sign1

6.  Tap the icon that looks like a speech bubble behind a pen.
7.  From this menu you can fill out forms, type letters, doodle, etc.
8.  Once you are ready to sign, tap on the icon that looks like a ball point fountain pen doodling (far right).

pdf sign2

9.  Once that icon has been tapped, you need to tap on the document where you would like to sign.
10.  If you have never signed anything before, you will be taken to a screen to create a signature.
11.  Sign away using your finger!

adobe reader-4

12.  When finished, press the check box and your signature will be added to the PDF.
13.  If it’s not in the correct place, that’s OK, feel free to tap on it to highlight with a box with 4 dots.
14.  Once highlighted, you can drag the signature to a new spot, resize, or adjust color, opacity, thickness. You can delete it as well.

adobe reader-2 adobe reader-3 adobe reader

15.  With your signature in place, hit the back button once to get to the original menu.
16.  Tap the menu button and then “Share.”
17.  From there, email or send your signed PDF using the service of your choice.

How to: Sign a PDF on Android Without Printing a Thing is a post from: Droid Life

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How to: Unlock the Nexus 6 Bootloader (Nexus 9 Too) https://www.droid-life.com/2014/11/21/how-to-unlock-the-nexus-6-bootloader/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/11/21/how-to-unlock-the-nexus-6-bootloader/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:42:24 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=156033

I get that the timing of this post seems super silly, especially after the conversations we had yesterday, including one where I said I don’t buy Nexus phones to flash all the things, but you know what? Many of you did buy a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 to do just that, flash and tinker, so … Continued

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I get that the timing of this post seems super silly, especially after the conversations we had yesterday, including one where I said I don’t buy Nexus phones to flash all the things, but you know what? Many of you did buy a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 to do just that, flash and tinker, so we want to make sure you know how to get started. Also, the process for unlocking the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9’s bootloader that we are about to walk through is something I do with all Nexus devices I own, because there is always a chance I may want to tinker later on down the road. Why not be prepared? 

As a reminder, unlocking the bootloader of your phone allows you the opportunity to do things like flash a ROM, root it, or put on a custom recovery. It opens up your device to all sorts of access and power that you wouldn’t typically have in an out-of-the-box experience. It doesn’t immediately provide you with any new features, but with an unlocked bootloader, the opportunity is there.

The process does technically void your warranty, so please understand what that means before going forward.

Ready to unlock?

Instructions


*Warning – Unlocking the bootloader of your phone (or tablet), “may” void your warranty.

*This will factory reset your phone. Thankfully, Lollipop has an awesome restore feature now, so you should have no trouble getting your phone set back up in no time.

*First things first, you need to setup the Android SDK so that you can use adb and fastboot commands. There are countless tutorials around for getting this setup, but it’s really not that difficult any longer to get this up and running. Simply download the latest Android SDK from Google, unzip the contents of the file, and head into the Platform-tools folder where adb and fastboot should be located. Open a command prompt from within there or navigate to that directory in a command prompt.

*These instructions include screenshots and images of the Nexus 6, but the process is the exact same for the Nexus 9.

1.  Enable “Developer options” by tapping 5 or 6 times on the Build number in Settings>About phone.
2.  Hit back once and choose Developer options; check the box for USB debugging.
3.  While in there, also check the box for “Enable OEM unlock.”
4.  Plug your phone into your computer.
5.  You’ll need to give it USB debugging access through a pop-up (don’t forget to check the box).

nexus 6 bootloader unlock

6.  Once you have given your computer debugging access, it’s time for commands.

*If you didn’t see the “Allow USB debugging” pop-up, you should when you type the first command below.

7.  Open a command prompt from within the Platform-tools SDK folder where your adb and fastboot files are.
8.  Type the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

(Note:  If using a Mac, it’s ./adb reboot bootloader or ./fastboot -insert command-)

nexus 6 bootloader1

9.  Wait for your boot screen to appear on your phone. Once it does (it’s a big Android with START), type:

fastboot oem unlock

(Again, it’s ./fastboot oem unlock on a Mac)

10.  A bootloader unlock confirmation page will appear. Tap Volume Up to highlight “Yes,” and Power to select it.
11.  Your phone’s bootloader will now be unlocked. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
12.  Once finished, you should be on the boot screen showing “Start.” Press Power to reboot your phone.
13.  During reboot, your phone will go through a factory reset.
14.  Once it boots back up, you are done. If everything went correctly, you should see an unlock icon during boot.

nexus 6 bootloader2

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How to: Store Music on Android Wear for Offline Playback https://www.droid-life.com/2014/10/24/how-to-store-music-on-android-wear-for-offline-playback/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/10/24/how-to-store-music-on-android-wear-for-offline-playback/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:07:27 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=153617

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 … Continued

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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. 


Instructions

1.  Set aside 3 or 8 or 15 hours of time, because this takes forever. I’m only semi-kidding.
2.  Update to the newest Google Play Music and make sure your Android Wear device is on 4.4W.2.
3.  Decide which music you want to download in Google Play Music.
4.  Download it.

google music download1

5.  Head into Google Play Music settings and check the box for “Download to Android Wear.”
6.  This will then transfer any stored Play Music that is on your phone, to your Wear device.

Note 1:  The process of transferring music to your Wear device happens automatically – you do not have to initiate the transfer. As long as you have the box checked that we mentioned in step 5, the music starts moving once it has been fully downloaded to your phone.

Note 2: From what I can tell, there is no way to specify which music you want to transfer. The option for transferring simply says that downloaded music will bed stored on Wear for offline playback, which sounds to me like it plans to move it all over.  That’s bad news for anyone with more than 4GB of music stored on their phone, as most Android Wear devices only come with 4GB of storage. Hopefully, we see more control here soon. Otherwise, you may have to constantly tweak the downloaded music on your phone in order to continually change it on your Wear watch. Best to create a running or workout or on-the-go playlist, and just download that.

7.  Depending on how much music you want to transfer, this is where the wait comes in.

Note 3:  You first have to download the music to your phone. Once that completes, the automatic transfer begins happening from phone to Wear device, which takes a while. A 15-track album just took about 10-15 minutes to complete between my new Moto X and G Watch R.

music wear offline1

8.  Once that completes and your Wear watch tells you so, it’s time to disconnect from your phone and test!
9.  With your watch disconnected from your phone, you need manually launch Play Music.
10.  Tap the screen to enter the menu, scroll down to Start…, and then Play Music.

screenshot screenshot1 screenshot2

11.  You should now see the music you transferred over with a “Play” button. Tap it and start listening.

screenshot3 screenshot8 screenshot9

12.  If you don’t have Bluetooth headphones attached, your Wear device will tell you to connect or set them up.
13.  An audio device screen will allow you to go directly to settings to do so. Press the green check to start.
14.  Search for your Bluetooth device in the list of available devices, tap on it, and following the pair prompts.

screenshot4 screenshot6 screenshot7

15.  Once connected, you may need to jump back up to step 10 and repeat.
16.  Enjoy!

How to: Store Music on Android Wear for Offline Playback is a post from: Droid Life

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Quick Tip: How to Enable Developer Options and Debugging on Android Wear https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-enable-developer-options-and-debugging-on-android-wear/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-enable-developer-options-and-debugging-on-android-wear/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:58:15 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=144949

What kind of Android device would an Android Wear watch be without the ability to enable developer options? Not much of one, that’s for sure. Thankfully, you can enable developer options and ADB debugging pretty easily, just like you would on a regular Android phone or tablet. Once you have ADB debugging setup, you can … Continued

Quick Tip: How to Enable Developer Options and Debugging on Android Wear is a post from: Droid Life

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What kind of Android device would an Android Wear watch be without the ability to enable developer options? Not much of one, that’s for sure. Thankfully, you can enable developer options and ADB debugging pretty easily, just like you would on a regular Android phone or tablet.

Once you have ADB debugging setup, you can do fun things like take screenshots, unlock the bootloader, think about rooting your Android Wear watch, and almost anything else that comes along, like a ROM (yes, there are ROMs for these watches already).

Ready? 


Instructions

wear tip2

  1. Say “OK, Google” to your watch, then “settings” to bring up the settings menu.
  2. Scroll down to About, and tap on it.
  3. Find the build number and tap on it multiple times.
  4. A countdown will tell you that you are becoming a developer.
  5. Once tapped enough, you will unlock the developer options menu.
  6. Swipe back once (a swipe to the right) and you should see a new option under About for Developer options.
  7. Tap on Developer options.
  8. Find ADB debugging, tap on it, then tap the green check to enable it.

wear tip1

You are now a developer of Android Wear, sort of.

Quick Tip: How to Enable Developer Options and Debugging on Android Wear is a post from: Droid Life

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Quick Tip: How to Factory Reset Your Android Wear Smartwatch https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-factory-reset-your-android-wear-smartwatch/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-factory-reset-your-android-wear-smartwatch/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:24:08 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=144939

Whatever the reason may be, sometimes you have to perform a factory reset on a device. Whether you are sending it back to the manufacturer or possibly selling to a friend, it is always good to know how to wipe all of your personal data from a device. With folks buying and receiving their Android … Continued

Quick Tip: How to Factory Reset Your Android Wear Smartwatch is a post from: Droid Life

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Whatever the reason may be, sometimes you have to perform a factory reset on a device. Whether you are sending it back to the manufacturer or possibly selling to a friend, it is always good to know how to wipe all of your personal data from a device.

With folks buying and receiving their Android Wear smartwatches, now is the perfect time for you to learn how to perform this task. Luckily for the beginners among us, Android Wear is a very easy OS to navigate, so learning these tricks is easy as pie.

Below, we take you through how to perform a factory reset using just your fingers, and also how to do the same thing using your voice a little bit. 


Voice Instructions 

  1. From the home screen, say “Ok Google.”
  2. When you see the visual prompt to begin your query, say “Settings.”
  3. Once in the Settings menu, scroll down until you see “Reset device.”
  4. After confirming the reset, the device will power off and perform a factory reset.
  5. Once booted back up, you will have a clean Android Wear device with no user data attached.

wear tip1


Manual Instructions

  1. From the home screen, tap on the display to begin a Google search.
  2. Without saying anything, scroll down on the display. A list of options will appear.
  3. Scroll to the bottom until you see “Settings.”
  4. Once in the Settings menu, scroll down until you see “Reset device.”
  5. After confirming the reset, the device will power off and perform a factory reset.

If for some odd reason you ever need to perform another factory reset, now you know how to do it like a pro.

Quick Tip: How to Factory Reset Your Android Wear Smartwatch is a post from: Droid Life

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Quick Tip: How to Change the Watch Face on Android Wear https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-change-the-watch-face-on-android-wear/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/07/08/quick-tip-how-to-change-the-watch-face-on-android-wear/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:50:03 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=144930

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 … Continued

Quick Tip: How to Change the Watch Face on Android Wear is a post from: Droid Life

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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. 


Manual Instructions

wear tip3

  1. From your homescreen while the display is powered on, long press on the screen.
  2. You will see all of the watch faces offered by your device. You can scroll right or left through these options.
  3. Once you find a watch face that you like, tap on it to set it as your permanent watch face.

Want to change again? Follow the same steps.


Voice Instructions

wear tip1

  1. From your homescreen, say “Ok Google.”
  2. Once you see the visual prompt to begin your query, say “Settings.”
  3. Once in your Settings menu, scroll towards the bottom to where it says “Change watch face.”
  4. From here, scroll through the many different faces, then tap on the one you would like to set.

wear tip 2

Still not happy with the watch face you chose? Repeat the above steps.

We are still waiting for more developers to make additional watch faces available through Google Play, and seeing as how we are big fans of Android Wear, we will keep you all informed when more watch faces are made available for everyone to download.

Quick Tip: How to Change the Watch Face on Android Wear is a post from: Droid Life

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Securing Your Passwords with an Android Password Manager [Beginner’s Guide] https://www.droid-life.com/2014/06/12/securing-your-passwords-with-an-android-password-manager-beginners-guide/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/06/12/securing-your-passwords-with-an-android-password-manager-beginners-guide/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:25:04 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=142670

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, … Continued

Securing Your Passwords with an Android Password Manager [Beginner’s Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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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. 

There are a lot of terms to understand when looking at the business of keeping passwords safe. For the sake of understanding a little bit deeper let’s get a few things straight.

Encryption. Encrypting data is a process which takes the information that you have and makes it unreadable to anyone but you. When you encrypt something, you are telling the program to make a key that you control that unlocks your information. There’s a lot of complex computer science and algorithms that go into this encryption, stuff that can be explained better by people far smarter than me, but for our purposes encryption is necessary to what these products do.

Multi-factor Authentication. This is something that you are seeing more companies adopt as online transactions become more important. This feature is when you input your password, you have to prove that you are really yourself to have access to your information. Inputting a password once is one factor. If you have to then input another password after that first one, that is another factor. Google, Twitter, Facebook and other websites have already implemented 2 step authentication for their services, but not every online website that you put your credit card information into does. That’s where these following services come in.


LastPass 

Price:  Free, $12/year

Out of the three services that we have here today, LastPass offers the most robust collection of features to keep your passwords and online presence safe. It is also the only option that offers a free version; the other two services require payment on all fronts. The free version of LastPass offers applications for Mac, Windows and browser extensions to be everywhere you need it when you are on your desktop. Once you login to your account with one strong, but still memorable password, you have access to an encrypted vault where you can keep your long string and secure passwords. LastPass even offers a security check once you have all your passwords input so they can help you get your act together.

But LastPass really shines when you pay for Premium. Not only do you get access to the LastPass mobile applications, but so much more as well. By adding in the mobile application, you can enable multi-factor authentication so that anytime someone tries to get into your LastPass account on a desktop, they need your phone as well. If you are an owner of the Galaxy S5, LastPass recently updated their application to work with the fingerprint scanner as a way to unlock your device. And if that still isn’t enough security for you, LastPass even works with companies like YubiKey. These two companies have worked together to make your thumb drive a tangible password key to your LastPass vault. No one gets into your vault unless they have that USB thumb drive plugged into that specific computer. Total lock down.

LastPass Premium costs $12 each year, but for the amount of security and flexibility that it brings, it’s a very small price to pay to keep your information safe.

https://youtu.be/RM0fzHxMASQ

1Password 

Price:  Free until August 1, Supported by in-app purchases after

1Password has been around on Android for a long time. So much so, that they had to almost completely overhaul their application because it had not seen any love since the Gingerbread days. However, they have since relaunched their app and are letting everyone try it out for free until August when the app will require in-app purchases to continue working.

1Password operates in the same way that the other two services do. – generate one password and use that to unlock your vault of passwords, credit card information and website logins. These can be accessed on computers or mobile, once you have purchased licences to access all of the portals that 1Password offers. 1Password uses Dropbox to sync the data between devices so to use this across platforms, you must also have a Dropbox account, but who doesn’t have one of those these days? 1Password, like these other services, makes it easy to auto-fill information on websites since remembering all these long passwords won’t be the easiest thing in the world.

We do not have any information as to how much 1Password will be when August rolls around, but for iOS users, the app is a one-time $17.99 purchase. Windows and Mac are separate purchases as well, but only one time as opposed to LastPass’s yearly subscription.

mSecure 

Price:  $9.99

mSecure is another popular, multi-platform password security service that has extended out to Android. mSecure bolsters their service with a 256bit Blowfish that they say has “never been cracked” before. Once purchased for Android or any other type of computer, mSecure offers mostly the same services that the other two do as well.

mSecure offers a multitude of security options once you get your account going. If you have your passwords stored in a messy spreadsheet or with a competitor, you can import them all easily right into your new vault through their software. As a last ditch line of defense, mSecure offers an optional “self-destruct” mode that will go into effect after someone tries to hack your password a certain number of times. If there are important items that you do not want getting out, that could be your best bet. mSecure also uses Dropbox to allow you to keep your information accessible across multiple platforms. Nothing is more dangerous in having software like this if you can’t access your randomly generated bank password when you need it most. Like 1Password, mSecure requires separate purchases for different platforms of their service. Make sure to pick the one you’ll use the most.


Now, the underlying irony of this situation is that to protect your passwords across the internet, you are giving them all to one company to keep in the same place. There is a sense of trust that must be extended to these companies that they aren’t the one abusing your passwords or playing fast and loose with. Each one of these applications is unique, so doing your research and finding out which one is the best for you is almost mandatory.

If you are looking into securing your passwords and online presence, these are only a few of the options available out there for you. We have heard some of our readers talking about these specific services, but if you have any other suggestions be sure to drop them in the comments below.

Securing Your Passwords with an Android Password Manager [Beginner’s Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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Straight Talk APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] https://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/04/straight-talk-apn-settings/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/04/straight-talk-apn-settings/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:59:32 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=133794

Apologies on the two APN posts in one afternoon, but we wanted to get them out of the way and into the Beginners’ Guide. If you aren’t on Aio Wireless and instead went with Straight Talk, we also have APN settings for you as well. Below, you’ll find the official settings pulled from Straight Talk’s … Continued

Straight Talk APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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Apologies on the two APN posts in one afternoon, but we wanted to get them out of the way and into the Beginners’ Guide.

If you aren’t on Aio Wireless and instead went with Straight Talk, we also have APN settings for you as well. Below, you’ll find the official settings pulled from Straight Talk’s site for both AT&T and T-Mobile service, though if you venture into a variety of forums across this wonderful internet, you are bound to find tweaked settings that one user or another claim bring even better performance.

I would suggest that you start with these, and should you run into issues, start tweaking or looking elsewhere. But again, these are the official settings. 

Instructions

1.  APN settings are accessed on phones in somewhat different locations depending on the phone manufacturer.

Samsung phone:  Settings>…More networks>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>+
HTC phone:  Settings>Mobile data>Access point names>Menu>New APN.
Motorola phone:  Settings>More…>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>Menu>New APN.
Nexus phone:  Settings>More…>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>Menu>New APN.
LG phone:  Settings>Tethering & networks>Mobile networks>Access point names.

2a.  Enter the following APN info if you are using Straight Talk AT&T service:

Name: straight talk
APN: tfdata
Proxy: Not Set
Port: Not Set
Username: Not Set
Password: Not Set
Server: Not Set
MMSC: http://mms-tf.net
MMS Proxy:  mms3.tracfone.com
MMS Port: 80

Some have tweaked the following as well:

MCC: 310
MNC:410
Auth Type: PAP
APN type: default,supl,mms,hipri
IPv4
IPv4
Bearer:uspecified
MVNO type: None

2b.  Enter the following APN info if you are using Straight Talk T-Mobile service:

Name: straight talk
APN: wap.tracfone
Proxy: Leave blank
Port: 8080
Username: Not Set
Password: Not Set
Server: Not Set
MMSC: http://mms.tracfone.com
MMS Proxy:  Leave blank
MMS Port: Leave blank

3.  Save your new APN.
4.  Reboot your phone by powering it off and then back on.
5.  Enjoy your service on Straight Talk.

Straight Talk APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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Aio Wireless APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] https://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/04/aio-wireless-apn-settings/ https://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/04/aio-wireless-apn-settings/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:58:45 +0000 http://www.droid-life.com/?p=133793

If you joined the world of prepaid wireless (our list of the best prepaid plans), there is a good chance that you have also encountered “APN settings.” Without going into dirty details on what APN settings are, just understand that they are your gateway to have service with your prepaid carrier of choice. In this case, … Continued

Aio Wireless APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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If you joined the world of prepaid wireless (our list of the best prepaid plans), there is a good chance that you have also encountered “APN settings.” Without going into dirty details on what APN settings are, just understand that they are your gateway to have service with your prepaid carrier of choice. In this case, it would be Aio Wireless. By inputting the specific APN settings for Aio into your Android phone, you are giving it the power to connect to their network, send text messages, and utilize data.

Thankfully, Aio provides the exact APN settings for use on their network through their website. We have included them below, along with instructions on how to get into the APN settings of most of the major phone types for Android.

This may not be typical news, but we thought readers with Aio service may want to bookmark this in case they switch devices at some point.

Instructions

1.  APN settings are accessed on phones in somewhat different locations depending on the phone manufacturer.

Samsung phone:  Settings>…More networks>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>+
HTC phone:  Settings>Mobile data>Access point names>Menu>New APN.
Motorola phone:  Settings>More…>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>Menu>New APN.
Nexus phone:  Settings>More…>Mobile networks>Access Point Names>Menu>New APN.
LG phone:  Settings>Tethering & networks>Mobile networks>Access point names.

2.  Enter the following APN info:

Name: Internet
APN: ndo
Proxy: Not Set
Port: Not Set
Username: Not Set
Password: Not Set
Server: Not Set
MMSC: http://mmsc.aiowireless.net
MMS Proxy: proxy.aiowireless.net
MMS Port: 80
MCC: 310
MNC: 150
Authentication type: Not Set
APN type: default,mms,fota,hipri,supl

3.  Save your new APN.
4.  Reboot your phone by powering it off and then back on.
5.  Enjoy your service on Aio Wireless.

Aio Wireless APN Settings for Android Phones [Beginners’ Guide] is a post from: Droid Life

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