Many of us have a tablet or an extra phone (or more) that we keep lying around the house or office for media use, for reading or browsing, for testing, or maybe even as remote controls for smart home appliances. Thing is, 8 times out of 10, when you pick up this tablet or phone to use it, you discover the battery is completely drained because you forgot to put it on the charger and you haven't used it in a while so you didn't notice the low battery level.
The issue is multi-fold and hard to diagnose: sometimes there's a sleep bug in the processor, sometimes your Wi-Fi network is jammed and exacerbates the battery drain, and sometimes you have so many things syncing in the background that the device is constantly working and never really idle. Read More
Many of us were happy to see the recent addition of a keyboard input method in Assistant and the setting to choose it as a preferred method. After all, many of us don't like to shout at our phones all the time because we either need some privacy, we're often in public, or we may simply not feel comfortable talking to an inanimate object.
But what if the keyboard is your preferred input method and there's that one time where you would rather use voice instead? Maybe your hands are wet or dirty, maybe you're carrying something with your other hand and you can't easily type your request with just one, or I don't know... Read More
Copying and pasting text on any mobile operating system is kind of a pain, and Android is no different in this regard. Though text selection on our beloved OS has improved over the years, it's still just not an enjoyable experience. However, for those of you that use Chrome and copy URLs often, there's now a feature that may just become a staple of your lives. Read More
No matter how much we use our Android devices, there are tips and tricks that we don't discover until someone shares them with us and we hit ourselves on the head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" One example is how to enable traffic view in Google Maps in countries and areas where the app says it isn't available.
Live traffic is officially enabled in about 50 countries in the world, and the rest of us often have to just start driving and then discover that the route we picked was jam packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some countries have a local solution in terms of a standalone app or traffic provider, but that isn't as universal and integrated of a solution as Google Maps. Read More
Loading up a website without a connection established is a real shame. Instead of the information you were looking for, Chrome shows you a dinosaur and an error message. You're left sitting there, out of luck.
But if there's a cached version lying around, Chrome can display that instead. There's an experimental flag available that turns this feature on. Just look for the "Enable Show Saved Copy Button" that you can find at chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy. (This applies to Chrome Beta and Dev. For Chrome stable, see update.) Afterwards, you should see the button at the bottom of the screen. Read More
Today we've got a quick tip for Chrome - a new method of switching between what we'll call "sibling tabs" in Chrome for Android when you've got apps and tabs merged.
First, what are sibling tabs? In Chrome on Android Lollipop, when users have tabs and apps merged (so Chrome tabs show up in the overview space), tabs opened using the "open in new tab" action will group together with the parent tab, making a nice little group that will stick together as you scroll vertically.
Now here's the tip: when you are looking at one of these grouped tabs, a simple swipe across Android's system navigation bar will jump between those tabs. Read More
Google Now is never short on surprises. The personal assistant/wizard living in Google's Search app (technically it's Google's "Google" app now) can do some amazing tricks, and no matter how long you've used the app, there are always new features being discovered, added, or improved.
One such feature that's come to our attention is Google's ability to show you a countdown to important events based on your reminders. Basically, if you have a reminder related to an event Google knows about (like Christmas, for instance), Google will pick up on that and - on your reminder card - serve you a countdown. Read More
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design. On the first screen, you drag your finger around the circular controller to select the total cost of your bill. Then you select your tip amount, anywhere from 0% (jerk) up to 50% (save your money, you're not getting her number). Read More
For the relentless proof-readers among us, we've got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.
This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's a feature most users have only used accidentally. Read More
It's time to point out a little-known feature in Chrome's omnibox that may save you a tap or two. If you're looking for something on the page you're currently viewing, rather than tapping on your overflow or menu button, going to "find in page" and typing your search string, you can do it via Chrome's omnibox as shown below. Take a look at the first option with the magnifying glass inside the box.
This wouldn't be the first time Google has inconspicuously thrown a useful feature into one of its products, and certainly won't be the last. A search of Chromium commits didn't turn up anything useful, so it's unclear how long this feature has been right under our noses. Read More