Android Police

Tips & Tutorials

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New Google Voice Search Functionality Lets You Bring Up Car Rental Reservations

Google's always adding new tidbits to Google Now voice search, like that tweak to reminders we posted earlier today. According to ye olde Google Twitter account, you can also ask Google search about your rental car reservations.

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Tip: Use Google Now To Remind You To Cancel Things Like Amazon Prime, Netflix, And More

Google Now does a lot of neat things, but the way Google plugs in its wealth of data makes sure the functionality changes often and in unexpected ways. Case in point, it helps you set reminders for some oddly specific events. Need to cancel an auto-renewing membership? Try asking Google Now.

2014-05-12 06.35.40 large 2014-05-12 06.38.54

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Tip: Long-Press On Profile Pics In A Hangouts Group Message Thread For A Quick @Name Reply

Group chats can get confusing, especially if you've got a bunch of big talkers in the thread. If you need to get someone's attention in Hangouts, there's a handy little trick for doing it. Just long-press on the user's avatar and you get an @name reply.

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Tip: Use Emoji In Homescreen Folder Names

Look, not every tip needs to be about extending battery life or accessing things more easily. Today we've got some smiley faces and stuff. It turns out you can use Emoji in homescreen folder names, which is neat.

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[Tip] Chrome For Android 'Find In Page' Function Exists From Within The Omnibox

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.

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Taking The Android Wear Preview SDK For A Spin - Notifications, Notifications, And More Notifications [Detailed Hands-On With GIFs Galore]

As I'm sure you've seen by now, earlier today Google exploded a bombshell by unveiling the Android Wear smart watch initiative along with a number of partners that will be making the hardware later this year. Last but not least, the Android Wear Preview SDK was announced so that developers could start playing with the Android Wear watch emulator hooked up live to their devices and get the feel for how everything will work.

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Developer PSA: Play Store Policies Mandate Clean App Descriptions Free Of References To Other Apps, Even Your Own

While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published.

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Tip: Spotify Connect Lets You Stream Music To Your Other Android Devices, Not Just Internet-Enabled Speakers

It turns out Spotify Connect has a very useful feature that the company hasn't done much to make immediately obvious. The service, which lets you stream music to WiFi-connected speakers from your smartphone or tablet, also lets you pump music to other Android devices. The devices don't even have to be on the same network, for that matter. You can connect from an LTE network, as you can see in the screenshots below.

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PSA: Make Sure You Reboot After Unlocking Your Nexus Or GPE Device's Bootloader

As a follow up to our recent PSA on bootloader quirks with GPE devices, we thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on a bootloader anomaly which affects both Nexus and GPE devices. Recently, there have been changes to the way unlocking happens behind the scenes. These changes can result in a device that infinitely boots into recovery.

Traditionally, when you decide to unlock and flash a custom recovery, the procedure goes something like this:

  • You type "fastboot oem unlock" from the command line.
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PSA: Bootloader Unlocking On Google Play Edition Devices Shows Each One To Have Its Own Nuances And Pitfalls

In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.

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