Android Police

Guide

158

Every 5G city and region for every major carrier in the US (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) (Update: AT&T adds 10 markets)

Smartphone networks are constantly evolving: adding more capacity, expanding to new areas, and generally trying to get a leg up on the competition. But while improvements are always being made, every few years we see a massive shift as the industry transitions to the latest technology. It's been about eight years now since we saw 3G start giving way to 4G, and right now we're witnessing the early days of the move from 4G to 5G.

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7

How to factory reset your Google Home, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, or other Google Assistant speaker

Smart speakers and smart displays are still relatively-new types of devices, and since many of them don't have a screen, it's not always obvious how to do certain tasks. That includes performing a factory reset, which involves different steps on Google's smart speakers/displays and third-party Assistant devices.

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89

The ultimate guide for installing the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets

Amazon's Fire tablets are unique, not just because they're extremely cheap, but also because they don't come with the Google Play Store. Instead, you get access to the Amazon Appstore, which might not have the exact app you're looking for. For example, Chrome and YouTube aren't available.

Thankfully, the Play Store can be installed on Fire tablets in around 10 minutes, and you don't even need a separate PC. This is the ultimate guide to installing the Play Store on Fire tablets, with detailed instructions for every model produced since 2014.

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60

How to free up storage on your Android phone

Most flagship Android phones are generous with internal storage these days; the Galaxy S10 comes with a minimum of 128GB internal storage, and some devices have up to 1TB of capacity. If you've accumulated a lot of junk files on your phone, or if you have a budget device with less storage, you might still need to clear some space.

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54

How to back up your Android phone before a factory reset

Even though most of your phone's data probably lives in the cloud, there could still be some locally-stored photos, videos, contacts, calendars, and other important files not backed up. In this post, we'll go over how to check that everything on your phone is properly backed up, so you can wipe it without thinking twice that you lost something.

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720

Here's how to enable RCS in the Messages app yourself right now (Update: Carrier-specific servers)

Even though it sounded like there might be some caveats, the big four US carriers recently announced that they'd finally get their act together and roll out a joint RCS system, bringing modern messaging to US customers sometime next year. Too little, too late, carriers. Earlier today, some folks figured out how to forcibly enable RCS on seemingly any recent phone here in the US via Google's Messages app. At first, it sounded too good to be true, but in our own testing, it works.

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8

Permanent Proxy enables Wear OS Google Pay in unlisted countries

Although everyone here at Android Police is passionate about Google's goodies, it is no secret how we feel about Wear OS —  fundamentally flawed, embarrassing, and persistently lagging behind the competition. Not surprisingly, Wear OS makes up less than 12% of smartwatch sales in the US. One of the most glaring misses by Google is the distressingly low number of countries that support Google Pay on Wear OS watches — compared to Samsung's 24 and Apple's 57, Google Pay is only accepted in 11 countries. Thanks to an app called Permanent Proxy by XDA forum member Jolan Rensen, however, you can now activate and use Google Pay in an unlisted country.

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32

How to fully disable Google location tracking on your smartphone

With a new data breach or tech scandal seemingly every other week, it's easy to get disillusioned by the cavalier mishandling of user data by technology companies. At some point, it gets a little weird when a multi-billion dollar corporation knows more about your whereabouts than your significant other. And as data-collector-in-chief and Earth's unofficial cartographer, Google knows the most about your location. Luckily, the process of thwarting location tracking on your devices is easier than you think, albeit clunky and unintuitive (perhaps the way Google intended).

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28

How, why, and when you should clear app cache or data on Android

Almost any modern computing device today uses part of its memory to store and access data temporarily. This process, which is meant to speed up your phone, might very well be the reason it's sluggish of late. And if you've ever suffered through using a device with very little storage, you know the pain. So here we take a look at how, why, and when clearing your app cache might serve to speed up your smartphone.

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4

How to free up storage space on Amazon Fire tablets

Amazon's Fire tablets are usually a great value, but they typically come with less internal storage than most smartphones. The cheapest models come with just 16GB of space, with less than that available for downloading apps and storing data.

In this guide, we'll go over some ways you can clear up the junk on your Fire tablet.

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