Android Police

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guide

170

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

Amazon's Fire tablets are incredibly popular, mostly because they're incredibly cheap. However, none of them come with access to the Google Play Store, which is how most Android devices download and install applications. Instead, Fire tablets are left with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks any Google-made apps and services.

The good news is that it's not incredibly difficult to install the Play Store on a Fire tablet, and the whole process can take as little time as 10 minutes. This complete guide for installing the Play Store on Fire tablets has detailed instructions for every model produced since 2014, with added troubleshooting steps if you run into issues.

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57

How to make Android use the DNS server of your choice

One of the cornerstones of the World Wide Web is the Domain Name System, also known as 'DNS.' It's a massive digital directory of servers and their corresponding website names, and is responsible for taking you to the right place when you type in a website domain like "google.com." You might not think a lot about DNS, but it's a critical part of the web.

While most people simply use the default DNS servers provided by their carrier or internet service provider, alternative servers do exist. Google Public DNS has been a popular option for years, and CloudFlare's 1.1.1.1 DNS is a newer service that is quickly gaining ground.

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5

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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12

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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107

How to make your own personal VPN in under 30 minutes

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a popular way to stay safe online. When you connect to a VPN, all outgoing network traffic is funneled through an external server. Your internet service provider can't tell what sites you visit (only that you're using a VPN) or inject content into webpages. They're also commonly used to bypass blocked websites and to stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Unfortunately, using certain VPN providers can be just as dangerous as going without a VPN in the first place. Many popular providers will log connection details of users, which can then be sold to third parties.

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37

How to back up screenshots in Google Photos

Google Photos is great for backing up your favorite memories, from pictures of a vacation to videos of your pets. Screenshots can be just as important as photos and videos, whether they be snapshots of a Minecraft world you built with a friend or a funny conversation in WhatsApp. Thankfully, it's incredibly easy to tell Google Photos to back up your screenshots folder, and we'll show you how.

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157

How not to buy a phone on Black Friday - three simple rules to smarter phone purchases

Carriers aren't looking to cut you a deal. Installment plans are just contracts by another name. Last year's phone is not "just as good" as this year's.

These are the three golden rules of Black Friday smartphone shopping. There are other important things to consider, sure, but those are the fundamentals that everyone needs to know and abide, because if you don't, you could end up with a phone you don't want that's stuck on a carrier you don't want to be with. And that sucks.

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28

How to turn off those pesky Google Maps notifications

Google Maps is one of the company's best products, right up there with Search, Gmail, and Photos. It has evolved quite a bit over the last few years, and while some things have improved, other additions are more annoying than helpful. Take those notifications you get after visiting a store or restaurant, for example. You know, the ones asking you to review the place, answer questions, or upload photos.

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60

What to look out for when buying a Chromebook

Chromebooks are just like any other tech products - some are good, and some are not so good. While they avoid some of the pitfalls of Windows laptops, like spinning hard disks and bundled malware, you still have to deal with potentially under-powered hardware or a lack of support for certain features.

This guide highlights what you should avoid when buying a Chromebook, especially older models that often appear as refurbs at major retailers, or used on sites like eBay and Swappa.

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69

How to install Linux on your Chromebook

One of the most exciting new features in Chrome OS is the ability to run applications designed for Linux. Most software that can run on Ubuntu, Debian, or other Linux distributions will work. This is the first time it has been possible to (officially) run traditional desktop software on Chromebooks, and the possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately, the feature is a bit tricky to figure out if you don't already have experience with Linux. In this guide, we'll show you how to set up the Linux container on your Chromebook and how to install applications.

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