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tutorial

168

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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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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12

How to make a WhatsApp voice or video call with Google Assistant

A couple of months ago, Google announced an integration with WhatsApp that'd allow you to start an audio or video call on the app via Assistant. We've been waiting for the ability to go live for weeks, but as it's wont to do, Google got things a little wrong. The original command it said would work doesn't, but a few others do. Here is what you need to say to get Assistant to make a WhatsApp call.

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16

Tip: Tap and hold on images in Google Photos to see associated motion clips

Google Photos users are probably familiar with the app's many hidden gestures. You can pinch two fingers together in the main library to see smaller and more numerous thumbnails, or expand those fingers to enlarge the thumbnails. When viewing a photo, pinching or swiping down will minimize it and return you to the previous screen, while swiping up will reveal its info. Artem recently discovered a Motion Photo-related gesture, and despite it being quite old, we'd never seen it mentioned before and didn't know about it, so here it is.

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61

Trying out Google Play Pass? Here's what to look out for

Google Play Pass is rolling out in the United States and everyone's getting a 10-day trial to figure out what sort of apps and games they'd like to install — perhaps even keep around — and which of the tonnage of free, unlockable extra features they'll make use of. But if you're outside our shores and curious as to how you'll go about it when Play Pass comes to your region or are just a bit puzzled and need a little crash course on what's going on, we've got it for you right here.

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20

How to use assignable reminders on Google Assistant

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced a new and very useful Assistant feature: the ability to set reminders and assign them to someone else in your family or household. The option is now live for some users in English (US, UK, Australia) and works just as expected. You can assign a time or location reminder to someone, change it or delete it, check on their progress, and more. So let's take a look at how this works.

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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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44

How to disable battery optimization for Google Photos and other system apps on OnePlus devices

With the introduction of Doze in Marshmallow, app developers and users had to find the perfect balance between battery life and background activity. Granular options for battery optimization exist on most Android devices, allowing you to single out apps you'd like to give free rein to. This can be crucial for backup apps (Google Photos), companion apps for wearables (Fitbit, Wear), and smart home security apps that require your location to arm or disarm (Nest, SmartThings).

However, some phones like the ones from OnePlus limit your access to battery optimization settings for system apps, specifically, meaning you can't give Google Photos the freedom to run whenever it needs to, which usually results in stalled backups.

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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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44

How to find your recently uploaded pics on Google Photos, even if they date back many years

I love Google Photos and I keep recommending it left and right to anyone I know. But Photos isn't perfect and there's still a lot that the service could do to improve the user experience. For example, the ability to order photos in different ways is missing — you get reverse chronological and that's it. If you're only backing up recent images as you take them, that's not an issue, but if you're uploading older photos, it becomes near impossible to find those images and edit, share, or make albums of them. You might scroll and scroll, try to search for the date if you remember it, and sometimes nothing works.

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