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How to make your Amazon Fire tablet feel more like stock Android

Amazon's Fire tablets don't come with access to any Google services, outside of the products that can be used on the web  Search, Maps, YouTube) or through third-party applications (Gmail). Installing the Google Play Store is easy enough, but what about going the rest of the way? How close can you get the Fire tablet to the 'stock' Android experience?

In this guide, we'll go over some steps you can take to make your Amazon Fire tablet feel more like a traditional Android device, with all the usual Google apps and services. Some of these options are officially available in Fire OS, while others require ADB commands or dedicated applications.

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No, your phone is not going to stop working on AT&T soon — here's what you need to know

This week, AT&T began sending out an email that (rather misleadingly) told a large number of its subscribers that their phones would stop working on the network soon, and that they needed to upgrade. Straight up: this email is mostly BS. It's authentic, and AT&T sent it, but the action they're recommending you take — namely, buying a new phone — is not something you need to do for at least another 18 months, if not longer or potentially at all. Here's what you need to know.

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How to back up your Android phone's data before a factory reset

While the cloud is handling more of our precious data than ever these days (at least for most of us), there are still things you keep on your individual devices that you probably want to make sure get saved somewhere. On Android, your local data like media files and contacts saved to your phone may require a little more active intervention to preserve before you do a factory reset. Here are some of the ways you can back up this data and ensure it makes it to your next phone.

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How to use Android's AirDrop-like Nearby Share feature

If you're itching to try out Android's new Nearby Share feature, you're in luck. Google started rolling out the feature more widely just last week. Before you can get to sharing files and other content between devices, there are a few things you'll need to do.

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How to sync your Dropbox or OneDrive files on a Chromebook

With Windows programs on the way to Chrome OS and Linux and Android apps already available, it's possible to get a lot of work done on a Chromebook while you're offline. The only problem is that Chrome OS doesn't save a lot of data locally, and even the native Google Drive integration won't retain offline copies of files by default (though that can be changed for individual folders and files). While Chrome OS gained the ability to give you read-only access to third-party cloud storage, there is no official means of fully syncing files from there to your Chromebook. But if you absolutely need offline access to your cloud storage data on your Chromebook, there's an Android app that can help with that: Autosync.

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5 overlooked Telegram features you should be using

Telegram is one of the best messaging platforms out there, thanks to constant updates and support from the developer, as well as simple gestures to help navigate its interface. When a platform becomes so feature-rich, it can be challenging to keep track of everything, and it's easy to miss great features that you should be using. So, let's take a look at some useful Telegram features that may have flown under your radar.

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10 One UI productivity features you should be using on your Galaxy S20

Every year there seem to be plenty of articles discussing how to make your new Samsung phone feel like a Pixel. I even wrote one, for those of you who do want a Pixel-like experience. I don't necessarily think it's a good idea, however — if you want your phone to be like a Pixel, you should've bought a Pixel in the first place. It also gives the impression that One UI is terrible, or at least worse than stock Android. While some might agree with that, I certainly don't. In my opinion, One UI is the best flavor of Android out there, and it has lots of features and tricks that deserve more attention.

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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 come bundled with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks any Google-made apps and services. No YouTube, no Chrome, and so on.

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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How to scan QR codes on Android

QR codes have almost infinite uses. Be it simply sharing a URL, a Wi-Fi password, acting as a web authenticator, or helping your pay for goods and services, these little black-and-white jumble squares have evolved into a truly ubiquitous part of our lives. But when you're not using an app or phone feature that specifically knows you want to scan a QR code, you may find yourself a bit puzzled, and that's led many people to just rush to the Play Store and download one of a million ad-filled scanner apps. The fact is, there are far better ways to scan QR codes on Android that don't involve installing a sketchy app, using everything from Google Lens, to your smartphone's own camera app, to a lightweight website that does the job without trackers and ads.

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How to free up storage space on your Android phone

While the average amount of storage on high-end smartphones has grown over the years, so too has the amount of space Android, manufacturers, carriers, and just about everyone else who wants a piece of your gee-bees. A 64GB smartphone can feel downright cramped in 2020, and yet, many companies (like Google) continue to sell phones with this base level of storage. Simply installing all your favorite apps and getting set up can get you well over the halfway mark on such a phone, and as app cache, media, and photos and videos begin to build up, you can quickly find yourself running out of space.

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