Android Police

Tips & Tutorials

70

The layman's guide to 5G: What should we expect from the first 5G smartphones?

5G is coming soon, but if you still have no idea what it is, or why it matters, then you're not alone. It isn't easy to gain a clear understanding of the subject — most explanations on the net end up being half vague marketing jargon and half complex technical details. That's why we're adding a new entry to our layman's guide to 5G in anticipation of the first 5G smartphones and networks in 2019.

Of course, Keegan Michael Key's recent verbal explainer on the subject covers a fair amount on the topic — "It's one better than 4G, and it's two better than 3G" — but in case you want a bit more detail, we'll attempt to set out what you can expect from this new era of wireless, in the clearest terms possible.

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13

How to set up Live Albums and recent photo highlights on Google Home Hub (and other Smart Displays)

Live Albums were one of the most appealing features announced last week for Google Home Hub and other Smart Displays. They let you create a dynamic album from your Google Photos that automatically updates and contains photos of specific people in your life. The ability to make Live Albums rolled out to the Photos app, but it wasn't until yesterday that the albums started working properly in Ambient Mode on Smart Displays.

In the tutorial below, I'll explain how you can set these up to show on your Lenovo Smart Display, JBL Link View, Google Home Hub, or any other upcoming Assistant speaker with a built-in display.

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5

Tip: Google Assistant Smart Displays have accessibility settings for color inversion, captions, TalkBack, and more

Whether your already bought the Lenovo Smart Display or JBL Link View, or you're thinking about getting Google's rumored Home Hub, you may be wondering whether that gadget — like many others in your life — offers any accessibility settings for people with disabilities. The answer is yes.

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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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5

Tip: Hide personal results from your Smart Display if you don't want to spoil surprises or share your content recommendations

Having a Google Assistant Smart Display, such as the LenovoJBL Link View, or LG ThinQ WK9, is very convenient around the house. But if you don't pay attention, you may end up with unwanted privacy concerns because of the mere fact that these displays don't differentiate between people looking at them. They know voices and will only respond to you, but they don't know faces. If there's a personal card on the homescreen, anyone can read it or tap it to see more. Which is how you may end up revealing your surprise party plans to your spouse and your full calendar to boot.

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38

Tip: You can video call your Smart Display at home from your phone (with both on the same Duo account)

If you have one of the fancy new Assistant Smart Displays, be it the already available Lenovo or the soon-to-be-released JBL Link View, odds are you're going to set up Duo on it and use it for video calls. One neat feature that you may not be aware of, though, is that you can video call your display from your phone, with both set up to use the same Duo account.

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25

Tip: Google Assistant is trilingual (and more), but only on phones

Last week, Google officially rolled out bilingual support for Assistant, but as with everything related to Assistant and languages, there were limitations. You can only choose between six main languages (and a few country variants) as the main option, and you're restricted even further when it comes to your secondary language. Turns out there's a small trick to make Assistant understand more than these, but only on your phone if it's set to that other language.

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22

Tip: If you can't video call your contacts on Duo via Assistant (or Smart Displays), try saving their numbers as '+ country code'

A few weeks ago, the Google Duo team rolled out the option to place a video call through Assistant. All you had to say was "Ok Google, video call contact_name" and Duo would open up and make the call to that person. However, at the time, I thought the feature wasn't live for me. Assistant would tell me it's calling the correct person, Duo would open, but it would stay on the main screen, not placing the call. Clearly, something was amiss and I thought it was a bug that would be fixed with time. It wasn't until a few days ago that I figured out the reason it wasn't working: my contacts had their numbers either saved without a country code or with 00 as the international prefix.

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43

How to fully disable 'Ok Google' listening on your Android phone

Our phones being able to respond to voice commands is great: you can ask for a unit conversion in the kitchen without getting flour on your screen, or change your driving destination without taking your eyes off the road. What's less great is that to facilitate that convenience, phones have to be listening at all times, and stopping them from doing so is frustratingly convoluted. There are settings in multiple places that all seem like they should do the same thing, but don't. This guide will explain the menus you'll need to navigate to change these settings, the differences between all the similar-sounding options, and the drawbacks of each Ok Google-disabling method.

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