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Tips & Tutorials

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Tip: The new Gmail supports @ mentions, adding email recipients as you type their name

Gmail's new web interface has been a thing for the past few weeks. One change that we didn't notice when it first rolled out and that, as far as we can recall, wasn't mentioned in the official announcement or leaks beforehand is the addition of @ mentions.

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How to track down and block rogue ads on Android

Many mobile apps include advertisements, which is perfectly fine - the developers have to eat, after all. But some malicious applications go a step further, by either sending push notifications containing advertisements, or taking over your entire screen at random times.

Google has started to crack down on this behavior, but only when it comes to taking over the lock screen. Notification ads and random full-screen advertisements are still fair game, and some OEMs have even used them in the past. Most of these apps disguise the notifications so you can't tell where they came from.

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Tip: Swiping high up on Android P's home button opens the app drawer (on the homescreen), quickly swiping to the side switches to the previous app

I think it's safe to say that gesture navigation in Android P's DP2 is quite divisive. Ever since it was leaked yesterday then officially announced, we've seen a variety of reactions going from complete disdain to an all-out welcoming embrace. Gestures are still an option, so if you don't like them, you can disable them. But if you do enjoy them and are just a little bit annoyed by a couple of their shortcomings, we have discovered two solutions to their most glaring problems.

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Tip: Replying to a notification in Android P no longer dismisses it, multiple replies are possible (Updated)

Android P DP1 introduced a lot of new features to messaging notifications like smart replies and inline photos, but there's one change that we didn't really notice until now. When you reply to a notification on Android P, it doesn't get dismissed immediately after, it stays there so you can send multiple replies and then dismiss when you want.

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How to keep paying $99 a year for Amazon Prime

Last week, Amazon announced it would be increasing the price of its yearly Prime membership subscription from $99 to $119 starting May 11 and June 16 for renewals. Prime has gradually become more expensive over time — the last time the price of a yearly subscription increased was in March 2014, from $79 to $99 — and while it's hard to argue that you're not getting plenty of value for what you're paying, no one likes to have to pay more for something. Fortunately, there's an easy way to save $20 off your subscription, allowing you to lock in the current price of $99 for the foreseeable future.

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How to back up your SMS text messages on Android

Much of the world has moved on from SMS, but it's still one of the most popular methods of sending messages in the US. It's an unfortunate requirement here for many, and it probably will be until RCS gets off the ground. And if you're the data-hoarding type, then you might want to keep those SMS messages around for later reference—either in cold storage or an easily accessed format. But even bringing them with you from device to device isn't actually that hard, and we're glad to walk you through the different ways to do it. 

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17 features and tricks to help you get started with Spotify

Spotify is one of the world's most popular music streaming services, with 157 million active users (as of December 2017) and over 35 million songs. Originally born in Sweden, it quickly gained popularity as it expanded outside of its home country. Frankly, it's hard to believe that Spotify hit U.S. shores almost seven years ago. For many who were accustomed to mainstays at the time like Pandora and iHeartRadio, Spotify represented something different. And to some of us, its disparity to those other services was off-putting.

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How to remove your Google voice search history and opt out of future collection

Google's speech recognition technology is insanely good - perhaps the best in the industry. But did you know Google stores all your voice searches? Every time you say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google," a snippet of audio containing the command is sent to the company's servers, where it is deciphered. These audio snippets are stored indefinitely (to improve accuracy), unless you delete them and opt out of future collection.

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Reminder: You can double tap Recents to quickly switch to your previous app

Android is full of wonderful little touches here and there that we either forget or have never come across in the first place. One of these is the very neat time-saving ability to double tap the Recents button to switch to your previous app. The functionality was added way back in 2016 with Android N, and has been saving us time for two years now. If you didn't know about it though, and many of you did not, this will be your new favorite thing.

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How to make Android use the DNS server of your choice

It's not a huge stretch to say that without the domain name system, the internet as we know it would be practically unusable. With domain names being as important as they are, the servers we use to look them up form a critical part of our internet experience. For users who would like a little more control over how their phones resolve domain names, we're here to talk about what you can do to configure Android to work with the domain name server of your choice.

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