MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE

If you use an Apple product like a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, then you may have noticed the “Game Center” app…but probably never opened it. Today we want to talk about what the Game Center is, and whether you’re missing anything.

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Many iPhone and iPad games include banner ads that take up part of your screen. Accidentally tap the ad, and you’ll be ripped from the game and taken to another app, like the App Store or Safari. Enable iOS’ “Guided Access” and you won’t have this problem.

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The number of people who use a digital camera for their snapshots is steadily declining, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a market. If you have a camera that doesn’t automatically geo-tag your photos, you can do so manually with Apple’s Photos app.

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Your iOS device has several numerical identifiers associated with it. Two of the most important are the device’s serial number and International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. You can use both to identify your phone when you’re scheduling repairs, activating or deactivating devices, or even reporting a device lost or stolen.

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The Amazon Echo uses Amazon’s Prime Music as the default service for any music you want to play. But you can also connect your Spotify account to the Amazon Echo and tell Alexa to play anything through the third-party service.

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When Apple first debuted the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with their larger screens, they also introduced a feature named Reachability that makes it easier to reach the top of the screen when you’re using the device with one hand. It’s surprising, though, how many people don’t know the feature exists, or think it’s some kind of bug when they encounter it. Here’s how to use it and how to turn it off if you don’t like it.

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Your iPhone contacts will automatically come with you to a new phone–assuming that new phone is an iPhone, you’re backing up the contacts to iCloud, and you’re using the same iCloud account on both phones. But things get a bit more complicated if you want to do anything else.

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Over-the-air updates have long been the bane of many rooted Android users’ existences. It’s an endless battle: installing the update breaks root or won’t flash at all, but everyone wants the latest version of their mobile OS. Thanks to a new tool called FlashFire, the struggle may be over.

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As you research new smarthome products to put in your home of the future, you’ll come across a lot of terms and categories that seem completely foreign. At the top of the list: “ZigBee” and “Z-Wave” products. What does this mean, and what’s the difference between the two?

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The iPhone has been around for a long time, yet there’s still no easy way to add your custom ringtones to it. The process is convoluted and required (gulp) using iTunes. But if you’re determined, it is possible.

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Back in Android 4.2, Google hid Developer Options. Since most “normal” users don’t need to access the feature, it leads to less confusion to keep it out of sight. If you need to enable a developer setting, like USB Debugging, you can access the Developer Options menu with a quick trip into the About Phone section of the Settings menu.

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Setting up a simple home security camera is a great way to keep tabs on your house while you’re away. A dedicated system is great, but in a pinch, you can use an old, spare smartphone that you have lying around.

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Altering or expanding the capabilities of a Wi-Fi network that you have set up in your own home is one thing, but what do you do when someone else performed the installation and did an exceptional job of “hiding” the router in a discreet, out-of-the-way location?  Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has some useful suggestions to help a frustrated reader find an elusive router.

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Group texts are great because they allow you to collaborate and communicate with several people at once while on-the-go, which is useful if you don’t have mobile Internet access and can’t use a dedicated chat client like Slack or Hangouts.

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That feeling you get when you close the wrong browser tab by accident is no fun. Fortunately, Safari for iOS, like most modern browsers, provides a way to recover from your little mishap. You just have to know where to look.

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Controlling your lights, switches, and other smarthome products from your phone is really cool, but it can be inconvenient to open up an app just to turn something on or off. Here’s how to make things a bit quicker and easier and control your Belkin WeMo Switch right from the home screen on your Android device, or from the Notification Center on your iPhone or iPad.

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You might have heard that there is a somewhat unknown Facebook inbox where potentially scads of filtered messages go to die. It turns out, there are actually two. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting all your messages.

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Google introduced full-device encryption back in Android Gingerbread (2.3.x), but it has undergone some dramatic changes since then. On some higher-end handsets running Lollipop (5.x) and higher, it’s enabled out-of-the-box, while on some older or lower-end devices, you have to turn it on yourself.

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Your iPhones and iPads automatically back up to Apple’s iCloud. But Apple is awfully stingy with iCloud storage, only offering 5GB for free. If you want to avoid the monthly fee but keep backing up to iCloud instead of to iTunes, we have a few tricks for you.

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Android “N“ is the upcoming version of Google’s mobile operating system, but you don’t have to wait until the release date to get your hands on the latest and greatest features. If you have a compatible Nexus device, you can install the developer preview of Android N right now.

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By default, iMessage on the iPhone and Mac show the sender when you’ve read a message. That can be handy sometimes, but not always. The good news is that the feature is easy to turn on and off.

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It happens to the best of us: you leave the house, drive away, and realize you left the lights on. With Hue, you don’t need to worry about that anymore: you can set your lights to turn off automatically whenever you leave the house (and turn them on automatically when you return home).

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If you own an iPhone or iPad, then you’ve probably noticed a 3D effect on some wallpapers, where it seems like your home screen icons are hovering over the top. You can actually do this with almost any image without special software.

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Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security for your online accounts. Many online services are offering two-factor authentication, including Apple. However, Apple’s two-factor authentication needs some explaining, since it exists in two slightly different forms.

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Windows 10 is designed to be an always-connected, always-up-to-date operating system. It’s the most data-hungry version of Windows yet, but you can restrain it from going all-out on your home network with a few tricks.

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