MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE
If you have notifications enabled, apps normally display your messages right on your lock screen. But you can hide the text of those messages without disabling the lock screen notifications entirely, allowing you to see you have a message while preventing people from reading those messages over your shoulder.
The beauty of technology isn’t just doing more stuff–it’s doing stuff quickly. Whether you want to call a specific contact with one tap, keep your phone unlocked when you’re at home or work, launch the camera in a flash to quickly capture the perfect moment, or search for an app while in a rush, here are some of the best shortcuts built into Android that you’re probably not using.
Everyone likes to know who’s calling before they actually pick up the phone, and the easiest way to achieve that is with custom ringtones for specific callers. That way, when your phone starts blasting “Cherry Pie,” you know it’s your wife. Or when it’s “Roll Out (My Business),” you know it’s your boss. Fortunately, this is a simple process in Android. Here’s how to do it.
One big feature of the Nest Thermostat is the ability to automatically adjust the temperature for you by learning your patterns over time. But if you’d rather have total manual control over the Nest, here’s how to add some quick and easy temperature presets to your phone’s home screen.
The iPhone has a hidden “field test” mode that shows all kinds of technical details about signal strength, cell towers, and more. Most of it is not very useful to the average person, but you can make it show you your phone’s actual signal strength instead of just how many bars you’re getting. And that can be useful.
Philips Hue is a really cool Wi-Fi-enabled lighting system that allows you to turn on and off your lights right from your smartphone (or from other smarthome-controlling devices, like the Amazon Echo). It’s one of the first steps in turning your house into a smarthome of the future. Here’s how to set up your Philips Hue lights using the new Philips Hue app.
Plex Media Server is a user-friendly way to store all your movies, shows, and other media in one place–and make it accessible from any device, whether you’re at home or on-the-go. If you’re looking for a no-headache way to watch your movies anywhere, this is it.
When you first set up a new Chromecast, you have the option to give it a name. This is how the Chromecast identifies itself on the network and to casting devices, which is how you know which unit you’re casting to. But if your Chromecast started life as “Living Room Chromecast” and you moved it to another room, it only makes sense to change its name. It’s a quick and easy process—here’s how to do it.
Phones are private, full of personal data and messages. Guided Access allows you to share your iPhone with someone without being able to access that data–allowing them to look at photos, place a phone call, or play a game while your stuff stays hidden.
Belkin has a diverse lineup of WeMo products, but its latest addition is the WeMo Insight Switch. It not only allows you to turn appliances on and off from your smartphone, but it also monitors power usage and provides estimates on how much you’re spending by having that space heater plugged in. Here’s how to make the most of that information.