Calling people with Siri is a great little shortcut, but it isn’t always natural to say “Call Jane Smith” instead of “Call Mom”. Luckily, you can teach Siri who people are–your parents, your doctor, or anyone else–for even more convenient voice calling.
Nova Launcher is an unofficial fan favorite for Android power users, and with good reason—it’s chock-full of nifty customization features to help users make Android look how they want. But it’s also full of useful time-saving features that can make your life easier. Here are five of our favorites.
Besides the media itself, the most important element of a media server software is how up to date it is–you can’t watch videos if the server doesn’t know they’re there. Plex Media Server offers three ways to keep your media collection up to date so you always know what’s available.
The WeMo Switch is a cheap and easy-to-use smart outlet that can turn anything with an on/off switch into a smart appliance, allowing you to control it from your smartphone. Plus, it comes with a small handful of automation features, including the ability to set a timer so that it shuts off automatically after a certain amount of time has elapsed.
Sonos is great because you can set up and control speakers from any room in your dwelling. If you like to wake up to or fall asleep to music, then they’re especially well suited to have in your bedroom.
Emoji are fun to use, but if you’re like most people, you tend to use a few of them a lot more often than others. Instead of switching to the Emoji keyboard every time, why not set up a text replacement shortcut so that you can just type the Emoji you want to use?
Warm weather is on its way, which means that air conditioning units are firing up. However, there are some days when the temperature actually drops to a pleasant level. Here’s how to make your Nest Thermostat automatically shut off whenever the outside temperature gets cooler.
We all have those times when we have to remember something before we leave the house or return, but always seem to forget. With iOS, though, you set reminders that trigger whenever you get in or out of your car.
When Google brought notifications to Android’s lock screen, it was a game changer. Instant access to important and relevant data is one of the things that makes smartphones so prevalent and clutch in our lives. But when that data is personal, you don’t want it showing up on your lock screen for anyone to peer over and see. Fortunately, Google baked in a way to hide this sort of content.
Notifications are handy when you want to know when a new email or message comes in. But the last time you want to be interrupted is in the middle of a winning streak in your favorite game.
If you have a newer Liftmaster or Chamberlain garage door opener, it’s likely that it has MyQ capabilities, which allow you to open and close your garage door from the MyQ app. Her’s how to add a MyQ shortcut to your phone’s home screen foreven quicker access.
Your iPhone or iPad has a physical switch on its side, which can be used to mute the device so you’re not disturbed while you’re trying to work, sleep, or in a movie theater.
The lock screen is an important feature in Android, and keeping it secure is important for all Android users. It’s actually gotten easier with Lollipop and above, as many of the customization features have either been removed or placed elsewhere.
By default, iOS shows notifications in the order you received them. That can be handy, of course, but if you get a lot of notifications, you may find it easier to group notifications by the app they come from. You can also sort notifications manually so that the apps you care about always show their notifications first on your list. Here’s how to do that in iOS.
Kodi has an official remote app called Kore, but it’s rather basic. Yatse is a third-party Android app that takes Kodi to a whole new level, adding voice commands, PVR support, and a whole lot more. Here’s how to use it.
Skype is more than just voice and video chat: it contains text chat, too. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly unreliable, and only getting worse. None of my friends use it anymore–everyone’s switched to Telegram, which always works properly. Microsoft has wasted its time by rewriting the Skype client over and over instead of fixing the core problem.
Amazon has gone into overdrive promoting their powerful and popular voice assistant Alexa, but most people don’t realize: Alexa is more than just the Amazon Echo.
When the air conditioner is running during the summer, it may not necessarily be functioning in a way that optimizes your home’s humidity level. With the Nest Thermostat, you can tell your air conditioner to cool your house based on the humidity level, so your house doesn’t feel like a Florida swamp.
By default, iOS devices remember the Wi-Fi networks that you’ve joined in the past, and will attempt to automatically reconnect in the future. This feature is pretty handy most of the time, but on occasion can be a nuisance. Fortunately, it’s easy to have iOS forget specific Wi-Fi networks.
Netflix recently updated its mobile app with a long-awaited feature: now, you can specify how much data (approximately) it uses, so you don’t go over your cellular data cap.
Configuration profiles on an iPhone or iPad are sort of like Group Policy or the registry editor on Windows. They allow you to quickly distribute groups of settings and access powerful management features that aren’t normally available. Configuration profiles are really designed for organizations, but can be used by anyone.
So you got a shiny new Android phone. You changed the wallpaper, bought a case that you like, arranged your home screens…you know, made it yours. Then someone calls. Why on earth are you still using a stock ringtone? Get that out of here—it’s time to not only make it look like yours, but sound like it too.
If you’re curious about how often your heat or air conditioning is on throughout the day, you can actually look at your Nest’s usage history to see when things were running, as well as see what the temperature was set it at a particular time during the day.
We’ve all been in a situation where one hand or the other simply isn’t available for responding to a text message, and with the ever-increasing size of Android phones, that’s starting to become more of an issue. The good news is that Google Keyboard now has a much-needed feature: One-Handed Mode.
Many people use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to mask their identity, encrypt their communications, or browse the web from a different location. All those goals can fall apart if your real information is leaking through a security hole, which is more common than you’d think. Let’s look at how to identify and patch those leaks.