How To: The 4 Best Phones for Privacy & Security

Cell phones—particularly smartphones—are inherently bad for privacy. You've basically got a tracking device in your pocket, pinging off cell towers and locking onto GPS satellites. All the while, the handset's data connection ensures that tracking cookies, advertising IDs, and usage stats follow you around the internet.

How To: The 5 Best Phones for Video Chat

Video chatting has become an important factor in the overall smartphone experience. Even just a few years ago, 37% of teens were making video calls on a regular basis, and that number has surely grown. 85% of households with infants have used video chat apps to call relatives in other cities, and it's been shown that toddlers can create bonds and learn from visual cues in video calls.

How To: Add a Number Row to Google's Gboard Keyboard

Google's Gboard is by far the most popular keyboard available right now. Gboard lets you search almost anything—from regular Google searches, to emojis, and even GIFs—just by using your keyboard. The app even lets you share search results, saving you a great deal of time, which would've otherwise been spent juggling between apps and programs.

How To: The Best Apps to Help You Quit Smoking

There's a great fighting adage that says "Every plan, no matter how great, goes out the window as soon as you're punched in the face." While our lives are (hopefully) not violent, that saying can easily translate to our daily living. That punch in the face can come in various forms, mainly stress-related. It could be a bad day in the office, rush hour traffic, drama in the family, the list goes on.

How To: 3 Apps for Getting Your Budget & Finances Under Control in 2017

It's become a routine for many of us to ring in the New Year with pledges to finally get our budgets and finances under control. Unfortunately, it's also quite difficult to to keep those promises. Some of us will just dive into our resolutions and wing it as we move forward, which usually ends in failure. But even for those of us who plan carefully, obstacles along the way can spell doom for New Year's resolutions.

How To: Buy Used Phones Without Breaking Your Heart & Wallet

I've seen my fair share of heartbreaks when it comes to used phones. As a repair tech, I often had to try and help out customers who bought used handsets which turned out to be useless, either because it was stolen or not working on their carrier's network. More often than not, there was very little I could do. To help you from being stuck in the same situation, here are some tips to prevent you from getting scammed out of your hard earned money when buying a used handset.

Water Damage: What You Need to Know & Do When Your Phone Gets Wet

When it comes to busted smartphones, liquid damage ranks right up there with shattered screens as one of the most common issues owners have to deal with—as well as the most embarrassing. Thankfully, though, with the rise of waterproof phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and even the iPhone 7, this is becoming less and less of a worry. But not everyone has a waterproof device.

How To: Prepare Your Phone for a Trip Abroad with These Tips

So you're finally ready to head out on that big trip you've been planning for months, huh? It's an exciting time, but there are plenty of things you'll need to prepare before you head out. For instance, it's hard to imagine life without a smartphone these days, and with useful traveling apps like Google Translate and maps, you'll almost have to make sure that you have a working smartphone when you arrive at your destination.

How To: There's One Setting You Need to Turn On to Charge Your Phone's Battery Faster

New technologies in current-generations smartphones allow for much faster charging—Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, VOOC Flash Charge, and USB Type-C, for instance, can charge a phone up to 4 times faster than traditional methods. However, the majority of phones on the market still don't support these standards. So for the rest of us, I'll go over an easy tip that can charge any smartphone as much as 25% faster.

How To: Disable T-Mobile's 'Binge on' for Better Quality Videos

T-Mobile's "Binge On" service for streaming videos has received mixed reactions so far. On one hand, it gives any T-Mobile subscriber unlimited access to popular streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu without having to worry about going over their monthly data cap. On the other hand, it reduces video quality to 480p, which is 6 times lower than full HD.

How To: Share Albums in Google Photos

There's a feature in Google's Photos app for Android, iOS, and the web that lets you create shared albums with your friends and family. It's really a useful feature that makes it fun and easy to collaborate on an album with a person or persons of your choosing.

How To: Completely Erase Your Smartphone of All Personal Data

When it comes time to sell your smartphone or trade it in for your annual upgrade, you'll have to make sure that all of the sensitive data the device accumulated while you owned it is properly erased so that no one else can access it. This process is referred to as a "Factory Reset," and regardless of if you own an iPhone or Android device, like a Samsung Galaxy model, HTC One, or Nexus, I'll show you how to do it below.

How To: Turn Your Phone into a Lightsaber & Fight Stormtroopers

Star Wars season is definitely upon us. No matter where you turn, you can't go a day without being bombarded by merchandising and co-branding advertisements that attempt to draw a parallel between some character from a galaxy far, far away and a galactic cruiser like the Dodge Viper, or a midichlorian-laden power source like Duracell. Yep, it's kind of annoying, but at least we can get some fun out of it here and there.

How To: Find Your IMEI & MEID Numbers

If your smartphone is ever lost or stolen, it's a terrible experience. If you file a police report, chances are the responding officer will need your device's IMEI or MEID number if you want to stand a chance of getting it back. Same goes for making an insurance claim on a lost or broken phone, so it's definitely important to have this unique identifier handy.

How To: Take Better Photos with Your Phone

It's truly amazing how far smartphone camera hardware has come in such a short period of time. It took roughly 5 years to advance the image processing capabilities from a pixelated mess to the crisp and clear photos we can take today. This reaches well beyond the megapixel spec race, since camera modules these days sport vastly improved optics, wider aperture, and even larger pixel sensors that capture more light.

How To: Spot a Counterfeit iPhone or Android Smartphone

Cheap Chinese knockoffs have been around for ages, but recently, skyrocketing demand has led to a massive influx of counterfeit smartphones. Sellers on Craigslist seem to have no trouble getting ahold of these fake devices, then passing them off as the real deal and turning a solid profit before vanishing into thin air. This type of scam tends to happen even more frequently after Apple launches a new iPhone or Samsung debuts a new Galaxy.

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