The Extra Step You Need to Take Before You Sell Your Android Device

If you're putting your Android phone or tablet up for sale on eBay, then a factory reset might not be enough to destroy all of the data on it. On some devices, the files and photos on your phone aren't actually erased—just the references and file structure around them. With a few hacking tools, anyone can scrape some… » 8/22/14 11:37am Yesterday 11:37am

Set a Video as Your Desktop Wallpaper With VLC

Since the demise of DreamScene with Windows Vista, users have been denied the option of having moving pictures as their desktop backdrop, but the hugely useful VLC Media Player provides something of a workaround. Open up a movie then choose Video and Set as Wallpaper to place it behind your program windows, audio and… » 8/21/14 12:45pm Thursday 12:45pm

Make Siri Better By Telling Her All About Your Relationships

If you really want to be able to emulate the characters in Apple's promotional videos then you need to be able to tell Siri to "call mom" and "email dad." Thanks to the custom label field built into iCloud contacts, you can assign any kind of relationship to people you know. Tell Siri about your best friend, your… » 8/18/14 9:43am Monday 9:43am

5 Essential Add-Ons That Will Make Your Gmail Great

If you could add just one improvement to Gmail, what would it be? Chances are there's an add-on, extension or plug-in that does exactly what you want—a thriving ecosystem of third-party tools has grown up alongside Google's email client over the last ten years, and we've highlighted five of the most useful for you to… » 8/15/14 10:40am 8/15/14 10:40am

Block Images and Plug-ins To Speed Up Sluggish Wi-Fi

Fortunately, high-speed Wi-Fi is now pretty ubiquitous, especially if you live in a major metropolis. However, there are still occasions when you'll find yourself without a strong Internet connection, whether it's on a long train trip, in a dodgy hotel, or when you're tethering from your phone in a remote wilderness.… » 8/14/14 9:53am 8/14/14 9:53am

Use Flickr To Preview the Picture Quality of Your Next Phone or Camera

Whether you're in the market for a new DSLR or a new smartphone, image quality is probably pretty high on your list of considerations. From Instagrammed selfies to sweeping landscape shots, you want to find a camera lens that's capable of producing pictures you can be proud of, and Flickr can help you. » 8/11/14 9:30am 8/11/14 9:30am

How To Free Up Space On an Android Phone or Tablet

It doesn't take long for a new Android phone or tablet to get cluttered up with rolls of pictures, redundant apps, unused widgets, cached files and the troublingly vague "Misc" data that seems to take up more and more internal storage with each passing week. Take a few minutes to blow the cobwebs out of your device's… » 8/08/14 3:40pm 8/08/14 3:40pm

How To Disable Annotations and Pop-Ups on YouTube Videos

File this under "simple settings you might not be aware of." If you're frustrated by the "Click here to subscribe!" pop-ups and other annotations that clutter up many YouTube videos, you can quickly disable them from the site options page. You'll need to be signed in for the changes to take effect. » 8/07/14 10:42am 8/07/14 10:42am

How To Use Windows 8.1 Just As Well Without a Touchscreen

Microsoft has courted a fair amount of flack for its decision to stick a touchscreen-friendly interface on the front of its desktop operating system, despite some recent concessions (you can now boot straight to the desktop, for example, of which more below). Don't worry. You can actually use the software pretty well… » 8/04/14 9:02am 8/04/14 9:02am

How To Protect Your Data Before Your Phone Gets Stolen

Having your precious smartphone swiped is one thing, but giving the thief free access to your apps and data can potentially be even worse. There's a lot you can do before you lose the phone in the first place, though, that will make it much harder for thecriminals to do anything other than wipe it and sell it on. » 7/31/14 9:40am 7/31/14 9:40am

Use Your Smartphone To Improve Your Sleep

Stories of how technology is bad for our health are par for the course, but smartphones—and the apps on them—can be used to make significantly positive changes as well. One of the areas where you'll find a cornucopia of brilliant apps is in the field of sleep. Here's a small selection of apps that might help you… » 7/29/14 10:36am 7/29/14 10:36am

How to Keep Dozens of Tabs Open Without Exhausting Your Browser

Those who lived through the tabbed browsing revolution will remember just how convenient it felt to be able to open up three or four tabs in the background without losing focus from the current one. Now that kind of behavior is taken for granted, but if you queue up too many tabs to get around to later it can start to… » 7/25/14 12:53pm 7/25/14 12:53pm

The Best Microsoft Word Alternatives That Are Totally Free

Microsoft's titan of a word processor is used almost everywhere by almost everyone, but what if you don't want to spend seven bucks a month? Here are our favorite alternatives to Word. They're all free, they're all capable of working with the ubiquitous .docx format, and they all offer some very useful features on top… » 7/24/14 10:00am 7/24/14 10:00am

How to Use the Infinite Number of Email Addresses Gmail Gives You

One trick you may or may not have picked up about Gmail is that you can add in periods anywhere in the front part of your address and it makes no difference whatsoever: john.smith@gmail.com works just the same as johnsmith@gmail.com. What's more, you can add a plus sign and any word before the @ sign (e.g.… » 7/23/14 1:45pm 7/23/14 1:45pm