Gmail for Android: 6 awesome features you probably aren’t using

The Gmail app has been on Android literally since the beginning, but it’s gotten much more powerful over the years. Today, the app does so many things, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Now, you don’t have to know everything Gmail can do in order to improve your efficiency, so here are the six most useful Gmail features you probably aren’t using.

Gmail Smart Replies

When Google’s Inbox app came out a few years ago, it offered a different approach to email with various “smart” features like bundles, reminders, and Smart Replies. Now Smart Replies is available directly in Gmail, and you might not understand how useful this feature can be if you haven’t also used Inbox.

Smart Replies appear at the bottom of emails you receive based on the context of the message. Not all emails will have them, and you have to scroll down through long messages to find them. Smart Replies show up as three phrases in blue boxes. The phrases are simple responses like “You’re welcome,” and “Sure, I’d be happy to chat.”

Change your default swipe action to delete

Consider this two tips in one—there are swipe actions in Gmail, and you can change what that swipe does. In your inbox view, just swipe left or right to act on a message. If you haven’t made any changes to the settings, swiping an email will archive it.

Gmail text formatting

Gmail on the desktop includes various formatting tools, but you don’t need to run over to a computer to make your emails prettier. The Gmail app includes formatting options to—they’re just a bit hidden. To format a block of text, long-press to select it, and one of the options in the popup should be “formatting.”

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See full story at www.pcworld.com

How to record any phone call on your Android

You may think that recording a phone call is something that you don’t foresee yourself doing anytime soon but there is a variety of legitimate reasons why you may have to record a phone call.

Phone recordings can serve as audio evidence for customer service disputes and verbal contracts. They can also be useful for fact-checking reviews for phone interviews and the like.

Whatever may be the case, it’s good to know that you have a phone recording option handy. Recording a phone call on your iPhone or Android phone is not as straightforward as it sounds and it requires third-party apps.

Please keep in mind that recording phone call conversations without consent may be illegal in your state so check your local laws first. Although some states do allow phone conversation recordings without the other parties’ consent, some states require two-party consent, meaning you must inform the other party that they’re being recorded or you can face lawsuits if you release the recording or its transcript.

Also, since the wiretapping laws vary from state to state, it’s always better to play it safe and ask for permission from all parties before recording.

By Francis Navarro

See full story at www.komando.com

Streamlabs brings its livestreaming app to Android

Streamlabs came up with a  way for livestream broadcasters to make money from tips, and it is taking that tech to mobile livestreaming with its first app in the Google Play store for Android.

The San Francisco company has become popular for streamers who stream video — from game broadcasts to video shows — in real-time to fans on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. It enables streamers to monetize their followers by enabling easy tipping.

In the past quarter, the company grew its users 53 percent and processed over $25 million in tips (at no charge) for streamers. The company now has more than 500,000 monthly active channels where streamers are using it on the PC. Streamlabs is on track to process $100 million in tips in 2017.

The company announced today their first mobile livestreaming app in the Google Play store for all Android mobile devices, allowing for more engagement between streamer and viewer. And as for tips, rivals such as YouTube take a 30 percent cut of tips, while Streamlabs doesn’t take a cut at all.

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See full story at venturebeat.com

How to record any phone call on your iPhone or Android

You may think that recording a phone call is something that you don’t foresee yourself doing anytime soon but there is a variety of legitimate reasons why you may have to record a phone call.

Phone recordings can serve as audio evidence for customer service disputes and verbal contracts. They can also be useful for fact-checking reviews for phone interviews and the like.

Whatever may be the case, it’s good to know that you have a phone recording option handy. Recording a phone call on your iPhone or Android phone is not as straightforward as it sounds and it requires third-party apps.

Please keep in mind that recording phone call conversations without consent may be illegal in your state so check your local laws first. Although some states do allow phone conversation recordings without the other parties’ consent, some states require two-party consent, meaning you must inform the other party that they’re being recorded or you can face lawsuits if you release the recording or its transcript.

Also, since the wiretapping laws vary from state to state, it’s always better to play it safe and ask for permission from all parties before recording.

By Francis Navarro

See full story at www.komando.com

Google Assistant: 5 killer new features you should be using

Google has had voice search features in Android for years, but when Google Assistant rolled out on the Pixel in October 2016, everything finally came together. You can now get Assistant on plenty of Android devices, and Google just improved the platform with a raft of new features in recent weeks.

It can be easy to miss the improvements if you don’t obsessively keep an eye on the news, so here they are in one place: the five coolest new features in Google Assistant.

Explore menu

Google used to hide all of Assistant’s features in a series of esoteric, buried menus. Now, there’s a much more sensible way to find out what sort of cool things you can do with Assistant in the Explore menu.

To access this menu, open Assistant and tap the blue drawer icon in the upper right corner. Here, you can find all the services supported by Assistant broken down into categories like Social & Communication, Education & Reference, Games & Fun, and more. Each tile links to a full info page where you can see sample commands and (if necessary) link your account. Bottom line: Checking out the Explore menu is the easiest way to keep track of newly added apps and services.

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See full story at www.pcworld.com

How to set up speech-to-text in Android

It is never easy, safe or legal to use your phone for typing, talking during certain situations like driving.

In order to help the users with this issue, Android has a feature that writes text messages using Speech-to-text and to our surprise, the voice recognition is accurate. Below are the steps you need to follow in order to use the Speech-to-text feature

Step 1: Open any app, that welcomes keyboard and tap into the field, where you want to write

Step 2: Now tap the Microphone button present on the corner.

Step 3: Once you get “Speak Now”, start dictating the words you need on the message.

Step 4: If you want to insert punctuations, you need to dictate that as well.

Step 5: For Punctuations: Period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), exclamation or exclamation point (!)

Step 6:
For Line spacing: Enter or new line, new paragraph

See full story on www.gizbot.com

Allo brings Google’s smarts to messaging

allo-head

Google first announced Allo and Duo, its new messaging and video chat apps, at its I/O developer conference earlier this year. Duo launched about a month ago and today it’s Allo’s turn.

With Allo, Google is combining everything it has learned from its previous messaging products with the company’s machine learning smarts. Indeed, Allo marks the first time you’ll be able to use the Google Assistant, the company’s more conversational version of Google Now that will also soon find its way into products like Google Home, Android Wear and others.

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See full Story at techcrunch.com

How to make Android Voice Search even smarter

android-voice-search-100389247-orig

Android’s Voice Search system lets you do tons of useful stuff by speaking to your phone — but when it comes to actual hardware control, the system’s always been pretty limited.

At least, until now.

A 16-year-old (!) developer named Ryan Senanayake has come up with a clever little hack that adds a potent range of powers to Google’s voice command system. It’s called Commandr, it’s completely free, and it’s something you’re almost certainly going to want on your Android device.

Once installed, Commandr runs completely behind the scenes; you’ll never actively think about it or consider the fact that you’re even using it. All it does is tack on a series of additional commands to Google’s native voice command interface — you know, the “Okay, Google” prompt or the microphone icon within Google Now.

So what exactly will Commandr allow you to do? Once the app’s installed, you can issue the following extra commands to your phone via the regular Voice Search system:

  • “Flashlight on” (or off)
  • “Wi-Fi on” (or off)
  • “Bluetooth on” (or off)
  • “Read unread SMS”
  • “Pause music”
  • “Resume music”
  • “Next song”
  • “Previous song”
  • “Playlist [name of Google Play Music playlist]”

If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can also configure Commandr to work with Tasker — a separate app that allows some robust (though also somewhat complex) types of custom task programming.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, another app called AutoVoice integrates with Tasker to provide even more advanced possibilities — but it really isn’t for the faint of heart.

By: JR Raphael

See full story at www.computerworld.com