Turning Your Android Phone into a Webcam: How To Do It

Have you ever been dissatisfied with the low-quality webcam that your laptop was shipped with? Apart from the very latest laptops, the tiny cameras on notebooks seem almost like an afterthought. Here’s how you can turn your Android phone into a functional webcam…

  • First of all, you need to install an app from the Play store. There are a few apps that can turn your phone into webcam.
  • Set up a user ID and password, which is good for the phone webcam’s privacy and security.
  • At this point, go to your computer and open up your web browser. Browse to the phone webcam’s IP address. Simply type in the complete IP address (with the port) at the address bar and hit enter.

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Facebook brings its Slideshow movie-maker to Android

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This past summer, Facebook introduced a new photo-sharing sharing tool called Slideshow that’s able to turn your photos and videos into mini-movies that also include themed music and transitions. The feature had originated in Facebook’s private photo-sharing app Moments before making its way over to the main social network.

The idea is to offer Facebook users an easier way to create more compelling, engaging posts as an alternative to simply posting a video or a bunch of static photos.

The Slideshow movie-maker had also arrived at a time when many tech companies, Apple and Google included, are trying to figure out new ways to help users do more with their now numerous photos and videos, while also helping to automate sharing. Apple last year announced its mini-movie maker called Memories in iOS 10, for example, and Google Photos has long since included several automated photo tools, including its own movie maker.

By 

See full Story at techcrunch.com

How to keep Facebook Messenger from sharing your location

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Keeping your location a secret in Facebook Messenger is easy to do, but you still have to do it

We’ve explained how Facebook Messenger isn’t anywhere near as evil as a recent spate of ill-informed stories would have you believe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t features you can’t take control of.

And one of the things we’ve been asked most is “How do I keep Facebook Messenger from sharing my location?”

It’s pretty easy, actually, requiring no hacking at all. Here’s how to handle it.

By default, Facebook Messenger includes your location in new messages. You can see where you are. (Of course, you should probably already know where you are, since you are there. You’re in the now.) And you can see where your friend is. And if you zoom in, you can really see where your friend is. Understandably, you might not want that to happen. And while perhaps it might be better if Facebook Messenger’s location service was opt-in instead of opt-out, at least it does give you a warning when you start a new conversation with someone.

There are a couple options for turning off location in Facebook Messenger.

Turn off location sharing altogether

Facebook Messenger location settings

To turn off location sharing in Facebook Messenger wholesale, all you need to do is go into the Facebook Messenger settings — hit the little gear image — and uncheck the box under “Location.” (Note how it mentions that “new messages include your location by default when it’s turned on.”) Once you do that, location won’t be shared by default when you start a new conversation with someone.

by Phil Nickinson

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How to shoot, edit and publish videos from your Android smartphone

shoot-edit-publish-smartphone-androidabilityWithout meaning to stray to far into truism territory, the core raison d’être of smartphones is that they are designed for many tasks. In a single, compact device you have a mobile phone, digital camera, PC, MP3 player, video player, travel guide, supermarket and any other service you can think of that works online.

Yes, your smartphone is a jack of all trades. But is it a master of any?

Dedicated point-and-shoot digital cameras and lower-end camcorders are surely facing a slow road to extinction, with many modern phones capable of shooting ridiculously high-quality photos and videos. But can your phone really do it all, from start to finish, without connecting up to your PC? Well of course it can.

Here, we take a look at some of the tools and techniques beginners can use to shoot, edit and upload videos from their Android smartphone.

How smart is your phone?

First up, this guide applies to any Android user, irrespective of their device of choice. And many of the tips may apply across the smartphone realm too, though we’ve focused on Android here to keep things a little more contained.

However, the quality of your smartphone will have a big bearing on the quality of the video you capture. There are tools that can help enhance poorly captured video, but there’s no substitute for good equipment in the first instance – so the likes of the Oppo Find 7,  Acer Liquid S2LG G Pro 2Samsung Galaxy S5 or theOnePlus One will all serve you well here, each capable of shooting video in up to4K resolution.

Screenshot 2014 07 25 12 56 57 220x391 How to shoot, edit and publish videos from your Android smartphone    Screenshot 2014 07 25 12 57 14 220x391 How to shoot, edit and publish videos from your Android smartphone

That said, 4K isn’t really necessary to capture high-quality video, especially when you consider that most TVs and monitors still aren’t 4K compatible anyway. Most recent mid-to-high range Android phones will offer something in the region of HD 1080p, which is more than adequate.

But as a general rule of thumb, the better the quality of smartphone you have, the better quality lens and camera it will have for capturing video. This will usually be reflected in the price too, but not always, as we’ve seen with the $300 OnePlus One which has a better-than-average camera for the price.

Shooting

shutterstock 157154363 730x486 How to shoot, edit and publish videos from your Android smartphone

Shooting is the most crucial stage of the video-creating process. If you capture the video correctly, you have all the time in the world to mess around with editing to get that bit right. But if the source material is wonky, well, you will be seriously hamstrung further down the line.

First up, what camera should you use? The camera on your phone, sure, but what app?

Chances are, the video camera app that came bundled with your Android device will more than suffice. Most of the third-party video-recording apps out there simply link to your device’s bundled camcorder – and remember, they’re both using the same underlying hardware anyway. Though often they may have a few nifty features thrown in for good measure, such as touch-to-focus, image stabilizing, and other configurable settings as with the Camera ICS app. For most people though, the camera that comes with your phone will be absolutely fine for shooting.

Tricks of the trade: Knowing your 5 enemies

If you didn’t study film-making at university, there’s probably a good reason for that. But there’s five simple things worth considering when shooting that can make all the difference between the following post-viewing statements: ‘that was woefully-amateur‘ and ‘wow, that’s not bad…what did you film this with?’

This is far from an exhaustive list, but they’re probably the most basic and simplest factors that can elevate ‘awful’ to ‘not bad at all’ when creating a home movie.

by Paul Sawers

Orientation: The simplest rule-of-thumb is to ensure you always flip your phone and film in landscape mode. While filming in portrait can be fine for viewing back on your device, if you want to avoid those dreaded black bars down the side of your skit on YouTube, treat portrait like the plague.

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How to disable media auto-download on WhatsApp for Android

android-whatsapp1-androidabilityWhatsApp, the app that almost anyone (including Grandma) has on their smartphone, is great for the most part, but is unfortunately not void of faults. You might wonder where all of your mobile data goes in a month, not to mention why your internal storage is dwindling? A reason for this could be because pictures and other media are automatically being auto-downloaded when sent to you, and this seems to be switched on by default! Today we’ll give you a brief tutorial on how to switch this off, and save precious data.

In fact, this tutorial is super easy. It’s just a matter of exploring your settings, and getting better acquainted with what the app is doing behind the scenes. WhatsApp will automatically download pictures to your gallery, as well as audio and video, if you have these ticked. For me, image was ticked by default. You can decide whether you want media to be auto-downloaded using mobile data or when connected to Wi-Fi, as well as when roaming. Keep in mind that voice messages are always downloaded for better quality, so this is not optional.

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  • On WhatsApp for Android, open the app and tap on the menu button at the top right corner of the screen. Select Settings.
  • Next, choose Chat settings, followed by Media auto-download.
  • Now here, you can tap on both ‘’When using mobile data’’ and ‘’When connected on Wi-Fi’’ (and roaming), to narrow down what gets auto-downloaded, if anything at all.

by Loie Favre

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How to hook Dropbox into the LG G3 music and gallery apps

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Get your stuff from Dropbox onto your LG G3 with ease

If you use Dropbox as one of your main sources of storage for music and photos then you’ll be pleased to know that you can access it pretty easily in some of the stock apps on the LG G3. The stock Gallery and Music applications can hook into your Dropbox account and pull in your content with a few easy steps.

Sadly, anyone using the AT&T specific variant of the G3 doesn’t seem to be able to do this. Sorry, folks.

Setting up

Dropbox and the LG G3

The first thing you need to do is set up Dropbox access on the phone. To do this you’ll want to head into Settings > Cloud and then hit the “Add account” button at the bottom of the display. On the next screen you’ll see a selection of different cloud services, including Dropbox.

Tap on the Dropbox option and then you’ll be prompted to enter your credentials. Once you’re all logged in Dropbox will now show up as an active cloud account when you’re in Settings > Cloud. Tapping on it will open up a basic settings menu where you’re able to select the content you want to access as well as your used/available account storage space. If for any reason you wish to remove your account, hit the menu button in the top right hand corner and select “Remove account.”

Below the account information you’ll see checkboxes to access content for “Gallery” and “Music.” Make sure you’ve checked the relevant boxes then you’re set.

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Six tips for creating awesome video highlights in Sense 6

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The video highlights feature in Sense 6 lets you quickly and easily create quick 30 second montages that you can then share on social media or directly with friends and family. Sense will choose photos, videos, and Zoes that are stored on your device and mash them up. From there you can add a theme complete with music, and you’re done. However, software isn’t perfect and video highlights are no exception. Here are some tips on creating even better video highlights in Sense 6!

1. You can never take too many photos

Sometimes when we upload photos to our computers or view them later, we notice tiny things like motion blur or distracting objects that we didn’t notice when we originally took the photo. A lot of this kind of stuff can be avoided by being sure we take enough photos. Go crazy and take more photos than you think you’ll need. You can always delete ones you don’t want later. Use continuous burst mode to grab moving objects and take more than one shot of everything else, you’ll most likely be glad you did when you have an amazing video highlight compilation.

2. Mix in different types of media for the best results

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How to add, buy and read a book from Google Play Books

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Google Play Books can make any Android device a great eReader, but how do you use it?

Android Central University — Google Play BooksSure, Kindles and Nooks have (relatively) long been forces to reckon with in the digital book arena, but Google Play Books allows you to enjoy your favorite page turners on so many more Android devices.

But how to get started? How do you buy and add books to your library? How do you even go about reading the darn books on the device? It’s not anything too crazy, we promise. Read on to find out the answers to these and other burning questions you may have.

Getting going/buying a book

Step 1: Getting Google Play Books on your device

Before you can do anything else, you have to make sure you have Google Play Books on your device. Chances are, it’s already installed on it (it’s on mine as “Play Books”). If it’s not preinstalled, go ahead anddownload it here.

Step 2: Shop books

When you first start up Google Play Books, you’ll see something like this on your screen. Go ahead and hit “Shop books” to get the ball rolling.

Step 3: Selecting a book

Once you find a book you’d like to read (for our purposes here, we’ll go with a time-bending classic, “The Time Machine”), hold down on the title or on the three horizontal dots in the upper right-hand corner you’ll see for each title. When you do so, you will have the option to buy the book. In the case of “The Time Machine” (and many other books), the book is actually free. Hit “Buy.”

Step 4: Begin putting in payment info

Even if a book is free, Google will ask for a payment method to “confirm your country of residence.” Press “Continue.”

Step 5: Pick your poison

Pick which payment method you’d like to use. Your options may vary, but you should at least have the options of using a credit or debit card or PayPal. Proceed to follow the onscreen directions.

If you choose to use a credit card, it will go through Google Wallet.

Step 6: Confirm

When you enter your payment information, you’ll come to a confirmation page. Hit “Buy.”

You may see something like this after you finish your purchase. If you do not want to be able to purchase Google Play content without a password for 30 minutes after buying the book, go ahead and follow the “Change settings” link. Otherwise, go ahead and select “OK.”

Buy/add more books

Step 1: Get to the hamburger menu from the start screen

Now that you’ve had some experience with Google Play Books, your home screen will be a little different. You may actually have a book or two displaying there now!

If you see the three parallel lines (or “hamburger menu”) in the upper left-hand corner next to “Read Now,” select that or swipe to the right from the left side of the screen to get some recommendations from Google.

Step 2: Select “Shop”

The above screen is what you should see next. Go ahead and select “Shop.”

Step 3

You may see more free books offered in Google Play Books. If you’re interested, you can select the book and “Add to library.” It’ll take you to a confirmation screen that may look familiar. Select “Buy” and it’ll download, but not charge you.

If you would like to buy something that does actually cost money, select the book and select “Buy.” It’ll take you to the confirmation screen. If you select “Buy” again, you will be charged and the book will download.

If there’s a specific book you’d like to buy, you can use the magnifying glass found in the upper right-hand corner in the screens pictured above or from the main menu of Google Play Books. Type in the title of the book and go from there.

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