How to Reset your HTC One M9

reset

At some point, you will want to make your phone as clean as the day you got it. Whether you’re selling or giving your device away when upgrading, or you just want to start fresh, here’s how to reset your HTC One M9 to factory settings:

  1. Screenshot_2015-04-16-14-36-10In the Settings app, scroll to and tap on Backup & Reset in the Personal section.
  2. Under the Reset section, tap on Reset phone.
  3. In this menu, you are given a breakdown of everything that will be reconfigured and/or erased in the reset process.
  4. Tap OK to begin resetting your phone.
  5. After the phone restarts, your HTC One M9 will be as though it just came out of the box, ready to configure.

 

For more HTC One M9 Tips and tricks, check out our HTC One M9 Tips & Tricks Roundup

How to Add Music and Photos to HTC One M9

musicphotos

It’s likely that you will want to load up your new HTC One M9 with all your favorite music and photos, but the process of getting everything moved over might not be immediately obvious. Here’s how to do that:

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 12.29.17 PM

  1. Plug your HTC One M9 into your computer with the included USB cable.
  2. Follow the instructions when you are prompted to install the HTC Sync Manager on your computer.
  3. Open the HTC Sync Manager on your computer if it’s not already.
  4. Begin by adding the music you want in the Music tab of the manager.
  5. Do the same process for photos in the Gallery tab.
  6. After loading the media you want to move to your phone, connect your HTC One M9 if you haven’t already.
  7. Select the songs and photos you want moved, over, and click the phone icon next to the title to move onto the device.
  8. You will see the loading progress in the bottom right of the program. Once finished, you will have access to your media on your HTC One M9

 

For more HTC One M9 Tips and tricks, check out our HTC One M9 Tips & Tricks Roundup

How to use Motion Launch Gestures on the HTC One M9

motionlaunch

Your HTC One M9 includes some very useful gestures to make common actions quicker when your screen is off. Check out how to turn on these gestures and a description of what all of them do:

To turn on:

  • In the Settings app, open the Display & gestures menu in the Phone section.
  • Tap on Motion Launch Gestures
  • Tap the check box in each row to enable

So what do all these gestures do? Let’s go through them one by one:

  1. Double tap to wake up & sleepScreenshot_2015-04-17-12-10-36
    • This one is pretty self-evident. When your phone is asleep, you can simply tap twice on the screen in quick succession to wake it up.
  2. Swipe down to turn on voice dialing
    • When your phone is locked, picking your phone up normally and swiping down will begin voice recognition to quickly make a phone call.
    • When this option is checked, another checkbox pops up that lets you specify whether or not this feature lets you bypass the security screen.
  3. Swipe up to unlock
    • This eliminates a step to unlocking your phone by instead letting you swipe up on the screen while its off to bring you immediately to the homescreen (or whatever app you had open when you locked your phone
  4. Swipe left to launch widget panel
    • This gesture immediately brings you to your widget panel (or the first home screen page)
  5. Swipe right to launch Blinkfeed
    • Like the previous gesture, this will bring you immediately to the Blinkfeed section of your home screen
  6. Volume button to launch Camera
    • This is a fun one: when your screen is off, hold your phone as you would when taking a landscape photo or video, and tap the volume up button. This will take you right into the camera so that you can quickly capture the action.

 

For more HTC One M9 Tips and tricks, check out our HTC One M9 Tips & Tricks Roundup

How to Get the Most From Your HTC One M9 Battery

battery

While the HTC One M9 is perfectly suited to be incredibly capable under heavy usage and multitasking, sometimes you want to eke out every minute you possibly can from the battery. Thankfully, the HTC One M9 includes lots of settings an features to help your battery last as long as you do. Here are some tips and tricks:

 

Shine Bright Like a Diamond. Or Don’t…

Usually the biggest battery hog on any modern touchscreen device is the screen itself. It takes a lot of juice to power all those thousands of individually lit pixels with different colors and brightnesses. The biggest boost to your battery is to simply keep your screen off as long and as often as possible. When not possible, however, make sure to turn down the screen brightness, or use the automatic brightness setting that sets the screen brightness for you based on available environmental light.

  • Turn down your screen’s brightness level through Quick Toggles by dragging down the Notification Drawer, then pulling down once more. Tapping the brightness quick toggle (the one that looks like a sun) will cycle through four brightness settings: low, medium, high, and automatic.
  • Keep your screen from using too much battery by keeping the Screen timeout time low. You can edit this setting by going to the Display & gestures menu in the Settings app under the Phone section.
  • A darker wallpaper will help your battery life as well. The more pixels at a lower brightness means less power being used.

 

Radio Killed the Battery Star

I know what you’re thinking, “But I don’t use the radio on my M9!” However, we’re not talking about just the FM radio here: every kind of wireless technology in your HTC One M9 are all based on good old-fashioned radio waves. This includes Bluetooth, 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS. All of these are radios, and all of them require lots of power to keep turned on and connected.

  • Turn off unused network modes. If your carrier doesn’t use LTE, then neither should you: it’s a battery hog. Select your network mode by tapping on Mobile Data in the Settings app and then tapping on Network Mode. Select only the highest mode your carrier supports.
  • Wi-Fi uses less battery than LTE (the highest speed data connection carriers provide at the moment), and there’s generally no need to have both on at the same time.
  • Keep Bluetooth and NFC turned off unless actively using them. You can turn off Bluetooth right from the toggle in the Settings app, and you can turn off NFC by tapping on More under the Wireless & Networks section, and turn off the switch titled NFC.
  • Unless you’re getting navigation directions or playing a game that requires your exact location, GPS can be set to battery saving mode by opening the Location menu in the Settings app, tapping on Mode, and selecting Battery Saving.

 

Search and Destroy

The next biggest battery drain on your HTC One M9 is simply doing stuff, and doing stuff generally involves using apps. Unfortunately, apps are often running even when you’re not actively using them. Usually they’re working in the background, downloading or listening for changes, or doing some other kind of process. You can help rein in background power consumption of apps with a couple tricks.

  • Get a list of currently running apps by tapping on Apps in the Settings app and swiping to the right to the Running tab. This shows apps sorted by RAM usage. As a general rule (although not always the case), apps using more RAM are also using more power.
  • You can stop any currently running apps by tapping on the app from the currently running list and tapping on Stop. Be careful that you only stop apps that you ran yourself. Avoid stopping system apps like Google Play Services and any app with an Android icon next to them. Stopping these apps can prevent your HTC One M9 from running properly.
  • Close apps from the Recent Apps multitasking pane. Check out our article How to Use Multitasking on HTC One M9 to learn more.
  • Another potential battery hog is notifications. The more apps that use and send notifications, the more battery is used, from both getting the notification itself, and new notifications turning on the screen when it’s off. Check out our article How to Manage Notifications on HTC One M9.

 

Screenshot_2015-04-16-14-29-22Extreme Measures

If all the previous measures aren’t enough, the HTC One M9 brings even more power saving features. Check them out:

  • Turn on Power Saver mode. This mode automatically turns on power saving features and turns off other features that drains battery.  There are to ways to turn Power Saver mode on: open the Power menu in the Settings app and turn on the Power Saver toggle, or tap on the Saver toggle in Quick Toggles.
    • Power Saver mode can be customized by tapping on the name next to the Power Saver toggle in the Power menu of the Settings app. You can choose to turn on or off four settings: CPU Power, which reduces the power available to the CPU; Display reduces screen brightness; Vibration disables the vibration motor in the phone; and Data Connection turns off high speed data when the screen is off.
  • Turn on Sleep Mode in the Power menu of the Settings app. This setting will turn off data connectivity after your phone is off and inactive for a while.
  • Extreme Power Saving mode, is as the name implies, an extremely battery-conservative mode you can put your phone in. EPS turns off as many features as possible and locks down lots of functionality. When in this mode, you are limited to a handful of apps: Phone, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Calculator, and Clock; and turns off unneeded data connections and any sync or notification services.
    • Turn on Extreme Power Saving mode by either the EXT Saver toggle in quick toggles, or the Extreme Power Saving Mode toggle in the Power menu of the Settings app.
    • EPS can be configured to engage automatically at a certain battery level by tapping the name Extreme Power Saving Mode next to the toggle in the Power menu of the Settings app.

 

For more HTC One M9 Tips and tricks, check out our HTC One M9 Tips & Tricks Roundup

How to Manage Notifications on HTC One M9

notifications

Notifications can often be one of the most annoying aspects of using mobile devices, but there are plenty of ways to wrangle notifications into submission on the HTC One M9. Check out how:

Managing Notifications

You will see notifications in two places on your HTC One M9; in the notification drawer (and the status bar) that’s accessible by dragging down from the status bar, and on your lock screen. You can, of course, double tap on any notification to take you to whatever app the notification is from, and swiping the notification either to the left or the right will dismiss it both in the notification drawer and from the lock screen.

Some notifications give you additional options as well. For example, after saving media or taking screenshots, you are given the option to share it directly from the notification.

 

Editing Notification Settings

There are a number of ways to change what notifications you get and how you get them.

For each specific app, you are given at least two choices for app notifications: block all notifications from the app, or set the app’s notifications as priority. Priority notifications are pinned to the top of the notification list, and will be received even if the phone is on downtime (see our How to Use Downtime on HTC One M9 article).

Screenshot_2015-04-21-09-45-36Here’s how to block or set priority notifications for each app:

  1. Open the Sound & Notification menu in the Settings app under the Phone section.
  2. Tap App Notifications in the Notifications section.
  3. Find and tap on the app you would like to configure
  4. Turn on or off the switch for one of the two settings: Block, or Priority.

There are a few settings for all notifications as well. You can change the sound that plays when a notification comes in, when the LED light flashes for notifications, whether notifications are shown on the lock screen, and which apps get access to read notifications.

  • To change the notification tone, open the Sound & notification menu in the Settings app under the Phone section, and tap on Notification Sound to choose from one of the built-in tones.
  • The LED light can be configured to flash always, or only when the screen is off. You can change this in the Sound & Notification menu in the Settings app under the Flash Notifications setting.
  • Below that, we have a menu to configure which built-in apps receive LED flashes. You can turn on or off flashes for Missed calls, Voice mails, Messages, Calendar notifications, Mail, and Alarms.
  • Below the menu to configure notifications for specific apps, we have an option to configure what information is shown when the device is locked: we can choose “show all notification content” which will show the notification in its entirety (even if it contains potentially sensitive information, such as text and photos from messages), or “Don’t show notifications at all.”
  • Next is the menu that shows which apps are allowed to read notification content. You can uncheck apps that you no longer wish to have this access.

 

For more HTC One M9 Tips and tricks, check out our HTC One M9 Tips & Tricks Roundup

CallerSmart Reverse Lookup Phone Book

callersmart

CallerSmart frees you from the annoyance of unwanted calls and texts.

CallerSmart is an easy way to determine if you should call back that unknown number or not. Once signed up, CallerSmart gives you access to a reverse number lookup service with a database of known spammers and telemarketers. This gives you the power to make the decision of who to reply to or not.

Keep up to date on who is looking up your phone number with CallerSmart’s push notifications whenever somebody tries to find your phone number or other sensitive information.

CallerSmart also gives you quick guides on how to block numbers from being able to call or text your iPhone, as well as easy access to sign up for and confirm your registration on the FTC Do Not Call List and the ability to file a complaint directly to the FTC.

CallerSmart makes your safety and security fun with unlockable badges that you earn by using the app in various ways, and even gives you a global ranking to compare with other CallerSmart users.

 

CallerSmart on the App Store

Developer Website

none*

none

none* is a curious game –if it can even be called a game. Using a custom keyboard with no space key and only two buttons, you type answers to move through the game. Consisting of zero graphics other than the keyboard itself and the words above it on top of a black background, you are asked to answer mysterious quizzes in various ways. The answer might not always be straightforward.

The only controls given to you are the keyboard, and two buttons: one labeled “none*”, the other labeled “solve”. The solve button is the one you tap when you submit your answer, and the none* button takes you to what I assume is the only other page in the game. This page shows a bit of text stating what level you have reached, a share button that will pop up a share sheet to let you share this page, and a close button. Tapping close will bring you back into the game.

In none*, you cannot lose…but you might not be able to win, either.

Download none* on the App Store

Developer’s Website

Top Five News Apps for iPhone

Photo by shoobydooby via Flickr

The iPhone has fast become the most widely used method for receiving news of all sorts, whether it be personal, local, or global. News publishers have recognized this fact and have begun to embrace it, utilizing a mobile-first strategy and making the most of social media. And while newspaper readership has waned significantly over the past couple decades, there is still a desire for a one-stop place for your news. Luckily, there is no shortage of news aggregation apps for the iPhone, and we have round up five of the best. Check it out:

 

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How to use Periscope to Livestream Video

socialmedia

While live video streaming has actually been around for a while (justin.tv, a video streaming service, launched in 2007), there has been new life breathed into the idea with the recent release of two competing apps with a similar idea: instantly stream video from your phone to your followers. One of those two apps is Periscope, the new live video streaming app brought to you by Twitter.

Periscope is awesome for getting a glimpse into the lives and happenings of people you follow. But don’t just watch, get in on the action and live stream your own video to an engaged audience. Here’s how:

First you’ll need the app. Right now you can only stream from the iPhone app, but Twitter says the Android app is coming soon. Go ahead and download Periscope from the App Store right now:

Periscope on the iOS App Store

When you open the app, you’ll get an introduction to what Periscope is and how it works. You’ll then get a list of live streams from people you follow on Twitter. You can tap on any of these to watch their stream and comment. Comments will be sent out as tweets from your Twitter account and show up in real time at the bottom of the video stream where everyone watching can read. You can also tap the screen to “heart” the stream, and these hearts build up for each broadcaster over time to show an overall score.

Let’s get to the fun part though: making our own stream. You might be tempted to hit that “stream” button right now, but you should probably do some preparation first. Ask yourself a couple questions first:

1. Do I have something people want to watch?

Right now, you’ll find lots of people live streaming their walk to work or school. I’m willing to bet not many of your followers want to watch your face bounce up and down their screen as you’re taking a walk.

The most interesting streams –and the ones that will get the most watchers– will be where you are doing something interesting. Skydiving? Zip lining? Painting? Creating? Go for it. Writing a paper for for your Econ 208 class? Probably not.

2. Am I prepared to not use my phone for as long as I stream?

Streaming on Periscope will be the full-time job of your phone as you stream. You might be able to close the app during your stream, but your viewers will get a lovely blurred screen and nothing to watch.

3. Do I want random people around the world watching what I’m doing?

Periscope is live video from your iPhone’s camera, so whatever your phone can see, anyone in the world can see too. You need to be prepared to forsake your privacy for as long as you stream. This means cleaning up anything you don’t want people to see, and not saying anything you don’t want heard. It’s also a good idea to let the people around you know what you’re doing, and make sure that taking broadcasting is allowed at your location. Using Periscope while you’re cooking a fancy dinner at home is ok, but you could run into problems if you try to stream at a major league game or a museum.

If all three questions are met with a yes, tap stream and broadcast to the world. The app will ask permission to use your camera and your microphone, and you’ll be streaming almost immediately. The interface is similar to watching a Periscope stream, but with a few more options. You can change which camera to use (front or back), a button to turn on the rear camera flash to light your scene, and a stop button, in addition to the comment button.

Once you end your stream, Periscope will ask if you want to keep the stream. Tapping yes will enable anyone with the link to the stream to watch as a video after you’re off the air.

And that’s it. Periscope could potentially create a huge impact on how we view events and get a glimpse into the lives of others from around the world. What and when you stream is entirely up to you, and as of this moment, Periscope is skyrocketing into relevance as a media tool and we’ve only just scratch at the surface of the possibilities of the platform.