TIME How-To

How to Double Check Your Google Account Security Settings

Google Account Settings
Google's account settings page shows which sites, services and devices have access to your account Google

The unofficial Google Operating System site writes about a little gem found under the security section of everyone’s Google account settings page.

Head over to your account’s security section, and click the “Get started” button located under the “Secure your Account” heading.

It’ll step you through the various lock-downs available for your Google account, including setting a recovery phone number, a recovery email address and the ability to revoke access for apps, websites and gadgets you no longer use. You’ll also be able to check out your recent activity to make sure nobody’s been using your account without your knowledge.

It’s a good idea to run through a security audit such as this every once in a while, especially after a high-profile data breach.

[Google Operating System]

TIME Gadgets

iPhone 6 Wireless Plans Compared

Over at Yahoo Tech, Rob Pegoraro has taken up the unenviable task of comparing iPhone 6 wireless plans from major carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

This was all a somewhat simpler endeavor back when a phone cost $200, you picked a minutes/data/text messages plan, and signed a two-year contract. But newly-added pricing plans have saddled up alongside traditional pricing plans, resulting in a far murkier melange of minutes and megabytes.

The assumption with this exercise is that you’ll be buying a base-model iPhone 6 and will need two gigabytes of monthly data. All of these plans include unlimited minutes and text messages and, aside from network quality, your biggest decision is whether or not you want to be able to use tethering. Tethering lets you share your phone’s data connection with another device such as a tablet or laptop. It’s good for road trips and other instances where you’d get a cellular signal but wouldn’t have access to an open Wi-Fi network.

If you don’t care about tethering:

  • Verizon can be had for $1,640 over two years
  • Sprint can be had for $1,680 over two years
  • T-Mobile can be had for $1,730 over two years
  • AT&T can be had for $2,120 over two years

If you want to tether:

  • T-Mobile can be had for $1,730 over two years
  • Sprint can be had for $1,920 over two years
  • AT&T can be had for $2,120 over two years
  • Verizon can be had for $2,360 over two years

These figures don’t take into account network quality in your area, family plans, equipment trade-in bonuses, taxes or other stuff like that. Each carrier offers a trial period, though, so make sure to exercise your right to return your phone if you’re not happy with it.

Check out Pegoraro’s post for more info on the various plans and pricing schemes.

[Yahoo Tech]

TIME Gadgets

SanDisk 512GB Memory Card: Big Storage, Big Price

sd-sdextremePRO-512g
SanDisk

SanDisk has announced a memory card with roughly half a terabyte of storage. If you’re reading this on a laptop, that might be as large or larger than your entire hard drive. If you’re reading this on a phone, it’s definitely larger than your phone’s entire storage — probably at least 10x as much. SanDisk touts the card as “the world’s highest-capacity SD card on the market.”

The “SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Card 512GB” — just rolls right off the tongue, no? — carries a retail price of $800 and is targeted at professional photographers and videographers. If you’ve got $800 to burn and need a significant storage bump for your computer, though, this could do the trick. (It won’t work in smartphones: this is a full-size card, not a microSD card.)

Adorama has it for $729 with an estimated late-September ship date. B&H also has it for $729 but the ship date isn’t until mid-October.

[SanDisk]

TIME Paycheck Friday

5 Unique Drinking Gadgets for Under $50

Come on, you're making some decent money now. Live a little! Consider blowing your paycheck on these worthy splurges.

Digital Beer Koozie ($20)

koolernaut
Beer Outlaw

So much real-time data in this world, and here you are drinking beer without knowing its exact temperature.

The Kool-er-naut brings the tried and true Koozie into the 21st century, with an LCD thermometer and a freezable ice puck that slips into the bottom of this newfangled apparatus for some extra coldness. As a bonus, there’s a chart on the back of the Kool-er-naut that tells you the optimal temperature for various styles of beer.

[Kickstarter (ships October-ish)]

Drink-Making Scale and App ($49.99)

perfect drink
Brookstone

What a time to be alive! Put a glass down on this scale, and its connected app tells you how much of each liquid and ice to pour into your drink (there are hundreds of drink recipes to choose from). If you overpour one of the liquids, the app will readjust the amounts of the remaining liquids on the fly. You can also tell the app which types of booze you have on hand and it’ll return only recipes that can be made with said booze.

[Brookstone]

BeerBelly Booze Smuggler ($29.49)

beerbelly
BeerBelly

I’m no mathlete, but it seems like this fake beer gut would pay for itself before halftime at any exorbitantly-priced sporting event. Simply funnel 80 ounces of your favorite libation into this wearable polyurethane bladder, slip it on under your shirt and waddle through the turnstile looking like any other overweight American. For the ladies, there’s this wine-holding sports bra, too.

[Amazon]

Spinning Beer Chiller ($29.99)

spinchill
SpinChill

Stick a beer into a pile of ice and spin the can around a bunch of times. It’ll eventually get cold. How? Scients. “That’s not how you spell science.” Eh, I’ve heard it both ways.

Now attach the can to this hand-held spinning doohickey that rotates the can much faster and — you guessed it – the beer gets colder faster. The SpinChill can cool a can in one minute, a 12-ounce bottle in three minutes, and a wine bottle in five minutes.

Tailgate-in-a-Box Kit ($39)

instagate
Instagate

Tailgates? Fun. Lugging all the stuff to tailgates? Not fun. Cleaning up all the stuff once you’re stumbling around like a toddler during an earthquake? The utmost in un-fun.

The Instagate one-time-use kit packs a grill, grilling tools, 60-quart cooler, lighter/bottle opener combo, beer pong set, 10 sets of utensils, 12 cups, 10 plates, 20 napkins, 20 condiment packets, and some garbage bags to clean everything up when you’re done. Oh, and the cardboard box folds out into three little tabletops.

[Kickstarter (ships November-ish)]

TIME Smartphones

Specs Shootout: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus vs the Competition

Choosing the right smartphone involves plenty of intangible metrics, to be sure. But if you’re looking for raw data about how the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus stack up against high-profile Android handsets, check out the below chart. The iPhone 5s has been thrown in for good measure, just so you can get a good idea of the newer models’ enhancements (or lack thereof).

You can also build your own comparisons if you’d like to include other phones. Head over here and check the “Add to compare” box next to each phone you want to examine, then click the “Compare Now” link in the right sidebar once you’re ready.

TIME Opinion

One iPhone Feature I’d Still Like to See

Apple's iPhone 6 (left) and iPhone 6 Plus (right) Apple

We spent a week at the beach this summer. I brought with me my work-issued iPhone 5s and a Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport I’d been reviewing. The iPhone spent much of the trip in my bag.

Now, my iPhone uses Verizon and got a decent-if-unspectacular signal where we were. It’d waver between 3G and LTE data, and phone calls and texts would come through regularly.

The Samsung, on the other hand, uses Sprint and didn’t get much of a signal at all where we were. It would routinely just lose the signal altogether, with texts being delayed and phone calls going straight to voicemail.

But I brought the Samsung to the beach with me everyday because it’s water-resistant.

I’m overly, overly, overly careful with my gadgets. Bringing my iPhone to the beach entails first putting it in a ziploc bag, then putting that bag in a waterproof cooler pocket. If I use the phone, I make sure my hands are completely dry.

I would use the Samsung instantly after getting out of the water, though — towel be damned, water droplets splattering everywhere like tears from God himself as he’s chopping holy onions — and would stuff it into the pocket of my wet swimsuit whenever I walked back up to the house. It was liberating.

Now I know there are plenty of iPhone waterproofing services out there, and it could be argued that the iPhone could stand to sport plenty of other features besides waterproofing: I saw a joke somewhere that Samsung’s next phone reveal will dictate which features will end up in the iPhone 8, which isn’t too outrageous an idea. At this stage in the game, though, if you’re expecting bleeding-edge hardware from new iPhones, you should expect to be disappointed. It’s the experience that counts, and waterproofing an iPhone seems like a consumer-friendly, trivial addition.

In fact, I’d wager a guess that such a feature isn’t far off. It would actually be a perfect feature to add to one of the iPhone line’s incremental upgrade cycles — iPhone 3G to 3GS; iPhone 4 to 4S, for example. Maybe slap it on to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus next year, bump the processor a bit and call it a day.

It’s a crowd-pleaser. Who wouldn’t want their iPhone to survive a drop in the toilet?

TIME video

The New iPhones and Apple Watch (in Two Minutes)

The rumors panned out pretty well: Apple rolled out two new iPhones and its first smartwatch.

Click here for more Apple coverage.

TIME Gadgets

Apple’s iPhone Event to Stream Live Online

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers his keynote address at the World Wide developers conference in San Francisco
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers his keynote address at the World Wide developers conference in San Francisco, June 2, 2014. Robert Galbraith—Reuters

A visit to Apple.com redirects to Apple.com/Live today, where company CEO Tim Cook and friends will unveil Apple’s holiday gadget lineup. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT.

Note the fine print at the bottom of the page: You’ll need to use an Apple device running the Safari web browser or a new-ish Apple TV box in order to stream the event.

Here’s a primer on what we might expect to see unveiled; all our iPhone 6-related news and analysis can be found here.

Check back here for additional coverage as things unfold.

TIME Gadgets

How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad

You can’t take any more photos. You can’t install the latest version of iOS. You can’t download the TV show you want to watch.

We’ve all been there, and many of us just stay there because it’s too much of a hassle to try to figure out what’s going on.

It’s not that hard, actually. Here are some of the most common storage-bloat culprits, with a few steps you can follow to find out what’s hiding where and how you can delete it.

This guide is written from the perspective of an iPhone user but applies to iPad users all the same.

First Stop: Settings

usage
Apple

Let’s dive in and see what’s actually taking up space on your phone.

Go to…

Settings > General > Usage

…and wait for the top-most item to load up (it might churn for a bit).

Once it’s ready, you’ll see which apps are taking the most space. You’ll likely notice the Photos & Camera, Music, and Video apps toward the top of the list. You might also notice the Messages app if you text a bunch of photos and videos around with your friends.

Before we move on to cleaning out these common culprits, now is a good time to delete apps you don’t use. Don’t worry: They’ll be available in the App Store if you want to re-install them in the future.

So from this screen, tap on any apps you don’t use and hit the “Delete App” button on the next screen (note that system-installed Apple apps aren’t able to be deleted).

Once you’ve deleted a bunch of old apps, you may notice your total storage — at the top of the Usage page — has increased. If it’s increased enough to get you the extra space you wanted, great. You’re done. If not, here are some other tricks to try.

Best Bet: Deleting Videos, Photos and Music

By far, videos take up the most space on your iPhone — followed distantly by music and photos. Delete a handful of videos and you’ll regain a ton of space right away. They’re lurking in various apps; here’s where to find them as well as how to delete unneeded photos and music.

camera
Apple

In the Camera Roll

Open up the Camera app and click the little square in the lower-left corner to bring up your previously-shot photos and videos. Swipe through to find videos you’ve shot but don’t need anymore and hit the garbage can in the lower-right corner. While you’re at it, do the same for photos you don’t need anymore.

If you want to delete a bunch at once, tap the Camera Roll button in the upper-left corner, then Select. Start tapping away on the ones you know you don’t need, amassing a big collection of them before tapping the garbage can. They’ll then all be deleted at once.

messages
Apple

In the Messages App

Here’s where you might find a treasure trove of forgotten photos and videos. If your friends texted you photos and videos of their new baby three years ago, for instance, you might still have a bunch of those big files trapped on your phone.

If you find an old message thread that you know you don’t need anymore, you can delete the entire thing by swiping left on it and tapping the Delete button.

If you only want to delete specific photos and videos from a messaging thread, open the thread, hold down on the first photo or video you want to delete, tap More…, select all the others you want to delete from the thread (click the little circles to the left of the files) and then tap the Delete All button.

videos
Apple

In the Videos App

If you’ve downloaded movies or TV shows, they’re taking up precious space on your phone. Open up the Videos app, find any old movies or TV shows you’ve already watched, swipe left on each one and tap Delete. Don’t worry: You can stream or re-download them later. They’re not gone forever.

In the Music App

Same drill as the Videos app: Open up the Music app, find any old songs you no longer need, swipe left on each one and tap Delete. Don’t worry: You can stream or re-download them later if you bought them from Apple. They’re not gone forever. If you got them from somewhere else and loaded them from your own computer, make sure you still have the original files.

Other Tricks

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers some of the most common culprits. Spotify isn’t covered here, but my Spotify library, for instance, takes up a fair amount of space on my phone. I don’t want to delete the app, but I could set some of the playlists to be online-only in order to free up some space. If you notice an abnormally large app in the Usage menu but you don’t want to completely delete the app, open it up and poke around to see if there are some files inside it that you can delete instead.

Also, instead of simply deleting things forever, you might want to back some of them up to your computer first and then remove them from your phone. Over at WonderHowTo, Justin Meyers has an incredibly thorough guide to clearing up space on your phone, complete with backup instructions and other sources of file-bloat you might be able to uncover. Be sure to check it out if the above tricks don’t work for you.

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