TIME How-To

The First 10 Things to Do With a New Android Phone

Getting a new Android phone into shape takes some effort, but it's worth it.

There’s nothing like that new phone feeling. One minute, you’re marveling over your slab of plastic and metal, and the next, you’re panicking over how much work you’ll have to do to set it up and figure out how to use it.

The experience doesn’t have to be so painful, however. If you just bought a new Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One (M8), this 10-step process will leave you with a clean, easy-to-use and fully-functional phone, without any clutter or annoyances.

Step 1: Skip the Setup Junk

attnogoogleyes
Jared Newman for TIME

If you buy an Android phone from a major wireless carrier, chances are the setup process is a minefield of sign-ins for services you don’t need. Should you have a Samsung account? Maybe, just to claim this handful of freebies, but it’s not essential. Do you need cloud storage from AT&T or Verizon? Definitely not.

The only thing you should absolutely do during the setup process is plug in your Google account credentials, as this will let you download apps and connect you with multiple useful Google services at the same time.

Step 2: Wipe the Slate Clean

Google

See all those apps and widgets that are cluttering up your home screen already? Get rid of them all and start from scratch. On many phones (including Samsung’s Galaxy S series), you can do this easily by pinching on the home screen. You’ll get a zoomed-out view of all your home screen pages, from which you can create a blank home screen and drag the old, cluttered ones into the trash.

Don’t worry; you won’t actually delete any apps this way. Everything’s still available through the app tray, which appears as a little grid icon at the bottom of each home screen. From there, you can add just the apps and widgets you really need. We’ll get rid of the rest in the next step.

Step 3: Remove the Bloatware

bloatware
Google

The unpleasant reality of Android phones is that they tend to come with a lot of unwanted junk. To remove the clutter, head to your phone’s settings menu, then to the “Apps” or “Applications” section, and find the subsection titled “All.”

This section is a bit confusing, because it includes not just standalone apps, but core system functions, and you don’t want to remove any of the latter. As a general rule, an app is safe to remove if it also appears in your app tray (see step 2). Go through this list and remove anything you don’t want. Some apps can’t be removed entirely, but can still be disabled.

Don’t freak out if you see a warning about removing or disabling built-in apps. Again, as long as it’s an actual app that appears in the app tray, you should be able to get rid of it without problems.

Step 4: Tweak Your Gmail settings

gmailsettings
Google

The Android version of Gmail is great, but you may not like some of its default settings. Open the app, and look for the three dots in the top-right corner (or press your phone’s menu button) and hit “Settings.” Tap on your e-mail address and tap on “Inbox sound & vibrate.” If you get too many e-mails, like I do, you’ll definitely want to hit “Sound” and select “Silent” so your phone isn’t constantly blurting out noises.

Now, back out to the main settings menu and select “General settings.” If you’d rather delete e-mails than archive them, hit “Archive & delete actions” and hit “Show delete only.” Now, you can delete e-mails just by swiping to the right. You’ll also see a delete button when viewing e-mails in the notification bar.

Step 5: Set Photo Backups to Unlimited

googlephotossettings
Google

Many new Android phones include an app called Google+ Photos, which can automatically back up any photo or video you take on your phone. It’s a must-have app for keeping your memories safe, and you can get it as part of the main Google+ app if you don’t have it already.

There’s just one problem: By default, Google+ Photos backs up everything at full resolution. This counts against your 15 GB Google storage limit and could eventually keep you from getting e-mail unless you pay for more storage. To fix this, go to the app’s Settings menu, hit Auto Backup and set Photo size to “Standard.” Now, you can upload unlimited photos, capped at a resolution of 2048 pixels wide. That’s still good enough to view on any screen.

Step 6: Check Your Google Play Store Settings

googleplaysettings
Google

You just spent all that time cleaning up your home screen in Step 2; now you have to make sure your new apps don’t crash the party.

Open Google Play Store, swipe to the right, hit “Settings,” and uncheck the box that says “Add icon to Home screen.” Your new apps will be available in the app tray, which appears as a little grid icon at the bottom of each home screen.

You may also want to disable notifications for app updates from the same menu.

Step 7: Set Up Android Device Manager

devicemanager
Google

Device Manager is the Android equivalent of Apple’s “Find My iPhone,” allowing you to locate, wipe or lock a lost or stolen phone. To check on your settings, open the Google Settings app (separate from your phone’s main Settings app), and go to “Android Device Manager.” From here, you can decide which remote management features you’d like to enable. Once you’ve set it up, bookmark the Android Device Manager website for easy access later.

Step 8: Get Some Apps

This one’s obvious, but you’ll probably want some new Android apps to go with your new Android phone. Here are 50 of our favorites.

Step 9: Tastefully Place Some Widgets

Widgets
Google

Widgets are one of the best features of Android, allowing you to glance at information or quickly perform an action straight from your home screen, but they’re also easy to get wrong. Some widgets are ugly, some fail to update reliably, some drain your battery, and some just aren’t that useful. Instead of larding up your phone with bad widgets, pick a handful that you really like, and put one or two on each of your home screens, organized by genre or purpose. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Step 10: Get a Handle On Notifications

notifications
Google

Now that you’ve installed a bunch of apps, you may find that some are being obnoxious, and flooding you with unwanted notifications.

Here’s an easy way to silence the offenders: Head to your phone’s settings, and go to the “Applications” or “Apps” section. Under the “Downloaded” tab, select any app you’d rather not hear from, and uncheck the box for “Show notifications.” This will override any settings within the app itself, and it’s strangely satisfying.

This is just a starting point–a way to get your phone to look good and run smoothly. When you’re ready for more hints and tips, check out our list of essentials for Android users and seven tips every smartphone owner should know.

TIME apple rumors

Report: The iPad Is About to Get Much Better at Multitasking

Marc Gurman over at 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, will bring with it the ability to run two apps side-by-side on an iPad.

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8 (and other goodies) at its developer conference, which runs June 2 to June 6.

Gurman only cites unnamed “sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development,” but he’s got a solid track record with Apple rumors. And this is a feature iPad users have been requesting for quite some time, so this seems like a somewhat safe bet by Apple-rumors standards. It’s also, as Gurman reminds us, a feature Microsoft uses to set its own Surface tablets apart from the iPad.

Assuming the rumor pans out, this feature would extend beyond simple screen-splitting.

Says Gurman:

In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other. This functionality may mean that Apple is finally ready to enable “XPC” support in iOS, which means that developers could design App Store apps that could share content.

The split-screening would apparently work for the full-size iPad, and in landscape mode, but it’s unknown whether it’d extend to the iPad Mini. If this feature is indeed coming, we’ll hear more straight from Apple in a few short weeks.

[9to5Mac]

TIME privacy

Google Must Amend Some Search Results After E.U. Ruling

The European Union Court of Justice ruled in an advisory judgment on Tuesday that Google must remove links to outdated or irrelevant personal information from search results upon request by an E.U. citizen, allowing them the right to control their private data

+ READ ARTICLE

Correction appended 2:21 pm ET

A European court ruled Tuesday that Google must remove outdated or irrelevant personal information on individuals from its search results if requested, enshrining a right to be “forgotten.”

The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg found that individuals have a right to control their private data and that they have the right to request that information be “forgotten” when the results show links to information that is no longer accurate or relevant, the Associated Press reports.

Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, welcomed the judgment. “Today’s court judgement [sic] is a clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Big data need big rights.”

The advisory judgment stemmed from a Spanish case against Google, ruling that the search engine is responsible for the content that appears after a query, and that it is not just hosting links to it and summaries about it. It also found that Google must respond to legitimate requests to remove data; exceptions could be made when the information is relative to a public figure, especially a politician, and it would be deemed against the public interest to remove the information.

Two noteworthy examples from the Spain case back in 2011 include a plastic surgeon who was sued for 5 million euro after supposedly botching a client’s breast augmentation and a high school principal who got a ticket for urinating in public. The two successfully convinced Spain’s Data Protection Agency to force Google to remove unflattering links to the incidents from its search engine results. At the time, another 88 people had fought and won the right to have various links about themselves removed as well.

Google can be bad for business, in other words, and one of the larger issues to this story is where to draw the line over what can be removed. Lobbying to have links to things you’ve posted about yourself is one thing; having search engine links to information someone else has posted about you deleted is another, more complicated issue entirely.

By April 2011, Google had already appealed the decision of Spain’s national court five times, arguing that — for better or worse — Google’s role is to index the world’s information. The search giant argued then, and still does today, that if people want inflammatory links about themselves removed from Google, their best course should be to take the issue up directly with whomever posted the content in the first place.

This latest ruling will affect all search engines that operate in Europe — not just Google: If people come across content about themselves they’d like removed, they’ll be able to contact the search engines, who “must listen and sometimes comply” to have the content removed, according to the Associated Press. Unlike the Spain case back in 2011, this ruling can’t be appealed by Google.

Details about how search engines will actually field and act upon requests haven’t been fully hashed out yet, but search engines won’t be automatically required to remove links for each request just because a request is made. According to the ruling, it’ll be up to the search engine to attempt to find a balance between ensuring information is available the public, and a person’s right to privacy. If the search engine and the person requesting information be removed can’t find a common ground, “the matter can be referred to a local judge or regulator,” reports the AP.

Correction: This piece originally misstated the location of the European Union Court of Justice. It is in Luxembourg.

TIME Video Games

5 Great No-Fuss Sites for Finding Classic Computer Games

You could sit there at your desk pretending to work all day or you could play some of your favorite old-school computer games instead.

Actually, pro tip: a lot of these sites contain old adventure games that require you to do a lot of typing. And typing sounds just like work. You’re now pretending to work by playing old-school computer games. Everyone wins! Except your company, but it’s not like you’re employee of the year anyway.

Let’s move on. Here are five sites that remind us all of simpler times.

GOG.com

GOG
GOG.com

The “GOG” in GOG.com stands for good old games, and the site delivers. With more than 700 retro titles, you’re bound to feel the warm tickle of nostalgia coursing through your now-withered veins. This site is your childhood, in web form. And now you have money.

Games generally run between $5 and $20 or so, depending upon their popularity and year of release. Everything you buy is kept in a library you can access whenever you like, and games can be easily downloaded and installed on any of your computers.

Steam

Classic games on
Steam

Like GOG.com, Steam’s classic games section sports a bunch of blasts from the past. Keep an eye out for sales, as they happen often: Some games can dip as low as a few bucks, while collectors editions and multi-packs can run upwards of $30 in some cases. You’ll need to download and install the Steam app in order to access your games, too, but they’ll all be there waiting for you when you’re ready to play.

Web-Adventures.org

Web Adventures  Full Games List
Web-Adventures.org

The half hour I spent playing Zork while researching this piece? Not the worst half hour of my life. I forgot how hard it is to try to retain a mental map, though. That’s the challenge of text-based games where your imagination processes all the graphics. Web-Adventures.org houses just shy of 20 old-timey text-based adventure games, all playable right from within your browser.

Sarien.net

Sarien  Instant adventure gaming
Sarien.net

Speaking of browser-based adventure games, if you ever got hooked on Sierra games as a kid (like I did, repeatedly), Sarien.net is a must-visit site. It’s home to seven versions of classic Sierra games (King’s Quest I to III, Police Quest, Space Quest I and II, and more), all of which are playable from within your browser. You can create save points and everything, and the kicker is that you can see other people’s characters wandering around if a bunch of you are playing the same game at the same time.

AGD Interactive

Adventure Game Downloads
AGD Interactive

If you can’t get enough Sierra (obviously I can’t) but you wonder what some of your favorites would feel like as more modern-day reboots, you should absolutely check out AGD Interactive’s site. This game studio has painstakingly recreated the first three King’s Quest games and the second Quest for Glory game — with completely overhauled graphics, music and all-new voice tracks. They’re all free, too, which is insane.

Bonus Level

If you’ve somehow managed to play your way through the five sites mentioned above, make sure to also check out Abandonia. The site houses almost 1,400 old-school titles, some of which are available to download if they’ve been deemed “abandoned” by their creators, and others that contain links to where you can purchase them. Even if you don’t play a single game, the site itself is a blast, with screenshots and writeups of all the old classics.

If you do decide to get your hands dirty by downloading some old titles, you’ll need to use emulation software to run them. In that case, the gold standard for most old games is DOSBox. If you’ve never used DOS, DOSBox can get a little tricky but it’s worth learning — see a good how-to here. It’s an excellent life skill to have, like knowing how to golf or being able to French-roll your jeans. I don’t have to tell you that the conversation at every dinner party invariably ends up being about DOSBox once everyone gets a few drinks in them, so you might as well know what you’re talking about.

And if you really want to do some digging, the Internet Archive has a collection of more than 5,700 classic games, many available for download or playable in-browser. It’s a lot to wade through, but there are some real gems if you’re patient.

TIME Innovation

Ready or Not, Driverless Cars Are Coming

There may be an autobot in your driveway sooner than you think

+ READ ARTICLE

Predictions about a future in which cars that will fly, float or drive themselves have been staples of everything from science fiction to pop culture to corporate PR for decades. But now it looks like driverless cars, at least, may finally be hitting the road in short order.

Google announced as early as 2010 that it logged more than 140,000 miles in a self-driving car as part of a secret project. “While this project is very much in the experimental stage, it provides a glimpse of what transportation might look like in the future thanks to advanced computer science,” said Sebastian Thrun, a Google Fellow working on the company’s self-driving cars. “And that future is very exciting.”

Since then, Google and auto manufacturers have made great strides in refining and testing driverless technology by integrating semi-autonomous features into cars already on the market and building legal and public acceptance of the concept. But as the technology develops, questions have been raised about what it would mean if autonomous vehicles start hitting the roads in larger numbers. How do “robot cars” determine the best ways to react to an impending collision? How will human drivers and robots interact when they have to share the road? It won’t be long until we begin finding answers to these questions and others.

TIME Computers

Here Are a Bunch of New Intel-Based Chromebooks for 2014

Intel and Google recently partnered up for an event in San Francisco that could safely be referred to as a Chrome-splosion of sorts.

See, Intel understands that Chromebooks – Google’s low-cost, browser-based laptops – are here to stay. Problem is, some of the recent crop of Chromebooks have been using non-Intel processors.

In an effort to get the pendulum to swing back in Intel’s direction, the processor giant is upping its Chromebook lineup from a paltry four models in late 2013 to a whopping 20 to be trotted out over the course of this year.

You’ll have plenty to choose from, in other words. You’ll also need to opt for a Celeron-based model or a Core i3-based model when choosing a Chromebook. The Celeron models will generally be cheaper and able to last longer on a charge – Intel is promising up to 11 hours – while the Core i3 models will be more powerful (no 11-hour battery life promises, though).

Here’s a look at what was just announced, starting with the Celeron models and finishing up with the Core i3 selections. Just to make things interesting, we’ll throw the Chromeboxes in the middle, which use Haswell-based Celeron chips (more powerful but less energy efficient than Bay Trail Celeron chips) and most closely resemble desktop computers.

Bay Trail Celeron

Asus C200 Chromebook

ASUS_C200
Asus

Asus C300 Chromebook

ASUS_C300
Asus
  • 13.3-inch screen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available in June
  • Price unknown (C200 starts at $250; C300 likely around $300 to $350)

Lenovo N20 Chromebook

N20_Chrome_Standard_03
Lenovo
  • 11.6-inch screen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available in July
  • Price starting at $279

Lenovo N20p Chromebook

N20p_Chrome_Hero_01
Lenovo
  • 11.6-inch convertible touchscreen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available in August
  • Price starting at $329

Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Chromebook

  • 11.6-inch screen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available “this spring”
  • Price starting at $349

Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga Chromebook

Lenovo
  • 11.6-inch convertible touchscreen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available “this spring”
  • Price unknown (11e starts at $349; 11e Yoga likely around $400 to $450)

Toshiba Chromebook

Toshiba
  • 13.3-inch screen
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Available “over the next few months.”
  • Price unknown (current model starts at $300)

Haswell Celeron

LG Chromebase All-in-One

LG
  • 21.5-inch full-HD (1920×1080) screen
  • Intel Celeron CPU (Haswell)
  • Available May 26
  • Price starting at $349

HP Chromebox

HP
  • Dual-display support (you supply your own) via HDMI and DisplayPort connections
  • Intel Celeron CPU (Haswell)
  • Available in June
  • Price unknown

Core i3

Dell Chromebook 11

Dell
  • 11.6-inch screen
  • Intel Core i3 CPU
  • Available “later this year”
  • Price unknown (current model starts at $279)

Acer C720 Chromebook

Acer
  • 11.6-inch screen
  • Intel Core i3 CPU
  • Available in June
  • Price starting at $350

Press Release [Intel.com]

TIME apps

Google Maps App Gets Lane Guidance, Offline Mode and Other Substantial Features

Navigation with Lane Guidance
Google's Maps app features GPS lane guidance Google

Google recently updated its Maps app for iPhone and Android with a whole mess of new features, such as:

  • Lane guidance while in navigation mode, so you can be sure to be in the correct lane while preparing to exit;
  • The ability to pre-download certain sections of maps for use when you’ll be offline;
  • The ability to sort nearby restaurants, bars and hotels by hours, rating or price;
  • Integration with the Uber app, if you have it installed: You can check whether walking, talking public transportation or taking Uber will get you to your destination most quickly;
  • More accurate public transportation information, such as the ability to set your desired departure time for the train or look up the last time the train runs;
  • The ability to star places on a map, saving them so you can remember to visit them later;
  • Deeper integration with Street View functionality, allowing you to see first-person imagery of popular tourist destinations, restaurants and bars.

Lane guidance and offline mode are the two big-ticket items here, as they help round out the Maps app as a free, powerful GPS replacement. The other additions are nice touches, too, many of them with the apparent goal of trying to keep people inside the Maps app instead of using apps from the likes of Yelp or one of several public transit apps.

TIME How-To

Delete Your Accounts: Links and Phone Numbers to 65 Sites and Services

Delete
Getty Images

It's time for some spring cleaning, friends.

Here’s a list of direct links and phone numbers to 65 popular tech services. Some are harder to quit than others, forcing you to call to speak to a live person who’ll undoubtedly try to talk you out of your decision (be strong!). In those instances, I’ve listed the phone numbers directly under the service name.

For most of the others, the link under each one’s name should either lead you to a way to close your account online with a few clicks or to an email address you can use to request that your account be closed. And if you’re not sure which accounts you even have any more, here’s a handy trick to look them up.

Adobe

Cancel your membership or subscription

Amazon

About Closing Your Account

End Your Amazon Prime Membership

AOL

How do I change or cancel my AOL account for paid plans?

How do I change or cancel my AOL account for free plans?

Apple (iTunes)

Contact Apple Support (choose Account Management > Managing or editing an Apple ID)

AT&T

Cancel service or remove a line from an account (wireless: call 1-800-331-0500)

Other services (Internet access, TV, home phone, etc.): Call 1-800-288-2020

Comcast

Cancel or Make Changes to Your XFINITY Service (call 1-800-934-6489)

DirecTV

How do I disconnect my DIRECTV services? (call 1-800-531-5000)

Dish

MyDish – Cancel Service (call 1-888-496-1260)

Disqus

Deleting your account

Dropbox

How do I delete my account?

EA (Origin)

How to delete an Origin account

eBay

Closing your account

Etsy

How do I close my Etsy account?

How do I close my shop?

Evernote

How do I deactivate my account and remove its data?

How to manage or cancel your Evernote Premium subscription billing

Facebook

Deactivating, Deleting & Memorializing Accounts

Flickr

Delete your Flickr account

Flipboard

Email privacy@flipboard.com with a request that your account be deleted

Foursquare

How do I delete my account?

Google

Delete or restore a Google Account

Groupon

Customer Support (email support@groupon.com or call 1-877-788-7858)

Hulu

How Do I Delete My Free Hulu.com Account?

How Do I Cancel My Hulu Plus Subscription?

Instagram

Delete Your Account

Instapaper

Delete Account

Klout

How do I opt out of Klout?

How do I delete my account?

Last.fm

Account settings (select the “Data” tab)

LinkedIn

Closing Your Account

Cancel Premium access

Microsoft

How do I close my Microsoft account?

Myspace

How do I Delete My Account

Netflix

Cancel Membership (streaming)

Cancel your DVD plan

Nintendo

How to Deactivate an Account

How to Delete an Account

Pandora

Must be done via email form

PayPal

Log in to your PayPal account, then click Profile > Close Account (under Account Information)

Pinterest

Deactivate or reactivate an account

PlayStation

Close a Sony Entertainment Network Account

Pocket

How can I delete my Pocket account?

Quora

How do I deactivate my Quora account?

Rdio

Cancel subscriptions

Delete account

Reddit

How do I delete my account?

Rovio

Rovio account page (click “Delete Account” at the bottom)

RunKeeper

How to delete your RunKeeper Account

Samsung

How Do I Delete My Samsung Account?

Shutterfly

Email, use the Live Help feature or call 1-888-225-7159

Skype

How do I cancel my subscription?

Deleting Skype Accounts

Snapchat

Delete your Snapchat account

Soundcloud

How do I delete my account?

Spotify

Cancel your subscription

Contact Spotify support to delete your account

Sprint

Call 1-888-211-4727

Square

Disable Your Square Register Account

Disable Your Square Wallet Account

Steam

Create a support ticket

StumbleUpon

How do I delete my account?

Ticketmaster

Close Your Account

Time Warner Cable

Transfer or Cancel Service (call 1-888-892-2253)

TiVo

Considering canceling your TiVo® subscription? (call 1-877-367-8486)

T-Mobile

Call 1-800-866-2453

Tumblr

Close my account

Twitter

Deactivating your account

Verizon

Wireless: 1-800-922-0204

Other services (Internet access, FiOS TV, home phone, etc.): Call 1-800-837-4966

WhatsApp

How do I delete my account?

Wikipedia

Right to vanish

WordPress

Deleting Accounts

Xbox

Close your Microsoft account

Yahoo

Terminating your Yahoo account

Yelp

Close my account

YouTube

Delete YouTube channel

(See also: Delete or restore a Google Account)

Zynga

Privacy FAQs (see fourth question)

TIME Retail

Apple Bets $68 Million on Ahrendts to Lead Retail Efforts

ahrendts
Angela Ahrendts, former Burberry CEO and new Apple retail SVP, seen holding an iPad in 2013 Peter Foley -- Bloomberg / Getty Images

Apple has been looking to return some stability to its retail operations since Ron Johnson’s departure back in late 2011. His successor, former Dixon’s CEO John Browett, lasted a mere six months.

As a nice bit of incentive, Apple’s latest SVP of retail, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, is poised to receive north of 113,000 Apple shares — worth around $68 million — doled out over the next four years, with the first vesting period occurring June 1.

That first haul on June 1? A cool $9.8 million, reports CNN. And Ahrendts can lay claim to around $10.5 million in stock options from her former employer, “even though those options were not supposed to pay out until June,” says CNN.

Not a bad first couple of months for Ahrendts, in other words. Apple’s stock also recently cleared $600 per share for the first time since 2012 on the tail of an announced 7:1 split set to happen in early June.

[CNN]

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