Latest StoriesHow-To
    How To Make the Most of Android's Front-Facing Camera
    Front-facing cameras have become one of the hot new features the modern "superphone" is expected to have. The Evo and Galaxy S kicked off this trend on Android, now Google has added native support in Android 2.3. With this milestone, the use of front-facing cams is likely to explode over the coming months as developers start building apps specifically for these cameras. Some third-party apps are already on the scene, and Android 3.0 Honeycomb will bring native video chat to some devices in the coming months. 

    25 Essential Tweaks to Perform on Your New Android Phone

    Editor's note: Now updated for 2012 here!

    Get a new Android phone, or planning on getting one soon? There’s a lot you can do with a handset running Google's mobile OS, and you don’t want to just jump in and peruse the Internet until you properly set up and tweak the phone. After all, user customization is one of Android's top attributes. Luckily, we’ve got a step-by-step guide for you to get started.

    Whether you're an Android newbie or die-hard enthusiast, you'll have something to learn from this checklist of the 25 most essential things you ought to do with your new Android phone (Yes, Gingerbread phones included!).

    25 Essential Steps to Setting Up Your New PC Like a Boss
    Did you find a new PC under your tree this Christmas, or at least the hardware to build a new one? Either way, now you’ve got a whole lot of work to do—or rather, a fun holiday project! But make no mistake, you are going to be busy: getting the machine up and running, configuring the settings to your liking, playing Starcra . . . doing performance tests. It’s all going to take a while, and you don’t want to miss a single important step. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

    The First 15 Things You Need to Do with a New DSLR
    After years with your trusty point-and-shoot camera, you've decided to move on. And good thing, too — there's really no better time to jump into DSLR photography. Cameras are the cheapest they've ever been, and have numerous functions and modes with first-time users in mind. 

    Handbrake vs. Freemake: Video Converter Showdown
    Handbrake is a very capable video converter, and while it's not the only option out there, it's one of the best. But that could soon change. A new video conversion utility (Windows only) is putting a spin on many of Handbrake's best features — and the results aren't half bad, either.
    Freemake Video Converter. Today we're going to see how it stacks up to Handbrake, and whether it's worth your time. 
    How To Properly Tweak Msconfig To Speed Up Windows
    If you’ve ever had to research a major Windows error, you’ve probably run across msconfig, the handy Windows utility. Msconfig provides insight into what your computer is doing behind the scenes, and lets you take control of processes that you’d normally never encounter directly. If you haven’t used this valuable diagnostic asset yet, it’s time to give it a try. Learn to use msconfig well, and you’ll have a powerful new item in your mental tech toolbox.

    How To Best Export Photos from Your Android Phone
    Here's the scenario, you just took a picture with your Android phone, and you want that file on your computer. Sure, you could drag out the cable and plug in your phone to transfer it over. But what is this, the stone age? Android is designed to be a connected operating system that doesn't rely on being tethered to a PC. So why break out the cable when you need to move some images off? 

    How To Make the Switch to Google Chrome Browser
    By now you’ve probably heard about a little web browser called Google Chrome. But maybe you haven’t had a chance to try it yet? It’s cool, we know you’ve been busy these past few years. Or perhaps you’ve used Chrome in the past, but have let the link sit idling on your desktop, while the silent updater has added a wealth of new features. Either way, you should put Google’s ever-more-popular browser to the test, and make it work for you.

    How To Master Typing with Swype Keyboard for Android
    Since it is that time of year, the fine folks at Swype have reopened their ongoing beta for Android devices. That means you can have yourself some gesture text input for absolutely free. Swype is unlike most other text input options. Instead of tapping, you draw a line passing through the necessary letters. It's been imitated, but if you ask us, not yet duplicated. Some users aren't sold on Swype just yet. 

    How To Monitor Your Bandwidth Usage on PC and Mac
    Not everyone has the luxury of an uncapped connection these days — especially those of you in the mobile world. There's not much we can do to make things better, but at the very least, there are ways to keep you from incurring those pesky overage charges.

    Three File Sharing Programs That Dropbox Can't Touch
    We all love Dropbox. It's a free, convenient way to backup and share files— or even do some cool tricks. But if you’re defaulting to Dropbox for every file sharing need, you may be missing out. With a little searching, you can find other options that have their own interesting takes on moving data from one place to another. For certain purposes, in fact, some of the alternatives even have distinct advantages over that handy little blue box.

    How To Completely Secure Your Data on Android Phones
    Your phone travels around with you all day, giving you ample opportunity to lose it, or simply let it out of your sight for a time. It is increasingly common that people carry personal, and sometimes sensitive data on their mobile phones. There are a few simple tricks you can use with Android to make sure no prying eyes can access your data. 

    When to Upgrade Your Graphics Card and Other Hardware
    I’ve been there. Something cool – really cool comes out. It just sets of that itch inside you, that gotta have itch that only plunking down your credit card and installing that shiny new piece of hardware can scratch. Case in point: graphics card. If you’re a PC gamer like me, a new GPU emerging from the mists of NDA-land and onto store shelves sets off that gotta have itch more than any other PC hardware. You just know in your heart of hearts that the new graphics card will make your gaming experience 1,000x better. 
    No, it won’t. Unless you’re coming from really old hardware, a new graphics card will only incrementally improve performance. If your system is several generations old, you probably have more performance issues than a new GPU will solve. If you’re running last generation’s graphics, you’re probably in pretty good shape. So you should hold onto that credit card for now.

    How To Keep Your Online Passwords Safe And Secure
    You've probably heard by now that the Gawker network — purveyors of all things gossip, gadgets and games — suffered from a particularly nasty security breach earlier this week. Not only was staff email breached and crucial servers hacked, but a sizable number of user passwords were exposed as well — over 1.3 million, according to the group responsible. 

    But while these sort of breaches are never fun to report on, it reinforces the importance of a secure password for your online accounts. A staggering number of users had actually used "password" as part of their login credentials, or variations of "qwerty" instead — and as readers of our site should know, that's just not going to cut it.

    How To Make the Most Out of Google Voice on Android
    Google Voice is a great service is you take the time to get to know it. Even the concept can be a little hard to grasp. Nowhere is Google Voice more completely integrated than in Android. There are apps, extensions, and web interfaces to become familiar with. Each piece of the puzzle gets you one step closer to a more coordinated Google Voice experience. 

    How To Protect Yourself from Windows and Firefox Crashes
    Windows has made some wonderful strides since the debut of Windows 95. The operating system that brought us the Start menu and task bar crashed aggressively and almost seemed to delight in delivering that dreaded blue screen of death. Things have gotten better since then. Vista may have been something of a misstep (and we don’t even want to talk about Windows ME) but Windows 7 is stable, slick and intuitive.

    We’ll lead the way.
    How To Root the Most Popular Android Phones, and Why You'd Want To
    Android is a very capable operating system in its shipping form. But there may come a time that you just want a little more control. Rooting your phone can be a rewarding experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to do this. For instance, some apps require root access to work. Or maybe you want to flash a third-party ROM on the device. Whatever your intended results, you should proceed carefully as these operations can often damage your phone.