Trending February 2024 # Fresh Out Of The Box: 10 Ways To Make Your Google Pixel 6A Better # Suggested March 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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Ryan Haines / Android Authority

There’s something special about the first time you set up a new phone. Pressing the power button and seeing the display spring to life is fun, no matter how often you do it. There are so many menus to explore and settings to customize, however, that the setup process can sometimes feel overwhelming. With that in mind, we’ve come up with some Google Pixel 6a tips and tricks to try right out of the box to make your phone even better.

Google Pixel 6a tips and tricks

Open the Settings menu.

Select the System heading.

Tap Gestures.

Choose Quick Tap.

Pick your command.

Open the Settings menu.

Choose the Accessibility section.

Tap Live Caption and toggle it to On.

Once you set up Live Caption in the Settings menu, it’s a good idea to test it with the volume rocker again.

4. Turn on Now Playing

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

There’s a good chance you’ll hear music playing when you’re out and about. It won’t always be to your taste, but there’s a chance it could be a new artist you want to listen to again. If that’s the case, you might be scrambling to open an app like Shazam to catch the song title, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be quick enough. Instead, you can try Google’s Now Playing feature. It makes the cut as one of our top Google Pixel 6a tips because it’s one feature you can use without thinking.

Now Playing listens for ambient music and automatically displays the song and artist across the bottom of your display. Even better, it keeps a history of the last few songs you listened to in case you forget to make a note of it yourself. The easiest way to dig up Now Playing is to open the Settings menu and type it into the search bar. It’s also hidden under the Sound & Vibration menu if you want to toggle it at the same time as Live Caption.

5. Register your fingerprints — maybe twice

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

We’ve had reassurances that the Pixel 6a’s fingerprint reader is not the same one used in its Pixel 6 siblings, but it’s always good to be careful. Google’s flagships were rife with issues, from not registering fingerprints to opening slowly and even breaking if the battery died. So far, there haven’t been as many issues on the Pixel 6a, but the best way to increase your chances of unlocking is to re-register your fingerprints. The sensor placement is still easy to reach, so it might be a good idea to register each of your thumbs twice.

Here’s what to do:

Head to Settings.

Scroll to Fingerprint Unlock.

Enter your PIN when prompted.

Select Add fingerprint.

Follow the steps to scan your entire fingerprint.

8. Adjust your keyboard settings

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Pixel 6a is much easier to use with one hand than either of its Pixel 6 siblings were. However, sometimes you still want to tweak some things here and there to make life even easier. We recommended resizing the Pixel 6 keyboard to make it easier to reach, but our Pixel 6a tip is to customize everything else.

You can find the Pixel 6a’s keyboard settings under the Languages & input menu. From there, you can toggle Google Voice Typing on or off or head into Gboard settings for a little more power. The Gboard lets you add language preferences (and different keyboards with default characters), activate glide typing if you don’t want to lift a finger, and even add terms to your personal dictionary. That’s the easiest way to combat autocorrect issues, but you can also instruct the Gboard to forget its learned words and data in case you want to start fresh.

You're reading Fresh Out Of The Box: 10 Ways To Make Your Google Pixel 6A Better

9 Ways To Make Better Use Of Gmail Filters

Gmail filters is a good way for you to set rules for your email and allow you to organize your inbox without you doing the manual work. Here are a few ways that you can make good use of Gmail Fliters

1. Forward all incoming emails and archive them

If you have multiple Gmail accounts, and you really only use one of them, a good way to manage all your emails is to forward all the emails from all the accounts to the primary account. In addition, you can mark the emails as read and archive all of them, so they won’t show up in the inbox.

To accomplish this, create a new filter with @ in the “From” field. (It will work with * as well)

In the next section, you can select “Forward it” as well as “Mark as read” (or “Archive”).

2. Auto-reply to Email Using Canned Responses

If you always receive emails from the same user, or have the same pattern (like questions on a particular topic, guest post request, etc), you can compose a canned response and create a filter to auto-reply with the canned response for such emails.

Here’s the guide to setup the filter to autoreply with canned response.

3. Sort attachment of various size

The standard filter allows you to select emails with attachment. You can further improve this filter by specifying the attachment size. For example, to add a label “big file attachment” to emails with attachment of more than 10MB:

1. In the search bar at the top of Gmail, type:

Yet another way to customize this filter is to sort attachment according to their file types, something like:

4. Configure tabbed inbox emails

For the new tabbed inbox interface in Gmail, Google is the one that decides which email go into which category/tab. By using the filters, you can set your own rule to override the default settings, like emails from Twitter will go directly into “Primary” instead of “Social” tab.

5. Quickly organize old emails into label

After you have created a filter, it will only work for future incoming emails. If you already have thousands of emails in your inbox and you only just started out using filters, there is an option for you to quickly apply the filter to all the emails in your inbox.

6. Export/Import Filter to new Gmail account

If you have multiple Gmail accounts and you want all of them to have the same set of filters, instead of creating each filter one-by-one in all the accounts, you can simply export from one account and import to other Gmail accounts.

7. Send a to-do list to yourself and auto assign it to label

If you have the habit of recording down the things that you need to do, you can simply email yourself with the subject “TODO” and make use of a filter to add “TODO” label to the email.

8. Use Gmail as a RSS reader

Using a service like IFTTT, you can easily convert a RSS into an email and have it delivered to your inbox. You can then make use of a filter to assign “RSS” label to the email.

9. Create a disposable email address with the “+” alias

For this to work, you have to create the filter:

Action: Delete It Conclusion

There are tons of ways to make use of Gmail filters and we have only scratched the surface. Do share with us the cool filters you have come up with and innovative ways to make use of them.

Image credit: file folder with slots for household expenses by BigStockPhoto

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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How To Make Google Assistant Read Your Articles Out Loud

Found an interesting article you’d like to read but too tired right now or busy doing something else? You could save it for later or ask your Google Assistant to read it to you instead. This way you won’t risk forgetting about it afterward.

The feature was recently introduced. Google explained that the technology is different from other screen-reading software, as it’s capable of reading text in a natural-sounding voice and cadence so that people won’t have trouble listening and understanding, even for longer periods of time.

Google’s virtual assistant is available on most Android phones, so if you’d like to hear it read out to you, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps.

Note: so far the feature is meant for listening to articles, blog posts, or short stories online.

Set Up the Voice Match on Your Device (If It’s Not on Yet)

To check if your Google Assistant is already active and ready on your device, touch and hold its Home button or say “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” If nothing happens, it means you’ll need to manually turn on Voice Match on your device. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to your device’s Settings app.

2. Scroll down until you find Google and tap on it.

4. Find and tap on the “Voice Match” feature under the Hey Google category.

5. Make sure the Google Assistant toggle is on. Also, turn on “Hey Google” under Voice Match.

6. Once Hey Google is on, Google will ask you to say a few phrases so that it can learn your voice. Follow the steps indicated.

Note: on some older devices that don’t offer the assistant’s services by default, you may have to download the Google Assistant app.

Get Google Assistant to Read Articles to You

Before we start, we need to point out one thing. The feature only works if you’re using the Chrome browser on your Android device or any other Chromium-based browsing app. If you have one on your phone, you are good to go.

1. Open an article you’d like to read in your browser of choice, then simply say: “Hey Google, read it.”

2. The first time you’ll attempt this command, Google Assistant will probably say it can’t do that because “Screen Context” needs to be turned on first.

3. A pop-up window will promptly appear on the screen asking you to give the Google app access to use your screen context. Tap OK. You don’t have to go looking through Settings on your own.

4. Now go back to the article and ask the Assistant once again to “Read It.” This time it will surely oblige and say “Got it” or “OK.” It takes a few seconds, as the virtual helper scans the piece before starting to read it out loud.

Take Full Advantage of the Controls

You can access these controls directly from the Notification tray as well. You can even close the browser and still be able to pause or play the reading just by swiping down from the home screen or directly from the lock screen.

But wait – there’s more. Can’t understand English all that well? Perhaps you would like to hear the virtual assistant read to you in your native tongue.

Look for the three-dot menu icon located in the upper-right corner of the “Read It” browser and tap it, then on Translation. Here you can choose the language you want the text translated to, including German, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, and more (42 languages in total). The feature leverages the power of Google Translate to achieve this, and the results are remarkably adequate and convincing.

From the same menu users can select a different voice to read their articles. You’ll find this option under “Read aloud voice.”

Additional Considerations

As we mentioned above, you’ll need a Chromium-based browser for this feature to work. What’s more, “Read It” is not available for certain websites and most apps. (You’ll need to use the web version instead.) If you’ve stumbled upon a paywall or a log-in is requested to display the full article, the feature may not work. Despite these limitations, the new Google Assistant trick proves super useful. Going forward, Google will surely continue to improve it.

Want to get even more out of your Google Assistant? You may want to learn how to create an emergency routine using Google’s virtual helper, just to stay on the safe side of things.

Image Credit: Google Blog

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Podcast

Podcast on Your Blog: Your blog is another location where you should have your podcast first and foremost. You can also embed the audio very easily into a blog, login through the interface to your blog and post it, along with sending it to iTunes. Your blogs are an imperative location, because here you can not only post your blog but also let people sign up for your notifications.

This will let your visitors know when you have new podcasts up. Also, have a subscribe button on your site so people can always have the latest and greatest content available to them when it’s first live!

One other important tip to getting the most out of your podcast is summarizing. To help search engines find you, it is also so important to add important points of you podcast underneath the audio. It also should have links with in the content proving your point. Individuals tend to just add the podcast or audio with a brief title. Using text tell your audience what the audio is about, using good keywords, links and images that beef up your SEO.

Syndicate Your Content : If you have a podcast, not only must it just be on your site, but also on other sites. iTunes, for example is one place you can start to begin expanding your brand awareness, as it’s a huge search engine for content. iTunes lets you create a channel where you can place your podcasts.

When adding content to iTunes, make sure you are using the keyword research you have done in the past for your site, as it would be best to name your podcasts with keywords rich titles. You should write a synopsis and also add good keywords in this area to get the maximum benefit out of it. Another thing you can do in iTunes is submit it to podcast directories, so you make sure you get a larger audience, but putting your content in several places. There are several podcast directories you can look out to find out where else you can add you content.

Another site that is a great way place to get the most out of your podcast, is a site called Hipcast. Hipcast is a site that helps you create all sorts of content. Here you can create audio, video, podcasts and blogs. Here you can even call a number using your phone to create an audio file. There is a small fee to use Hipcast, but its ease of usability is worth the $5/month price.

Unique Data Visualization Techniques To Make Your Plots Stand Out

Andrews Curves for Data Visualization

Andrews Curve is a useful plot for visualizing patterns in multidimensional data. The concept Andrews Curves was developed by statistician David F. Andrews in 1972. Andrews Curves are created by defining a finite Fourier Series which is an equation of sine curves. This allows us to visualize the difference in data. The equation is given by:

where x refers to each of the dimensions in the data and the value of t ranges from -π to π. Learn more about Andrews Curves in Python Here and Wikipedia.

Let’s create the Andrews Curves in Python using Pandas.

Importing the Libraries

import pandas as pd

Importing the Data

df = pd.read_csv("iris.csv")

The dataset has been downloaded from Kaggle.

Plotting the Andrews Curves

plt.figure(figsize=(12,6)) pd.plotting.andrews_curves(df, 'Species', colormap='YlOrRd')

Here, we passed our dataframe df into the .andrews_curves() method of pandas.plotting. We also passed our categorical variable and the colormap for the Andrews Curves.

 

Putting it All Together

Python Code:



On executing this, we get:

Source – Personal Computer

Raincloud Plot for Data Visualization

Raincloud Plot is a unique Data Visualization technique introduced in 2023. It is a robust visualization technique that combines a violin plot, a box plot and a scatter plot. Thus, one can see a detailed view of raw data in the single plot. This plotting style makes the Raincloud Plot better than any of the charts it is made of alone. Learn more about Raincloud Plots here.

4) “Thunder”, a pointplot connecting the mean of the different categories (if pointplot is True)

 

Installing the Libraries

pip install ptitprince

 

Importing the Libraries

import pandas as pd import matplotlib.pyplot as plt import ptitprince

 

Importing the Data

df = pd.read_csv("iris.csv")

 

Plotting the Raincloud Plot

plt.figure(figsize = (12,8)) ptitprince.RainCloud(data = df, x = 'Species', y = 'Sepal.Length', orient = 'h')

 

import pandas as pd import matplotlib.pyplot as plt import ptitprince df = pd.read_csv("iris.csv") plt.figure(figsize = (12,8)) ptitprince.RainCloud(data = df, x = 'Species', y = 'Sepal.Length', orient = 'h') plt.show()

Source – Personal Computer

Calendar Heatmap for Data Visualization

Calendar Heatmap is a unique visualization technique to visualize the time series data. It creates a horizontal pallet of squares, each resembling a day of a year. One must have seen a similar palette in their GitHub profile for all the commits for a year. Since it’s a heatmap, each square has colors of different densities based on the values or weights for that day.

In Python, we can create a Calendar Heatmap using a library called calmap. Let’s build a Calendar Heatmap.

Installing the Libraries

pip install calmap

 

Importing the Libraries

import matplotlib as mpl import calmap

Importing the Data

df = pd.read_csv("currency.csv")

 

Getting Data Ready for Plot

df['Time'] = pd.to_datetime(df['Time']) df.set_index('Time', inplace = True)

Here, we converted our Time column to DateTime type. Next, we set the Time column as Index using the .set_index() method which will help plot the Calendar Plot.

Plotting Calendar Plot

calmap.calendarplot(df['2024']['GEMS_GEMS_SPENT'], cmap = 'OrRd', fig_kws={'figsize': (16,12)}, yearlabel_kws={'color':'black'})

Here, we used the .calendarplot() method of calmap. In the calenderplot(), we specified the arguments as dataframe for the year 2023 for column ‘GEMS_GEMS_SPENT‘, cmap as ‘OrRd’, figure keyword arguments fig_kws for specifying the figure size, and yearlabel keyword argument yearlabel_kws to specify the colour of the year label at the left side.

 

Putting it All Together

import matplotlib as mpl import calmap df = pd.read_csv("currency.csv") df['Time'] = pd.to_datetime(df['Time']) df.set_index('Time', inplace = True) calmap.calendarplot(df['2024']['GEMS_GEMS_SPENT'], cmap = 'OrRd', fig_kws={'figsize': (16,12)}, yearlabel_kws={'color':'black'}) plt.show()

On executing this, we get:

Source  – Personal Computer

Conclusions

In this article, we learned and implemented three unique visualization techniques to take our data visualization game to a next level. Unique visualization techniques are eye-catchy and gain attention from the viewers. Learning new techniques also helps in developing our skillset. One can try playing with arguments of the methods discussed above to build more robust and beautiful plots. With time, a lot of new visualization techniques are being developed, one should keep trying to learn them to create more accurate plots based on the data.

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13 Ways On How To Make Your Computer Faster

There is nothing more annoying than using a slow computer. Waiting for programs to open, menus to respond, and screens to change can feel like it takes forever when you’re working with an older machine that isn’t snappy. 

However, you can do a few things to make your computer faster. You just have to decide whether you want to approach it from a software perspective or whether you’re willing to upgrade some of the hardware to make a more significant impact on your system’s speed.

Making your computer faster should be mainly about three things: fixing your settings, ensuring there aren’t any problems, and upgrading your hardware. Each will have an impact. 

You can start by trying to fix your settings and eliminate problems. After that, decide whether your computer’s speed is acceptable or whether you need to upgrade the machine.

You can make a few adjustments to your PC to speed things up.

One thing to do before you start is to uninstall programs you won’t use again and make sure your hard drives aren’t too crowded. You want to have at least 15 percent of your space free on HDDs. For SSDs, consider leaving 25 percent of the space empty. 

You can always back up files, delete them from the drives, and keep them on storage with more space to help your computer run faster. 

You should also run a virus scan. The presence of a virus on your computer can slow it significantly. 

You can use disk cleanup to remove files that you might overlook if you’re deleting things on your own.

One way to speed up your computer is to change your power plan. You might be on a balanced or energy-saving plan – which can save you money but isn’t optimal for your computer’s performance.

Your computer may draw more power, but it should also perform faster.

Many effects make Windows look better and more high-tech, but those also take a toll on your system. Try disabling them to see whether it makes your computer faster. If not, you can always turn them back on.

If a lack of RAM creates a bottleneck for you, increase the size of your virtual memory. This space on your hard drive holds files you use less often than those stored by RAM.

Over time, your virtual memory may fill up and not be adequate to meet your needs. Increasing it is a simple process, and doing so might speed up your PC.

The amount of virtual memory you want to set varies depending on how much RAM you have in your system. If you have 8 GB of RAM, you should have a minimum of 12000 MB and a maximum of 32000 MB.

In general, the minimum should be 1.5 times your total RAM size, and the maximum should be 3 times your total RAM amount.

ReadyBoost isn’t for everyone. It’s an option for Windows users who have their operating system on an HDD instead of an SSD. If you’re using an SSD, it won’t work for you.

The utility uses a USB flash drive to help improve the performance of your hard drive. It might make things work faster without upgrading your computer’s internal hardware.

Automatic syncing can cause your computer to perform more slowly because data is being uploaded and downloaded from your PC to the cloud.

While many programs do this – DropBox, for example – they each have a different way to pause or disable syncing. One program Microsoft recommends pausing the syncing on is OneDrive.

If you find that your computer works faster when OneDrive syncing is paused, then you should leave it off or pause syncing whenever you notice your computer moving slowly. 

One of the most frustrating times for a person with a slow computer is the startup. Your computer tries to load many programs and processes, causing things to slow and lag. Removing non-essential programs from your startup procedure can help you get started sooner.

The next time you turn on your computer, fewer programs and processes will load. 

To check for problems with your computer, run a few different scans. You can check for the presence of viruses, determine whether your Windows files are in order, see whether you have memory problems, and check for hard drive errors.

Keeping your computer from installing essential and recommended updates can take a toll on its speed. Make sure you update Windows when prompted.

You should also keep your drivers updated. Using outdated drivers can sometimes create systemic problems that affect the speed of your computer.

Another way to check for issues on your computer is to run a CHKDSK scan. It is a built-in Windows scan that looks for and fixes problems with your hard drives.

You’ll want to run a different scan for each drive to ensure all of them have been checked and fixed.

The System File Checker is another Windows utility that can help fix your computer and eliminate issues slowing it down. This program looks for errors or deletions in Windows files and then repairs or replaces them.

If you find that SFC can’t fix or replace your files – a rare occurrence – you can replace them manually with files copied from a healthy copy of a matching Windows installation. You might be better off just backing up your data and resetting your computer, including installing a fresh copy of your operating system. 

You don’t have to replace every part of a computer to make your computer faster. You can choose a few components to replace that will have the most considerable impact on your system’s speed. 

Your RAM, CPU, hard drive, and GPU have some of the most noticeable impacts on your computer speed. 

If you’re using single-channel RAM and your device supports dual-channel, consider investing in dual-channel RAM. You can also increase the amount of RAM or its speed if you want to replace the sticks you already have.

A CPU with more cores and quicker speeds will make an impact on how fast your computer performs. You can replace your CPU without getting a new motherboard, as long as the new CPU and the old motherboard are compatible.

Replacing a CPU is relatively complex for people without computer building and repair experience, so consider consulting a certified technician if it isn’t something you’re comfortable with.

Replacing your HDD with an SSD will significantly improve your computer’s speed. 

Your GPU is important, especially for programs like games, video editing, and CAD software. Many systems are built to replace the GPU without replacing other components. If you get a good deal on an upgrade, it might extend the life of your current setup.

Whatever you choose, ensure that your parts are compatible and better than the parts you’re swapping them for. Ultimately, hardware may have more of an impact on your computer than software changes – but both are still practical ways to speed up your computer. 

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