Gadget

How to use Android messenger on your Chromebook

If you’re all thumbs on your Android device, and would rather be able to use your Chromebook keyboard for SMS messages, Jack Wallen will show you the way.

Image: Jack Wallen

I’m going to be honest here–I really don’t like typing on my phone. After typing at a keyboard for over 30 years, my fingers really hate the idea of relegating that task to mostly thumbs. Typos abound and I don’t really have the time to type out everything I need or want to say.

Because of that, I’ll do anything I can to shift that job away from the mobile device in my pocket, to the one on my desk–I’m talking, of course, about my Chromebook.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to migrate tasks from one mobile device to another. One task that I frequently make use of is the SMS app, Android Messages. Once upon a

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How to enable enhanced randomize MAC addresses on Android

Android 11 allows users to enable the Wi-Fi-Enhanced MAC randomization. Jack Wallen shows you how.

Image: César Salza/CNET en Español

In the name of privacy, the Google developers made it possible to use a randomized MAC address, starting with Android 8. However, it wasn’t until Android 11 that the default status of MAC randomization was such that users could enable the feature. To make it even more appealing, the randomization of MAC addresses on Android 11 is network based (per SSID). 

In other words, every time your device connects to a new network, it can use a randomized MAC address.

Why is this important?

To put it simply: Privacy. If your device uses the same MAC address for everything, it makes it possible for ne’er-do-wells to create a history of your activity, which could lead to far worse things. By making use of randomized MAC addresses, it becomes harder for

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One thing Samsung can do to drastically improve its phones

There’s one issue that prevents Android purists from adopting Samsung devices. Jack Wallen explains.

Image: Amazon

Confession here: I’m a Google Pixel fan–I have been since the release of the first device to hold that moniker. You might be wondering, why do I prefer the Pixel line of devices, over the numerous other Android smartphones on the market? That’s a good question, but it’s one that’s actually quite easy to answer. 

It’s not the hardware–there are much faster, more elegant, and impressive devices available. It used to be the camera, but the competition has caught up. It’s not the ease of onboarding, although that’s pretty sweet. It’s not the software (well, sort of). Let me explain, as that will clearly indicate what Samsung needs to do to become the greatest manufacturer of Android devices on the planet.

The thing about Android software is that, for the most part, you can

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How to re-enable voice-activated Google Assistant

Have you found your Android device no longer responding to “Hey Google?” Jack Wallen offers up a couple of ways to fix this problem.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. I call out to my Android device, “Hey, Google, call so and so,” only to have said device refuse to obey my command to call so and so. It’s frustrating, especially when one of the appeals of modern smartphones is hands-off usage while driving. 

This feature also makes daily usage far more efficient. So when it doesn’t work, it’s not only eye-roll worthy, it makes you want to chuck that device into the couch and shout to the developers to fix the issue. Well, fortunately there’s a much faster way than waiting for the Google devs to resolve the problem. In fact, the problem is usually fixed fairly easily. 

Let me show you how. 

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