How to pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone, or any other device

Samsung Galaxy Buds+
It’s easy to pair Galaxy Buds to any device via Bluetooth.

  • You can pair your Galaxy Buds to a Samsung device manually or automatically.
  • It’s also easy to pair your Galaxy Buds to a non-Samsung Android, to an iPhone, or to a PC or Mac.
  • Before you pair your Galaxy Buds to a new device, make sure they’re in range and not already connected to another device.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There was definitely a time in technology history when connecting devices – even ones advertised as “plug and play” – was convoluted, time-consuming, and frustrating. Thankfully, those days are pretty much over, at least for the newest generation of Bluetooth-enabled mobile gadgets.

Connecting Galaxy Buds to another device via Bluetooth is a simple process. Galaxy Buds can automatically pair to a Samsung phone, but you can also pair them with another Android device, an iPhone, and a PC or Mac – here’s how.

How to automatically pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone

1. Make sure the Galaxy Buds are in their charging case and that they’re at least partially charged.

2. Place the case near your Galaxy phone and open the case.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

3. Your Galaxy Buds will automatically go into Pairing Mode, and your phone will display the Galaxy Buds screen, asking if you want to connect to this device.

4. Tap Connect.

Screenshot of Galaxy Buds pairing screen on Samsung phone
The Buds will pair with a single tap.

How to manually pair Galaxy Buds to a Samsung phone

If you have trouble getting your Galaxy Buds to pair using the automatic process, you can still pair them by following the steps for other wireless earbuds.

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair the earbuds from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Try the automatic method again.

3. If it still doesn’t work, manually enter pairing mode by tapping and holding the touchpads on both Galaxy Buds.

4. Open the Settings app on your phone.

5. Tap Connections, then Bluetooth.

6. When it appears, tap the entry for your Galaxy Buds.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to a non-Samsung Android

The exact steps below may differ depending on what kind of Android device you have, but generally, you’ll need to go to your Bluetooth settings page to find and select a new device to pair.

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. On your Android, open the Notification center, then press and hold on the Bluetooth button.

Screenshot of Notification Center Bluetooth button on Android
Hold down on the “Bluetooth” button.

4. On the Bluetooth settings page, select Pair new device.

Screenshot of "Pair new device" Bluetooth screen on Android
Tap to pair a new Bluetooth device.

5. If your Galaxy Buds are in range, they will appear in a list of nearby devices. Select them and they should pair to your Android.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to an iPhone

To pair your Galaxy Buds with an iPhone, you’ll need to go to the Bluetooth page of your iPhone’s Settings app, and find your Galaxy Buds in the list of nearby devices.

For a step-by-step rundown, read our article on pairing Galaxy Buds with an iPhone.

How to connect Galaxy Buds to a PC

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. In the search bar at the bottom of your Windows computer, type Bluetooth and select Bluetooth and other device settings from the search results.

Screenshot of "Bluetooth and other device settings" result in Windows search bar
Click “Bluetooth and other device settings.”

4. On the Bluetooth & other devices page, click Add Bluetooth or other device at the top.

Screenshot of Bluetooth settings page on Windows
Select “Add Bluetooth or other device.”

5. In the Add a device pop-up, choose Bluetooth.

Screenshot of "Add a device" pop-up on Windows
Select “Bluetooth” in the pop-up.

6. In the list of nearby devices, select your Galaxy Buds to pair.

How to pair Galaxy Buds to a Mac

1. Make sure the Buds aren’t currently paired with another nearby phone. If they are, unpair them from that phone or turn off that phone’s Bluetooth.

2. Open the Galaxy Buds case and your earbuds should automatically enter pairing mode.

3. Open System Preferences on your Mac, which you can do by clicking the Apple icon in the toolbar at the top of your screen and selecting System Preferences in the drop-down.

4. In System Preferences, click Bluetooth.

Screenshot of "Bluetooth" button in Mac System Preferences
Go to “Bluetooth.”

5. If Bluetooth is turned off on your Mac, click Turn Bluetooth On on the left side of the Bluetooth page.

Screenshot of "Turn Bluetooth On" button in Mac System Preferences
Turn Bluetooth on if it’s not already.

6. Under Devices on the right side of the Bluetooth page, find your Galaxy Buds and click Connect.

Screenshot of Bluetooth page in Mac System Preferences
Click “Connect” next to the name of your Galaxy Buds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds are not waterproof or effectively water-resistant – here are a few water-resistant alternativesHow to properly clean your Samsung Galaxy Buds without damaging themNo, Bluetooth doesn’t use cellular data – here’s how the popular wireless technology connects your devicesWhy won’t my Bluetooth device connect?: How to fix common Bluetooth connection issues

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How to type the degree symbol on your computer, phone, or tablet keyboard

woman using ipad typing notes app
It’s easy to type a degree symbol on any common keyboard.

  • You can type a degree symbol with your keyboard using key combinations on a computer or numerical keyboard menus on a phone or tablet.
  • For instance, on a PC you can use the numpad code Alt + 0176; on a Mac, use Shift + Option + 8.
  • You can also use third-party apps to remap your keyboard, which can make the degree symbol easier to type.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

For as many keys as your keyboard holds, there are always hundreds more symbols that get left out. One of these is the degree symbol.

Luckily, the degree symbol is on your keyboard – just hidden behind a special code or action. Here’s how to type the degree symbol on your keyboard, whether you’re using a computer or phone.

How to type the degree symbol on a Windows PC

On a PC, you have a few options.

Alt Codes

If you’re using a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad (or “numpad”) on the right side, you can type the degree symbol with an Alt Code. These codes require you to hold down the Alt key and type a series of numbers on the numpad.

The degree symbol code is Alt + 0176. As soon as you let go of the Alt key, the symbol should appear.

A Notepad file in Windows 10 showing the equation: Alt + 0176 = °
Using the Alt Code is the fastest way to insert a degree sign.

The emoji menu

Windows 10 has a hidden emoji menu that lets you easily insert any emoji or special character into your text.

1. While you’re able to type, press the Windows key + . (period) to open the emoji menu.

2. At the top of the menu, click the omega symbol (Ω) to see the list of every special character.

3. Scroll down in the list until you find the degree symbol and click it to add it to your text.

A Windows 10 emoji menu, with the degree symbol selected.
The emoji menu lets you enter emoji or special characters.

Third-party keyboard remappers

Remapping is the process of changing what a specific button or key does. You can download apps and configure your keyboard so when you press a specific key, or enter a keyboard shortcut, it types out a degree symbol.

There are a few apps that let you create custom keyboard shortcuts, but the best for making special character shortcuts (like for the degree symbol) is probably CatchChar. It takes a little tinkering, but will let you insert any special character with a quick keyboard shortcut.

How to type the degree symbol on a Mac

To type the degree symbol on a Mac, press Shift + Option + 8.

A Mac TextEdit document, showing an equation: Shift + Option + 8 = °
You’ll press three keys at once to make a degree symbol.

Alternatively, press Control + Command + Space to open the Emoji & Symbols menu and then click Punctuation in the left sidebar. You’ll find the degree symbol in this list – double-click it to add it to your text.

The Mac Emoji & Symbols menu with the degree sign highlighted.
You’ll need to open the full Emoji & Symbols menu to find the degree sign.

How to type the degree symbol on a Chromebook

The method on a Chromebook will sound a bit confusing at first, but once you do it once, it’ll be clear.

1. While you’re able to type, press Ctrl + Shift + U. The letter u with a line below it will appear where you typed.

2. Without clicking away, type OOBA and then press Enter.

The underlined u will turn into the degree symbol.

Showing how to make a degree symbol on a Chromebook.
You’ll need to use the degree sign’s Unicode code, OOBA.

How to type the degree symbol on an iPhone or iPad

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Press the 123 icon in the bottom-left corner of your keyboard, and then press and hold your finger on the zero key (0).

3. After a moment, a small pop-up will appear with the degree symbol in it. Drag your finger over to it and release.

An iPhone screen showing how to find the degree symbol on a keyboard.
The degree symbol is hidden behind the zero key.

How to type the degree symbol on an Android

1. Tap a place that you’re able to type so the keyboard appears.

2. Tap the ?123 icon in the bottom-left corner, and then the =< icon above it.

3. The degree symbol will be on this page. Tap it to type it.

Android keyboard with the degree symbol highlighted.
The degree symbol isn’t hard to find on an Android.

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How to schedule an Uber ride in advance, or cancel a scheduled ride if you no longer need it

traveller getting suitcase ready looking at phone in bedroom
It’s easy to schedule an Uber ride in advance right from the Uber mobile app.

  • You can schedule an Uber ride for hours, days, and even weeks ahead of time on the Uber mobile app.
  • For a scheduled ride, Uber sets a price range that you don’t pay until later.
  • It’s possible to cancel a scheduled Uber ride and get money back if it’s early enough.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Scheduling an Uber ride for later is incredibly easy via the mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

In just a minute, you can schedule an Uber ride days or weeks ahead of time. And if your plans change, cancelling your scheduled ride is just as convenient.

Here’s how to schedule a ride and cancel scheduled rides on the Uber mobile app.

How to schedule an Uber ride

1. Open the Uber app on your Apple or Android device.

2. In the Where to? text field on the Uber homepage, tap the drop-down arrow next to a clock icon and the word Now.

Screenshot of Uber homepage
Tap the “Now” drop-down to set a date and time.

3. In the pop-up, use the scroll bars to select a date, time, and AM or PM. Hit Set once you’ve chosen the date and time.

Screenshot of "Schedule a Ride" page on Uber app
Choose a date and time, and tap “Set.”

4. On the next screen, type in the pick-up and drop-off location, or select previous locations from the list on the lower half of the screen.

Screenshot of pick-up and drop-off locations page on Uber app
Set your pick-up and drop-off locations.

5. The next screen will show a map of the route and the estimated price of your trip. Make sure your payment method is correct, and then select Schedule UberX at the bottom of the screen to confirm your scheduled ride.

Screenshot of Uber app route summary and scheduling page
Choose a car option and select “Schedule UberX.”

How to cancel your scheduled Uber rides, and view all the rides you have scheduled

1. To view your scheduled trip(s), open the Uber app, then tap the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner of the screen.

Screenshot of Uber app homepage
Tap the icon in the top-left corner.

2. Tap Your Trips.

Screenshot of menu in Uber app
Go to “Your Trips.”

3. Then on the next screen, tap the drop-down oval in the top-right corner of the screen, which will likely read Past. In the drop-down list, select Upcoming.

Screenshot of "Your Trips" page in Uber app
Choose “Upcoming” to see your scheduled trips.

4. Your upcoming trip(s) will now be displayed. To cancel one, just tap Cancel Ride then confirm with the CANCEL RIDE button that pops up.

Screenshot of "Your Trips" upcoming trip summary page in Uber app
Tap “Cancel Ride” to delete the scheduled ride.

The scheduled trip will immediately be cancelled and removed from the Your Trips page, and you won’t incur a fee if you cancel it before you’ve matched with a driver.

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How to create a QR code in 2 different ways to direct people to a website, document, or other media

woman scanning QR code with smartphone at store
It’s easy to create a QR code to send customers to your restaurant’s menu or share an event invitation with friends.

  • You can create a QR code using a QR generator or by selecting the “Share” option in the Google Chrome mobile app.
  • QR codes have a variety of uses, for both personal and professional means.
  • QR codes can direct people to a specific website, or an uploaded image or document.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

QR codes – or “Quick Response” codes – are square-shaped barcodes that can be scanned by mobile devices. They are used for a variety of applications, from pulling up a restaurant menu to directing people to a podcast.

QR codes can also be used in wedding invitations to direct guests to the wedding website, where they can RSVP and find information on the venue, hotel options, and the registry.

Creating a QR code is a relatively straightforward process, and it can be done on a computer or on your smartphone. Here’s how it’s done.

How to create a QR code with QR Code Generator

There are many QR code generators to choose from. Here’s a step-by-step guide using a website called QR Code Generator.

1. Using any web browser, go to the QR Code Generator website.

2. Enter the URL of the website you want the QR code to send people to. Alternatively, you can also enter text or upload a file (perhaps to a flyer you designed or to a restaurant menu).

Screenshot of QR Code Generator website homepage
Paste your QR code or drag and drop a file here.

3. Optional: You can also select a frame, change the shape and color, or add a logo to customize your QR code.

Screenshot of QR Code Generator website customization section
You can choose how you want to customize your QR code on the right side of the page.

4. When you’re finished, click Download to save your custom QR code.

Screenshot of QR Code Generator website Download section
Click “Download” at the bottom-right of the page.

5. After you hit Download, a pop-up will appear asking you to create a free account, but you don’t have to create an account. Just wait for the QR code to finish generating and it will appear in your downloads momentarily.

Screenshot of QR Code Generator website downloaded file
When your download appears, click on it to access your QR code.

How to create a QR code with Google Chrome

You can use the Google Chrome app for Android or iPhone/iPad to create a QR code.

For Android users

1. On the Google Chrome app, navigate to the website you want to create a QR code for.

2. In the top-right corner, tap the icon of three vertical dots.

3. Tap Share in the drop-down, then select QR Code.

4. Beneath the QR code on the next screen, tap Download to save the QR code to your device. You can then send it to others via text, email, messaging app, etc.

For iPhone or iPad users

1. On the Google Chrome app, navigate to the website you want to create a QR code for.

2. In the top-right corner next to the address bar, tap the Share symbol, which looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward.

Screenshot of Chrome app on iPhone Share icon
Tap the “Share” icon next to the URL.

3. Scroll down and tap Create a QR Code.

Screenshot of Share menu pop-up on Chrome app on iPhone
Select “Create a QR Code” in the pop-up.

4. Tap Share, then choose how you want to share the QR code (via text, email, messaging app, etc.)

Screenshot of QR code pop-up and Share button on Chrome app on iPhone
Tap the blue “Share…” button.

5. Optional: You can tap Save Image to save the QR code for future use.

Screenshot of Share pop-up menu on Chrome app on iPhone
In the “Share” pop-up menu, select “Save Image” to download the QR code.

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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features

Google Pixel 3
Android users can disable “OK Google” and other microphone-related features to stop their device from listening in.

  • If you want your Android phone to stop listening to you, you can disable its “OK Google” feature in the phone’s Settings app.
  • To thoroughly stop your Android from listening, you can also turn off listening while driving and disable the Google search app’s microphone.
  • Android phones are configured to listen to you in order to respond to wake words like “OK Google” and perform voice commands.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Your phone may be silently listening to everything you say. That’s because smartphone voice assistants like “OK Google” need to know when to spring into action.

To activate your Android phone’s voice assistant, all you need to say are wake words “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” Your phone uses only your audio starting with – or just before – the wake word and ending when you’ve completed your command.

These interactions are archived to improve the service. You can see all your Google Assistant commands by visiting My Google Activity. Click Filter by Date & Product and then choose Voice & Audio.

While having a voice assistant at the ready has its advantages, this understandably raises privacy concerns for smartphone users. So if you’d rather not have your phone listening to you, you can disable the features that do it. You’ll need to disable “Hey Google,” audio monitoring while driving, and the Google search microphone.

Once you do, Google will no longer listen for your voice.

How to stop an Android from listening to you by disabling Google Assistant

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Google.

3. In the services section, select Account services.

How to stop Android from listening to you 1
Open the account-services link for Google in the Settings app.

4. Choose Search, Assistant & Voice.

5. Tap Voice.

6. In the Hey Google section, select Voice Match.

7. Turn off Hey Google by swiping the button to the left.

How to stop Android from listening to you 2
You can turn off “Hey Google” microphone monitoring with a tap.

How to stop an Android from listening to you by disabling audio monitoring

After disabling Hey Google in the Voice Match menu, as depicted in the section above, stay in the same window.

1. Tap Driving Settings.

2. Turn off While driving by swiping the button to the left.

How to stop Android from listening to you 3
Don’t forget to turn off monitoring while you’re driving.

How to stop the Google search app from listening to you on your Android

1. Launch the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & Notifications or Apps, depending on your device.

3. Select See all apps if required. Otherwise, scroll down and tap Google.

4. Choose Permissions.

5. Tap Microphone.

6. Select Deny to prevent Google from using the mic.

How to stop Android from listening to you 4
Deny Google use of the microphone to prevent your phone from listening to you.

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How to delete apps on any device to free up storage space and save battery life

How to delete apps: a full guide for every device
You can delete unneeded apps from any device in a few simple steps.

  • You can delete apps on any device to save storage space and battery life while decluttering your home screen.
  • To delete apps on iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch, simply tap and hold the app icon.
  • To delete or uninstall apps on Mac or Windows 10 computers, you have to use Launchpad or Settings.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Deleting apps is a great way to clean up your digital space, though the methods for getting it done will depend on the device you’re using.

Here’s a quick guide to deleting apps, whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, iCloud, Mac, Windows, Android, Apple Watch, Chromebook, or Apple TV.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

How to delete apps on an iPhone or iPad

To delete apps on iPhone, simply go to your home screen, and tap and hold the desired app to access the option to “Remove App.” Then, select “Delete App.” That will also get rid of any data associated with that app.

How to delete apps 1.PNG
Tap “Remove App” and then “Delete App” in the next pop-up.

On an iPhone with iOS 14 or later, you can also hide an app from your home screen by saving it to your App Library – after selecting “Remove App,” choose “Remove from Home Screen” instead of “Delete App.”

The process to delete apps on an iPad is the same. But instead of first selecting “Remove App,” you’ll simply select “Delete App.” Like on iPhone, deleting an app on an iPad will also delete the data associated with the app.

To free up space in your iCloud account, go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then select your name, hit “iCloud,” and “Manage Storage.” From there, go into the “Backups” section and you’ll see your list of apps, which you can then delete.

How to delete apps on a Mac

You can’t delete some of the apps on your Mac, but for the ones you can, the Launchpad is the easiest route to getting it done.

Simply open it and then click and hold the app. An “x” should appear in the top-left corner of the app icon. Click the “x” to delete the app on your Mac.

Mac Launchpad screen
A small “x” will appear at the top-left of any apps that can be deleted.

How to delete apps on Windows 10

Deleting programs on Windows 10 is a bit more complicated as simply deleting the program folder or file can cause problems.

Instead, it’s best to go through the “Apps and Features” page in the Settings app. Once there, simply select the app and click “Uninstall.”

How to delete apps on Windows 10, uninstall programs screen
You’ll have to “Uninstall” programs and apps on Windows 10.

Like Mac computers, however, some apps cannot be deleted.

How to delete apps on Android

To delete apps on Android, you can simply press and hold the app, then drag it to the “Uninstall” text at the top right of the screen (next to the trash icon) to delete it.

How to delete apps on Android, drag to delete uninstall screen
Tap, hold, and drag an app to the trash can icon.

How to delete apps on an Apple Watch

There are two ways to delete apps from your Apple Watch: from the Watch app on your iPhone or from the apps screen on your Apple Watch.

On your Watch, you can tap and hold the app icon. An “x” will appear over the icon, which you can tap to remove the app from the device. If your apps are in a list view, you can swipe to the left on an app and tap the trash can icon to delete it.

How to delete apps on Apple Watch, swipe left and tap trash can.
Swipe left and tap the trash icon if your apps are in list view.

On your iPhone, open the Watch app and, on the “Watch” tab, select the app and then toggle off the option to “Show app on Apple Watch.” You can also turn off automatic app installation from there.

How to delete apps on a Chromebook

Deleting apps on a Chromebook is simple: Select and open the launcher, then right-click the desired app, and select “Uninstall” or “Remove from Chrome.”

On the other hand, if you want to delete apps from Google Chrome, go to “chrome://apps” in the browser and, like with Chromebook, right-click the desired app icon and then select “Remove from Chrome.”

Chromebook delete apps screen
After right-clicking an app, select “Remove from Chrome…” in the pop-up.

How to delete apps on an Apple TV

You can only delete apps on newer Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models – otherwise, you’ll only have the option to hide them from the home screen.

But for those who can, the process is simple: Scroll to the app on your home screen, then if you have a remote with a touchpad, press down in the center of it until the apps begin to wiggle. If you don’t have the touchpad, press and hold the select button. Then hit the play/pause button to open the menu to delete the app.

Delete apps on Apple TV screen
Select “Delete” to remove an app.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

The 7 best wireless phone chargers of 2021

  • The best wireless chargers provide a convenient way to charge your phone without the hassle of plugging in.
  • I’ve tested more than 40 wireless chargers over the past few years to find the best ones.
  • Our guide highlights chargers in different categories and suits various budgets.

To put it simply: no one likes charging their phone. Whether you’re chatting on a video call, reading the news, or listening to music during a run, there’s nothing like the panic that comes with seeing your battery dip below 20%.

Wireless chargers are a great way to power up your phone easily without fumbling with a power cord. In the early days, wireless chargers only offered slow speeds, were hampered by competing compatibility standards, and required precise placement in order to work. But as support for wireless charging has spread, especially after it became standard across the iPhone lineup in 2017, the technology has improved rapidly.

As an early adopter and tech reporter with more than a decade of experience, I’ve tested more than 40 different wireless chargers over the years, so I’m well placed to recommend the best picks to serve different needs. Later on in this guide, we breakdown things you should consider when shopping for a wireless charger.

Here are the best wireless chargers

The best wireless charger overall

Moshi_Otto_Q_Wireless_Charger

The Moshi Otto Q has a gray fabric design that looks good anywhere, it charges most phones at top speed, and it is sturdy.

Pros: Stylish look, non-slip, charges through cases

Cons: No adapter included, LED too bright for nightstand

With a smart design that combines style and function perfectly, the Moshi Otto Q is an excellent wireless charging pad. It supports fast wireless charging at up to 10W, which means it can charge up an iPhone and most Android phones at top speed.

Clever use of a metallic-looking silver plastic with a gray fabric cover helps this wireless charger stand out from the crowd in a good way. It looks at home on a wooden table, a nightstand, or a kitchen counter. 

The silicone ring on top both cushions your phone and prevents it from sliding off the charger. There’s also a rubbery pad on the underside that prevents it from slipping, even if you bump the table or nightstand that it’s on. Moshi supplies a USB-C to USB-A cable that’s 3 feet long in the box, but the manufacturer does suggest that you will need an adapter rated at Quick Charge 2.0 (9V/2A) minimum to get the maximum speed from it. This one from RAVPower should work.

I’ve been using it with a Samsung Adaptive Fast Charger, and it has been happily charging up a variety of phones, including an iPhone X and a Pixel 4.

The Moshi Otto Q has foreign object detection, so if any metal gets in between it and the phone it’s charging, it just turns off. You’ll want to make sure any case you use is metal-free, but thickness isn’t an issue. Moshi says it can charge through cases up to 5mm thick, and I’ve tested it with a variety, including some fairly thick protective cases, without any issues. Simply plug the USB-C cable into the back and plug the USB-A end into an adapter and you’re set. 

There’s a white LED at the front of the Moshi Otto Q that pulses gently while it’s charging and stays on when your phone is fully charged. Unfortunately, this light can be annoying in the bedroom when you’re trying to sleep, so the nightstand is not the best location for this wireless charger. I’ve placed mine on a side table in the dining room and it fits in nicely. 

My whole family has been using the Moshi Otto Q for a couple of years now and it’s still going strong, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The lack of an adapter in the box is a bit disappointing, but the style and quality build justify the price tag. Moshi also offers a 10-year warranty. 

The best fast-charging wireless charger

Anker PowerWave Alloy Pad charging a phone on a table

If you have a phone capable of charging at 15W or you want to future-proof, then the Anker PowerWave Alloy Pad is best for you.

Pros: Durable design, non-slip, long cable

Cons: No adapter included, LED too bright for nightstand

This compact metal puck blends into any room easily and feels built to last. It can fast charge most Qi-supporting Android phones and iPhones at the top speed they support, with four distinct charging modes designed to charge different smartphone models as quickly as possible.  

Anker is more focused on function than style and this sturdy, solid, weighty wireless charging pad has a silicone pad on the top and a silicone ring on the bottom to prevent any slippage. Pop your phone on the center of this pad and it will stay in place, even if a call comes in and it begins to vibrate. The only slight annoyance of the silicone is that it attracts dust and hairs. 

It comes with a relatively lengthy 5-foot cable, but you’ll need to provide your own power adapter. Cases are nothing to worry about because the Anker PowerWave Allow Pad can charge through cases up to 5mm thick. It also has safety features like temperature control and foreign object detection, and the alloy body helps it to stay cool in use.

The downside of the Anker PowerWave Alloy Pad, beyond the slightly dull design, is the presence of a blue LED at the front that lights up when it’s charging your phone. This light is likely to irritate you if you plan on using this wireless charger on the nightstand.

The best wireless charging stand

Best iPhone docks - Belkin BOOST UP Wireless Charging Stand

You can prop your phone up in landscape or portrait orientation while charging with the speedy Belkin BOOST UP Wireless Charging Stand.

Pros: Supports portrait or landscape, 4-foot power cord and adapter included, non-slip

Cons: Doesn’t fast charge some phones, quite large

Sometimes wireless charging stands are better than pads because they allow you to prop your phone up, making it easy to see incoming notifications or to check the time. The downside with stands is that they can be a little unstable and easy to accidentally knock your phone off.

The Belkin Boost UP Wireless Charging Stand has a smart design with a circular charging pad and a wide frame that makes it extremely stable. It’s also capable of charging your phone while it’s propped in landscape or portrait orientation and it can deliver up to 10W.

The Belkin BOOST UP comes in black or white plastic and has a wide frame with non-slip rubber padding on the bottom edges and on the surfaces where you rest your phone. The design makes it easy to position your phone correctly so that it charges.

Many stands claim to offer charging in portrait or landscape, but in practice, it can be tricky to find the right spot in landscape. With the Belkin BOOST UP, the angled circular pad makes it easy, and I’ve found it works reliably with an iPhone X and Pixel 4.

Another advantage with the Belkin BOOST UP is that it comes with a cable and adapter. My version has a barrel connector and the cable is permanently attached to the adapter you plug into the wall. There is another version of this wireless charger that comes with a separate cable and adapter. Either way, it’s nice to have the correct adapter included. 

It can charge through cases up to 3mm thick. There are also two pinprick LEDs in different positions, so that one is always visible whichever way you place your phone to charge. They light up white when charging and turn orange if there’s a problem, like keys or another metal object being stuck on the pad. It also has overheating protection built in for peace of mind.

If you have an iPhone, the Belkin BOOST UP can charge at the top speed of 7.5W, and it can hit 9W for Samsung phones, but for every other device, including Google’s Pixel phones it is capped at 5W. This isn’t a problem if you use it for overnight charging, and I think the light is small enough here that the Belkin BOOST UP is a good choice for the nightstand. It usually costs $50.

The best luxurious wireless charger

Bezalel_Altair_Wireless_Charger

A classy aluminum body with suede padding makes the Bezalel Altair a great looking, sturdy wireless charging stand for your phone.

Pros: Looks great, very stable, charges through cases

Cons: No adapter included, expensive

If you want a wireless charger that’s solid and sturdy with good looks, whether there’s a phone on it or not, then the Bezalel Altair is worth considering. It can deliver up to 10W of power, so it will charge iPhones and many Android phones at their maximum wireless charging speed. Carved from a single piece of aluminum, it’s strong and it looks great. 

There are two rubber pegs that stick out to prop your phone on, and there’s a white LED just beneath them. A suede pad, with a relatively subtle logo, allows you to rest your phone safely on the stand while it charges. A solid rubber base prevents it from sliding around on the desktop. Bezalel also provides a 3-foot, flat, non-tangle, USB-C to USB-A cable in the box. You’ll have to buy your own adapter and you’ll want one that’s rated at QC 2.0 or higher, like this one from RAVPower.

One of the nice things about the design is that you can prop your phone in landscape or portrait orientation, and it will charge. It’s also the perfect angle to have on your desk for face unlock and for video calls. I have it on my desk and use it with my Pixel 4 every day. It’s not capable of charging the Pixel at top speed, but the style and utility make up for that. If you’re ever in a rush and want to charge up via cable, the peg design allows easy access to the charging port on your phone, so you can prop your phone in portrait and plug in a charging cable.

It can charge through cases up to 5mm thick, but one downside here is that it doesn’t automatically detect foreign objects between the phone and charger and shut itself off like many wireless chargers do. Because it’s angled, this is less likely to be an issue than with a pad, but it’s worth noting. 

Sadly, the white LED stays lit all the time when this charger is plugged in or charging, so it’s not suitable for the nightstand if light is going to bother you. I think this style is better suited to a desk anyway. If you like the look of it, you can expect to pay $65.

The best wireless charger for travel

Fuse_Chicken_Universal

The multi-talented Fuse Chicken Universal All-in-One World Travel Charger is a battery pack, travel adapter, and wireless charger all at once, so it’s perfect for jet-setters.

Pros: Clever multi-functional design, great for travel, compact

Cons: Expensive, bulky at outlet, power button required to turn on USB charging

The Fuse Chicken Universal All-in-One World Travel Charger makes it easy to charge your phone in a variety of ways while you travel. It’s a battery pack, a wireless charger, and a travel adapter all wrapped into one portable device that’s about the same size as a MacBook power adapter.

Set your phone down on the charger, and it acts like a quick-charging 10-watt wireless charger, but if you’re on the move, you can also plug in a cable to use it as a battery pack. The 6,700mAh battery inside the charger is enough to fully charge most phones, though you’ll find you can squeeze a little more from it if you plug in, rather than use the wireless charging function. 

I was able to fully charge a Pixel 4 with change using the USB-C port. It can deliver up to 18W, which is enough to charge an iPhone or Pixel at top speed. As a wireless charger, you can expect a fair bit less, because wireless charging is less efficient. Luckily, you can see how much battery life is left in the internal battery by pressing the power button. The percentage remaining will display on the tiny LED screen.

When it comes time to plug in the charger and re-juice the internal battery, you can plug it right into a regular wall outlet. If you’re not in the US, and you happen to be traveling to the EU, UK, or Australia, Fuse Chicken has you covered with travel adapters for all those countries. Simply slide on the adapter you need, again, much like a MacBook power adapter. A small bag comes with the charger, so you have a place to safely store those adapters.

The USB-C port can also charge the battery up if you can’t plug it in for some reason. It is a bit bulky, which can sometimes be a problem with some outlets or power strips. There’s also a USB-A port that’s capable of delivering 12W, so you can plug your phone’s charging cable and juice up your device that way if you prefer. You can use both ports at the same time to charge multiple devices at once, should you need to. 

Downsides include the fact that you can’t use the wireless charging function when it’s plugged in, because it plugs in vertically. You also must press the power button sometimes when plugging in a cable or it won’t start charging your device. Sadly, it can’t charge a USB-C laptop like the MacBook, but you can charge any phone, tablet, ereader, or accessories like headphones with it.

This travel friendly, all-in-one wireless charger is also very expensive. However, if you travel to those countries a lot, it’s worth it.

The best wireless charger for multiple phones

Unravel_Wireless_Charger

If you want to wirelessly charge up to three devices simultaneously, the clever Unravel Wireless Charger is the only one of its kind.

Pros: Clever fold-up design, wirelessly charges three devices at once, extra USB-C port

Cons: Expensive, looks a bit cheap

Whether Apple will ever revive its AirPower wireless charging mat, which was going to be capable of charging your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once, remains to be seen, but there are alternatives. The Unravel Wireless Charger offers three wireless charging pads linked together with hinges. 

There are two versions of the Unravel; there’s the Unravel AW+ and the Unravel 3+1. The Unravel AW+ has two wireless charging pads that can deliver up to 10W for phones, AirPods, or another Qi device, and a third pad that’s specially designed to charge an Apple Watch. The AW+ is obviously ideal for Apple fans. The Unravel 3+1 has three wireless charging pads offering up to 10W each, and it also has a second USB-C port that can be used to charge up a fourth device.

Both versions can fold up concertina style to stow neatly away for travel. You get a 30W charger in the box and a cable. Apart from the fact it folds up nicely, travel utility is expanded when you consider that you can potentially use the same USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger as your MacBook to power this wireless charger. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need a 60W charger if you want to get the fastest possible charging rate from all three pads at once. 

The clever design features don’t end there. You can also configure the Unravel into a triangular shape, fold out a small perch to prop your phone in landscape orientation, and watch a movie while it charges. There are black and red versions, but I recommend the glow-in-the-dark model because it gives off just enough of a glow for you to position your phone on it in the dark, but not so much that it interrupts your shuteye. 

While I’m a big fan of the Unravel, it’s not perfect. Finished in soft-touch plastic, this isn’t the kind of charger that’s going to subtly blend in with your décor. There are pinprick lights that turn on when it’s charging, but most phones cover them, so they seem redundant. The fold-out perch for propping your phone in landscape orientation also feels quite flimsy. 

Still, this versatile wireless charger is ideal for busy families or people with multiple devices to pop on the charger at night. It’s also a useful companion for travel if a single pad isn’t going to meet your needs. Both versions of the Unravel are typically the same price, but read the descriptions to make sure you get the right one for you. The manufacturer, Ampere, also offers versions with world plug sets and different chargers on its website.

The best wireless charger for Apple devices

Belkin_BOOST_CHARGE_3 in 1

If you want to charge up your Apple Watch and AirPods alongside your iPhone, then this special edition of Belkin’s Boost Charge 3-in-1 charger is for you.

Pros: Can simultaneously charge three devices, 4.5-foot power cord and adapter included, attractive design, non-slip

Cons: Expensive, large

This elegant wireless charging station from Belkin can wirelessly charge your iPhone at the current top rate of 7.5W, but it also has a magnetic Apple Watch dock built in, and there’s a wireless charging pad for your AirPods or AirPods Pro. The ability to charge all three of your Apple devices simultaneously from a single outlet makes this accessory an ideal pick for placing on a nightstand or desk.

With a glossy plastic finish in black or white, this Belkin charger has a slightly futuristic feel. The base is solid and wide to aid stability, and there’s a soft rubbery covering on the bottom that ensures it stays put. The round charger for the iPhone is angled, extending up on a shiny stainless steel pole, and there’s a curved lip to guide your placement and keep the iPhone in place. 

The magnetic Apple Watch charger is built-in and sits at a 90-degree angle, which is perfect for Nightstand mode. The circular pad behind the Apple Watch charger provides a spot for your AirPods. The included AC adapter has a permanently attached cable and slots into the back neatly with a barrel connector. The cable has an ample 4.5-foot length, and the adapter provides enough power to charge your three devices at top speed.

Two, tiny, pin-sized LEDs light up white when an iPhone or AirPods are charging and turn amber if there’s a problem with alignment or something has snuck in underneath your device. Thankfully, they are low-key and shouldn’t disturb your slumber if you decide to use this charger on the nightstand. The iPhone pad can also handle cases up to 3mm thick, so you don’t have to worry about removing your case to charge. 

I’ve been testing this charger with an iPhone X and an Apple Watch Series 5, and it has won a permanent place on the nightstand. If you like to use Nightstand mode and set alarms on your Apple Watch, then this charger is especially good. I’d prefer it didn’t have the LEDs, but at least they are tiny.

The catch is that the Belkin Boost Charge 3-in-1 Special Edition for Apple Devices is expensive. It’s a hefty investment, but I appreciate the fact that everything is included, and the Apple Watch charger is built-in, so all you need to do to get going with this is plug it into the wall. There is a cheaper version with similar functionality for a bit less, but it lacks classy touches like the stainless steel.

What else we considered

Wireless_Chargers_Also_Considered

There are so many good wireless chargers available that it’s impossible to cover them all. These are the wireless chargers that came closest to making the list, and they are all decent alternatives if you don’t like what you’ve seen so far.

  • Nomad Base Station Pro: With cutting edge technology inside, this wireless charger doesn’t require careful placement of devices. Stick your phone down anywhere on the surface and it will charge. It has space and power enough for two phones and a set of AirPods to charge together. It’s also beautifully crafted from aluminum with leather padding on top and comes with a braided cable and wall charger. The only reason it fails to make the list is the high price. Read our Nomad Base Station Pro review to learn more.
  • AirUnleashed: This large wireless charging pad is designed to emulate Apple’s ill-fated AirPower charger and has space for an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and AirPods. It has a minimal design in black or white with a soft touch finish. Sadly, there’s no AC adapter included, it requires precise placement, and you must remove some Apple Watch bands to charge. I found it too easy to accidentally bump my iPhone off the sweet spot, and after testing for a few weeks this charger is starting to look shabby. 
  • OtterBox OtterSpot: Bringing some genuine innovation to the table, OtterBox’s wireless charging system starts with a simple round base charger that looks much like any other. What sets it apart is the fact you can put a battery pad with a 5,000mAh capacity on top; it can charge wirelessly, and it can serve as a wireless charger for your phone. You can even stack additional batteries to charge them all up at once, and then take them with you when you leave. The entry price gets you one base charger and one battery, but this system can get pricey fast.
  • RAVPower Wireless Charging Stand: After a year’s service, this unobtrusive black stand still works perfectly and can deliver up to 10W. It is Qi certified, has temperature controls to prevent overheating, and sports an LED that blinks green when everything is working and red when there’s a problem. It only just misses out on a place above. 
  • Google Pixel Stand: Capable of wirelessly charging your Pixel 4, 4 XL, 3, or 3 XL at top speed, the Pixel Stand also supports some interesting Google Assistant features. Use your Pixel as an alarm clock, get your daily schedule, or turn your Pixel into a digital photo frame. This will charge any Qi device, but it’s only worth paying this much if you have a Pixel phone that can take advantage of the special features. 
  • Mophie Charge Stream Pad+: With a dull, but practical design that includes a rubbery, non-slip finish, and a white LED light, this wireless charger can deliver up to 10W. It also comes with a 5-foot cable and a QC 2.0 adapter. It charges most phones at top speed, but can’t charge through bulky cases. No major complaints about the functionality, but there simply isn’t enough here to justify the high price. 
  • Satechi Wireless Charger: The chamfered aluminum frame is smart, and there’s a silicone cross in the middle of the shiny top surface to cushion your phone. Sadly, charging is slow at 5W, there’s no adapter in the box, and the LED is far too bright to use on the nightstand. 
  • Twelve South HiRise: With a clever design that includes a weighted leather base, with a pop-out puck that you can take with you for wireless charging on the go, the Twelve South HiRise is unusual. It can deliver up to 10W, but can’t deal with thicker cases and ships without an adapter, making the price tough to swallow. 
  • Courant Wireless Chargers: These fancy leather-clad 10W wireless chargers make nice gifts, but they are too expensive to recommend over our other picks — especially as the basic Catch:1 wireless chargers don’t come with outlet adapters. The Catch:2 and Catch:3 do come with adapters, but cost $120 and $140, respectively when they’re on sale.

How to choose a wireless charger

The wireless charger landscape has evolved in the last few years, with new features, faster charging speeds, and a range of different shapes and styles. To make sure your chosen charger is going to meet your expectations, it’s important to pose a few questions before you shop. 

What device or devices do you want to charge?

Make sure that your smartphone — or other device — supports Qi wireless charging. Every entry on our list is a Qi wireless charger. Many Android phone manufacturers, like Samsung, have included wireless charging support in their flagship phones for years now. Apple introduced wireless charging support with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and every iPhone since then has supported it.

Don’t assume your phone supports it, though, take the time to check. A few manufacturers still haven’t adopted wireless charging, and it’s less common in mid-range and budget devices.

What is the top speed your device can charge at?

At first, wireless chargers were capped at 5W, but you can get 10W or even 15W chargers now. However, the speed you can wirelessly charge your phone at is set by the manufacturer. At the time of writing, for example, the iPhone 12 Pro tops out at 7.5W (or 15W through Apple’s MagSafe charger), Google’s Pixel 5 can charge at 12W, and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 can charge at up to 15W.

Do you need a charging cable and adapter?

Many wireless chargers are sold without a wall adapter, though they generally include a cable. It’s important to make sure that you have the right cable and adapter to enable the top charging speed. If you use a 5W adapter with a 10W charging pad, for example, you’re only going to get 5W charging. Apple also no longer includes a power adapter in the box with its new iPhones, so you’ll want to make sure you have the proper adapter handy if you’re planning on buying a new phone. 

Where are you going to use it?

The nightstand will be the ideal location for some, but you may prefer to have a wireless charger on your desk at work, on the kitchen counter at home, or perhaps all three. Different kinds of chargers will work better in different locations. For example, if it’s for the nightstand, you probably don’t want a wireless charger with a bright flashing light. 

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How to type on a PDF in 5 different ways

using phone and laptop texting
It’s much easier to add text to a PDF than you may think, and it can be done on any device.

PDFs are one of the most widely used document formats, but it isn’t always clear how to add text to them.

Fortunately, there are several methods available depending on the device you’re using.

Here’s how to type on a PDF, whether you’re using a Mac, PC, mobile device, or Microsoft Word.

How to type on a PDF on a Mac using Preview

Preview is the default option for viewing PDFs on Macs, and it has a built-in ability to type on those documents.

1. Double-click on the PDF you want to open. As long as you haven’t designated another option as the default PDF-viewing option, it will open in Preview. Otherwise, right-click the file and select Open with and then Preview.

Mac Open with Preview window
Next to “Open With,” select “Preview.”

2. Click the markup icon, located in the top toolbar of the preview window – it looks like a marker within a circle.

PDF open in Preview
Select the markup tool in the top-right corner.

3. Navigate to the page you want to add text to, and then select the Text icon (it looks like a “T” inside of a rectangle). A text box will then appear on the page.

PDF in Preview Text icon in toolbar
Click the “Text” icon in the toolbar at the top.

4. Click into the text box and add the desired text, then drag the box to the desired placement.

PDF in Preview add text box
Enter your text and move the box to the correct location.

5. You can change the font and text color by clicking into the text box, selecting the text, and then clicking the Aa button in the top toolbar. Or, if your document already has text fields, you can simply click into those and type.

PDF in Preview edit text
Click the “Aa” button to customize your text.

How to type on a PDF on a PC or Mac using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If you have Adobe’s Acrobat Reader DC (which is free to download) on your computer, you can use it to type on PDFs.

1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and select Fill & Sign.

Adobe Acrobat Reader homepage
Go to “Fill & Sign.”

2. Click Select a File and choose your desired PDF.

Adobe Acrobat Reader fill & sign page
Click “Select a File.”

3. Specify who needs to sign and fill out the PDF.

Adobe Acrobat who needs to fill and sign
Choose an option.

4. Scroll down to the page you want to add text to and hover over the desired area. You may see a highlighted text box appear, in which case you can simply click into it and start typing.

Adobe Acrobat fill-in text box
If a text box automatically appears, you can type directly into it.

5. If you don’t see a highlighted text box and you want an outline as well as text, click the oval-shaped icon in the top toolbar. Then click the area where you want to add a text box and adjust as desired.

Adobe Acrobat toolbar
Click the oval-shaped icon to add a text box.

6. Click the “Ab” icon in the top toolbar and click near, but not on, the area you just created.

7. Click into the new text area, add your text, and reposition as needed.

How to type on a PDF on an iPhone or iPad using Markup

Those with an iPhone or iPad can use the built-in Markup tool to add text to a PDF.

1. Open your PDF (you can access these via your email, cloud account, or by using AirDrop to send the document to your device.) If given the option, select Files – you won’t see Markup listed as an option – as the opening method.

2. Scroll down to the desired page and select the Markup tool in the top-right corner of the screen.

iPhone Markup tool on PDF
Tap the “Markup” icon.

3. Select the plus (+) sign icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen and select Text.

PDF on iPhone markup tool
Tap the plus sign and in the pop-up, select “Text.”

4. Adjust your text box as needed.

5. Tap the text box and select Edit.

PDF on iPhone markup
In the pop-up, tap “Edit.”

6. Add your text to the box and tap out of the box when complete. You can readjust the placement at this point as well.

PDF on iPhone type in text box
Enter your text and reposition the box as needed.

7. Tap Done when you’ve added all desired text to the PDF.

How to type on a PDF on an Android using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If you have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader app installed, you can type on PDFs on your Android device.

1. Open the Adobe Acrobat reader app and select Files in the bottom toolbar.

2. Find the PDF you want to type on and tap to select it.

3. Scroll to the desired page and select the pencil icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen

4. Tap Fill & Sign and then select the “Ab” icon.

5. Tap the area of the page you want to add text to and then select the desired text size and type out your text.

6. Select the check mark in the top-left corner of the screen to finish the process.

How to type on a PDF using Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is another easy option to modify a PDF, though it will involve converting the PDF into a Word document, which can disrupt stylized formatting. For this reason, it’s best to use Word for text-only PDFs.

1. Right-click your PDF, select Open With, and select Microsoft Word. You may see a message noting the appearance of your PDF may change – select Yes to continue.

2. Click into the document and type to edit it as you would any other document.

3. When finished, select File in the top-left corner of the window and then select Save As followed by PDF.

How to download a PDF document on your iPhone and save it to Apple Books or iCloud FilesHow to convert PDFs into Word files and edit them on a Mac computerHow to combine multiple PDF files into a single document on a Mac or PCHow to view and edit the alt text in a PDF you’re creating, using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat

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‘Apple is eating our lunch’: Google employees admit in lawsuit that the company made it nearly impossible for users to keep their location private

Google New York Office
Google in Manhattan.

Newly unredacted documents in a lawsuit against Google reveal that the company’s own executives and engineers knew just how difficult the company had made it for smartphone users to keep their location data private.

Google continued collecting location data even when users turned off various location-sharing settings, made popular privacy settings harder to find, and even pressured LG and other phone makers into hiding settings precisely because users liked them, according to the documents.

Jack Menzel, a former vice president overseeing Google Maps, admitted during a deposition that the only way Google wouldn’t be able to figure out a user’s home and work locations is if that person intentionally threw Google off the trail by setting their home and work addresses as some other random locations.

Jen Chai, a Google senior product manager in charge of location services, didn’t know how the company’s complex web of privacy settings interacted with each other, according to the documents.

Google and LG did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

The documents are part of a lawsuit brought against Google by the Arizona attorney general’s office last year, which accused the company of illegally collecting location data from smartphone users even after they opted out.

A judge ordered new sections of the documents to be unredacted last week in response to a request by trade groups Digital Content Next and News Media Alliance, which argued that it was in the public’s interest to know and that Google was using its legal resources to suppress scrutiny of its data collection practices.

The unsealed versions of the documents paint an even more detailed picture of how Google obscured its data collection techniques, confusing not just its users but also its own employees.

Google uses a variety of avenues to collect user location data, according to the documents, including WiFi and even third-party apps not affiliated with Google, forcing users to share their data in order to use those apps or, in some cases, even connect their phones to WiFi.

“So there is no way to give a third party app your location and not Google?” one employee said, according to the documents, adding: “This doesn’t sound like something we would want on the front page of the [New York Times].”

When Google tested versions of its Android operating system that made privacy settings easier to find, users took advantage of them, which Google viewed as a “problem,” according to the documents. To solve that problem, Google then sought to bury those settings deeper within the settings menu.

Google also tried to convince smartphone makers to hide location settings “through active misrepresentations and/or concealment, suppression, or omission of facts” – that is, data Google had showing that users were using those settings – “in order to assuage [manufacturers’] privacy concerns.”

Google employees appeared to recognize that users were frustrated by the company’s aggressive data collection practices, potentially hurting its business.

“Fail #2: *I* should be able to get *my* location on *my* phone without sharing that information with Google,” one employee said.

“This may be how Apple is eating our lunch,” they added, saying Apple was “much more likely” to let users take advantage of location-based apps and services on their phones without sharing the data with Apple.

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How to block a number on your smartphone or landline to stop spam calls and texts

woman using smartphone and laptop at home
There are multiple ways you can block numbers on any smartphone or landline.

  • You can block a number to stop receiving all incoming calls or texts from that phone number.
  • To block a number on an iPhone or Android, you can use your device’s Phone app.
  • To block a number on a landline, contact your service provider or use a call-blocking device.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Tired of being asked about renewing your car’s warranty? Blocking phone numbers is one way to stop spam calls and spam texts and receive fewer robocalls or unknown callers.

To block a number, you’ll have to follow a slightly different process on an iPhone, an Android, or a landline. Here’s how to do each.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

How to block a number on an iPhone

You can block a number on your iPhone via the call log in your Phone app, or through your Messages app.

Likely the most convenient method: In your Phone app, go into your recent calls and tap the icon that looks like an “i” inside a circle next to the call from the number you’re looking to block. On the next screen, select “Block this Caller.”

How to block a number 1.PNG
Select “Block this Caller.”

Once you’ve blocked someone, you won’t receive further communication from that number via Apple’s communication apps; calls, texts, and FaceTime requests will be blocked. (They can still leave a voicemail, but it will be hidden from your view.)

However, the blocked number could still contact you through third-party apps.

Also, any blocked person won’t be notified of the block. That said, there are ways to check if you’ve been blocked on an iPhone, though they aren’t definitive.

Alternatively, instead of directly blocking a private number (like a robocall), you can choose to set up “Do Not Disturb” mode so that you only get calls from people in your contacts list.

If you want to unblock a number on your iPhone, go into your recent call list on your Phone app, find the person or number you want, tap the “i” icon next to the name or number, and on the next screen tap “Unblock this Caller.”

How to block a number on Android

To block a number on an Android, go into the Phone app and tap the three dots in the top-right corner, select “Settings,” then tap “Blocked numbers” and add a number to the list.

Android Block 4
You can Add a Number or block all Unknown numbers.

Or, you can block numbers via the messages app, though the exact process will depend on your device. Either way, they won’t be notified and they won’t know for sure that you’ve blocked them, even if they try to find out if they’ve been blocked.

Variance is pretty common among Android devices, and blocking private or unknown numbers is another instance where the process may vary depending on your device. For example, if you have a Samsung Galaxy S10, you can block all of those unknown calls via the settings in your Phone app.

If that isn’t setting isn’t an option for your device, though, you can still block those calls on a case-by-case basis, using the three-dot method listed above.

If you want to unblock a number on Android, you can do so via the blocked numbers list in your Phone app.

How to block a number on a landline

To block someone via a landline phone, you have to contact your service provider or use a call-blocking device. It’s also a good idea to add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry.

How to block websites and searches on your iPhone or your child’sHow to block social media apps from yourself to stop distractions and be more productiveHow to soft block someone on Twitter to remove them as a followerHow to block or unblock someone on the Signal secure-messaging app in just a few taps

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