Tips for new tech devices

Tips, tricks, apps and advice for getting the most out of new Alexa devices, Apple Watches, Android phones, Windows 10 PCs and more.

new tech devices surrounded by gifts
Credit: Thinkstock

Tech gear is a perennially popular holiday gift. If you're the proud owner of a new phone, tablet, computer or other device -- or you provide tech support for family and friends with new devices -- we're here to help.

Check out and share these stories, which can help you get the most out of a new Android or iOS device, Apple Watch, Alexa device, Apple TV, Mac or Windows PC, and stay safe while doing so.

Home gadgets: Alexa devices, Apple TV

9 Alexa tips and tricks
Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot and Tap devices can do more than just check the weather and sling playlists.

8 Apple TV tips you need today
Get more from your Apple TV with these tips.

The essential Apple TV Siri remote usage guide
This little remote can do a lot. Here are some handy tips for new owners.

How to use iOS or Apple Watch as remote controls with Apple TV
Got an Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch? You can use it as a remote control for your Apple TV.

Keep up with all things Apple at our Apple Holic blog.

Android devices

OK, Google: 160 valuable voice commands for Android
This diverse collection of voice commands will turn your Android device into a powerful personal concierge -- no tipping required.

7 Android tools that can help your personal security
Forget security suites: These sensible tools are all you really need on your phone to stay safe.

32 tips and tricks for Google Photos
Got Google Photos? This guide will help you get around the service like a pro and do all sorts of advanced stuff with your image collection.

Android battery life not all it could be? Try this
Smartphone battery life can be a complicated issue -- but the solution can sometimes be surprisingly simple.

Master Marshmallow: 12 useful tips for Android 6.0
Get the most out of your Android 6.0 device with these tasty Marshmallow tips. (Mmm... Marshmallow tips.)

3 hidden shortcuts for typing faster on Android
Some handy tricks that can save you time when typing on your Android phone or tablet.

Now’s the time to perform a personal Android security audit
Whether you're an amateur or an expert, this simple 10-step checkup is important -- and worth doing at least once a year.

A quick trick to make your Android notifications more useful
Android may not have a native system for snoozing notifications as of now -- but with a few seconds of simple tinkering, you can give extra life to your device's alerts.

How to clean your Android phone (video)
Dirt and grime are no match for your cleaning skills.

How to supercharge your Android phone's fingerprint scanner
Your phone's fingerprint scanner is quite literally always at your fingertips -- so why not make it even more useful?

16 standout Android apps with fingerprint support
Take full advantage of your phone's fingerprint sensor with these genuinely useful fingerprint-ready apps.

11 ways to get the most out of Google Keep on Android
Turn Google's note-taking app into a powerful mobile productivity tool with these easy-to-follow tips.

For even more Android tips, see 16 Android tips and tricks you shouldn't miss from 2016. Also don’t miss How the experts use Android: 2016's top Android Intelligence profiles.

iPhones and iPads

How to stop Apple’s Activation Lock from ruining the holidays
If you are buying a used iPhone or other iOS device, make sure you understand Activation Lock and how to remove the device from the previous owner’s account.

7 essential Touch ID tips for iPads and iPhones
Get Touch ID working more effectively with these tips.

12 tips for better iPhone photographs
How to make better images from the moments that matter.

The essential AirPods user guide
Apple’s much-talked-about wireless earbuds are here at last. Here’s everything you need to know to set up and use your new AirPods.

14 privacy and security settings every iOS user should use
Even if you don't use every security protection available to you, you should know it exists.

11 iOS 10 tips you’ll use
Apple’s latest mobile OS, iOS 10, is packed with useful additions and new ways to get things done.

9 iPhone tips you probably never knew
Some lesser known iPhone tips and tricks that might come in handy.

How iOS 10 Bedtime works
iOS 10’s little-used Bedtime feature can make a big difference in your sleep habits.

iPhone: How to solve the Storage Almost Full challenge
Don’t panic when you run out of storage on your iPhone. Here’s what to do instead.

8 easy ways to speed up older iPads (and iPhones)
Get more life from an older iPad (or any iOS device) using these eight easy tips.

The minimalist's guide to Apple Pencil
Designed for use with iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil is a precision writing and drawing instrument. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Keep up with all things Apple at our Apple Holic blog.

Apple Watch

8 ‘killer apps’ Apple Watch owners need
The Apple Watch is a very capable gadget – and gets even better with these great apps.

5 great Apple Watch accessories
Some of the best accessories around for the world’s best-selling smartwatch.

10 apps Apple Watch newbies need
Compiled for the original Apple Watch, this list remains useful for new Apple Watch 2 users.

Keep up with all things Apple at our Apple Holic blog.

Windows PCs

Windows 10 cheat sheet
New to Windows 10? Get to know the interface, features and shortcuts.

Get the most out of Cortana
Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana can make your life easier and more efficient -- if you know how to really take advantage of it.

How to block ads in Windows 10 (video)
Some Windows 10 ads are pretty unobtrusive, but several get right up in your face. Here’s how to disable them with a few simple menu tweaks.

How to protect your privacy in Windows 10
Worried about possible privacy problems in Windows 10? Now updated for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, this story offers some quick and easy ways to protect your data.

Use Windows 10's Battery Saver to squeeze more life out of your laptop (video)
Settings for screen brightness, low-power mode and more will help you last longer on a charge.

5 ways to speed up your Windows 10 PC
Settings for screen brightness, low-power mode and more will help you last longer on a charge.

Disable autoplay settings in Windows 10 (video)
Use the AutoPlay settings to keep malicious files from downloading to your PC. Here's how.

10 (mostly) free must-have Windows 10 apps
If you've just bought a Windows 10 device, here are the apps you'll want to download as soon as possible to get the most out of your new machine.

How to uninstall apps and programs in Windows 10 (video)
You have two new ways to uninstall programs in Windows 10. We’ll show you how it works.

This trick will stop Windows 10 Automatic Updates, but be careful (video)
A little white lie could save Windows 10 Home users from automatic updates, but it comes with big responsibilities. Watch for the full details.

Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Problems are less frequent with Windows 10 compared to earlier operating systems, but seem to be more annoying when they do occur. Here are some suggestions.

Support family and friends with Windows 10’s Quick Assist app
Finally, if you support other Windows 10 users, a new remote-access tool makes it easy to help another person with their computer.

Macs

The essential MacBook Pro Touch Bar guide
Got a schmancy new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar? Here’s everything you need to know about using it.

15 tips every Mac user should know
This short collection of lesser-known tips can help you get more from your Mac.

The essential guide to using Siri on a Sierra Mac
“Hey Siri, what can you do?” lets you find out a lot of things, but for even more ideas take a look at this collection.

6 Apple Photos tips you need to know
These Photos tips may surprise you – and you’ll create much better images, too.

MacBook battery condition guide
Here are a few tips to help you stay in control of battery life on your Apple MacBook.

Troubleshooting AirPort and Mac Wi-Fi problems
Bad internet connection? Don’t worry: Just follow these simple instructions to resolve most problems.

3 useful command-line tips for MacOS
Impress your friends with your command of Terminal. You’ll get so much from these three simple commands.

11 privacy and security tips for Mac users
Review these tips to stay safe online and ensure your data is as well protected as it can be in the event your Mac is lost or stolen.

What to do when MacOS Recovery Mode lets you down
When things go wrong with your Mac, your first step is to try Recovery Mode. But what if that doesn't work? Here are three other ways to save your Mac life.

Keep up with all things Apple at our Apple Holic blog.

Privacy and security

5 secure habits of the paranoid PC user
Practice these five habits to protect your data at home, in the office and out in the world.

8 ways to fend off spyware, malware and ransomware
While no system is unhackable, there are some painless precautions you can follow that might help keep you one step ahead of the bad guys.

14 eyebrow-raising things Google knows about you
Some are fascinating, others are frightening, but here's how to find out what Google has on you – and lock it down.

9 security gadgets for mobile devices
These gadgets try to keep your important data out of the hands of others.

8 password managers for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android
Password managers give you a central spot to store all your passwords, encrypted and protected by a passphrase or token you provide – so you only have to memorize a single password.

Doxxing defense: Remove your personal info from data brokers
Don't want your home address or other personal info published to the world? Here's how to make yourself a less visible target.

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