Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Galaxy S8 Notification Bar Icons Explained

In this guide we’ll help you understand what all the notification bar icons mean on the Galaxy S8. The little icons at the top of the screen near the time and battery indicator. Whether you see a weird circle with a plus sign on it, a lightning bolt, a bullseye or even a stop symbol. Here’s what you need to know about your phone.

Don’t spend your evening reading the manual or calling customer service for help. Not only will we tell you what some of the most common notification bar icons are, we’ll help you get rid of them too.

Read: 23 Galaxy S8 Tips & Tricks

Most of the icons at the top of your screen are important. These let you know what settings or features you have turned on or off. They also display your 4G LTE data connection, 2G, 3G, WiFi connections, battery levels, and upcoming alarms, to name a few. If you’re seeing an icon you don’t recognize, or don’t know how it got there, we’re here to help.

What are these weird icons?

Galaxy S8 Notification Bar Icons Explained

Even if you do read the Galaxy S8 user manual, Samsung only explains what a few of the icons are or mean. A lot of the most common icons that users have questions about are missing completely. Here are two images provided by Samsung detailing a few of these icons. If you have questions about something else, like a circle with a plus in it, keep reading for more details.

Some of the Galaxy S8 notification bar icons above are what you likely see the most. These display when you have a missed call, new emails, messages, downloads, GPS, or app updates. These are all pretty common, and mostly self-explanatory.

Next, here are a few other fairly common notification bar icons you’ll see on your phone. Each carrier has a different logo for 2G, 3G, 4G, H, H+, and 4G LTE. These notify you that you have an active connection with your carrier, like Verizon or AT&T.

If you didn’t find what you’re looking for above, here are a few other notification bar icons that users see often and don’t understand.

What Do These Other Weird Icons Mean?

The most common question we see about the Galaxy S8 notification bar icons is an odd half-circle with a plus sign in the middle. You can see it in our photo below. This doesn’t go away, even if you reboot the phone.

If you see a circle icon with a + sign, it means at some point you turned on a feature known as Data Saver. This cuts down on data usage by preventing some apps from sending and receiving data in the background. If photos aren’t loading right in some apps (like Facebook) it’s because of Data Saver.

Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped settings button. Go to Settings > Connections > Data usage > Data Saver > and turn it off. Now that little icon will finally disappear. However, your phone will use more data than it did before, and you might go over your monthly data plan. Next, the odd B icon stands for Bluetooth, as I constantly connect my phone to my car stereo and headphones, so it’s always on.

The weird N-shaped icon stands for NFC, or Near Field Communications. Some apps use NFC to quickly pair Bluetooth accessories like a speaker, by tapping your phone to the speaker. They talk to each other using NFC and pair together automatically. You also use NFC when you make mobile payments with Samsung Pay or Android Pay.

You might also notice a bullseye, which is GPS on certain models of the Galaxy S8. If you’re using Google Maps, you’ll see it. Another one is a circle with a line through it, like a no smoking sign. This means you have no mobile connection or you took your SIM card out of the phone. If you see an “R” by your signal bars, it means you’re roaming. Roaming is when you’re an AT&T customer but there’s no AT&T service around, but your phone still works because it found service from T-Mobile, or someone else.

Other Common Icons

Another question we see often is regarding the airplane icon on the Galaxy S8. This is airplane mode, which you probably accidentally turned on by hitting the icon when you pull down the notification bar.

Airplane mode turns off all the wireless signals inside your phone. Like WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, internet, etc. Some airports believe these signals can interfere with an aircraft, so they make you turn everything off while you fly. Hence the name, airplane mode.

If you see a circle with a line in the middle, this stands for Do-Not-Disturb mode. Again, you probably accidentally turned this on by hitting the DnD mode when the notification bar was open. This prevents any and all notifications from coming through and is a feature millions of people love.

To turn these off and get rid of the icons, pull down the notification bar and look for the symbol. Find it, and tap once to turn it off.

Last but not least, is the weird lightning bolt on your Galaxy S8 notification bar. This is a feature known as download booster. It’s an awesome feature that carriers in the United States disable on most Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 devices. Download booster lets the phone combine both 4G LTE and WiFi for the fastest possible speeds while downloading a file. It’s nothing to worry about, but you can turn it off if needed.

Go to Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > and uncheck download booster.

How to Cut Down Your Notification Bar Icons

If you hate having a ton of notification icons at the top of your phone in the morning, there’s a way to cut down on how many get displayed. Head to Settings > Display > Status Bar > and select to “show recent notifications only” from the list of options. Now, you’ll only see three icons at a time, at least on the left side of the screen.

We’ve now explained some of the most common Galaxy S8 notification bar icons, what they do, and how to get rid of them if you’d like. While you’re here, take a look at these 25 best Galaxy S8 cases, or learn how to disable notification icon badges on your phone. If you have a question about any other icons, drop us a line in the comment section below.

How to Fix Poor iPhone SE Performance

The iPhone SE continues to hold up for us as we push into 2018, but many others are reporting performance issues with the company’s 4-inch flagship.

We’re having an excellent experience on iOS 11.1.2, but iPhone SE users are complaining about a variety of performance problems including lockups, freezes, general, lag, and random reboots. These issues are extremely common and you’ll find them across Apple’s iPhone line.

If your iPhone SE starts to exhibit lag or frequently reboot itself, you don’t need to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at the Apple Store. At least not yet.

There’s a very good chance you’ll be able to solve your performance issues from your house or office in a matter of minutes, seconds even.

In this guide we’ll show you a few ways to fix iPhone SE performance issues should they arise after an iOS update or completely out of the blue.

Restart Your iPhone SE

If you start noticing performance issues like lag and lockups, try restarting your iPhone SE. Hold down the power button, slide to turn it off, leave it off for a minute or so, and then turn it back on to check performance.

You can also try hard resetting the phone which is done by holding down the power button and the home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

Update Your iPhone SE

If you’re running an outdated version of iOS, consider downloading the latest software to your iPhone SE.

To check what version of iOS you’re currently running, go into Settings > About > and check under Version. If you aren’t running the latest update, you’ll need to install the software.

To do that, head into Settings > General > Software update. If a new update is available, you’ll be prompted to download and install the software.

Make sure you read reviews before you make your move.

Delete What You Don’t Need

If you’ve owned your iPhone SE for awhile you’ve probably accumulated a ton of data on your device’s internal hard drive. Photos, videos, apps, things of that nature.

Some people are really good about keeping their device’s hard drive clean, others not so much. If you fall into the latter category, it might be time to examine the contents of your phone because clutter can slow down your iPhone.

To do this, head into your iPhone SE’s Settings and tap on iPhone Storage. There, you’ll get a detailed look at what’s taking up space on your device. Go down the list and decide what to keep and what to delete. You’d be surprised how much space Messages and Videos take up on your phone.

If you’re running iOS 11 on your iPhone SE, you will also get some personalized recommendations about how to free up space on your device.

Stop Your Auto Downloads

Automatic updates are extremely useful if you’re bad about keeping your apps and services updated with the latest features and fixes. Auto downloads are useful, but they can also slow down your phone.

If you don’t mind manually updating your applications on the App Store,  try disabling Automatic Downloads on your iPhone SE and see if you get a boost.

Head into your Settings app > iTunes & App Store. Once you’re in there, toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off.

You might toggle the other options off as well. You can always turn them back on later.

Clear Browser Cookies & Data

Clearing your browser’s cookies and data will free up memory which could help speed up your iPhone SE.

If you use Safari on your iPhone SE, head into your Settings > Safari > and go down to Clear History and Website Data. Give it a tap.

Tapping on this button will remove your browsing history, cookies, and other data from Safari. Your history will also be cleared from any other devices signed into your iCloud account. If that sounds good to you, tap Clear History and Data again.

If you use Google Chrome on your iPhone SE, you’ll want to head into Chrome and tap the three vertical circles in the top right corner.

On the next screen, tap Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete from your device. If you’re noticing serious lag on your iPhone SE, you might want to get rid of everything. To do that, select them all and then click Clear Browsing Data.

Reduce Animations

The iPhone SE’s animations are nifty, but toning them down could help improve your device’s performance.

If the animations on your iPhone SE suddenly get choppy or slow, head on into the Settings app > General > Accessibility and toggle Reduce Motion on.

We also recommend reducing the transparency and blur effects on your device. To get that done, head into Settings > General > Accessibility > tap Increase Contrast and then tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.

The software will feel a bit different, but it’s a small price to pay for improving performance.

Kill Background Refresh

If you have Background App Refresh enabled, your iPhone SE will work to keep your apps updated with fresh data. It’s a nice feature, but you probably don’t need it turned on for all of your apps.

If you don’t want or need apps working in the background, turn this feature off. You can shut it off completely or you can run down a list and toggle it off on a case-by-case basis.

To get this done head into Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. If you’d prefer to pick and choose, you’ll need to go down your list of apps and toggle them off or on one by one.

Reset All Settings

If none of those remedies work, try resetting your iPhone SE’s settings to their factory defaults. To do that, head into Settings > General > Reset > and select Reset All Settings at the top.

Before you do this, make sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy. This will cause your iPhone SE to forget its known connections.


If the current version of iOS is treating your iPhone SE badly, you can try downgrading to an older version assuming one is available.

If you’re fine with dropping down, take a look at our guide to downgrading iOS. It will hold your hand through the entire process.

Start Again

Wiping your iPhone SE and starting over is a tedious process, but it could have a dramatic effect on your device’s overall performance.

Before you make this move, make sure your data is properly backed up via iTunes or Apple’s iCloud service. That way, if you don’t see any improvements, you can easily restore from a backup.

Once you’ve made a proper backup, head into your iPhone SE’s Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings and get the ball rolling.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 11.1.2 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 11.1.2 If You Own an iPhone X

Install iOS 11.1.2 If You Own an iPhone X

If you picked up Apple’s new flagship phone you should think about installing the iOS 11.1.2 update. It comes with two fixes for iPhone X problems. 

The iOS 11.1.2 change log lists two bug fixes, both of them are for the iPhone X.

One is a fix for an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop.

We experienced this issue when using the device in cold weather. We’ve only been using the new update for a short time, but the issue hasn’t returned.

Even if you haven’t experienced the problem on your iPhone X you might want to download the update just to be safe.

The iOS 11.1.2 update also addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with the iPhone X.

If you’ve been having issues with Live Photos, you probably want to install iOS 11.1.2 on your new iPhone.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Deal: Get $100 in Project Fi credit with Moto X4 Android One purchase

Back in September, Google revealed that the Android One edition of the Motorola Moto X4 would join the list of its official Project Fi-compatible smartphones. At the time, that made the phone the most affordable of all the phones that would work on Google’s mobile network, with a price of $399. Now, Google is giving buyers an additional incentive as part of its Black Friday sales efforts. It will give Moto X4 buyers on Project Fi a $100 credit on the network.

Editor’s Pick

From now until November 30, if you decide to purchase the Android One Moto X4 from Project Fi, a service credit of $100 will be applied to your Fi account after the device has been activated. The credit is supposed to be put in place within 30 days of the Moto X4 shipping, and the phone must also remain active on the network for 30 days.

As a reminder, the Android One Moto X4 current runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box, but because it is part of the Android One program, it’s likely to get an update to Android 8.0 Oreo in the very near future. The phone includes a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, with a microSD card slot to add even more storage. It also has a dual rear camera setup with a main 12 MP sensor, and an 8 MP secondary sensor, along with a single 16 MP front-facing camera.

Interested? Click the link below to get the discount.

Friday, November 24, 2017

How to Change Font Size in Windows 10

Don’t go another day without knowing how to change the font size in Windows 10. Doing so will make everything on your laptop, desktop or tablet easier to see.

Windows 10 has all sorts of options and switches, but few of them are more important than the control panel that lets you change how big your computer’s font size is and how large on-screen elements appear. Monitors and displays have gotten sharper and that clarity also means that text and buttons in Windows 10 have gotten smaller. If you have a device with a 4K display and hit the wrong button, you could end up with text that’s much too small to read.

Read: 52 Windows 10 Tips & Tricks You Need to Master Your PC

Here’s how to change the size of apps, programs and font size in Windows 10.

Before you do anything else, save all work from any app or program that you have open. Windows 10 requires you to restart your PC when you change font sizes and scaling ratios.

Open the Start Menu. To do that, press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen. If you have touch, tap the Start button instead.

Now click or tap on the Settings cog in the bottom-left corner of the Start Menu. It’s just above the power button.

Welcome to the Settings app. Click or tap on System. It’s the first option from the left in the top row.

Your Windows 10 laptop, desktop or tablet will take you directly to the Display settings area. To confirm that this happened, look for the word Display along the top of the Settings app.

Scroll down in the window until you see Screen and Layout. This area has all the controls you need to adjust your device’s display resolution and font-size. If you have a device that lets you change its display colors, it also lets you adjust your color profile.

The Change the size of text, apps and other items drop-down menu allows you to control how big on-screen elements, including font size, are. The company that made your PC assigned a scale setting based on how sharp your device’s display is and how large it is. That’s why one of your options is labeled Recommended.

Read: 48 Best Windows 10 Apps in 2017

The lower the percentage in this drop-down menu, the smaller everything on your display appears for you. So going from 200% to 100% decreases the size of buttons, fonts and icons in Windows 10. Choose a new ratio in the drop-down menu and your device will automatically change the font size in Windows 10 to match.

Finding the right ratio and font size in Windows 10 should be straightforward for mouse and keyboard users. As you’re changing the ratio, keep in mind that the smaller you go, the more work you must do to select it with your mouse pointer.

If you’re using a device with touch, like the Surface Pro, finding the right ratio will be more difficult for you. You must balance how big on-screen elements are with how easy they are to click on with a mouse or tap with your finger. The smaller you make the on-screen elements, the harder it is for you to tap on them in a hurry.

Unfortunately, your PC will not restart itself once you choose an option in the menu. You will get a notice at the top of the window informing you that some programs and on-screen elements don’t have your new settings applied because that requires a restart. Don’t put your PC to sleep by pressing the power button. Open the Start Menu and click on the power icon in the bottom-left corner instead.

Select Restart from the pop-up menu.

With your computer back on, try navigating to different websites and opening the apps and programs you use daily to see how well the new scaling setting works for you. You can change the font size in Windows 10 when you want, so go back to the Settings app and chose another ratio if your first choice doesn’t work out.

10 Best Surface Pro 4 Alternatives in 2017

Huawei MateBook – $549

Huawei MateBook - $549

The Huawei MateBook has an attractive price and two configurations for shoppers to pick from.

This machine offers 4GB of RAM and an Intel Core m3 processor for just $399. More expensive configurations add an Intel Core m5 processor, up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of solid state storage.

Buyers that like clean design will love the Huawei Matebook. Its sleek metal frame has just a USB Type-C port, a headset jack and a connection for its add-on keyboard. It doesn’t have a kickstand on the back. Instead, users snap the cover accessory onto the bottom to hold the screen up. The 12-inch 2160 x 11440 display dominates the front, and machined aluminum covers the back.

You will need to factor in the cost of the digital pen and the keyboard with your purchase. The MatePen is just $49.99 from the Microsoft Store. The keyboard, which has a kickstand for propping the device up and backlit keys, costs $99. For comparison, a Surface Type Cover costs $129.99, and the Surface Pro 4’s pen sells for $59.99.

Buy the Huawei MateBook from the Microsoft Store for $549

Black Friday 2017: All the latest deals in one place

Welcome to Android Authority’s Black Friday 2017 deals roundup, the place where we try to make sense of the madness that is the Black Friday deals event.

Thanksgiving is today and as much as you may be looking forward to the break and the overindulgent turkey dinner, the biggest shopping event of the year that follows is even more exciting for many. Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017!

Editor’s note: This post will be updated regularly in order to keep up with the best Black Friday deals. In other words, be sure to return if you want to keep up with all the latest holiday deals.

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some great gift ideas!

Best Black Friday deals available now

The biggest three days of the “Black Friday deals season” are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving day, and of course Black Friday itself. All the biggest discounts will likely fall within that window, but if you want a deal now, let’s jump in and take a look at all the best Black Friday deals currently on offer.

Amazon is also offering a number of time sensitive deals in the form of “Deal of the Day” offers and lightning deals. Due to the fact lightning deals are very time sensitive (usually good for a few hours) and change throughout the day, we aren’t going to list them all here. The same goes for deals of the day. The kind of products typically offered include headphones, household gadgets, mobile accessories, and more.

If you want to shop from a specific retailer, here are the direct links to the major ones:

Amazon Black Friday promoBest Buy Black Friday promoTarget Black Friday promo | Walmart Black Friday promo | Newegg Black Friday promo | Black Friday promo


Televisions and Monitors

Media Streaming Devices

Smart Speakers

Smart Home

Speakers and Headphones


Laptops and Computers

Wearables and Smartwatches

Gaming and VR



We’re keeping an eye on all the Black Friday deals that are coming up and we will continue to keep this post updated with more deals! Keep it tuned!

Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.


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