About Zach Gray-Traverso
Zach has been a How-to Writer at Android Police since January 2022. He specializes in Chromebooks, Android smartphones, Android apps, Google hardware, and Google software products. You'll usually find him writing how-to guides on these topics, but you may see him dabble in other content areas from time to time.
Zach loves unique and fun hardware and software features as well as products with a sustainability focus. He holds a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's in Energy Engineering, giving him unique insight into the sustainability side of the industry.
Zach's first Android phone was a Motorola Droid Turbo 2 he got in 2016 after switching from an iPhone 5S. Even though the rest of his family has switched to iPhones, he could never do it. His current daily driver is a Pixel 7, and he writes on an HP Chromebook x2 12.
When he's not writing, Zach works as an energy consultant. In his free time, he loves being outside and spending time with his family. He is one of the few people who used Google Stadia, which he misses dearly. He also is a fan of Magic the Gathering and soccer.
What was their first phone?
Zach's first smartphone was an iPhone 5S. After a lot of frustration with iOS and Apple, Zach switched to a Motorola Droid Turbo 2 with a black leather back, his first Android phone.
Change your Chromebook login ingo with ease
There are several ways to log in to devices and services, but no way is more secure than a strong password. Passwords are great, especially if you use a password manager to create and store them, but sometimes, we can forget them, or they can be leaked from a data breach. This problem is not unique, and all Chromebooks, even the best and most secure, can have password issues. Chromebooks make it easy to change your password or login information.
It just works...or does it?
Sharing your Wi-Fi password is a vital part of welcoming a guest, but don't direct them to the back of your router. There are easier ways to share your Wi-Fi password, even between iPhone and Android. Wi-Fi sharing between the two device families isn't as straightforward as sharing within their ecosystems, but we're here to walk you through it.
Become a Chromebook power user with these handy keyboard shortcuts
Chromebooks are some of the most cost-effective and exciting computers on the market. They have great hardware and useful software for users at all price points and are simpler and more user-friendly than Windows or Mac computers. Chromebooks come in all shapes and sizes, but for those who want a little more out of Chromebooks, Google introduced the Chromebook Plus program in October 2023, which has several minimum standards Chromebooks must follow.
Pairing up your shiny new Google Pixel Watch with your Android takes seconds
It took years of waiting, but Google finally released its own smartwatch in the fall of 2022. Google's first Pixel Watch quickly rose among the ranks of other wearables to become one of the best smartwatches you can buy. The first one was sleek. Its compact design and innovative band mechanism impressed us, even though there was plenty of room for improvement, which was fixed in the Pixel Watch 2.
Use these tips to become a Chromebook power user
Computers should be simple and easy to use for everyone. Windows and macOS devices are okay in this regard but have some complexities that sometimes make them difficult to use. Chromebooks have a streamlined user experience that is almost as easy as using the Google Chrome browser. This is because the operating system used on Chromebooks, called ChromeOS, is based on Google Chrome.
There's no dedicated button, but you can still right-click on a Chromebook
Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular as they've evolved from a glorified browser into a full-fledged computer. And Premium Chromebooks offer plenty of advanced hardware like beautiful screens and fingerprint scanners that bring the user experience to a new level. No matter which Chromebook they have, most new Chromebook users will notice that there isn't a right-click button built into their device. Even though it's not obvious, there is still a way to right-click on a Chromebook.
We all have Bluetooth accessories, such as a great pair of headphones, that improve our experience with our devices. However, pairing them is not always a walk in the park since the devices don't always communicate correctly or stay connected. Modern Chromebooks have a feature called Fast Pair, which makes connecting and staying connected to compatible devices easier. This guide discusses what Fast Pair is and how to use it on your Chromebook.
Take advantage of the Pixel Watch's safety features
Google recently launched the Google Pixel Watch 2, one of the best Android smartwatches due to its fantastic suite of features and charming profile. It is more or less the same as the first-generation Pixel Watch. The biggest upgrade is the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 chipset. Apart from Google Assistant integration and Google's exclusive watch faces, you also get new fitness tracking hardware in the form of the continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor. This helps the Pixel Watch 2 approximate stress levels and gives it a skin temperature sensor.
Change these 7 settings after you've set up your new phone
Google's Pixel 8 series is here with some great new features and upgrades. Google's event on October 4, 2023, showed off the brand series of phones alongside the new Google Pixel Watch 2. Tons of new software tricks and features, alongside some modest hardware improvements, make these the best Pixel phones ever. They also compete well with Samsung's Galaxy S series to be the best Android phones on the market today. When you get your new Pixel 8 phone and turn it on, here are the first settings you should change to get the best Pixel experience possible.
Make the OS easily installable, or usable, anywhere
ChromeOS has come a long way from being a glorified web browser to a full-fledged operating system that's packed with great features. Chromebooks come in all shapes and sizes, including some great 2-in-1 laptops, which means there's a Chromebook for everyone. If you're interested in a Chromebook but aren't sure if you want to take the leap and buy one, install ChromeOS on a flash drive and try it on a computer you own.
Google's Pixel phones are some of the longest-supported Android phones
Google Pixel phones have steadily grown in popularity over the years thanks to their powerful software features and (since the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro) distinctive design. Even the cheaper models are some of the best-value Android phones. But no matter how good the design is, software support is crucial to the user experience with Pixel phones.
The Apple Watch is designed to work exclusively with iPhone, but with a few life hacks, you can use it with Android
The Apple Watch is probably one of, if not the best, smartwatches on the market. The best Android-compatible smartwatches aren't far behind, and now more than ever, give the Apple Watch a run for its money. But the polished design and seamless connectivity between the Apple Watch and Apple's ecosystem make it stand out. The only caveat is that you are locked into the Apple ecosystem if you use an Apple Watch. However, you can use your Apple Watch with your Android smartphone. The experience may not be great, but it's a possibility. In this guide, we show you how you can use your Apple Watch with an Android phone.
Turn your Chromebook back into a desktop in no time
Chromebooks have evolved from the laughing stock of the computing world to a real competitor in the space. The best Chromebooks come in all shapes and sizes, from regular computers to convertibles to tablets, and there's a Chromebook for everyone. ChromeOS even has a dedicated mode for tablets that creates a touch-friendly interface. The tablet mode is useful, but sometimes your Chromebook may get stuck in the mode. This guide discusses what tablet mode is and how to turn it off if you need to.
Clean up your mess of an inbox in no time at all
Even the most organized people may occasionally need help cleaning out their inboxes if it gets too cluttered. With Gmail being one of the most popular email clients, you might see hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox if left unchecked. Google includes an easy way to mass delete emails on the web using any device, including one of the best Chromebooks. You can quickly clean out your inbox and keep things organized with a few clicks. Here's how to delete those emails when you decide it's time to get your inbox under control.
Prevent malicious SIM card use by adding an extra layer of security
Smartphones are our gateway to communicating with others and consuming information. To access these features, you need a SIM card from a carrier. This SIM card assigns your phone a phone number and gives your phone an identity on the carrier's network. If your high-end Android phone is stolen, you can get your SIM card locked by calling your carrier.
Stay informed on your Android phone
Notifications are the main way most people interact with their smartphones. If your phone doesn't vibrate or make a noise to make you aware you have a notification, you could miss something important. Android has a robust notification that works well on large screens like the best Android tablets or small screens like the best small phones, but issues pop up. This guide discusses several reasons your device may have issues with notifications and how to fix them.
Cut out background noise with Google's Clear Calling feature
Smartphones have all kinds of unique features and advancements with each subsequent update. However, smartphone makers seem to continually forget one of the most essential parts of a phone; its ability to make phone calls. Google's Pixel 7 series puts phone calls front and center, thanks to its Clear Calling feature
Android's open nature makes it a piece of cake!
Apps are an integral part of any operating system, and keeping them updated is of the utmost importance. Updates bring new features and fix stability and security issues. If you turn on automatic updates in the Google Play Store, you don't need to worry about keeping apps up-to-date. However, if you want to update an app using something other than the Play Store or need an older version of an app, you have options.
Maybe it's time to move on from your carrier
Phones are a constant part of our lives, and making sure they have a strong internet connection is important. Everyone has a carrier they use, but sometimes, that connection may not be as reliable as we would hope. Even if they are one of the best phone carriers, that doesn't mean they have the best coverage where you live. If you want to change phone plans, find out if your phone is compatible with the network you're considering or if you need to get a new phone.
The easiest way to keep your Chromebook up-to-date
Staying on top of software updates keeps your Chromebook running efficiently and securely. Typically, you don't have to manually install updates on a Chromebook. Google ships ChromeOS updates and security patches frequently, and they typically download and install in the background. If you've noticed your laptop is running more slowly than normal, its worth a quick check to make sure your computer is up to date. If a missing update or ChromeOS Powerwash fails to help, it may be time to to upgrade to a a high-end Chromebook.