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When you purchase or rent movies and TV shows on a streaming service, you essentially have access everywhere, provided there is an app available for the device you want to watch on. Google Play Movies and TV, for example, is available across several platforms, not just mobile.

Sometimes, however, accessing one or two of the services is not as straightforward as you might think. The Google Play Movies and TV apps don’t always come pre-installed on all streaming devices and systems, like the Roku. If you own Roku streaming sticks and media players, you might need to do some finagling to gain access.

Installing Channels on Roku

Before we proceed, you’ll need to know how to install channels to your Roku device. The good news is that the process is the same no matter what model of Roku you own, whether it’s a standalone device or built into your TV. Also, if you’re signed in to the same account across all your Roku devices, then installing a channel on one will install it for everything.

It’s easier to add channels from your Roku directly. However, you may also add channels using the website – just make sure you’re logged in to the same account that you use on your Roku devices.

On the Roku

Here’s how to add channels using your Roku device:

1. Make sure your Roku is signed in to a valid account and powered on.

2. Press the left button on your remote to bring up the side menu.

3. Navigate to “Streaming Channels” if you want to browse what’s available. You can also “Search” for a channel you want if you know the name. Alternatively, you can use the “Featured Free” section to see some of the most popular channels.

4. Press the right or OK button on your remote to open the chosen menu.

5. Highlight the channel you wish to install and press OK. You will see details about the channel in question and several options.

6. Choose “Add Channel” to install it to your Roku.

7. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internet, the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.

From the Website

Here’s how to add channels using the Roku website:

2. Either choose a featured channel or conduct a search using the search bar at the top. If you want to install the HBO Go app, for example, you would search for “HBO” or “HBO Go.”

4. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internetm the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.

How to Get Google Play Store on Roku

Unfortunately, there is no way to download or access the Google Play store using a Roku system. It’s difficult to say if there ever will be an opportunity, most likely not.

Roku doesn’t officially support Internet browsing, but, for a time, there were third-party channels that enabled it like Web Browser X and Poprism. They are currently unavailable, but it is possible that other similar channels may appear. While active, these two channels would allow you to access the Internet from a Roku device and use Google Search.

For Android TV users, the opposite is always a concern. What apps and services can you use instead of Google Play? There are a few app stores available aside from the Play store. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting predicament considering Roku users cannot even access the Play store.

How to Get Google Play Movies and TV on Roku

Luckily, Google Play Movies and TV has an official Roku channel that you can download. Channels, if you didn’t already know, are what Roku calls its apps. You download channels onto your streaming stick or player, which then provides access to the related service.

If the Google Play channel isn’t already installed on your Roku, you’ll need to search for it in the marketplace. You can also access the Roku channel store in a browser.

Just download the channel, start it up and log in to access your Google Play movies and TV content. Keep in mind that Google says the app is only available in select countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and a few others. Some users have reported that they can access the app and service in regions where they shouldn’t be able to, but your mileage may vary.

How to Get Google Play Music on Roku

No official Google Play Music app or channel exists for Roku. In the past, you could download a few third-party apps like Nowhere Music, but they’re no longer being supported and are no longer available on the Roku marketplace.

The best and only way to enjoy Google Music is to cast it from your phone or computer to the Roku device. Roku supports Miracast technology, though, which means iPhones are not compatible.

With Android devices, start the music or playlist, swipe down on the notification tray and select the cast option. When presented with a list of compatible devices, select your Roku. Both your phone and Roku must be connected to the same WiFi network to see each other.

On Windows, you can either use the Chrome web browser to cast content or the native Windows display sharing option.

How to Get Google Photos on Roku

Like Google Play Music, there is no official Google Photos app available for Roku. That said, you do have the option to download and use third-party channels.

PhotoView for Google Photos is your best bet. Just download the channel, boot it up and log in, and you should be good to go. The app allows you to share photos on your TV through Roku, activate screensaver and slideshow modes and much more. Bear in mind that you will be giving the application access to your Google account – it needs to access your photo library.

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Google Play Protect’S Ai Works But Needs To Get Better Fast

Google Play Protect’s AI works but needs to get better fast

This is going to be yet another Apple versus Google and iOS versus Android thing. Long story short, Apple manually screens every app submitted to its App Store and, as Valve just learned, not everyone makes the cut. It’s a painstaking process that results in a comparatively smaller number of apps (compared to Android) but has the explicitly assurance of safety, if not quality.

In contrast, Google is always more interested in numbers. It wants more but, at the same time, knows it won’t scale well to manual processes. Which is why it has entrusted Android’s security, or Google Play Store’s security rather, to machine learning. And it’s quite proud of what is has accomplished so far.

Google boasts that Play Protect’s systems scan over 50 billion apps daily. These scans are mostly done on the Play Store but also happen from time to time on Google-certified phones. The idea is simple: it uses automation, algorithms, and machine learning to root out Potentially Harmful Apps or PHAs. Because of that system, Google Play apps are 9 times less likely to be a PHA, or so says Google.

Of course, it all depends on how well that machine learning system is able to detect PHAs. It requires Google to feed it thousands and thousands of examples of both potentially harmful behavior as well as safe ones. And what better source for that data than Google Play Store itself and user’s (promised to be anonymized) data. These neural networks look for telltale signs of bad behavior, like interacting with other apps, downloading files in the background, or bypassing Android’s security features.

To its credit, Google Play Protect isn’t just a simple and single-minded bouncer. In addition to identifying PHAs, Google also groups malicious behavior into families. This system allows it to identify apps that have remained outside their radar but exhibit similar traits as known PHAs.

THat machine learning system has, so far, accurately detected 60.3% of the PHAs and malware Google Play Protect identified last year. It’s not hard to understand why Google is proud of that. That 60% was made by a machine with little to no direct human intervention. But 60% isn’t exactly an encouraging number and Google Play Store’s history might not inspire much confidence yet.

To be fair, this new AI-powered system was only added two years ago, long after Google Play Store was already notorious for having apps that slip through the cracks. Has it improved since then? It’s not that easy to say. News coverage has definitely been fewer, but that may be because people are tired of hearing about it over and over again. There are definitely some high-profile mishaps, but that could be attributed to the remaining 39.7% that didn’t get detected.

And then there’s the case that not all Android devices might even have Google Play Protect at all. As part of the Google Play bundle, it only benefits certified devices. There is quite a number of Android smartphones in the market that don’t and there might even be more to come if certain political forces have their way. It is definitely a cunning strategy to “encourage” OEMs to get Google-certified, but not all can afford to pay the price.

That’s not to downplay Google’s achievements but it definitely needs to pick up the pace. The world won’t wait for is machine learning systems to wise up, especially when privacy and security are being put under a microscope again. Given recent events, there is even more pressure on Google now to prove that its AI-driven system doesn’t just work but is also better than the competition. And, considering the number of apps in Google Play Store and the more than 2 billion Android devices out there, 60.3% just doesn’t cut it.

How To Use Google Photos Locked Folder

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Earlier, if you wanted to hide photos in Google Photos, you would either archive them, put them in the trash, or use a third-party app locker. Fortunately, Google has now introduced a native ability way to password-protect photos inside Google Photos. This has been made possible with the help of the Locked folder. What is the Google Photos Locked folder and how to add photos to it? Find the answer here.

What Is Locked Folder in Google Photos

Found in the Utilities section of Google Photos, the Locked folder allows you to hide sensitive photos and videos behind a passcode. The Locked folder uses your phone’s screen lock, which can either be a password or a biometric. That is, in addition to unlocking the device, you will need to unlock the Locked folder separately.

The items inside the Locked folder are kept private and no other app can access them. Such photos and videos are also hidden from other gallery apps. You can view them only inside the Locked folder after unlocking it.

Previously, the Locked folder was only available on Google Pixel phones, but it is now available on any non-Pixel phone running Android 6 or later.

How to Add Photos or Videos to Locked Folder

There are three ways to hide photos and videos in the Locked folder.

Method 1

1. Open the Google Photos app and go to the Library tab.

2. Tap on Utilities. If it’s your first time, you will see the Set up Locked folder option, tap on it.

Alternatively, scroll down and tap on Locked folder under Organize your library section.

3. You will need to unlock your device if you have a screen lock in place. In case you don’t, you will need to create it first before you can set up the Locked folder.

4. The Locked folder screen will appear. Tap on the Move items button or press the Add icon at the top.

5. Select the items that you want to add to the Locked folder and tap on Move at the top.

6. The item will appear in the Locked folder.

Method 2

Alternatively, open a photo or video in Google Photos and swipe up. Tap on Move to Locked folder.

Method 3

If you own a Google Pixel phone, you can save photos directly from the Camera in the Locked folder. This feature works on Pixel 3 and above.

To do so, open the Google Camera app on your phone. Tap on the Photo Gallery option at the top. The Save to menu will appear. Choose Locked folder.

Now, any photo or video that you capture will be saved automatically in the Locked folder. To save in the regular album, choose Photo Gallery from this menu.

What Happens by Putting Photos and Videos in Locked Folder

The Locked folder not only hides the photos placed inside it, but it also has an effect on other things as shown below.

Google Photos Features

The items added in the Locked folder won’t appear in Google Photos search, memories, movies, or albums. They will be visible only inside the Locked folder. Furthermore, you cannot move items to Trash from the Locked folder or put them in albums. The Locked folder also lacks the ability to edit pictures.

Restricts Sharing

When you add photos to the Locked folder, you won’t be able to share them either from the Google Photos app or directly through other apps. That’s because other apps cannot access the photos present in the Locked folder.

Cloud Functionality

Google Photos is used both as a regular gallery app and a cloud storage tool. However, any photo or video added to the Locked folder is stored locally on your device and will not be uploaded to the cloud. If a photo has already been uploaded to the cloud, the cloud backup will be deleted and the photo will be saved on your phone’s storage.

Data Transfer

Similarly, the items inside the Locked folder aren’t transferred when sharing with other devices using cable or USB transfers.

Screenshots

Both screenshots and screen recordings are blocked inside the Locked folder. If you try to capture either, the captured photo or video will appear black.

Uninstalling App

Generally, uninstalling the Google Photos app or clearing its data won’t affect the photos or videos. However, any item inside the Locked folder will be deleted permanently when you delete the Google Photos app or clear its data. To save them, you will need to remove them from the Locked folder.

How to Remove Photos from Locked Folder

Go to the Locked Folder inside Google Photos. Unlock the folder and tap on the photo or video that you want to move back to a regular album. Tap on the Move button. In case you want to delete the photo permanently, tap on the Delete button. Please note that the item will not be taken to Trash but will be deleted permanently.

If you want to move back multiple items, tap on the three-dot icon on the Locked folder screen. Select the items and tap on Move.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Password Protect a Google Photos Albums?

You cannot put a password on individual albums in Google Photos. If you want to hide a photo, you will need to move it to the Locked folder.

Can You Use a Different Password Than Lock Screen

Sadly, no. The Locked folder uses your device lock only. So anyone having access to the device screen lock will be able to unlock the Locked folder.

What’s the Difference Between Locked Folder and Archive

Archived items aren’t protected by any lock. They can be accessed by anyone and will also show up in the Google Photos’ search, unlike the Locked folder items. Furthermore, you can easily share archived photos.

Have Fun With Google Photos

The Google Photos Locked folder has been a much-awaited utility tool. Now that it’s here, you don’t need to rely on any external tools to password protect Google Photos. If you enjoy using Google Photos, check out the best tips to edit photos and videos in it.

How To Configure Private Listening On Your Roku

Setting Up Private Listening

To start, you should consider the two different ways that Private Listening is implemented on Roku devices and whether or not your device supports that specific setup. There are two ways that Private Listening can be used: either through a Private Listening-enabled remote or through the official Roku app on iOS and Android. Currently only the Roku Ultra and select Smart TVs integrated with Roku support the option for “Use Private Listening through your Roku Remote.”

The much more common method used (and easier, in my opinion) is through the official Roku app. To get it working through your phone or tablet, start by going into your app store and typing “Roku.”

Make sure you’re downloading the official Roku app and not one of the many, many copies that appear both on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Next, make sure that the device you plan on using Private Listening with is hooked up to the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku. Without these two devices on the same network, you won’t be able to control your Roku with the app nor will Private Listening activate. Once you do this, launch the Roku app, and if the Roku is detected on the same network, you’ll be greeted with the following screen.

Tap the Remote option at the bottom of your screen to get to the actual Roku remote.

Activate Private Listening on Your Roku

Once you have your headphones hooked up, just tap the headphone icon shown below to turn on Private Listening.

Chris Stobing

A tech writer with seven years of experience in the industry, Chris Stobing has come to MakeTechEasier to do one thing and one thing only: make tech easier for the people who need it!

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Fix: Google Play Store Keeps Crashing On Android

On Android devices, Google Play Store is one system app that often malfunctions. This guide will walk you through 10 possible solutions that’ll prevent Google Play Store from crashing whenever you open the app.

Note that the steps for these troubleshooting solutions may vary based on the Android version installed on your device.

Table of Contents

1. Close Used Apps

The more applications you open on your smartphone, the less Random Access Memory (RAM) is available for other applications to run effectively without issues. If Google Play Store keeps crashing on your Android device, close apps you aren’t using to free up memory for Google Play Store to run smoothly.

2. Free Up Storage Space

Play Store may fail to install applications or download app updates if your device is low on storage space. Even worse, Play Store and other applications may crash occasionally during usage. Check the Files app (or any file management app) and ensure you have sufficient storage space–at least 1GB.

If your device runs the stock Android OS, there’s a storage management tool in the Settings app that helps to free up space by removing junk files, blurry photos, unused apps, duplicates, and large files.

Alternatively, open the Google Files app, head to the “Clean” tab, and follow the recommendations on the page.

If your device doesn’t have the Files app or a storage management option in the Settings menu, install a storage cleaning app from third-party APK download websites to free up space.

3. Force Quit Play Store

The Force Stop tool terminates an application and other related processes running in the background. It’s one of the easiest ways to correct a malfunctioning app on Android devices.

Long-press the Play Store icon on the Home screen or app launcher and tap the info icon.

Select Force Stop and tap OK on the confirmation prompt.

Tap Open to relaunch Play Store.

If Play Store keeps crashing after force quitting the app, clearing its cache should stabilize its performance.

4. Clear Google Play Store Cache

Google Play Store creates cache files (otherwise known as Temporary files) when you install applications or app updates and perform other actions on the app. 

Overacummulation of these temporary files can sometimes disrupt the app’s performance. Besides eating up your device’s storage space, these temporary files can cause the Play Store to crash and exhibit other performance-related issues. 

Relaunch the Play Store and check if it no longer crashes. If the problem persists, delete Google Play Store’s data (see the next section) and try again.

5. Clear Google Play Store Data

Deleting Google Play Store’s data will reset the app’s preferences (auto-download configurations, security & authentication settings, etc.) to default. On the bright side, the operation can eliminate data corruption and other Google Play Store issues.

6. Clear Google Play Services Cache

Google Play Services is a background application that keeps other Google apps updated and running on your device. If Play Store keeps crashing despite clearing its cache and app data, deleting Google Play Services’ cache could fix the problem.

Select Google Play services.

Select Storage & cache.

Tap Clear Cache.

7. Grant Play Store Background Data Access

Google Play Store will sometimes malfunction if it doesn’t have background access to your device’s internet. Check the app’s settings and make sure background data is enabled.

As usual, long-press the Google Play Store icon and tap the info icon to launch the app’s settings menu.

Select Mobile data & Wi-Fi.

Toggle on Background data.

8. Clear Google Services Framework Data

The Google Framework Services is another important system app that maintains the Play Store and other Google apps on Android devices. If there’s a problem with this system process, you might encounter difficulty using some Google apps. Clearing the Google Services Framework’s cache and app data will restore it to default and resolve any hidden glitch.

Select Show system.

Locate and select Google Services Framework on the list of apps.

Select Storage & cache.

Tap Clear Cache to delete the app’s temporary files from your devices.

Launch Play Store and check if that fixes the problem. If the Play Store keeps crashing, delete Google Services Framework data and try again.

Tap Clear Storage and select OK on the prompt.

9. Uninstall and Reinstall Google Play Store Updates

Updating the Play Store enhances the performance of Google apps and services on your device. Conversely, buggy updates can result in performance issues. If your device’s Play Store version is outdated, revert it to the system default and check if the app works without crashing.

Open the Google Play Store and check if you’re able to install apps from the store without issues. Otherwise, update Play Store to the latest version and try again.

Launch Google Play Store, tap the hamburger menu icon, and select Settings. Scroll to the About section and tap Play Store version.

You should get a notification that “A new version of Google Play Store will be downloaded and installed.” Tap OK and wait for your device to install the new update.

The Google Play Store update will continue in the background, and the operation might take a couple of seconds or minutes—depending on your connection speed. You should get a prompt to “Complete setup by installing apps” in the notification center when the Play Store update is complete.

Tap the notification or open Play Store from the app launcher and check if you’re able to install apps without issues.

9. Restart Your Phone

A system restart is another easy fix for performance issues and app malfunctions. If the solutions above don’t work, reboot your device and see if that restores Google Play Store to normalcy.

Press and hold your device’s power button and select Restart on the power menu. . When your device comes back on, connect it to the internet and launch Google Play Store.

10. Update Your Device’s Operating System

Software bugs in your device’s operating system could be the root cause of this issue. If the Play Store keeps crashing right after installing an OS update, check if there’s a new version that fixes the problem.

If your device is up-to-date, or the newly installed update doesn’t fix the problem, consider downgrading your Android OS version to an unproblematic version.

Contact Google Play Help Center

How To Upload Your Music To Apple Music

If you’re a musician who wants his own songs on Apple Music, you may be wondering how to upload them to the streaming platform.

It’s easier than you might think, but it’s not as simple as uploading MP3s to a digital music store and calling it a day.

Table of Contents

You Need a Music Distributor

Apple does not deal directly with artists, so there’s no way for you to upload your music to the service on your own. However, if you’re an artist signed by a record label, the label will do all the work for you when dealing with Apple.

If you’re an independent artist not signed to a label, you’ll need a music distributor. Specifically, you’ll have to use one of the music distributors on Apple’s approved partner list. At the time of writing, 28 partners listed on Apple’s site offer music distribution services.

The exact services offered by each provider can differ. For example, some only handle music, and some also handle music videos or live concert performances. In addition, some provide translation services for your metadata (e.g., track names) or let you submit the lyrics for your songs.

Different distributors are suitable for different kinds of artists. They also have specific registration processes, steps to enter information into their database, and uploading the music to Apple Music. This is why we can’t provide step-by-step instructions on how to add files on a distributor’s site and publish them.

They are all different, and all appeal to different types of artists. However, they guide everyone on how to upload a single, album, or video.

It Costs Money to Publish

Music distributors don’t provide their services for free. You’ll have to pay a publication fee for your music to add it to the service. These fees are small but help to deter frivolous music submissions. Do cross-shop among the different distribution partners to see who offers the best rate.

You should also consider the distributor’s commission. A lower cut for the distributor might justify a higher upfront fee, especially if your music gets lots of listens!

For example, TuneCore charges a fee for each registration and upload but takes no commission. CD Baby, on the other hand, takes a 9% cut of streaming and download revenues, and 15% of publishing royalties.

Your Music Must Meet Minimum Technical Standards

Today, anyone with the right skills can make professional-quality music in their homes. That doesn’t mean you can just upload and have it published.

Music distributors have minimum technical standards aligned with Apple’s requirements. Some distributors may have additional requirements if they publish your music to streaming platforms such as Spotify or YouTube Music. Not every distributor may agree to put lossless versions of your music online.

If your music doesn’t conform to what the distributor requires, you may have to export your songs again from your music production software, or you’ll have to convert your original files. For example, TuneCore has a guide for its clients with the technical specifications for the songs and how to convert music that doesn’t conform using the Music app on Mac or iTunes on Windows systems.

You’ll Need Cover Art

The metadata you can include with your music submission is optional. Still, one thing you must produce in addition to the music itself is the cover art. Because you’re publishing digital music for streaming doesn’t mean your “album” doesn’t need a cover.

A fantastic album cover is visually attractive. Before you make yours, check the quality and dimensions of the artwork for the music distributor of your choice.

If you aren’t much of a visual artist and can’t afford to pay someone for album art, you still have several affordable options. For example, you can use a photograph and a tool such as Canva to create an album cover. Even AI image generators, such as MidJourney or DALL-E 2, will draw anything you can imagine for a tiny fee.

You Must Have Rights to the Music

You must own the copyright to the music you upload or have it properly licensed from the rights holder. You may have to sign a declaration or provide evidence that you have the rights and permission to upload music to the distributor.

If you’ve made a cover version of an existing song, you’ll need the permission of that song’s rights holder to publish your cover and make money from it. Even if they consent, they are entitled to a percentage of your revenue through royalties. Ensure that before you try to upload your music files to a distributor.

If your music samples another artist’s music, the same rules may apply depending on the specific laws in effect and how you’ve sampled the music. If you’ve used samples from a royalty-free music library, check the terms and conditions since the royalty-free status may come with some strings attached.

While your work is technically copyrighted as soon as it’s recorded, a formal registration with the music rights body makes it easy to prove in any disputes. The rules of composition or writing credit may vary from one country or jurisdiction to the next.

Music Must be Correctly Credited and Royalties Distributed

Music rights can be complicated. If you collaborated with someone else (e.g., you’re in a band) or someone contributed to the music composition or lyrics, they are entitled to writing credits. It’s a good idea to register your songs with your local music rights organization, listing everyone entitled to a revenue cut.

If you don’t provide the correct information to the distributor, it can lead to legal issues later with injured parties looking to claim their rightful slice of the revenue.

Promoting Your Music

Getting your audio files distributed is half the battle! Once your music is on music streaming services, you still need to convince people it belongs in their iCloud music library. The dream would be to get your songs on a popular Apple Music playlist or even featured on the service’s front page.

Some music distributors offer tools to promote your music. Some of these tools may attract additional fees or a higher cut for the distributor, but the rising tide lifts all boats. Spending money on the right promotion types is never wasted, but you don’t have to invest much money to promote your music. Here are some ideas to get started:

Create YouTube content that links back to your Apple Music page.

Use social media to promote your music or get help from social media management professionals.

Create music videos or capture live performances and use this for promotional material.

It’s a good idea to observe how successful independent artists on Apple Music market themselves. It’s also important not to limit your audience to those with an Apple Music subscription. Many distributors will also publish your music on other streaming music platforms, and getting your music distributed as widely as possible can be a good thing.

Claiming Your Artists Page

Once your music is uploaded to Apple Music, the final step is to claim your Apple Music Artists’ Page. You can’t do this until your content is live, but once your content is on the platform, you can use the Apple Music for Artists app to claim your page after providing the artist’s name. Of course, you must have an Apple ID or create one to complete this process.

You’ll have to provide some evidence that you are affiliated with the artist, but once you comply, you should be given access. While you can’t upload music, you can add additional information about your act and other aspects of the artist page.

You can claim your page from the iOS app on iPhone or iPad, or you can do it from any other platform like macOS, Windows, or Android.

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