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Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 6/7/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

TECH TIPS: Q&A

Transfer photos; filter out Gmail messages

BY J.D. BIERSDORFER
NEW YORK TIMES

Q: I would love to transfer certain photos on my cell phone to my Kindle Fire, and I’d like to do it in the easiest way. What are my options?

A: If you are comfortable storing your pictures on Amazon’s servers, you can use the Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app for Android or iOS (available in the respective app stores) to copy pictures to your online storage locker. Then you can use the same app on your Kindle Fire to download the images to the tablet over a wireless Internet connection.

Amazon Cloud Drive provides 5 gigabytes of free storage, and you can also use it to transfer pictures through a Web browser. The Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app offers to automatically back up every picture you take on your phone, but you can decline this and manually upload specific pictures. If you already use Dropbox or another storage service with compatible mobile apps, you can use it as the transfer point between phone and Fire instead.

If you do not want to use cloud services — and you imported the pictures from the phone to your computer’s photo library — you can use a USB cable for the transfer instead. If your Kindle did not include a USB-to-micro-USB cable, you can get one for less than $10. Once you connect the two devices and the Kindle Fire shows up as an external drive on the desktop, you can drag pictures from the computer to the Photos folder on the Kindle. Amazon has a step-by-step guide at amzn.to/​1lVb7SI.

Using file transfer apps with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection or just emailing the photos between gadgets are some of the other possible options for sharing the pictures between phone and tablet.

Q: Is there a “Block” command in Gmail to prevent messages from certain people from ever reaching my inbox?

A: Gmail does not have a dedicated “Block” button, but you can easily create a filter that funnels messages matching criteria like the sender’s address past the inbox and into your archive of old mail.

Or you can create a filter to automatically delete incoming messages from that certain someone.

If you already have a message from the person, open it and click the small black menu triangle on the right side. Choose “Filter messages like this” and, on the next screen, fill in any other information, besides the sender’s address, you want to use for screening.

Click “Create filter with this search” in the bottom right corner. On the next screen, choose the action you want the filter to perform. You can also create new filters on the “Filters” tab in the Gmail settings.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Running the spell-checker on an important document or letter before sending it is a good practice. The software, however, may not catch words that are spelled correctly but are wrong for the sentence, like “own” appearing instead of “owe.” If you are unsure of your proofreading skills and want another way to spot errors, the screen-reader software built into Windows and OS X can help you catch some mistakes by reading your text aloud.

Microsoft’s Narrator software, included in the last several versions of Windows, can recite text displayed on the screen; instructions for setting it up are at bit.ly/​1gobx2x. Apple’s OS X operating system has also been able to recite written text for years. One way to get it talking is to open the document, or paste a copy of its contents, in the Mac’s TextEdit program. In TextEdit, highlight the words you want to hear, go to the “Edit” menu to “Speech” and then choose “Start speaking” to have a listen.



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