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CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014

These were not necessarily the most popular How Tos of 2014, but we loved them. They're our favorites!

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Eric Franklin
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
Eric Franklin
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1 of 15 CNET

Use a toothpick to clean out your iPhone

This is my personal favorite how-to of 2014. Mostly because it was the most useful to me. Having charging issues? Get yourself a toothpick and get to work.

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2 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Reduce the time it takes to charge your device

My favorite "I have very little time and even less battery life" how-to of 2014. If you've ever found yourself in that predicament, this is the article for you.

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3 of 15 CNET

Can a phone replace your wallet? I went shopping to find out.

Apple Pay is the new hotness, but how well does it actually work? This year, Sharon Profis was kind enough to answer that question for us.

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4 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

The complete guide to using SwiftKey on Android and iOS

Tired of your phone's or tablet's stock keyboard? So am I. SwiftKey is one of the best options for spicing up your relationship with your mobile keyboard.

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5 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

For better privacy, change these iOS 8 settings

iOS 8 is a fantastic upgrade from security standpoint. It's not perfect though, so here's how to bring it closer to perfection.

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6 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

How to improve battery life on any mobile device

Your battery running out at just the wrong moment is one of the most annoying aspects of portable devices. And while we can't unfortunately alter the fundamentals of physics -- at least not in this universe -- we can show you ways to improve your phone's battery life.

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7 of 15 MinuteApps LLC

Add emergency-contact info to your iPhone lock screen

We do  lot of how-tos that make your life more convenient; however, this how-to could literally save your life. Seriously.

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8 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beyond basic TV settings

I like when how-tos go deep. And none went any deeper than this one. Forget about contrast and brightness. Put in the time with more detailed settings to perfect your picture.

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9 of 15 Steve Jurvetson

How to record phone calls

Looking to keep your customer service rep honest? Or maybe you have  a much more innocuous reason for recording your phone calls. Whatever the case, here's exactly what you need to know.

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10 of 15 Dan Graziano/CNET

Create a retro game console with the Raspberry Pi

Another of my personal favorites of the year. Not that I've created my own console. I just like the fact that it's possible.

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11 of 15 CNET

The complete guide to the iPhone's Health app

Don't know where to start with iOS 8's new Health app? You're not alone. Neither did I . Until I read this exhaustive piece.

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12 of 15 CNET

Turn your old iPod into a security camera for free

Sometimes the best how-tos are those that take something old and repurpose it, finding new usefulness. This is one of those.

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13 of 15 CNET

Staying safe on public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is a miracle of modern civilization, but public Wi-Fi can be a crapshoot. Here's how to minimize your risk.

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14 of 15 Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Teach Google Now new voice commands

Google Now is great and all, but it would be so much better if you could add your own  commands. Oh wait -- you totally can!

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15 of 15 Lexy Savvides/CNET

Enhance your camera experience with these travel-ready accessories

Lexy Saviddes shows us several awesome ways to use your camera accessories while traveling.

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