We all know Android updates have been iffy in the past. But Google has implemented several measures recently that have sped up the process substantially, and OnePlus is taking advantage of these. Still, a staged rollout update might keep you waiting for a few days or longer. So if you'd rather skip the wait, there's a better way to manually check for system updates.
Developer Options is your first step to becoming a power user. If the Pixel 4a feels a bit slow, Developer Options can fix that. You want to root your device for unprecedented controls and powerful apps? You need to enable OEM unlocking in this hidden menu. ADB, secret features — Developer Options is where it all originates.
Waking up to buzzing alarm clock is so 20th century. Wouldn't it better if the first sound you heard in the morning was your favorite song? Whether it's a track to get you motivated or something to put a smile on your face, a song can do wonders for your mood and help you start the day right.
Thanks to the Snapdragon X55 modem, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 are among the most compatible 5G phones on the market. There are few bands they don't cover, as the modem supports both Sub-6 GHz and mmWave. But even with such broad support, the Galaxy S20 doesn't get the best 5G reception.
One of the underrated components of the Galaxy Note 20 series is its usage of Gorilla Glass Victus. Think of this as Gorilla Glass 7, the latest innovation from Corning. And this release is a big deal, delivering protection without sacrifices.
Android has not had the best reputation for privacy and security, though Google has made strides in those departments in recent years.
It's been a while since Android got a true Easter egg with a new software update. Remember when Google added Marshmallow's Flappy Bird-style mini game? For Android 11, we get a new game, and like Android Nougat, it revolves around the infamous Android Neko cat.
Once again, Samsung has certified its flagship Note series with an IP68 rating. With this rating, the Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra have some degree of dust and water resistance.
If you have a Samsung device, you probably know the hassle of dealing with both the Galaxy Store and the Google Play Store at the same time for apps. Samsung's offering is forced onto you whether you like it or not; however, it's the only way to officially receive essential updates for your Samsung apps. The good news? You can keep on top of these updates with a super simple trick.
Google's 2020 Pixel Buds are one of the hottest true wireless earbuds of the year. With their unique, circular design, they stand out from the long-stemmed AirPods look you get from other wireless earbuds. The design is also sleek and minimal, making them the perfect candidate to use as a personal hearing aid.
In Android 11, music player controls have been moved from the notification tray to the Quick Settings. The change frees up space for the new Conversations notification section. It also adds media output controls, making it possible to switch from your phone speakers to a Bluetooth device with only two taps.
Samsung has finally taken the lid off its 2020 line of Galaxy Note devices. There's the spec behemoth Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and then there's the slightly more cost effective Galaxy Note 20. Excuse the pun, but there's a lot to unpack here.
Back in the Nexus days, Google's approach to hardware was very different from most OEMs. You could say OnePlus swooped in with a similar mantra a few years later, focusing on great hardware at an affordable price tag. There were compromises, of course, but even then, it resulted in true treasures such as the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 5.
Have you ever received a toast message, but weren't sure where it came from? While usually harmless, sometimes, it can be an indication of the presence of an app long forgotten. But with numerous running background apps, it can be hard to identify the source.
When you receive a call on your phone, you likely don't think twice about the design when the notification pops up. Whatever the default UI is, that's what works best since there aren't any other choices to pick from. At least, that's how things used to be in the past — we're starting to see some new OnePlus mods that allow you to expand on it.
Discovering great mobile games is difficult. With over 300 thousand games on the Play Store — not including the hundreds more available by sideloading — finding the right one to invest your time and money in can be hard. The Play Store's rating system is helpful, but ratings are often skewed by external factors.
It feels like every few months, some new feature is discovered in the Pixel's Camera app. By taking advantage of machine learning and the high-quality camera, Google continues to add hidden functions that improve your life even if they're a little niche.
At $349, you won't find many smartphones that provide a better deal than the Google Pixel 4a. It has flagship-level performance, a headphone jack, and one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, all for less than $400. But if you act now, you can save even more.
Last year, many were caught off guard when Google released a midrange Pixel device. It was quickly crowned the best value-buy phone on the market, as it brought most of the camera tech people loved in the flagship Pixel for almost half the cost. Google's 2020 entry in this series has finally made its long-awaited debut.
Samsung's stock Galaxy Themes system leaves much to be desired with its restrictive and expensive theme packs. Back in the day, the gold standard for Android theming was CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And while it no longer exists, a successor has emerged to fill the void.
On Android, there is a vulnerability that Google doesn't seem to want to fix — anyone can open the Quick Settings panel on your lock screen. GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, all toggles accessible in this menu, are vital tools for locating your phone in case it is ever stolen. But thanks to Xposed, you can eliminate this potential risk.
Ever since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, there has been a hidden feature known as Notification Log. Once unlocked, it showed all dismissed notifications. It has never really had an interface, so it is more of a cool thing to enable than a must-have feature. But thanks to a recent upgrade to Android 11, it is something every user should unlock.
Your Galaxy uses information from your SIM card to communicate with nearby towers and facilitate a connection. Which LTE bands you are assigned depends on a number of factors, including available bandwidth and your device's supported signals. But if speeds aren't great on your auto-selected tower, you can improve things by manually choosing a band.
Bootloops are a risk inherent to rooted devices — with great power comes great destroyability, after all. While custom recovery sometimes provides a quick fix when you flash the wrong Magisk module, with TWRP becoming more challenging to implement thanks to Android 10, the solution is a bit more complicated nowadays.
Samsung uses their own SamsungOne font for their Galaxy lineup. But if you're coming from an iPhone or another Android device, you might not love it. With the help of this mod, however, you're sure to find a font that's right for you.
Software takes time to create, and time is money, so a lot of great apps aren't free. But to generate interest, some developers will make their paid apps free for a limited time. The potential for a long-term increase in daily active users more than offsets the short-term lost revenue. So for us end users, the trick is knowing when these sales are going on.
There was a period when Google knew they were switching to gesture navigation, but felt users weren't quite ready for it. The result was Android 9's two-button nav bar that you could both tap and swipe. Android 10 has since brought full-on gestures, and that's the version the Pixel 4 shipped with, so it never had that quirky, fun two-button setup. But you can bring it back, so to speak.
Google has added a flurry of new features to its YouTube Music recently to prepare it to replace Google Play Music, which will be sent to live on a farm with Google Reader, Inbox by Gmail, and other sunsetted Google products by the end of the year.
Biometrics have a major flaw: they don't work well with personal protective equipment. Whether it's a mask obscuring facial recognition or gloves blocking the fingerprint scanner, it's a lot harder to unlock your phone when you're wearing the proper PPE. Thankfully, there are a few ways to speed things up.
If you enjoy watching music videos, live concert recordings, or bedroom cover songs on YouTube, then YouTube Music is worth your consideration. In fact, YouTube will show a "Switch to YouTube Music" button on some music videos that opens the song in the YouTube Music app — but not always.
Google lets you change the system-wide accent color on its Pixel devices, but the options are a bit muted. If you'd like something more vibrant, developer Tulsadiver created a mod that will give you a wide selection of punchier colors.
TWRP has been the king of custom recovery on Android for years now, thanks to device compatibility and core features. But there's a new player in town — at least, for OnePlus devices — and it's got a lot of useful features that might finally get you to ditch TWRP.
OnePlus offers a variety of features that you don't get with some other Android phones. Parallel Apps is one of those standout extras you didn't know you might enjoy until you've tried it. It allows you to clone compatible apps installed on your device, which means you can use the same app with two different accounts, for example.
If you don't use the stock clock app, you've probably run into an issue when using Google Assistant on Android. By default, it'll only use the clock app that came with your device to set timers and alarms, effectively ignoring your third-party clock. But there's a way to fix this.
The next time you need to build some IKEA furniture or assemble a shelf in the bathroom, bring your Samsung Galaxy S20. It has a hidden feature that replaces one tool you will need for the job.
Everyone has that internal checklist on the way out the door. Keys? ID? Phone? Check, check, check. But it still feels like you're missing something as you head off to work. It's not until your ringtone starts blasting at full volume in an important meeting that you realize what you forgot to do: put your phone on vibrate.
After more than a decade, iPhones are finally getting widgets on the home screen. They even have that Apple aesthetic that many people crave, with their uniform, squircle appearance. But fret not, as with pretty much any iOS feature, you can get them on Android with a tiny bit of work.
Instead of using a single APK, YouTube Vanced recently started being distributed as a bundle that requires a third-party app to install. Some fans found this too difficult, so the Vanced developers decide to make the process easier.
Fake news was one of the main driving factors for Google News taking its current form. It offers verified sources to ensure more accuracy in your news feed to help control the spread of false information. Something you may not know, however, is that you can view your favorite Google News topics from your home screen with a single tap.
Not trying to gatekeep here, but if you're not customizing things on your Android phone, you're doing it wrong. Still, I won't shame you for not knowing what to do if you take this time to learn how to make one of the biggest changes you can make.