With the re-emergence of Samsung's Good Lock app, you're once again able to tweak parts of your Galaxy's interface with no root or major modifications required. One add-on in particular even lets you fully customize the Quick Settings panel on your S8, S9, or Note 8 in a full spectrum of colors to truly make it your own.
A revamped Recent Apps overview is one of the most significant changes set to arrive with Android P when it touches down later this year. Incredibly, Samsung has beaten Google to the punch, and has made this feature available for all its Oreo-based Galaxy handsets courtesy of its Good Locks app.
When it works, Android's Smart Lock feature is incredible. There's no need to enter your PIN when your phone "knows" it's in your hands — just unlock and go. But Smart Lock, particularly its Trusted Places feature, can be finicky sometimes.
Samsung has made curved displays a signature element of their flagship phones, but the Edge Screen, as it's called, has proven to be a magnet for accidental touches. Fortunately, Samsung has developed a little known app to help prevent this problem.
Earlier in June, we learned that Project Fi was going to carry three new phones, one of which was a device previously thought to be AT&T-exclusive, the LG V35 ThinQ. After much waiting, preorders are now open.
Samsung reintroduced its well regarded Good Lock app, so now you can tweak parts of your Galaxy's interface without the need for root or other labor-intensive mods. Thanks to an awesome add-on, you can even tidy up you phone's status bar — so if you've always wanted to get rid of that pesky NFC "N" icon or any other indicator at the top of your display, you're now just a few taps away.
There's a growing sentiment around the web that when it comes to Android, stock is best. Many people prefer the clean look of Google's vision for Android, but manufacturers like LG will add features and themes on top of this base to differentiate themselves from the pack. But these OEM skins, as they're called, aren't always as overbearing as you might think.
When it comes to the sub-$250 price range, the new Nokia 5.1 might be the perfect phone. Of all the new models announced at Nokia's event in Moscow, the Nokia 5.1 offers the most with the least compromises. For a third of the cost of a flagship, you get a phone with a premium build, solid specs, and good battery life.
Samsung's Good Lock app has has breathed much needed life into its TouchWiz UI by giving us the ability to customize our Galaxy phones in ways that previously would've required root or a custom ROM. One companion app in particular even lets you personalize your lock screen to set it apart from the rest of the crowd.
Customizing the lock screen, status bar, and other aspects of your Galaxy's UI usually requires root. Thankfully, Samsung has reintroduced a well-regarded app that gives you the freedom to tailor parts of your Galaxy's interface in just a few simple steps.
It's no secret that Android has a messaging problem. iPhone users can turn to iMessage as a one-stop shop for all their messaging needs — features like read receipts and the ability to text from a computer have been standard with Apple products for quite some time. Android has no such solution, but Google's looking to fix that with a huge update to the Android Messages app.
During an event in Moscow earlier this year, Nokia announced a refresh to their Nokia 2, 3, and 5 series phones. While there is no official confirmation of a US release for the updated Nokia 2 and 5, we do know that as of July 2nd, you'll be able to snag a new Nokia 3.1.
For a while, YouTube Red original content was a joke, lagging behind other services like Netflix and Hulu in terms of quality, so breaking down the paywall didn't seem necessary. However, with series like Cobra Kai turning heads, it's a good time to start using Red. Luckily, Android users can get all of this content for free, and without rooting.
We need to take our privacy and security much more seriously. Whether it's malware-infected apps or the mishandling of our data by companies like Facebook, there are threats all around us in this digital world. Fortunately, some smartphones are simply designed to protect us better.
For a while, Gmail only had one swipe gesture, and it could only perform one of two actions: Archive or Delete. Not that it wasn't useful — you could eliminate most spam emails in a matter of seconds by swiping left or right on any email in your inbox. But now, Google has finally added more custom actions to its swipe gestures.
After years of struggling, it appears BlackBerry has finally figured out how to update its iconic design for modern times. The BlackBerry KEY2 pays homage to past devices such as the Bold 9000 while adapting to modern times with the Android OS. The result is a device that might be the best BlackBerry to date.
When Snapchat first hit it big, people just assumed it'd be used for seedy activities. And while that's not completely true, it's definitely true sometimes. For those moments when you need to take a sneaky screenshot that doesn't notify the sender, Android has plenty of ways to keep your cover from being blown — no root needed.
When you hear people say the iPhone "just works," it's because of all the finishing touches Apple adds to iOS. A perfect example of this is the new QR-scanning feature in iOS 12 — by tapping a single button in the iPhone's Control Center, you can scan a QR code within seconds.
Nokia's calling card used to be camera quality, a small bright spot compared to the black hole that was Windows Mobile. Since Microsoft discontinued the rarely-used operating system, Nokia phones began to run Android — and now, they're getting back to their camera-driven roots with their Pro Camera mode. What's more, you can experience their camera app on any Android phone.
Many of us rely on our smartphones for all our media needs. Now more than ever, we're using Bluetooth connections to play audio over speakers, headphones, car sound systems — the list goes on. If you own a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S9, there are a number of Bluetooth tweaks and hidden tricks that can maximize your audio experience.
We are still months away from Google unveiling the new Pixel 3 and 3 XL. As rumors continue to trickle in revealing more about what it will look like and its specs, we've learned an important aspect — who is actually manufacturing them.
The share menu is a vital part of Android that lets you send data between between apps. Many of your favorite apps support the feature, including the new Direct Share sub-menu, which can lead to a messy share menu. However, there are a number of tools to clean up this clutter, three of which don't require root.
We learned during the LG G7 ThinQ announcement that AT&T would be carrying a new V series device, the V35 ThinQ. In the LG V35 ThinQ's press release, LG revealed its specifications but left out pricing and availability. Thanks to Project Fi, we now know its price tag, and you may not like it.
Android has gotten significantly better at handling intrusive ads over the years. Things have gotten to the point to where these nuisances are largely a non-issue for most of us. However, there are still a few ad-laden apps that fall through the cracks — particularly the kind that bombard your lock screen with ads.
Thanks in large part to our phones, many of us don't get the recommended eight hours of sleep. In Android P, Google introduced a feature called "Wind Down" that aims to help combat this. However, thanks to a creative app developer, we don't need to wait for Android P to enjoy this feature.
Despite years of user complaints, OEMs are still preinstalling third-party apps on brand new devices. Even in 21018, you'll still find plenty of phones with Facebook preinstalled. What's worse, it's installed as a system app, so it can't normally be uninstalled without root access. However, there are a few workarounds.
There's always been a clear divide between flagship and midrange phones. Flagships will run you at least $700, while midrange typically falls between $250 and $550. The main difference is the processor, with midrange phones sporting a 600-series Snapdragon and flagships rocking the 800-series. Now, Qualcomm may have just created another smartphone tier with their newly-unveiled 700-series chip.
The Essential Phone was undoubtedly one of the most underrated phones of 2018. It launched with buggy software and camera problems, but the company worked diligently to push out updates. Many Android enthusiasts were anxiously waiting for the Essential 2 release later this summer. Unfortunately, news today from Bloomberg indicates that Essential will not release a phone in 2018.
While Huawei smartphones haven't always been the best choice when it comes to custom ROMs, one thing that has always been accessible is the ability to unlock the bootloader. An unlocked bootloader is the first step into the magical world of rooting, but after May 24, Huawei will stop offering this service.
Google's ARCore has expanded its support to include the Galaxy S9 and S9+, which means you get access to all the cool new apps that can sense the world around them. But one of ARCore's coolest uses so far is still Pixel-exclusive: AR stickers built right into the Google Camera app. Thankfully, XDA user lofass33 has an ingenious workaround for using these stickers on your S9.
Perhaps the best thing about Android is the endless amount of customization you can add to your device. From icon packs to custom launchers and even custom ROMs, there's truly something for everyone. One of the most popular options among Android enthusiasts is adding a system wide dark theme. The methods to do this vary, but you can now automate this process thanks to Android Oreo.
Android lets you sync your contacts across devices. The OS will use not only contacts saved on your phone, but also your Gmail. This choice can lead to a contacts list populated with entries that don't have a phone number, which can quickly add up. To mitigate this problem, there are a few methods.
Samsung Experience (better known as TouchWiz) can take some time to get used to when you switch to a Galaxy from another Android device. It's a bit heavy-handed with the features, and many consider the UI theme to be a little over the top. Thankfully, there are several stock settings that can dial this back.
Soon, you'll be able to buy your OnePlus 6, but you can experience some of its apps today thanks to XDA user erayrafet, who ripped a few OxygenOS apps like Weather and this Gallery app. While Google Photos is a great service, this Gallery app should be your go-to app for locally-stored photos.
Thanks to its advanced cameras, the Galaxy S9 can capture videos at an astonishing 960 frames per second (fps). To put it in perspective, you now have you the ability to record the world around you in ways that previously required expensive professional camera equipment. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
To quote MKBHD, cheap phones are getting good. Each year we are seeing manufacturers start to offer more for much less. This not only translates to cheaper flagship phones, but better budget phones. The latest example of this is the Alcatel 3V, which is redefining what you can get at $150.
Google Photos is a fantastic service, giving you unlimited storage on either your Android or iPhone. With all this free space, some pictures can get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, Google will now let users "Favorite" pictures — whereupon they're automatically put in their own standalone album.
Auto rotation is generally useful, but it gets annoying when you trigger it accidentally. In past Android versions, you could lock rotation into portrait mode as a workaround, but you'd have to disable this every time you wanted to put your phone in landscape mode. Luckily, Android P has a great fix for this.
Action Launcher has some exclusive features that add real value to your overall experience. One such feature is Shutters, and like with most aspects of Android, there's a workaround that will let you enjoy this functionality on other launchers.
The OnePlus 6 is finally in customers' hands along with its top-of-the-line specs — and yes, a notch. But you can start getting some of their stock apps as early as today, thanks to XDA user erayrafet, who ported this Weather app directly from the source.