How To: Use Health Connect to Sync Your Health and Fitness Data Between Google Fit, MyFitnessPal, and Other Android Apps
Taking a cue from Apple and its Health app for iOS, Google has created a central hub to collect health and fitness data on your Android device. With it, you can share and sync health and fitness data, such as steps, heart rate, water intake, sleep quality, and calories burned, between different apps and devices and use your favorite app to view all the information.
How To: Force Apps to Use Android's Transparent System Navigation Bar if They Don't Already Support It
One aspect of Android's interface that remains clunky is its gesture- or button-based navigation bar, mainly because app developers aren't fully utilizing the tools available to them. But a new feature Google is working on may finally make your nav bar more uniform across your apps.
How To: Attention Android Users — Activate This New Privacy Setting to Help Keep Thieves Out of Your Phone
Android has a new security feature that every Android smartphone user needs to start using — even you. It won't change how you use your phone, but it will make life harder for nearby thieves.
How To: Unlock Android's Developer Options to Access Powerful Hidden Tools Anyone Can Use
Compared to Apple's iOS, the Android operating system has earned a reputation for giving smartphone users more customization options up front — but there are even more Android features to customize hidden from plain view behind secret menus like the developer options. Despite its name, Android's developer options can benefit everyone, but you have to unlock them first.
How To: This Play Store Trick Lets You Share Android Apps and Updates with Nearby Devices — Even When Offline
Because our smartphones are ever present, frequently used apps become the topic of conversation in social situations. This often leads to sharing app links via messages, either by copying/pasting an app's URL or sending it through the sharing menu. However, there's another way to share an app, and it's most valuable when you need to share multiple apps and app updates without an internet connection.
How To: 9 Ways to Earn Google Play Store Credit and Discounts for Apps, Games, In-App Items, Movies, and More
There's more than one way to get free credits and discounts in the Google Play Store for apps, games, books, movies, in-app items, and other Play Store content. You may know a few of them — but some of these may surprise you.
How To: Change the Screen Resolution on Your Google Pixel Pro — And Why You Should
The most recent premium flagship smartphones from Google — the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro — are equipped with displays cable of 1440 QHD+ resolution. But they also come with a tool to downgrade to 1080p FHD+, which you may want to do in certain situations.
How To: Make Your Android Phone Read Articles, Books, News, and Other Text Out Loud to You
For the avid multitasker, listening to audiobooks and podcasts is the ultimate way to passively absorb knowledge while performing other activities — but there are other options. You can turn any written text on your Android phone into speech that's read aloud to you, so there's virtually no limit on what you can soak up audibly from your headphones or speaker.
How To: Record a Personal Alarm Sound or Message to Wake Up Hearing Your Own Voice
You can wake up to ringtones, music from streaming services, or downloaded audio files when setting alarms in Google's Clock app for Android, but that's not all. The latest feature lets you turn your own voice into an alarm sound, saying whatever it is you need to say to wake you up.
How To: Get Android's Tablet-Only Taskbar on Your Smartphone for a Fresh Take on Multitasking
Android 12L and Android 13 have a taskbar just for tablets that lets you quickly open recent, suggested, or pinned apps and drag and drop apps into split-screen mode. While the taskbar is meant just for tablets and foldable devices, you can unlock this new feature for your Android smartphone with a bit of tinkering.
How To: Turn Your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone or Tablet into a Second Display for Your Computer
An iPad can serve as a second screen for a Mac via Sidecar, available since iPadOS 13, but Apple isn't the only manufacturer to support such a feature. Samsung has had a similar tool since One UI 3.1 that lets you turn certain Samsung Galaxy tablets into second displays for your PC — and there's a hidden feature that expands it to more tablets and even Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
How To: Enable Spatial Audio on Your Pixel Smartphone for Surround Sound Everywhere You Go
The newest feature for Pixel smartphones puts a home theater in your pocket. Spatial Audio outputs sound that appears to come from in front of and behind you, adding a new level of immersion to your streaming video and music apps.
How To: Get Android 14's Predictive Back Gesture on Your Android 13 Phone Right Now
Android's back gesture, formerly the back button, has long been a blessing and a curse. While it gives us system-wide backward navigation, the action can sometimes be unpredictable. But Google may have a solution with its new predictive back gesture, which gives you an animated peek at where you're about to go next to help you decide on continuing or staying with the current view.
How To: Copy Text from Anywhere on Your Phone — Even if the App Blocks Text Selection
It's easy to copy text from webpages, messages, documents, and other views on your Android device — except when it isn't. Many apps block or prohibit text selection, forcing you to take screenshots or write out the whole excerpt manually. But you don't have to resort to those methods since there's a simple workaround to selecting and copying text from uncooperative apps.
How To: Create Home Screen Shortcuts to Almost Anything on Android — Videos, Music Playlists, Social Profiles, and More
If you're doing the same tasks on your Android phone repeatedly each day — like playing a specific playlist at the gym, viewing work documents, or watching your favorite music video — you can save some time by automating your routine, turning each task into a one-tap gesture on your home screen.
How To: Get Google's New Live Bloom Wallpapers on Your Pixel
If you own a Google Pixel 4a or newer, there are new live wallpapers for you to explore that other Android devices can't have.
How To: Magically Add All the Right Emoji to Your Messages with Emojify, Gboard's New Emoji Generator
Emoji characters make messaging more fun, and Google has continuously added convenient and fun ways to insert playful symbols into your conversations using Gboard. After getting Emoji Kitchen in early 2020, we now have Emojify, a tool that automatically adds emoji to your message drafts.
How To: Cook Up Your Own Custom Emoji Stickers with Gboard for Android
Emoji characters give you a multitude of colorful characters to express yourself with on social media and within messages, and stickers give you even more symbols to play with. While Android and iOS both have a healthy arsenal of emoji and stickers, Android goes a step further for even more emoji madness.
How To: Nuke All Notifications for New Apps in Android 13 — Then Bring Them Back Again When Needed
One of Android's headlining strengths has always been how it handles notifications, and things have only improved with each new update. More recently, Android has improved notification permissions, so you'll have a choice of whether to receive notifications as soon as you first open an app. It's easy to permit or deny these permissions, but it's just as easy to reverse your decision.
How To: Block Third-Party Trackers in Android Apps from Spying on Your Activity and Selling Your Data
You may not realize it, but most of your apps include third-party tracking services that monitor your activity in other apps and websites to serve highly-targeted ads to you. But now you can stop the creepy behavior on an iPhone and Android phone.
How To: Use Your iPhone or Android Phone as a Remote Control for Android TV or Google TV
If you can't find the remote for your Android TV or Google TV, don't like using its voice control feature, are sick of using the directional pad to type, or can't get it to work at all, use your smartphone instead. Using your iPhone or Android phone as a virtual remote control can be more convenient, easier to use, and more helpful than the original remote, so it's definitely worth trying out.
How To: Get iOS 16's Emoji Wallpapers on Your Android Phone's Home or Lock Screen
Customization has always been the main draw of Android for me, but Apple has an impressive feature on iOS 16 that lets iPhone users create customized emoji wallpapers for their home and lock screens. While Android doesn't have something like that built-in by default, it's easy enough to make emoji wallpapers for your Android phone.
How To: Take Better Written Notes on Android Without Ever Typing a Thing
You don't need to pay for an app or subscription to have your audio notes transcribed for you on your Android smartphone. There's an easy, free way to do it on almost any Google Pixel, and you can even use it on other Android devices.
How To: The Fastest Way to Toggle Your Pixel's Flashlight On/Off — Even When Your Screen Is Locked
With all the high-tech wizardry available on modern smartphones, the low-key most practical tool is arguably the flashlight. If you own a Google Pixel model, it's finally easier to turn the flashlight on and off from anywhere.
How To: Copy/Paste Between Android Devices and Chromebooks Quickly with Nearby Share
While I prefer Android in my personal life, I've had the opportunity to work in the Apple ecosystem. One of the coolest features I've come to rely on is AirDrop, which makes it easy to beam content from mobile devices to desktops and vice versa. Thankfully, Android now has an equivalent.
How To: Android Lets You Set Different Languages Per App for a Truly Multilingual Experience — Here's How It Works
If you've ever wanted or needed to use an app in a different language than your phone's primary language, your Android phone now makes it a simple process.
How To: Create a Shortcut to Google's Password Manager on Your Android Phone for Faster Access to All Your Credentials
Everyone should know that assigning complex passwords to sensitive digital accounts is the best practice for protecting yourself against hacking. Those who adhere to password creation best practices also know that keeping up with passwords for every account is nigh impossible, even when using passphrases. This is why using a password manager is highly recommended.
How To: Shazam Songs with Blazing Fast Speed Straight from Android's Quick Settings Panel
While you can use Google Assistant on your Android phone to identify songs playing around you, you may still prefer Shazam's music recognition service, which has been available on Android since 2008 — a full nine years before Google Assistant's audio-fingerprinting technology. If that's the case, it's even easier now to Shazam songs in seconds, no matter what screen you're on.
How To: Watch Apple TV+ on Any Android Phone or Tablet
With the prestige appeal of its original programming and relatively low subscription price, Apple TV+ is one of the more appealing streaming options out there — and you don't need an Apple device to subscribe and watch movies, TV shows, sports, and other Apple TV+ content.
How To: 19 Harry Potter Spells Your Android Phone Can Cast Using Google Assistant
Apple's Siri is well-versed in the spells of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it's not like Android users are Muggles. Google Assistant, Android's virtual concierge, can cast a few spells out of the box, and it can learn the spells it doesn't know quicker than a year of studying at Hogwarts.
How To: Get iPhone's Dynamic Island on Your Android Phone for Quick Access to Notifications, Alerts, and Activities
Apple's Dynamic Island is an animated, interactive isle surrounding the front-facing camera on the iPhone 14 Pro series. It's a small capsule when nothing is going on but fluidly stretches across the screen for notifications, alerts, and ongoing activities like music, timers, and directions. It can even expand with controls and more information. And now, you can get Dynamic Island on your Android phone.
How To: Your Pixel's Best Gesture Gives You Quick Access to Your Favorite App from Any Screen
Everyone has that one app they use more than any other. What if I told you there was a way to open these apps on newer Google Pixel devices with one quick gesture? I imagine you'd want to know how to do it.
How To: These Auto-Redial Apps Can Call Busy Phone Lines Over and Over Again Until You Get Through
Some phone lines make it nearly impossible to get past the busy tone, whether it's a viral call-in giveaway, your state's unemployment office, your local post office during the holidays, or the repair office for a broken warrantied product you have. Thankfully, there are apps you can use to help break through the noise.
How To: Disable App Icon Badges and Unread Notification Counts on Your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone
If you scan the notification panel on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone daily, all those red circles with numbers that litter the apps on your home screen and app drawer can feel like persistent nagging and unnecessary clutter rather than friendly reminders to check your app alerts — but you can do something about it.
How To: Clone Any Android App on Your Samsung Galaxy Phone Without Using Any Third-Party Tools
Samsung has a cool security feature built into One UI that has an interesting side effect, one that lets you have two separate copies of any Android app on your Galaxy phone. And that's not the only integrated Samsung tool for cloning apps.
How To: Activate Your Samsung Galaxy's Vault to Keep Your Apps, Files, and History Safe from Prying Eyes and Hackers
One UI has an exciting privacy feature that lets you lock apps, photos, videos, and files on your Galaxy device behind Samsung's defense-grade Knox security platform. Only you can unlock it using a pattern, PIN, or passcode, or with biometrics like fingerprint and iris locks. It's like having a safe built right into your smartphone, and it couldn't be easier to set up.
How To: Hide Apps on Your Samsung Galaxy's Home Screen, App Tray, and Search
You don't have to see every app installed on your phone if you don't want to. Samsung One UI makes it easy to hide apps from your Samsung Galaxy's home screen, app tray, and search tool, whether you want to declutter, simplify things, or keep other people from seeing some of the apps you use.
How To: Use One-Handed Mode on Pixels and Other Android 12 Phones to Reach the Top of the Screen More Easily
For some time now, Samsung, LG, and other smartphone manufacturers have had one-handed modes that let you reach on-screen content with your thumb that would otherwise be unreachable without another hand or uncomfortable grip. Google has finally caught up in Android 12 with its own version for Pixel phones.
How To: Your Android Phone May Be Spying on You — Here's How to Tell and Take Control
Is your smartphone eavesdropping on you? It's a question that will never go away because it's easy to envision hackers or malicious apps taking over your device to spy on conversations, snap photos, or even record video. But fewer people will be asking it, thanks to Android 12, which has a new privacy feature that visually warns you of possible invasive surveillance.
How To: Find and Favorite Songs That Now Playing Identified on Your Pixel
Your Pixel's Now Playing song discovery tool received a few updates in Android 12, and the feature is finally comparable to other music recognition services.