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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 will be available to consumers in early June 2018, 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.
Among its many new features, Android P returns the spirit of lock screen widgets to users by presenting the current temperature and weather conditions underneath the clock. It isn't flashy, but it's a fun and useful addition that, unfortunately, does not always work. If your lock screen weather isn't showing up, you might want to try these steps to fix it.
On May 17 2018, Valve released the Android beta version of their Steam Link app, which allows you to stream Steam games from your computer directly to your phone. You'll probably also want to connect your favorite controller to your phone, but you may run into some issues if you prefer Valve's own Steam Controller.
I don't need to remind you that Netflix is a holy bastion of both outsourced and original content. I probably also don't need to remind you that Netflix's rating system sucks. It suggests content based on how much you'd like it, as opposed to how highly it's rated. After all, Netflix wouldn't admit that some of their own material isn't good.
Whichever web browser you use, each comes with a way to surf the net "secretly." While nothing on the internet is truly anonymous, private browsing modes can help keep your movements hidden from those who might have access to your data. The "secret mode" for the Samsung Internet app goes a step further on Android, by locking your private browsing behind a unique password.
With the change to a glass back, many of us are concerned about the durability of OnePlus 6. While glass does offer some benefits such as lighter weight, without proper reinforcement, it can easily shatter in one drop. Now we have our our first look at its durability thanks to JerryRigEverything.
In the new Android P, the multitasking view is reminiscent of webOS days. As a result, enabling split screen mode no longer works as it once did. However, it's still easy to use, whether or not you're using the new "Swipe up on Home button" gesture or have stuck with the old-style navigation buttons that include the "Recents" aka "Overview" softkey.
Screen pinning is a fairly unknown feature despite the fact that it's been around since 2014. It's a helpful security tool that limits access to your device to only one app — perfect for those times when someone asks to borrow your phone. While previous versions kept this feature exactly the same, Android P's new multitasking UI changes the way it works.
While Android P introduced some significant changes to the core operating system, the feature most people will be talking about is the native gesture controls. By default, these gestures are disabled — but for those of us wanting to try to the future of Android, here's how to enable the new controls.
Earlier this year, we got our first taste of Android P in the form of Developer Preview 1. As with all past Android previews, DP1 was limited to Google devices — but at Google I/O 2018, Google announced that Developer Preview 2 would be accessible to other devices, including the Essential PH-1.
At the Google I/O conference on May 8, Google revealed a new feature that adds a Morse code keyboard to Gboard so that people who cannot talk, type, or swipe normally will still have a way to communicate in the digital age. While it's mainly an accessibility feature for those who actually need it, it's a good way for anyone to learn or brush up on their Morse code skills.
Its official: On May 8, T-Mobile finally released the Android Oreo update for the LG V30 and V30+. Now, every major US wireless carrier has pushed the update. For me, this update is a big deal. Not only does Android Oreo bring some new tools and features, but LG has also included a few additions as well.
Earlier this year, with the Developer Preview, we got a tantalizing glimpse of Google's upcoming Android P and a whole slew of new features that comes along with it, such as iPhone X-like gestures and improved security features, to name a few. With its announcement at Google I/O, Android P just got a lot more accessible.
One of the better additions in the stock Android launcher is the Google Now page. Residing to the left of the home screen, this page presents a host of information based on the user's interests, which Google bases on analyzed data. Recently, the Google Now page design received a makeover which Nova Launcher users can now enjoy.
After delaying its launch by four months, LG revealed its 2018 entry to the flagship market on Wednesday, May 2. After years of an underperforming mobile division, the LG G7 ThinQ is the first product since a shakeup within the division to get things back on track, and it brings a number of upgrades over its G6 predecessor.
Bookmarks and favorites are handy options for saving interesting websites you come across while surfing the web on Android but are far from ideal when it comes to instant access. Thankfully, Google Chrome gives you the added ability to save webpages and progressive web apps directly to your home screen for added convenience.
As manufacturers try to differentiate their smartphones from the sea of Android devices, a new genre of smartphone has emerged: gaming phones. Razer Phone was the first to gain traction, but the likes of Xiaomi, Asus, and ZTE have all announced gaming-first phones coming soon. Still, you don't really need to buy a "gaming phone" to play games like a pro on your smartphone.
Ads can detract from your mobile browsing experience, especially if they appear out of nowhere as popups or large annoying banners that take up almost all of your screen. If those weren't bad enough, some ads appear as extremely loud videos that can even disrupt others around you. In fact, ads have gotten so obnoxious that even Google itself was forced to act.
Starting with Android 8.0 Oreo, the process of sideloading apps has changed dramatically. Google removed the old "Unknown Sources" setting and replaced it with a permission that you have to grant to individual apps. It's really an interesting security feature.
When it's all said and done, it doesn't really matter who did it first — the more important question is who did it best. Still, it's nice to know who's really responsible for groundbreaking innovations in the smartphone space.
The LG G7 ThinQ will likely be lambasted for its notch and awkward name, but one thing they seem to have gotten right is the new display. The G7 ThinQ will give many a first look at a new type of panel with lots of promise. While it was previously limited to TVs, from what we know, it should really shine on a smaller screen.
We know Android P will be Android 9.0, but we don't know its codename just yet. Some have speculated Popsicle, Pound Cake, Pecan Pie, and even Pancake — but from what we've seen so far, that P could very well stand for Privacy.
Google has started blocking certain devices from accessing the Google Play Store and other Google services. This is part of an effort to clamp down on OEMs that skirt its certification requirements, but now millions of phones have been uncertified to download or update Google apps. Fortunately, there are a few workarounds.
Google Chrome 101: How to Unlock the Material Design 2 User Interface with Round Icons & Blended Status Bar
Google's been using their "Material Design" look in Android for years now, but a change is coming up with "Material Design 2," their updated version focusing on new colors, icons, and spacing. Whether it'll be called "Material Design 2" or not remains to be seen, but you can try it out right now in Google Chrome on your Android device right now.