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'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.
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.
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.
How To: Permanently Disable the 'Software Update' Notification on Your Samsung Galaxy — No Root Needed
Updating your Galaxy to the latest software version is optional, but you wouldn't know that from the persistent notification and status bar icon that are constantly reminding you to. Thankfully, you're just an app away from hiding these eyesores without the need to update your phone.
How To: Permanently Remove the 'No SIM Card Inserted' Notification on Your Samsung Galaxy — No Root Needed
Your Galaxy's lock screen already lets you know there's no SIM card installed if it's missing on your device, so there's really no need to have a persistent icon for it on the status bar. If you want to hide the pesky symbol and accompanying notification for good, there's a nifty app you need to check out right now.
Despite Android's flexibility in regards to customization, the options available in stock Android are pretty barebones. It is only with the help of third-party apps that we can entirely transform sections of the UI to our liking. And thanks to a new app, we can modify another part of the OS, the status bar.
Up until Android 5.0 Lollipop, the actual text of incoming notifications would scroll by in your status bar. These ticker style alerts didn't pop on screen or interfere with what you were currently working on, but you could still read the message. They were replaced by the new "heads up" alerts, but you can still bring them back.
Things tend to get noisy when you're in a big group chat, which is why the notification sound for that thread shouldn't be your standard, attention-grabbing ringtone. But you don't want to set the default notification sound to something too subtle, otherwise you'd miss messages that actually matter.
Android 11 made a pretty significant UI change to the menu that appears when you press and hold your power button. Google created an entirely new system that apps can use to populate quick toggles in this menu, but the trouble is, not many apps are using this system yet.
The Pixel 5's beautifully slim and symmetric bezels don't leave much room for extra hardware like a notification LED. But with the Ambient Display feature and an inventive app, you can turn the display cutout for the front-facing camera into an animated notification indicator.
Android's status bar is ever-present. It sits at the top of almost every screen in every app, making it the most prominent part of your Pixel's theme. So it only makes sense that Google would give you a way to change the icons it uses.
Android 11 has a new power menu with integrated contactless payment cards and smart home toggles. It's definitely futuristic — so much so that it pushed out a tool many of us use in the present: the screenshot button.
The Pixel 4 comes with a new "Styles and wallpapers" app that lets you change icons, accent colors, and more. But if you're on a first-gen Pixel, a Pixel 2, or a Pixel 3, you don't get this feature. On the bright side, there's still a way to use it.
With the files on our devices getting more important as the years go by, the need to keep things organized continues to rise. The longer you have a device, the messier the internal storage might become. Having a file manager would be extremely useful in this situation. You could also reorganize the folder structure as well, just like you could on a desktop computer.
One of the easiest ways to change up your Android experience is by swapping out the stock launcher with a new one. The word "launcher" is Android lingo for "home screen app," and it's a common term because of how easy it is to switch to a new one. So if you're looking to revamp your home screen, this guide's for you.
If you've ever tinkered with a phone, you're familiar with booting into recovery mode. You're probably used to using a combination of hardware buttons to get into recovery, which usually includes the power button and one of the volume buttons. The thing is, you don't really need to press the power button.
Sometimes you might find that a certain app keeps sending you notifications. What are you to do? There are plenty of useful apps that might send one too many push notifications, but that doesn't mean you should dump them. Luckily, Android gives you complete control over how each installed app handles notifications.
One of the best things about Android is being able to control everything you want, from your wallpaper down to the default apps you use for every action. Changing the default SMS app from the one that came with your device can drastically alter your messaging experience. Many SMS apps have loads of themes to pick from while also offering other features you can't find anywhere else.
How To: Set a Different Ringtone for Individual Contacts So You Know When Someone Important Is Calling
Have you ever walked around in public and heard the same handful of default ringtones over and over again? How do these people know who's calling without looking first? It's tough to tell when they all sound the same, but there is something crafty you can do to help with that. Using a different ringtone for certain contacts will allow you to differentiate between them instantly.