The first thing you'll always have to do before getting your customization game on with most phones is to unlock the bootloader. Doing so opens the true potential of the device, allowing you to root, install TWRP, Magisk, custom ROMs, and other mods. No matter your wants or needs, there's no way around it — the bootloader must be unlocked to modify the system.
With the new year comes a new pair of smartphones from the company behind the Android platform. It seems it was only a few months ago that Google announced the Pixel 3 and 3 XL with its somewhat disappointing design. It seems they heard the critics and for the first time, will deliver.
During the Google I/O 2019 keynote, the latest Android Q Beta was released to the public for Pixel smartphones along with 15 other non-Pixel devices. It's the third Developer Preview for Android 10, but it's the first official public beta outside of Google's Pixel smartphones. A new public beta means good things are on the way as the future of Android continues to evolve.
Android's settings menu is actually pretty daunting. There are options for nearly everything, so in the sea of various menus and submenus, it's easy to overlook important privacy and security settings. On Google's Pixel phones in particular, there are 20 such settings that you should double check.
Call Screen is one of best features on Pixel phones. With one button, you can screen calls using Google Assistant and avoid pesky spam callers. However, after the call, there is seemingly no way to access the transcripts for future review. Fortunately, there is a way, but it is tucked away.
One of the best features on Pixel phones is the new call screening. Any call received on your Pixel device can now be answered by your Google Assistant, allowing you avoid spam calls, wrong numbers, or even exes. But what many don't know is that you can listen to the caller during the screening process.
Unlike past Pixel releases, it appears Google isn't done with their current lineup. Rumors have it that Google plans to put out two new phones that act as budget variants for their existing devices. And based on the leaks, it looks like one of these variants might be better than its non-budget counterpart.
QR codes have become a staple in our everyday lives. Companies use them for everything from marketing promotions to movie tickets thanks to security they provided for these types of transactions. But for years, Android users had to download an app to scan these codes. Well, not anymore.
The idea of squeezing your phone might have sounded a bit out there when it was new, but it's now a hallmark feature on Pixel devices. As useful as it is for summoning the Google Assistant, however, it certainly would be nice to be able pick and choose what action is triggered by squeezing the phone. Well, now you can.
TWRP is a name many are familiar with since it allows your Android device to install any custom file of your choosing. You can create a NANDroid backup to keep your data safe or even use Magisk to achieve full root access. In fact, TWRP is often seen as the gateway to modding your system for creating a unique user experience.
When new Android versions come out, the modding community has to find new ways to root the OS. It's a fun cat and mouse game to follow, but it also means the process of rooting isn't exactly the same as it was the last time you did it. Android 10 changes how root works on a system level for some devices, but luckily, the developers are already on top of things.
The Pixel 3a runs smoothly out of the box already, but installing a custom kernel can supercharge your experience even more. From fine-tuned CPU tweaks for boosting performance or battery life to adjusting the display colors for your screen how you want, ElementalX kernel can provide you with a ton of new features you didn't know you were missing.
The Pixel 3a came out of nowhere and flexed its muscles to show the industry that you can have a great phone without a hefty price tag. Since Pixel smartphones are first-party devices straight from Google, you can be sure you'll have root access one way or another. For right now the method used to get your Pixel 3a rooted will take a few steps, but they go by real quick.
The Pixel 3 runs stock Android, so you might think that since you've used an Android device before, you should know your way around the new phone by default. But Google has actually added several great Pixel-exclusive software features to its flagships, and not all of them are easily discoverable.
Haptic feedback and vibration of our smartphones have come a long way in recent years. These features are much more premium now than they once were, but most users are still unable to adjust the intensity for notifications or phone calls. Most higher-end devices make less noise on surfaces than in the past, but adjusting these values can still come in handy even today.
No matter how good a display is, the idea of perfect color calibration is subjective — some prefer warmer more saturated colors, while others prefer the calmer cooler side of the color spectrum. It is almost impossible to create a single color calibration that everyone can agree on out of the box. The display on the Pixel 2 XL was specifically calibrated with a more realistic color profile in mind.
You just brought a brand new Pixel 3 from the Google Store, and you insert your SIM card only to find the phone won't recognize it at all. No matter what you do, the SIM card won't register and your Pixel won't connect to your carrier network. That's what happened to me and several other Pixel 3 owners. The good news is a fix is coming, the bad news is Google doesn't have a date for that fix.
Rooting usually means sacrifice. With most root methods, you lose access to apps like Netflix and Android Pay when SafetyNet gets tripped. More importantly, you lose the ability to accept OTA updates, forcing you to manually flash new Android versions. But there's a way around all of this if you root the right way.
The main draw for Google's Pixel series is the software. It rocks a clean version of stock Android instead of a heavy OEM skin like TouchWiz, it gets frequent prompt OS updates, the camera software is downright amazing, and it has perhaps the most fluid UI of any phone. But an understated advantage of the software is how dead-simple it is to modify with root-level tweaks.
The Pixel 3 has an indisputably great camera, but a software update coming soon is going to make it even better. Google will be adding a "Night Sight" shooting mode that's so good with low-light situations that you'll have to see it to believe it.