Everyone's been talking about Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+, but not all of the chatter is positive. The fingerprint scanner is in an awkward location, the North American variant is simply not as smooth and fluid as the international model, and Samsung Experience is nothing more than TouchWiz with a bow on it. But perhaps worst of all, user reports are starting to roll in that indicate the Galaxy S8 may have a serious problem with premature screen burn-in.
Downloading third-party screen recording apps can be dangerous. The primary function of these apps is being able to record everything on one's display, so it's easy to see how a malicious developer could exploit this for their own gain. That's why the addition of Android 10's built-in screen recording is so impactful.
Besides obvious features like a touchscreen and biometric sensors, the modern smartphone comes with an array of state-of-the-art hardware in the form of various sensors that help your device sense the environment around it. And if you have a Samsung handset, chances are, you have a handy feature built in that enables you to check if these sensors are functioning 100 percent.
What you see when you open the Play Store is completely dependent on your country settings. Search results and top charts are specific to each region and there are lots of popular apps and games that simply won't show up unless your Play Store country matches up.
Samsung's One UI has slowly become the model for Android skins. The old iOS-like TouchWiz already feels like a relic, thanks in part to the newer user interface's exceptional design and fast but meaningful updates. One UI is so good, other OEM skins have copied elements of it. The latest release is One UI 2.5, which has over 20 new features that make the skin even better.
No matter how many camera improvements a phone adds, you're always better off using manual mode. Known as "Pro Mode" on the Galaxy S20, this feature can remove Samsung's pre- and post-processing from photos, putting you in total control.
When you delete a file, Android doesn't actually remove it from your storage drive—instead, it simply marks that space as empty and pretends the file doesn't exist anymore. But deep down inside, the file that you originally wrote to that location is still physically there, at least until you randomly happen to save another file on top of that same spot.
If you're one who likes to tinker with Android, TWRP is the first thing you should install. It replaces your phone's stock recovery mode interface and adds over a dozen advanced features to your device—most notably, the ability to flash ZIPs that can modify practically every aspect of your operating system. It's certainly one of the most powerful tools available for Android, and there's simply nothing capable of replacing it.
Over the course of owning your Android device, you've probably connected to dozens of Wi-Fi networks. School, home, work, the gym, your friends' and family's houses, coffee shops — each time you typed in one of these Wi-Fi passwords, your Android device saved it for safekeeping and easy access in the future.
Your phone tracks your every move to some extent, and I'm not just talking about Google services. Smartphone manufacturers use telemetry services that run in the background to track how you use the device, mostly for ads or to improve their future products. You don't usually have a say in the matter, but if you have a rooted OnePlus, there's a way you can take control over it.
As if telemarketers weren't bad enough, now we have robocalls and spoofed numbers to deal with. Many of us get a least one spam call per day, if not much more than that. Google's Phone app has always been great at managing these calls, but it's been exclusive to their Pixel phones — until recently, that is.
In a tradition dating back to the Nexus days, Google has always used fish-themed codenames when communicating internally about their phones. Their laptops and tablets are usually named after video game characters. These names often give us the first evidence of an upcoming device when they're used in software commits in Android's open source code.
After exiting the mobile market, Microsoft has redirected its efforts to better integrating their services with Android. Thanks to a partnership with Samsung, that Windows integration is even better if you have a Galaxy phone.
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.
In case you didn't know, Android has an awesome hidden settings menu called "Developer options" that contains a lot of advanced and unique features. If you've ever come across this menu before, chances are you just dipped in for a minute so that you could enable USB debugging and use ADB features.
If you own a Samsung phone and enjoy rooting or modding your device, flashing official firmware can be very useful. Odin is Samsung's own internal program for loading such updates for testing purposes, and it's quite easy to use for your own custom modification needs.
Even though your phone has a built-in media player, it's got nothing on VLC. The popular third-party video player supports virtually every codec and file format, and even better, you can use it to stream movies, shows, and other video files from your computer to your phone.
If you are reading this article right now on your Galaxy Note 20, you are using one of the most powerful smartphones on the market — but are you taking full advantage of it? The answer is likely no, but you can change this with a few apps.
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.
Being an Android user and having friends who are in the Apple ecosystem does not need to be a pain. You can easily send high-quality videos to iPhone users, so don't feel handicapped without access to iMessage. Sending high-resolution videos to iOS users is easy with this fast video-sharing method.
We recently ran down several hidden features on the Galaxy S9 — items that are buried deep within the settings menu that can be tricky to find. One thing that many users cannot find is the option for a black navigation bar. Unfortunately, this option does not exist in Samsung's stock settings. But this is Android, so with a bit of developer magic, we can easily regain the black navigation bar in no time.
If your phone has an unlocked bootloader, you can use Fastboot commands to flash factory images. That may sound like a bunch of technical jargon, but when it comes down to it, this is the best method for updating a rooted device, fixing a bricked phone, reverting to stock, or even getting new Android updates before everyone else.
Thanks to Magisk, you don't have to lose root when updating to Android 11. The popular systemless rooting tool already achieved superuser access on Google's latest OS, even before the official release. It's currently in its experimental stages so the process is trickier than usual, but it does work.
There are a few different ways to install Magisk. If you're already rooted and you just want access to Magisk modules, you can use Magisk Manager to install the Magisk framework. Or, if you want to pass SafetyNet on a rooted device, you can switch from SuperSU to Magisk SU. But the best way to do it is to start fresh by installing Magisk on a non-rooted phone using TWRP.
Nearly every connection to the internet is dependent on the Domain Name System. DNS, as it's more commonly called, translates domain names like gadgethacks.com into IP addresses, which is what network devices use to route data. The problem with DNS servers is that they don't have your privacy in mind.
ADB and Fastboot are probably the most essential tools for any Android aficionado. They can do everything from backing up your device to unlocking your bootloader with a few simple steps. This paves the way for many new tweaks and customizations that weren't possible before. The required platform works with the three most popular computer operating systems, too, which is good news for everyone.
There's a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to the best habits for charging a smartphone's battery, so let's clear some of that up right off the bat. Lithium ion batteries (the type used in most modern electronics) start to lose their ability to hold a charge over time, and the two biggest factors that contribute to this are excess heat and overcharging.
With every new Galaxy flagship release comes the age-old dilemma: do I choose great hardware or great software? For years, Samsung has given users the best components available on any smartphone. The problem is the software is an acquired taste. But there is something you can do about it.
You can now access Google's slick Weather app without having to first open the Google or News & Weather apps. However, you will have to use Google to access the weather the old-fashioned way one more time, but you'll have the option to place a shortcut on your home screen to access the weather directly going forth.
In the pursuit of large displays with thinner bezels, Samsung has sacrificed some components. While the loss of the headphone jack gets all the attention, there are other victims — namely, the notification LED.
"Why do I keep getting popups on my phone when I'm not even doing anything?" I see this question asked all the time. The answer? You have a shady app on your phone and it started showing full screen ads. But people either don't know this (so they don't know they just need to find and uninstall the problematic app), or if they do know it's a bad app, they don't know which app is causing it.
Given how much use it gets on a daily basis, the power button is always one of the first hardware features to call it quits on an Android phone or tablet. So if your power button is acting up, or you don't want it to, you can extend its lifetime by simply finding ways to use it less.
Just the fact that you own an Android device means you're privy to an entire world of third-party development. Many of the mods you'll see here on Gadget Hacks can be performed fresh out of the box, but with root and Xposed, the list grows longer. But to truly be able to take advantage of all that Android's massive development community has to offer, you'll need to have a custom recovery installed.
App updates bring new functionality, but they can also break old features or introduce changes no one wants. Unfortunately, if you're holding onto an older app version because you don't want to accept the update, it becomes a lot harder to keep the rest of your apps updated.
If you live in the US, it's pretty simple: The Google Pixel 4a is the best phone for rooting and modding in 2020. Its price keeps the risk-reward ratio nice and low, and its unlockable bootloader makes it easy to modify virtually any aspect of Android.
When trying to get fit, something that can easily be overlooked is your overall sleep quality. Your body needs sleep to recharge and it helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there's no denying it. Luckily, Google Fit can help you track your sleeping habits without having to jump through any hoops along the way.
With much of the hype centered around its powerful cameras, it's easy to overlook the equally impressive audio capabilities of the Galaxy S9. After all, the S9 and S9+ are the first Samsung flagships to feature AKG-tuned stereo speakers, and that's not even mentioning all the software enhancements that help deliver rich, immersive sound in several different listening situations.
Your Galaxy's built-in flashlight is handy, but if it takes you more than a split second to turn it on, it's not as useful as it could be. Thanks to One UI 2, you're now just a swipe away from instantly lighting up the room.
With the S9 and S9+ upon us, you maybe wondering if it's time to retire your aging Galaxy and either sell it or do a trade-in to get Samsung's latest flagship. Before you do, however, it's important to make sure that all its components — most notably the sensors — are working fully in order to avoid potential headaches.
Nearly ten years since the first Galaxy Note and yet the Galaxy Note 20 still hasn't solved one of its biggest problems: bloatware. There are still over 20 redundant or unnecessary apps that are on this $1,000+ phone. But while it does require some advanced tools, it's still possible to remove them.