For the majority of phones, Android's volume rocker is wrong. A large vocal part of the Android community wishes the volume buttons' default control was the media volume, not the ringer. Although the Galaxy Note 9 is in the "wrong" camp, Samsung has included multiple ways to change it.
Samsung Experience isn't for everyone. While it's a far cry from the TouchWiz days, it is still too heavy of a skin for Android purists. But you shouldn't let that dissuade you from a powerful device that checks nearly all other boxes — there are ways to make the Galaxy Note 9's software look and feel almost exactly like stock.
If you somehow forgot the pattern, PIN, or password that locks your Android device, you might think you're out of luck and are destined to be locked out forever. These security methods are hard to crack by design, but in many cases, it's not entirely impossible to break into a locked device.
If you're in the market for a non-root ad-blocker, developer Julian Klode has an app that you'll definitely want to check out. It uses Android's VPN system in a similar manner to alternative apps like NetGuard and AdGuard, but it's got a new twist that should save lots of battery life in the process.
For some, the Galaxy Note 9's volume rocker doesn't have enough steps between silent and max volume. We all have different preferences for volume, and a higher number of steps would equal to more precise volume control. Good thing we can at least adjust this for the media volume.
Samsung's recent TouchWiz rebranding didn't really change much — the skin is still as bloated as ever, and the UI still uses tacky accent colors. But while you can't fully remove TouchWiz without rooting, there are ways to make it look a lot better.
In this world of massive smartphones and finger gymnastics, having the address bar in Google Chrome at the bottom of your screen can reduce finger strain without impacting any functionality in your day-to-day browsing experience. Still, enabling this feature is hidden behind an experimental part of Chrome called flags.
One of the best features on the Galaxy S9 is the ability to quickly apply new themes from the Samsung theme store. A number of the available themes are available at no cost. If you pick the right dark theme, you might even be able to save some battery life over the course of your day. Unfortunately, not every theme is worth your time, so we curated list of dark themes worth downloading.
Despite a very vocal distaste for Bixby, Samsung continues to push their voice assistant on customers. For many, the button is not only a waste, but placed perfectly for accidental presses. While it appears Samsung has no intention of giving up on Bixby, with the help of an excellent app, you can get rid of it yourself.
Thanks to Android Pie's gesture controls, features like split screen mode now take several additional steps to activate. This change is due to the revamped navigation bar which removed the recents apps button. Luckily, we can still change it back.
One option you won't find buried in the Galaxy Note 9's Settings is the ability to return the navigation bar to black. Samsung changed the default color to white with the Note 8, removing any ability to bring the black color back. But thanks to a neat app, Note 9 users can do it themselves.
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.
Starting with the release of Android Lollipop, the process of installing the Xposed Framework got a bit more complicated. Not only are there separate installers for each Android version, but now, you also need to know exactly what type of processor is in your device to make sure you're downloading the right files. In fact, CPU architecture is becoming a factor in more and more scenarios these days, including certain sideloaded app updates and, of course, custom ROMs.
Have you ever been using your computer when a friend randomly decides it's time to start up a text message conversation? You usually have to stop what you're doing on the desktop, then go pick up your smartphone and respond to the text. Then, if your buddy replies with another message, you have to juggle back and forth between your mouse and keyboard and your handheld device.
Alongside its Galaxy Note 9 announcement at Unpacked this year, Samsung confirmed that Fortnite would initially launch on Android as a Galaxy-exclusive. But thanks to Android's awesome development scene, this didn't last long at all — you can run Fortnite on any compatible Android device right now.
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.
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.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ might not have made it into the hands of the public yet, but we sure have come across a lot of the stock apps from Samsung's latest flagship phones. First, there was the new launcher, then Hello Bixby, and now, the extremely elusive Record Screen feature has been leaked.
Android 9.0 Pie is now available to install on Google's own Pixel devices and a select few other phones. In the new release, there's a fairly hidden setting that lets you enable a system-wide dark theme that changes the look of your Quick Settings panel and other menus.
You can now access the newly updated Weather information from Google 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.
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.
After months of it being exclusive to iOS devices, Google made their popular Gboard app available for Android phones and tablets last December. It's a snappy keyboard with the power of Google search built right in, which allows you to search for and share images and GIFs right from your favorite messaging app.
If you're playing the Android version of Game of War, or pretty much any other game (including emulators), it's much easier to play using a controller. While most Android games have gamepad support built-in, others do not and require a root app like Tincore to map touches into buttons.
In case you didn't know, Google has an awesome app that gives you free money to spend on apps, games, movies, books, and virtually anything you can buy on the Google Play Store. The app is called Google Opinion Rewards, and all it asks in exchange for the Play Store credit is that you answer a few questions every now and then.
When you have some form of lock screen security enabled, Android makes sure that you don't have to fumble around to enter your pattern, PIN, or password before you can call 911 in an emergency. It does this by adding an "Emergency Call" button to the bottom of the screen—but as handy as this may sound, most of the time it's more trouble than it's worth.
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.
Since its introduction, the Bixby button has been a big point of contention among Galaxy fans. Many view the dedicated button as a wasted opportunity, which they argue could be put to better use if Samsung would let them use it for other commands. Thanks to an awesome app, you'll be able to remap the Bixby button on your Galaxy S9 to perform almost any function.
If you've ever owned an HTC device or anything in the Nexus line, odds are, you have typed the word "fastboot" into your command line at one time or another. That said, odds are, you have only just barely scratched the surface of what this handy little Android tool can do. Let's take a deeper look.
Google just released Android 9.0 Pie, but the Android community is already working its magic. Developer Quinny899 quickly ported the updated Pixel Launcher from the new build, so you can try it out on other phones right now.
Smartphones are almost always connected to the internet, so it stands to reason that they can be hacked remotely. Or perhaps a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend got hold of your device physically, in which case they could've potentially installed a keystroke logger, a virus, or any other type of tracking app to spy on you.
If you installed Android 9.0 Pie, you might have enjoyed trying out some of the new features in the latest version of Google's OS. However, change isn't always a good thing, so you might be wishing you could downgrade back to Oreo right about now. Good news — you can.
For all those times when an app either isn't available or simply won't cut it, your phone's internet browser provides access to your favorite websites and services. But some browsers are flat-out better than others, and chances are, the browser that came pre-installed on your phone isn't the best option out there.
It just keeps getting harder to enjoy all of the benefits of root without sacrificing features. Thanks to SafetyNet, we've lost the ability to use Android Pay, Pokémon GO, and even Snapchat to an extent. But the most recent news on this front is perhaps worst of all: Netflix has already stopped showing up on the Play Store for rooted users, and soon, it may refuse to run even if you've sideloaded the app.
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.
Traditional root ad-blockers like AdAway and AdBlock Plus have no effect on YouTube anymore. Until now, if you wanted to get rid of the commercials that play before your favorite videos, there have only been two ways—either by paying for a YouTube Red subscription, or by using an Xposed module to modify the YouTube app itself and force it into not showing ads.
Because of Android's new SafetyNet system, certain apps can now block rooted users or prevent you from accessing them altogether — but at least for now, there are still ways around these restrictions.
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.
The more we use our smartphones, the more we fill them up with personal data. This has some obvious benefits like getting a more personalized experience with our devices. On the other hand, this treasure trove of data can be time bomb waiting to explode in terms of privacy.
Unless you're in law enforcement, you won't usually have a flashlight on hand for those rare moments when you need to sift through the dark. However, it is very likely that you will have your phone on you, so you'll have fast access to a bright light with just a few easy taps.
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.