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.
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.
With all the talk about privacy concerns recently, Google's name keeps coming up because they are a very data-driven company. As an Android user, they know basically everything about you based on your device usage. That can easily scare some people off who are worried about their privacy and security. You do have some say in what personal data Google controls, but what if you want total control?
QR codes are supposed to make life easier, but having to install potentially shady third-party apps just to scan one is more trouble than it's worth. Thankfully, there's a QR code reader built into all Google Pixels, but you wouldn't know it unless you stumbled across the feature.
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.
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.
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.
How To: Enable or Disable Chat Heads in Facebook Messenger on Android for Quick Access to Conversations
Popular chat apps like Messenger allow us to communicate with friends and family across iOS and Android phones alike. However, that interconnectivity doesn't mean both apps are the same. While Facebook has made strides to close gaps between these two platforms, chat heads remain an exclusive feature for Android devices, and they let you keep Messenger threads close by.
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.
Back in the earlier days of Android, you were able to connect your phone to a computer, and it would mount automatically. This meant once the USB connection was made, your internal storage would pop up on the computer and you could go about your business. But recent versions of Android changed that to help increase security.
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.
If your phone is running Android 10, you can now share your Wi-Fi network with friends using a handy QR code. The other person doesn't have to be running Android 10 — in fact, you can even share this code with iPhone users. In most situations, this is now the fastest way to share your Wi-Fi password.
Android updates don't have as many headlining features as they once did, but that's the point. If you keep updating software to add features and fix bugs, you'll eventually reach a point where the main focus is polish. That doesn't mean you can't get excited about a fresh coat of wax.
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.
Your Galaxy uses information from your SIM card to communicate with nearby towers and facilitate a connection. Which LTE bands you are assigned depends on a number of factors, including available bandwidth and your device's supported signals. But if speeds aren't great on your auto-selected tower, you can improve things by manually choosing a band.
A great way to incorporate a healthy exercise routine is by taking lots of steps throughout the day. While most smartphones can track and report your steps via a third-party app, you can check them right from your home screen if you have a OnePlus phone.
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.
How To: These Auto-Redial Apps Can Call Busy Phone Lines Over & Over Again for You Until You Get Through
Busy phone lines are nothing new. Just ask any radio station that holds a viral call-in contest. These days, however, the most active lines around aren't so fun — your state's unemployment office is receiving record-shattering numbers of calls, making it extremely challenging for you to get through. However, there are apps out there that can help you break through the noise.
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.
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.
"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.
There once was a time in the Android rooting scene where we couldn't rely on using a custom recovery for all of our modding needs. Manual file flashing was very popular in the early days of Android before custom recoveries started taking over. With the rise of TWRP, it seemed like there was almost no need for manual file flashers; however, they appear to be making a welcomed return in a big way.
The Pixel 5 is a great value proposition in this era of $1,500 phones. With its reasonable price tag, fully open-sourced software, and unlockable bootloader, it's also an ideal phone for rooting.
With all the things you can do with your Galaxy, it's easy to forget it's still a phone at heart, and incoming calls that take over your entire screen serve as a rude reminder of this fact. Thankfully, Samsung handsets like the S10 and Note 10 come with a setting built-in that aims to keep these interruptions to a minimum.
While the audio experience is solid on Galaxy phones, it isn't the absolute best out of the box. That's because Samsung has partnered with Dolby Laboratories to provide its industry-leading sound technology known as Dolby Atmos, but it's turned off by default. Once enabled, your audio experience will go from good to great.
If you need to do some hardcore multitasking on your Windows PC, a second monitor can go a long way towards getting things done. If you opt to "extend" your Windows desktop across a dual monitor setup, it's as if you have two computers side by side, with each display getting its own set of windows and programs that can be open simultaneously.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's actually more to the dialer screen on your OnePlus than meets the eye. Besides its obvious purpose of calling people, there's a vast array of secret codes that you can input to troubleshoot your device, in addition to revealing important information, making anonymous phone calls, and so much more.
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.
A custom recovery is a very powerful tool. You can flash ZIPs that modify your Android device in ways that not even root can accomplish, and of course you can use it to install custom ROMs. But when you're applying all of these cool mods, there's always a chance that something could go wrong, and you might even end up bricking your device.
There are three tiers to Android customization: things you can do by default, things you can do with ADB, and things you can do with root. While root is still pretty tricky to get, ADB mods just got a lot easier.
From booting into Fastboot mode with a single command to installing mods without root access, there's no shortage of reasons to use ADB. The catch, though, you had to be tied to a computer with a USB connection. However, a new feature in Android 11 finally allows you to run ADB commands over Wi-Fi instead of being tethered.
Google's "At A Glance" widget gives you the current weather conditions and upcoming events from your Google Calendar in a handy spot right at the top of your home screen. But on Pixel phones, this widget is permanently embedded into the launcher, so you can't just long-press it to remove it.
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.
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.
For those of you who like to frequently change the icon shapes on your home screen, the process has changed in Android 10. The setting is buried and now applies to more than just home screen icons.
With great power comes great responsibility, and when it comes to modding Android, nothing is more powerful than TWRP custom recovery. As easy as it is to replace your phone's entire OS with a custom ROM, when things go awry, you can also be left with no operating system at all.