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.
YouTube has a couple of basic gestures: you can double tap each half of the video to skip forward or back ten seconds, and you can swipe down to minimize the video. But wouldn't it be more useful if there were gestures to control brightness and volume? Well, as with all things Android, where there's a will, there's a way.
Almost every phone comes with biometric security of some sort these days, but the same can't be said of Windows computers. While fingerprint scanners are becoming increasingly common with laptops and desktops, they're nowhere near ubiquitous. Thankfully, your phone's scanner can be used as a sort-of remote authentication point for your PC.
The Moto G6 finished 2018 as the best selling phone on Amazon. With its midrange performance, great build, and budget-friendly price, it is an excellent device for someone looking for their first phone or a backup. As we make our way into 2019, we are starting to learn more about its successor.
UPDATE: The ported APK covered below is now obsolete because Fortnite beta is officially available for all Android devices!
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.
One of the biggest downsides to rooting is that it can be a pain to update every month with each new security patch. With other phones, you might have had to fully unroot the device, maybe flash a stock recovery, or potentially even flash all the factory images to get a new update. Thankfully, OnePlus has made this process super simple for us modders.
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.
OnePlus is known for pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible for a mid-range price. One of the best things about OnePlus phones is that their battery life is fantastic in general, but to achieve this, Oxygen OS will disable or delay notifications by default once your phone goes into deep sleep mode. You will not be notified until you wake the phone up — this could be an issue for some.
Facebook is working on a dark mode for Messenger, and it's a true AMOLED black theme. It's hidden away right now, but most of the code is there, ready and waiting to be enabled. By sending one command with root access, you can activate this feature right now.
2019's major Android update should be a special one — it will be the tenth full version of the world's most commonly used operating system. The upcoming release, which should be known as Android 10 (codename Android Q), has already leaked, giving us a good idea of what to expect. While it isn't a dramatic visual change, there are a lot of goodies to look forward to.
The Google Phone app is one of the best dialers for Android today, especially with all of the unique and exciting features it brings to the table. Unfortunately, without owning a Pixel phone, you are unable to officially download the app, making a modified version your only option. However, this version of Google Phone is missing a few key features, such as spam protection and business search.
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.
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.
Android has gotten significantly better at handling intrusive ads over the years. Things have gotten to the point to where these nuisances are largely a non-issue for most of us. However, there are still a few ad-laden apps that fall through the cracks — particularly the kind that bombard your lock screen with ads.
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.
Recently, buzz for the Google Pixel 4 has been rising thanks to a patent discovered by 91mobiles. This patent appears to show an almost bezel-less phone with a screen-to-body ratio we have only dreamt of, and no notch in sight. The problem is this isn't the Google Pixel 4. It's actually the Pixel 2 XL.
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.
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.
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.
The first question people ask me when they come to my apartment is usually "What's your Wi-Fi password?" While I'm happy to give my friends free access to the internet, it's hard to walk each person through my secure password. Luckily, there's a way to create a QR code that will let people easily connect to a Wi-Fi network.
With every new Android update, hidden features are lurking under the surface. Google hides these options to prevent unnecessary tinkering by average users, leaving them in place for power users to discover. These secrets range from silly to really useful, with the latter opening up new ways to manage your phone.
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.
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.
For the first time since its inception, the famously hidden System UI Tuner has to be unlocked in a new way. No longer can you long-press the gear icon (found in Quick Settings) until it spins and reveals the hidden settings option. With Android 9.0 Pie, there's a new workaround to reveal the menu.
The iPhone has a feature that lets you see how much juice is left in your Bluetooth headphones, but most Android phones are lacking this ability. Thankfully, there's a simple app that'll close this gap in functionality.
Kik is an extremely popular messaging app, but it has a few annoying features that we all just sort of put up with. You can't turn off read receipts, nor can you hide when you're typing, and the photos you take with Kik's camera show up differently than ones you send from your gallery app. At least a couple of these features should be subject to change, but they aren't — well, not without some tinkering.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though not yet official, you can now experience firsthand what Android Pie has to offer your Galaxy S9. Perhaps one of the best features is something we've all been clamoring for: a system-wide dark theme that gives numerous apps and UI elements a custom look without having to resort to using a third-party theme.
When it works, Android's Smart Lock feature is incredible. There's no need to enter your PIN when your phone "knows" it's in your hands — just unlock and go. But Smart Lock, particularly its Trusted Places feature, can be finicky sometimes.
The famous Flappy Bird (technically Flappy Droid) game is still around in Android 9.0 Pie. First introduced in 5.0 Lollipop, the game was originally the version number easter egg for the new Android update. But after Android Marshmallow, Google began to hide it from its usual location, and Pie continues this tradition.
Sony's starting to warm up to the current trend of interconnected devices, but just like most manufacturers, they want to keep you within their ecosystem if you're going to use these services. For instance, the PlayStation 4 has a "Remote Play" feature that allows you to play your previously purchased console games on the PS Vita and Sony's Xperia smartphones, but this functionality does not extend to non-Sony devices.
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.
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.
As a longtime Android user, one of the changes I was most excited about with Android Pie was the fact that the volume rocker finally controls media volume by default. However, the new way isn't ideal for everyone, but thankfully, there's an app that can change it back.
The Google Feed is a great source for relevant news articles from your search history, package delivery updates, and much more. Now known as the "Discover" page, many Android users turn to this useful menu on a daily basis. However, as Google recently pointed out, the all-white theme is not ideal for battery life, nor is it easy on the eyes at night.