Android How-Tos

How To: Root the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL & Install Magisk

Despite concerns with SafetyNet, Google actually cares about root. Every phone they sell has an unlockable bootloader, so you can toggle a setting and send a Fastboot command, then start flashing custom firmware right away. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL continue this tradition, and now they have an official root method.

Android Security 101: How to Secure Your Apps & Avoid Malware

Because of the way Google Play works, Android has a "bad app" problem. Google allows any developer to upload an app to the Play Store, regardless of if it works, how it looks, or whether or not it can harm users. Malware scanning happens primarily after apps are uploaded, and though Google has recently taken steps to safeguard users with its Play Protect program, you don't have to depend on them.

How To: Most File Cleaners Are Trash — Here's Which Ones You Can Trust

Since the release of the T-Mobile G1, the Play Store has been flooded with apps that claim to improve performance by clearing cache and storage. These apps are typically useless, rarely providing more than a temporary fix which Android undoes immediately. As Android has continued to improve cache and storage management, such apps have become more trivial. However, there are few decent ones out there.

Nova Launcher 101: How to Add Any Widget to Android Oreo's Expanded Dock

Nova Launcher continues to push the boundary of features available to home screen launchers. While most users are waiting for their OEMs to send out the Android 8.0 update, Nova provides access to many of Android Oreo's features to the 99.8% of devices currently using an older version. However, Nova tries not only to add new features but to improve their design.

How To: How Razer Used IGZO Display Tech to Achieve 120 Hz Refresh Rates

With their first attempt at the mobile market, Razer introduced a device that looks at the smartphone differently. Instead of focusing on minimal bezels or an amazing camera, Razer decided to make a phone for gamers. So how could Razer target the growing mobile gaming market, which is projected to generate $40.6 billion in global revenue in 2017? It starts with the IGZO LCD Display.

How To: Remove Bloatware on Your LG V30 — No Root Needed

With the V30, LG has really delivered an amazing smartphone that hits all the major features consumers want. Amazing camera, beautiful edge-to-edge display, great battery life, water resistance, and smooth performance — there isn't much not to like about the LG V30. Unfortunately, it does suffer from heavy bloatware thanks to the carriers. The good thing is, unlike in the past, you are not stuck with it.

How To: Samsung's Oreo Beta Just Went Live — Here's How to Get It

After multiple leaked references in Samsung apps, the Oreo Beta Program for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is official. Yesterday, we posted a full changelog from users that obtained the beta a day early. The update brings many new features from Oreo to the S8, including notification channels and autofill API support. If you're quick, you can enroll your Galaxy S8 in the beta today.

How To: Customize the Navigation Buttons on Your LG V30

Many OEMs create skins that run on top of Android to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One example is the LG UX 6.0+ found in the new LG V30, which is Android at its core, but improved upon by the addition of unique features. One such feature is the ability to change the buttons at the bottom of your screen.

How To: Force Switch to T-Mobile or Sprint on Project Fi

If you own a Pixel or Nexus device, Project Fi is a great alternative for cellular service outside of the four major US carriers. Project Fi is a Google-managed MVNO, providing service primarily through the T-Mobile and Sprint networks. One of the biggest mysteries on Fi is which network you're connected to at any given time, but there's a simple solution.

How To: Improve Fingerprint Scanner Accuracy on Your LG V30

While other devices are moving away from fingerprint scanners (cough, iPhone X), for many, a fingerprint scanner provides the best balance between security and speed. Typically, the rear fingerprint scanner on the LG V30 is quick and accurate, but every so often the phone will not recognize a registered fingerprint.

How To: Change DPI Scaling on the LG V30

The LG V30 is an amazing device that will contend for best smartphone of 2017. It has all the major features you'd expect from a high-end flagship, including a great screen. One that, luckily, we can customize to our liking by tweaking its DPI.

How To: 8 Ways to Increase Battery Life on Your LG V30

The LG V30 has solid battery life. With its QHD P-OLED screen and 4 GB RAM, it's able to maintain all-day performance with average use. Heavier users might find that its 3,300 mAh battery isn't quite enough for a full day of work, though, but with a few software tweaks, you can squeeze out even more battery life.

How To: Turn Your LG V30 into a Google Pixel 2

The LG V30 is an amazing device that will contend for best smartphone of 2017. It has all the major features you'd expect from a high-end flagship, and it even includes what's become a rare commodity these days — a headphone jack. However, for the purists out there, the LG UX skin strays too far away from stock Android. Have no fear, for with the LG V30, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

How To: Get the Pixel 2 Launcher with the Bottom Search Bar & Google Now — No Root Needed

Update 10/14: Developer paphonb has added rootless Google Now integration to the leaked Pixel 2 launcher, so now, anyone running Android Nougat or Oreo can get the full Pixel 2 home screen experience. For those running Lollipop or Marshmallow, we've left the unaltered leaked version linked out below, but we've added a new link for the tweaked version with Google Now integration.

Android Security 101: How to Secure Your Communications & Messages

Due to the overnight success of smartphones, millions of people are connecting with others. Currently, over 15 million text messages are sent every minute worldwide. Most of this communication is happening in the open where any hacker can intercept and share in the discussion unbeknownst to the participants. However, we don't need to communicate insecurely.

Tasker 101: How to Import Tasks & Profiles

Regardless of what you're trying to accomplish with Tasker, there's a good chance that someone else has already walked through the same steps. If you're unfamiliar with creating tasks and working with profiles, simply importing someone else's work would be a great shortcut. After all, there are 2 billion Android devices out there, so someone must've created a setup that suits your needs, right?

Tasker 101: How to Create an Exit Task

When you create a profile in Tasker, it will run a task as soon as all of the conditions in your profile are met. But what happens when the profile's conditions stop being met? By default, nothing will happen, but if you create an exit task, the automation tool will run that instead.

Tasker 101: Understanding the Different Types of Profiles

When you hear people say that Android is more flexible than iOS, it's because of things like Tasker. You can do virtually anything with the venerable automation tool, from saving battery life to controlling your smart home with your fingerprint. But before you get to that, you'll need a good understanding of all the basics.

Action Launcher 101: How to Configure Notification Dots & App Shortcuts

I don't know about you, but I love options. Personally, I think Android's notification system is easy to use — providing access to new notification with a swipe down from the top of the screen. But, as Android users, we like the ability to do things differently whenever we see fit, so what if you wanted a different way? Well, with Action Launcher, this is possible.

Action Launcher 101: How to Use Quicktheme to Make Your Home Screen Match Your Wallpaper

If you're like me, you change your wallpaper often. After maybe a week of looking at the same picture, you just have to have something different. Depending on the new wallpaper, you may spend another hour changing the background color of folders, the app drawer, and even Quickpage to match your overall theme. But you probably don't want to spend that much time tweaking your layout every week, so let me show you a way that reduces the time from an hour to a few seconds.

Action Launcher 101: How to Set Up Covers & Shutters to Get Gesture-Based Widgets & Folders

Most Android launchers limit you to three choices: Icons, widgets, and folders. It's better than nothing, but it's still pretty hard to find the best look without overcrowding your home screen. You could fill everything up with icons, but then you'd have an iPhone. You could toss everything into folders, but that would always require an extra tap. You could mix in some widgets, but that would take up valuable space. So what do you do? Action Launcher has the answer.

Action Launcher 101: How to Change the Icon Pack for a Custom Look

Eventually, we all get tired of our home screens. There's nothing wrong with it, but after hundreds of times seeing the same thing, it all starts looking a bit stale. You can rearrange icons and widgets, or even just pick a new wallpaper — but sometimes, your layout is perfect and you still want a fresh look. Well, thanks to Action Launcher and icon packs, this is really easy to accomplish.

Action Launcher 101: How to Set Up Quickpage for an Easy-Access Home Screen

When customizing your Android home screen, it's always a challenge to balance aesthetics with functionality. Do you crowd your home screen with icons and widgets so they are easier to reach, or do you spread the icons over many home screens? Each option has its downsides, and with most launchers, these are your only choices — but with Action Launcher, there's another way.

Nova Launcher 101: How to Set Up Home Screen Gestures

Your dog is doing something charming, and you need to take a quick photo, but you don't have time to search in your app drawer for the camera app. The moment would have long passed by the time you find it. What if instead you could you open the camera or any other app simply by sliding your finger down on the home screen? Well with Nova Launcher and gestures, this is easy to accomplish.

Prev Page