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.
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.
So you spent all day customizing your phone. You tinkered with all the settings, searched the web high and low for the perfect wallpaper, and found an ideal icon pack to complement the color scheme. You go to sleep, proud of the work you accomplished when the unspeakable happens — your phone freezes and tech support is telling you to do a factory reset to fix the problem.
The iPhone X has a new unlocking mechanism called Face ID, which replaces the old Touch ID system since the phone no longer has a fingerprint sensor. The way it works is simple — you just look at the phone, it recognizes your face, then the system unlocks — so Apple deserves the praise they're getting for it. But did you know you can get almost this exact same feature on any Android device right now?
One of the best things about Android is the ability to customize your phone to your liking. From changing the layout of icons to finding the perfect wallpaper to reflect your current mood, there's a wide range of tools to make your phone yours.
One of the best new features in Android Oreo is the new Adaptive Icons system. Starting now, developers can create a single icon for their apps, then your launcher can stylize those icons in a broad range of shapes to match your system theme. Most home screen apps haven't added support for this feature yet, but Nova Launcher just threw its hat into the ring.
If you love to take selfies and post them online for all the world to see, then it's important to ensure that you are always sharing your best side. It's pretty common for people to just open up their stock camera app and snap a quick photo, wherever they may be — but there's a better camera you could be using.
There are two core components to any Tasker automation: A profile and a task. Profiles are basically a set of conditions that must be met before Tasker will do anything. Tasks, on the other hand, are the actions Tasker will perform when your profile's conditions have been met. Think of them like triggers and actions, respectively. Or a cause and an effect.
Let's face it — our phones are our heart and soul. We do everything on them, from banking to media consumption. However, sometimes we download apps that we don't want others to see. Sometimes, we wish to hide apps so that, in the rare times we lend our phone to someone, we don't get judged for a lifetime by what they find.
With the new iPhone X, Apple introduced a buttonless design for the first time. But without a home button, navigation within iOS 11 had to change to accommodate the new model. To solve this issue, Apple created gestures to perform the actions that the home button once executed. But while Apple users have to wait until November 3 to use these gestures, you can get these features right now on Android.
If you want to root your phone, it's a huge plus. If you want to install a custom ROM like LineageOS, it's an absolute must-have. Custom kernels like ElementalX, custom recoveries like TWRP — none of this happens unless you buy a phone with an unlockable bootloader.
Much like Xposed or Cydia, Magisk has an official repository that makes it easy to download root-level tweaks. These tweaks are called modules, and they can do anything from changing your emojis to installing high-level audio mods. But as it stands, a large number of Magisk modules are not hosted on the official repo just yet, so there are two primary ways to install them.
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.
When you're flashing a custom ROM with TWRP recovery, it's almost never just one ZIP. Instead, you have to flash the ROM file, the Gapps, a custom kernel, and maybe even Xposed or Magisk, which results in a lot of back-and-forth. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way.
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.
While it's easy enough to take a screenshot of an encrypted Telegram chat thread using an iPhone, it's a completely different story on Android phones. Telegram disables screenshots by default on Android, and it's not even the slightest bit obvious how you would go about enabling screenshot capabilities. That's because it's hidden inside of another setting, one you'd never think to look in.
When it comes to modding Android, root gets all the glory, but a good custom recovery is really the only thing you need. Not only does it allow you to back up your entire phone, install flashable ZIPs, and load custom ROMs like LineageOS, but a custom recovery will even let you root your device. For years now, the only custom recovery worth mentioning has been Team Win's TWRP.
The Xposed Framework is an incredibly powerful tool. But because of this power, there's a chance that something could go wrong when installing a broken or incompatible module, which can cause bootloops or even soft-brick your phone.
The Xposed Framework has an official repository for downloading modules which can be easily accessed by searching the Download section in your Xposed Installer app. But not every module is available on the Xposed repo — in fact, many unique and interesting modules are only hosted on third-party servers.
The Xposed Framework lets you modify your phone's software like nothing else. But because of how powerful this tool can be, it seems like things are always in development. This is certainly the case with many Xposed modules, to the point where some have several alpha and beta releases before they go mainstream.
The Xposed Framework is still alive and kicking despite the fact that development has slowed down a bit lately. Rovo89 is the only true developer behind Xposed, so it's really a one-man show. This means the popular root mod doesn't typically support the latest Android version, but it's usually only one version number behind.
When it comes to watching movies and TV shows in Amazon's Prime Video service on an iPhone, it's as simple as installing the Amazon Prime Video app, signing into it, then playing content. However, on an Android phone, it's a lot more complicated.
One thing that makes Signal Private Messenger better on Android over iOS is that you can better secure the app with a password or passphrase. Best of all, you don't need to install an app locker to get this working — you can do it right from inside Signal.
Our smartphones are full of personally-identifiable information. So much of what we do with these devices is tracked and recorded to make our experience more streamlined and personalized. For many users, that's a fair trade — but for privacy-minded folks, it's a raw deal.
The OnePlus 5 had been in the hands of the public for a meager twenty hours before developers on XDA released a custom recovery image to be used in conjunction with SuperSU to root the device. The installation process is simple enough, but it can be somewhat confusing if you're new to rooting Android.
Who doesn't love listening to music while they're driving? The open road and an awesome playlist make for a perfect pairing, but it can become quite the challenge if you're trying to follow your navigation app at the same time.
When you're playing videos, the actual content should be the focus, not the media app's interface. But with VLC's default theme on Android, the bright orange-and-white motif shocks your eyes in a dimly-lit setting and draws your attention away from what really matters. Let's change that.
When it comes to playing videos from your personal media library, VLC is hard to beat. But let's say you want to play videos from an Android device by connecting it to your TV — what app should you use then? VLC is still the answer, particularly once you've enabled its TV-friendly UI.
Most newer phones come with a grayscale mode that you can activate when you want to save some battery life. The way it works is simple: If your graphics chip only has to render elements in black and white instead of full 32-bit color, it won't consume as much power.
A new feature in Android O is making it incredibly easy to multitask while you're watching a video. It's called Picture-in-Picture mode, and if you've ever used a TV with this option, you should already have a pretty good idea of how it works.
There are many great reasons to root your phone, but if you're not experienced with tools like ADB and Fastboot, it can seem like a daunting task. Fret not, because if you want to root your HTC 10, we're here to walk you through the process.
To really personalize your HTC 10, you'll need to be rooted — but that can't happen unless you unlock your bootloader. Thankfully, HTC has made it relatively easy to unlock the bootloader on their 2016 flagship.
One of the biggest new features in Android O is a picture-in-picture mode that lets you watch videos in a floating window while you're using other apps. Honestly, it's awesome and intuitive, but there are a few ground rules you'll need to learn to master the new feature.
Google has an exclusive launcher for its Pixel devices, and it's pretty slick. But even though we've found ways to get this home screen app on other phones, certain features simply wouldn't work unless you were rooted. That's finally changed.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ come equipped with all of the hardware needed to access live FM radio, but this feature was never really advertised or even spoken about. Thankfully, though, all you need is an app to enable it.
Carrier-branded Galaxy S8 models come with a ton of bloatware that you usually can't get rid of without rooting. If you dig a little deeper, however, there is a way to debloat your S8, and it's relatively hassle-free.
The beta firmware for OnePlus devices lets you record calls from the stock Oxygen OS dialer, but this feature is never included in official updates. This is likely due to legal issues with recording calls in some jurisdictions, but thankfully, there's a way to get this feature without having to run beta software.
Goertek's AM3D offers world-class audio processing software that powers millions of high-end devices around the world. Their biggest advancement is likely Virtual Surround Sound, which can make two speakers sound like a full 5.1 setup.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have enough screen real estate to accommodate almost all use cases, whether that's watching movies, playing games, or browsing through photos. That said, the massive navigation bar is nothing short of ugly and a screen hog — but there is a way to fix that.
Despite packing some really nice camera specs, the OnePlus 3 and 3T don't take the best pictures. That's because, these days, great software is just as important as great hardware when it comes to image quality.