Depending on your region, you may not be offered the same call recording option other OnePlus users have. But, as with most things Android, where there's a developer with a will, there's a way regardless. And the method we are about to describe is one of the easiest, most stable, and undetectable ways to do it. Perhaps we should discuss why OnePlus has been holding out you when it comes to this feature, though.
The Pixel 3 runs stock Android, so you might think that since you've used an Android device before, you should know your way around the new phone by default. But Google has actually added several great Pixel-exclusive software features to its flagships, and not all of them are easily discoverable.
Ever since the GDPR was implemented, it seems every website on the internet needs to inform you of how its privacy policies have changed. If your web browsing experience has been marred by a constant barrage of these cookie pop-ups and privacy dialogs, you should know there's an easy way to block these web annoyances so you never have to tap another checkbox or accept button again.
There's been a lot of fanfare as iOS 12 rolls out, and as an Android owner, you might be feeling left out. There's no need to feel that way, though. You don't have to choose between running out to get a new iPhone or being stuck with only your Android's features — at least when it comes to emojis. This is one of those rare times in life when you can have it all.
Haptic feedback and vibration of our smartphones have come a long way in recent years. These features are much more premium now than they once were, but most users are still unable to adjust the intensity for notifications or phone calls. Most higher-end devices make less noise on surfaces than in the past, but adjusting these values can still come in handy even today.
The OnePlus 5 doesn't have too many weak spots, at least not when you consider the price. But you might feel that the company with the slogan, "Never Settle," might have actually settled a bit with its camera. The OnePlus 5 and 5T don't have bad imaging specs, but they could use a pick-me-up, which is what we're about to provide. There's a bit of a catch, though.
Rooting. As an Android user, I'm sure you've heard the word once or twice. According to Kaspersky, 7.6% of all Android users root — but for the 92.4% who don't, we wanted to talk to you.
No matter how good a display is, the idea of perfect color calibration is subjective — some prefer warmer more saturated colors, while others prefer the calmer cooler side of the color spectrum. It is almost impossible to create a single color calibration that everyone can agree on out of the box. The display on the Pixel 2 XL was specifically calibrated with a more realistic color profile in mind.
To give you a truly immersive experience on Infinity Display phones like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, Samsung added the option to hide the navigation bar when not in use, then easily reveal it with a swipe up gesture for quick access. If you've always found this process a little too cumbersome, Samsung has introduced a nifty feature within its newly-named "One UI" that'll make it a lot more intuitive.
According to a study done by Kaspersky, 7.6% of Android users root their phones. That may not sound like a lot, but with over 2 billion Android devices out there, the math works out to over 150 million rooted phones — more than the total population of Russia, Mexico, or Japan — so root nation is an important demographic that deserves being catered to.
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.
Samsung isn't known for its timely rollout of major Android updates, and Android 9.0 Pie won't be an exception. If we go by their Oreo update timeline, we can expect Android Pie to officially touch down for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ sometime around November, with the final version rolling out the around the first quarter of 2019. But a leaked version of the beta has already hit the internet.
When Google introduced the Pixel 3 on October 9th, one of new additions they briefly mentioned was the Titan M security chip. While they did talk about how it will improve overall security, they didn't expand on the number of changes it brings to the Pixel 3's security. Well, they finally shared more, and it's a pretty big deal.
Rooting usually means sacrifice. With most root methods, you lose access to apps like Netflix and Android Pay when SafetyNet gets tripped. More importantly, you lose the ability to accept OTA updates, forcing you to manually flash new Android versions. But there's a way around all of this if you root the right way.
The main draw for Google's Pixel series is the software. It rocks a clean version of stock Android instead of a heavy OEM skin like TouchWiz, it gets frequent prompt OS updates, the camera software is downright amazing, and it has perhaps the most fluid UI of any phone. But an understated advantage of the software is how dead-simple it is to modify with root-level tweaks.
So, you rooted your Pixel 2 or 2 XL and everything seems to be working quite well. However, a month passes, and you get a notification to install the monthly security update. Like clockwork, Google has been pushing out OTA security patches every single month for a while, but there is a new problem for you at this point — as a rooted user, you are unable to apply the update correctly.
Perhaps you've thought about rooting your OnePlus 5, but thought again when you heard SafetyNet would prevent you from using apps like Google Pay, Pokémon GO, or Netflix. Those are valid struggles when you root using traditional methods. There are no such worries when using Magisk, as it masks the fact that your device has been modified.
For some Android users, this guide is sacrilege — but for others, iOS is just an attractive operating system that can be admired without feeling like you've betrayed your own phone. If you're one of those Galaxy Note 9 owners that have peeked across the aisle and desired an interface as clean as the one on the iPhone XS Max, you can configure your Note 9 to look like its rival with some tinkering.
One of the issues with rooting your device is the inability to update your phone via OTA. Any security patches or software updates pushed out by the OEM are lost because your bootloader is unlocked. However, you still can update your device, it just a take a bit more effort.
Sorry Samsung. I know you really wanted Bixby to be the next Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa — but it just isn't. Burying the option to disable the app won't change that. Sure, Bixby has some redeeming qualities, but there are many of us who don't want it shoved down our throats. We'll show you how to disable the app to prevent it from launching every time you try to access just about anything.
Although the Galaxy Note 9 is an amazing phone, many members of the Android community won't even look at it. This isn't just because of the Samsung Experience skin, but the large amount of bloatware that comes with this device. However, with a little work, you can remove all of it.
Many apps claim to record phone calls on Android, but very few actually deliver. There's just too many different devices floating around out there for one app to be able to support them all — or so it would seem.
Despite its rocky start, the Essential PH-1 has a lot going for it. Not only does it get consistent security patches and system updates hours after the Pixels, but like the Google-developed lineup, it's also great for rooting. Not only is your warranty not void with rooting, but the process is pretty straightforward.
When you unlock the bootloader on your Essential PH-1, you open your device to a host of new possible tweaks. One popular modification is a custom kernel, which can not only speed up your phone, but give you new features that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
For modders, there are few tools more important than TWRP. TeamWin's custom recovery makes flashing mods like Magisk, Xposed, and custom ROMs incredibly easy, and it lets you root your phone at the press of a button. On top of that, it can make complete backups of your phone in case you mess up. That's why, for Essential users, this should be the first mod you add.
When I review apps, I'll oftentimes end up downloading at least one or two "bad" apps that either lied about their functionality or were riddled with ads. These apps, while not as harmful as malware, can still be a major headache. This got me thinking about the other bad apps on the Play Store and how to avoid them.
Battery drain is a major pain point for Android users, though that promises to change thanks to Android Pie's new Adaptive Battery feature. But Google hasn't said much about the inner workings of this feature, only publicly stating that it uses AI to boost battery life. So we dug in to find out what's really going on under the hood.
Although the Essential PH-1 got off to a rocky start, thanks to steady updates, it has slowly become one of the best Android phones to come out in recent years. For $499, the Essential Phone is a cheaper Pixel, receiving updates almost as soon as the Pixel lineup does. What's more, you get a phone with an easily unlockable bootloader, which is the first step to rooting.
While Android does allow apps to use picture-in-picture mode (PiP), only a handful of apps actually support the feature. Most of the apps that do are video apps. The thing is, PiP is useful for more than just watching videos, and the Galaxy Note 9 has included a way to allow any app to offer a similar feature, video or not.
With the Galaxy Note 9's 6.4-inch AMOLED display, split screen is far more useful since each half of the screen is relatively large. The problem is that there are some noticeable omissions in the list of apps which support the feature. However, Samsung offers a fix for this.
Android does a great job at multitasking. Split-screen mode and picture-in-picture are terrific at letting you manage more than one app at a time. But there are some limitations. For instance, when you're playing a video and you open a second video in split-screen, the first one pauses. Thankfully, Samsung has a fix for this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just because Developer Options is hidden by default doesn't mean you shouldn't unlock it. While for rooters its benefit are obvious, even for the average user it opens the door for tools which enhance your experience. From animation speed to improving gaming graphics, Developer Options has something for everyone.
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.
Xiaomi made a new phone with their sights set on picking up some ex OnePlus users. As a result, the Pocophone F1, or just Poco in some markets, is quite unlike most other Xiaomi phones. While you can't buy the F1 in stores in the US, you can get its home screen app on almost any phone right now.
Starting November 1, 2018, Google will require that all new apps and updates to existing apps target Android 8.0 Oreo or higher. This move means the developers behind many of your favorite apps are now scrambling to get their software modernized, while others are considering abandoning outdated apps altogether.