How To: Make Your Android Phone Read Articles, Books, News, and Other Text Out Loud to You
For the avid multitasker, listening to audiobooks and podcasts is the ultimate way to passively absorb knowledge while performing other activities — but there are other options. You can turn any written text on your Android phone into speech that's read aloud to you, so there's virtually no limit on what you can soak up audibly from your headphones or speaker.
How To: Record a Personal Alarm Sound or Message to Wake Up Hearing Your Own Voice
You can wake up to ringtones, music from streaming services, or downloaded audio files when setting alarms in Google's Clock app for Android, but that's not all. The latest feature lets you turn your own voice into an alarm sound, saying whatever it is you need to say to wake you up.
How To: Get Android's Tablet-Only Taskbar on Your Smartphone for a Fresh Take on Multitasking
Android 12L and Android 13 have a taskbar just for tablets that lets you quickly open recent, suggested, or pinned apps and drag and drop apps into split-screen mode. While the taskbar is meant just for tablets and foldable devices, you can unlock this new feature for your Android smartphone with a bit of tinkering.
How To: Enable Spatial Audio on Your Pixel Smartphone for Surround Sound Everywhere You Go
The newest feature for Pixel smartphones puts a home theater in your pocket. Spatial Audio outputs sound that appears to come from in front of and behind you, adding a new level of immersion to your streaming video and music apps.
How To: Get Android 14's Predictive Back Gesture on Your Android 13 Phone Right Now
Android's back gesture, formerly the back button, has long been a blessing and a curse. While it gives us system-wide backward navigation, the action can sometimes be unpredictable. But Google may have a solution with its new predictive back gesture, which gives you an animated peek at where you're about to go next to help you decide on continuing or staying with the current view.
How To: Copy Text from Anywhere on Your Phone — Even if the App Blocks Text Selection
It's easy to copy text from webpages, messages, documents, and other views on your Android device — except when it isn't. Many apps block or prohibit text selection, forcing you to take screenshots or write out the whole excerpt manually. But you don't have to resort to those methods since there's a simple workaround to selecting and copying text from uncooperative apps.
How To: Create Home Screen Shortcuts to Almost Anything on Android — Videos, Music Playlists, Social Profiles, and More
If you're doing the same tasks on your Android phone repeatedly each day — like playing a specific playlist at the gym, viewing work documents, or watching your favorite music video — you can save some time by automating your routine, turning each task into a one-tap gesture on your home screen.
How To: Magically Add All the Right Emoji to Your Messages with Emojify, Gboard's New Emoji Generator
Emoji characters make messaging more fun, and Google has continuously added convenient and fun ways to insert playful symbols into your conversations using Gboard. After getting Emoji Kitchen in early 2020, we now have Emojify, a tool that automatically adds emoji to your message drafts.
How To: Cook Up Your Own Custom Emoji Stickers with Gboard for Android
Emoji characters give you a multitude of colorful characters to express yourself with on social media and within messages, and stickers give you even more symbols to play with. While Android and iOS both have a healthy arsenal of emoji and stickers, Android goes a step further for even more emoji madness.
How To: Nuke All Notifications for New Apps in Android 13 — Then Bring Them Back Again When Needed
One of Android's headlining strengths has always been how it handles notifications, and things have only improved with each new update. More recently, Android has improved notification permissions, so you'll have a choice of whether to receive notifications as soon as you first open an app. It's easy to permit or deny these permissions, but it's just as easy to reverse your decision.
How To: Block Third-Party Trackers in Android Apps from Spying on Your Activity and Selling Your Data
You may not realize it, but most of your apps include third-party tracking services that monitor your activity in other apps and websites to serve highly-targeted ads to you. But now you can stop the creepy behavior on an iPhone and Android phone.
How To: Use Your iPhone or Android Phone as a Remote Control for Android TV or Google TV
If you can't find the remote for your Android TV or Google TV, don't like using its voice control feature, are sick of using the directional pad to type, or can't get it to work at all, use your smartphone instead. Using your iPhone or Android phone as a virtual remote control can be more convenient, easier to use, and more helpful than the original remote, so it's definitely worth trying out.
How To: Get iOS 16's Emoji Wallpapers on Your Android Phone's Home or Lock Screen
Customization has always been the main draw of Android for me, but Apple has an impressive feature on iOS 16 that lets iPhone users create customized emoji wallpapers for their home and lock screens. While Android doesn't have something like that built-in by default, it's easy enough to make emoji wallpapers for your Android phone.
How To: Take Better Written Notes on Android Without Ever Typing a Thing
You don't need to pay for an app or subscription to have your audio notes transcribed for you on your Android smartphone. There's an easy, free way to do it on almost any Google Pixel, and you can even use it on other Android devices.
How To: Copy/Paste Between Android Devices and Chromebooks Quickly with Nearby Share
While I prefer Android in my personal life, I've had the opportunity to work in the Apple ecosystem. One of the coolest features I've come to rely on is AirDrop, which makes it easy to beam content from mobile devices to desktops and vice versa. Thankfully, Android now has an equivalent.
How To: Android Lets You Set Different Languages Per App for a Truly Multilingual Experience — Here's How It Works
If you've ever wanted or needed to use an app in a different language than your phone's primary language, your Android phone now makes it a simple process.
How To: Create a Shortcut to Google's Password Manager on Your Android Phone for Faster Access to All Your Credentials
Everyone should know that assigning complex passwords to sensitive digital accounts is the best practice for protecting yourself against hacking. Those who adhere to password creation best practices also know that keeping up with passwords for every account is nigh impossible, even when using passphrases. This is why using a password manager is highly recommended.
How To: Shazam Songs with Blazing Fast Speed Straight from Android's Quick Settings Panel
While you can use Google Assistant on your Android phone to identify songs playing around you, you may still prefer Shazam's music recognition service, which has been available on Android since 2008 — a full nine years before Google Assistant's audio-fingerprinting technology. If that's the case, it's even easier now to Shazam songs in seconds, no matter what screen you're on.
How To: Watch Apple TV+ on Any Android Phone or Tablet
With the prestige appeal of its original programming and relatively low subscription price, Apple TV+ is one of the more appealing streaming options out there — and you don't need an Apple device to subscribe and watch movies, TV shows, sports, and other Apple TV+ content.
How To: 19 Harry Potter Spells Your Android Phone Can Cast Using Google Assistant
Apple's Siri is well-versed in the spells of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it's not like Android users are Muggles. Google Assistant, Android's virtual concierge, can cast a few spells out of the box, and it can learn the spells it doesn't know quicker than a year of studying at Hogwarts.
How To: Get iPhone's Dynamic Island on Your Android Phone for Quick Access to Notifications, Alerts, and Activities
Apple's Dynamic Island is an animated, interactive isle surrounding the front-facing camera on the iPhone 14 Pro series. It's a small capsule when nothing is going on but fluidly stretches across the screen for notifications, alerts, and ongoing activities like music, timers, and directions. It can even expand with controls and more information. And now, you can get Dynamic Island on your Android phone.
How To: These Auto-Redial Apps Can Call Busy Phone Lines Over and Over Again Until You Get Through
Some phone lines make it nearly impossible to get past the busy tone, whether it's a viral call-in giveaway, your state's unemployment office, your local post office during the holidays, or the repair office for a broken warrantied product you have. Thankfully, there are apps you can use to help break through the noise.
How To: Use One-Handed Mode on Pixels and Other Android 12 Phones to Reach the Top of the Screen More Easily
For some time now, Samsung, LG, and other smartphone manufacturers have had one-handed modes that let you reach on-screen content with your thumb that would otherwise be unreachable without another hand or uncomfortable grip. Google has finally caught up in Android 12 with its own version for Pixel phones.
How To: Your Android Phone May Be Spying on You — Here's How to Tell and Take Control
Is your smartphone eavesdropping on you? It's a question that will never go away because it's easy to envision hackers or malicious apps taking over your device to spy on conversations, snap photos, or even record video. But fewer people will be asking it, thanks to Android 12, which has a new privacy feature that visually warns you of possible invasive surveillance.
How To: Pair Sony's DualSense Controller to Your Android Phone Over Bluetooth or USB Cable
Gaming on smartphones has grown considerably since the days of The Impossible Game and original Temple Run. Mobile games can be just as in-depth as console and PC video games, but some of those require external controllers for the best gameplay possible. One controller you can use is the PlayStation 5's DualSense wireless controller, and it pairs nicely with most Android devices.'
How To: Pair a DualSense Controller to PS Remote Play on Your Android Phone to Play Your PS5 Games from Anywhere
If you have a PlayStation 5 and an Android phone running Android 12, you can stream and play your PS5 games right from your mobile device using PS Remote Play. While simply pairing your PS5's DualSense wireless controller with your phone will give you the basic controls to play third-party games, Remote Play takes a little bit more work to set up.
How To: Unlock Android 12's Game Dashboard for Easy Screen Recordings, Screenshots, and Live Streaming in Any Game
Android 12 comes with new features and upgrades that any mobile gamer can appreciate, including Instant Play, which lets you play games instantly without downloading them first. Even better, there's Game Dashboard, which adds shortcuts for screenshots, screen recordings, and more in whatever game you play. The only problems are that it's not enabled by default, and it's a little hard to find.
How To: Netflix Games Coming to Android Tomorrow — But You Can Play Its Games Right Now
You're caught up on "Squid Games," and you've rewatched "Seinfeld" for the umpteenth time. You're looking forward to the next season of "Stranger Things," but it isn't out yet. Why not play Stranger Things on Netflix instead?
How To: Take Scrolling Screenshots in Android 12 for Long Captures of Apps, Documents, Webpages, and More
It was a long time coming, but Android finally has built-in scrolling screenshots, and they come courtesy of Android 12.
How To: Unlock Themed Icons on Android 12 for Colors That Dynamically Shift with Your Wallpaper
Google's new Material You theming engine in Android 12 adds a personal touch to your user interface. The main colors of your wallpaper dynamically affect the colors in menus and apps, essentially putting you in control of the overall theme. But there's another new design element for app icons that's hiding in your settings.
How To: Unlock Android 12's Developer Options on Your Pixel for Powerful Hidden Tools Anyone Can Use
When you start up your new Google Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, one of the first things you should do is unlock the hidden "Developer options" menu. Don't let the word "developer" scare you because there are little-known features in this secret Android 12 menu that every Android user can enjoy.
How To: Android 12's Upgraded Search Gives You Quick Access to Contacts, App Shortcuts, Phone Settings, and More
The new Material You theme engine with its fancy widgets is a sexy change for Android, but there's another new Android 12 feature that's more than just pretty colors and curves.
Android 12 Phones: Complete Up-to-Date List of Devices That Support or Will Support Android 12
Android 12 was released to the Google Pixel devices on Oct. 19, 2021, so anyone with a Pixel 3 or newer model can install the new operating system with an over-the-air update. The AOSP version of Android 12 was released a few weeks earlier on Oct. 4, so OEMs could use or modify the source code on their smartphones. So, what devices have or will have Android 12 then?
How To: Check Your Android Security Patch Level to See if You're Protected Against the Latest Vulnerabilities
Numerous potential exploits are found for every operating system each month, and Android is no exception. Trouble is, lots of Android devices don't receive timely updates — but many are now getting regular monthly security patches to at least shore up these vulnerabilities.
How To: Scan Your Saved Passwords in Chrome to Find & Replace Compromised Login Info
If you save your passwords in Chrome or even just use Android's default password manager, Google has some new security tools you'll be interested in.
How To: Disable the Startup Sound on Any Android Phone
Android's open source nature means it gets modified quite a bit. First, the phone manufacturer will add their customizations, then your carrier will add even more on top of that. Between the two, someone almost always adds a startup sound so that you and everyone around you will hear their jingle every time your phone reboots.
How To: Switch Between Bluetooth Accessories in 1 Tap on Android
Back in Android 9, Google took away the expanding mini-menu for Bluetooth connections. The way it used to be, you could long-press the Bluetooth toggle in your Quick Settings, then the panel would turn into a fast-access menu for Bluetooth settings. It was a fairly minor feature, but dropping it has made it a lot harder to switch between your various Bluetooth accessories.
How To: Delete the T-Mobile App from Any Android Phone — No Computer Needed
If you buy an Android phone from any of the big US carriers, it will come with several extra apps in addition to any apps the manufacturer preinstalled. It's all in the name of profit, of course. Some of these apps are from companies that paid the carriers to distribute their software, and some are from the carriers themselves, usually aimed at upselling you or perhaps collecting a little data.
How To: Have You Pressed This Little Button in Your Galaxy's Volume Panel Yet?
With Samsung's One UI 3.0 update, the main on-screen volume slider has a little menu button on the top of it. Tapping this will expand the slider into a full-blown volume panel, complete with controls for all of the various types of sounds your Galaxy might make. Standard stuff, really, but there's more to it.
How To: Download Reddit Videos on Android
Reddit has been pushing for more first-party content over the last couple years. So instead of just being a place to submit links, you can now upload photos and videos directly to Reddit's servers. But unlike Imgur, Gfycat, and other popular file hosts, Reddit doesn't give you an easy way to download videos.