When you're an audiophile, managing music is a labor of love. Metadata, like artist names, album thumbnails, and genres, is attached to many digital audio files, though some of the songs in your library might not have such tags, and others may have missing or incorrect information.
Android O has finally arrived—well, it's technically a beta version, but that isn't stopping Android enthusiasts from going crazy about it. The first Developer Preview was released earlier today and is available right now to install on Nexus and Pixel devices. While Android O doesn't have an official name or Android number yet (we're betting on "Android Oreo"), Google has released a feature list and a blog post explaining almost all of the new changes and features.
A new feature in Android Nougat lets you add your own custom tiles to the Quick Settings panel. This menu, which can be accessed by swiping down from the top of any screen, lets you quickly adjust settings and toggle system features on and off. So now that it's been opened up for third-party development, we're starting to see all sorts of cool and useful tiles roll in.
If you're one who likes to tinker with Android, TWRP is the first thing you should install. It replaces your phone's stock recovery mode interface and adds over a dozen advanced features to your device—most notably, the ability to flash ZIPs that can modify practically every aspect of your operating system. It's certainly one of the most powerful tools available for Android, and there's simply nothing capable of replacing it.
The '90s were a great decade to be alive. Before the internet became a high-availability service, we were untethered from the bombardment of media present in today's culture. Children ran through the streets with levels of physical exertion beyond what's required to capture fictional creatures found in Pokémon GO. However, there were some video game consoles that kept kids indoors, such as the Game Boy, SNES, and more importantly—the first ever PlayStation.
Unlike some of the popular app lockers out there, a new app called PrivateMe completely erases apps, files, and their associated footprints from your smartphone. Think of PrivateMe as a micro-OS within your smartphone's system. This miniature ecosystem can operate copied apps independently, thus giving it an unprecedented layer of privacy and freedom within your handset.
The latest Google Play Services update has somehow broken major functionality in both Titanium Backup and Substratum. Titanium Backup has suddenly become stuck at zero percent while restoring, and Substratum simply fails to apply themes anymore. Both of these apps do require root, but they've slowly become essential to rooted users, especially since apps like these come into play when you're deciding what your next phone should be.
Android has several features built into the platform that improve user experience but require extra attention to prevent a security breach. By modifying these settings, you can drastically reduce the possibility of someone exploiting your device or intercepting information.
Just days after the first Android O preview build was released, the development community has already started bringing some of the exclusive features over to older Android versions. For instance, the Pixel Launcher received an update in Android O, and developer linuxct quickly ported the new version to work on devices running Marshmallow or higher, and even managed to do so without requiring root.
Making a NANDroid backup can save you from all sorts of flashing-related mishaps and accidents. Bootloops, SystemUI crashes, accidental wipes, bad ZIPs, or a dozen other possibilities—there's almost no condition in which a NANDroid is unable to correct problems with your device. However, recent changes to Android have created an almost paradoxical situation where restoring a NANDroid can actually lock you out of your phone.
Xiaomi phones run a skinned version of Android known as MIUI, which, over the years, has been a popular custom ROM. One of the standout features Xiaomi has added to the mix is something called Quick Ball, which lets you navigate your phone by swiping inward from a small circle that resides on the edge of your screen.
One of the biggest hurdles for making touchscreen text input easy on the user has been finding a simple way to move the cursor around. With all the advancements in mobile technology, we're still left fumbling around with tiny arrow indicators or magnifying glasses when we need to add a letter to a word we've already typed. But thankfully, developer Ouadban Youssef has found a better way.
ViPER4Android is a revolutionary audio equalizer for Android, something that I personally can't live without. That's the reason why porting V4A to the LG V20 was the first thing I did when I got the phone. There are two variants of ViPER4Android: FX and XHiFi. XHiFi is an older version which isn't developed anymore, but has amazing audio reconstruction capabilities. FX, on the other hand, has at least three times as many options and features as XHiFi without the audio reconstruction.
Over a billion people use WhatsApp, which makes it the most popular standalone messaging service out there. But if you're one of the many people whose group of friends relies on WhatsApp for all communication, chances are, you have several years-long messaging threads with all sorts of random pictures and GIFs cluttering up the place.
Anybody who was around in the '80s and '90s associates Sony with music still to this day, thanks to their wildly successful Walkman brand. And that's not even mentioning their major label record company. Indeed, the Tokyo-based electronics maker/media conglomerate has music embedded in its DNA, and that's certainly noticeable in the stock Music app included with their Xperia phones.
Bitcoin continues to make chaotic waves in the finance industry, with one bitcoin currently worth about $1,250 as of this writing. What's great about bitcoin is that you don't need to shell out rent money to get in the game, because bitcoins can be bought in increments—basically, whatever you can afford.
The LG V20 was released in the fourth quarter of 2016 as a flagship phone with audio capabilities far superior to that of anything else on the market—but only if you have your headphones connected. The single bottom-firing speaker, on the other hand, is just unpleasant to listen to. At first, it was believed there was a software issue with the speaker. However, it turned out to be an issue with the speaker grille impeding sound.
Amid all of the rumors swirling around their upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship, Samsung quietly uploaded one of their core TouchWiz apps to the Google Play Store. Samsung Internet, as it's called, has come preinstalled on all Galaxy devices for years now, but you can now try the browser on almost any Android phone.
NetGuard is a well-established app known for its highly secure firewall, which blocks unwanted web activity from individual apps that can take up both precious bandwidth and battery life. Not quite as well known, however, is the fact there's a second official version of NetGuard that comes with a hidden ad-blocking feature, which can be activated with just a little tinkering in the app's settings menu.
When it comes to ad blocking on Android, there's no better app than AdAway. The popular root mod filters out ads at the hosts file level, so no extra processing power is used, and your phone is literally incapable of loading most ads.
The LG V20 is a true audiophile's phone when it comes to playing music through headphones, but it only has a single bottom-firing mono speaker. So even though the V20 has received plenty of praise for its overall audio experience, that single built-in speaker ruins the fun by putting out some shoddy and cheap-sounding audio.
If you're a parent of a toddler, you occasionally need to take a break just to preserve your mental health. The perfect way to buy yourself some "me time" in this scenario would be to pull up an episode of Dora the Explorer on Netflix or YouTube, then hand your phone or tablet over to your child and try your best to relax while they're occupied.
The LG V20 went on sale on September 29, 2016, and is the second flagship phone in the V series to be released by LG. Both the V20 and its predecessor, the V10, have been audio-oriented phones from the start, but the V20 has a much nicer Hi-Fi Quad 32-Bit DAC, which makes the output audio from the 3.5 mm headphone jack sound amazing. It's loud, it's crisp, it's full, and everything from the higher frequencies to the lower ones can be heard.
Cinemagraphs are basically artistic photos that have been turned into a GIF to showcase a bit of subtle motion and give them life. Unlike regular GIFs, which can sometimes loop with a jarring cut at the end, cinemagraphs give the illusion of perpetual motion, like water drops off a flower's petal or clouds moving over a scenic sky.
If you have stuck volume buttons, it can be a real pain to adjust sound levels since your only other option is to use the volume menu in Settings. But even if your volume rocker is working fine, it's still a little weird to have to click a mechanical button to control one of the most central aspects of an operating system that is otherwise entirely touch-based.
The internet's an amazing place. The entirety of human knowledge is now accessible in an instant, and all sorts of media can be streamed directly to the palm of your hand. But, of course, that also includes the darker side of humanity, so there's plenty of NSFW content floating around out there that's certainly not suitable for children.
If you have the Xposed Framework installed, there's a module that lets you enable background playback in Android's YouTube app without buying a YouTube Red subscription. But Xposed is not available on many devices—particularly those running Android Nougat—so this isn't an option for everyone.
There's a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to the best habits for charging a smartphone's battery, so let's clear some of that up right off the bat. Lithium ion batteries (the type used in most modern electronics) start to lose their ability to hold a charge over time, and the two biggest factors that contribute to this are excess heat and overcharging.
If you're ever in a major accident or have a bout with acute onset health problems, first responders will need to know as much information about you in order to provide proper care. For this reason, paramedics and firemen have been trained to search a subject's cell phone to find ICE (in case of emergency) contacts that know your allergies, blood type, and other vital details.
Android is Google's project, so of course you can see the search giant's fingerprints all over the operating system. Aside from the obvious user-facing apps, there's Google Cloud Messaging, Google Connectivity Services, and the much-maligned Google Play Services running in the background, to name a few.
If your phone has an AMOLED display, it doesn't waste any battery to power black portions of the screen. This is because the individual pixels that make up an AMOLED screen emit their own light, which means the backlight you'd find behind a traditional LCD screen is not present. In other words, showing a full-screen black image on an AMOLED phone is like turning your display completely off.
The Pixel and Pixel XL both use AMOLED screens, which are noted for their deeper blacks and sharper contrast ratios when compared to traditional LCD panels. However, AMOLED displays still have one fairly major downside, and that's the fact that they're vulnerable to screen burn-in.
Google's own devices have always been the first to get new Android features—but unlike the Nexus series, this year's Pixel phones have a handful of exclusive tweaks that were never intended to trickle down to other devices once the newer Android version rolled out to them. These Pixel exclusives include the Google Assistant, a new launcher, and, of course, a unique set of on-screen navigation buttons.
Now that Android Nougat lets you add your own custom Quick Settings tiles, your pull-down menu is probably getting a lot more crowded than it used to be, with all sorts of new and useful toggles. But the trouble is, you can only add up to nine entries before your Quick Settings tiles spill over into a second pane that you have to access by swiping, and that's not exactly "quick."
Android is a highly customizable operating system. Sometimes, we use these capabilities to add core functionality or streamline the user experience, but there are other times when customization is just about having fun and making your smartphone's interface more enjoyable.
Considering that Google makes Android, it's rather strange that the operating system doesn't have a baked-in solution for doing a reverse image search. Sure, you can long-press pictures in Chrome to search for other instances of a photo, but it's not possible with pictures you find in other apps, or photos you've downloaded to your phone.
Almost every Android device comes with a Google search bar embedded directly into its stock home screen app. But Google search is available in so many different places on Android that having this bar in your launcher is almost overkill. On top of that, Google recently changed the logo overlay to a more colorful one that may clash with your home screen theme, so there's plenty of reasons to dislike this feature.
If you have a long commute, it only makes sense to catch a bit of shuteye while you're headed to work on the train or bus. The only problem with this is that, if you're napping a little too hard, you might end up oversleeping and missing your stop when the subway pulls into your station.
How To: Get CyanogenMod's 'Caffeine' Feature to Keep Your Screen Awake Longer at the Press of a Button
Sometimes it's the smallest feature in your smartphone that makes the biggest difference in user experience. Take screen timeout, for instance. You can probably think of plenty of times when your handset's display blacked out while you were in the middle of something. You could have been cooking with a recipe on the screen or looking at chords while you learned a new riff on your guitar.
Nintendo's first ever game for Android has finally touched down (unless you actually count the abomination that is Miitomo). Fire Emblem Heroes, a classic turn-based RPG optimized for mobile gaming, has come out for Android and iOS in Australia, Europe, and Japan, and is due out in North America and other worldwide locales very soon. Due to Nintendo's staggered release, the game isn't available to us in the United States at the time of this writing, but fret not—there's another way to downloa...