How To: The Ultimate Guide to Using TWRP: The Only Custom Recovery You'll Ever Need

Just the fact that you own an Android device means you're privy to an entire world of third-party development. Many of the mods you'll see here on Gadget Hacks can be performed fresh out of the box, but with root and Xposed, the list grows longer. But to truly be able to take advantage of all that Android's massive development community has to offer, you'll need to have a custom recovery installed.

How To: Fix Titanium Backup & Substratum Problems Caused by the Latest Google Play Services Update

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.

How To: Use Your Android as a Streaming Wi-Fi Camera

Not too long ago I showcased ReCam, a free app that lets you schedule recordings and use your Android device as a security or spy camera of sorts. While useful, this app required you to schedule when to record in advance, resulting in you possibly missing the footage you intended to record (assuming your scheduling wasn't as on-point as you wished).

How To: Get Rid of Google Assistant on Your Android Device & Switch Back to Google Now

Now that Google Assistant is coming to all devices running Android Marshmallow or higher, roughly one out of every three Android users will no longer be able to access the old Google Now interface. The Assistant, which was previously exclusive to Pixel devices, takes over your home button long-press gesture and completely replaces all of the old Google voice search functionality.

How To: Get the Pixel's Navigation Buttons & Google Assistant Animation on Your Nexus

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have an exclusive set of navigation buttons that you can't get on any other device without some tinkering. But aside from just being solid, filled-in shapes, the real treat in the Pixel's nav bar is the Google Assistant animation that gets activated by long-pressing the home button. The four colored dots that animate outward give you some visual feedback for triggering the Assistant, but really, it's just a nice little touch.

How To: Download YouTube Audio or Video from Your Android

YouTube won't let you play videos in the background on Android without paying for YouTube Red, so if it's your primary source for streaming music, and you don't want to shell out $9.99/month, you'll just have to take matters into your own hands. The simplest solution to this problem would be to download MP3s straight from YouTube for offline playback, but in the past, this hasn't exactly been easy on a mobile device.

Android Basics: How to Root with CF Auto Root

The sheer variety of Android devices on the market is staggering—one report suggests there are well over 24,000 distinct phones and tablets floating around out there. When you consider that each manufacturer adds a few tweaks to the Android code base here and there, that makes for a lot of software variations, which in turn means there needs to be many different root methods to match this variety.