Android Features

How To: Bypass T-Mobile's Tethering Limit for Free

T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" initiative has done wonders for my wallet and my data usage. Before I had to deal with being throttled down to 2G speeds after passing my data limit, but thanks to their unlimited data plans, I'm free to use as much LTE data as I possibly can. The only downside is, when sharing data through a mobile hotspot (tethering), T-Mobile imposes a 5 GB limit (which was recently upped to 7 GB for some).

How To: Remove the Black Bar Under Your Galaxy's Keyboard

Back when Android used navigation buttons, there was a large black bar at the bottom of every screen to house the back, home, and recent apps buttons. But after switching to full-screen navigation gestures in 2019, there was no longer a need for it — however, a vestigial black bar still shows up when you're using your keyboard.

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: 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: Completely Change the Status Bar on Any Android Without Rooting

Despite Android's flexibility in regards to customization, the options available in stock Android are pretty barebones. It is only with the help of third-party apps that we can entirely transform sections of the UI to our liking. And thanks to a new app, we can modify another part of the OS, the status bar.

How To: Edit Android's Share Menu — No Root Needed

Android's share intents system is great in theory, but the execution can sometimes be frustrating. When you tap the "Share" button next to a link, app, or file, you see a list of apps you can share that item with. But it seems like every time you use this function, the list of apps is in a different order — especially when it comes to the Direct Share targets at the top.

How To: Make Samsung's App Drawer Loop Back Around Endlessly

By default, the One UI launcher on Galaxy phones makes you scroll all the way back to the left when you hit the end of your app list. Luckily, Samsung has its own solution to help fix this problem if it annoys you. Save yourself a bunch of extra swipes and read on to learn more.

How To: Set a Different Ringtone for Individual Contacts So You Know When Someone Important Is Calling

Have you ever walked around in public and heard the same handful of default ringtones over and over again? How do these people know who's calling without looking first? It's tough to tell when they all sound the same, but there is something crafty you can do to help with that. Using a different ringtone for certain contacts will allow you to differentiate between them instantly.

News: Always-Updated List of Carriers That Support RCS Universal Profile

In November 2016, the RCS Universal Profile (Rich Communications Services) was introduced. The technology takes text messaging to the 21st century, emulating many of the features found in IM apps like WhatsApp and iMessage, but working through your phone number like regular SMS or MMS. The only thing is, your carrier needs to support RCS-UP to use the feature. Thankfully, the list is growing.

How To: Enable NetGuard's Hidden Ad-Blocking Feature on Your 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.

How To: Root Apps Not Working with Magisk? Here's What to Do

It's the icing on top of your cake (or whipped cream on top of your Android Pie) of despair. You may have not had the easiest time rooting your device, but you feel like you overcame all of the obstacles. Only now to discover that those very apps and mods you were rooting for still won't work — and the signs point to a lack of root access. Don't lose hope, because we have some tricks up our sleeve.

How To: Quickly Find Your Google Pixel Buds if They Get Lost or Stolen

One thing about the small round little Pixel Buds — they might get lost easily if you have a terrible habit of misplacing stuff. Or worse, imagine someone taking a liking to them a little too much and stealing them when you aren't looking. Google thought ahead about these issues, so just like your smartphone, you can track your wireless earbuds from anywhere with ease.

How To: Make Any App Work with OnePlus' Parallel Apps Feature

OnePlus offers a variety of features that you don't get with some other Android phones. Parallel Apps is one of those standout extras you didn't know you might enjoy until you've tried it. It allows you to clone compatible apps installed on your device, which means you can use the same app with two different accounts, for example.

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: Enable Call Recording on Your OnePlus Device in the Stock Phone App

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.

How To: Get the Pixel's Google Camera App on Your Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra

Samsung put some of the industry's most advanced camera tech in the Galaxy S20 series. However, their image processing still lags behind the Google Camera app found on Pixel phones, so the end result is good but not great. Luckily, you can install a mod to pair that beastly hardware with arguably the best camera software.

How To: Fix Screen Burn-In on Your Galaxy S8 (& Prevent It from Happening Again)

Everyone's been talking about Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+, but not all of the chatter is positive. The fingerprint scanner is in an awkward location, the North American variant is simply not as smooth and fluid as the international model, and Samsung Experience is nothing more than TouchWiz with a bow on it. But perhaps worst of all, user reports are starting to roll in that indicate the Galaxy S8 may have a serious problem with premature screen burn-in.