A few months ago, LlabTooFeR leaked a full system dump from Google's then-unreleased Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. That may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but the system dump contained all of the preinstalled apps and services from Google's new flagships—including the much-anticipated Google Assistant.
It would be an understatement to say that Supercell hit it big with Clash of Clans. The game has topped both Google Play and the iOS App Store for years and shows no signs of ever slowing down.
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.
Many game developers have finally realized that in order for their games to be successful, they have to support Android. To really win Android users over, they should also accommodate us hardcore gamers who have OTG cables with the ability to hook up controllers to our devices.
Why unlock your Samsung Galaxy S3 to use with a different SIM card? One possible reason is that you love your phone, but not your cellular provider because of the poor service or an unreliable connection. If you purchased a Samsung GS3 with AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. on a contract, it might be locked for a specific amount of time called the contract period.
Editing a video by trimming or adding audio is fairly simple on Galaxy devices, but if you want to include other clips or transition animations and really get those creative juices flowing, you might find the standard editing tools limited—unless you know how to unlock Samsung's hidden video editor.
Google Maps beta version 9.49 now allows users to manually save their parking location, and includes weather forecasts in mass transit, according to Android Police. There's also a notification toggle for mass transit station notifications.
Whether I'm in my car or making dinner, I always have music playing. And since I don't like to keep my headphones on me at all times, I end up using my Android's built-in speakers a good portion of the time.
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 Police reported that the upcoming Nexus phones would be getting an exclusive launcher this year, dubbed the "Nexus Launcher." This rumored home screen app was said to feature Google Now integration, a swipe-up app drawer gesture, and a few other finishing touches.
The buttons on most Android devices are laid out (from left to right) in a Back, Home, Recent Apps format. Samsung is the lone exception to this rule, which flip-flops them, so this can make for an inconsistent experience if you own multiple Android devices.
Unless you're in law enforcement, you won't usually have a flashlight on hand for those rare moments when you need to sift through the dark. However, it is very likely that you will have your phone on you, so you'll have fast access to a bright light with just a few easy taps.
Android smartphones have all sorts of connectivity chips built in, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, and mobile data. But what about AM or FM radio, two of the most common methods of wireless communication?
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).
Among the many changes in Android 7.0 Nougat, a less talked-about feature may very well be one of the most interesting. As part of a new system-wide API, apps can now create their own Quick Settings tiles, and it doesn't require any complicated workarounds like it has in versions past.
One of the most feature-packed camera suites out there resides on the Sony Xperia Z2. Along with the regular camera and video modes, it comes with Motiongraph, AR Effect, and Social Live.
Starting a few months back, you might have noticed that some text messages you received from certain friends or family members had blank or missing characters. This was because Apple included all of the new Unicode 8.0 emojis in an update to their iPhones, but Android devices didn't have some of these just yet, so they weren't capable of displaying them.
Most mobile games have moved to an online-only format, meaning you need to be connected to the Internet in order to get any kind of multiplayer action going. This is great when you're at home on Wi-Fi, but when you're out and about, slow and inconsistent data speeds can cause serious lag. Or worse yet, you may be nearing your monthly data cap!
Okay, so that headline definitely got your attention, but what the hell do cats have to do with Android Nougat? Well, apparently, Google's on a far-out trip reminiscent of the post-India Beatles era, because this is actually a thing.
UPDATE 11/17/15 The Xposed Framework now officially supports Android 5.1 through 5.1.1 Lollipop devices as well. Everything will still work the way it has with Android 5.0 through 5.0.2, but there are a separate set of files for the newer Android version. I'll cover both below, but make sure to download the proper file for your particular version of Android.
When it comes to app permissions, Android takes an "all or nothing" approach. You have no granular control over what data apps can access, so the only way to prevent an app from seeing your location or starting up on boot, for instance, is to not install the app in the first place.
Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have had root methods available to them before the phones were even released, but the problem with these existing root methods is that they would trip the KNOX counter on your device.
Android's flexible operating system allows for lots of customization, and one of the most common ways to add personal flair to your smartphone is to set your own ringtones and notification sounds.
There are several reasons that you might want to restore the factory firmware on your device—maybe you need to send your phone back for warranty purposes, or perhaps you're getting ready to accept an over-the-air update and need to unroot first. In some cases, reverting to the stock firmware can even resurrect a soft-bricked phone.
In case you didn't know, Android has an awesome hidden settings menu called "Developer options" that contains a lot of advanced and unique features. If you've ever come across this menu before, chances are you just dipped in for a minute so that you could enable USB debugging and use ADB features.
Once you unlock your bootloader and root, you're left with one more hurdle to overcome, and that's getting S-Off.
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.
If you've ever owned an HTC device or anything in the Nexus line, odds are, you have typed the word "fastboot" into your command line at one time or another. That said, odds are, you have only just barely scratched the surface of what this handy little Android tool can do. Let's take a deeper look.
You need a good microphone on your computer in order to make audio recordings, voice chat, or use speech recognition. However, not every computer comes with a built-in mic, and not every built-in mic works great.
Depending on who you ask, internet connectivity should be a basic human right. With Google recently embarking on a project to provide internet capabilities to remote corners of the world using balloons and satellites while Facebook attempts to do the same with unmanned drones, the concept of free web access is steadily gaining steam.
Samsung's 2016 flagship devices are some of the most beautiful, powerful smartphones ever made. And amazingly enough, thanks to legendary root developer Chainfire, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are about to get even more powerful.
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.
When the Galaxy S6 hype-train was building momentum ahead of the phone's release, many reports had Samsung cutting back on its much-maligned TouchWiz skin. In the end, these reports were either highly exaggerated or entirely fabricated, because while not as egregious as previous devices, Samsung's signature bloated UI and duplicate apps are definitely present on the Galaxy S6.
There are a ton of options available to Android users when it come to messaging, but the problem is that with all of these options, where is the go-to app? The one used by most people? The one that can offer a more unified approach?
While LG G3 users have been patiently waiting, developer the cubed and his Codefire team have been diligently working on a successful unlock method for the heavily locked-down bootloader. Now it's finally here, and the unlocking method is extremely easy to do—and it works for all G3 variants.
Even with the highest-tiered data plan available, there are times that your phone or your carrier might downgrade your connection to 3G or even lower. This usually occurs when you've made a phone call, or you've switched cell towers while traveling.
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.
Taste is certainly relative. When you look at Central American architecture and notice all of the bright pastel colors, then move just a thousand or so miles to the north and see that buildings in the United States are mostly painted in earth tones, this becomes abundantly clear. Imagine if you were to switch hemispheres altogether—what would you see in East Asia?
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.
If you're looking into rooting your device yourself, you're going to need ADB and Fastboot on your computer.