Android Features

How To: Root the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL & Install Magisk

Despite concerns with SafetyNet, Google actually cares about root. Every phone they sell has an unlockable bootloader, so you can toggle a setting and send a Fastboot command, then start flashing custom firmware right away. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL continue this tradition, and now they have an official root method.

News: What the Pixel 2's New IP67 Water-Resistance Rating Really Means

Not to be outdone by Apple and it's new line of flagship phones, Google has followed suit and finally announced the followup to their highly regarded Pixel line of handsets — the aptly named Pixel 2. Thankfully, the tech giant has also joined in on the trend towards more durable devices, and has engineered both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to have a rating of IP67 under the IEC standard 60529.

News: Samsung Rolling Out Galaxy S8 Oreo Beta 2

Just as we started running through the features packed into the Android Oreo beta for the Galaxy S8, Samsung has started pushing out the second beta to eligible devices. According to DroidVendor, the update is rolling out as build G955USQU1ZQK1 for the Galaxy S8 Plus. The rollout should arrive as an OTA for anyone that is currently running the first beta.

How To: Secretly Record Videos on Android

Past video recording apps we've covered made it easy to turn your Android device into a hidden spy camera, even allowing you to inconspicuously record videos using your volume buttons. While both are viable options that can secretly capture video, today we're going over an additional method that will let you both schedule recordings or discretely trigger them without anyone around you noticing a thing.

News: 27 Cool New Features & Changes in Android 8.0 Oreo

It's official — the newest version of Google's mobile operating system is called Android 8.0 Oreo, and it will soon start rolling out to Nexus and Pixel devices. This new version has plenty of changes in store, ranging from revamped looks to under-the-hood improvements, so there's tons of cool new stuff to explore.

Android Basics: How to Install ADB & Fastboot on Mac, Linux & Windows

ADB and Fastboot are probably the most important tools for any Android aficionado. They can do everything from backing up your device and changing your screen resolution to rooting your phone and opening it up to hundreds of tweaks and customizations. What's even better is that they can be downloaded and installed on any of the three major computer operating systems in just a few clicks.

How To: Disable Read Receipts & Send Fake Camera Pictures on Kik Messenger

Kik is an extremely popular messaging app, but it has a few annoying features that we all just sort of put up with. You can't turn off read receipts, nor can you hide when you're typing, and the photos you take with Kik's camera show up differently than ones you send from your gallery app. At least a couple of these features should be subject to change, but they aren't — well, not without some tinkering.

How To: 3 Ways to Unlock Your Samsung Galaxy S8 Faster — Without Using the Fingerprint Scanner

A great many S8 and S8+ users have undoubtedly spent quite a bit of time figuring out ways to unlock their new Galaxy in as few steps as possible. One of the most endearing features of previous Galaxy models was the ability to unlock the phone by pressing the home button and momentarily leaving your finger there for the sensor to do its job, almost instantaneously opening the device — all without having to pick up the phone.

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: Boot Your Galaxy S8 or S8+ into Recovery Mode or Download Mode

Samsung devices have two pre-boot menus that every Galaxy owner should know about: recovery mode and download mode. The recovery screen allows users to wipe cache files or perform a factory reset, which can help save the phone from a soft brick. Download mode, on the other hand, allows you to flash firmware files using utilities like Odin and Smart Switch, which can truly be a lifesaver.

How To: Most File Cleaners Are Trash — Here's Which Ones You Can Trust

Since the release of the T-Mobile G1, the Play Store has been flooded with apps that claim to improve performance by clearing cache and storage. These apps are typically useless, rarely providing more than a temporary fix which Android undoes immediately. As Android has continued to improve cache and storage management, such apps have become more trivial. However, there are few decent ones out there.

How To: Automatically Skip YouTube Ads on Android—Without Rooting

Over the years, YouTube ads have become more and more integrated with the videos themselves, which means traditional Android ad blockers can no longer block the ads without blocking the videos. It's gotten to the point where the only ways to get rid of the ads are to either subscribe to Google Play Music and YouTube Red, or go through the complicated process of installing the Xposed Framework.