Firefox Focus is Mozilla's effort to make your internet experience a little more secure. Originally released in November 2016 for iOS, Focus blocks internet trackers, search history, anything that gets in the way of a clean, private browsing experience.
If you've ever rooted an Android device in the past or installed a custom recovery, you're surely familiar with the term "unlocked bootloader." But if all of this sounds like gibberish to you, some major changes in Android have made it to where you should definitely get familiar with the concepts.
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.
It just keeps getting harder to enjoy all of the benefits of root without sacrificing features. Thanks to SafetyNet, we've lost the ability to use Android Pay, Pokémon GO, and even Snapchat to an extent. But the most recent news on this front is perhaps worst of all: Netflix has already stopped showing up on the Play Store for rooted users, and soon, it may refuse to run even if you've sideloaded the app.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With so much Flash content still available on the web, it's unfortunate that Google no longer supports mobile Flash Player on Android. Loading a webpage only to be met with a "Plug-in Error" is never fun, and it can inhibit your mobile browsing experience as you attempt to watch a video or play an addicting Flash game.
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.
YouTube is a great place for all your mainstream audio and video needs. But you can't simply plug in your headphones, choose a playlist, and put your phone back in your pocket without subscribing to YouTube Red, which costs $9.99/month for ad-free and background playback. If you can't afford that for just background playback, there are other ways.
When you have some form of lock screen security enabled, Android makes sure that you don't have to fumble around to enter your pattern, PIN, or password before you can call 911 in an emergency. It does this by adding an "Emergency Call" button to the bottom of the screen—but as handy as this may sound, most of the time it's more trouble than it's worth.
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.
When someone asks me why they should root their phone, one of the top reasons I always give is that it enables you to install the Xposed Framework. Created by developer Rovo89, Xposed basically hooks into the Android system, then allows users to simply install mini-apps called modules that can change almost anything in a device's interface or other installed apps.
One of the few areas where Android lags behind iOS is a comprehensive backup solution for apps. Root tools, such as the popular Titanium Backup, are capable of backing up all of your apps and their data, but not everyone wants to root their device and potentially run into issues with voided warranties.
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.
Because of Android's new SafetyNet system, certain apps can now block rooted users or prevent you from accessing them altogether — but at least for now, there are still ways around these restrictions.
According to a study done by internet provider Tencent, a whopping 27.44% of Android users root their phones. With over 1.4 billion Android devices out there, that works out to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 million rooted phones and tablets. In other words, there may very well be more rooted Android devices than there are Americans, so root nation is an important demographic that deserves being catered to.
If you're a fan of sleek, powerful computers and highly-customizable smartphones, then you probably own a Mac and an Android device. But the downside to this glorious hardware pairing is that it can be hard to get the software on the two devices to play nice together.
When Google added new security measures to Android Marshmallow, it had a lasting impact on the entire process of rooting. These measures prevent the the Superuser daemon (the process that handles requests for root access) from getting the permissions it needs to do its job at boot. In order to get around these issues, Chainfire created the systemless root method.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ might not have made it into the hands of the public yet, but we sure have come across a lot of the stock apps from Samsung's latest flagship phones. First, there was the new launcher, then Hello Bixby, and now, the extremely elusive Record Screen feature has been leaked.
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.
Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S4 so you can use a different SIM card isn't the easiest thing in the world. In the states, unlocking cell phones was actually illegal, despite the White House's disapproval, though, a recent bill has making its way to the House floor and has made it legal again.
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.
The first time a friend or family member asks if they can borrow your phone or tablet, you probably just hand it over without a second thought. But the second, third, and fourth times? Now it's starting to become a habit, and something probably needs to be done about it.
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.
Google worked with design agency B-Reel to create some unique wallpapers for its Pixel and Pixel XL flagships, and the end result is quite stunning. These "Live Earth" wallpapers, as they're called, combine Google Earth's high-def satellite imagery with a 3D parallax effect that changes perspective as you move between screens.
Samsung's new personal assistant, Bixby, is making its debut on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. In addition to taking voice commands and performing visual searches, a new Hello Bixby feature predicts what you might want to do next with an integrated home screen feed. All of these features look nice, but if you're not ready to shell out at least $750 for a new phone, you'll be glad to know that Hello Bixby just leaked.
The OnePlus 3 and 3T are two of the most modder-friendly devices to be released in 2016. Not only that, but they're both extremely solid phones which happen to sport a very reasonable price tag. Among the things that make these devices such a joy for tinkerers is the fact that they have an unlockable bootloader, receive timely kernel source releases, and are actually quite easy to root.
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.
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.
Starting with Marshmallow, Android added a built-in theme engine called "Runtime Resource Overlay," or RRO. This theme engine was intended to be used only by smartphone manufacturers, not end-users, so unlike Cyanogen's CM Theme Engine, owners can't use it to change the look and feel of their phones.
Smartphone users often wish for a privacy, where no one is able to poke his/her nose in their personal stuff. Unfortunately, none of the smartphones have been able to guard their privacy in this fashion. Smartphones usually come up with none or almost negligible built-in security to serve your purpose.
As one of the most popular home screen apps on Android, the Google Now Launcher is used by millions of people across the world. The two main reasons behind this success are its integrated Google Now home page and an elegant, easy-to-use design.
Samsung's recent TouchWiz rebranding didn't really change much — the skin is still as bloated as ever, and the UI still uses tacky accent colors. But while you can't fully remove TouchWiz without rooting, there are ways to make it look a lot better.
When it comes to squeezing as much battery life as possible out of our smartphones, most people aim for software solutions, or ones that can otherwise be easily managed right from the touchscreen.
Apple just sent out a new update to their iPhones, and while that normally wouldn't have any impact on Android users, the fact that they included 184 new emojis means that the text messages you receive from friends and family members with iOS devices might come across with blank or missing characters.
In the past, updating a rooted Samsung Galaxy device has always involved the complicated process of downloading the proper firmware for your variant, installing device drivers, then sideloading the update with Odin.
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.
When the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge came to market in 2016, they were universally praised as being the pinnacle of Android smartphone design, even topping Consumer Reports' smartphone ratings.