There are so many mods we can apply using a custom recovery. From themes to bug fixes and feature ports, a typical rooted user spends a decent chunk of time in TWRP Recovery.
How many times have you witnessed a beautiful moment that you would have loved to capture on film, only to watch it slip away as you struggled to unlock your phone and open your camera app?
Android's permissions system is simple, transparent, and straightforward. When installing an app, you get a chance to review all of the permissions that the app has requested. These can range from accessing your location data to holding a "wakelock" in order to prevent your phone from entering sleep mode. But your only choice in this matter is to accept all requested permissions, or not install the app.
The Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013 edition) boast beautiful 1080p screens that are capable of displaying images and videos in ultra-sharp high definition. But for some strange reason, the YouTube app only allows for streaming of 720p content on these devices. It's not a limitation of YouTube for Android, since other devices support 1080p playback out of the box, and some, like the LG G3, even support higher resolutions.
In the past few weeks, the internet has been abuzz with nightmarish horror stories of Comcast's questionable decision-making and downright terrible customer service. The central theme of many of these disputes with the nation's largest cable provider is that without evidence, the conglomerate will refuse to acknowledge its mistake and place the burden of proof on the customer.
If you're anything like me, you started down the Android-modding path for two distinct reasons; to run cutting-edge software and squeeze every bit of performance out of your hardware. Utilizing the new F2FS file system on your rooted Nexus 4 or 5 fulfills both of those desires at the same time.
In recent months, HTC has decided to start breaking its proprietary apps out of its own ecosystem and into the Google Play Store. Along with the benefit of allowing its users to update their system apps more easily, this move also means that other folks can get a glimpse of what it's like to use an HTC device.
Depending on who you ask, the OnePlus One smartphone has so far been either a bit of a letdown or a rousing success.
When I got my first smartphone, it didn't take long before my friends and I created a game that we liked to call "Paste-Send." You see, instead of having to use T9 to type out text messages, the touch-based interface made copying and pasting incredibly easy. So that meant we could copy a piece of text, then paste it into text messages in rapid succession to text bomb the annoyed recipient. It was all in good fun, of course, and it usually evoked a stream of swear words from the guy on the oth...
It seems like gesture controls are all the craze these days. From camera-opening gestures to "Air Gestures", it's getting to the point where we hardly need to touch the screens on our phones to control them.
With GPS chips and Wi-Fi positioning systems, a modern smartphone is capable of tracking its user's location with pinpoint accuracy. This being the case, it's strange that the most common text message sent today is still "Where are you?"
One of Android's strengths when compared to other mobile operating systems is its ability to set third-party apps as the default handler of certain file types. Instead of being stuck with pre-installed system apps when it comes to opening files and links, you're free to choose a better-fitting alternative.
You have a cool picture that you want to show someone, but when you hand your phone over, they start swiping through all of your photos. Surely, you've encountered this scenario before. I definitely have.
Most of the time, the LED notification light on the front of your Android device just sits there doing nothing. Other than that brief period of time between when you receive a notification and when you turn your screen on, it's practically useless for anything other than showing when your charger is plugged in.
Samsung's Galaxy devices, for all the grief they get about supposed "bloatware", offer quite a few functional features that are not included in stock Android. From "Air Gestures" to a handy "Smart Alert" notification reminder, many of these features are more than just the latest gimmick to pitch in their ads.
If you have a custom recovery installed on your Android device, the first thing you should have done as soon as you finished installing it was to create a Nandroid backup. But if you didn't, I'm not here to judge—I'm here to show you a much easier way.
Transition animations are an essential element of any mobile operating system. They give the user a sense of what's happening on the screen, where the apps are coming from, and where they're going.
Google's upcoming Android release hasn't even received a name or version number yet, but the third-party development community is already having its way with the firmware.
It seems like custom Google Now commands are a dime a dozen these days. With Commandr for Google Now giving non-rooted users their first taste of custom voice commands just a couple weeks ago, you may wonder why we're covering this subject again.
Even though there are over 1.3 million apps available for Android, we normally confine ourselves to a select few for day-to-day usage. With an average of 41 apps installed per user, most apps on our smartphones lay idle for the majority of the time we spend using them. Instead, we find ourselves constantly coming back to that small set of apps that meet almost all of our needs.
Google's text-to-speech engine is getting pretty good these days. In a recent update, the computerized voice that reads on screen text (like Google Now search results) got an audio quality bump that brought its clarity up to its highest level yet. And with each update, that robotic voice becomes a bit more human.
Buried deep in the code of many Google apps is a set of debugging options. These options, which are designed for developers to help test the way their apps interact with Google's own, are normally hidden from view.
Google Play Music is one of the best cloud music services out there. Without ever paying a dime, you can upload as many as 20,000 songs to Google's servers, then use the app on your smartphone to stream these songs without taking up any of your storage space. And if you're willing to shell out $9.99 a month, you can even play songs from the massive All Access library.
Android uses a set of permissions that apps can request to perform certain actions, and you're notified of these permissions each time you install an app. The problem here is the fact that you aren't given any built-in way to deny apps these permissions (although Danny just showed a workaround for this).
If you've ever used a computer, you're surely familiar with the concept of a Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash Can (Mac). To sum it up, files that you've deleted are not actually gone from your storage, they've just been moved to a different location. You can then restore the files if need be, or empty them, permanently deleting them forever to free up space.
Samsung catches a lot of flak for all of the "bloatware" it preinstalls on its Galaxy line of devices. Many users complain that "TouchWiz," Samsung's custom Android skin, causes lag with its overabundance of features. But some of these features can actually be pretty handy, like Multi-Window Mode or Milk Music.
The level of customization that Android has to offer is insane. You can replace the stock keyboard and home screen with any third-party app of your choosing, allowing core experiences to be tailored to fit your needs.
With Geohot's Towelroot allowing us to root our Nexus devices in under a minute without ever leaving Android, many of you are probably enjoying all of the Gadget Hacks that root access has unlocked.
Text input on a touchscreen device is constantly evolving. From early beginnings of pecking out each individual character to today's predictive text and gesture keyboards, we've already come a long way.
Google's Calendar service is one of the best out there. Just because of Google's web presence, your Calendar is available to you on almost any platform, so you never miss an appointment.
When the Nexus 5 debuted, one of its coolest features was the fact that you could say "OK Google" any time you were on the home screen to launch a Google Voice Search. This feature was ultimately made available for other devices by way of the Google Now Launcher.
Ask a thousand Nexus owners why they chose their device over an iPhone, and after getting an earful of Apple hate, you will likely hear a clear pattern in their responses, namely, the freedom to customize their phones.
We live, work, and play in drastically different environments, so it only makes sense that we'd want our Nexus 5 smartphones to automatically adapt to our needs when in certain locales at certain times.
The Nexus line of devices consistently offer the most bang for your buck. It's why many of us purchased a Nexus 5—at a $350 entry price, it's half the cost of any other phone with similar specs.
Multitasking has always been one of Android's strengths relative to other mobile operating systems. As the first cell phone OS with "true" multitasking, Android's been ahead of the game in this department for quite some time.
It used to be easy to hack tethering—root your device and install a third-party or modded tethering app. But snuck in amongst the changes in Android 4.3, a new data-monitoring service of sorts made its debut. There used to be a time when your data connection was yours. You paid for it, so you were free to use it for whatever you wanted. Unfortunately, those days are long gone.
The release of the Nexus 5 marked the debut of the Google Now Launcher. Even with an integrated Google Now page on your home screen, the most talked-about feature was actually the always-listening functionality.
Android has come a long way in a very short period of time. One of its largest leaps, at least in terms of aesthetic value, was a design pattern called Holo UI. Originally debuting in Android 4.0, many of these design elements are still in place today.
Remember the feeling you had the moment you removed your shiny new Nexus device from its packaging and booted it up for the first time? You swiped through the app drawer at lightning speed and thought to yourself, "This is the last Android phone I will ever need, they just aren't going to get any better than this."
Prior to the release of Android 4.0, most devices had a dedicated search button. This functionality allowed you to search Google from your home screen and app-specific content from within any app. Eventually, though, this dedicated search button was ditched in favor of an icon in the action bar of apps, and a search bar on the home screen.