When you're actively using your phone, a certain amount of battery drain is to be expected. But, if your device is just sitting in your pocket draining its battery, that's when you need to take action.
With the new version of Android due out very soon, Android 5.0 "Lollipop" has received a ton of press lately. It's all well-deserved, of course, because the new "Material Design" interface is absolutely beautiful.
As much as app developers would like to simplify things with icons and visual cues, text is still a huge part of a smartphone's interface. Much of our media consumption is text-based, and while Google's Roboto font is a beautiful typeface, a little variety here and there certainly wouldn't hurt.
On most Android devices, the various volume levels are comprised of either 7 or 15 steps between minimum and maximum. For voice-call volume, alarms, and notifications alike, 7 presses of a volume button will bring you all the way from silent to full-blast. With media controls, you get 15 steps between mute and max.
Google Keyboard, which comes pre-installed on Nexus devices (and is available for all others from the Play Store), is one of the most functional keyboards currently available for Android. With features like gesture-based typing, next-word prediction, and even text expansion macros, it's a very capable form of text input.
Oddly enough, stock Android does not come with a "do not disturb" function out of the box. Samsung has their own version built into to TouchWiz called "Blocking Mode," and Apple has had their "Do Not Disturb" feature since iOS 6, so why is stock Android so late to the game?
When it comes to passwords, the longer and more complex they are, the better the security. Even professional hackers say so. But if you've ever tried to type in such a password, you've surely noticed that it can be a bit of a pain. Mistype one character, and you're probably going to have to clear the field and start all over again.
Over the course of covering the Nexus 5 for the last 6 months, I've come to realize that almost every hack out there will work for this device. I also cover the Galaxy S5, and let me tell you—hardly any of the cool mods I come across work for that phone. In this regard, we are downright spoiled as Nexus owners.
Some apps have a nasty habit of ignoring your Android's auto-rotation settings and locking the display into either portrait or landscape orientation.
The Android lock screen interface is an integral part of our everyday use. For those of us who use lock screen security, it functions as a barrier between the sensitive data contained within our smartphones and potential outside access. Even if you don't use a pattern or PIN to secure your phone, you still interact with the lock screen every time you go to use it.
For some reason, when you're typing in landscape mode, Android extends the text input field to cover every bit of the screen that the keyboard's not occupying. This gets pretty annoying sometimes, especially with messaging apps where you might need to reference what the other person just said in order to properly form your response.
Honestly, Android's stock alarm icon is completely useless. It doesn't relay any information other than the fact that, at some point in the future, you have an alarm coming up. Considering how pointless it is, I normally install GravityBox or other similar mods just to get rid of it.
Even with display sizes increasing by the year, smartphone screen real estate is still at a premium. We want the content we're viewing to take center stage, and this leaves little room for functionality beyond the focused app.
If you're like me, then you've got an incredibly complicated Wi-Fi password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
If you're one of the millions of people who use the WhatsApp service for messaging, you've probably noticed a recent propensity that the app has had for adding buttons to its interface. Two such buttons have made their way into the message thread screen, cluttering up the interface with functionality that is a tad bit redundant.
Yes, I know. Nexus owners aren't exactly the biggest Apple fans out there. That "Pure Android" experience was one of the main reasons we bought our Nexus devices. But give the other side some credit—the iPhone's operating system has come along way, and is still the champ when it comes to aesthetic design (at least until Material Design dethrones it this fall).
Surely you've heard of the wildly-popular custom ROM CyanogenMod, right? As the longest-tenured third-party firmware for Android devices, CM has been able to maintain its popularity by supporting a wide array of devices and offering many customization options.
When it comes to theming your Android device, it's the little touches that count the most. That's why developer SArnab created the Android Theme Engine, an Xposed Module to theme those hard-to-reach corners of the Android System that often go untouched with other themes.
As Matias Duarte and the team over at Google's Android Design department ready their wares, they've given us a preview version of the upcoming "L" release of Android to try out.
The new preview build of Android is out, and it looks good. But if you're not quite ready to install Android L on your phone, there's still another way to enjoy some of these new visual elements on your Nexus device.
Even as a writer by trade, I'm not intimately familiar with every word in the English language. When you're typing something out on your Nexus, sometimes you think to yourself, "Is that right? Am I using the correct word here?" Then, you have no choice but to bring up Google Now and do a search for that word to make sure you're using it correctly.
I am not a morning person. This is a fact that has been proven with science. I need every bit of help to get me out of bed in the morning—multiple alarms, extremely loud tones, Pandora—I've tried everything.
The debate between physical and virtual navigation buttons and their respective benefits has been going on for a few years now. It looks to finally be settled, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 being the only current-generation flagship Android phone that has yet make the switch to on-screen buttons.
Resflux is an Xposed mod developed by Julian Paolo Dayag, aka WisdomSky, that provides users with a straightforward and functional way to customize and theme almost every aspect of the packages (apps and system components) installed on their Android device.
We got a fairly extensive look at the newest version of Android at Google I/O yesterday. The "L" version, which we're betting stands for "Lollipop", brings Google's new design philosophy to Android, and one of the main aspects of that design are new "heads up" notifications. Allowing you to continue using whatever app you're currently in without interuption, this new type of alert borrows from Apple's iOS, but does it the Android way. These notifications can be dismissed with a swipe away, ex...
Back in August, Google introduced Android Device Manager. This new service allowed you to locate, lock, or wipe a lost or stolen Android device from either a companion app or a web interface. Effectively, this is the "kill switch" that legislators are clamoring for.
Multitasking has traditionally been one of Android's strengths. As the first mobile operating system to introduce true multi-process management, it even took things a step further after version 4.0 by dedicating a button to your recently-used apps.
When Google first introduced Android 4.4, the most glaring user-facing change was a new trend towards transparency. The stock launcher, originally exclusive to the Nexus 5, had transparent status and navigation bars and its app drawer added a touch of transparency.
When theming Android, it's the little touches that complete the look, making your device yours. If you're rooted, you probably know by now that there's virtually nothing you can't change the look of on Android.
Aside from the newer HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5, the Nexus 5 still has one of the fastest processors on the market today. However, despite its superpowers, some graphically intensive games can still have a bit of lag to them during gameplay.
The fact that we own a Nexus means we get to experience the Android interface exactly as Google intended it. But that doesn't mean we can't make a UI tweak here and there, does it?
These days, our smartphones carry some very sensitive data. From banking app passwords to personal photos, there are many things on your Nexus 5 that you might not want other people to have access to.
Over the years, we've probably all complained at some point about Android's lack of an "Undo" feature. When you're typing something out, there are times when you might want to go back a step.
Just about every softMod requires some kind of reboot. Whether it's because something in the System UI was changed, or because a ZIP needs to be flashed in custom recovery.
Let's say you're watching a video and everything's going great, but you feel the need to raise the volume a tiny bit. You hit the volume button on your Nexus 5, and all of a sudden, a giant volume slider appears that obscures half of your video for 3 seconds.
When the Nexus 5 was released, a new version of Android came along with it called KitKat. In the 4.4 update were some fancy new UI elements, one of the most noticeable being the translucent decor. By that, I mean the status and navigation bars being semi-transparent.
If you've ever noticed, even just for a fleeting moment, that the auto brightness on your Nexus 5 seemed to "glitch out"—you are not alone.
Probably one of the most sought after features of the LG G2 is its "Knock Knock" capabilities. Rather than dealing with that pesky power button, you simply double-tap portions of the screen to either sleep or wake your device.
Android updates are a funny thing—they give us a host of new features and upgrades, but they can also change things that we're used to. And sometimes we prefer to have things the way they were.
You've seen it a million times. You try to do something on your Android device and a box pops up asking you which app you'd like to use. You could try Photos, Gallery, Drive, Picasa Web Albums...the list is fairly extensive sometimes. And what's worse, after that you have to select "Always" or "Just once". Add it all up, and that's three taps to do something you thought would take just one!