The Google Calendar app hasn't really changed much over the years. As a pre-installed staple on most Android devices, the interface is definitely lacking in some areas. Google knows this, and has plans in the pipeline to completely revamp Calendar's UI alongside Android 5.0's official release.
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.
At $349 off contract, the Nexus 5 has always been one of the best bang-for-your-buck smartphones on the market. In order to keep the price that low, however, Google had to pass up on some of the minor features that other flagship phones offer.
The flexibility within Android is pretty amazing. Unlike iOS, you can make a lot of modifications with nothing more than a download from Google Play, but to really step up your softModder game, you'll need to go a little further.
The Nexus 6 came with a hidden kernel module that allowed for double-tap-to-wake functionality, essentially letting you turn your screen on just by tapping it. A simple root app allowed us to activate this feature, which meant we were always two quick taps away from waking our device.
Seemingly lost in the fanfare of the numerous features and specs of the Nexus 5 were a few highly innovative and handy add-ons—a low-power step detector and step-counting sensor—useful for tracking fitness data.
Straight out of the box, the Nexus 5 is an awesome device, but even it can be faster with better battery life. Luckily, one of the things that makes it so awesome is that there are tons of developers creating mods for it, since it runs stock Android by default. When it comes to gaining speed and better battery life, flashing a custom kernel is the way to go.
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.
As a parent, navigating smartphone usage with your children can be a perilous journey as you hand them that new device they've always wanted, or even your older hand-me-down phone or tablet.
If you're a fan of double-tap to wake gestures, you're going to love the newest app from ElementalX developer Aaron Segaert. On supported kernels, it allows you to associate custom apps and activities with each of the wake gestures you've set up, which will immediately be launched even with the screen off.
For some strange reason, when the Nexus 5 got its Lollipop update, the new stock system sounds were left out. These include updated versions of all of the ringtones and notifications, which Google revamped with a more mature sound that matches Android 5.0's elegant Material Design.
Here's one of those modding must-haves that's basic, yet easy enough to forget about. If you're going to install apps that don't live in the Google Play Store, like the Google Experience Launcher, the OnePlus One lock screen, or something that needs root privileges like the Xposed Framework, you need to turn on this setting.
Android automatically clears entries in your call log after 30 days. While this might be fine in most cases, sometimes you need to find a number that called you more than a month ago. Or perhaps you want to keep detailed records for business purposes, and 30 days just isn't long enough.
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.
If you're an Android fan, you probably made your choice in mobile operating systems based on the insane level of customization options that Google's software offers. Don't like your home screen app? Simply replace it. Not a fan of a particular app's sharing system? No big deal, just share through a third-party app.
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.
For many people, the two main advantages of buying a Nexus device are prompt updates and the ability to root without much hassle. But in a cruel twist of fate, these two features are almost mutually exclusive, since OTA updates will refuse to run on rooted devices.
It's really amazing how much you can do with root access on an Android device. From various themes to porting exclusive funtionality from other devices, the power of Superuser privileges is truly awesome.
Desktop users have taken advantage of dual-booting operating systems for decades now. If your core system software is lacking in any regard, dual-booting a secondary OS can give you access to those features that you're missing out on.
Android's new Material Design language is truly a thing of beauty. Slated to make a full debut alongside the upcoming Android "L" release, the vision and simplicity of this UX design recently won Gold Prize at the annual User Experience Awards.
On-screen navigation buttons offer many distinct advantages over physical buttons—they can change orientation along with your device, they're capable of visually morphing to indicate secondary functionality, and the user experience is more consistent when buttons and app elements require the same amount of force to press. Add to that the fact that they're far less likely to fail and can be themed or even switched out altogether, and it's hard to come up with an argument in favor of physical b...
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.
Android Marshmallow was recently released, and as we've grown to expect, a root method was quickly made available to devices running the brand new operating system. Legendary root developer Chainfire has stated that he's working his way towards retiring from the scene, but he still had enough left in the tank to quickly publish an update to his popular SuperSU root method.
One of the more talked-about features of Google's new flagship device is the fact that all of the data on the Nexus 6 is encrypted by default. At face value, this certainly seems like an added bonus for the 6-inch phablet, especially in this day and age with growing security concerns abound. It's definitely something that the FBI is none too pleased about.
Google's latest Nexus device is big, bold, and beautiful—and now it's got root. Thanks to some quick work by legendary Android developer Chainfire, the Nexus 6 already had a clear-cut root method before most stores even had it in stock.
Deep down at the core of Android lies the system kernel, which serves as a bridge between software and hardware. Custom kernels can be installed in place of the stock offering, and these are generally optimized for better performance or increased battery efficiency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the more talked-about features of Android Lollipop is a new Priority Mode that allows you to mute all notifications except for those coming from starred contacts. As simple as that sounds, this can still be a bit confusing—or at least lead to some unwanted interruptions.
When we look back on it, 2014 may be remembered as the Summer of Android Wear. With two new flagship smartwatches due out soon, Google's been readying its mobile OS for the wearables sector.
Google has already issued a few updates to Android 7.0 Nougat. There aren't many headlining features, as these minor updates are mostly bug fixes and performance improvements. But there's a few security enhancements as well, so staying up-to-date with the latest patches is important for a number of reasons.
When you enter the softModder realm by rooting your Nexus 5, you open up an exciting world of possibilities and deep customizations for your device. Among other things, it gives you the ability to flash custom ROMs which, individually, act as entirely different operating systems that can vastly alter your user experience.
The Nexus 5 has a known issue with its display. Affecting all models from the first manufacturing run and most models thereafter, this display issue is easiest to notice on something with a white background. A yellowish tint, most noticeable when compared to other devices, seems to emanate from the Nexus 5's screen.
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.
A new API in Android Lollipop allows apps to color the status bar to match their overall theme. Google billed this as a more immersive user experience that allows app developers to extend their color branding even further. It certainly seems like a win-win on the surface, but unfortunately, not many apps are using this feature yet.
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.
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.
Google recently updated the camera software for the Nexus 5, and in doing so, made the app available to all devices running Android KitKat. This means that not only do we get a nice new camera interface on our phones, but we also get the benefit of an expanded development community.