For my money, one of the greatest improvements brought about from the smartphone revolution is the advent of visual voicemail. No longer do we have to slog through dial menus or trudge through every single message to get to the next. We can just look at our messages, right there on our screens, organized neatly like emails or text messages.
Okay, so you're rooted and need to return your Nexus 5 to its stock firmware. Whether it's because you need to send your phone in to the manufacturer to fix a defect or you just want to use the device's over-the-air updating feature, unrooting and returning your Nexus 5 back to its fresh-out-of-the-box state is a fairly simple process with the right tools.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If there's one gripe I have with Android Lollipop, it's the new volume menu. When Priority mode was introduced, the stock volume panel was revamped to accommodate it, and somewhere along the way a bit of functionality was lost.
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.
Practically every kid in the '80s would rush home after school to put in some time on the first-gen Nintendo before their parents got home. Games like Super Mario Bros. and Super Smash Bros. were synonymous with fun times, and to this day, call up a wave of nostalgia amongst Generation-Xers.
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.
There are so many things to love about the Nexus 5, from timely updates to newer versions of Android to a terrific blend of price and specs. But while mobile phone tech keeps churning along, battery technology isn't quite up to snuff yet, and I find myself wishing that my phone's battery lasted longer on a single charge.
Out amongst the ether of the internet lies a completely different version of the Netflix library you've come to know and love. Because of licensing and rights fees, the streaming media giant maintains separate libraries for each country it services. Ultimately, this means that certain movies and TV shows are only available in certain countries.
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.
You may not always be connected to the internet, but if you're anything like me, your thirst for web content is insatiable. Whether you're on an airplane or stuck in an area with no reception, having some offline content stored on your Nexus can definitely save the day.
Google has a habit of starting on new projects for Android, then hiding them away if they didn't quite complete them in time for a major release. We saw this with multi-window mode last year (which is now an official Nougat feature), and this year, there was the hidden night mode setting that was easily activated.
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 front-facing stereo speakers on the Nexus 6 certainly pump out some awesome sound—but it could always be better, right?
You probably already know by now that a custom Android ROM can change your user experience and give you what feels like a new OS on your device, and there's no shortage of them out there to try out.
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.
With popular remote desktop app LogMeIn recently ending its free service, lots of Android users have begun looking for alternatives. There are some good ones out there like TeamViewer and Microsoft Remote Desktop, but today, Google released an app that makes a pretty good contender.
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.
If you're someone who likes to customize their user experience, stock Android is a lot like a blank canvas. The firmware that comes preinstalled on Nexus devices is just Android—no manufacturer skins or carrier bloat involved. This simplicity opens up the door for many root mods and flashable ZIPs that can be installed in a custom recovery.
Koushik Dutta, the developer behind the Android app AllCast, has made the leap over to the realm of personal computers with his latest offering.
The Nexus 6 has an AMOLED screen that uses virtually no power to display black pixels. To take advantage of this feature, Google included an Ambient Display notification system that shows a black and white version of your lock screen when you get a new message. As a result, the Nexus 6 doesn't use an LED light to notify you of new incoming messages like most phones.
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.
Chrome's Incognito Mode is a great feature for folks that don't want their browsing history tracked. When it's enabled, Incognito Mode makes sure that all cookies and cache that are saved while you're browsing are deleted as soon as you leave a webpage.
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.
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.
By default, any app that requests a certain permission can run automatically as soon as you start your device. Since Android doesn't offer a granular permission control system like iOS, this gets lumped in with all of the other permissions that you have to accept when you're installing an app from the Google Play Store, and you effectively have no choice in the matter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not too long ago, we told you about a new feature within Android KitKat that allowed for video recording directly from the screen of your Nexus 5. Though functional, the method was a bit clunky and involved hooking your phone up to your computer and sending over an ADB command to start the recording.
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 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.
One of the lesser known features brought along by the roll-out of Android 4.4 KitKat is the ability to screen record from within the device. This features isn't overtly obvious, nor is its implementation the most streamlined, but if you were ever looking for a way to capture video of what's happening on your screen, this is now the best way to do it.