Google just released Android 7.0 Nougat, and as usual, they're doing a staged rollout. This means that most users won't actually get the update on their Nexus devices for a few weeks—that is, unless they take matters into their own hands.
On Thursday morning, May 28th, Google announced an upcoming version of Android—and within a few hours, a preview build of this so-called "Android M" release was made available to select Nexus devices.
The beauty of Nexus devices is they receive firmware updates faster than any other Android phone, and keep getting updates for years longer than most of the competition. This means that you can always use the great new features that come along with an Android update, and even more importantly, your phone gets monthly security patches to keep hackers and malware at bay.
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.
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.
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.
The majority of Android web browsers carry a "desktop mode" feature that makes mobile websites look like normal computer versions. Mobile versions are designed to work faster and more efficiently on smartphones, but sometimes the desktop version looks better on large displays or has additional features not included in the mobile one.
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.
Your Nexus 5 comes with a pretty cool feature baked in called Android Beam. Using NFC, or Near Field Communication, this functionality allows you to send information to another compatible device by simply touching the two together. Most flagship devices have NFC built into them these days, so there is a broad range of devices that your Nexus 5 is capable of sharing information with wirelessly.
So, you've finally scored the coveted upgrade to chocolaty KitKat deliciousness, or you've managed to get your hands on a Nexus 5, the freshest thing from LG and El Goog. Satisfied with your new lease on life, you direct your phone's web browser to catch up on your Amazon Instant Video library, but not all is well—there are errors to be found. Much of the internet utilizes Adobe Flash, and Amazon Instant Video (who does not have an Android app) is just one such example. It simply won't work u...
Depending on who you ask, the OnePlus One smartphone has so far been either a bit of a letdown or a rousing success.
With Android devices getting bigger by the year, you'd think there would be a native multitasking solution by now. While Samsung and LG have included such features in their customized builds of Android, the stock base that manufacturers start with still doesn't include multitasking support.
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.
Some apps have a nasty habit of ignoring your Android's auto-rotation settings and locking the display into either portrait or landscape orientation.
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.
Smartphones like the Nexus 6 and those in the Samsung Galaxy Note series border on being called tablets due to the sheer size of their displays. They are essentially "phablets," i.e., devices too large to be a typical smartphone, yet too small to be a tablet.
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.
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.
Alright, I'll admit it, iOS can be quite nice. Android loyalist that I may be, I'm not so stubborn that I can't recognize a good thing when I see it. Apple's iOS has a lot of strengths, and our Nexus 4s, god bless 'em, are growing a little long in the tooth.
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.
You know what's awesome? You own a Nexus. That means, with Google's blessing, you have easier access and control over your device than other manufacturers allow. You can really dig in and do some interesting things if you root.
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.
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.
Back in March, Samsung partnered with Slacker Radio to create a streaming service called Milk Music. For those of us who don't own a Galaxy device, this news was a non-starter, as it was exclusive to Samsung's flagship line of phones and tablets.
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.
All Android web browsers are not created equal. Some, like Chrome, have slick interfaces and quick rendering, but are not very robust. Others, like Firefox, boast tons of functionality and support add-ons, but are lacking in the interface department and could use a boost in performance.
According to T-Mobile's website, an Android version bump is due out today. While details of specific changes are sparse, the support documentation for Nexus devices very clearly notes a release date of June 2nd for the software. Sprint may have jumped the gun with its own outing of a 4.4.3 update about a month ago, but all indications point towards today's date marking the beginning of a staged-rollout from Google.
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.
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.
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...
Losing important data is the modern-day equivalent of misplacing your wallet or keys. We have tons of vital information stored in our digital worlds, and losing any of it can be devastating. But if you've accidentally deleted something important from your Android device, there's still hope.
There are a lot of instances where we find ourselves typing virtually the same phrase that we've typed many times before. Whether it's the standard spousal reply of "I'll be home in a few", or a work-related phrase like "I'll have that to you by the end of the day", typing phrases like these can feel very redundant at times.
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.
If you hold your phone upright while taking a video, you've surely seen the horrific end results. When you try to play the video back on any other display, roughly 70 percent of the screen is occupied by black bars.
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'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.
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.
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.
App-locking apps have been around for a while, but none have had quite the panache of developer Fazil Kunhamed's latest offering, Oops! AppLock. While others use a PIN or password to restrict access to apps that are installed on Android, AppLock uses a stealthy volume button combo.
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.