For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.
It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK. Read More
Bless you, Xposed Framework. Thou art the last refuge of power users whose hardware has been forsaken by manufacturer and ROM developer alike. The root-enabled tool has a new module that back-ports a bunch of Android Nougat features to earlier versions of the OS. It's called AndroidN-ify, and the latest update includes a tweak that exposes Google's fancy new voice-controlled Assistant search tool to users on Android 6.0. An earlier build.prop tweak allowed Android 7.0 users to try Assistant on non-Pixel phones, which won't be officially supported when the new hardware launches. Read More
Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 18.104.22.168 or newer.
If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup. Read More
If you've got a rooted Android device and you're a Pokémon master, chances are that you've heard that the 0.37 update to Pokémon GO completely disabled the game for devices with root access and/or custom software. We made a guide on how to circumvent the SafetyNet check that Pokémon GO and Android Pay use with Magisk, but it might get bothersome to constantly toggle root on and off. Now, there's an app that lets you launch those apps without the slightly annoying root toggle. Read More
If you follow Android Police, there's a good chance you've got a rooted device, whether it be an easy-to-root Nexus or something like a Galaxy that takes more effort to do so. It's also very possible that you play Pokémon GO, which can probably be considered the fad of the year. For those of you who fall into both of those categories, you're probably frustrated that with the latest version (0.37), you'll now be forbidden from playing the game on your phone, just because some no-gooders used GPS spoofing and/or Xposed modules to get ahead. Even RootCloak doesn't work. Not to worry though, as there's a fairly simple way to circumvent this block. Read More
Pokémon GO may be one of the most-downloaded mobile games of all time, but the fact is that this Niantic Labs creation is dropping in users every day. The Pokémon GO team has seen this, and is adding a few features that were previously announced—Buddy Pokémon and Pokémon GO Plus support. However, it's not all good news; rooted Android devices (and jailbroken iOS devices, for that matter) are now blocked from loading the game up. Read More
Hiding your root status from apps that refuse to work when you are rooted—like Android Pay—is a cat and mouse game that enthusiasts have been losing lately. Chainfire, the developer who has become the main source of advances in rooting, announced today a new way to work around Android apps' ability to detect the root status of a device. The app, called suhide, works but comes with a number of caveats. Read More
The BLU R1 HD is a cheap Android phone, made even cheaper by its release as an Amazon Prime Exclusive device. You pay $50 (or $60 for the 16GB/2GB RAM version) for the phone instead of its original $100 price tag, but you get Amazon's apps pre-installed and its ads on the lockscreen. It's not that bad really: David has been trying to live with it for a month and hasn't faced many issues beside the "slowening", ie. the fact that the phone gets slower the more you use it.
If you've had an eye on this device either as your main phone or maybe as a Pokémon GO phone (hey, we understand), but you just can't bring yourself to accept Amazon's bloat, there's good news for you. Read More
An update to Action Launcher 3 is currently rolling out with the usual assortment of improvements, feature tweaks, and fixes... but there's more going on here. This isn't just any update—the latest version of Action Launcher 3 moves to a Marshmallow launcher code base and adds (root-only) Google Now integration. Read More