Android Police

Tips & Tutorials

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The boot-loop: My smartphone restarts over and over, what do I do now?

One of the most common source of inquiries or complaints we receive from readers is a phenomenon known in the world of smartphones as "boot-looping." After installing an update or patch to a smartphone, the phone then proceeds to attempt to restart itself over and over, endlessly refusing to actually boot up. Phones with "boot loop" problems will attempt to restart endlessly, often until the battery is completely drained. In the event of such a problem, there are a few things you can do, but do note that the "boot loop" is often a fatal condition for a device when common remedies fail to resolve it.

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PSA: You can disable the recommended articles on Chrome 54's New Tab page

The recent Chrome 54 release brought an updated New Tab screen, which replaces the Bookmarks and Recent tabs buttons at the bottom with an 'Articles for you' section. I was not a fan of that change, and judging by some of the comments on that post, neither were most of you. Thankfully, tipster Matt informed us that this can be easily disabled.

To turn off this feature, simply set the two flags below to Disabled. If you're not familiar with Chrome flags, just copy and paste the below links into Chrome, tap the highlighted dropdown menu, and tap 'Disabled.'

Once you restart the Chrome browser, the recommended articles should be gone.

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Guide: How to set a custom animation speed on Android (works on stock devices)

Changing the animation speed is a little-known trick with Android, and can often make your device feel faster. But if you want to make animations faster than normal, you are left with two options - 0.5x the normal speed, or completely turned off.

What if you want something like 75% normal speed? Well, it turns out you can easily set a custom animation speed. Reddit user quantumsuicide wrote a fantastic guide, which I have made a bit easier for ADB newbies here.

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PSA: You can pin apps in Android 7.0 Nougat's share menu

It's been a while since we covered specific features of Android 7.0, and it turns out there are a few new-to-Nougat features that people are forgetting about. One of those features is the ability to pin apps in the share menu; even the big boss Artem forgot about this one. If you share things frequently and only use a few options, this could come in handy.

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Chatting with Google: The many ways Assistant replaces or augments OK Google, Google Now, and Now on Tap

Hi Google, it's me Rita. I believe we've met before. Somewhere between Gmail, Google Photos, and Chrome, you must know a lot about me. Things I might not want others to discover, so hushhhh. (There are thousands of people reading us, let's not tell them about my love for Winnie The Pooh.) But our relationship doesn't feel equal; I barely have any information about you. Your new guy, this Assistant you've sent here to talk to me, I'd like to get to know him better. He looks a lot like the other guys you've sent before, Now and On Tap, but he seems special.

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[Guide] How to use Nougat's multi-window with apps that don't natively support it, like Pokémon GO

Multi-window is, without a doubt, one of Android 7.0 Nougat's biggest feature additions. Samsung pioneered the idea a few years back, but it's finally on Google's version of Android. Just like with numerous other OEMs' implementations, many apps, such as Pokémon GO, are restricted from launching into Nougat's multi-window; however, Google has added an option to enable any app to do so in Developer Options, which can be found in the Settings menu.

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[Guide] How to play Pokémon GO (0.37+) on a rooted Android with Magisk

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.

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LG's V20 is one of very few phones that properly support 'OK Google' commands while the screen is off

What do a BlackBerry Priv, Galaxy S7 edge, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Alcatel Idol 4S, a Huawei P9, Honor 8, and an HTC 10 have in common? Well, they're all Android phones, of course, but they all lack a common feature: 'OK Google' hotword recognition while the screen is off (off the charger). In fact, this feature is so rarely found on Android devices that you can almost call it a Nexus (or soon, Pixel) exclusive these days. And even then, not all Nexus devices seem to be able to do it. The proper name for this feature is "always on."

The reasons for 'always on' being disabled on so many other devices are seemingly myriad - some OEMs claim security issues, others have conflicting products (cough S Voice cough) with similar functionality, and some may be limited by the capabilities of their chipsets or a perceived potential for power drain.

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Rootjunky bypasses factory reset protection on Samsung phones... again

About nine months ago, Rootjunky managed to bypass the factory reset protection (FRP) on Samsung devices simply by inserting an OTG drive into the phone and installing an app. Then, two months later, he found a vulnerability on LG phones; this time, he circumvented FRP by using talkback settings to open a browser, downloading an APK that opened settings, adding a new user, switching back to the main account, and then resetting without FRP. However, this new exploit for Samsung phones might be the most ingenious yet.

Factory reset protection was added to Android with 5.1 Lollipop, but since different OEMs use different variations of Android, vulnerabilities can arise.

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PSA: Google Album Archive shows you all your photo albums in one place [Update]

Google has a lot of products and services that involve photos, and it can be hard to keep track of where everything is. The company added a cool feature to the Google "About Me" account info screen recently that makes it easier to find all your photos. It's called Album Archive, and it, well, archives all your albums.

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