Installing an app from the Play Store is an almost magically streamlined experience: You find the app you want, tap “Install,” and sit back while Google takes care of the rest. But behind the scenes there's some clever business going on to make sure that your phone gets the particular version of an app that's best suited for it. That process is now getting even more complicated as Google introduces something called the Android App Bundle and a process known as Dynamic Delivery. Let's take a look at what's changing, and how this is going to affect you. Read More
In the era before Doze Mode, BetterBatteryStats was an essential app to track down Android's frequent wakelocks. Android doesn't have the same battery issues anymore, but you might still want to keep tabs on certain apps and services. Luckily, the latest update for BetterBatteryStats added full support for unrooted phones via ADB commands. There's also better Oreo support and various bug fixes. Read More
While large displays can be beautiful, using them in everyday scenarios can be anything but. This is particularly the case if you're holding yourself steady on a bus or train with one hand while browsing your smartphone with the other on a daily basis. To address this potential hazard, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Motorola, and other manufacturers offer a one-handed mode on some of their phones, and now a new XDA app called (wait for it) "One-Handed Mode" is bringing the helpful feature to any smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher. Read More
As an Android nerd, there are times you probably need ADB or fastboot to mess around with your phone. Maybe you're flashing an OTA or unlocking the bootloader. You used to need to grab a giant package of other junk from Google to get them, but no more! Google has started hosting platform tools downloads without the other stuff that are a mere 3.5MB. Read More
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. Read More
Security has been a hot topic on Android for many years, particularly as smartphones take on increasingly significant roles both at home and at work. A single device acts as your main form of communication, contains personal photos and confidential documents, and may even have access to your finances. Google and other companies have made significant investments in time and money to ensure these devices are very hard to break into. However, a vulnerability was recently discovered in some phones that compromises important security measures and opens devices up to various types of attacks. The worst part is that it was created intentionally by a manufacturing partner contracted to build the phones, and the OEMs that designed the phone had no idea. Read More
Google's introduction of Android N promises many great enhancements to the operating system, but we can't overlook some of the important awesome changes to the tools we use. The latest iteration of ADB brings some new features and significant performance improvements. Googler Elliott Hughes took to Google+ with details about the update, letting us know what we can look forward to from moving to the latest preview release of adb. Read More
Android N is finally making multi-window mode a reality on Android, but the included features are somewhat limited. There's support for split-screen apps, but what about true resizable windows a la Remix OS? That's possible too, but this feature seems much more rough around the edges. It also takes a little monkeying around to enable. Read More
In part two of our series on manually flashing OTAs to Android Wear devices, we're going to take a look at the Asus ZenWatch.
Before beginning, make sure you have the following:
- The latest Google USB driver and platform tools, both of which can be installed via the Android SDK.
- The OTA ZIP file that you want to flash.
How To Flash
- Go into the Settings app on your watch, then scroll down to "About," and tap on it.
- Scroll down to the build number and repeatedly tap on it until you see a toast notification telling you that you are now a developer.