Your smartphone contains a massive amount of information - photos, contacts, access to online accounts, and much more. Even though Android itself is a fairly secure platform, some data about your phone's settings and usage is sent to Google's servers. If you want to limit data collection and make your phone more secure, here are some tips you can try. Read More
Spotify is one of the world's most popular music streaming services, with 157 million active users (as of December 2017) and over 35 million songs. Originally born in Sweden, it quickly gained popularity as it expanded outside of its home country. Frankly, it's hard to believe that Spotify hit U.S. shores almost seven years ago. For many who were accustomed to mainstays at the time like Pandora and iHeartRadio, Spotify represented something different. And to some of us, its disparity to those other services was off-putting. Read More
One of the things that most annoyed me when switching from Gmail to Inbox as my main email client was how you could no longer mark emails as read. My email workflow had always consisted of manually marking emails as read before archiving them, and I didn't appreciate the change. It might just be my unhealthy obsession with being unreasonably neat and organized — it probably is — but it really irks me to think that there might be an unread email hiding somewhere in my archive. Read More
Last year, Android 7.0 introduced picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, making it possible to shrink a playing video down to a floating window that appears above all other content, allowing users to continue watching a video while taking care of another task. Unfortunately, at the time PiP mode was only available for Android TVs, so very few people ever got to take advantage of it.
That changed with Android O, which has brought PiP mode to Android devices with screens much smaller than a television's, including phones and tablets. However, since Android O is so new and few developers have had the time and resources to update their apps, it's hard to find any app that actually supports PiP for now. Read More
One of the many new features in Android O is a revamped UI tuner with control over the navigation bar. If the layout of the buttons isn't right, you can change it. Want more buttons? Oh, it's got that too. In fact, you can add some useful things there, like left and right cursor buttons. Here's how. Read More
During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.
How it works
Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage. 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
After Google released the Android Wear 2.0 Preview images for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, many of us quickly flashed the firmware onto our watches to test out the new features. Most of the major changes are pretty easy to find, and some could even be said to be a little in-your-face. However, we saw quite a few people were confused by what seemed to be the absence of the handwriting keyboard. It turns out that it's just not enabled by default on the preview firmware. While it's not exactly buried, knowing that it has to be activated and where to go isn't very intuitive; so we've made a quick how-to guide for those that got a little lost. Read More
Despite the silly name, Samsung's Milk Music service seems like a handy thing to have. It offers unlimited ad-free streaming of hundreds of music stations with the ability to create and refine your own stations. However, it's only for Samsung phones. If you have root access, there's a way around that and it's not even very hard.
Back on Halloween, Google promised that proprietary binaries and factory images for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 would arrive shortly after devices received their OTA updates. Even though some OTAs haven't even rolled out yet, as of a few minutes ago, all modern Nexus devices now have Android 4.4 KRT16O factory images and drivers available for download.
This means you can flash stock Android 4.4 onto any supported device, even if an OTA either wasn't available yet or wouldn't work for some reason. The availability of binaries/drivers, on the other hand, is great news for custom ROMs.
Note #1: If your bootloader is locked, your data will be wiped for security reasons - there's no way around that. Read More