Android Police

Tips & Tutorials

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The comprehensive guide to installing and using ADB on any platform

The comprehensive guide to installing and using ADB on any platform

Whether you want to install a custom ROM, activate some hidden Android features, or take screenshots in apps that forbid you from doing so, you'll need the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and fastboot. They're part of Google's SDK platform tools and give you some lower-level access to your phone. You have to prepare a few things before you can start, so here's the comprehensive guide showing you how to get the platform tools up and running on any platform.

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160 awesome, ridiculous, and downright creepy Gboard emoji combos you should try out

160 awesome, ridiculous, and downright creepy Gboard emoji combos you should try out

Of all the new devices, apps, services, and features we saw in 2020, one of my favorite and most used has been the ability to combine two emojis in Gboard to create a totally new mashup sticker that embodies both. And I'm not alone. My Android Police colleague Taylor loves them just as much, as do many of our readers. There are thousands of possibilities and the choices are quite overwhelming, but we've spent enough time trying out many of the combos and discovering the results, from cutesy to disturbing, and feel it's time we shared with you our favorites.

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The ultimate guide to Gmail's advanced search filters

The ultimate guide to Gmail's advanced search filters

Gmail is one of Google's best products, as it's far more than just a simple service for sending and receiving email. It has dozens of powerful features lurking under the surface to help you manage the onslaught of messages, which can come in handy during this age of increased remote work. With the right know-how, you can tell Gmail to find and sort your messages exactly how you want, potentially saving you many hours of micro-managing your inbox.

In this guide, we'll go over the basics of Gmail search, then cover the more advanced filters. Whether you just want to find specific messages or set up long-term filters to help with overflowing inboxes, you've come to the right place.

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Tip: Google Assistant 'call' commands are contextual, and work in WhatsApp and Duo

Tip: Google Assistant 'call' commands are contextual, and work in WhatsApp and Duo

The new minimal Google Assistant that launched with the Pixel 4 (and is now available on the 4a, 4a 5G, and 5 too) has several tricks up its sleeve. It can answer contextual commands inside Chrome and reply to messages in apps like WhatsApp and Messages, among other features, but what we didn't know is that its call placing abilities are also dependent on the app you're using.

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This is the best Google Cloud Print alternative

This is the best Google Cloud Print alternative

Google Cloud Print is an excellent tool for people who still own older printers that don't have a network connection of their own. It allows you to hook up your printer to your computer via USB and then use that computer as your printing server — no need to throw out a perfectly fine device. However, it looks like all good things must end when it comes to Google products, and the Cloud Print shutdown is already looming — the service is turning off its servers on January 1, 2021. Google has a list of recommended replacements, but almost all of these are aimed exclusively at businesses, except for one: PaperCut and its Mobility Print service.

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The ultimate guide for installing the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets

The ultimate guide for installing the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets

Amazon's Fire tablets are incredibly popular, mostly because they're incredibly cheap. However, none of them come with access to the Google Play Store, which is how most Android devices download and install applications. Instead, Fire tablets come bundled with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks any Google-made apps and services. No YouTube, no Chrome, and so on.

The good news is that it's not incredibly difficult to install the Play Store on a Fire tablet, and the whole process can take as little time as 10 minutes. This complete guide for installing the Play Store on Fire tablets has detailed instructions for every model produced since 2014, with added troubleshooting steps if you run into issues.

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This app gives you a local ADB shell, no need for root

This app gives you a local ADB shell, no need for root

ADB shell commands are insanely useful for numerous reasons, whether you want to make your Amazon Fire tablet feel more like stock Android, granularly change your phone's animation speed, or bring back the 2-button navigation to the OnePlus 7. To run these commands, you have to set up the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your computer and connect your phone via USB or Wi-Fi, which is far from comfortable. That's where a new app comes in: LADB lets you run shell commands right on your phone via Android's wireless ADB protocol. But there are some big caveats for people with older phones that haven't been updated to Android 11 yet.

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25+ forgotten or hidden shortcuts for your Android homescreen

25+ forgotten or hidden shortcuts for your Android homescreen

When you spend a lot of your day digging into Android as I do, you start looking for ways to get to things faster. One shortcut equals several saved taps and seconds, which add up over a day, week, and more. With time, I've uncovered more and more interesting Android or Google-specific shortcuts that save me every day from the menial and repetitive task of digging into settings or apps. In this article, I'll share some of these shortcuts with you so you too can feel the small joy of reaching your favorite features and settings faster and more efficiently.

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Tip: The new Google Camera helps you align your phone for perfectly level shots

Tip: The new Google Camera helps you align your phone for perfectly level shots

Google recently released a big update for its Pixel camera, and it's packed with exciting new features, like a storage saver, better video effects, and some Pixel 5 and 4a 5G exclusives. But there's more — improvements to the existing framing hints are also rolling out. You may have already noticed that there are now two level indicators or two crosshairs, a familiar white variant and a new yellow one. You can use these to get perfectly level shots and top-down pictures. Here's how you do it.

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How to run ADB shell commands via your browser without installing drivers

How to run ADB shell commands via your browser without installing drivers

If you've ever used the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), you know that it's such a hassle to set up (if you don't happen to be a developer who installed Android Studio already anyway). But with new web tools like the WebUSB API, there's no longer a need to rely on local software to fulfill the most basic ADB needs. That's where WebADB comes in, a free and open-source web service spotted by XDA Developers that allows you to debug Android devices from any supported browser.

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