Android Police

Tips & Tutorials


How to download Android apps without the Play Store, and why APKMirror is the best place to get them

Finding apps (APKs) outside Google's official Play Store can be treacherous if you don't know what you're doing. While the freedom Android gives you is great, you want to use that freedom wisely when installing software from unofficial sources. And if you are, there's only one source we recommend: APK Mirror. In this post, we'll show you how to install or "sideload" APKs onto your Android phone or tablet, and why APK Mirror is the best place to get them. Specifically, we run the site, and we stand by it — and it even offers split APK App Bundles for things you usually can't get anywhere but the Play Store, like Netflix, Disney+, and other popular services.

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How to transfer all of your Facebook photos and videos to Google Photos

It’s hard to believe, but Facebook debuted all the way back in 2004, four years before the first Android phone hit the market. If you were one of the early Facebook adopters, chances are you’ve uploaded a complete library of photos that exist only on the social media platform. But thanks to Facebook’s new photo and video migration tool (well, new to the US), you can now easily copy these precious images over to Google Photos for safekeeping.

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How to make your Samsung Galaxy smartphone feel more like a Pixel

I've been very clear about my love for Samsung's One UI, but not everyone feels the same way, preferring a more Pixel-like experience. Thankfully due to the inherent flexibility Android affords, that's something easily accomplished. I'll be using my S20 Ultra for this demonstration, but these steps can be used on any Samsung device running One UI 2.0.

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How to transfer your Google Play Music library to YouTube Music

Google will kill Play Music this year, fully replacing it with YouTube Music. To make the transition easier, the company announced a migration tool that's currently rolling out to anyone who uses or has ever used Play Music. It'll transfer all of your data like uploaded songs, playlists, likes, and recommendations from Play Music to YouTube Music.

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How to change the Samsung Keyboard to Gboard

Any smartphone user will surely admit that they spend an inordinate amount of time typing things out through their software keyboard. So seeing that the software keyboard is one of the most-used tools in a user's library of apps, it stands to reason that people would want to use the most reliable tool at their disposal. So if you happen to be a Samsung user, and would like to move away from the Samsung Keyboard to something that offers a few more advantages, like Google's Gboard, then this how-to has you covered.

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How to scan QR codes on Android

QR codes are all around us these days. Many offline products like flyers, some newspapers, brochures, posters, and billboards come with them to give you quick access to online resources without you needing to copy some long URLs. QR codes are also great for sharing contact information and Wi-Fi passwords. You need some software in order to read them, though. Luckily, these days most Android phones come with pre-installed solutions, so you don't have to download yet another app. There's also a lightweight website that does the job without trackers and ads, and some browsers even come with built-in scanners.

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How to restore deleted contacts in Google Contacts

You may know the dread of checking your contacts only to find that some (or all) of them have been deleted. And it’s a real pain to try to piece that information back together. Fortunately for those who use Google Contacts, all hope is not lost. You can, in fact, restore your contacts within 30 days of losing them. The downside is that the process is pretty ham-fisted, devoid of details such as which contacts are actually missing.

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How to free up storage space on your Android phone

It seems that all the growing smartphone storage has done over the years, we still manage to accumulate just enough stuff to challenge the limits. Whether your phone has 32GB of storage of 128GB, it's totally normal and very easy to push right up against the edge of filling it up without even really trying. There are ways to mitigate this, though, and some of them are more effective than you might think, especially as more and more apps store unnecessarily large amounts of data on your phone locally.

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How to back up your Android phone's data before a factory reset

While many of us keep a lot of our personal data in the cloud on various services like Dropbox, Gmail, and Google Photos, or consume our media through streaming services like Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube, there's bound to be some personal data stored locally on your phone you might want to keep before conducting a factory reset on it. Whether you're preparing to sell your phone, giving it a wipe to speed it back up again, or are fixing a broken device, here are a few steps you can take to ensure you preserve the most amount of data possible.

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10 Android 10 features to look for when your phone gets updated

Android 10 has arrived on a pretty good number of popular phones and tablets, including Samsung's Galaxy series, Google Pixel devices, OnePlus phones, and more. And now as the major flagships round out their global debuts, more mid-range and older phones (and even tablets) are finally starting to see the update, like the Moto G7, or just badly supported phones like the Xperia 10 series.

On your first boot of Android 10, you'd probably be hard-pressed to notice any big changes. And really, that's by design: Android's look and feel really only change in a few, tiny ways in this update, and manufacturer skins may even mask what few changes there.

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