Gadget Hacks » Smartphone Lifehacks, Guides, Tips, Tricks & How-Tos
News: 9 Rootless Mods for the Galaxy S20 That Everyone Should Try
Every Galaxy S20 sold in the US — even the S20+ and S20 Ultra — simply can’t be rooted. With the bootloader permanently locked, you miss out on the world of rooting and the customization it opens up, but modifications are still possible.
News: Google Play Pass Is the Perfect Quarantine Companion for Android Users
This extended period at home due to COVID-19 is the perfect time to try out new apps in the Play Store. But instead of buying premium versions, Google Play Pass will give you unlimited access to paid apps and games for about five bucks. And there’s an even better deal now to help with coronavirus.
How To: Lend Out Your Digital Movies to Friends & Family, Free of Charge
One of the benefits of Blu-ray and DVD is the ability to share discs with friends and family without any hassle. Want to show off your favorite movie? Just lend them your copy. A digital movie isn’t so kind, as it’s typically locked to the account that purchased it. But now there is a way to share your digitally purchased movies with friends and family — and it won’t cost you or them a dime.
How To: Is Your Google or Nest Wifi Network Bogged Down? Find the Culprit Instantly!
For the most part, Google Wifi and Nest Wifi systems take care of themselves. But there are still a few manual features that might come in handy, like being able to check on network activity to see which devices are using the most bandwidth when your connection gets bogged down.
News: Apple Releases iOS 13.4.1 for iPhone, Adds Fix for FaceTime Bug
Apple released iOS 13.4.1 to the public today, Tuesday, April 7, at 10 a.m. PDT. The update comes exactly two weeks after the release of iOS 13.4, which introduced at least 33 new features and changes to compatible iPhones.
News: 7 Fun Galaxy S20 Features Everyone Should Know About
If you haven’t used a Samsung device in a few years, the Galaxy S20 series will be your first taste of One UI 2, the skin running on top of Android 10. Although One UI is on the heavier side, it has loads of exciting features that go beyond what’s offered in stock Android.
News: Musicians Are Holding Live Online Concerts for Free — Here’s How to Watch Them All from Your Phone
Remember concerts? Those were fun. While gathering in large groups to listen to live music might not be allowed at the moment, the live music part still is. Thanks to the internet, more and more musicians are taking the stage each day to perform for those of us stuck in social isolation due to the new coronavirus. The best part? Many of these concerts are 100% free.
How To: 9 Ways Your iPhone Can Help You Be More Productive When Working from Home
With stay-at-home orders for most of us in the US because of the new coronavirus, many of you are likely struggling to be productive and efficient when working from home. Unless you’ve worked from home before, it can be challenging to separate work from personal life throughout the “workday.” But your iPhone can help make the transition easier and more successful.
How To: Count Steps Without Downloading An Extra App on Your OnePlus Phone
A great way to incorporate a healthy exercise routine is by taking lots of steps throughout the day. While most smartphones can track and report your steps via a third-party app, you can check them right from your home screen if you have a OnePlus phone.
News: 8 Free Must-Have Games to Play with Friends on Your Phone
Even for those of us who enjoy spending time alone at home, at a certain point, it just gets boring. We all need social interaction, but with stay-at-home orders, that can be hard to come by. If you’re feeling the itch to hang out with friends and have a good time, you should know there are plenty of free games for iPhone and Android that will let you do just that — remotely.
How To: Organize Your Smart Home, Rooms & Zones in Apple’s Home App to Streamline Siri Commands
Every home is a little different, and for a smart home app to work, it has to be able to be customized to work with each person’s unique setup. With the iPhone’s Home app, everyone can set up a smart home just how they want, including the number and names of rooms, and where those rooms are in the house.
How To: Hide the Home Bar on Your Galaxy with Android 10’s New Gestures
The new navigation gestures in Android 10 let you ditch the three buttons along the bottom edge for a truly full screen experience. In the buttons’ place, you now get an inconspicuous little line, but even that can be hidden with a setting in One UI 2.
News: The 2020 iPhone SE Is Almost Here!
The iPhone SE was, for some, the perfect iPhone. It brought back the popular one-handed form factor of the iPhone 5 but packed in the internals of the then-new iPhone 6S. Later on, many have pined for a new SE, looking for something just as fast as modern iPhone models but much smaller. Four years after the SE’s original release, the time has finally come for a sequel.
How To: 8 Ways Your Samsung Galaxy Phone Can Help You Be Productive When Working from Home
For those not used to it, working from home can be a difficult transition. Everything around you can be a distraction, and distance from your boss and coworkers means less pressure and incentive to get things done. So it’s not surprising to see a major drop in productivity during a period of self-quarantine, but your phone can help you stay on track instead of sidetracking you.
How To: Get Snapchat’s AR Lenses for Zoom & Other Video-Conferencing Apps
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic means that social distancing has become the new normal. It also means that more Americans are using video conferencing to connect with colleagues working from home or friends and family in quarantine because of the new coronavirus.
How To: Give One Device More Bandwidth on Your Google Wifi or Nest Wifi Network
One of the main goals of Google Wifi (and Nest Wifi after it) is to make managing your internet connections as simple as possible. A great example of this is how easy it is to prioritize one device and allot it more bandwidth when your network is bogged down with other traffic.
News: 25 New Features Coming to iPhone in iOS 14 That We Can’t Wait For
It feels like just yesterday Apple unveiled iOS 13 to the world, introducing game-changing features like system-wide dark mode and enhanced editing tools in Photos. But WWDC 2020 is rapidly approaching, which means iOS 14 is as well. As it turns out, we don’t need to wait for an official announcement to get an idea of what new features and changes are coming to iPhone this year.
How To: Get Facebook’s Desktop Site to Show Up in Your Phone’s Mobile Browser
Facebook’s mobile app lacks many features from the desktop site. Even if you open Facebook in your phone’s browser and request the desktop version, all that does is basically resize the mobile app. But there’s a simple workaround that will force Facebook to appear in all its desktop glory on your mobile browser of choice.
How To: Download Fastboot Flashable Factory Images for Any OnePlus Phone
OnePlus phones are easy to root, but that also means they’re easy to brick if you get trigger happy with your superuser privileges. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll quickly realize the OnePlus firmware download page doesn’t provide files you can flash in Fastboot mode.
How To: This Tweak Puts Your iPhone in Hibernation Mode to Save Tons of Battery
If running out of battery while out and about weren’t bad enough, the experience is a lot more painful if your iPhone has a semi-untethered jailbreak. With that kind of jailbreak, when the iPhone dies, all of the mods will be disabled after the device powers back up. Fortunately, instead of restoring your jailbreak and tweaks manually after recovering from a critically low battery, you can avoid it altogether.
How To: Force Stop Apps on Your Galaxy After the Android 10 Update
When an app is acting buggy, you head to its App Info page in Settings and hit the “Force Stop” button. And since all software has bugs, this is quite the handy feature. But now that Samsung’s Settings app got a makeover with the Android 10 and One UI 2 update, you might have trouble finding this option.
How To: You Can Actually Use the IR Camera on Your Pixel 4
For the Pixel 4’s face unlock feature to work in the dark, Google had to add a front-facing IR camera. If you download a specific app, you can actually see a live feed from this camera. It’s true night vision for your phone, and it’s completely free.
How To: There’s an Easy Way to Cut a Zoom User’s Video Feed
As a meeting host on Zoom, you can’t control what a participant does during your live video call, but you do have the power to turn off their camera so that other people aren’t subjected to distractions. So if you catch someone in your call purposely making obscene gestures or accidentally exposing themselves while using the bathroom, you can block their camera, as long as you know how.
How To: Prevent Wireless PowerShare from Draining Your Galaxy S20’s Battery
The Galaxy S20’s Wireless PowerShare is a must-use feature. With even the base model packing a 4,000 mAh battery, you have more than enough juice for all your Qi-enabled devices. The default settings make it so that in certain situations, you may have to choose between your phone or wireless earbuds, but you can change that.
How To: Apple Music Finally Lets You Share Songs Right to Your Instagram & Facebook Stories
Sometimes, we get stuck on a song so good we want the world to know about it. Sure, you could take the time to save the album art to your iPhone, then upload it to your Instagram or Facebook story, but why bother doing that when you can simply share the song to your story right from Apple Music?
How To: Bypass Zoom’s Attention Tracking Feature So Your Boss or Professor Can’t Tell You’re Slacking Off
When you’re stuck working or learning from home, video meetings can help you stay connected to employers, coworkers, schools, students, and more. And Zoom is the hottest video conferencing service at the moment. While Zoom is easy to use, it does have a fair share of sketchy features you should know about, such as attendee attention tracking.
News: LiDAR vs. 3D ToF Sensors — How Apple Is Making AR Better for Smartphones
Apple has implemented a new sensor on the rear camera of its fourth-generation iPad Pro, and it’s pretty exciting. It’s called the LiDAR Scanner, a scanning “light-detection and ranging” sensor, and you may very well be acquainted with it if you follow any driverless car news. Will we also get it on the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro?
How To: Remove Credit Cards from the Power Menu on Your Google Pixel
It wasn’t too long ago that the power menu for stock Android didn’t offer much beyond turning the device off, but Google has steadily added more functions, like capturing screenshots and provisioning access to emergency information.
How To: Get CyanogenMod’s Old Swipe to Adjust Brightness Gesture in Your Status Bar
LineageOS is great and all, but custom ROMs were at their peak when CyanogenMod reigned supreme. It had all sorts of innovative features that have since been copied by Google and Samsung and the like. But one thing that still hasn’t been adopted into stock Android or One UI is CM13’s easy way to adjust screen brightness.
News: This HQ Trivia Replacement Is Just What You Need During Quarantine
With all this time spent stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, HQ Trivia would be a prime way to beat the boredom. Unfortunately, HQ went belly up in February, just before everyone had stay-at-home orders. While HQ has teased a potential comeback, there are other trivia games out there that are live right now. One of those brings the spirit of HQ Trivia back to our phones.
YSK: Samsung’s Keyboard Lets You Copy & Paste Multiple Items
Copying and pasting is even more important on a phone since there’s no mouse and keyboard. And like on a computer, copying is usually limited to one item at a time — but with the Samsung Keyboard app, you have the ability to copy multiple sets of text.
How To: Netflix Missing on Android? Here’s How to Sideload the App
If you have an Android device that Netflix does not support, you can check the Play Store and it simply won’t be there. But just because you’re unable to download it through official means doesn’t mean you have to live without Netflix since there’s a way you can sideload it manually.
How To: Use This Zoom Hack to Make Everyone Think You’re Still in the Video Meeting When You’re Not
It’s OK to want an extended break when you’re working or learning from home. Maybe you want to play a video game, spend more time with your family, hang out with your dog, or FaceTime with friends. But how can you do that when you’re supposed to be in a Zoom video conference or class? Thanks to one Zoom feature on your iPhone, it may be easier than you think.
News: No FaceTime on Android? Try These Video Chat Apps Instead
In these times of social distancing, video calling is becoming the technological substitute for face-to-face connections. For those who carry an iPhone, the art of video calling defaults to FaceTime, the native app on iOS that is exclusive to Apple devices. But what do you do if you or the other party is on Android?
How To: This Hidden Option Turns Off Your Camera During a FaceTime Call
If you’ve ever wanted to turn off your camera during a FaceTime call, you might have noticed it seems, well, impossible. But it’s not. You can kill your camera feed at any time, whether you’re chatting with one friend or 31. Apple just makes the off button challenging to find.