MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE
Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass app allows you to launch games, browse TV listings, and control apps on your Xbox One. You can even use it to stream live TV from your Xbox One to your phone. It’s available for Android phones, iPhones, Windows 10 and 8, and even Windows phones.
You’re sitting at your PC and you receive a text message, so you pick up your phone, unlock it, read the message, and type one back using the tiny touch screen keyboard. Why not use your PC instead? If you’re already sitting at your computer, you can easily take advantage of your computer’s keyboard to send and receive text messages.
Tactile feedback from a touch screen keyboard is crucial, in my opinion, but I don’t like sounds when I tap keys. You may not be like me—maybe sounds are your thing, but vibration is annoying. Or maybe you dislike both (you rebel!). The good news is that you not only enable or disable both of these features in Google Keyboard, but you can also adjust each of them. Here’s how.
Skype is more than just voice and video chat: it contains text chat, too. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly unreliable, and only getting worse. None of my friends use it anymore–everyone’s switched to Telegram, which always works properly. Microsoft has wasted its time by rewriting the Skype client over and over instead of fixing the core problem.
Configuration profiles on an iPhone or iPad are sort of like Group Policy or the registry editor on Windows. They allow you to quickly distribute groups of settings and access powerful management features that aren’t normally available. Configuration profiles are really designed for organizations, but can be used by anyone.
If you have notifications enabled, apps normally display your messages right on your lock screen. But you can hide the text of those messages without disabling the lock screen notifications entirely, allowing you to see you have a message while preventing people from reading those messages over your shoulder.
Phones are private, full of personal data and messages. Guided Access allows you to share your iPhone with someone without being able to access that data–allowing them to look at photos, place a phone call, or play a game while your stuff stays hidden.
Many iPhone and iPad games include banner ads that take up part of your screen. Accidentally tap the ad, and you’ll be ripped from the game and taken to another app, like the App Store or Safari. Enable iOS’ “Guided Access” and you won’t have this problem.
Your iPhone contacts will automatically come with you to a new phone–assuming that new phone is an iPhone, you’re backing up the contacts to iCloud, and you’re using the same iCloud account on both phones. But things get a bit more complicated if you want to do anything else.
Over-the-air updates have long been the bane of many rooted Android users’ existences. It’s an endless battle: installing the update breaks root or won’t flash at all, but everyone wants the latest version of their mobile OS. Thanks to a new tool called FlashFire, the struggle may be over.
Back in Android 4.2, Google hid Developer Options. Since most “normal” users don’t need to access the feature, it leads to less confusion to keep it out of sight. If you need to enable a developer setting, like USB Debugging, you can access the Developer Options menu with a quick trip into the About Phone section of the Settings menu.
Google introduced full-device encryption back in Android Gingerbread (2.3.x), but it has undergone some dramatic changes since then. On some higher-end handsets running Lollipop (5.x) and higher, it’s enabled out-of-the-box, while on some older or lower-end devices, you have to turn it on yourself.
Your iPhones and iPads automatically back up to Apple’s iCloud. But Apple is awfully stingy with iCloud storage, only offering 5GB for free. If you want to avoid the monthly fee but keep backing up to iCloud instead of to iTunes, we have a few tricks for you.
Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security for your online accounts. Many online services are offering two-factor authentication, including Apple. However, Apple’s two-factor authentication needs some explaining, since it exists in two slightly different forms.
In December 2015, Google added reminders to the Google Calendar app for Android and iOS users. Now Reminders have also been added to Google Calendar for the web–you may have seen them pop up in your calendar recently. But if you’d rather hide them (or switch back to Google Tasks), it’s very easy to do so.