MOBILE ARTICLES / ANDROID, IPHONE, IPAD, AND MORE
You probably know about the mute switch on the side of your iPhone, and you may even know about the Do Not Disturb feature. These features may seem to do more or less the same thing–keep notifications from bugging you–but they have a few distinct differences.
Picture this: You’re sitting in a restaurant or coffee shop, just casually surfing the web on your phone. Being the savvy user you are, you’re connected to the public Wi-Fi to save data. Suddenly, the public Wi-Fi stops working. But you don’t have to fret, because the “Smart Network Switch” feature on Samsung phones automatically switches to a mobile connection when Wi-Fi is too weak.
iOS makes smart use of the Home button. You can double-click to switch apps, and even triple-click to do all sorts of things. The speed at which you need to click the Home button to register a double- or triple-click is fine for many people, but if you find yourself struggling to click the button fast enough, you can slow things down a bit.
Back in Android 5.x Lollipop, Google released a new feature called “Ambient Display”—a tweak that shows notification information on the phone or tablet’s display when you pick it up or get a notification, without actually having to turn the display on.
Android N will bring a lot of new, innovative, and useful tools to Android, but if you don’t have a modern Nexus device, then it’s hard to say how long you’ll be waiting to get your hands on some of these new goodies. Fortunately, if you’re running a rooted device with the Xposed framework installed, getting many of N’s new features is only a quick download away.
Google Keyboard has a ton of customization options, but every tweak requires a trip to its Settings menu. While there’s an easy way to access this menu from the keyboard itself, there’s also another way: through the app’s icon in the app drawer. Unfortunately, this isn’t enabled by default—but with one last trip into the Settings menu, a simple switch will make it possible.
Everyone who uses a phone case wants something they actually like. So a customized phone case with the image of your choice sounds like a no brainer, right? That’s exactly what Google is doing with “Live Cases,” a new $35 product for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P that allows users to completely customize the look of their phone case with a photo or map. It’s…okay.
Nexus OTA updates are a bit of an enigma—they come straight from Google, but they also depend on carrier approval before they can be sent to devices on certain networks. Getting the latest OTA update meant either waiting a few weeks, or manually flashing a full factory image, which can be a bit janky. Now, however, the process is more streamlined, so you can flash the latest update with one command, no waiting necessary.
Siri makes for a handy assistant, capable of all sorts of useful things. But if you’ve ever been in a meeting or theater and had Siri get triggered by accident, you know she can also be a bit of a nuisance. By default, Siri speaks aloud even when you have your phone muted. Here’s how to change that.
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.
Perhaps you have drafts of old messages you didn’t have time to finish, or maybe you use draft messages as templates so you don’t have to type things over and over again. However you use drafts, here’s a quicker way to access them in the iOS Mail app instead of browsing around for your Drafts folder.