Since smartphones have become more commonplace, many of you have probably given up wearing a watch in favor of having your phone tell you the time. You can also use your iPhone as an alarm clock, a timer, and a stopwatch, as well as a large timepiece.
Manufacturers and carriers often load Android phones with their own apps. If you don’t use them, they just clutter your system, or–even worse–drain your battery in the background. Take control of your device and stop the bloatware.
The Apple Watch allows you to send text messages with your voice through the Messages app. But every time you do, it’ll ask you whether you want to send a message as text or as a voice recording. Here’s how to get rid of that prompt.
Ever want to watch a video on your phone or tablet without wasting its storage space? Or maybe you just need to view a file your friend gave you. Most modern Android devices support standard USB drives, so you can plug in a flash drive just like you would on a computer.
This only applies to purchases you make within apps. If you purchased a paid app from the App Store, you can just revisit the App Store and reinstall the app. As long as you’re signed in with the same Apple ID you purchased the app with, you’ll be able to install it again on any device.
If you swipe down from Android’s menu bar twice, you’ll get a nice panel of quick settings you can toggle with one tap. Want to hide some of these settings, move them around, or add new ones? You have a few choices.
Is your Android device low on space? If your phone has a MicroSD card slot, you can use it to expand your space for music, movies or even apps, thanks to the improved SD card features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
When organizing your Home screens on your iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably noticed that a default name is given to each folder when you create it. iOS won’t let you delete the name and leave it blank, but there is a trick to getting around this problem.
With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google added more than just Doze. It added a feature named App Standby, which is designed to prevent apps you never use from draining your battery. It’s less effective than disabling apps completely, but it has its place.
When you tap a key on the iOS keyboard, it will “pop up” so you know what key you’re pressing. This preview has long been a feature that you had to live with whether you liked it or not, but in iOS 9, you can disable it.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow added a new feature called “Doze” that aims to dramatically improve your battery life. Android phones and tablets will “sleep” when you leave them alone, conserving battery life for later. Doze is designed to get out of your way and just work, but you can tweak it and make it even better.
Google added a “Battery Saver” mode to Android with Android 5.0 Lollipop. On a modern Android device, this mode can kick in and help prolong your battery when it’s almost dead. You can tweak that battery threshold or enable Battery Saver mode manually.
The Digital Touch feature on your Apple Watch allows you to send sketches, taps, or even your heartbeat to another friend who also has an Apple Watch. Here’s how to use it.
Many low-level tweaks can normally only be performed on Android by flashing custom ROMs. The Xposed Framework allows you to modify your existing system without installing a new custom ROM. All it requires is root access.
Unfortunately, not every mobile game supports physical game controllers. But quite a few games do, thanks to the Apple TV’s support for MFi controllers. For Android, devices like the NVIDIA Shield have encouraged developers to have controller support to their games. So, while this won’t necessarily work for every game you own, it should work for a fair amount.
When you bought your phone it was cutting edge, had the latest version of Android, and made your heart sing. A year or two later, it doesn’t get new updates, and the performance is a little sluggish. You can breathe new life into your phone–not to mention add a ton of useful features–by flashing it with a new custom ROM.
You probably get so many notifications on your phone and tablet that it’s easy to dismiss them without reading them. But one day, as you instinctively swipe a notification away, you may realize it might have been important and panic. No worries: in Android, you can easily access a log of your notifications.
Your Apple Watch allows you to put your most important contacts in a circle of “friends”, so they’re just one button press away for calls, messages, and more.
If you really want to dig into the Android system, you may find that some apps require root access. Rooting has become less necessary over the years, but it’s still useful if you want to run certain types of apps. Here’s the most widely supported method for rooting your device, and why you might want to.
Are you finding that you’re not seeing new apps on the App Store, or that updates to apps won’t go away even after you’ve installed the updates? Here’s a simple fix.
That 15GB phone may seem like it has a lot of space, but after taking all those photos, syncing all that music, and downloading all those audiobooks, it could dwindle pretty quickly. With so many files on your device, how are you supposed to figure out which files are taking up the most space? We’ll show a couple of ways to analyze the storage on your Android device.
Rooting your Android device gives you access to a wider variety of apps and a deeper access to the Android system. But some apps–like Google’s Android Pay–won’t work at all on a rooted device.
A mouse and keyboard isn’t always the most convenient way to control a PC, especially a media center PC you control from the couch. You can try to control your desktop with a game controller, but your smartphone will do the trick as well.
USB Type-C brings a new universal connector to laptops and smartphones, and many devices are already starting to use it. But beware: many USB-C cables aren’t designed properly and could potentially damage your hardware.
Many Android tweaking and hacking guides warn that you’ll void your warranty by continuing. But will you actually be denied repair service if you’ve rooted or unlocked your bootloader?