Google’s Smart Lock for Passwords makes it easy to sync the passwords you have saved in Chrome over to your Android device. Not only will it sync the passwords with Chrome on your phone, but also to supported apps—so you don’t have to remember your password for apps like Netflix or LinkedIn. The thing is, you may not want to auto-login to specific apps. Or any app at all, for that matter.
When a new version of Android comes out for your phone, it doesn’t usually drop for everyone at once. Instead, it rolls out over time. However, you can easily check to see if it’s available on your device instead of simply waiting for a notification to show up.
Ever get annoyed that you don’t have an entire row of numbers atop your Android keyboard? It makes typing things like passwords—which should always have at least one number in them—far more annoying. Fortunately, Google heard the cry and made this an option in the latest Gboard keyboard.
Hidden features are cool. If you like to mod, tweak, or otherwise personalize your device, hidden menus and settings are like a playground—all sorts of neat stuff can be found behind a door that you may not even realize is there! Android’s fantastic Nova Launcher has one of those doors.
Ads are an unfortunate necessity on the internet—they’re how sites like this one are able to operate. But if you find personalized ads a little too creepy, you can tell Google (one of the internet’s biggest ad networks) to stop showing you personalized ads.
At some point during the day (or even night), most of us need an alarm for one reason or another: to wake up for work, to leave for an appointment, or some other thing. Whatever the reason, the smartphone has almost completely killed the alarm clock market at this point—if you’re going to wake up by your phone, then you might as well be doing it right, right?
Let’s be honest here: GIFs and emoji are the new form of communication. As silly as they may seem, they somehow add an additional layer to the way we interact with friends and family over text or instant messages, which can otherwise come off as dry. While emoji has long been a part of Google Keyboard, Google added a way to search them—as well as GIF integration—into the new Gboard update.
Google’s Pixel Launcher is a fantastic and clean home screen utility that everyone should be able to enjoy—the problem is, it’s a Pixel-exclusive feature. The good news is that you can actually set Nova Launcher up to look and function exactly like Pixel Launcher. And since it’s Nova, you can actually improve on Pixel Launcher’s functionality. I call that a win-win.
Google Keyboard for Android has a new name: Gboard. This puts it in line with the iOS keyboard of the same name, bringing many of its features (and more) to Android. One of Gboard’s best new features is built-in Google Search from anywhere a keyboard can be accessed (think of it as a “portable” Google Assistant). In our experience, it seems to be enabled on some phones, but not others, by default.
It’s a little thing, but having your TV turn on automatically when you turn on your Android TV box is nice. The thing is, not all Android TVs support this, which is just one of the many things that makes the NVIDIA SHIELD console the best Android TV box out there.
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.
At this point, Google Chrome is prolific. You likely use it on your desktop computer and laptop, as well as any mobile devices you may have. Keeping things in sync between all of your devices is easy-peasy, thanks to Google’s handy sync settings.
Anyone with kids has likely been in this situation: you’re waiting somewhere—in line, at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, etc.—and your kid just isn’t having it. Darling little Susie is really showing what she’s got, so you do whatever you can to get her to chill out, which usually means pulling out the ol’ smartphone, loading up YouTube, and handing it over.
Android Auto recently made its way to phones, eliminating the need for a $1000+ head unit to get its road-friendly features. And while you can set Auto to automatically launch when a specific Bluetooth device (like your car) is connected, what about those who may not have a Bluetooth-enabled car stereo? NFC is the answer.
Let’s be real here: modern smartphones have limited storage. While they’re coming with a lot more than they used to, it’s easy to fill 32GB without even realizing it. And with today’s high-end cameras, well, pictures and videos can quickly consume a big part of that.
Feeling safe is important, but in this day and age it can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, we’re surrounded with brilliant technology that can be put to good use. Google’s Trusted Contacts does just that by allowing you to share your location with, well, people you trust. Whether you’re walking home alone after work, lost in the woods, or caught in natural disaster, this app can help you (or your loved ones) stay safe.
Back in May of 2016, Dropbox announced on its official blog that it now has half a billion users. That’s a lot of people, which also means there’s likely a lot of information being stored in this cloud service that you wouldn’t want other people seeing. If you’re one of those 500 million, it’s time to secure your account.
If you’re an Android user, Google is ubiquitous throughout the operating system. You can access Google Now on Tap from pretty much anywhere by long-pressing the home button, jump into Google Now directly from the launcher, or say “OK Google” to use your voice from pretty much anywhere in the OS. But each time you do one of those things, it creates a new search entry in your Google History.
While many users can live their entire smartphone lives without ever needing to touch their phones file system, there are times when more advanced measures are needed. When you need to sideload an app or move a downloaded file, for example, you’re going to need a file manager. Here are our picks for the best that Android has to offer.
Google loves to let people try updates to its products before releasing them to the masses. If you’re one of the folks who jumps on every beta (or alpha!) you can find, you can now do the same thing on your Chromecast.
If you’re like me (and nearly everyone I know), you do a lot of shopping on Amazon. Buying gifts? Amazon. Household items? Amazon. Electronics? Amazon. But because it’s so encompassing, it’s also something you’re going to want to take extra care to secure.
If you have an Android phone, you undoubtedly have some sort of photo management app installed—most likely, it’s just called “Gallery.” But you know what? That’s not the be-all-end-all of photo apps. In fact, there are a slew of others on the Play Store that do a much better job of handling your photos.
If you have cellular service in the US, then there’s a good chance you’re on one of the big four carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile. But what if I told you that you could save a significant amount of money without sacrificing coverage by switching to a smaller carrier with the same great service?
Google Photos is arguably the best photo management app on the Play Store. It’s intuitive and easy to use, has lots of useful features, and best of all, it backs up all of your images. The thing is, if you’re using a non-stock Android phone—like an LG G series or Samsung Galaxy, for example—the stock gallery app can get in the way of an otherwise consistent and clean Photos experience.
To provide your Google Home with even more capabilities, you can connect a few different smarthome devices and control them using nothing but your voice. Here’s how to set it up.