Tethering is the act of sharing your phone’s mobile data connection with another device—such as your laptop or tablet—connecting it to the Internet through your phone’s data connection. There are several ways to tether on Android.
Years after the smartphone boom, there are hundreds of different Bluetooth controllers for Android. Most of them work just fine out of the box, but there are exceptions, like Microsoft’s new Bluetooth-equipped Xbox One S controller.
Tethering your phone’s internet connection, which allows users to share their phone’s data connection with other devices, is really useful if you’re out and about with no Wi-Fi, but some carriers block the feature from your phone. If you get an error message when you try to tether—something like “Account not set up for tethering”—here’s a fix.
CyanogenMod was formerly the most popular custom ROM for Android devices. Unfortunately, a short-lived effort at making the ROM the basis of a business-to-business software company sank the entire CyanogenMod team and its former assets, including the name and community servers. But all isn’t lost: many of the original developers have jumped into the new LineageOS project—a direct follow-up to CyanogenMod. While the extensive device support isn’t quite what it used to be, Lineage is still the first stop for up-to-date community ROMs for many users.
Android users have been rooting their phones since the beginning of the operating system, but in recent years it has gotten much more complicated. More recently, a new method for handling root management has emerged, and it’s called Magisk.
The battery life of cell phones just doesn’t seem to be as long as it used to be. If your Android device is dying faster than you would like, Wakelock Detector can help you to home in on apps you have installed that might be killing your battery or preventing the screen from switching off.
Android is very customizable–many of its features are just defaults, and can be swapped out for third-party alternatives without any rooting required. When it comes to iOS, well…not so much.
Gaining root access on Android devices isn’t a new concept, but the way it is done has changed with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The new “systemless” root method can be a bit confusing at first, so we’re here to help make sense of it all, why you’d want it, and why this method is the best way to root an Android phone moving forward.
At this point, smartphones are prolific. We use them for calls, text messages, social networking, photos, quick searches, streaming music, watching videos…the list goes on. But each thing you do drains your battery life, and some apps will even continue to drain your battery in the background when you aren’t using them. A free app called Greenify can fix that.
Modding Android is far from a new idea, and when it comes to bending the OS to your will, Xposed is one of the most powerful tools out there. While there are dozens of Xposed modules available, we’ve picked a handful of our favorites to help you step your Android game to the next level.
Xposed is one of the most powerful tools a rooted Android user has in their arsenal. It brings things to the table that were previously only available on custom ROMs—like custom reboot menus, theme modifications, and so much more. Of course, all that customization comes at a cost: since it modifies the system partition, using Xposed essentially breaks Android’s update system. But not anymore.
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.
So you have a shiny new Android phone, equipped with a security-friendly fingerprint scanner. Congratulations! But did you know that, while useful on its own, you can actually make the fingerprint scanner do more than just unlock your phone? An app called Fingerprint Gestures can take that little scanner to the next level.
Android developers can restrict their apps to certain devices, countries, and minimum versions of Android. However, there are ways around these restrictions, allowing you to install apps marked as “not compatible with your device.”
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.
ADB, Android Debug Bridge, is a command-line utility included with Google’s Android SDK. ADB can control your device over USB from a computer, copy files back and forth, install and uninstall apps, run shell commands, 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.
Android geeks often unlock their bootloaders to root their devices and install custom ROMs. But there’s a reason devices come with locked bootloaders – unlocking your bootloader creates security risks.
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.
When you press and hold the power button on your Android device, the power menu appears. Unfortunately, on a lot of devices, it only has one option: Power Off.
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.
Android has come a long way in terms of battery life over the last few years, and the built-in tools for monitoring battery usage have gotten significantly more useful. Still, sometimes the stock options just aren’t enough. Thankfully, there are ways to easily gauge your battery usage, remaining time, and even hunt down apps that are stealing your precious juice.
If you’ve ever tried to do anything advanced on your Android phone, you’ve likely heard (or read) the term “USB Debugging.” This is a commonly-used option that’s tucked away neatly under Android’s Developer Options menu, but it’s still something that many users enable without giving it a second thought–and without knowing what it really does.
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.
So, you’ve opened the doors of advanced functionality on your Android phone by rooting it. That’s great! You can do stuff with your phone that other people can’t do with theirs. But what happens when things change and you want to unroot it? Fear not, we’ve got you covered.