Archive for category Tips & Tools

11 new features added to Android 11 Developer Preview 2

Android 11 is the upcoming version of Google’s mobile OS and it is all set to officially launch this May. Google released the first developer preview of Android 11 a few weeks back for the developers and Android users to test it and give their feedback.

The second developer preview of Android 11 is now released and you can download and install it on all your Pixel smartphone, except for the first generation ones released back in 2016. Click here to download the relevant system image file for your Pixel device.

While the first developer preview of Android 11 included a few visual changes and interesting features like the native screen recorder, message bubbles, and improved permissions, this release of the developer preview focusses more on polishing the previous version and improving the overall privacy and security of the OS.

Here are the top 11 new features and changes that were added to the Android 11 developer preview.

11 new features added to Android 11 Developer Preview 2

Notification history

There is a new option added to the bottom left corner of the notification panel called ‘History’, which is the option to access the Notification history where all the notifications you have received on your device, including the ones you accidentally dismissed are saved.

The notifications are ordered according to the time you received them and you can also view which app sent the notification.

developer preview 2

Wireless debugging

Android developers while already had an option to wirelessly connect their Android device to a PC for debugging purpose, it was a bit complicated and most of them primarily used the USB debugging option.

Google has finally added a convenient way in the developer preview 2 of Android 11 to initiate an ADB connection using your Android device wirelessly to a PC. Developers will now be able to perform tasks like sideloading APKs and testing their apps on Android devices wirelessly making the whole process more convenient.

‘Requires eyes to be open’ option for Face unlock feature

Many users have reported that they are able to unlock their Pixel 4 devices using the Face unlock feature even with their eyes closed which was not how it was supposed to work and it raised several controversies and privacy concerns.

Google announced that it will be fixing this issue soon, and an option to Require your eyes to be open to unlock your phone has now been added in the Face unlock settings page in the Android 11 developer preview 2.

developer preview 2

Lockscreen customization options

A new option to customize how the clock is displayed on the lock screen has also appeared in the developer preview 2 of Android 11. While this option is already present in Android versions of other OEMs like Samsung’s One UI and OnePlus’s Oxygen OS, this is the first time this feature has made its way to the stock version of Android 11.

There are not many customization options available at the moment except the default one, however, more options could be added in the final stable release of Android 11.

developer preview 2

Redesigned wallpaper picker

The wallpaper picker in the Pixel line of devices has also been redesigned in this developer preview 2 to give a more polished and sleek look. The new design could be accessed by long pressing on the home screen and then selecting the ‘Styles and wallpaper’ option.

Basically the thumbnails of the wallpapers have been made larger and you can now swipe up to access wallpapers from different categories. The wallpaper picker page also has options to customize the accent colors and fonts of your device.

Android 11

Screen recorder UI

A native screen recorder option was added to the Developer Preview 1 of Android 11 and in this version, the feature also gets a UI added to it. The native screen recorder UI included a short warning informing the user that sensitive information like passwords and payment details could be recorded while using this feature, and also has options to record audio and show touches on the screen while recording.

Android 11

Separated notifications section

Another minor design change introduced in this developer preview 2 is that the different notification sections in the notification panel of your devices such as the conversations, alerts, and silent notifications are now separated with a clearly noticeable white space making it a bit easier to distinguish between them.

5G state API

This is more of a developer focussed feature where the developer would be able to determine whether a user of their app is on a 5G new radio or a non-standalone network. This would help them to provide better 5G experience to their users like improved speed and latency.

Call screening improvements

Google introduced the call screening feature back in 2018 with Pixel 3 and Android 9 which is a feature that allows your Google assistant to attend the call for you and asking questions on your behalf in an attempt to avoid spam and robocalls.

This feature is now getting a few improvements in the developer preview 2 of Android 11. The new feature can now report a reason for rejecting a call, and the users will now be shown a screen after the call has been rejected with options to either mark the call as spam or add the number to their contacts.

Variable refresh rate support

With more phones being released with high refresh rate displays like 90Hz and even 120Hz, developers will now an option to set a preferred refresh rate for their apps or games in Android 11.

This means that if your phone is set to a default refresh rate of 60Hz but your device has the 120Hz option and a developer thinks that his game would be better run in a higher refresh rate then he would have the option to choose the best refresh rate on your device for his app or game.

Resume on reboot

The new resume on reboot feature in Android 11 slightly changes the way how your Android device acts after an overnight system update has been performed. Previously once a new update is installed, your device would automatically reboot and your apps won’t start functioning and you won’t receive any notifications or alerts until you unlock your device.

This might be inconvenient if you leave your device unattended for a few hours but still want your notifications to be received. With Android 11’s resume on reboot feature all your apps will perform normally and will send notifications after a system reboot following an update without needing to unlock your device first.

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Top 8 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra features and updates

Samsung officially launched the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, along with its other flagship devices including the S20, S20 Plus, and the foldable phone, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event held on Tuesday, the 11th of February.

All the devices would go on sale from March 6th and while at first glance they look pretty similar to the predecessors, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is actually packed with a ton of new features and innovative updates that sets it apart from the previous generations of flagships from Samsung.

So, if you are planning to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or pre-book it from your favorite retailer, you might want to take a look at this list of top 8 features and updates of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra that might help you in making your decision easier.

Top 8 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra features and updates

120Hz refresh rate display

The display is arguably the most important thing on a flagship device and especially when you are paying more than $1000 you would expect the best possible display in your Galaxy S20 Ultra. Samsung does not fail to meet your expectations as for the first time in its flagships Samsung is bringing in the 120Hz high refresh rate display to all the flagships launched in the event except the Galaxy Z Flip.

The Display in the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a massive 6.9-inch QHD+ panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch-sensing rate. This means that not only the games you plan on your device would be smoother and more fluid, the general performance of the device such as scrolling, opening apps or switching between apps would also be more smooth and responsive.

108MP main camera sensor

Samsung sure took a major leap in the camera hardware of the S20 Ultra as it has an insane 108MP main camera sensor as opposed to the 12MP camera found in Galaxy flagships from last year. This is by far the biggest camera sensor Samsung has ever installed in one of their flagships, or in any Flagship device currently in the market. This 108MP camera sensor would help you to capture pictures with great detail and would also preserve the same amount of detail even if you zoom or crop your images several times.

Galaxy S20 ultra

The sensor is also expected to perform well in ultra low light conditions as the image sensor is 3 times bigger than the one found in the S10 series and would probably set new standards for low light photography. The S20 Ultra can also record videos up to 8K resolution and you can take a screengrab of the video after recording which would be an equivalent of a 33MP image. The Galaxy S20 Ultra also comes with a 40MP selfie camera, which is also the largest camera sensor Samsung has installed in any of its devices.

Single take mode

The Single take mode is a software-based feature and is introduced in all the new S20 variants including the S20 Ultra. The single take is a shooting mode where when you press the shutter button to capture a scene using your phone, your device would then start capturing both photos and videos for the next 10 seconds.

The best part about this feature is that you do not need a tripod or to stay still while using this mode and you would still get the best possible result. After the 10 seconds of capturing, your device will save multiple variants of the scene including ultra-wide, portrait, images with filters, slow-motion videos, boomerang videos and also the original photo and video. The single-take mode would really be useful if you don’t want to spend additional time processing your images or videos or applying filters, after capturing them.

Galaxy S20 ultra

100X Digital Zoom

The S20 Ultra also has a 48MP telephoto lens that is capable of zooming up to 100X, which is 10 times more than the 10X digital zoom found in Samsung’s previous generation flagships. The camera also supports 10X optical zoom which is again 5 times more than the 2X optical zoom found in the S10 series.

16 GB of RAM

While the base variant of the Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 12GB of RAM, you can buy an upgraded version of the device which has up to 16GB of RAM which is more than most laptops and desktops out there. While this amount of RAM sounds like overkill for a smartphone, it can actually come across as useful in the S20 Ultra as the device is capable of recording and processing videos up to 8K Resolution, and also a 120Hz high refresh rate display which might also require more processing power when playing graphic-intensive games that support the 120Hz refresh rate.

This amount of RAM will also be useful when you want to multitask on your device and with Samsung’s version of Android, the OneUI having great multi-tasking features like split windows, multi-windows and floating windows, Multitasking with several apps open at once and even switching back and forth between several apps would be a breeze when you have 16GB of RAM and a massive 6.9-inch screen that is perfect for multi-tasking.

Super steady Optical Image Stabilization mode

The super steady OIS mode is introduced in all the S20 variants including the S20 Ultra. This mode essentially allows you to capture highly stable and blur-free videos even when you are shaking your device or capturing a video while constantly moving. Samsung’s AI and something called an anti-rolling stabilizer along with the larger image sensor helps you to capture an action camera level video with your S20 series devices.

5000mAh battery

To be able to power the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a massive 6.9-inch QuadHD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, 16GB of RAM and the powerful Snapdragon 865 processor, Samsung has also included a humongous 5000mAh battery with the S20 Ultra. While the capacity of the battery might seem insane on paper, considering the other aspects of the device it seems reasonable and might just be enough to power the device for a day or two.

45W Fast charging

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra supports 45W super-fast charging out of the box and even with the massive 5000mAh, with fast charging you would be able to charge your device from 0 to 100 in little over an hour. The device also supports 15W wireless and reverse wireless charging. However, the charger that is included in the box will only support 25W charging and you need to buy a 45W charger separately if you want to experience the super-fast charging time.

5G support

All the Galaxy S20 variants will support 5G connectivity and while many US carriers are still in the process of establishing and expanding their 5G networks, it is good to know that your device will support that technology once it becomes mainstream in the future.

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How to schedule a text message on Android

In today’s busy world communicating with someone is as simple as taking your smartphone and sending a short message. However, most of us with a busy schedule often tend to forget to send an important message to someone at the right time and tell ourselves that we will send that message later and end up forgetting and getting into trouble more frequently than we might want to.

If this sounds like you and if you had ever wished that there was a way you could schedule a text message on your Android phone so that the message gets sent automatically to the intended person at the exact time, then you might be happy to know there are multiple ways to schedule a text message on Android.

Here is how to schedule a text message on your Android phone and make sure you never forget to send a message again.

How to schedule a text message on Android

Method 1: Using Samsung Text Messages

If you are a Samsung Galaxy device user, then you are in luck as the default Messages app that comes pre-installed with the Samsung Galaxy devices has the option to schedule text messages. Just follow the below steps to schedule a text message on your Samsung phone.

Step 1:

Open the Messages app on your Samsung device and select the contact to whom you want to send a scheduled text message.

Step 2:

Type the text message you want to sent and then tap on the ‘+’ icon on the left side of the text field.

Step 3:

Select the ‘Schedule message’ from the resulting screen and now you would be able to schedule your text message from the calendar UI appears by selecting the time and date, up to one year in advance.

schedule text message

Step 4:

Once you have set the scheduled time to send your text message, select done and then hit on the send button. The message will now be automatically sent to the selected contact on the scheduled date and time.

If you have set a wrong date or time by mistake or you want to modify the scheduled message, you can always long press on the text, delete it and try again.

Method 2: Using Third-party Messaging apps

If you do not own a Samsung device or the default messaging app on your Android device does not have the feature to schedule a text message, then don’t worry you can always install a number of third-party messaging apps that come with this feature.

Step 1:

While there are a lot of third-party apps out there that have the feature to schedule text messages on your Android phone, Textra SMS and Pulse SMS are the most popular ones with a ton of good reviews. So, based on your preference, select and install either one of the apps from the Google Play Store.

Step 2:

Both Textra SMS and Pulse SMS have a very similar user interface and it is quite simple to use the schedule message feature in both of the apps.

For Textra SMS

In Textra SMS, all you need to do is create a new conversation with the contact you want to send the message, or open an existing conversation and type the message you want to send.

Now click on the ‘+’ icon on the left corner of the text field and then select the clock icon at the bottom menu. This will open up the Calendar UI where you could select the date and time you want to send the text message. Once done, just click on the ‘Schedule’ button and the message will now set to be sent on the selected date and time.

schedule text message
schedule text message

For Pulse SMS

If you had installed the Pulse SMS app, the process is somewhat similar. You need to type a message to a contact and then select the options button on the top right corner of the screen and select the ‘Schedule a message’ option from the pop-up menu.

You can now select the date and time and hit send to schedule the message. In both the apps, you can delete the scheduled text message if you want to change the time or the contents of the message.

schedule text message
schedule text message
schedule text message
schedule text message

Method 3: Using third party messaging add-on

If you don’t want to use a third-party messaging app and would rather stick to the default messaging app that came with your Android phone, then you might want to consider installing the Schedule SMS add on. You can use this add-on just for scheduling your text messages and use the default text messaging app or the preferred app of your choice for all your messaging needs.

Step 1:

Install the Schedule SMS app from the Google Play Store and open the app.

Step 2:

The next step is fairly straightforward. Just click on the ‘+’ icon on the home page of the app and then compose a new text message with the content you want to send and the contact you want to send it to.

Step 3:

You can now set the date and time you want the text message to be sent and click on the ‘Schedule Message’ button to send the message at the set time.

schedule text message

Feel free to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions on how to schedule a text message on Android or about any of the methods mentioned above.

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Here’s how to use RCS messaging on “most” Android phones

Google has been busy as of late, advancing its users past the decades-old protocol of SMS. The new universal option that the company is trying to bring to light is Rich Communication Servies, or RCS.

What’s it do?

We first outlined what RCS does and what Google’s intentions were in post back in November 2019. In short, the RCS protocol gives Android Message users the opportunity for more data packed messages between chats. Think “iMessage for Android”.

The fallback is still going to be SMS, but if both parties have RCS, they can share larger groups, videos, and pictures in conversations.

How to turn it on

To be sure, the road has been long and there are still caveats with a rolling release. What’s more, you have to use Android Messages as your client. Getting your phone to take advantage of RCS is just a few menu clicks away after you verify Android Messages is installed.

Let’s do it!

  • Open Android Messages from the application tray
  • If you’ve never used Messages you may get prompted to immediately turn on Chat (RCS)
  • Otherwise, select the hamburger menu in the top right and go to Settings
  • Tap Chat features
  • Make sure status is Connected and Enable chat features is toggled to ON

Chat Away

It’s worth noting that this new RCS option is dependent on multiple variables. So far, there’s no apparent list or reasoning as to which devices are capable of RCS Chat and which are not.

Also, it can also take up to 30 minutes for the Messages app to show Connected.

We do know that most Pixel phones seem to be enabled as do many Samsung phones. I can also verify that Essential phones seem to have the option’s server-side switch to show Chat enabling. Unfortunately, my BlackBerry Key2 LE has yet to present me with the ability to turn on Chat.

Google has voiced that it is actively working to push support to more devices. For those that already have the ability, we hope this tutorial helps you expand your Chat options with your friends and family.

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How to set up autofill services

We have all been in this situation: you have bought a new phone, or decided to factory reset it in search of better performance. Everything is working smoothly, until you have to set up all of your apps again. If you have set up back ups of your data, then this could be potentially easier. However, if you haven’t, there’s the need to log in into your services again.

With so many information leaks, hacks, and other scary stuff in the complicated world of security, a password manager is becoming a necessity rather than an option. Using the same password for everything has never been an option, but it has grown to become laughably insecure in recent years. The biggest problems with password managers is the lack of a reliable, battery-friendly way of filling passwords into apps, just like extensions work on desktop web browsers. Enter the autofill API.

What is autofill?

Since Android Oreo (8.0), Android has added an option to autofill passwords for you. It’s really simple: you go to an app, and your phone will give you an option to autofill your credentials. This is how it looks:

From there, if you tap on the auto-fill button, you will be redirected to your password manager. Here, you will be able to unlock it, and select the appropriate credentials for the app. The password manager even tries to guess which application it is trying to autofill, but it is also possible to search for the login yourself. After selecting it, your application will have the login autofilled for you. No need to go back and forth copying and pasting passwords!

How to activate it?

The steps might vary slightly from device to device, since manufacturers sometimes group settings in different ways. However, try to adapt these steps to your own device and you will find the way around it.

  1. Install the password manager of your choice
  2. Log in to it and go back to the home screen
  3. Go to the Settings of your device
  4. Go to System > Languages and input
  5. Go to the Input Assistance section

There, you will find an option called Autofill service.

If you tap on it, you will have at least three different options: None, Google, and your password manager. By tapping on your password manager, the autofill service will become active for it. In case you still can’t decide between password managers, Android is kind enough to offer you an “Add service” option, which takes you to the Play Store and suggests you renowned password managers with the autofill functionality.

What about accessibility services?

Since this is a fairly new functionality, but password managers have been around for a long time, they worked around this limitation in Android by implementing some workarounds using an accessibility service. In short, they scanned through the fields of every screen looking for one that might accept a password. If they did, then you could autofill it with your credentials.

However, that was slow, battery-hungry, and unreliable. Thus, we recommend to move to the autofill option as soon as possible if your device supports it. All password managers should include this functionality it by now.


In this highly-connected world, in which everyone can access information from all over the world in a matter of seconds, security and privacy are more important than ever. While an increasing amount of services are very eager to make you create accounts for their sites, they often do a pathetic job in keeping this data safe. Thus, a password manager is essential to avoid bad experiences. With a native autofill functionality, there’s no excuses for using age-old methods such as similar (or even the same) passwords for every account. Give it a go and make your life easier and more secure!

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First 10 things you should do with your new OnePlus 6T

Got yourself a new and shiny OnePlus 6T? The company’s latest flagship is one of the best smartphones you can get under $550 right now, so you’ve made a great choice.

Now what? You need to get started with your new device. In this article, we’re going to explore the top ten things to do with your OnePlus 6T after you’ve unboxed it and popped in your SIM.

Snap a case on it

While the OnePlus 6T is an affordable flagship, it still cost a pretty penny. So in order to protect your investment, it’s essential that you use a protective case.

Fortunately, you have plenty of options to choose from. And since OnePlus does a great job at supporting its smartphones with awesome accessories, you can get yourself an official case right from the manufacturer.

Official accessories:

Set up fingerprint unlock

One of the 6T’s new tricks is the in-display fingerprint sensor. So among the first things you should do is set it up. To do so you will have to go to Settings>Security & Lock screen>Fingerprint>Add a fingerprint.

You’ll need to have set a PIN, pattern, or password to protect your phone beforehand. Once that’s done, follow the instructions to configure your fingerprint.

Set up face unlock

The OnePlus 6T’s in-display fingerprint sensor is cool and all, but it’s a little slow. So it wouldn’t hurt to set up a second way to unlock your phone. Like it’s the predecessor, the OnePlus 6T features a face unlock system. It’s not as advanced (or secure) as the one on the iPhone X, but will do its job and it’s quite fast.

To set it up, simply head to Settings>Security & lockscreen>Face unlock>Add face and let the phone scan your face.

Adjust color temperature

Because how good colors look on the screen is often a matter of debate between individuals who each has his/her own preferences, OnePlus includes the option to manually adjust color temperature on your phone.

To do so visit Settings>Display>Screen Calibration. You can choose from the pre-set options or opt for Custom color which allows you to manually adjust color temperature.

Toggle the notch

Compared to the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T features a teardrop-shaped notch that’s a lot smaller. However, if you still prefer your phone without a notch, you can turn it off from settings. Just go to Settings>Display>Notch>Hide the notch area.

Customize Quick Settings

You can customize the Quick Settings area on your OnePlus 6T and add the shortcuts to the features you use the most. Simply swipe down at the top of your screen to see your Quick Settings.

Pull it all the way down until you spot the Pencil icon underneath. Tap on it and hold & drag to add the tiles you want (including NFC, Gaming Mode, Reading Mode and more)

Try out the new camera modes

While on paper the OnePlus 6T’s camera specs haven’t changed much compared to the previous iteration, some improvements have been added to the mix.

The lenses on board are a 16M (f/1.7) camera with OIS plus a 20MP (f/1.7) sensor. Flip to the selfie camera and you have a 16MP (f/2.0) with HDR and EIS.

Well, the OnePlus 6T comes with a new Night Mode, which is optimized for low-light photography.

Another upgrade is Studio Lighting, which is basically the opposite of Night Mode. This feature will allow you to change the brightness of the scene during a portrait shoot while you are actually taking the photo.

As you use your new phone for the first time, you should definitely try them out.

Change the theme

The OnePlus 6T comes with a default all-white UI which is nice to look at. However, it consumes a lot more power than a dark theme, so you might want to change it. Or customize it for that matter.

Go to Settings>Display>Theme and choose from the three options available (Colorful, Light, Dark). What’s more, you also have customizable accent colors which are pretty great.

Give quick gestures a try

The OnePlus 6T lets you take advantage of a host of Quick Gestures, and you don’t even need to wake the phone to use some.

Head on to Settings>Buttons & gestures>Quick Gestures to see what’s available. For example, drawing an O can open up the selfie camera. You can assign it other functions like recording a video or opening up the flashlight app.

Customize the Alert Slider

OnePlus phones come with an additional button called the Alert Slider. On the OnePlus 6T, you will find it on the right side. It’s there to let you easily switch between ring, vibrate and silent. But the phone also offers some other useful tweaks for it.

Just go to Settings>Buttons & gesture>Alert Slider to explore further. For example, in Silent mode, you can configure the phone to mute all media.

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How to change the font on your Android phone

Android smartphones come with a font set by default. But like with everything on Android, they can be changed to suit your particular taste.

So if you want to give your phone a new look, you should know that you can always change fonts. In an attempt to differentiate themselves from the crowd, some Android OEMs have bundled additional fonts with their phones. Although not all offer this option. The good news is that even if that’s the case for your device, you can still change the fonts.

In what follows below, we’ll show you how to change the fonts on Android without rooting. There are several methods to employ, and we’ll go through all of them.

First off..

Check to see if your phone has some font settings built-in

As we mentioned above some phones offer the ability to tweak/change fonts. For example, Samsung devices come with a few extra fonts besides the default.

How to change the font on your Samsung device

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Display>Screen zoom and font
  3. Scroll down until your find Font Style
  4. Pick the font you want and then confirm you want to set it as system font.
  5. From there you can tap the “+” Download fonts button. You’ll need to log in with a Samsung account in order to do so.

Other manufacturers like LG, HTC or OnePlus also let you change fonts on your phone. So if for example, you have an OnePlus device, you can go to Settings>Display>Font to change the default Roboto to OnePlus Slate. You can also tweak the size of the font.

Install a third party launcher

What if you don’t have any font settings on your Android phone? Not to worry, you can always install a launcher and change fronts from there. For example, you can give the Apex Launcher a try.

Here’s how to change the font using the Apex Launcher

  1. Tap on Apex Settings (Gear icon at the center)
  2. Find and tap on Advanced Settings
  3. Located the Icon Settings menu
  4. Tap on Icon Font and then choose the font you want to try
  5. The app will automatically update the icon labels on your phone

Note: the app does not change the font within the apps installed on your phone. It will only affect the home screen and app menu.

Go Launcher is another alternative if you want to change the font while you’re using the launcher.

How to change the font using Go Launcher

  1. Tap on the three-dot menu located in the lower-right corner.
  2. Tap on Go Settings.
  3. Find the Font option and tap on it.
  4. Click on Select Font.
  5. Browse through the fonts available.
  6. If you want more options, tap on the Scan font button.
  7. Select the font you like and the app will automatically set it.

Note: Not all the fonts will work, and some will cause the launcher to crash.

Install a font app

The Google Play Store is home to countless of apps, and of course some of them claim to let you change the font on your phone.

However, in most cases for these apps to work you’ll need your Android device to be rooted. Or you need to have a Samsung device.

For example, apps like iFont or FontFix work on un-rooted Galaxy devices. Although to be able to take full advantage of them, it’s best to root.

Here’s how to change the font on your non-rooted Galaxy device with FontFix

  1. Open the app on your Galaxy device.
  2. Browse through the font options available.
  3. Choose the one you want to install and tap on it.
  4. Press the download button.
  5. Read the instructions that pop up and then tap on “Continue”.
  6. Another window will pop up, tap on “Install”.
  7. Once again tap on “Install”.

  1. Now, go to Settings>Display>Screen zoom and font and search for the font in question.
  2. Tap on it and click on the Apply button in the right upper corner.
  3. The font should be applied automatically, no restart required.

Note: Some fonts don’t work with un-rooted Galaxy devices, which will prompt the message “font is not supported”. Bottom line is, you’ll have to search quite a bit to find a supported font.

The second app we mentioned, iFont extends the “without-root” policy to Xioami and Huawei devices, as well. But what if you don’t have a phone from this companies? You might want to consider rooting after all.

There’s another app that gives you a taste of new fonts on your device. It’s called Font Changer, but it will not change your fonts per-se.

Instead, it will let you write phrases using different types of fonts, which you can easily copy/paste in other apps like WhatsApp or Android Messages.

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What is Google Fast Pair?

Pairing a Bluetooth device, such as headphones or a speaker, to your phone is a pretty straightforward process. If anything, it’s simple. Yet, it can be tedious. Google Fast Pair makes things easier and more efficient.

The Problem

Many of us own multiple portable electronic devices, be it phones, tablets, and/or Chromebooks.  We log into them using our Google accounts and hop between them. At the same time, we have our favorite headphones, speakers, and Bluetooth accessories.

As easy as it is to pair devices together, it can become a nuisance. Why go through the process over and over again when all you want to do is listen to a podcast or playlist? Sure, it sounds like a “first world problem” but it’s a pain point whenever you buy a new phone or tablet.

The Solution

Google has a way to simplify connecting Bluetooth accessories to Android phones. The feature, called Fast Pair, was introduced back in 2017 and has recently been updated.

Described as a “hassle-free process to pair your Bluetooth devices on all supported Android devices”, it’s makes discovery and pairing easy for Android 6.0+ phones and tablets.

Google’s $159 Pixel Buds offer real-time translation, other smarts


In essence, Google Fast Pair ties your Bluetooth pairing details to your Google account. This way, whenever you log into a new device you don’t have to worry about pairing. Much like Chrome knows your username and passwords for websites, Fast Pair knows how to make your handset and earbuds work together.

How Fast Pair Works

Fast Pair uses Bluetooth Low Energy and your Android phone’s location to automatically discover accessories in close proximity , and automatically connects them via a simple tap.

When a Fast Pair-enabled accessory is in close proximity to your Android smartphone, the phone shows the accessory’s product image, its name, and any related companion app. Once you connect you’ll see a confirmation advising the pairing’s successful. The phone will also offer to download the accessory’s companion app from the Play Store. All of this is done without meddling with the Bluetooth settings.

As part of a recent update (November 2018), Google makes it easier for you to connect Fast Pair-compatible accessories to devices associated with your Google Account. Going forward, Fast Pair will connect accessories to all current and future Android phones (6.0+).

Looking ahead, Google says it will add support for Chromebooks in 2019, too. Once in place, Fast Pair will automatically pair and configure your Chromebook in the same manner; they do support Android apps after all.

How to Use Fast Pair

As indicated above, the pairing process employs traditional Bluetooth connection but in a more streamlined manner. With that said, here’s how to go about pairing your Fast Pair-enabled accessories.

  • Turn on the Fast Pair-ready accessory and put it in pairing mode
  • Your phone will notify you, asking to “Tap to pair” to the accessory
  • Tap the notification and Android establishes a Bluetooth connection
  • A success notification is shown with a link to download any related companion app

What accessories support Fast Pair?

As of today, the following accessories are listed as officially Fast Pair-enabled:

Google is currently working with dozens of manufacturers to bring new accessories to the market; we suspect they’ll arrive at the start of 2019. The annual CES trade show seems as good of a place as any to introduce them.

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Ten Tips and tricks for the LG V40

LG’s V series of phones is always one of the most impressive phones of the year. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten one recently you’ll want to be certain you’re taking full advantage of it. Take a look at these quick tips and tricks for your new LG V40 ThinQ.

Read More: When and Where to Buy the LG V40 ThinQ

Enable the App Drawer

By default, you’re not going to have an app drawer on the LG V40 ThinQ and for many of us, that’s a problem. Fortunately, it won’t be too difficult to get the app drawer back and you won’t even need to switch launchers to do so.

  • Open Settings
  • Display
  • Home screen
  • Select Home
  • Home with separate apps list

Hide the Notch

If you’re like me, you find the notch to be an abomination and thankfully it can be hidden or customized. LG provides a way to do this within the settings but there is also an app called Nacho Notch in the app store that does a better job of it. The LG method in the settings will sometimes stop hiding the notch while Nacho Notch is persistent almost everywhere.

I would recommend checking the settings of Nacho Notch to remove the bottom overlay on the navigation keys though. Below is how you can access the notch settings on the V40 and follow the link to Nacho Notch for a better alternative.

  • Open Settings
  • Display
  • New Second Screen

Read More: Best cases for the LG V40

Enable Dark Mode

Darker themes save battery life but can also be easier on the eyes. Although maybe like me, you just think it looks better. Regardless of the reason, this is a quick and easy way to get a dark theme on your new LG V40 ThinQ.

  • Open Settings
  • Accessibility
  • Vision
  • High contrast screen

Customize the Navigation Bar

Whether you prefer rearranging the buttons on your navigation bar or you want to add new buttons, LG provides you with this option. My favorite customization is to add the drop-down button for the notification tray. It makes using the phone one-handed much easier and gives a quick way to access your notifications.

  • Open Settings
  • Display
  • Home touch buttons
  • Button combination

Enable HDR Video Effect

Enabling the HDR effect will increase brightness and color saturation for full-screen videos. The HDR effect will be something similar to when you take HDR photos using the camera. However, it won’t work with all apps, but it doesn’t hurt to have it turned on.

  • Open Settings
  • Display
  • HDR video effect

Turn on DTS:X

While you’re enhancing your videos you might as well enhance the sound as well. Turning on the DTS:X effect will add new dimensions to your music and videos. There are multiple settings so be sure to try them all and customize the sound to your liking. Unfortunately, this only works for external audio sources such as wired or wireless headphones and speakers.

  • Open Settings
  • Sound
  • Sound quality and effects
  • DTS:X 3D Surround

Read More: Early Buzz: What the Critics are saying about the LG V40 ThinQ

Get More Themes

LG gives you access to a variety of themes to customize the look of your phone. By default, you’ll only have access to two. However, by installing LG’s Smart World app it opens up a whole new world of themes. All you need to do is open the LG Smart World site, download the APK, and install it on your LGV40.

Enable Weather Animations

This is a small touch that I always enjoyed on LG phones. It doesn’t do much to enhance the experience but it sure is a nice piece of eye candy. With weather animations enabled you’ll see weather conditions on your lock screen. For example, water dripping down on a rainy day.

  • Open Settings
  • Lock screen & security
  • Customize Lock screen
  • Weather animation

Turn on the Floating Bar

In the past, LG included a secondary screen at the top of the V series phones with shortcuts. The Floating Bar was LG’s software solution to the secondary screen that used to be part of the V series. By using software to give access to customizable shortcuts it actually became much more useful. Not only did you have access to all the same controls but it was easier to reach.

In order to make it more useful, you can customize the shortcuts and enable more features. Make sure to explore all the settings here to make the most of the Floating Bar on your LG V40.

  • Open Settings
  • Extensions
  • Floating Bar

Read More: LG V40 vs LG V7: What’s the difference?

Enable Mini View

Phones keep growing in size every year and using them with one hand can become quite the challenge. Thankfully, some of them provide features to help. On the LG V40 Mini view is that feature. With Mini view enabled a quick swipe of the navigation keys will minimize your screen making everything easier to reach. While another swipe will expand it to full view again.

  • Open Settings
  • Display
  • Mini view

Devices in this post were provided by Verizon Wireless


Clearing cache: What does it do and is it safe?

As the Android ecosystem evolves and our phones pack more features, there is an increasing need for additional storage in our phones. Apps are getting heavier, photos’ file sizes are increasing, and system files fill up that precious storage space more than ever.

While a lot of OEMs are finally starting to equip their phones with decent amounts of storage, there’s still a lot of phones out there that just have not enough space for this day and age. Factor in the increasing amount of lack of microSD slots in recent phones, and the storage situation can easily become precarious.

One of the most common solutions to recoup those lost GBs is clearing the cache of your device. While it does work, it is important to know what it does and how safe it is to do it.

What does clearing the cache do?

Let’s imagine this situation: you are scrolling down your Twitter feed. The app displays the profile picture of each account, consuming data in order to download it and show it to you. What happens if someone tweets again and the app needs to retrieve the appropriate profile picture? Downloading the picture again would be a massive waste of time and data.

This is where the app cache comes in. When the picture is downloaded for the first time, it is stored on your device under the app’s cache. In case the app needs the picture again, it will just retrieve it from the cache instead of going to Twitter’s servers to download it.

Getting an image (and any kind of data) from the internal storage is massively faster than getting it from the internet, giving you a better experience when using the app. It also means that Twitter is consuming less of your precious data by doing so, and it puts less strain on Twitter’s servers. It’s a win for everyone, right?

If you have a phone with 32GB or more of internal storage, you will not care at all about apps’ caches filling up your device. However, if you have a device with low amount of on-board storage, then this can become a bit problematic over time.

Thus, Android provides an option to manually clear the cache of an app. Doing so will free up that precious space, letting you download new apps or take more pictures.

How to clear an app’s cache

In case you want to do this manually, go to the settings of your phone. Find the Apps option, where you will get a list of all the apps you have installed. Then scroll to the app in question and press the Storage option. There you will find the size of the app’s cache and a button to delete it. Note: This process might vary slightly for certain manufacturers, but it should still be very similar to what is outlined here.

Also, there are some manufacturers that offer an automatic cleanup of cache and other non-essential files. These normally deal with the cache of system apps, so clearing it will not always clean the cache of specific apps. In order to be 100% sure than an app’s cache has been cleared, it’s better to do it yourself.

Is it safe to clear an app’s cache?

In short, yes. Since the cache stores non-essential files (that is, files that are not 100% needed for the correct operation of the app), deleting it should not aversely affect the functionality of the app. Actually, there are some very rare cases where an app’s cache can become corrupt, and clearing it could fix an issue. So, if you have low storage, or you feel that an app is not behaving as it should, you can just clear it to reclaim space.

Always look for applications that have a high amount of images presented in their interface. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are three of the biggest apps that gobble up your storage, although, since social networking normally relies on imagery, then the whole category uses caching extensively. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox also like to use a lot of cache.

However, unless you are dangerously running out of storage, this is something that should not be required of you. Not only will your experience degrade a bit while the app builds cache again, but also, every single request will go to the internet, which could increase your usage of mobile data if you’re not using WiFi.

Finally, several apps have a really clever way of managing the app’s cache. If something stored there reaches a certain age (say, two months), the app can automatically remove it from cache, freeing up that space for you. This is not the case for every app, though.

All in all, if you really feel the need to do so, the option is there for you, just a couple of taps away.

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