Everyone raves about Gboard and SwiftKey, but the stock Samsung Keyboard on Galaxy devices is awesome in its own right. It's preloaded, so you don't have to do anything to get it, but at the same time, it's packed with features — even some you might not know about.
When iOS 14 came out, Apple released Translate, an app for translating voice and text between several languages (even within Safari). Unfortunately, it's not as comprehensive as some third-party apps or even Siri. That's why Apple uses Microsoft's translation services within Shortcuts. It may sound surprising, but we're not complaining since you can do some pretty awesome things with it.
One of the most aggravating things that can happen on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media apps is when a friend shares an exciting story, and a paywall prevents you from reading any of it. You could pay for a subscription to unlock it, but there are so many news sites that it can be both confusing and expensive to spend money on all of them.
Google dropped several of the Pixel 4's more gimmicky features in favor of perfecting the basics on the Pixel 5. While you probably won't miss Motion Sense or the Assistant squeeze gesture, you'll definitely like the extra battery they packed into the space those features once occupied. Almost 50% more battery, actually.
The rear cameras on iPhones have remained at 12 megapixels since the iPhone 6s, but with each new iPhone model, more data is going into photos. That means larger file sizes. If you're running into issues with your pictures being too large, whether you're sharing or uploading them, there's an easy way to resize an image or group of images using a shortcut.
Android 11 made a pretty significant UI change to the menu that appears when you press and hold your power button. Google created an entirely new system that apps can use to populate quick toggles in this menu, but the trouble is, not many apps are using this system yet.
How To: Use Any Music Playlist to Set Your Favorite Album Covers as the Lock Screen Wallpaper on Your iPhone
The music you listen to is often a reflection of your personality, which is why people tend to use the artwork from their favorite albums as device wallpapers. But one lonely album cover may not look right on your iPhone's lock screen, and it's not indicative of your broader music interests. To combine cover art into one lock screen background, there's a shortcut that makes it easy to do for any playlist.
How To: Create a 'My Year in Music' Cover Art Collage from Your iPhone's Music Library to Share on Social Media
Apple Music's Replay feature sucks. Aside from not being very accessible, it offers a fraction of your history compared to Spotify Wrapped, which does a deep dive into what you listened to over the last year. Not only that but Spotify packages data into visuals you can share on social media. While you could share Replay screenshots, there are better options out there for Apple Music users.
How To: Use Apple Music Wrapped to View Your Most Played Songs in 2020 from Apple Music or Your iPhone's Library
At the end of every year, Spotify analyzes your listening habits for the last 12 months and creates a colorful graphic showcasing your favorite artists, albums, artists, and more. Apple Music does have its own version called Replay, but it's just not very good.
How To: Quickly Generate Anonymous, Throwaway Email Addresses on Your iPhone to Keep Your Real Email Accounts Safe from Spam
A temporary email can go a long way. Using your actual email to sign up for a mailing list to receive 10% off a purchase doesn't make sense if you don't use the website much. It means you'll have to deal with spam emails from then on, which is why an anonymous email is perfect not to have to deal with all that trouble. And that's where the TempMail shortcut for your iPhone comes in handy.
The Calculator app is probably one of Apple's most-used apps on the iPhone, yet I meet people all of the time that don't know all of the little tricks there are to using it more efficiently. You may know most of them, but there's a chance you don't know every single one or simply forgot about them.
Users on Android could customize their app icons for some time, but it's a relatively new addition to the iPhone. You could change icons since iOS 12, but it really took off in iOS 14 and got even better in iOS 14.3. Still, it's not as easy as on Android, and you'll see a notification every time you open an app with your custom icon. However, there is a workaround to stop those annoying notifications.
How To: Change the Color Theme of Any App Interface on Your iPhone — Without Affecting the Rest of iOS
Few apps on the iPhone give you ways to change their color scheme aside from Dark Mode in iOS 13 and later, but that doesn't mean you can't give an app a new color theme or filtered look. With the Shortcuts app in iOS 14 and later, it's totally possible, and it'll work in practically any app.
If you like to keep your iPhone's app switcher clean, you don't want to hear what Android phones have. Pixel, OnePlus, Galaxy — these phones let you quit all running apps at once. Apple omits the option on iOS because apps are optimized to stay there and only be force-closed when acting up. But if you like a slim app switcher profile, there's a faster way to force-quit them than one by one.
The act of typing on a smartphone has come a long way since the days of tiny physical keys at the bottom of a BlackBerry, but there are still quirks that can make it frustrating. Luckily, if you know a few hidden tricks, things do get easier.
How To: Blank Squares Filling Up Control Center? Here's How to Remove Them or Fill Them Up on Your iPhone
Your iPhone's Control Center is your main hub for quick access to controls like brightness, volume, Wi-Fi, and Do Not Disturb, but if you're using iOS 14, there may be a bunch of screen real estate taken up by blank squares. If that wasted space is bothering you every time you just want to use your flashlight, there's a quick way to get rid of those empty tiles for good.
The Pixel 5's beautifully slim and symmetric bezels don't leave much room for extra hardware like a notification LED. But with the Ambient Display feature and an inventive app, you can turn the display cutout for the front-facing camera into an animated notification indicator.
One of the best reasons to enter Apple's ecosystem is iMessage, where you can communicate more securely with other Apple users and send and receive chats across all of your connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac devices. While those blue bubble conversations sync across devices, the green bubbles — SMS and MMS texts — remain on your iPhone alone unless you change a setting manually.
It should be simple to select and copy all text on a webpage in Safari, but it won't work as it does in other apps. Usually, you can press-and-hold down anywhere on a page and choose "Select All" from the edit menu, but that functionality is disabled in Safari and WebKit-based browsers by default — including in the latest iOS 14 version. Luckily, there is a workaround to getting a "Select All" button back.
How To: Block Shortcuts Notifications from Showing Up Every Time You Run an Automation on Your iPhone
There are a lot of cool shortcuts you could run on your iPhone, but in iOS 13 and iOS 14, you'll likely see a notification any time you try to run an automation. Shortcuts should feel seamless when their actions are performed, and getting a banner alert each time one initializes takes away the seamlessness of it all. But there is a way to block them.