Tweaks & Hacks

How To: Unlock Android 12's Developer Options on Your Pixel for Powerful Hidden Tools Anyone Can Use

When you start up your new Google Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, one of the first things you should do is unlock the hidden "Developer options" menu. Don't let the word "developer" scare you because there are little-known features in this secret Android 12 menu that every Android user can enjoy.

How To: The Fastest Way to Dim Your iPhone Screen Lower Than the Lowest Possible Brightness

In the dark, even the lowest brightness option on the iPhone can still feel a thousand burning suns. No matter whether you're in bed or at the movie theater, you don't want to create a distraction with your smartphone. That's why you might want a brightness that isn't readily available on your device — but luckily, there may be a way to go lower than the lowest brightness.

How To: Silence Annoyingly Loud Emergency Alerts on iPhone Without Disabling Them Completely

Emergency alerts are important for keeping us updated on extreme weather, natural disasters, and other important events. They're also super scary when you're not expecting them. These alerts are so loud and intrusive that it's tempting to disable emergency alerts altogether on your iPhone. Luckily, you don't need to do that to preserve your sanity.

How To: Add Unsupported Cards and Passes to Apple Wallet for Quick, Easy Access on Your iPhone

Apple's Wallet app lets you store boarding passes, concert tickets, gym memberships, vaccination cards, movie stubs, rewards cards, insurance info, student IDs, and more in one place on your iPhone, and you just double-click the Home or Side button to access them. Unfortunately, a decent amount of cards and passes are not officially supported — but that doesn't mean you can't add them.

How To: These Hacks Make Your iPhone Apps Play Different Background Sounds When You Open Them

You can play background sounds in iOS 15 to help you focus, stay calm, or fall asleep, essentially turning your iPhone into a personal sound machine wherever you go. Even better, there's a way to set each of your apps to play one of Apple's six ambient soundscapes automatically. When you open the app, its assigned sound plays, then it stops when you exit or switch to another app.

How To: Unlock Themed Icons on Android 12 for Colors That Dynamically Shift with Your Wallpaper

Google's new Material You theming engine in Android 12 adds a personal touch to your user interface. The main colors of your wallpaper dynamically affect the colors in menus and apps, essentially putting you in control of the overall theme. But there's another new design element for app icons that's hiding in your settings.

How To: Turn Your Contacts into Apps on Your iPhone's Home Screen

When iOS 14 was released, the "Favorites" widget, which provided quick access to your most-used contacts, was nowhere to be seen. There's a workaround that brings it back via the Shortcuts app, but the original Favorites widget was better all around. For those of you looking for something better, try turning all your favorite and most-used contacts into apps on your home screen.

How To: Make Siri Say Whatever You Want Every Time You Connect Your iPhone to a Charger

Whenever your iPhone's on Ring mode, you'll hear Apple's iconic "Connect Power" chime every time you connect it to a wired or wireless power source, which lets you know that charging has started. There's no way to disable the sound without turning on Silent mode, but there is a way to make Siri automatically say whatever you want after a successful connection.

How To: Remove Annoying Contact Suggestions in Your iOS Share Sheet Completely or Temporarily

Apple has always strived to make the share sheet in iOS as useful a tool as possible. It has action extensions, share extensions, shortcuts, activities, and Siri suggestions, and you can even customize the order of the buttons to a certain degree. One thing you couldn't change was Siri's suggested contacts at the top. If you've always hated seeing those bubbles, iOS 14 has a way to get rid of them.

How To: Stop AirPods from Annoyingly Auto-Switching Between iPhone, iPad & Mac So They Stick to One Device

You're watching a YouTube video on your Mac, then go to check something on your iPhone. Of course, because you had a video queued on iOS, your AirPods automatically switch from your Mac to your iPhone. Now, your Mac's YouTube video is playing out loud, and you have to reroute your AirPods back over to macOS. Luckily, there's a hidden setting you can change that fixes this whole issue.

How To: Generate Live Captions for Any Streaming Video or Audio File Using Chrome's Desktop App

Captions are great for catching every word and important sound in a movie or TV show, but now there's a way in Google Chrome's desktop browser to enjoy captions for any audio file or source. You could ensure you never mishear a comment during an online meeting, and you could even follow along to a song's lyrics on platforms that don't already have in-sync lyrics, such as SoundCloud.

How To: Make iOS Alert You When Your iPhone Only Has 5% Battery Life Remaining

The battery on your iPhone can go from 10% to completely dead in a matter of minutes, or at least it can feel that way. Apple does prepare you with an alert when you hit the 20% and 10% mark, but it's easy to forget to charge your iPhone before it dies even with those notifications. That's why you should also be notified when your battery's down to 5% remaining.

How To: Turn Any Website into a Full-Screen Android App with Ad Blocking, Dark Mode & More

Progressive Web Apps hope to one day bridge the gap between websites and apps by giving the former more access to your phone's features, but they're not very common yet. In the meantime, you can take matters into your own hands with an app that uses your system WebView to render websites in a full-screen, borderless window with a few extra features — a lot like a native Android app.

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