Tweaks & Hacks

How To: Lock Any App on Your iPhone Behind Face ID, Touch ID, or Your Passcode for Extra Privacy & Security

Apple does not provide a native way to lock apps on your iPhone behind Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. For a long time, we've wanted that option for improved privacy and security, but Apple does allow developers to use its authentication protocols. Apps like Messenger, Outlook, and WhatsApp give the option to lock them down, but for the apps that don't, you can force it with a little time and effort.

How To: Need More Time on a Work Assignment or School Project? Corrupt Your Files to Extend Your Deadline Without Question

You have an assignment due, whether it's homework for school or a project for work, but you've only got a few hours left. There's no way you're going to finish in time and do a good job, and you don't want to turn in anything incomplete or half-assed. While it may seem you're out of luck, there's a simple way to buy yourself more time.

How To: Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Your iPhone — Even When the Display Turns Off

It's pretty clear with all of the annoying "Get YouTube Premium" pop-ups that litter the YouTube app that Google really wants you to pay for its Premium membership tier. That's why you'll see that "Get background play with YouTube Premium" ad after closing YouTube with a video playing — even in iOS 14 which supports Picture in Picture playback. But there are workarounds for background listening on iPhone.

How To: Set a Custom Charging Sound or Song for Your iPhone Whenever You Connect or Disconnect from Power

The sound your iPhone makes when you connect it to a power source has been the same for a long time. Unfortunately, it was never possible to change that chime to something different without jailbreaking first, which opens your iPhone up to malware and hackers. Thankfully, iOS 14 has changed that.

How To: Remove Background Telemetry Services on Your OnePlus to Stop Unnecessary Data Collection

Your phone tracks your every move to some extent, and I'm not just talking about Google services. Smartphone manufacturers use telemetry services that run in the background to track how you use the device, mostly for ads or to improve their future products. You don't usually have a say in the matter, but if you have a rooted OnePlus, there's a way you can take control over it.

How To: Auto-Change Your iPhone's Background with MacOS Big Sur's Dynamic Wallpapers

Three new wallpapers showed up in iOS 14.0, each with dark and light versions, while iOS 14.2 added eight more. Each iPhone also has live wallpapers catered specifically for it. However, none of Apple's wallpapers are dynamic. That means they won't change automatically based on certain conditions, such as what time of day it is. MacOS's do, though, and you can get those working on your iPhone.

How To: Shrink the Pixel 5's Huge Status Bar Down to a Normal Size

The Pixel 5 is the first mainstream phone with perfectly symmetrical slim bezels. Most other "bezel-less" phones have had a disproportionately large bottom bezel, and while the iPhone's side and bottom bezels are symmetrical, there's a huge notch across most of its top bezel. The downside to the Pixel's approach is it has a pretty big display cutout for the front camera.

Blank Icon Maker: The Easiest Way to Place Apps, Folders & Widgets Anywhere on Your iPhone's Home Screen

While Apple has been making strides in iPhone customization, it's still not up to par with what Android is and always has been. You can hide apps from the home screen now in iOS 14, but for everything that's still there, you can't add gaps between icons on the same page to segregate them where you want. However, some workarounds give that effect.

How To: Make Your Home Screen's Photo Widget Show Only One Image or Specific Albums in iOS 14 Instead of Random Pics Every Hour

Your iPhone's new home screen widgets are awesome — until they're not. Photos, in particular, is a big disappointment. It gives you a taste of having your favorite photos appear alongside your apps but ruins it by changing the photo randomly every hour without your input. While nothing can be done with the Photos widget, there is a way to get the pictures you want to see on your home screen.

How To: Use Instagram's Secret App Icon Menu to Choose Light, Dark, Retro & Other Official Icon Variations

Yes, that's right: Instagram has a sneaky, inconspicuous, cryptic, hush-hush way to change its iconic, colorful icon on your Android's or iPhone's home screen and anywhere else it shows up throughout iOS. The app really outdid itself too, with 12 alternative icon designs from its classic look to new themes, all located in an impossible-to-find preferences menu — unless you know the trick.

How To: Disable FaceTime's Creepy Eye Contact Feature in iOS 14 So You Don't Look Like You're Staring Awkwardly

It's incredible what technology can do these days, but sometimes, it gets a little scary. For instance, FaceTime's "Eye Contact" feature, which Apple beta-tested in iOS 13 but released with iOS 14, makes it appear like you're looking right at the camera, even when you're actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time.

How To: Bring Back the 9-Tile Grid in Android 11's Quick Settings

Android 11 has plenty of new features as you'd expect, including a fancy new embedded media player. Rather than a constant notification, your audio controls now get pushed up into the Quick Settings panel when playing music. However, to make way for this new media player functionality, your total number of quick settings tiles had to be cut from nine down to six.

How To: Make iOS 14 Show Newly Downloaded Apps on Your Home Screen Like It Did Before

If you're asking yourself where your newly installed iPhone apps are, you aren't alone. Upgrading to iOS 14 offers many beneficial features, but it also can stop new apps from appearing on your home screen. Sure, they're always in the App Library, but that shouldn't prevent you from accessing your favorite apps the old-fashioned way. The good news is that you can make iOS set things back to normal.

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