Gadget Hacks How-Tos

How To: Apply OTA Updates on Your Rooted Pixel 2 or 2 XL

So, you rooted your Pixel 2 or 2 XL and everything seems to be working quite well. However, a month passes, and you get a notification to install the monthly security update. Like clockwork, Google has been pushing out OTA security patches every single month for a while, but there is a new problem for you at this point — as a rooted user, you are unable to apply the update correctly.

How To: Root Your OnePlus 5 Using Magisk

Perhaps you've thought about rooting your OnePlus 5, but thought again when you heard SafetyNet would prevent you from using apps like Google Pay, Pokémon GO, or Netflix. Those are valid struggles when you root using traditional methods. There are no such worries when using Magisk, as it masks the fact that your device has been modified.

How To: Turn Your Galaxy Note 9 into an iPhone

For some Android users, this guide is sacrilege — but for others, iOS is just an attractive operating system that can be admired without feeling like you've betrayed your own phone. If you're one of those Galaxy Note 9 owners that have peeked across the aisle and desired an interface as clean as the one on the iPhone XS Max, you can configure your Note 9 to look like its rival with some tinkering.

How To: Make Custom Text Tones for Your iPhone Using iTunes

Your iPhone comes packed with a long list of excellent text tones to choose from. Bamboo anyone? Of course, for some of us, stock sounds from 2013 don't cut it anymore. We want customizability, something that's found more on Android than iOS. However, you can add your very own text tones to your iPhone right now, so long as you have a sound file in mind and a computer running iTunes.

How To: Install Facebook Lite on Your iPhone

In an ongoing effort to improve its services and become more accessible to users from all regions, Facebook has released a streamlined version of its social media app. Though the leaner Facebook Lite is only officially available in Turkey for now, there's a simple workaround you can use to get the app in any country.

How To: Update Your Rooted Phone

One of the issues with rooting your device is the inability to update your phone via OTA. Any security patches or software updates pushed out by the OEM are lost because your bootloader is unlocked. However, you still can update your device, it just a take a bit more effort.

How To: Download Instagram Videos on Your iPhone

Let's say you want to download an Instagram video to your iPhone. What do you do? While Instagram doesn't offer an official solution, there are backchannel methods that exist to get the job done. However, if you want native support for downloading Instagram videos directly to your Photos app, you can start by updating your iPhone to iOS 12 and installing Shortcuts.

How To: Hide Folder Names on Your iPhone for Good

I hate folder names, especially the one Apple shoves down our digital throats. On a computer, they make total sense, but on my iPhone, it's just more clutter on the home screen. You can tell what folder is what just by looking at the app icons within it, so why are we forced to label them? Technically, we're not, since there is a workaround in iOS 12 to make those labels disappear for good.

How To: Completely Disable Bixby on Your Samsung Galaxy

Sorry Samsung. I know you really wanted Bixby to be the next Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa — but it just isn't. Burying the option to disable the app won't change that. Sure, Bixby has some redeeming qualities, but there are many of us who don't want it shoved down our throats. We'll show you how to disable the app to prevent it from launching every time you try to access just about anything.

How To: Remove All Bloatware on Your Galaxy Note 9

Although the Galaxy Note 9 is an amazing phone, many members of the Android community won't even look at it. This isn't just because of the Samsung Experience skin, but the large amount of bloatware that comes with this device. However, with a little work, you can remove all of it.

How To: Record Video & Audio Calls with Skype on Your iPhone or Android Device

There's more to recording calls than just protecting yourself against liability or an angry ex — oftentimes, this feature is the perfect tool to save momentous calls like breaking news of your recent engagement to loved ones. And with the prevalence of video calls, you can even capture memorable video chats such as your mom's first glimpse of your newborn on your mobile, courtesy of Skype.

How To: Your iPhone XS or XS Max Isn't Charging? Here's How to Fix It

It wouldn't be iPhone season without a new controversy. Chargegate, Apple's latest PR nightmare, is the name being used for charging issues on some iPhone XS and XS Max devices. If you plug in your iPhone at night — or whenever — then wake up or come back later and see that your iPhone has even less battery power, you're affected. But there is a fix you can implement right now.

How To: Root Your Essential PH-1 with Magisk

Despite its rocky start, the Essential PH-1 has a lot going for it. Not only does it get consistent security patches and system updates hours after the Pixels, but like the Google-developed lineup, it's also great for rooting. Not only is your warranty not void with rooting, but the process is pretty straightforward.

How To: Install TWRP Recovery on the Essential PH-1

For modders, there are few tools more important than TWRP. TeamWin's custom recovery makes flashing mods like Magisk, Xposed, and custom ROMs incredibly easy, and it lets you root your phone at the press of a button. On top of that, it can make complete backups of your phone in case you mess up. That's why, for Essential users, this should be the first mod you add.

How To: Fix a Slow Sleep Button on Your iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR

Pick up any iPhone with a Home button, and you'll notice something peculiar when compared to your iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR; If you press the Sleep/Wake button on the Home button model, it sleeps immediately. Press the Side button on your Face ID-equipped iPhone, and it lags considerably. What's going on here, and can it be fixed? The short answer is yes, but not without a little sacrifice.

How To: The Best Video Chat Apps to Use with Your Infant

You know your infant is advanced. Maybe you want to give her or him a head start at learning things like writing code to develop the next big Fortnite game. Or maybe you just want to play Fortnite with your infant. But the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages screen time for kids under than 18 months, with just one exception: video chat.

How To: 9 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Your iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR

While the iPhone XS actually comes with a smaller battery than the iPhone X, Apple claims it, along with the XS Max and XR, offer users longer battery life than last year's first Face ID model. While that may be true, your new iPhone still ships without meeting its full battery-saving potential. There are, however, steps you can take to make sure your X, XS, XS Max, or XR makes it from morning until night.

How To: The Trick to Recording Phone Calls Using Google Voice on Your iPhone or Android

When it comes to recording phone conversations, a lot of us will automatically think the worst and associate it with something shady like obsessive exes and stalkers. In reality, there are numerous, more mundane reasons to record calls on your Android or iPhone — from keeping records of contracts in the form of verbal agreements, interviews that were done remotely, and important meetings.

How To: Bypass an iPhone's Lock Screen in iOS 12 to Access Contacts & Photos

Apple may pride itself on its commitment to user privacy and security, but it isn't invulnerable. We now know there is a bug in the latest version of iOS 12 and iOS 12.1 beta that allows those in the know to bypass your passcode and access contacts and photos. This applies to both Face ID and Touch ID-enabled iPhones. Not only do we know about the bug itself, we know exactly how to exploit it.

How To: Unlock the Bootloader on the Essential PH-1

Although the Essential PH-1 got off to a rocky start, thanks to steady updates, it has slowly become one of the best Android phones to come out in recent years. For $499, the Essential Phone is a cheaper Pixel, receiving updates almost as soon as the Pixel lineup does. What's more, you get a phone with an easily unlockable bootloader, which is the first step to rooting.

How To: Fix Cellular & Wi-Fi Issues on Your iPhone in iOS 12

The new iPhone XS and XS Max have more issues than just their hefty price tags. Customers have only had the phones for a handful of days, but some are already complaining of cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity issues on both models. If your experience is the same on your XS or XS Max, there are steps you can take to get your iPhone reliably back online.

How To: Watch 2 Videos Simultaneously on Your Galaxy Note 9

Android does a great job at multitasking. Split-screen mode and picture-in-picture are terrific at letting you manage more than one app at a time. But there are some limitations. For instance, when you're playing a video and you open a second video in split-screen, the first one pauses. Thankfully, Samsung has a fix for this.

How To: Activate Siri on Your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR

This year marks the first for Apple to exclude the Home button from any new iPhones. If you're going from a Home-button iPhone to a new XS, XS Max, or XR, you might be a bit stumped when trying to perform basic tasks, such as activating Siri. While you can't hold down the Home button any longer, there's a new method that's just as quick.

How To: Force Restart Your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR When It's Acting Up

We often take for granted how reliable our iPhones are — so much so that many of us get panic-stricken at the very rare event where our device freezes up as a result of a buggy app or an update gone awry. Because of this, knowing the basics of troubleshooting is a handy skill to have, and this still applies to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. Force-restarting is usually the first tactic to employ.

How To: Shut Down & Restart the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max & iPhone XR

The iPhone X ushered in the Swiss Army Knife-like Side button, which can perform numerous functions, such as summoning Siri and opening Apple Pay through click gestures. This has carried over into the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR, so if you've upgraded to one of these devices from a Home button-equipped iPhone, you'll have to learn how to shut down your new device.

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