Gadget Hacks Features

How To: Invite People to Messenger Group Chats with a Link So They Can Join Right Away or Wait on Approval

While some of our group chats should probably remain private and closed off, others will only get better with more people. Whether you're organizing an event and need a headcount or you want to share a funny YouTube video with a large crowd, you can add all the friends you wish to on Facebook Messenger by sending them a unique link.

News: What to Do When You Get a Low Heart Rate Notification on Your Apple Watch

You're minding your business when your Apple Watch taps you. To your surprise, the watch claims your heart rate dipped abnormally low. The news might come as a shock — especially if you have no history of a heart condition — but before you panic, you should take the time to fully understand what this alert is really saying and what you can and should do about it.

How To: Set a GIF as a Live Wallpaper for Your iPhone's Lock Screen Background

In iOS, Apple provides a few live wallpapers that you can use for the background on your iPhone's lock screen, but these animated options are just wavy color shifts and ink-in-water effects. To really customize your lock screen, you can use a Live Photo for your wallpaper. If you can't find the right Live Photo, GIFs are the next best thing, and experimenting with them feels like a game almost.

Android Basics: How to See What Kind of Processor You Have (ARM, ARM64, or x86)

Starting with the release of Android Lollipop, the process of installing the Xposed Framework got a bit more complicated. Not only are there separate installers for each Android version, but now, you also need to know exactly what type of processor is in your device to make sure you're downloading the right files. In fact, CPU architecture is becoming a factor in more and more scenarios these days, including certain sideloaded app updates and, of course, custom ROMs.

How To: Manually Switch to a Different LTE Band on Any Samsung Galaxy Phone

Your Galaxy uses information from your SIM card to communicate with nearby towers and facilitate a connection. Which LTE bands you are assigned depends on a number of factors, including available bandwidth and your device's supported signals. But if speeds aren't great on your auto-selected tower, you can improve things by manually choosing a band.

How To: Enable or Disable Chat Heads in Facebook Messenger on Android for Quick Access to Conversations

Popular chat apps like Messenger allow us to communicate with friends and family across iOS and Android phones alike. However, that interconnectivity doesn't mean both apps are the same. While Facebook has made strides to close gaps between these two platforms, chat heads remain an exclusive feature for Android devices, and they let you keep Messenger threads close by.

How To: There's an Easy Way to Stop Random Popup Ads on Android

"Why do I keep getting popups on my phone when I'm not even doing anything?" I see this question asked all the time. The answer? You have a shady app on your phone and it started showing full screen ads. But people either don't know this (so they don't know they just need to find and uninstall the problematic app), or if they do know it's a bad app, they don't know which app is causing it.

How To: Uninstall Bloatware Without Root or a PC Using Android's New 'Wireless Debugging' Feature

Bloatware is a problem on Android, and it's not just a Samsung thing. Removing apps that have the Uninstall or Disable button grayed out in Settings has always involved sending ADB commands to your phone from a computer, which itself was always such a pain to set up. Thankfully, that has finally changed.

How To: Archive Telegram Conversations to Keep Your Main Chats List Clean & Organized

In Telegram — as with all instant-messaging apps — threads and conversations can pile up quickly. But you don't need to stare at all of your open chats on the main screen of the Android and iOS app. Instead, you can archive any conversation you like, keeping your main chats view relevant to your day-to-day communications without needing to delete any for good.

How To: Get iOS 16's Live Weather Lock Screen Wallpaper on Your iPhone in iOS 15

Apple's bringing big changes to your iPhone's lock screen in iOS 16, and one of those changes lets you pick an always-updating wallpaper for your local weather conditions. If you don't want to wait until the fall for the stable iOS 16 version and don't want to install any iOS 16 betas, you can still get an always-updating weather wallpaper for your lock screen on iOS 15.

How To: 28 Must-Know Features in Apple's Shortcuts App for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

Apple made significant improvements to its Shortcuts app in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, so you can do even more with custom task shortcuts on your iPhone or iPad. The big story is "App Shortcuts," which takes all the work out of building shortcuts, giving you immediate access to premade ones that developers include with their apps. But that's definitely not all you'll find that's new.

How To: Schedule a Tweet on Twitter from Your iPhone or Android Phone

Twitter is a science. The smarter you post and engage with others, the better chance you have at building a bigger audience. Scheduling your tweets is one way to get there. Most engagement occurs at specific hours, but you may not be around then to post your tweet manually. While the official Twitter app on iOS and Android doesn't allow you to schedule, there is another way.

How To: Use Google Maps or Waze with Siri Instead of Apple Maps

When driving, you can get directions hands-free by asking Siri. You can also make general map searches, show a location's details, call a query's phone number, and view traffic details. However, Siri defaults to Apple Maps for all those. If you prefer Google Maps, Waze, or another third-party navigation app, the map-based Siri commands won't work. But that doesn't mean you can't still use Siri.

How To: Remove the Black Bar Under Your Galaxy's Keyboard

Back when Android used navigation buttons, there was a large black bar at the bottom of every screen to house the back, home, and recent apps buttons. But after switching to full-screen navigation gestures in 2019, there was no longer a need for it — however, a vestigial black bar still shows up when you're using your keyboard.

Android Basics: How to Root with CF Auto Root

The sheer variety of Android devices on the market is staggering—one report suggests there are well over 24,000 distinct phones and tablets floating around out there. When you consider that each manufacturer adds a few tweaks to the Android code base here and there, that makes for a lot of software variations, which in turn means there needs to be many different root methods to match this variety.

How To: If 'Messages' Consumes Too Much iPhone or iCloud Storage, Don't Delete Your Conversations Just Yet

When iOS starts barking at you that you've run out of iCloud or iPhone storage, a quick trip to your settings to see what the culprit is may show that Messages is one of the worst offenders. But if deleting message after message doesn't free up your storage much, it's likely because "Messages" doesn't really mean messages.

How To: The Trick That Lets You Link to Specific Start Times in YouTube Videos Right from Your Phone

You can add a timestamp to any YouTube video in just a few clicks from the desktop website on your computer but not from YouTube's iOS or Android app. Until YouTube adds a "start time" when sharing videos from the mobile app, you'll have to use one of these workarounds on your phone or tablet.