Gadget Hacks Features

How To: Bypass School Internet Filters to Unblock Websites

School internet filters serve a valid purpose—they keep students from wandering off into the deep corners of the web while still allowing at least some internet access. But a lot of these restrictions are completely ridiculous, to the point where some school districts block access to the educational material in National Geographic or forbid searching terms like "China," "Iran," or "Russia"—because, you know, breasts and commies.

How To: Enter DFU Mode on an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR in iTunes

Following in the iPhone X's footsteps, the iPhone XS and XS Max, as well as the iPhone XR, have all ditched the iconic Home button last seen on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which is one giant leap toward Jony Ive's ultimate vision of an iPhone that's a clean slab of glass. However, without the Home button, a lot of tasks have changed, most notably, entering and exiting DFU mode in iTunes.

How To: Separate Vocals & Instrument Tracks from Your Favorite Songs to Make Karaoke Music or Play Along with the Band

Adobe Audition, Audacity, and other audio editing software have tools to isolate vocals and instruments in regular songs so that you can get an instrumental track for karaoke, vocals for an a capella version, or solo drums, bass, keys, etc. that you can use to learn the song yourself. The software is mostly for desktop computers, and it doesn't always do a good job, but that's where Moises comes in.

How To: Add Passes, Tickets, Rewards, Coupons, Gift Cards, IDs & More to Apple Wallet for iPhone

The Wallet app on your iPhone can be used to store and access event tickets, loyalty cards, boarding passes, gym memberships, airline miles, gift cards, coupons, and more — all in one centralized place. Before doing so, though, you must add your passes to Wallet, and there is more than one way to do it. However, not every pass can be added using all of the available methods.

How To: The Easiest Way to Secretly Record Someone's Conversation with Your iPhone

Your iPhone is a fantastic, easy-to-use tool for recording audio, but it's not as simple to secretly record conversations. Apple's Voice Memos app is great for taking audio notes and recording meetings, lectures, and other talks to reference later, but doing it without being noticed is tough unless you know the hidden shortcut.

How To: Make Your iPhone Switch Wallpapers Automatically When Dark Mode or Light Mode Is Enabled

There are still and live wallpapers on your iPhone that can go dark when Dark Mode is active or light when Light Mode is on, but there's no easy way to do the same for custom backgrounds. That doesn't mean you're out of luck, though, because you can use Shortcuts to build a workaround until Apple gets us an official "Dark Mode" option for automation.

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: 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: You Can Run Shortcuts Right from Your iPhone's Lock Screen & Here Are 6 Ways to Do It

Shortcuts are meant to make your life easier, and iPhone shortcuts are no exception. They can use different triggers, manual or automated, to perform actions in the background, allowing you to do things like send a prewritten text message during a bad date or change your wallpaper at certain times of the day. However, sometimes it's not only about the shortcut itself but about how fast you can run it.

How To: Figure Out Your Total Calorie Burn in Apple's Health App

If you transition to an Apple Watch from another wearable like Fitbit, you might be a bit confused by the new calorie burn counter. Instead of ending your day with thousands of calories burned, your watch says you've burned just hundreds. Could it be you're less active with your Apple Watch? Probably not. It's more likely because of the different way the watch counts your calories.

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: 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: Shut Down & Restart the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max

Except for the second-generation iPhone SE, all new iPhone models omit the Home button. In its place, the Side button takes charge, taking care of tasks like pulling up Siri, activating AssistiveTouch, and opening Apple Pay. If you swap your older Home button model for an iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max, you'll need to relearn simple actions like shutting down and restarting the device.

How To: Sideload Apps on Chromecast with Google TV — Get Virtually Any Android App on the Big Screen

At launch, Chromecast with Google TV is fairly limited in the number of compatible apps. Many of the usual suspects are there, but there are some interesting omissions, like Google Stadia (though support is coming). However, at its core, the device runs on Android 10, which means you can sideload apps, including those that don't officially support Chromecast with Google TV.

How To: Keep Safari's Toolbars Hidden While Scrolling Webpages in iOS 13

Normally, when you scroll down a webpage in Safari on your iPhone, it automatically hides the bottom toolbar and minimizes the top Smart Search field. But as soon as you scroll back up, they both reappear, which can be pretty annoying if you don't need them. Apple's iOS 13 update brings many new features to Safari, one of which solves the toolbar issue so you can keep it hidden when reading.

How To: Make Any App Work with OnePlus' Parallel Apps Feature

OnePlus offers a variety of features that you don't get with some other Android phones. Parallel Apps is one of those standout extras you didn't know you might enjoy until you've tried it. It allows you to clone compatible apps installed on your device, which means you can use the same app with two different accounts, for example.

How To: Save Your iPhone's SHSH2 Blobs So You Can Downgrade iOS for Future Jailbreak Methods

When a new jailbreak method comes out, Apple is quick to patch the vulnerability it exploits by issuing a new iOS update. If you were to accept such an update, you'd no longer be able to jailbreak your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch unless you could roll back your firmware to a version that could be jailbroken. But Apple even takes things a step further and stops signing older iOS firmware versions, which makes downgrading next to impossible. This is where your SHSH2 blobs come into play.

How To: Stop Incoming Calls from Taking Over Your Galaxy's Entire Screen

With all the things you can do with your Galaxy, it's easy to forget it's still a phone at heart, and incoming calls that take over your entire screen serve as a rude reminder of this fact. Thankfully, Samsung handsets like the S10 and Note 10 come with a setting built-in that aims to keep these interruptions to a minimum.

How To: Fully Control Your Android Device from Any Computer

Have you ever been using your computer when a friend randomly decides it's time to start up a text message conversation? You usually have to stop what you're doing on the desktop, then go pick up your smartphone and respond to the text. Then, if your buddy replies with another message, you have to juggle back and forth between your mouse and keyboard and your handheld device.