Android: Most custom ROMs don't come with Google apps pre-installed for legal reasons. Open GApps helps you install them on a new ROM, and now it can also turn on Google Assistant for you.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
While CyanogenMod, the popular custom ROM for Android, may be dead, its spirit lives on in Lineage OS. Now, the first builds of that ROM are available for the Nexus 6P, 5X and a few other devices.
Android Doze is an unsung hero, saving your battery when you're not using your phone. Third-party apps like Greenify, ForceDoze and Naptime can squeeze even more juice out of your phone, but they can do a whole lot more if you tweak them.
Android: For those who root their phones, custom recoveries are a godsend. Few are as useful or as popular as the Team Win Recovery Project (or TWRP), and now you can download a TWRP installer straight from the Play Store.
Hidden in the Android Settings app is a secret menu called Developer Options that gives you access to all kinds of useful tools and tweaks. If you know how to uncover it, you can take advantage, and there are a handful of helpful things you can do. For example, you can transform the look of your phone and even fake your GPS location.
Android: Over the weekend, Pokemon GO rolled out an update that will allow you to set one Pokemon as your buddy. Neat! It also stealthily blocks the game from anyone with root access. Not as neat. Here's how to get around this limitation and play anyway.
Android: XDA has released a few versions of its apps over the years, but the recent ones are the most useful yet. With XDA Labs you can browse the forums, download apps and peruse a library of Xposed modules.
Android Marshmallow introduced the sweet new Doze feature, that makes your battery life last super long when you're not actively using your device. If you have root, this app lets you tweak this awesome feature.
Android (root): If you have a giant phone and aren't Mr. Fantastic, you might have trouble reaching the top of your phone's screen sometimes. This clever workaround for root users can bring the top of your phone to your fingers instead.
Windows/Android: ADB and fastboot are two immensely powerful tools. If you're new to using them, or just want to simplify the process a bit, Universal ADB Helper can make certain tasks a snap.
Android (rooted): With phones getting so big, scrolling with one hand can be tricky sometimes. Tilt Scroll lets you tilt your phone to scroll in any app or screen.
Android (rooted): LTE is pretty handy when you're browsing the web or downloading files, but when you aren't actively using your phone, it draws a lot of battery without being useful. Smart Network switches your phone to 2G when your screen is off to save battery while keeping you connected.