Android is now the most used mobile operating system in the world, with many commentators putting its market share at around 70%. With such growing presence, there are too many Android applications, although if we are able to hack Android OS and customize it as we wish. Not to worry, crazy Android developers have already done this for us.
People have successfully rooted their Android smartphones and there are number of wild Android hacks with countless applications (Android apps). Some of these Android apps are fun and some are very useful too. In this post, I am going to present the top 11 Android hacks and their applications to make your Android Smartphone smarter than ever before.
Discover Apple’s Find My iPhone Android Counterpart
You may have several friends who are using Apple products, and they boast about how secure their handsets are thanks to the Find My iPhone feature.
Well, you won’t have to shy away from them as your Android phone also has Find My Device (formerly called as Android Device Manager)- a feature that works exactly like Find My iPhone. It lets you locate your lost or stolen smartphone easily, so you’ll know where to retrieve the device.
Apart from that, Android’s Find My Device allows you to lock your phone remotely, especially if the phone was stolen. By blocking his access to your confidential data, the thief will be prevented from gathering useful information. And if you want to go further, you can erase everything on your phone via Find My Device.
To activate, follow these simple steps:
Go to Settings and look for Security & Location. The name of this section varies depending on your phone.
Tap on Find My Device.
Turn the feature on and set up your location for an accurate tracking if ever the worst thing happens unexpectedly.
You can also head to Device Admin Apps.
Click Find My Device.
Read the permissions first. If you opt to, you can activate this device admin app to automatically delete everything without warning once the phone is lost or stolen. For your information, you can also download the Find My Device app from Google Play Store for an easier access to the feature. You can also configure the settings.
Now, if before the calamity struck (let’s say, the phone got lost or stolen) you have already switched on the Find My Device feature, here’s what you need to do:
Open your Google account on your PC or another phone. Look for Find Your Phone.
If you have several gadgets connected to your Google account, select the one that’s lost. Let’s just suppose that I lost my device (that I wish won’t happen).
After Google asks for verification, you’ll be given some options to locate and hopefully, retrieve your phone. You can also choose to sign out your account on the device.
Keep Your Apps Private Hack
You don’t want others scrolling through your messages or photo albums, do you? I understand why you are very strict when someone borrows your device. After all, it’s your personal space!
You won’t want your friends to turn you into a laughingstock just because of your goofy images they spotted on your recent album! That’s a big no-no. So how do you keep your nosy friends out of your other apps? Here’s how:
Go to Settings. Find Security & Location.
Tap on Screen Pinning.
You’ll be instructed how to do screen pinning. Enable the feature.
As what was instructed, you have to press the Overview button. You’ll then see the Pin icon on the bottom right. Once you found the app you want to pin, click it.
To unpin, you have to press the Back button and Overview key simultaneously for a second or two or enter your PIN/passcode. You can now transfer to your other apps.
Use Guest Mode On Android
My phone, which is a Lenovo K8 Note, comes with the Guest Mode feature which I found very useful. While screen pinning only lets your friends access one app, the Guest Mode allows access to multiple apps, whether they like to take a selfie and post it on their social media accounts.
The good thing about Guest Mode is that it only shows the default apps. You know, I’m really into games. There was one time that a kid borrowed my phone and I realized that he restarted my game!
Guest Mode lets other people download new apps, take new photos, and enter their social media accounts as if the device is theirs. However, once you get out of Guest Mode, all your data will be retained. The next time they borrow your phone, switch back to Guest Mode and they’ll see that you haven’t deleted their pics.
Here’s how Guest Mode works:
Swipe down the Status Bar. Press the User icon.
Switch to Guest Mode. Step 3
You’ll be asked if you want to start over or continue your previous activity.
Here’s what my Guest Mode looks like:
Compare it to my home screen:
Note: Don’t mind my wallpaper. I really love Japan’s sakura tree (and watercolor wallpapers).
Bypass Your Security While Staying Safe
When we say bypass, it’s not what most of us think- hackers trying to bypass your personal space to steal information. I believe it’s time to think of “bypass” in a positive light. How can you bypass your security while staying safe?
First off, you need to set up a trusted location that your device won’t require you to key in your passcode. This simple Android hack is perfect to do in your own house. Beware! Don’t set any public place as a trusted location.
To do this, follow the instructions below:
Go to Settings and click on Security & Location. Step 2
Tap on Smart Lock. You’ll then be asked to enter your device PIN to continue.Step 3
Click on Trusted Places. Step 4
Now, add a trusted place. We advise you to choose this one well because it might put your phone at risk.
Using Google Maps, you have to locate your chosen address and press Select this Location. While you’re in that area, you won’t have to repeatedly unlock the phone.
Access Developer Options
Although this Android hack usually gets overlooked, it is very useful for us device owners. By unlocking developer options, we can configure our phone’s profile, tweak its performance, to name a few.
Through accessing developer options, you can view the device statistics or opt to disable bloatware that came with the smartphone. Now that you know how useful the developer options are, follow these instructions:
Head to Settings and click System. Other phones don’t have this section. If your phone is among them, just proceed to the second step.
Look for About Phone and click it.
Find the Build Number and tap on it exactly 7 times. Step 4
After my seventh click, I was asked to key in my passcode. A notification showed up saying that I’m already a developer. Step 5
Go back to the System tab and you’ll now see the Developer Options section. Step 6
Tweak your device according to your liking.
Never Lose Important Files Again
Have you been in a situation which you felt regret? Like that time your phone dived in the pool with you or fell from great heights, only for you to realize that you haven’t had a copy of all the files you have in there.
In case you don’t know, your Android phone comes with a built-in backup system. Of course, the feature is limited but is enough to retain your very important files before they get lost too soon. Here’s how to activate the backup system:
Go to Settings and tap on System. Step 2
Look for Backup.Step 3
Make sure your Google account is connected to the backup feature. Mine has been activated already since I started using my phone a couple of months ago. Step 4
Click Back up now. You should see the cloud load and back up your data.
Interesting Fact: Once you buy a new phone and connect your Google account, you get to choose whether to transfer the file from your old device or not. In my case, I got all the images from my previous device and transferred it here on my K8 Note.
Different Apps, Varying Volumes
How many of you here who needs an alarm to wake you up in the morning? I do and I know I’m not alone. But, have you tried to turn up the volume for the alarm but end up disturbed by the sound of notifications and messages?
Android has this feature which lets you tweak the volume of Media, Ring, and Alarm, depending on your preference. It will help you to choose which one to turn up and which one to turn down. You’ll see how I toggle my app volumes a little later.
Yes, (sigh), this Android hack doesn’t require us to head to the Settings again. Here’s how to do it:
Press the Volume button.
Tap on the drop-down panel. You should see these 3 options: Media, Ring, and Alarm.
Here’s how I tweak the volume. Media gets half, Ring is in low volume, while the Alarm is in full. Why?I usually put my headphones on so I don’t want it blasting off my eardrums by turning up Media to full volume, Ring is low because I don’t get messages or calls that frequent and I get annoyed with the telecoms sending me promo texts, and Alarm is, I don’t think I have to explain it further. HAHA
Make Your Fingerprint Scanner More Accurate
This one is not necessarily a “hack” but more on like a “tip” from the pros. It doesn’t enhance the physical fingerprint scanner as if we have some magic tool to use. It only gives you an advice on how to make it work efficiently.
Try this one and see the difference!
Go to Settings. Choose Security & Location.
Tap on Fingerprint. Mine says that I have 1 fingerprint set up.
After requiring you to enter your passcode, you can access the tab. Now, add a new fingerprint to your phone. Step 4
The trick here is you have to register the same fingerprint multiple times in a slightly different position or angle.
I have now 5 fingerprints set up. Please note that you can only add up to 5 fingerprints.
After I tried this one, I noticed that my biometric scanner works faster and opens even if I only tapped on it with the tip of my finger.
View Detailed Usage Of Battery and Mobile Data
One of the issues of many Android phones is poor battery life and big mobile data consumption. Curious, you want to know what’s behind this scenario. What’s really eating your battery and data so much?
These battery and data-hungry apps should hide by now. You can see them by viewing the detailed battery and mobile data usage graphs silently lurking on your phone’s Settings tab.
Go to Settings.
Tap on Battery.
Click on Usage Details. Step 4
Now here’s what’s consuming my battery so much. The biggest percentage, 20%, was used by Google Play Services. I’m not surprised as I’m really into apps and games. Mobile Data Usage:
Go to Settings.
Click on Network & Internet. Step 3
Tap on Data Usage.
Here’s how my mobile data usage looks like. It says that I’ve spent 411 MB since October 14. So far, nothing’s suspicious.
View PC Version Of A Website In Your Browser
Thankfully, developers have made formats for their websites that are suitable for mobile view. It would help conserve mobile data usage and makes content reading better.
But, there might be times that you want to view the PC version of a website, for just no reason. Well, why not? Sometimes I do this one when I want to know how the site will look on my PC. This is how you do it:
Open Chrome or any browser of your preference. Step 2
Launch the website you want to visit. As you can see, it’s on Mobile View. Step 3
Tap on the Settings marked by the 3 dots on the upper right corner. Click Desktop Site.
Now here it is: the Desktop View of the Joy Of Android website.
To go back to the Mobile View, go back to the Settings menu and uncheck Desktop Site.
Type by Only Using Gestures
I learned this Android hack from my friend who is a freelance online worker. He keeps on sending resumes and replying to those who are interested in his skills. I noticed that he didn’t keep tapping the keyboard like I usually do.
That’s when I learned about gesture typing. It’s a very helpful tool especially if you’re writing long documents on your phone. Using gesture typing, you’ll only have to slide your fingers across the keyboard to construct a word.
Here’s how to enable gesture typing on your Android phone:
Go to Settings and look for System. Step 2
Choose Languages & Input. Step 3
Tap on Virtual Keyboard. Step 4
I’m using Gboard, the default keyboard app from Google. Click on it.
You’re now in the keyboard settings where you get to choose Glide Typing.
Choose which options to enable and which ones to leave out. I just let them as they are.
Keep Your Phone Unlocked While It’s on You
We have tried accessing the Smart Lock earlier by adding Trusted Places. As what we’ve discussed, you don’t have to key in your passcode repeatedly while you’re in that area. This time, we’ll be keeping the phone unlocked only while it’s on you.
When you’re on the run, it’s quite difficult and risky to lock and unlock your phone. The On-Body Detection Mode will only require the PIN code once and then you’re set! The phone is smart enough to detect whether it has been put down on the table.
Go to Settings and click on Security & Location. Step 2
Tap on Smart Lock where you’ll be asked to enter your passcode to continue.
Choose On-body Detection.
Enable the feature.
Reminder: The On-body Detection feature can’t distinguish between two different persons. If the phone is in unlocked state and a random person gets it, he/she can access the device without the need of a passcode.
Zoom in One-Handedly on Google Maps
A drink on your left hand and the phone on your right, and you need to access Google Maps. How do you use the app single-handedly? For instance, you want to zoom in and out. Of course, it requires two fingers to pinch on the screen.
Aha! You double tap the screen and it zooms in gradually, slowly. Apparently, there’s an easier way to do this simple task. Check this out:
Open Google Maps.
Double-tap the screen and hold it in.
Move your finger up to zoom out and down to zoom in.
I recorded myself doing the above methods. You can see that zooming in and out on Google Maps was seamless even when just using one hand.
Type One-Handedly with Ease
Big-screened smartphones are in nowadays. It’s a good thing, I guess. But not with those who have small hands. Large phones with huge displays to pair with might be difficult for one-handed usage.
Not anymore, as you can now type text with ease even when you’re only doing it single-handedly. Here’s how to tweak your keyboard:
Open Gboard/Google Keyboard.
Press and hold the Return key until a small hand icon appears. Click the icon.
You should now see the keyboard squeezed to the right side.
To bring the keyboard back to its original size, hit the full-screen/expand button.
Move Your Keyboard Anywhere on the Screen
Customizing your keyboard doesn’t end on resizing it. In case you’ve missed, Android phones allow users to transfer the keyboard anywhere on the screen, depending on your preference.
Really, this Android hack is just a continuation of the previous one. Let’s suppose you did the above method. Now, here’s what to do next:
Click the lowermost icon at the left side of the squeezed keyboard. Step 2
Start moving the keyboard to where you want it to be. You can transfer it anywhere until halfway of the screen. Step 3
Click the check mark to lock the keyboard in place. Step 4
It looks like this after I moved up the keyboard a little.
Limit Your Notifications When You Need to Focus
Have you seen any Do Not Disturb bills in front of doors? You can impose the same on your device notifications via the Do Not Disturb feature or simply, DND.
It doesn’t shut off your notifications completely; it only limits them. It knows which ones are very important that you can be disturbed for a bit and which ones are not and silences them until you turn DND off. To enable DND, you need to do the following:
Head to Settings and click Sound. Step 2
Here, you can also see my volume preferences. Tap on Do Not Disturb preferences.
Tweak the DND Settings according to your preference and click Priority Only Allows.
You can opt to enable or disable the notifications from these apps. It’s all up to you.
Customize the Quick Settings Bar
If your phone runs on Android Marshmallow and above, you don’t have to stick with default settings but can already customize the Quick Settings Bar on the swipe-down status bar as per your needs.
Here’s how to do your own customization:
Swipe down the Status Bar and click the pencil icon.Step 2
You’ll be sent to the Edit Mode of the Quick Settings Bar. Step 3
Drag to add and remove tiles.
Automatically Open the Apps You Want
There are app shortcuts that you can use to immediately access the apps you want. By default, the home screen has the call, messages, and browser icons. If you want to change the app behind those icons, you can! Here’s how:
Go to Settings and tap on Apps & Notifications. Step 2
Click on Default Apps.
Here are the apps behind the icons on the home screen. Let’s say, I want to change my default messaging app to Facebook Messenger. I will click the SMS app.
I will choose Messenger over Messages app. After that, Messenger will be my default messaging app instead of what was out-of-the-box.
Show Battery Percentage on Status Bar
Most of the newest smartphones don’t flash the exact battery percentage on the Status Bar. My device was one of them but I got to learn how to show the percentage. Now, I’ll impart my knowledge regarding this Android hack.
Head to Settings and hit on System.
Tap on System UI Tuner.
Click Status Bar.
As you can see, it has a lot of features that you can either enable or disable. Click Battery.
Choose Always Show Percentage on the drop-down menu that appears.
Turn Your Android Phone Into a Remote
Do you ever dream of not having to stand up to change the music on your computer? Or do you want to change that slide on your Powerpoint presentation without clicking repeatedly on your PC and get distracted?
Now you can do both and more, just by turning your smartphone into a remote. Here’s how you can do so:
Search and install Gmote from the Google Play Store. Step 2
Download the Gmote server on the PC that you wants to control. Get the downloadable file here.
Install the Gmote program files through the installation setup that opens after the file has been downloaded. Step 4
Configure the Gmote server by filling up the password requirement that shows up on the screen.
Identify the location of the files that you want to control using your phone as the remote. These include music files and documents. It’s recommended that you put the files in a separate folder that’s easy to locate. Step 6
Once the server has been set up on your PC, go to the Gmote app on your phone. Click the “I have installed the Server. Start Gmote!” prompt. Step 7
Pick a server. The Gmote app searches for all the available servers around the area. Click the one that’s connected to your PC.Step 8
You’ll be asked to enter your password. Step 9
Click Browse. You can now see the folders you selected earlier. In my case, I opt to connect my “musixxx” folder which of course, has all my music files.
I clicked on a song and it blasted off in my computer! I really like this one because it doesn’t require me to constantly click next on my PC’s music player. Actually, it doesn’t need any of my music players!
Another interesting thing about Gmote is that it fully works on the background so I was still able to open my other apps (on my phone) while it controls my computer.
Switch Between Wi-Fi and Data Connection Without Hassle
One of the biggest misery of humankind nowadays is having a turtle-speed internet. Whenever I have this kind of problem, I switch from Wi-Fi to data connection and repeat. All until I can have a stable Internet connection.
Here comes the solution: Jumpnet. The app functions like a VPN and promises to make switching between Wi-Fi and data connection easier. In that way, you won’t have to miss on your games or on your live stream.
Go to Google Play Store and look for Jumpnet. Click on Install.
The app requires you to create an account or sign in if you already have one.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to register on Jumpnet as I need to receive an invitation first.
However, this statement from Tyler Reynolds, the CEO & Co-Founder of Trinity Mobile Networks, can help us get an overview of what it can do:
“Jumpnet (Jumpnet.com) is my favorite app for Android. Jumpnet gives me faster, cheaper, and more reliable wireless connections. It combines my Wi-Fi and cellular connections so I get better service when one connection isn’t fast enough, saves me money by moving more of my data consumption onto Wi-Fi, and seamlessly transitions my connections between Wi-Fi and cellular so my streams and video calls don’t drop as I switch between networks.”
Unblock YouTube And Other Websites Using VPN
Here’s another VPN we have to discuss: TunnelBear VPN. The TunnelBear VPN used to be one of the most popular VPN services for computers. Now that it already came to our Android phones, there’s nothing we can ask for more.
The TunnelBear VPN lets you surf anonymously on the web wherever you are. In that way, you can access country-restricted sites such as YouTube, Google Play Music, and Spotify. No more problems with the UK or US-based apps! Check how it’s done:
Download and install TunnelBear VPN from the Google Play Store.
You will be required to create an account with TunnelBear. After you register, you’ll be taught the basics. As you can see, just toggle the switch bar to turn TunnelBear VPN on or off. You can also change countries in the drop-down panel on the bottom side. Step 3
When I switched on the VPN, the names of the countries became visible and I can easily choose which one I would prefer to “go” to virtually. Let’s say, the website I want to visit is exclusive to the United States. I will opt to “Tunnel to the United States.”Step 4
Now that I’m in the United States, I can open those sites that our friends dwelling in the area have the right to access. What I really like about this one is the animation the developers featured in the app. I can see bears, tunnels, maps, and binary digits- all are fitting to its name TunnelBear and its function as a VPN.
Play Old Games with an Emulator
Are you feeling nostalgic with GameBoy Advance games? You can play them again by downloading a GBA emulator on your smartphone. A popular GBA emulator available on the Google Play Store, My Boy is compatible with tons of GBA ROMs and is downloaded by hundreds of thousands of players around the world.
If you want to join in the fun brought by the opportunity to play your childhood games once again, you have to follow the instructions below:
Go to the Google Play Store and download My Boy GBA emulator. Step 2
After the emulator has been installed, look for GBA ROMs. You won’t have a hard time locating these ROMs as they are readily available on the web. Just type in “GBA ROMs” in the Google search box and you’re good to go!
I recommend the website Romsmania as it has a slew of GBA ROMs you can choose from: Pokemon Emerald Version, Super Mario Bros, Grand Theft Auto, Legend of Zelda, DragonBall Z, to name a few.
Since then, I am a fan of Pokemon. Among the games on the ROMs list, I choose to play the Pokemon Emerald version. Step 4
After downloading the Pokemon Emerald ROM, I went back to the My Boy emulator. There, I opened my Downloads folder and found the ROM I’m looking for. Step 5
I loaded the Pokemon Emerald ROM on my GBA emulator and got to reminisce my childhood days. You can, too, by downloading an emulator of your choice!Enjoy this short video clip showing how the Pokemon Emerald plays on the My Boy GBA emulator:
Create Custom Widgets
Customizing your device sure requires a lot of work. But having a phone that suits your tastes and personality is indeed worth all the effort. To alleviate the need to look for customization ideas, Beautiful Widgets has already rounded off your options.
The Beautiful Widgets app comes with various clock, weather, battery, and toggle themes you can choose from to personalize your smartphone. Here are the steps on how to customize your device using Beautiful Widgets:
Download and install Beautiful Widgets from the Google Play Store. Step 2
Add the Beautiful Widgets to your home screen. You can do this by long-pressing the screen until the Widgets option appears. Step 3
Select a widget from the Beautiful Widgets menu. Step 4
I’ve chosen a battery widget as I’m planning to customize it later. Step 5
Open the Beautiful Widgets app. You should see the theme store. Click it. Step 6
Tap on the drop-down panel on the upper side to choose which widgets you want to personalize first. I’ve opted to customize my battery widget earlier so I select Battery themes. Step 7
I like the Spring Battery theme which uses flower petals to denote the battery percentage so I press Get to start the download. After the battery theme has been downloaded on my phone, I clicked on Apply.
Now, look at my battery widget after I applied the changes. You can repeat the same steps regardless of what widget you want to personalize.
Record The Screen On Your Android Phone
Back then, we can’t record the screen of our phones. Not until the arrival of the Android 5.0 platform which comes with support for screen recording capabilities. Because of that breakthrough, developers were able to create apps that can do the job.
One of these apps is AZ Screen Recorder. The app features a countdown timer to let you know when it starts recording your screen. Also, you can trim and edit your video clip right after you finished screen recording.
Head to Google Play Store and download AZ Screen Recorder.Step 2
Once you click Open, an overlay with four buttons appears on the side of your screen. Step 3
Go to the app or navigate to the screen you want to record.
Click the red video camera icon in the pop-up panel. Your screen should start counting down from 3 to 1. Step 5
Use your phone as you normally do until you decide to stop recording.
When you’re finished, pull down the notifications bar and click Pause or Stop.
Record Phone Calls On Your Android Device
Do you dream to be an agent tasked with recording phone conversations without the other person knowing? Sadly, we won’t make you one. However, if you want to record conversations for any reason, you will want to know how to do so properly.
There are some phones which come with a built-in call recorder; mostly, though, do not. If your phone doesn’t have one, the call recording app called Call Recorder – ACR will help you achieve your fantasy. Here’s how to use it:
Download and install Call Recorder – ACR from Google Play Store. Step 2
Once the app has been installed, it runs on the background. You don’t have to configure anything as it will automatically record all of your future calls.
If you want to listen to the call recording, you can click on the caller’s name and press Play. You can also choose to Share or Delete the recording.
Use Launchers On Your Android Phone
A phone’s user interface can be considered a huge factor in determining if it will sell well or not. For instance, the interface Samsung is using is beautiful, moving consumers to buy their product, thus, adding to their sales.
On the flip side, if you are stuck on your phone with a not-so-beautiful skin, you can still make it nicer by customizing it through the use of launchers. Launchers, like the Nova launcher, can add a pop of creativity on your device screen.
Go the Google Play Store and search for Nova Launcher. Download and install it on your mobile phone. Step 2
Once installed, go to your phone settings. Tap on Apps & Notifications. Step 3
Select Default Apps. Step 4
Click Home App. Step 5
You should see the default home app and the Nova Launcher on the choices. Choose Nova Launcher. By the time you go back to the home screen, you can see that the Nova Launcher is enabled. You have to rearrange all of your apps according to your liking.
Use “Edge Display” on your Android
The Edge Display feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge had taken the world by storm. People can’t help but praise its beauty, while its rivals have tried their best to imitate it. While there are some who succeeded to make an app that will make your non-Samsung Edge device look like one.
What I’m talking about is the Edge Color Notifications app. It brings a Galaxy S6 Edge-like animations to any device. Also, you can customize the feature if you want to. Check this step-by-step guide:
Download Edge Color Notifications app from Google Play Store. Step 2
Upon opening the app, you’ll be faced with the Settings. Do some personalization. You can change the edge color and edge width. Step 3
Press Preview Edge Animation. It will give you an overview of how it will work on your phone when someone calls you. I asked someone to call me for me to test this out. This is what the real thing looks like:
Know How Many Devices Are Connected to a Wi-Fi Network
Do you have Wi-Fi at home? Been wondering why your Internet bill is too high and seems unreasonable? Why don’t you check how many devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network?
It’s a no-brainer to think that some people want to “steal” your data allowance and connect to your Wi-Fi network without your knowledge. They can hide no more if you use Fing Network Tools. Here’s how it can help you:
Search for Fing Network Tools on Google Play Store and install it on your device. Step 2
Open the app. Click on the Devices tab to see which smartphones and computers are connected to your home network.
When I checked the connected devices, I spotted a suspicious one. There’s this ZTE Blade V7 Lite (V0720), a phone we don’t own. What should I do with it?Step 3
Happily, I can remove the said device from our home network by long-pressing it and clicking Delete. The next thing I’m going to do is search for its owner. Just kidding!Thanks to Fing Network Tools, I can now monitor if there are other devices which are connected to our Wi-Fi network without our permission. You can also do the same by following the steps mentioned above.
Get Android updates before your mobile handset manufacturer releases it
For most people using Android phones, they usually have to wait for Google to release updates for Android via Google Play and this may sometimes take months.
However, the problem is that when the new Android system updates are released, mobile handset manufacturers have to readjust them in order to run on their handsets, and also add new Android based software, before releasing these Android updates to their customers.
However, the good news is that you do not have to wait this long to get the latest Android updates after its release. Since there are a great number of people working on releasing their own stable Android updates, you can root your Android phone so that you are able to release such Android updates as soon as the developer has released them.
Scale up your Android media center with Gmote Android apps
One of the major reasons why people usually buy smartphones is so that they are able to play their favorite music and videos. However, this usually comes with some limitations, mainly with regard to storage space.
For many people, most of their music and video files are usually stored in their PCs, while just a selected number of files are stored in their smartphones.
This thus means that they cannot access their music files, and they have to keep deleting some of the files in order to make room for new files.
This is a great inconvenience for smartphone users; the good news is that someone saw this and decided to come up with a simple hack that enables one to stream their music from their PC to their smartphones by using Wi-Fi. There is an Android app called app called Gmote that makes accessing this future a breeze.
Change the appearance of Android user interface with Beautiful Widgets Android App
One of the most common tasks that people usually perform on their mobile phones is changing the themes and wallpapers so that they can suit their fancy.
If you have tried this before, then you will have realized that there are numerous limitations, thanks to the small number of wallpapers and themes that ship with your Android phones.
The wallpapers and themes are also not that inspiring, since most of them are static. But you can change all this and bring your Android’s user interface into life. This is easily done through the use of some Android apps, such as Beautiful Widgets, which will then give you access to tonnes of customized and animated wallpapers that you can use on your Android smartphone.
Play retro games by Rooting Your Android Phones
If you are an avid smartphone gamer, then you most definitely usually pull out your old game console ad play a few classic games so as to remind yourself of how it used to feel playing such games.
Android, being open source, has stirred some interesting thoughts from some top tinkerers who also happen to love playing games.
They have come up with simple hacks that can to play classic games on your Android device. Gameboid and Ataroid are two such Android apps that allow you to play some classic games on your Android smartphone.
There is another hacker, who even went ahead and rooted his Android phone so that it is now able to use an NES controller by attaching it to the phone.
Install Android apps that are root-only on Your Android Smartphone
If you like tinkering with different aspects of your Android based phone and would like to get as much flexibility as possible, then you should go ahead and root your Android phone by installing root-only apps.
These apps will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you, as you will be able to undertake some tasks that are not usually supported by the standard Android software that is usually shipped with phones from the smartphone manufacturer end.
For example, you can install a root app that allows you to gain access to extra memory on your Android phone, making it run faster, especially when running Android apps that demand plenty of computing power.
Open your garage door with an Innovative Android Apps
Now this is very interesting! With an imaginative Android hackers, there have been some simple yet highly effective hacks.
For example, there is an Android app called OpenSeMe that makes it very easy to enable your Android phone to open your garage door; this is pretty cool.
This Android app has some simple features that make it safe and easy to use. It uses a pin to verify authenticity of the owner before opening the door; it also only opens the garage door when within a radius of one block. In short, it acts as a garage door opener.
Overclock your Android phone to Optimize your Smartphone Resources
Are you tired of having your Android phone hang up every time you use an Android app that is resource-intensive? If this is the case, then you should consider overclocking your smartphone.
Overlocking is nothing but rooting your Android mobile to such an extent that a user adds permission to OS settings and removing number of hardware limitations such as internal memory, battery life etc., However, you have to take note of the fact that overclocking your smartphone has a number of side effects.
You may wear out your phone’s processor since overclocking it creates intense heat, which may overwhelm the in-built cooling system of your smartphone. It may also shorten your smartphone’s lifestyle. However, by using well-designed overclocking Android apps, you will be able to also underclock your phone’s processors so that their lifespan is prolonged.
You also need a new generation Android phone in order to run such apps on your Android phone. One great Android app that you can use for this function is called SetCPU, and it comes highly recommended.
Run Android OS on an old iPhone
If you love playing practical jokes as well as tinkering, then you may find this hack hilarious: install Android on your old iPhone.
This is a cool way of finding out how Android system would perform on an iPhone. If you have an old iPhone lying around, say iPhone 2G, then you can install Android OS on it. Doing this will also open up quite a number of Android apps that you can then use on your old iPhone.
In order to have some fun doing this, you can even install some Android apps that have been restricted by Apple. But in order to get this hack to work, you have to break into your iPhone first; you can use software such as Redsn0w or PwnageTool to do this.
Take screenshots of your Android Smartphone
One of the common complaints about Android phones is that it does not allow users to take screen shots. However, some clever Android developers have made this possible by creating some interesting Android apps that enable you to take amazing screenshots of your Android phone, albeit with some fancy effects.
However, you need to first root your smartphone before trying these Android apps. You can use the ShootMe app that enables you to take screenshots of your Android phone, with a little shake. This is a simple yet very effective feature.
Block Ads from getting displayed on your Android based Smartphone
Advertisements are the price people usually pay for using free software, and this is not different on Android OS. Many free Android apps you will be using will be running ads, and one of the ways of getting rid of these Android apps is to use paid versions of these apps.
However, after you have rooted your Android based phone, you can install the Adfree app that essentially blocks ads from everywhere on your Android smartphone. This is quite handy if you usually use plenty of free Android apps on your smartphone.
Turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot with Wireless Tether App
Many people would be more than happy to use their Android phones as a Wi-Fi hotspot, but only a few of them are able to do so. Once you root your Android phone, then you can easily turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot, regardless of the mobile carrier subscription active on your Android phone.
You can use the Wireless Tether app, as it makes it such a breeze to turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot that other Wi-Fi enabled devices can plug into quite easily.
So, by rooting your Android phone, you can turn it into a very powerful mobile device with limitless possibilities. However, always bear in mind that rooting your smartphone usually makes your warranty void, and it may end up totally messing up your phone.
Install Custom ROMs On Your Android Phone
One of my favorite things about the Android OS is that it is extremely customizable.
While third-party apps and themes are great if you’re looking for minor changes, custom ROMs can change the entire user interface on your phone. Therefore, if you’re bored with your current UI, I would highly recommend trying a custom ROM.
Aside from customization, custom ROMs can also improve the performance and battery life on your phone significantly as they bring various performance optimization tweaks. You’ll also get various cool new apps and features on your phone after installing a ROM.
Improve The Sound Quality On Your Android Device
While many Android devices come with incredible audio quality, some phones have terrible audio quality.
If you’re looking to improve the audio quality and loudness through your phone’s speaker and headphones, then you can try out the Equalizer app from the Google Play Store. It’s free, but has in-app purchases.
If you have a rooted Android device, then you can also flash custom sound mods. Developers are usually trying to improve the experience on Android devices and you can find flashable audio mods for various Android smartphones.
Install APK Files On Your Android Phone
You can also install APK files on your Android smartphone or tablet. Not many people know about APK files, so their apps are only limited to the ones available on the Google Play Store.
There are many third-party apps that are removed from the Google Play Store, but you can find their APK files on various websites.
In order to install these apps, you simply need to download the APK file, tap on it and press the Install button. You’ll need to enable the Unknown sources option from your Settings app first.
Check Date With One Tap
A cool feature that not many people know is checking the date on Android with a single tap. Just press the status bar on your phone and you’ll see the date on the top. You don’t need to pull the bar down.
View PC Version Of A Website In Your Browser
There are many websites that have a separate light version for mobile phones. These light websites can save mobile data and are better for viewing on mobile phones, however, if you want to view the original PC version of the website, you can change the browser’s settings.
If you’re using Chrome on your phone, launch the website, tap on Menu and enable Request desktop site. The original PC version of the website should now appear on your phone.
If you have an Android smartphone with a small screen, then you probably don’t enjoy typing long text messages.
One of the most popular Android hacks is gesture typing, and if your phone’s keyboard doesn’t support gesture typing, then you can use third-party apps such as SlideIT free keyboard from the Google Play Store.
Using gesture typing, you won’t need to press the keys and you’ll only need to slide your finger around the keys and it will automatically type the word.
Remove App Notifications
Some third-party apps can be really annoying if they keep on displaying notifications on your phone. If you use the app often, then you might not have a problem, but for apps that you don’t use regularly, these notifications can be really annoying.
In order to disable these app notifications, go to Applications or Apps in the Settings app, tap on the app’s name that is bothering you and untick the Show notifications option.
Create A Nandroid Backup
Creating a Nandroid backup is one of the best Android hacks for rooted phones. If your Android device is rooted and you have a custom recovery installed, then you can create a full Nandroid backup of your device. I’m not talking about backing up your files and data here.
Using Nandroid backup, your phone’s entire image will be backed up, including settings, messages and call logs.
Nandroid backups are perfect if you like installing custom ROMs on your phone. So, if you don’t like a ROM that you installed, you can simply restore the backup and get your phone back exactly like it was before flashing the ROM.
Customize LED Lights On Your Phone
Light Flow is a great app that lets you customize the notification LED light on your phone. You can customize things like LED color, duration and flash rate. If you like the free version, then you can also get the paid version ($2.49) as it supports LED customization for over 600 apps.
Connect Your Android Phone To Your TV
This is a really simple hack and not many users take the advantage of this. Many Android devices come with micro HDMI ports and you can connect your phone to your LED TV using a micro HDMI to HDMI cable. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your games and HD videos on a much bigger screen.
Some phones don’t have a micro HDMI port, but many of them do support MHL adapters. You can buy an MHL adapter from Amazon and then connect your normal HDMI cable to your phone using the adapter. If you have an S4 you can check out our guide here.
If you want to make the most out of your Android smartphone or tablet, you should use the Android hacks you’ve probably never heard. If you have any questions, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.