12 Types of Android Apps You Can Replace With the Google App

google-app-replace

The majority of Android users use Google’s search app for, well, searching the web. But the company has supplemented its main app with a host of new features and utilities. Usually, you’d rely on a variety of dedicated third-party apps for these features. We’re going to show how the Google app can handle several different common tasks and turn into a Swiss Army knife for services on your phone. 1. Reminders We begin with reminders, which have lived inside the Google app for years now. The app lets you easily configure alerts for quick tasks based either on a location…

Read the full article: 12 Types of Android Apps You Can Replace With the Google App

google-app-replace

The majority of Android users use Google’s search app for, well, searching the web. But the company has supplemented its main app with a host of new features and utilities.

Usually, you’d rely on a variety of dedicated third-party apps for these features. We’re going to show how the Google app can handle several different common tasks and turn into a Swiss Army knife for services on your phone.

1. Reminders

We begin with reminders, which have lived inside the Google app for years now. The app lets you easily configure alerts for quick tasks based either on a location or time. You can add tasks in a handful of ways.

You can either ask Google Assistant by pressing the mic icon, or simply enter a query into the search box like “Remind me to buy milk tomorrow.” If you prefer, head into the Reminders section and tap the floating Plus icon for another way.

The Reminders section is present in the hamburger menu located in the bottom-right corner of the Google app. There, you’ll also find a list of your active and past reminders. You can click either of them to edit or delete.

2. Weather

Another longtime Google app feature is the ability to check the weather. The app has received a handful of updates recently to deliver a better experience, though.

To know the forecast for your location, you have two options—Google Assistant or the Google feed where it’s available as a card on the app’s homepage. Tapping the three-dot menu at the right edge of the card will also let you switch temperature units or enable updates for your current or home location.

In addition, you can add a shortcut to the detailed weather page to your phone’s home screen. To do that, tap the weather card on the feed or search for it. The app will ask if you’d like to have a shortcut on the home screen. Select Add and place the icon wherever you prefer.

If you need a more comprehensive solution, check out the best weather apps for Android.

3. Podcasts

You can also follow and hear your favorite podcasts right from the Google app. Just search for a particular one and you’ll see a list of the tracks. Tap the Follow button to get updates in your feed and the Play button to begin listening.

The playback notification even has a 30-second skip option, which is a nice touch.

4. Tip Calculation

The Google app comes bundled with a nifty tip calculator too. For this, type calculate the tip or tip calculator in the search bar. You can then specify the bill amount, how much would you like to tip, and even the number of people if you want to know how much each of your party owes.

5. Shopping List

The Google app also allows you to build a shopping list. However, there’s no built-in mini-app for this. Instead, you’ll have to either rely on Google Assistant or head over to a web app weirdly linked to an option in the app’s settings. Hopefully Google will update it and bring a native view soon.

Anyway, to add an item to the shopping list, you can ask Assistant by saying, for instance, add milk to my shopping list. The second way is to open the Google Shopping List page and type there. In order to check on your list, say my shopping list to the Assistant or launch that web app again.

We’ve covered more advanced shopping list apps if this doesn’t cut it for you.

6. News and Interests

One of the first items you’ll see as soon as you land on the Google app is news and content based on what Google’s algorithms think you like. What you might not know is you can specifically customize the type of content that’s delivered to your feed. In turn, this will let you get rid of the dedicated RSS app using memory and storage on your phone.

To personalize and update the topics you’re interested in, press the hamburger icon at the bottom-right corner and then tap Customize. Here, you can add new topics to follow or edit the existing ones Google has automatically set based on your search history.

The majority of articles that appear on your feed are tailored to your preferences and search history. However, if there’s something you’re not into, you can change that on the feed itself. Tap the card’s three-dot menu where you will have three choices: hide a particular story, unfollow the topic altogether, or block the source website.

7. Bookings and Reservations

The Google app also funnels your forthcoming reservations and orders onto a single page. This lets you quickly glance over details such as confirmation numbers. Unfortunately, this won’t do anything if your primary account is not on Gmail. You can find your bookings inside the second tab of the Google app.

You can tap on the little arrow beside a reservation to reveal more information like order details or check-in dates. There’s a View in Gmail button too, which will redirect you to the relevant email.

8. Save for Later

You can save articles you’ve read, pictures you’ve viewed, or places you’ve looked up on the Google app as well. Whenever you open a link, you’ll see a bookmark icon at the top. Tap that and the article will be added to your favorites. These are available inside the Saved option on the app’s last tab.

You can even create a new collection if you’re researching for a specific purpose like a trip or project. Unfortunately, there’s no offline access yet. Hopefully, Google will roll out that feature in a later update.

9. Currency Conversions

Currency conversions are also possible on the Google app. You can either search by typing a definite query like $5 in INR or you can look up $ to INR and then fill out the values. Google search also displays a chart of the historical rates and allows you to switch currencies through dropdown menus.

10. Sports

The Google app easily lets you keep track of your sports teams and leagues. To tell the app which ones are your favorites, head into the Customize option in the last tab and tap View all settings. There, under the Sports section, you can specifically add the teams and leagues for which you’d like to get updates and alerts for.

Google can even send you video highlights through notifications. In addition, at the bottom of the page, there’s a category called Not Interested where you can exclude clubs and teams from appearing in the feed.

11. Stocks

Similarly, you can follow stock rates and updates through the Google feed. Go through the same customization process above, but instead of Sports, open the settings for Stocks. Through the search, you can even compare multiple shares.

To do that, search for a stock and click the blue arrow beneath its card. There, you’ll have a button labeled Compare with a share or index. Tap that, select the second stock, and you’re all set. You can continue to do this for additional stocks and collate their charts from several periods, if you like.

If this is too basic, check out the top stock market apps that let you go further.

12. Translations

You can access a mini counterpart of Google Translate from the main Google app as well. You can translate phrases by simply searching for them, like Hello in French. Dictation is available, and there’s an option to enlarge the translated text if you’d like to show it to someone in a foreign land.

You’re Now a Google App Master

While these features certainly can’t replace full-fledged apps if you’re a heavy user, they’re perfect for someone who rarely fires up apps for specific purposes. And the best part is that the Google app is already on your phone and works with voice commands too.

For more like this, check out other Android apps by Google you might not know about.

Read the full article: 12 Types of Android Apps You Can Replace With the Google App

How to Manage Multiple Google or Gmail Accounts on Android

android-multiple-accounts

If you have more than one Google account—for example, a private Gmail email address and another for work—you may have wondered whether you can use them simultaneously on your Android phone. Yes, you can, and I’ll show you how to set them up. All instructions below reflect the process on Android 8.1 (Oreo). For screenshots, we’ve used a OnePlus 5T running OxygenOS 5.1.3. The steps should be similar to stock Android. Note: It’s also possible to set up multiple user accounts on your Android tablet! How to Add Additional Google Accounts Let’s assume you’ve already set up one Google account…

Read the full article: How to Manage Multiple Google or Gmail Accounts on Android

If you have more than one Google account—for example, a private Gmail email address and another for work—you may have wondered whether you can use them simultaneously on your Android phone. Yes, you can, and I’ll show you how to set them up.

All instructions below reflect the process on Android 8.1 (Oreo). For screenshots, we’ve used a OnePlus 5T running OxygenOS 5.1.3. The steps should be similar to stock Android.

Note: It’s also possible to set up multiple user accounts on your Android tablet!

How to Add Additional Google Accounts

Let’s assume you’ve already set up one Google account and now want to add a second one. From your Android device’s home screen, go to Settings > Accounts and tap Add account at the bottom. Select Google from the list. You might have to confirm your device password or fingerprint.

Next, log into your Google account with your email address, password, and a two-factor authentication code, if you’ve set this up. You can also create a new account from the initial login screen. Once you’ve signed in successfully, Android will automatically set up your new Google account.

To customize which account data Android syncs, return to Settings > Accounts, then tap Google and the account you’d like to manage. Here you can toggle various Google services.

To remove an account, tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right and select Remove account.

This process also works for Google Apps for Work accounts.

Which Apps Does This Affect and How?

The sync settings shown above reveal that adding an additional Google account affects several apps, depending on which data you choose to sync. Your Google account connects to the following apps and features:

  • Calendar
  • Chrome
  • Contacts
  • Docs
  • Drive
  • Gmail
  • Google Fit data
  • Google Play
  • Google+
  • Keep

In addition, you’ll see a change on any other apps that support Google login. Let’s see how this affects some of the standard apps.

Gmail

If you chose to sync your Gmail account, you’ll now see two or more accounts listed in the Gmail app.

You can customize inbox and notification settings via the account settings menu. With Gmail open, tap the hamburger icon in the top-left, then scroll down to the very bottom of the list of labels and tap Settings. Select the account for which you’d like to adjust settings, and make your changes.

Chrome

In Chrome, you’ll find a list of all Google accounts, but you can’t conveniently switch between them or make individual settings.

What you can choose, however, is which account to sync Chrome with. Go to Settings and tap the current Google account (Syncing to). Under the list of associated accounts tap Sync, then Sync to, and select the desired account.

You can keep data from two accounts separate or delete data from your previous account, though it will still be available when you log back in. Finally, log into the new account to start syncing Chrome profile data with it.

Allo and Duo

Allo and Duo have replaced Hangouts. While Hangouts supports multiple accounts (see below), Allo and Duo are tied to your phone number and you can only associate them with one Google account at a time. However, you can switch accounts.

To switch accounts in Duo, open the app and tap the three-dot menu in the top-right. Select Settings and choose Remove Google Account From Duo. Next, you might have to verify your phone number.

Now go back to Settings and tap Add Account. If you have more than one account, you’ll see a dropdown list with all the accounts you can add. Choose one, Agree, and you’re done.

To do this in Allo, open the app, tap the hamburger icon in the top-left and select Settings. From here, tap Account > Disconnect, then select Google Account and pick your desired account to add.

Hangouts

Much like Gmail, the Hangouts app will show you a list of your accounts, so you can manage multiple identities.

Via Settings, you can make individual choices for each account. For example, you could choose to receive vibration and sound notifications for one account but only vibration for another.

Calendar

Your calendar can display events from multiple sources. Not only can you manage multiple calendars under one account, you can manage them from multiple accounts.

Open the app, tap the hamburger icon, and browse through the list of calendars under each of your Google accounts. While you can’t disable entire accounts here (you’d have to do this under Android’s Google account settings, as described above), you can deselect all calendars listed under a specific profile.

When you scroll down all the way and tap Settings, you can select each calendar and edit its individual settings, such as color or default notifications.

Play Store

The Play Store also supports multiple accounts. Tap the hamburger icon to expand your account options.

My apps & games is an interesting Google Play feature if you’re using the same account on two different devices or moving an account to a new device. The Play Store keeps a record of any app you’ve ever installed until you remove it from your Library by tapping the X icon.

Thus, this is where you can find apps you’ve used in the past, possibly on another device, and install them. Unfortunately, you can no longer bulk-install apps from this screen.

Other Apps

Managing multiple accounts in Google Drive, Keep, and other Google apps is very similar to what we described above. Contacts from all your Google accounts and other non-Google accounts like Facebook and WhatsApp should automatically sync with your Contacts app.

Can I Do the Same for Other Accounts?

Yes, but not for many. Facebook, Skype, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Dropbox, for example, only allow a single user ID per device. You can set up additional accounts for other email clients, and other apps may also support multiple IDs.

However, you can run multiple copies of the same app on Android using a third-party app called Parallel Space. You can then associate each app with a different user account.

How Do You Manage Your Android Apps?

Nowadays it’s common to have multiple identities or email accounts, associated with different projects or jobs. Thankfully, Google made it easy to manage all your IDs with it on a single device.

Did you know you could remove Google accounts entirely from your phone? If you embrace Google, however, you should know about these little-known Google apps.

Read the full article: How to Manage Multiple Google or Gmail Accounts on Android

Solve 10 Big Android Issues and Annoyances With These Apps

solve-big-android-issues

Every few months, a new flagship smartphone launches with a top-of-the-line processor and more RAM that you know what to do with. But still, after some time, flagship phones still start to lag. Indeed, even the highest-end Android smartphone have their annoyances. No matter which Android phone you have, the best way to keep your device functioning properly is by installing user-friendly apps that help you manage your phone’s life in a simple way. These Android apps will solve your biggest annoyances and make your phone more pleasant to use. 1. Nova Launcher This rule is as nearly old as…

Read the full article: Solve 10 Big Android Issues and Annoyances With These Apps

Every few months, a new flagship smartphone launches with a top-of-the-line processor and more RAM that you know what to do with. But still, after some time, flagship phones still start to lag. Indeed, even the highest-end Android smartphone have their annoyances.

No matter which Android phone you have, the best way to keep your device functioning properly is by installing user-friendly apps that help you manage your phone’s life in a simple way.

These Android apps will solve your biggest annoyances and make your phone more pleasant to use.

1. Nova Launcher

This rule is as nearly old as Android itself. If your Android phone came with its own launcher, you should replace it with something better. Right now, that’s Nova Launcher. That’s because Nova adds a ton of new features to your home screen while still keeping everything light.

You can create and customize swipe gestures (different ones for apps, folders, and the wallpaper itself), create quick shortcuts for apps, customize notification badges, and a lot more.

Download: Nova Launcher (Free)
Download: Nova Launcher Prime ($5)

2. GBoard

The same rule with replacing launchers applies to keyboards, too. If you’ve got a manufacturer’s keyboard or something like SwiftKey, you should switch to Gboard before long. Just download the app on the Play Store to get going.

It is the most user-friendly and feature-rich keyboard on Android. The best function is the built-in G button, which allows you to quickly search for anything on Google. It also gives answers to your questions by using Google instant answers.

You’ll also find improved features like quick sharing of search results, gesture mode, swipe gestures, and GIF search.

Download: Gboard (Free)

3. New Pipe

This app takes some of the most-coveted features from YouTube Premium and gives them to you for free. New Pipe lets you listen to YouTube videos in the background, watch videos in Picture-in-Picture mode, and even download a video (or just audio if you feel like it).

While it can’t replace the YouTube app entirely, it can replicate some specific features. You can, for instance, search for videos, play them, and even subscribe to channels.

New Pipe isn’t available on the Play Store, but you can download it using the F-Droid open source app store.

Download: NewPipe (Free)

4. Texpand

Gboard is a great keyboard app, but you know how frustrating it is typing on a smartphone keyboard for long periods of time. If you’re using your Android phone as your primary communication device, you’ll need something to ease your pain.

Texpand text allows you to expand your texts in an easier way. Start by adding frequently used text snippets inside the app (like your address or a template email) and assign a shortcut for the snippet. Next time you type that shortcut, it will show a little dropdown menu. Tap on your snippet to automatically paste it in!

Texpand also gives you features to customize your phrases with additional input types and you can organize phrases in a multi-level folder structure.

Download: Texpand (Free)
Download: Texpand Plus ($3)

5. Timbre

Timbre is a free and effective app that allows you to edit audio and video files directly on your Android phone. No need to switch to your computer for small edits!

This app is efficient in merging, cutting, and trimming media which is often all we require. The app has a clean interface; it neatly divides audio and video editing tools into two different sections. But mostly you’ll just need to play around in these five tools: join, cut, convert, omit, and split.

Download: Timbre (Free, premium version available)

6. Clip Stack

Here’s an app that solves the biggest annoyance you didn’t know you had: managing your clipboard. Once you install Clip Stack, it remembers everything you copy to your clipboard. This little feature frees up your mind so that you aren’t constantly worrying about whether you saved that number you copied from the web this morning.

Clip Stack saves all the copied texts in its database. And they stay there no matter what—even after you’ve rebooted your device.

Download: Clip Stack (Free)

7. Datally

Datally is Google’s own solution to your data consumption woes. Due to limited mobile data plans, it’s easy to run through a month’s limit by watching a couple of movies on Netflix. Thankfully, Datally fixes this annoyance.

The app tracks your data consumption intelligently, taking a two-pronged approach. It tells you which app is using how much data (and in which context) and gives you tools to manage data consumption for that app. You even get to see your data usage on an hourly basis.

Once you’ve figured out which apps are using too much data, you can set a daily limit or limits for a specific app.

Download: Datally (Free)

8. QuickPic

Once Google Photos took the center stage, Android said goodbye to the trusty old Gallery app. Google Photos is great for syncing photos, intelligent recommendations, photo sharing, and search. But it’s not a good gallery replacement. If you’re frustrated by Google Photos, we recommend you try QuickPic.

QuickPic has a simple interface with no frills. It’s a classic gallery app that makes it easy to view, manage, and share your photos. It displays your photo folders as grid icons or as a list, while the top-right corner opens the camera.

It allows you to choose a folder, then you’re directed to the photo browser with an option to go back or switch to a multi-selection mode. The app also has options like rename, share, delete, and zoom.

Download: QuickPic (Free)

9. Files Go

Files Go helps you free up space, find files quickly, and share files with people nearby. It’s similar to AirDrop on iOS.

The app also has smart storage management tools. It gives you recommendations for which files to delete (such as unused apps or low-resolution videos). By simply installing Files Go and running a cleanup, you can save around 1GB of storage space. Your old Android phone will be thankful!

Download: Files Go (Free)

10. Sesame

Android’s built-in search feature is great at searching for content on the web, but not so much when it comes to searching on your device. If you’re looking for a file, a song, or a contact, those search results usually come in at the bottom of the search page—if they show up at all.

The only reliable way to solve this problem on Android is to use Sesame for Nova Launcher. The app has a free trial and you can unlock the app by paying $3.

Sesame brings deep linking and amazingly accurate on-device search to your fingertips. Once you’ve enabled the plugin for Nova, just start typing and you’ll be able to jump directly to a specific WhatsApp conversation or look for a file you downloaded as an email attachment in seconds.

Download: Sesame (Free, premium version available)

Mastering Android With Apps and More

These apps remove some of the biggest pain points Android users have. Give them a try and see how much more efficient your phone becomes!

If you’ve just got your first Android phone, or if you’ve switched over from an iPhone, some of the basic actions like creating a contact or making a video call might be daunting. In that case, you may want to check out our complete beginner’s guide to Android.

Read the full article: Solve 10 Big Android Issues and Annoyances With These Apps

How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

change-android-keyboard

On both Android and iOS, a small icon pops up every time you press a key when typing on the keyboard. It’s supposed to help you determine that you pressed the key you intended to. However, for many people, it’s annoying. Since most of us touch type on phones and tablets, we determine whether we have made an error by looking at the text entry field rather than the keyboard itself. Thankfully, it’s possible to disable this feature in both Android and iOS. Keep reading and we’ll explain the process. How to Disable Key Press Popups on Android To prevent…

Read the full article: How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

change-android-keyboard

On both Android and iOS, a small icon pops up every time you press a key when typing on the keyboard.

It’s supposed to help you determine that you pressed the key you intended to. However, for many people, it’s annoying. Since most of us touch type on phones and tablets, we determine whether we have made an error by looking at the text entry field rather than the keyboard itself.

Thankfully, it’s possible to disable this feature in both Android and iOS. Keep reading and we’ll explain the process.

How to Disable Key Press Popups on Android

To prevent keys from popping up when you press them, follow the instructions below:

Note: These steps only apply to the default Google keyboard. If you’re using a third-party keyboard for Android, consult its own manual for guidance.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the Personal section and select Language and Input.
  3. Tap on Virtual Keyboard.
  4. Select Gboard.
  5. On the next menu, choose Preferences.
  6. Slide the toggle next to Pop-up on keypress into the Off position.

How to Disable Key Press Popups on iOS

To turn off the popup on iOS, follow these instructions instead:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on General.
  3. Next, select Keyboard from the list of options.
  4. Finally, slide the toggle next to Character Preview into the Off position.

Any Downsides to Doing This?

There is one instance in which the character popup is useful: when you’re entering passwords. It’s a great way to know whether you’ve typed an incorrect character when you can’t see the entry field itself.

Of course, the better solution is to use a password manager—you’ll never need to type a password manually again. There are lots to choose from. LastPass is the most popular, but there are several LastPass alternatives too.

Read the full article: How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

change-android-keyboard

On both Android and iOS, a small icon pops up every time you press a key when typing on the keyboard. It’s supposed to help you determine that you pressed the key you intended to. However, for many people, it’s annoying. Since most of us touch type on phones and tablets, we determine whether we have made an error by looking at the text entry field rather than the keyboard itself. Thankfully, it’s possible to disable this feature in both Android and iOS. Keep reading and we’ll explain the process. How to Disable Key Press Popups on Android To prevent…

Read the full article: How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

change-android-keyboard

On both Android and iOS, a small icon pops up every time you press a key when typing on the keyboard.

It’s supposed to help you determine that you pressed the key you intended to. However, for many people, it’s annoying. Since most of us touch type on phones and tablets, we determine whether we have made an error by looking at the text entry field rather than the keyboard itself.

Thankfully, it’s possible to disable this feature in both Android and iOS. Keep reading and we’ll explain the process.

How to Disable Key Press Popups on Android

To prevent keys from popping up when you press them, follow the instructions below:

Note: These steps only apply to the default Google keyboard. If you’re using a third-party keyboard for Android, consult its own manual for guidance.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the Personal section and select Language and Input.
  3. Tap on Virtual Keyboard.
  4. Select Gboard.
  5. On the next menu, choose Preferences.
  6. Slide the toggle next to Pop-up on keypress into the Off position.

How to Disable Key Press Popups on iOS

To turn off the popup on iOS, follow these instructions instead:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on General.
  3. Next, select Keyboard from the list of options.
  4. Finally, slide the toggle next to Character Preview into the Off position.

Any Downsides to Doing This?

There is one instance in which the character popup is useful: when you’re entering passwords. It’s a great way to know whether you’ve typed an incorrect character when you can’t see the entry field itself.

Of course, the better solution is to use a password manager—you’ll never need to type a password manually again. There are lots to choose from. LastPass is the most popular, but there are several LastPass alternatives too.

Read the full article: How to Turn Off Key Press Popups on Android and iOS

How to Make Android Faster: What Works and What Doesn’t

custom-rom-android

We all wish our phones were just a little faster. Whether you’re chugging along with a device from three years ago or rocking one of the best new Android phones, it’s the same—more speed is always better. There’s no shortage of ideas on how you can speed up Android device. Unfortunately, not all of them work. The good news is, we’ve tested them all for you. Read on to find out how to make your phone faster—and what you should avoid doing. How to Speed Up Android: Basic Tips The default apps and settings on Android aren’t always the best…

Read the full article: How to Make Android Faster: What Works and What Doesn’t

custom-rom-android

We all wish our phones were just a little faster. Whether you’re chugging along with a device from three years ago or rocking one of the best new Android phones, it’s the same—more speed is always better.

There’s no shortage of ideas on how you can speed up Android device. Unfortunately, not all of them work.

The good news is, we’ve tested them all for you. Read on to find out how to make your phone faster—and what you should avoid doing.

How to Speed Up Android: Basic Tips

The default apps and settings on Android aren’t always the best if speed is your priority. Making a few changes and keeping your phone free from clutter can speed up your phone’s performance.

1. Clean Up Your Home Screen

If your phone has a slower processor or is light on RAM, then maintaining a lean home screen can help speed it up. Live wallpapers and widgets use resources, and the latter can even continue updating in the background.

Where you’re most likely to see their impact is through something called “home screen redraw.” When you switch away from a RAM-heavy app like Chrome, you’ll see a completely blank home screen and have to wait a couple of seconds while your icons, widgets, and wallpaper all reload. Keep your home screens tidy to avoid this.

2. Use a Different Launcher

The default launcher on your phone is usually designed to showcase your device’s best features. As a result, it isn’t always the fastest or most efficient.

You’ll find a huge number of third-party launchers in the Play Store, and many are optimized for speed. Our favorite is Nova Launcher, but it’s worth experimenting with a few to find the one that’s right for you.

3. Change Browsers

Android Data Savings Browser

The default web browser on Android is Chrome, and it’s a pretty resource-heavy app. There are a few ways you can improve it, but a better solution is switching to an entirely different browser.

Some benchmark tests have shown Puffin as the fastest Android browser. If you prefer something more similar to Chrome, then take a look at Opera. Its data compression feature can help pages load much more quickly.

4. Uninstall Bad Apps

Bad apps are often to blame for slowing down your phone. It’s not always obscure apps, either—some of the biggest names are common culprits.

Snapchat is notoriously laggy on Android, while uninstalling Facebook could make your phone as much as 15% faster. Try switching to a third-party Facebook app instead. There are also lightweight versions of the main Google apps that use less memory and run faster.

5. Remove Antivirus Software

Antivirus software claims to offer peace of mind to Android users, but it’s unnecessary. It slows down your phone and drains your battery. As long as you only install apps from official sources like the Play Store or Amazon Appstore, you’re extremely unlikely to encounter malware.

6. Stop Apps Auto-Syncing

Social, news, weather, and many other classes of apps are set to automatically sync. By default, they go online as often as every 15 minutes. With too many of these apps installed, your phone will soon creak under their weight.

Check the sync schedules for all your apps and set a longer schedule of every few hours or once a day. Or just turn off syncing and update them manually instead.

7. Check for and Install Updates

Each new version of Android offers performance improvements over the last, so if your phone has updates available then you should always install them. Of course, not all manufacturers update their phones, so this is something to consider next time you’re upgrading.

The same goes for apps. Turn on automatic updates in the Play Store to ensure that you receive the latest updates as soon as an app’s resource-hogging, battery-draining bugs get fixed. Go to Settings > Auto-update apps to set it up.

8. Reboot Regularly

Android Reboot

Finally, the best way to tune up Android is to reboot it regularly. This helps to keep the OS running smoothly.

You don’t have to do it every day, but an occasional reboot will work wonders, especially if your phone gets particularly slow or starts running hotter than normal.

If you try all these tips and find that nothing works, a factory reset may be in order—just make sure you back up your Android data first!

How to Speed Up Android: Advanced Tips

Want something a bit more advanced? If you like delving into hidden settings, or if your device is rooted, then you have even more opportunities to speed up Android.

9. Speed Up Animations

Android is packed with animations and transitions that give the operating system a slick look and make it fun to use. A hidden setting enables you to control the speed of these animations. In turn, this improves the speed (or at least the perceived speed) of your phone.

Go to Settings > Developer options (Settings > System > Developer options on Android Oreo and later) and set Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale to .5x. This cuts the length of the animations by half (you can turn them off entirely if you want, but this looks jarring).

If you can’t see Developer options, you’ll need to enable it first. Go to Settings > About phone (Settings > System > About phone on Android Oreo and newer) and tap Build number seven times to make the option appear.

10. Try a Different ROM

LineageOS Android

A custom ROM contains a complete build of the Android operating system, and replaces all the software that came pre-installed on your phone. ROMs may have a different look or extra features, or can be optimized for performance.

Installing a custom ROM is a good idea if the stock software on your phone isn’t great. Many manufacturers pack their devices with extra apps and features that make them bloated, buggy, and slow. Replacing it with a bloat-free ROM like LineageOS can give you an instant speed boost.

11. Flash a Custom Kernel

The kernel manages every interaction between your phone’s software and hardware. Custom kernels enable you to tweak how the hardware functions. You can change how quickly the processor ramps up to top speed, or how busy it needs to be before it activates extra cores.

Some even offer per-app settings so you can have the device running on maximum power when playing a particular game, and drop back to normal as soon as you exit it.

12. Control Background Apps With Greenify

Task killers don’t speed up your phone, as we’ll see shortly. The app Greenify sounds like a task killer—it prevents apps from running in the background—but there’s a subtle difference.

Greenify runs at the system level to not only close apps, but also prevent them from running at all until you need them. This means it also has the effect of stopping apps from auto-syncing, as well as preventing them from loading when you boot your phone.

It’s less useful on Android Oreo and later, due to improvements in how those operating systems manage resources. But on older devices, Greenfiy is one of the best reasons to root.

How to Speed Up Android: What Doesn’t Work

As well as the tips that do work, there are a few common speed-boosting techniques that don’t. Be wary of any app that makes grand claims about how much it can speed up your phone.

1. Task Killers

Task killers are among the most popular utilities on the Play Store, yet they are completely worthless. In fact, they can make your phone slower.

A task killer closes background apps to free up RAM. It works on the idea that free RAM improves performance, but this isn’t true. Android is designed to keep apps in RAM so it can restore them quickly—it will intelligently close apps whenever it needs to free up extra resources.

More importantly, certain app processes will start up again as soon as they are killed because they need to run in the background. This constant stopping and starting will slow your phone down far more than if you just let Android do its job.

2. Closing Apps

For the same reason, there’s no need to worry about manually closing apps. Again, Android manages this automatically. If Android needs to free up resources, it will close whichever apps you haven’t used in a while.

If not, leave them alone. Keeping them in memory will have little to no effect on either performance or battery life. Better yet, it helps make your apps load faster next time you need them.

3. Using Speed Boosters or Defragmenters

While we try to avoid generalizations, it’s safe to say you should avoid any non-root app that promises to improve the performance of your phone. This includes RAM boosters, SD card speeder-uppers, and anything else along those lines that you can find on the Play Store.

They rarely work, are often packed with highly intrusive ads, and can actually slow your phone down.

Also, do not use defragmenter apps for Android. Your phone doesn’t need defragmenting—it uses flash memory and is not affected by fragmentation. All the phone defraggers on Google Play will not make your phone run faster. At best, they’ll have no effect; at worst, they may be scam apps.

The Ultimate Way to Speed Up Android

Of course, there’s only so far you can go to speed up your phone. You can keep it clean and running smoothly for a while, but sooner or later you’ll hit the limits of the hardware. Then you reach the ultimate speed tip: upgrade to a new device.

Read the full article: How to Make Android Faster: What Works and What Doesn’t

How to Run Multiple Copies of the Same App on Android

best-new-android-apps

Have you ever wanted to run multiple copies of a particular Android app at the same time? For example, maybe you want two versions of Facebook open at the same time—one for your personal profile and one for your professional profile. Or you could have two versions of YouTube, allowing you to have two videos playing concurrently, which could be nice if you want to keep an eye on multiple live feeds at once. Sadly, this isn’t a native Android feature. But there is a third-party app that does the trick: Parallel Space! What Is Parallel Space for Android? Parallel Space…

Read the full article: How to Run Multiple Copies of the Same App on Android

Have you ever wanted to run multiple copies of a particular Android app at the same time? For example, maybe you want two versions of Facebook open at the same time—one for your personal profile and one for your professional profile.

Or you could have two versions of YouTube, allowing you to have two videos playing concurrently, which could be nice if you want to keep an eye on multiple live feeds at once.

Sadly, this isn’t a native Android feature. But there is a third-party app that does the trick: Parallel Space!

What Is Parallel Space for Android?

Parallel Space is that an app that lets you run two copies of an app in two different windows at the same time.

In addition to that, there’s another noteworthy feature that you’ll love: incognito mode for apps. It allows you to hide installed apps on your device so other people cannot see them.

When running two instances of the same app, the data in each app is sandboxed from the other. You won’t encounter data clashes or forced logouts.

How to Run Multiple Copies of the Same Android App

Download and install the Parallel Space app from the Android store. It is free.

When you fire the app up for the first time, you need to select the app you want to clone and tap on Add to Parallel Space.

To run a second version on the app, tap on the icon. The app will load within the Parallel Space app.

In the example below, you can see I am running two versions of YouTube at the same time. You can flick between them using the regular Android controls.

Read our article about cool and useful tricks on Android that will turn you from Android newbie to Android pro.

Read the full article: How to Run Multiple Copies of the Same App on Android

The 7 Best Volume Booster Apps for Your Android Phone

android-volume-booster

Android is great for watching movies and TV, and listening to music and podcasts. But there’s one problem—a lot of Android phones aren’t loud enough. So what can you do? In this quick guide, we’ll show you the best volume booster apps and other tools to increase the volume on your Android device. Android Volume Booster Apps: Beware! If you want to find the best volume booster app for Android, the obvious place to start is a search on the Play Store. This turns up dozens of results, consisting of apps with the same name, great ratings, and huge numbers…

Read the full article: The 7 Best Volume Booster Apps for Your Android Phone

android-volume-booster

Android is great for watching movies and TV, and listening to music and podcasts. But there’s one problem—a lot of Android phones aren’t loud enough.

So what can you do? In this quick guide, we’ll show you the best volume booster apps and other tools to increase the volume on your Android device.

Android Volume Booster Apps: Beware!

If you want to find the best volume booster app for Android, the obvious place to start is a search on the Play Store. This turns up dozens of results, consisting of apps with the same name, great ratings, and huge numbers of downloads.

But here’s the problem: we struggled to get them to work.

Play Store Android Volume Booster Apps

Your mileage may vary, of course. Perhaps specific apps do work on certain devices. But we’d be reluctant to recommend them, anyway.

“Volume boosters” seems to be a category that attracts a lot of spammy or junk apps. All the free ones we tested were overloaded with intrusive ads.

Some had ads that appeared after every tap on the interface. Others had ads that would pop up on top of other apps we used. A couple even played full-screen videos ads with sound. That’s the last thing you want when you’ve got the volume cranked up to the max.

Let’s focus on the apps that do actually work.

1. Equalizer

Equalizers are generally the best option for improving sound quality. They make your phone louder, and you can use the frequency sliders to tame any distortion that may appear as a side effect. The simply named Equalizer is as good and simple to use as you’ll find.

With Equalizer you can choose from 11 preset sound profiles. If you upgrade to the paid version, you can create your own, too. Hit the Power button in the top-right corner to activate the Sound Amplifier. You can also use the Bass Boost here—it’s great if you’ve got quality headphones, though it may reveal the limitations of your phone’s speakers.

Download: Equalizer (Free, premium version available)

2. Equalizer FX

This app covers similar ground to Equalizer with one significant difference: it works with Google Play Music. Many third-party audio apps don’t work with streaming services, or at least only do so as a paid extra. There’s no such problem with FX; it works automatically as standard, and for free.

The Effects tab has the Bass Boost and Loudness Enhancer options that will help improve the volume of your phone’s speakers.

Download: Equalizer FX (Free)

3. Precise Volume

Precise Volume is a comprehensive volume app that offers something for everyone. There’s an equalizer with a sound amplifier function. You also get presets that will activate when you insert a set of headphones, and you can set custom volume levels for different apps.

Our favorite feature is the app’s namesake. It replaces Android’s standard 15-step volume control with a 100-step alternative. It gives the finest control over exactly how loud you want your phone to be.

Download: Precise Volume (Free, premium version available)

4. VLC for Android

If your low volume woes are limited to music and movies, then installing VLC is a quick solution.

The popular media player lets you boost the sound by as much as 200 percent, albeit it’s a little tricky to find. First, you may need to go to Preferences > Video > Audio-boost to enable the volume increase.

Now, when you start playing your media, hit the Settings button and select the Equalizer icon. You’ll be prompted to save a new Equalizer preset, although you don’t have to do this.

In the next dialog box, find the horizontal slider at the top and drag it to the right to increase the sound level. When you exit, you have the option to save your changes again.

Unlike on the desktop, VLC on Android is great for music as much as it is movies. If you store a lot of content locally on your device, this could be a good solution for you.

Download: VLC for Android (Free)

5. MX Player

MX Player Android

For videos only, MX Player is also able to increase the sound of your movies by 200 percent beyond the level your phone normally allows. This one’s easy to use, thanks to the app’s gesture-based controls, although you need to set it up first.

Go to Settings > Audio and check the box labeled Volume boost. Next, go to Settings > Decoder and select the box HW+ decoder (local).

Now start playing a video. Swipe up the screen to increase the volume. A setting of 15 takes you to your phone’s maximum volume level. Keep swiping and you can increase it by a further 15 points. The volume returns to normal when you exit the app.

Download: MX Player (Free)

6. Podcast Addict

Podcasts can be a particular problem, even on phones that have decent speakers. Many of them aren’t recorded professionally, so they don’t have great sound quality and are often quieter than you’d like.

Lots of the best podcast apps have options that can help. We’re recommending Podcast Addict because it not only has a volume boost setting, it also has a built-in equalizer. This makes it possible to tweak the sound in your favorite podcasts to emphasize the voices while toning down music or audience noise.

That can be more effective than merely making the whole recording louder.

Download: Podcast Addict (Free)

7. Viper4Android

It’s a lot easier to boost the volume if you’ve rooted your Android phone or tablet. It opens you up to using apps like Viper4Android, an awesome (and incredibly powerful) audio tool.

There’s an unofficial version of Viper4Android for non-root devices in the Play Store. But for best results, install it either as a root app, through the Xposed Framework, or as one of the best Magisk Modules.

Once installed, you can activate the eXtra Loud mode, which runs from Slight to Extreme strength levels. You can also use the Speaker Optimization tool to get the best possible sound quality from your phone’s built-in speakers.

Better yet, you don’t have to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach. You can use different settings to boost the volume on headphones or Bluetooth speakers as well.

Download: Viper4Android (Free)

Other Ways to Boost Your Android Volume

If you’re still not happy with how loud your phone’s speakers can get, there are other ways to tweak the volume on Android.

First, make sure you know where the speakers are and keep them clear. Most phone cases have small cutouts for the speakers, which can easily become clogged with dust over time.

A few acoustic tricks can work wonders. Placing your phone in a large glass will amplify the sound. If you don’t have one of these on hand, try placing your phone near a hard surface to deflect it in your direction instead.

Also, if your phone has a speaker along the bottom edge, cup your hand around it to divert the sound toward you.

Finally, remember that smartphone speakers are naturally limited. Almost any external speaker, even a small one, will be better than what’s built-in. Check out our guide to the best cheap Bluetooth speakers to find your perfect match.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Volume Booster Apps for Your Android Phone