OS Tips & Tricks

How To: Unlock Themed Icons on Android 12 for Colors That Dynamically Shift with Your Wallpaper

Google's new Material You theming engine in Android 12 adds a personal touch to your user interface. The main colors of your wallpaper dynamically affect the colors in menus and apps, essentially putting you in control of the overall theme. But there's another new design element for app icons that's hiding in your settings.

How To: Unlock Android 12's Developer Options on Your Pixel for Powerful Hidden Tools Anyone Can Use

When you start up your new Google Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, one of the first things you should do is unlock the hidden "Developer options" menu. Don't let the word "developer" scare you because there are little-known features in this secret Android 12 menu that every Android user can enjoy.

How To: Every Hidden Special Character on Your iPhone's Keyboard That You Can Unlock Right Now

Over 115 secret characters are hiding behind your iPhone's default keyboard, and I'm not talking about what you see after tapping the "123" or "#+=" keys. These special composite characters can include accents, dots, and other diacritics, and you'll even see some strange typographical characters like the section sign, inverted marks, and per mille symbol. Here's how you find them.

How To: Prevent Thieves from Turning On Your iPhone's Airplane Mode, So You Have a Better Chance to Track It Down

When an iPhone is lost or stolen, it's imperative to start tracking it via Find My as soon as possible, whether that's from a computer, tablet, or someone else's phone. However, if it's stolen, there's a good chance the thief or robber turns on Airplane Mode, blocking all communication with the iPhone. If this is a scary thought, you can prevent thieves from accessing Airplane Mode altogether.

How To: 9 Ways to Quickly Open the Hidden Magnifying Glass Feature on Your iPhone

The iPhone has included a real-world magnifying glass called "Magnifier" since iOS 10. Still, it remained relatively obscure until iOS 14 when it received significant upgrades such as a new interface, hideable controls, a customizable toolbar, improved filters management, multi-image shooting, and people detection. But one of the best things about the update is that you can open it more easily.

How To: The Absolute Fastest Way to Bulk-Select Hundreds of Emails at the Same Time on Your iPhone

OK, I'm sure you're thinking, "Isn't it just the 'Select All' button in Mail?" Yes and no. If the view you're in has a "Select All" button and you actually want to select all items, then great — use that. But when you're selecting emails from a Mail search or just wishing to choose some but not all in a mailbox, there's a hidden gesture you're not using on your iPhone.

How To: Open Snapchat Directly to Camera, Stories, Chat, and More from Anywhere on Your Pixel — Even the Lock Screen

In Android 12, you can launch the Snapchat app just by tapping the back of your Pixel phone twice. The latest Pixel update from Google improved upon the feature by giving us access to the shortcut from the lock screen. That means you're mere seconds away from snapping photos, videos, and stories. But first, you have to set up and configure where you want to land when Snapchat opens.

How To: Everything You Need to Know About Your iPhone's Focus Feature — From Creating and Editing Focuses to Automating Them

In iOS 15, Apple unveiled a new feature called Focus, an extension of Do Not Disturb that lets you focus on the one thing that's important at any particular moment. It does so by minimizing distractions from your iPhone and other Apple devices, but there's a lot you should know about setting up and using Focus on your iPhone or iPad before you dig in.

How To: Unlock Android 12's Game Dashboard for Easy Screen Recordings, Screenshots, and Live Streaming in Any Game

Android 12 comes with new features and upgrades that any mobile gamer can appreciate, including Instant Play, which lets you play games instantly without downloading them first. Even better, there's Game Dashboard, which adds shortcuts for screenshots, screen recordings, and more in whatever game you play. The only problems are that it's not enabled by default, and it's a little hard to find.

How To: 32 Things You Didn't Know About Your iPhone's Keyboard

Apple's stock keyboard for iPhone has gone through many changes over the years. Some have been significant, and others more subtle. Overall, most of these updates have been fairly obvious, so you're probably already using them — but there are more than a few interesting features that were slipped in under the radar that you may not know about.

How To: The Way You Select Text on Your iPhone Will Change Once You Know These Hidden Tricks

While there's no denying that iPads are better when it comes to multitasking and productivity, your iPhone has a few tricks up its sleeve to rival even the best iPad features. One thing about iPadOS is that it's really easy to highlight editable text with gestures, but it's just as simple on iOS if you know all the secrets.

How To: These Issues Could Prevent Your App Store Subscriptions from Renewing on Time

Ah, subscriptions. Whether you love or hate them, they are now a fundamental part of our increasingly digital lives. If you have some essential subs on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac, like Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple News+, Bumble, Pandora, Tinder, or YouTube Premium, there are three key issues you need to know about that could unexpectedly stop your membership from renewing.

How To: Create an Archived Backup of Your Current iOS Version So You Can Restore After a Downgrade

If you want to try out Apple's beta program on your iPhone — whether that's by becoming a developer, joining the public beta, or using an IPSW of an available beta update — there's always a possibility that you'll want to go back to the stable iOS version you were using before. Likewise, if you updated to the latest stable release but liked how iOS worked on the previous version.

How To: Why Some Non-Apple Devices Can't Open Photos & Videos Shared from Your iPhone (& How to Fix It)

You take a photo or video, send it to a friend, and they say, "Hey, I can't open this." More often than not, your friend won't be using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Instead, they're likely trying to open the file with a non-Apple device. But this problem can be avoided if you know what setting to change.