Our Best Phone Hacks

Lock : This option will allow to set or change a PIN or password on your device, as well as display a message on the locked screen. Wipe : This will perform a factory reset of the device.

Please note that after you perform a wipe, you'll no longer be able to use Android Device Manager to locate the phone. Note : The above methods will not work if your phone has been reset. Paid alternative : 1. Cerebus Anti Theft recommended If you are looking for a tracker with advanced capabilities, then Cerebus is the three headed beast you want to look at.

The initial setup is quite similar to Google's Android Device Manager, but thats where the similarities end. Cerebus has ton of additional features not found on any free tracking software. Lock with code: Set a customized lock code that will appear each time someone tries to access the phone. Unlock: Turn off the lock code. Start alarm with message: Sets off a screeching alarm with a message of your choice see screenshots.

Display message: Displays a message of your choosing without any sound. Get call log: View the most recent calls made from your smartphone. Get SMS log: View all of the latest text messages. Call a phone: Select a number to call without the knowledge of the person who has your phone. Record Audio: Record up to seconds of behind-the-scenes audio and then download an mp4 to your computer.

Take Picture: Pin down the suspect by snapping a shot of his or her mug with the front-facing camera. It will pop up in your email inbox instantly.

The good thing about Cerebus is that it doesn't necessarily require an always on internet connection to receive commands and you can control it by sending SMS codes. If your phone is rooted, you can integrate it with your ROM and thus it can survive a factory reset! Please note the Cerebus cannot protect your phone if it has been flashed. I'm not reviewing the app due to lack of time and there is already an excellent review and howto available on AndroidCentral Forums.

OnePlus Switch

Check it out. It costs 4. This is probably the best 4. If you need more help in setting up Cerebus, you can head over to their official help page or forums. Kudos to indest for suggesting Cerebus. This feature applies a filter that makes your vibrant OLED screen look more like the monochrome display on an eReader by sampling the ambient light.

You can turn this feature on manually, or add apps to a watch list that automatically enables reading mode. This is a separate app drawer accessible by swiping to the left from your regular app drawer. Tap the plus icon at the top to choose apps to add to the hidden space. Hiding an app is fine, but you can take it a step further for maximum protection.

Sometimes you end up with different accounts for some services, but drat, the app only supports a single account. It only works with select apps, but that includes most of the popular messaging clients like Telegram, WhatsApp, and Discord.

All the Privacy & Security Settings You Should Check on Your OnePlus « OnePlus :: Gadget Hacks

Enabling a Parallel App creates a copy of it, available in your app drawer with a separate icon. Then, you can log into the copy with your second account.

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Gaming Mode activates automatically when it recognizes a game, but you can also add additional games to the list manually. Android iPhone Phone Accessories. OnePlus gesture navigation OnePlus Be sure to customize gesture navigation to your personal preferences. Save time with Quick Gestures OnePlus Quick Gestures let you perform actions while the phone is asleep, and you can customize them to your liking.

From within this menu, double check to make sure "Scan device for security threats" is enabled on your system so that it can protect your device at all times. If you want to help Google make Play Protect even better and don't mind them collecting a little data about your sideloaded apps, you can enable the "Improve harmful app detection" option. You're using an Android phone, so chances are, you're also using a Google account at the same time to make the most out of your device.

However, we all know that Google is a large data company, so what if you don't like sharing so much of your information with them? Just like the previous section about general location settings, this one can also be a bit sensitive as well. For example, Google might have been keeping track of your location information this whole time to help improve their other services. In the "Location Services" section, select "Google Location Accuracy," and disable this setting if you'd rather not take part in helping them improve other products or services.

Once you disable the toggle it will be immediate, however, your phone might have to use a bit more battery to grab your GPS location next time around. Hit the back arrow to return to the previous menu, then select "Google Location History. To be extra secure, tapping "Manage Activity" will allow you to delete your entire location history from your account for good. As the last step here, tap the back arrow again to return to the main page of the location section from before. Tap the "Google Location Sharing" setting to make sure the information all checks out.

You should either see nothing or only the people you have granted access to viewing your location. If you want to revoke access to anyone and anytime, tap the "X" by their name, and that'll take care of that. As stated before, Google is a company that thrives on collecting data and putting it towards a specific use. Whether it's for making their products better or serving you relevant ads based on your browsing history, they will always collect information about you.

One thing to help offset the idea of having anonymous data collected about you is to reset your advertising ID, which causes that ad-tracking data to start fresh again. If you want to keep the tracking to a minimum, a good practice is to reset this ID about once per month if possible. All you have to do is tap the "Reset advertising ID" option from the above menu, then tap "OK" when you are prompted to do so. This builds on the idea of the previous tip about your Google ad tracking ID, but is slightly different.

You can prevent any third-party apps from accessing and making use of your tracking ID, which would be ideal for most situations. Google can still use it, of course, but everyone else will be shut out from using your advertising ID indefinitely. From within the menu above, tapping the toggle to the on position for "Opt out of Ads Personalization" will create a popup to where you tap "OK," then you are officially opted out of this service for good. Quite a useful and interesting feature, "App Preview Messages" can be used for such things as making a Google Duo video call to another party who doesn't even have the app installed on their device.


The party that does not have the app receives a notification and then gets an invitation to install said app instantly. However, it can pose a few minor security issues as well. Say you don't like the idea of receiving an invitation because a friend messaged you from an app you don't have, you can disable the above setting and stop the unwanted notifications. Turn the toggle switch off and tap the "OK" message when prompted to do so and that's it for this one. Being able to "Sign in with Google" is one of the coolest and easiest ways to create a new account or to sign into a website or app.

You already have a Google account, so why keep making a new account for every service out there when you can sign in with one? Chances are, you've probably given quite a few third-party apps access to your account through this sign-in feature. It's always wise to do regular security checkups on who has access to what on your Google account. Google even reminds you to do this periodically, so that's always useful if you forget to check it out at a later date.

View the menu for Connected Apps and look over the list of apps and services that have access to your account. Take out anything that doesn't belong, or you don't want anymore, then tap "Disconnect. Once you're happy with the way everything looks here, you can move on with the next tip. Google's Nearby feature is used to make surrounding devices in a local area or environments easier to communicate with one another.

It has the potential to be useful, but just hasn't caught on with the public space yet. It would mostly benefit local places of business and the retail world more than anything. Some wireless headphones use this feature for Fast Pair , which is helpful for linking your headphones to your device effortlessly. The Nearby feature could also be used for something outside of the box, like a museum.

The museum could beam information to your phone when you get near a particular item of interest, which would be an exciting take on on some of the possibilities.

OnePlus 6, 6T updates: T-Mobile 6T gets Android 10; Global variant gets 10.3.2 and OB5 builds!

It creates a more interactive and innovative trip for everyone with a smart device. It's pretty cool stuff, but not practical for everyday use by the general public on the broader sense — at least, not yet. If you don't feel you'll be using this setting right now, it would be okay to disable the setting from the above menu by toggling off the option. Since there aren't too many practical uses yet, it should be fine in most cases; however, you will lose Fast Pair functionality with wireless headphones. If you'd like to keep Fast Pair but remove the advertising potential, there is something you can do still.

Tap the gear icon at the top, select "Links" and "Popular links," then disable the "Show Notifications" toggle on both of them. This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on smartphone privacy and security.