Apps Did you know that you can change the playback speed of videos on YouTube? A simple few taps can change the playback speed. It can go from 0.25x to 2x speed in the Android app. The increments are in 0.25x so the speeds are actually 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x, normal, 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x and 2x. Higher this number means higher the playback speed and vice versa. So, if you are watching your university's lecture, and want to save some time, increase the speed to something like 1.5x. The lecture will speed up and it will finish quicker. Similarly, if you are listening to a song and can't understand something, try changing the speed to 0.5x. The song will play slower and you might be able to understand the words. It's a great feature.

To change the Playback Speed of Videos played in YouTube app:
  • Open a video
  • Tap on ⋮ (top-right)
  • Tap on Playback Speed
  • Choose your desired speed
YouTube Playback Speed in Android App

Now, the video will play faster or slower depending on the speed that has been chosen. If the voice and audio of the media are not intelligible, try altering the number until the desired result is achieved. The playback speed setting is saved for a single run of the application. So, when you switch to another video, the higher or lower speed is maintained. The setting is lost once you exit and restart the YouTube Android application.
Apps Apple Music is available in the Google Play Store for Android devices. That means users with an Apple Account can log in and access the streaming music feature using their Android smartphones. You can switch your device from an iOS device to an Android powered tablet or smartphone to listen to music online. Apple Music has a generous try it for free feature. We get around three months of Apple Music for free as a trial for the service. We need to have a properly set up Apple account with payment details added. Android users can make use of this offer.

If you use a desktop computer, it will open up iTunes for Windows. You can sign up in iTunes for Windows to get the trial offer. Again, you should already have a complete Apple account for it. After the trial ends, it will charge you depending on the plan. The Student plan costs $4.99 per month and the individual plan costs $9.99 monthly. The plan that we are going to talk about, Family Plan, costs 14.99$/month. Up to six members can access Apple Music with a single payment plan. The main account holder can invite and add members to their family subscription. Each of them will have a separate personal account. They must use an Android device with the Apple Music app, an iOS device (iPad, iPhone or iTouch) or a Mac computer with iCloud to be able to add family members.

Windows users with iTunes installed in their laptop/desktop cannot invite and add family members.

Luckily, Android users can go to the settings and add new family members or join a family group.

Manage Family Members

Here are the steps to add family members for Apple music using an Android device:
  • Install and login to the Apple Music application.
  • Tap on ⋮ and go to Account.
  • Tap on Manage Family.
  • Tap on Add Family Members under Subscription.
  • Click on Continue on the Set Up Your Family page.
  • If prompted, re-enter your account password and Sign In.
  • Verify your authenticity by entering the 3-digit CVV for your credit card and hit Next.
  • Enter an email or phone number to invite your family member or create a child account.
  • Confirm your action by hitting Send.
After this, your family member will receive a message in their email or phone. You will see that this family member will have to follow the instructions in the email to get started. The family member will be displayed in the list. You will be noted as the Organizer. Follow the same steps to invite additional family members.
list There is no doubt that the entire world is split on two when it comes to choosing a smartphone OS. It is either Android or iOS powered device (iPhone). There are other players in the field, but their market share is too small as of now. So, users either pick an Android phone or an iPhone. Android is open-source and a lot of smartphone vendors use it to create a custom build for their phone. Samsung leads the space with a line of its Galaxy and Note devices in the Android phones and tablet section. There are hundreds of other phone and tablet manufacturers who use Android like Huawei, Xiaomi, and Sony. On the other hand, iOS is owned by Apple. It is a closed source operating system and that means that Apple has complete control over it. Well, that doesn’t matter to a lot of users. They just want a phone that is easy to use with great features. So, Apple sells iPhones and iPads with iOS powering their devices.

There are advantages and disadvantages of having just two leading operating systems globally for smartphones. The choice does look limited. But that’s not a topic that we’re going to dive into today. This blog post is about comparing the benefits of Android and how it leads when compared to iOS. We’re not saying that iOS is bad, or people should just pick Android. It all depends on the requirements and how familiar people are with the operating systems. People pick iOS and Android for their own reasons and we have nothing against it. What we are trying to do is list out the areas where Android wins over iOS. There are certainly areas where iOS leads. In this topic, we will focus on Android’s victories. Having that said, let’s begin with our list.

Here are the 10 ways Android is better than iOS:

1. Freedom to Customize

The number one feature that puts Android phone above all is the freedom it gives users. Believe us, freedom is important. With Android, we get the ability to customize our phone that we paid for, the way we want it. We are not restricted to just one app store or one single browser as the default one. We get options. Options to pick. We can refresh the look of our phone with a completely different look as we switch through hundreds of launchers. Moreover, such launchers are available for free. When you change the launcher, you can change the entire look of the home screen and the app drawer. The Google Pixel launcher is a popular one and it is not just for Pixel Devices. Other phone users can download, install and activate the launcher making the OS look like a Pixel device. There is also a launcher by Microsoft and it has millions of users.

Android Launchers

For advanced users, custom ROMs can give us the ability to remove bloatware (system apps that we hardly use and aren’t required to run the OS). It changes the entire software that comes with the phone. It is like jailbreaking for iPhone but much more advanced. Alternative firmware providers are out there supporting older phones which are no longer receiving the official Android updates from their vendors. A huge open-source community works on such custom ROMs and they give it out for free. Overclocking is possible and it will enhance gaming. Underclocking is also possible to preserve battery life.

2. App Stores and .APK

On Android, there are more than one app stores. Granted, the Google Play Store is the most popular one and apps must be there to get a decent amount of exposure. But users can install alternative app stores to get the Android apps from somewhere else. Users can also directly download the .apk files for apps and install it directly on to their devices. They don’t have to wait for Google or other app market vendors to push the updates to their device. They can do it on their own if they have set up the correct app installation permissions.

Play Store and Amazon Android App Store

Apple devices are limited to the iTunes store. They can’t download an app directly from the developer and install it on their phones. It is a huge limitation and people with iPhones are completely dependent on Apple to get their apps. It does secure their devices. But if we are downloading .apk files from trusted sources, we won’t have an issue.

3. Desktop/Laptop Interaction

When you connect your Android device to your desktop or laptop using a USB cable, you can use it as an external flash drive. On your phone, there are options to charge your phone, transfer photos and videos, or use it as external storage. With the external storage option, we can browse the contents of the phone’s storage as if we plugged in an external flash drive. No software is required to do it. Apple requires intermediary software like iTunes to be able to access the storage of an iPhone or iPad. We know how iTunes makes it complicated to move the files.

But for Android, it’s just copy/paste. Want to move photos? Copy and paste it. Want to move music? Copy and paste it. Want to copy any other files? Copy and paste it. It is that simple.

4. Hardware Selection

Because Android is open-source, hardware manufacturers like Sony, Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and Gionee can get the source and build their own flavor of the operating system. Then they can install it in their devices and release it. What do users get out of it? Well, choice. They are not limited to just different version of iPhones. They can get a phone by Samsung or a tablet by Google. There is competition between the manufacturers of Android devices. It is pushing them to innovate and consumers can pick a phone or a tablet that they like. They can pick features while buying. They can pick looks while purchasing.

5. Price

We don’t even know how much Apple devices cost. But we do know that they have a premium pricing model. Not everyone can afford an Apple device. Some top flagship models come close to the cost of an iPhone. But what people can do is skip such premium versions completely. They can instead pick an Android phone that doesn’t hurt their wallet. Android phones have different price points. There are budget phones, mid-range phones, and premium phones. Buyers aren’t limited to paying premium pricing. They can choose mid-range phones with some fewer features. Most won’t even know the difference. Low price point phones make it possible for people with lower income use a budget touch-based smartphone. There is an Android device for everyone.

6. Split-Screen Multitasking

Android has a feature called Split-Screen Multitasking. As the name suggests, it divides your screen into two vertically. So, two apps are displayed side by side. You can load two apps on the same screen at the same time. That means, on the top, you can have YouTube and below it, you can have a note-taking app. Power users will be able to do a lot with two apps. It is not a necessity but an option that is good to have. iPhone doesn’t have a split-screen and normal users might not require it. But it would have been nice if users were given a choice. Choice doesn’t hurt.

7. Standard Type-C USB

Is your Samsung phone almost out of battery? Maybe, you can borrow a charger from friends at work who use the OnePlus phone. Both devices have the same cable. It is a standard cable called the Type-C USB. It goes in either way (reversible) and is supported by all modern devices. Captain Obvious: Oh, by the way, your Android phone is incompatible with an iPhone’s cable and charger. You can also have one charger for your laptop (with Type-C) and your phone which has Type-C (highly likely). Surprisingly, even the MacBook pro has Type-C support. But nooooo, it is not compatible with an iPhone. iPhone’s need their own cable to be charged and they insist on it. They’re not changing. USB-C has a high data transfer speed, and many features that Android users are benefitting from. All Android devices have the same port.

8. Unlock Options

Android phones have different ways to unlock their phones. While the pattern and pin unlock are common, Android also supports face, eye, and fingerprint unlocking. That’s five ways to unlock a phone. An Android device’s hardware does limit the ways but at least it is out there. We find fingerprint unlocking very convenient. Apple is removing Touch ID. Say goodbye to fingerprints in iPhones. It’s sad. Let’s hope they bring it back. Right now, they are just in love with Face ID.

9. Buttons

There is a back button in Android. An actual button and not a gesture or an app powered button. There is a fixed button on the bottom along with your home and options button. Apple insists on just having one button. While it does vouch for simplicity, it lacks in features. Android users get three buttons that do different things. It is embedded in the hardware. It is always there on the bottom of the screen. That helps a lot in navigation. While apps for iPhones can implement a back button, their position is not consistent. It is on the top-right of the screen which isn’t far if you’re using the phone with one hand. It doesn’t sound like we’re complaining a lot here but having a small back button at the bottom of the screen is really, really helpful. Android is much more ergonomic.

10. OLEDs Screen

Mid-range Android devices have OLED screens and they are actually being used. They have an always-on display functionality. Android brands are beginning to give users the colors and the interactivity features using the always on-screen locks.

Final Words

To summarize, we can say that Android isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. We know that it lacks a lot in terms of OS updates. The Android market is fragmented, and original equipment manufacturers are ignoring updates for their phones. Only the flagship models are being paid attention to. But there are a bazillion other devices used by millions of users. They are being ignored. Only some get updates, others get it late and some are just left forgotten. While fragmentation has given a choice to the users in terms of budget and features, it has also made it difficult to manage updates and security for all the devices. That is why iPhones are much more secure. This is Android’s compromise. But hey, old iPhones are skipped from updates too.

But think about the benefits that we have. We’ve listed 10 big benefits of Android phones. If your phone is not getting updates, do it yourself. Find a project like Lineage OS, and get the build for your phone yourself. It might be a bit advanced to do but at least there is a possibility. The perfect phone and OS don’t exist. Users must compromise in one feature or another. But with so many choices out there, Android is leading. It gives much more freedom to the user. Those who want the freedom to use the device that they pay for will certainly go for Android.
Basic Tutorials Android mobiles and smartphone screens go off when there is no activity. The amount of time before the screen goes off can be set easily. We can have the timer go off in like in 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or longer. It all depends on how long we want the display to stay on when we aren't actively touching the device's screen. Shorter sleep time is good if you want to preserve the battery. Longer times are used when we're looking at something like a photo for longer periods. It should be noted that some apps like YouTube will automatically keep the screen on when videos are being watched. We can manually set it from the Android Settings.

Here are the steps to set the sleep timer for Android devices:
  • Go to Android Settings.
  • Tap on Display.
  • Tap on Sleep.
  • Pick the time-15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes.
Choose How Long Android Screen is On

Now, your Android device's screen will go off after the inactivity period that you set. Having longer inactivity periods are not recommended, Suppose, you set the number to 30 minutes, the screen will stay on for that long. It might eat up your battery if you forget to lock your screen and turn it off manually. Your phone might be in your pocket and the screen might be on while draining your battery. So, remember to switch back to 30 seconds or 1 minute (the popular options) after the 30-minute temporary set up.
Apps The trends section in Twitter displays what is trending globally or in certain countries of the world. It is a powerful feature of this microblogging service. The trends actually reflect what is going on around the world. Popular hashtags and keywords appear on the trending page. While the Worldwide trends are the one we want to look at, sometimes, we might have to switch it to the trends of certain countries. We will want to see what is trending in the country that we live in or even see interesting outcomes of other countries on Twitter. For that, we have to switch from worldwide trends to local trends or country-specific trends in the Twitter app.

Here is how you switch between worldwide and country-specific trends in the Twitter application for smartphones:

  • Tap on the Search icon 🔍 in the bottom
  • Tap on Settings ⚙ on the top-right.
  • Turn of the Trends for you slider.
  • Tap on Trends location and choose Worldwide or a country of your choice.

Twitter Trends Location Settings

Now, the trending section in the search screen of the Twitter app will reflect the changes. The trends that will be displayed there will be the one that you chose before. You might have to refresh the page by dragging from the top to see the new trends.

The Trends for you slider in the same settings that we visited before. If it is on Twitter will personalize the trends and base them on the people you follow and your location. It won't allow you to manually choose a country.
Apps Gmail is amazing. It helps us to reply to our emails easily by providing us two related features called Smart Compose and Smart Reply. It is because of this feature that the emails we open will have a useful reply text suggestion below the email. Also, when typing up the reply, Gmail will try to complete our sentences. It is a smart feature and makes our life that much easier. Typing on a mobile's keyboard isn't fun but with the help of prediction in keyboards and the smart applications like Gmail by Google, we can speed up the process. But not everyone will want the feature. Some will even find it annoying when the app is trying to guess your reply or your next words. Luckily, we can turn it off from the settings. We will show you how to disable predictive writing suggestions and suggested replies.

Here are the steps to disable (or enable) predictive writing suggestions in Gmail:
  • Tap on ☰ Menu > ⚙ Settings in the Gmail app.
  • Choose a Gmail account if there's multiple of those.
  • Scroll down to General, and uncheck (or check) Smart Compose and Smart Reply options.
Smart Compose and Reply in Gmail

Now, if you go back and try to reply to an email, the feature will be disabled if you unchecked them from the settings. You can enable it by going to the same location and checking them on.
How To's The Gmail app for Android is very popular and since the huge adaptation of Android, billions of users have it installed on their phones. Most of us seem to have a Gmail address. A Google account is also required to activate an Android device and a Gmail account is a part of it. This emailing app has different options to display, sort and categorize all the emails in our inbox. One of those ways is to select an inbox type to control how read and unread messages are displayed. We can choose an inbox type (Default Inbox, Important first, Unread first, Starred first and Priority Inbox). For each of these inbox types, there may be additional options. Now, we will learn how to configure it.

Here are the detailed steps to configure the Gmail App for Android and select in Inbox Type:
  • Go to Menu ☰ (Top-left).
  • Scroll down to access ⚙ Settings.
  • Choose a Google account if you have multiple of those added.
  • Tap on Inbox type under Inbox.
  • Pick one-Default inbox, Important first, Unread first, Starred first, Priority Inbox.
Inbox Types in Gmail

Here are the descriptions for these inbox types.

Default Inbox- This inbox type seems to be the most popular one these days. It is the one where emails are grouped as primary, social and promotion. The primary category will have general conversations. Social will have notifications that you get from social media websites. The promotion category will list all the promotional emails that are sent to you usually by email lists. You will have to click on the Menu ☰ to access and switch between these three categories. Grouping in this way is a great method to avoid all the clutter in one single-paged inbox.

We can also choose the categories other than Primary, Social and Promotions. Just tap on Inbox categories option on the same page (Menu > Settings). You can pick two additional categories which are updates and forums. Updates are auto-generate updates like confirmations and receipts. Forums will have emails from online message boards. Activate them with a checkbox if you need these two additional categories. We can also include all the starred messages in the primary inbox so that we don't miss something important in the secondary lists. Also, below the inbox categories option, we can choose when notifications are displayed as the emails reach our inbox. We can choose between All, High priority only and none.

Important first- It is the second grouping option available for inbox messages. It will have two categories-Inbox and Important. Gmail will automatically show you the emails that it thinks are important. High priority emails that you haven't read or replied are on top of the list. For notifications, we can pick to get notified for All new emails, important section only and none. There are also additional notification settings. Like, if you tap on Manage notification on the same page (Menu > Settings), you can also override the do not disturb settings and get notified for priority emails. It is a very powerful feature and must be used carefully, as you do not want the notification to go off in certain places after setting the Do not disturb mode on.

Unread first- Now, this is my most favorite inbox type in Gmail. Display all the unread messages on top and everything else is below them. It is how emails were in the old days. It is not a bad way to sort as well that is if you do not receive a lot of promotional and social media updates in your inbox. If that is the case, use the Default Inbox type. The 'Unread first' inbox type will also have an Unread label in the Menu. That page will only display messages that haven't been opened.

For the notification part, we can choose to get notified for All emails, High priority only and none. There is also an option to notify for every message and to turn on and off label notifications.

Starred first- As the name suggests, this inbox type will display the starred messages first. So, if you are keeping track of a certain conversation, they will be given the highest priority. You can add a star to a message in two ways. Select a conversation and click on ⋮ and choose Add star or open a message and tap on the Star on the top right. Once starred, the conversations will have high priority. The notification settings are pretty much the same as before.

Priority inbox- The final inbox type available in Gmail as of now. It will have these categories - inbox, important and unread, and starred. The important and unread category will group all the emails that Gmail thinks are important. Machine learning and the content of the emails are used to analyze which emails are important. The notification settings are pretty much the same except the fact that the default selection will notify you once for inbox important section messages.
How To's When it comes to delivering ads to you on your Android phone, smartphone apps seem to be very smart. After you search for a certain thing like "web hosting", all you get are web hosting ads. Again, this process repeats when you add a certain television to a cart in a website and now, you get television ads along with web hosting advertisements. It tells us that online advertisement companies are building your interest profile. Over time, they have concrete information built under your name. It is quite useful for ad publishers as they can now target us by our interests. But for users, it can be a little intimidating and sometimes frustrating. We cannot avoid ads altogether when we browse the internet. However, we can control to a certain limit, what is displayed to us if we're using an Android phone or tablet.

Opting out of ads personalization in Android makes it possible for us users to avoid certain kind of repetitive ads. We might have searched for or looked at something online and now, we are no longer interested in it. We'd rather not have the ads follow us around with this particular thing. Also sometimes, we get the same advertisements over and over again. The goal is to avoid it. The fact is that interest-based ads are more relevant to us but sometimes it gets uninteresting. Instead of being displayed random ads, we would rather prefer to see ads that we are interested in. But at times, we just have to opt-out of ads personalization. It is very much possible in your Android phone.

Here are the easy steps that you need to follow to opt-out of ads personalization on Android:
  • Go to Android Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap on Google.
  • Tap on Ads under services.
  • Enable the Opt out of Ads personalisation slider.
  • Confirm your action.
Opt out of Ads Personalisation

Now, you will still get advertisements but they will not be based on your interests.
How To's Most of the Android phones are configured to set the time on the device automatically. The Android smartphone is smart enough to figure out your location for the time zone. It can then automatically set your clock in the phone. It is a feature that most won't even modify. But some people might want to set this to manual time zone and date & time. This gives the user the ability to set a different time than where they are situated. Users can just disable automatic date & time setting or the automatic time zone selection done by Android.

To access the time zone settings in Android, follow these steps:
  • Go to Android System Settings.
  • Click on System.
  • Tap on Date & time.
  • Tap on the slider and put it on the left to disable-Automatic date & time, and Automatic time zone.
Date and Time Android Settings

Once the Automatic date & time option is disabled, the two options below will be accessible. One will allow us to set the date and the other will allow us to set the time. Similarly, when the Automatic time zone option is disabled, the select time zone option will activate allowing us to set the time zone manually.