With phone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and One Plus building their own versions on Android, it’s become the most-used mobile operating system. Although these manufacturers change some of the default terminology and functions of Android, most of the essence remains the same. And here we have a list of 25 Android tips and tricks that every user needs to know about.
Lock your screen.
Most Android phones ask you to set up screen lock. The default options are PIN, pattern, or a password. But some phones even offer fingerprint scanning. You can find these options under the Security menu of your phone’s settings.
Get rid of bloat.
Every phone comes with unnecessary preinstalled apps nowadays. But the best thing is that you can get rid of them. Go to the Play Store or app settings menu and Disable the apps you don’t need.
Have your own Quick Settings.
Android 7 lets you customize your Quick Settings, but most phone manufacturers had done it already. Open up quick settings and tap the edit button. Long-press and then rearrange your icons.
Do a screen search.
When you long-press the home button on your phone, Google will read the text on the screen and suggest actions. You’ll see options like fix appointments in the calendar, check reviews of stores and restaurants nearby, or even perform a web search. This is called screen search.
All phones come with a battery-saving mode nowadays. It’s almost a necessity. You can find these options under the battery settings on your phone. The types of modes vary according to your device, but the most common functions include locking the screen after 30 seconds, pausing background refreshing of apps, reducing screen brightness, etc.
Customize App Standby and Doze modes.
Power saving modes that came with Android 6, the Doze mode will put those unused apps on your phone to sleep while Standby temporarily blocks the apps you don’t use from any background activities. You can change the options and prevent certain apps from dozing off or going into standby mode. You can find Doze mode under the battery optimization area of your settings menu. And for Standby, it comes under developer options labeled inactive. You can always toggle between the apps to make activate or deactivate them.
Exploit adaptable storage.
Some devices running Android 6 will let you merge your microSD cards with the internal memory. Insert the card and you’ll get the options to either port or save as internal storage. Select internal storage and you can save data directly into the expanded memory of your phone.
Track mobile data usage.
Know how much of data you’ve used and how much you have left. Head over to the data usage settings and set up reset dates for your plan, create a warning for when you reach a threshold and even set an automatic disabling of data when you’re about to overuse.
Try an alternative home screen.
You don’t have to stick with the default home screen of your Android phone. Download a few alternative home screen apps like Nova Launcher and Action Launcher to customize icons, gestures, folders, and more.
Choose not to be disturbed.
Under system settings and notifications, you’ll find the Do not Disturb option. This is a handy way to configure when you want to turn on the feature automatically, which contacts are blocked, and who can call you even when you’re on the Do Not Disturb mode.
Secure with a smart lock.
Buried in your settings menu is this handy little feature that lets you keep your phone unlocked at home, unlock automatically when connected to another trusted device like your watch, or unlock automatically when the phone recognizes your face in the front camera.
Backup photos automatically.
Just open up Google Photos and follow the steps to enable automatic backup. The default will be high quality compressed photos.If you’d rather save the original photos, you can choose to store them in your Google Drive as well.
Pin your screens.
Use this when you’re handing your phone to someone but you don’t want them looking too deep into your phone. On the multitask window, you’ll see a small pin icon on the bottom right corner. Tap on the icon and that screen will be pinned to your phone. This is enabled by default on most phones, but otherwise, you can find it under your security settings.
Use guest mode for devices you share with others.
Pinning is great if you’re giving your phone to someone for a few minutes, but for a longer time, you’d be better off with guest access. Tap on the profile icon in the notification area and select the guest profile. This way, your data, and apps will be hidden in the guest account and no one else can snoop around.
Just say “OK Google.”
You probably know that saying “OK Google” will start up your phone in the search box and home screen. But you can also use it anywhere else on your phone. Under search settings, go to Voice -> OK Goole detection. Turn on the “From any screen” option. Once you say “OK Google” a few times so that the phone registers your voice, you’re all set to start your phone with just a couple of words.
Android 7 brings split screen mode. So you can reply to work emails while playing Asphalt on the side. Long press the overview button and your current app will scootch to the top half of your phone (the left side of you’re in landscape mode). You can then choose the second app from the recent apps list. You can, of, course, change the sizes of the screens by pulling down the divider.
Swipe your keyboard to type.
The best thing about the Android keyboard is that its built-in swipe technology. Just drag your finger through the letters to make a work and it will appear as you type. It’s mostly accurate but you can also download external apps like Swift key and Google Keyboard for a more varied experience.
Get rid of the defaults.
If you’d rather not have the default apps that come with your phone or the default settings, just do away with them. Open up the info page of the app and tap on the clear defaults button at the bottom.
Try Developer options.
Android has some cool options like USB debugging, app standby, and animation speed. To get to these features, however, you need Developer controls. Go to the “About phone” section. Tap 7 times on the build number of your phone and you’ll get a pop-up message confirming your developer access. You can then find the developer options on the bottom of your phone settings.
Say hello to screen casting.
If you’ve got an Android TV or a Chromecast, you can mirror your phone’s content onto it. In the quick settings panel of your phone, tap the Cast icon. Now, you can choose which device you want to mirror your phone’s display onto. If your phone doesn’t have the Cast icon, you can download the Chromecast app to use the feature.
Personalize app notifications.
Since phone makers can change the way notifications are displayed, you’d often get confused with your notifications. Well, if you don’t know from which app the notification appeared, just long-press the notification and you’ll see the app from which it came. With the Android 7 update, Google has added settings to this long-press functionality letting you disable notifications, too.
Manage your apps on the web.
You know that you can use the Play Store on the web, but you probably don’t. The web version also lets you purchase apps and play games, except that it’s much faster than on your phone. After all, all your content will be transferred to your phone over the air.
Sideload apps safely.
If you want to run apps on your phone that are not available on the Play Store, do it in a safe way. Go to security settings and enable “Unknown Sources.” You can then securely download APKs that aren’t on the Play Store.
Save maps to access offline.
This is particularly handy when you’re prone to be cut off from the internet without notice. Select the area you want to save offline and tap on the search bar.Now close the keyboard and scroll down until you see the option to download. You’ll see a preview of the areas that will download, including streets, places of attraction, and navigation. You’ll also know how much data the download will consume and the estimated duration.
Understand the nuances of factory reset.
Android 5 brought a default security feature in the form of factory reset. This is painful when you’re selling your device or handing it to a new user. The protection is enabled automatically when you’ve enabled a screen lock. If you change your Google password and reset your phone less than 24 hours afterward, you’ll trigger an anti-theft lockout that will last for 72 hours. To disable this, you just have to disable screen lock, enable OEM unlock under the Developer Options, or manually delete your Google account.
Well, that’s our list. If you know of any tips and tricks that we haven’t covered here, share it with us.