Android devices are the most flexible ones on the market at the moment. However, we always want more. We want more features and more options. Here’s how to get to them.
When Android first showed up, it was in a bit of a touch-and-go situation where no one knew if this new OS was here to stay. However, as Windows phones fizzled out, Blackberries became obsolete, and everyone forgot about Symbian, Android stayed.
You’re most probably here reading this tutorial via your Android phone. Different versions of this operative system can be found on most phones in the world nowadays. That’s because Androids are powerful tools.
Tips to Make it Better
However, manufacturers and retailers sometimes make it difficult to unlock the full potential of these devices. However, whether your device is running on Marshmallow, Lollipop, Oreo, or something newer, there are ways to make it better.
Every Android phone has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. You can increase battery life, improve performance, get more out of the camera, and much more with these simple tips.
Activate Developer Mode
The first thing you will want to do when you get a new phone is to activate its developer mode. Go to Settings, find About Phone, enter, find Build Number and tap it seven times. Go back, and you will notice Developer options.
These options open up a whole new world of optimization and performance settings. For instance, if you switch your phone to grayscale, it will both be good for your eyes and help prevent you from checking your apps obsessively.
Also, if you turn off animations by going to Developer options, Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale, you might speed up your phone.
Use Clipboard to Copy/Paste Like a Pro
If you use Copy/Paste frequently on your Android device, you might want to start using Clipboard. It comes with your device by default and allows you to keep up to 20 entries on paste. This way, you can easily and quickly access copied quotes, addresses, or phone numbers.
To access Clipboard entries, hold down anywhere within the text box and wait until a menu window shows up. You will see Cut, Copy, and Clipboard options.
Chromecast doesn’t just offer the ability to broadcast your phone’s videos on a larger screen. It can also mirror your device.
If you like the idea, install the Google Home application, open it, choose Cast screen/audio, choose Chromecast. Within moments, your device’s display should show up on the big screen.
Use Less Data and Get More Storage
Google recently released two tools that let you improve the performance of your Android phone. Datally lets you monitor and control how much data your phone apps use. When you open an app that uses the Internet, a pop-up will appear asking for approval.
Files Go allows you to clean all the junk data from your Android. It finds functions you never use and duplicate files and then allows you to delete them or back them up to Google Drive. This app also allows you to send files to other people who have installed it via a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Split Screen Operation Mode
Every Android, from Nougat to today’s newest versions, can run apps one on top of the other or side-by-side. That feature is great for photos and minor multitasking, but too laggy for playing games.
To use this feature, tap the Overview square and choose an app you wish to use. Hold and drag the title bar of that app to one side of the display. Choose another app and drag it to appear under or alongside the first one.
Limit Apps – Increase Processing Power
Most Android phones allow a lot more access to apps than any of us like. That’s why Android 6 and newer versions allow you to control that. If you go to Settings, Apps & Notifications, you can choose which permissions you want to give to every app in your phone. You can turn off unwanted push notifications in the same place.
Personalize the Status Bar
The thin strip at the top of your phone’s screen that shows your battery status, notifications, etc. can be personalized. You just need a newer Android version and to follow these instructions in order to find the hidden settings.
To enable this option, pull down with two fingers from the top of the screen. Press and hold the Settings icon for a few seconds. If your phone has this option, you will see a confirmation message that shows that you’ve activated this option. Go to Settings, tap System UI Tuner. Then, select Status bar and set up which icons you want to be shown in your status bar.
Record Your Screen
YouTube Gaming allows you to record your phone’s screen regardless of what you’re doing. Whether you’re making a tutorial or playing a game that you wish to post online later, recording it will be easy with this app.
Once you download it, enter the app, press the upward pointing arrow, tap RECORD and then choose which app you want to record from.
When you’re done, you’ll see a menu with a record button at the top of your phone’s screen. You can find the video file in the Screencasts folder in your photo gallery.
Pin the Screen
If you want to lend someone your phone but just so that they can use one specific app, you can lock them inside it. Once you pin the app to your screen, that’s the only application that can be used on your phone until you enter the lock screen code again. Without that code, no one can access anything but that one chosen application.
To set this up, go to Settings, Security menu, and enable screen pinning. Launch the app you want someone else to use and open Overview by tapping the square navigation button to see opened apps. You should see a pin icon there. Tapping it will pin that app to the screen.
Google developed yet another interesting tool that’s useful for Android owners. GBoard is a keyboard you can download from the Play store. Once you download and activate it, this tool will translate everything you type into your desired language. That way, you don’t have to copy/paste everything into a translator and then back into the message you were writing.
Once you download GBoard, you can activate it by using the search bar under your keyboard’s keys and choosing the Google symbol.
Activate One-Handed Mode
As phone screens are getting larger, using them with just one hand is becoming more and more difficult. However, if you download the GBoard keyboard, you will resolve that problem.
Hold down the enter key to the right. That action will open a menu with a hand icon. Tap the icon, and the keyboard will move to the right or the left side of the screen.
If you want your phone to be safe, you need to set up a fingerprint scan or a PIN code for unlocking. However, that might make accessing apps a bit slower. Nevertheless, Google has a Smart Lock feature that allows you to eliminate this problem by giving you instant access when you’re at home.
Go to Settings, Security, Smart Lock. Choose Trusted places and choose where your phone can disable the lock screen.
YouTube in the Background with No Ads
A very annoying thing when it comes to YouTube for Android is the fact that, unless you’re a YouTube Premium user, you can’t use this app in the background. You can’t lock your phone while using it or use another app simultaneously. However, there’s a way to bypass that problem.
Go to Settings and enable installation of apps from unknown sources. Download the APK for MicroG YouTube Vanced to your computer. Connect your phone to the computer via a USB cable and transfer the APK to your phone. Open the APK on the phone and install it. This app doesn’t have ads. It allows you to lock your phone while listening to music from YouTube, minimize YT, and use other apps at the same time. You can also log in to your YouTube account from it and use your preset playlists.
Track Down Lost Notifications
If you’ve swiped a notification away by accident without reading it, and now you’re wondering what it might have been, there’s a way to find out. Android phones actually keep notification logs, but they are rather well hidden.
Tap and hold an empty section of your home screen. The mode for screen-adjusting will show up. Choose Widgets, find Settings, and then drag and drop it onto your home screen. Once you do this, a list will show up. Tap Notification log and voilà! your recent notification history is there.
Find a Lost Device
If you’ve lost your Android smartphone, or you believe someone stole it, you don’t have to worry. In fact, you can find it within seconds if you go online. Go to android.com/find, log in with the Google account that’s registered with your device, and if your GPS is on, you will see a map with a pin that shows where your device is.