Best Android Tips And Tricks

Android is a remarkably powerful, innovative mobile operating system that oft leapfrogs Apple tree’south iOS in new engineering back up. 5G, NFC payment, custom keyboards…the list goes on. All of that country-of-the-art functionality makes for a circuitous, sprawling Os, though. At the surface level, the interface is simple enough for casual users—who just desire to text, make calls, and utilize their apps—but hidden a layer or two deep in the interface are all sorts of power-user settings and tools. You just take to know where to look.

Nosotros want you to be able to employ Google’s mobile OS similar a boss, and our listing of suggestions and shortcuts tin can assistance you do merely that. These are only some of the ways yous tin can take advantage of the Google’s Bone—there’s such a deep list of features that you’ll no doubt find more than. Exist sure to check out our list of the best Android apps, likewise, and feel costless to chime in on our comments department at the bottom of the article. Nosotros may add them to future updates of this story!

i. Uninstall Apps You Don’t Demand

Most Android phones come with a salubrious helping of preinstalled apps. Many will be welcomed past nigh everyone—maps, email, browser, and and so on—but there are undoubtedly some you don’t want or need. If you lot’re just not a podcast person, you don’t demand a podcast app. And phone vendors tend to include a bunch of their own apps that you may never demand to use. Merely long-press an app’s icon and then select the i entry to get to its detail page where you can uninstall it.

Unfortunately, there are some stock apps you cannot uninstall. For example, if yous only apply Firefox or Edge as your spider web browser, yous however can’t uninstall Google’south Chrome browser. For those apps, you can at least choose Disable, which will hide them from the interface and free up system resources.

2. Use Digital Wellbeing Features

It’s not the healthiest affair in the globe to stay upwardly all dark texting and doomscrolling(Opens in a new window). Android 11’southward Bedtime style is office of the Digital Wellbeing feature. Non only does it silence your phone at a set fourth dimension, information technology also changes the screen to black-and-white, in example yous
exercise
take to expect at the screen after hours. There’s a Intermission option in the dropdown menu if you need more time before retiring. If y’all’re looking for more sleep tips, y’all should read our feature on how tech can assistance (and hurt) your sleep.

Some other recommended Wellbeing characteristic is Focus mode, which silences noisy apps’ notifications. Some phones, including contempo Pixels and Motorolas, turn on Practice Not Disturb way when you set them downward with the screen facing downward—a quick and easy fashion to become relief from disturbances. Finally, using Piece of work Profile hides all those productivity apps when it’southward time to relax.

3. Gear up Upwards the Your Phone App in Windows

Windows 10 Your Phone app with Android

I suspect that near people who use Mac desktops or laptops are besides most likely using an iPhone, which offers terrific integration with macOS. Only with the Your Telephone desktop app for Windows 10, Android users tin go just equally much continuity with their desktop computer—perhaps even more. It’s easiest to get-go setup from your PC. Become to the Setting’s app’southward Phone section, cull Add a Phone, and yous’re off and running. Y’all’ll be able to make calls, transport texts, and instantly encounter and use photos from the telephone on your PC.

Recent Samsung devices and the Surface Duo phone get even more possibilities with the Link to Windows option, including running multiple Android apps on the desktop in the Your Telephone app. If you’re not running Windows, you tin can get Android messages on the web—another capability annoyingly not offered by Apple tree’south mobile OS. You tin as well run Android apps in an emulator on either Windows or macOS, but that route is non equally convenient as Windows ten’s Your Phone.

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iv. Edit Quick Settings

One thing I’m not crazy about in Android is that the Quick Settings require two swipes to testify more than than one row—and even after you practise that, you still have two pages of them. Yous tin can make certain that the settings you demand almost often are there in the first swipe-down row. Only hitting the pencil icon, and y’all can add together useful tools like Focus mode or Nighttime mode switches.

5. Install Apps From the Web

For me, this is one of the coolest advantages of Android over iOS: You don’t accept to have your phone in your hand to install an app on information technology. Just go to the Google Play(Opens in a new window)
shop in your web browser and you tin can remotely install any app or game, equally long as you’re signed in to the aforementioned Google account the phone uses. If you lot have multiple Android devices under your business relationship, you’ll run across them listed when yous become to install. It’s a groovy convenience for when you lot discover an app at your computer and don’t desire to fumble with your phone to get the app on it.

6. Install Apps From Other Sources

One of Android’s distinctly open features is that, dissimilar on iOS, you’re not restricted to using one visitor’s app shop. Most users will find every app they want on Google’s Play store—and there are worthwhile protections that come along with that. If, nonetheless, y’all demand something that’s not in there, null is stopping yous from heading to Amazon’southward app store, your phone maker’southward app store, or even downloading the app and installing it as an APK (the extension for an Android Application Bundle file).

I important notation: If you lot practise go this route, be absolutely sure that you’re getting the app from a reliable source, since third-political party app stores are the number-one source of Android malware. Practise some inquiry first! Also be certain to turn off the Install Unknown Apps setting for the source after you install the app you want, just in instance.

Ane example of why you lot might desire to
sideload
(that is, install outside of the official app store) an app is the mega-popular game Fortnite. Android users can go to the game maker’due south site to get the APK, while iPhone users who want to install the game for the showtime time are simply out of luck. Yous can read well-nigh the process in PCMag’s article almost how to play Fortnite on Android.

7. Install a Launcher App

This is i customization type iPhone users don’t go: Y’all can change the basic start screen on your phone past installing a 3rd-party launcher app from the Play Store. A couple noteworthy launchers are Activeness Launcher, Apex, the cleverly named Backyard Chair, Lightning, the Microsoft Launcher, Nova, Niagara, and Smart Launcher.

Microsoft Launcher for Android

You tin can even make your Android look like an iPhone with the iOS xiv launcher, which includes Siri shortcuts and an App Store icon in place of the Play icon. Desire to go dorsum to the days of Windows Phone? At that place are launchers that emulate that OS’south design, also.

eight. Customize Message Notifications

Android 11 notifications options

Android 11 lets you lot choose message notifications and then that some contacts are more than prominent, and conversations stay together. You can at present set letters to announced on top of whatsoever other running apps as bubbles. You simply turn them on in Settings and set the contact to Priority. Within a notification at that place’s another setting for Bubbling with three options: All Conversations Can Bubble, Selected Conversations Tin can Bubble, and Nothing Can Chimera.

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Add Widgets and Customize Home

iOS
just
got the ability to add widgets to the abode screen with version 14. Android users have been able to do this for ages, but not everyone knows how. All you have to do is simply long-printing on the dwelling house screen, cull Widgets, and then pick from the selection made available by whatever apps installed on their phones. Long-pressing on the Home screen also gives you lot other customization options, such equally removing the Google feed folio to the left of the Home screen or to disabling screen rotation for the Home screen—which we would never do, because information technology’s cool to see your domicile screen in mural.

10. Beef Upward Storage

microSD slot on Android phone

A major reward of Android over iPhones is that some phone models allow you to increment storage with a microSD carte du jour. Not only does this let you store more media and apps on your phone, only it besides offers a manner to transfer large amounts of file data between your phone and other devices. Some other reward is that you lot can plug some Android phones into an external USB storage bulldoze and browse its files. If your telephone has a USB-C port, you can only plug in a USB flash memory drive with a Type-C connection.

11. Install Antivirus

Since Android is far more than open than iOS—that is, more like Windows than macOS—it’s likewise more open to malware attacks. Google has built in a lot of stiff protections, simply nosotros recommend y’all run an antivirus app on Android. PCMag security guru Neil Rubenking recommends four PCMag Editors’ Choice options: Bitdefender Total Security, Kaspersky Security Cloud, Norton 360 Deluxe, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus. Most of these also cover your desktop devices. They make certain you’re not installing bad apps and run regular malware scans. They also prevent thieves from only swapping your phone’s SIM carte du jour to gain access. Some also include VPN protection.

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12. Double-Tap the Power Push to Open up the Photographic camera

Dissimilar the iPhone—which does, however, includes a camera icon on the lock screen—most Android phones allow you double tap the ability push to plough on the camera. Quick camera admission is essential for capturing those fleeing moments. Y’all tin can likewise employ book keys to focus and take the shot. Long-press on either to start a video recording.

13. Use Screen Pinning

Screen Pinning in Android

This is a great tip from our friends at ExtremeTech.com(Opens in a new window): If y’all need to hand your phone to someone else and don’t want them snooping around in other apps, merely pivot the screen. If this isn’t enabled by default, you can turn it on in the Security menu. Tap the app icon on whatever app in the multitasking interface and select “Pivot” to forbid them from switching apps. You lot can protect switching apps by requiring your telephone PIN. Note that the app icon in app switching view besides lets yous split the screen, interruption the app’s notifications, and encounter its info.

fourteen. Set up Guest Access

If you want to requite someone else a little more than access than screen-pinning allows, you can. To let someone borrow your phone, but non admission your apps, data, or settings, or send text messages, caput to Settings > System > Advanced > Multiple Users and enable it. You tin can optionally enable the slider for Add Users from Lock Screen. You lot can now swipe downward twice from the top of your phone to get to Quick Settings. Tap on your user icon in the lower right and choose Add Guest. The phone takes a fiddling while to switch to the mode, which removes whatever personal accounts (such equally email) but allows things like phone calling, maps, and spider web browsing. Merely default Android apps appear, so you don’t take to worry virtually your guest sending a Facebook post or tweet for your account.

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xv. Record Screen Activity

Record screen in Android 11

With Android eleven, Google added congenital-in screen-recording capability right into the OS. Previously, Samsung, LG, and OnePlus owners had the capability, but now whatsoever telephone running Android xi gets information technology. It’s simple to use: You just pull down the top shade and cull Screen Tape > Start Recording. You get choices for showing touch points and recording audio or non. To terminate recording, pull down the shade once again and tap the big crimson bar. It worked like a charm in our testing, producing a standard MP4 file in the photo gallery.

16. Use Developer Options

Developer Options in Android

This one comes via PCMag’due south Ben Moore. To turn this on, caput to the Settings app’s Almost Phone section, go down to the Build number and tap on information technology seven times. Then head to Settings > Organization > Advanced > Developer Options. From here, you lot can show screen taps, change Bluetooth device options, and set USB connection preferences, forth with many other settings only of interest to developers. This one is definitely only for the extreme tinkerer, and not for the technophobe.

17. Turn on Discover My Device

Find My Device in Android

If you misplace your phone or it gets stolen, both mobile OSes accept features that help you lot locate it on a map. Non only that, only these also Observe My services let you disable the phone, wipe it, and play a sound on it. Apple’south mobile operating system goes a little further by letting you brandish your number or some other message on the screen of the lost device, something we don’t encounter why Google hasn’t added.

18. Use Battery Saver Mode

Battery Saver mode in Android

Android offers a lot more control over bombardment saving options than the iPhone does. Non only can you enable Battery Saver mode and take information technology automatically plow off when the telephone is charged, merely yous tin can too apply the Adaptive Battery characteristic, which extends battery life based on your usage patterns. Yous can likewise set a schedule for Bombardment Saver way and take that automatically called based on your usage or when you hit a specified per centum of charge.

nineteen. Control Your Smart Home With Your Android Phone

Control Your Smart Home with your Android Phone

With version xi, Android made controlling smart home devices easier. If you long-press the ability button, a screen with big buttons for controlling your light bulbs and other devices appears. For this to work, you need to prepare the devices in the Google domicile app and—optionally—create a room for the devices.

20. Update Frequently

As we were working on this story, our test Pixel’s security settings folio informed u.s. that there was a security update available. By all means, you want to install these equally soon as possible. Updating Android is quicker and simpler than ever, and y’all never know what new features an update might enable. Rest bodacious that, as we spot new hacks and shortcuts, we’ll add them to future updates of this story.

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Best Android Tips And Tricks

Source: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/best-android-tips-and-tricks