The Best Android Tips And Tricks You Should Know
In this post, we are featuring useful Android tips and tricks that may improve your experience while using your Android device. Do note that the steps may vary a little from one Android phone to another due to the differences in the build and the OS version, but if you play around with it, the next step isn’t too far off.
If you’ve just got a new Android device, these tips and tricks might be of help to you.
1. Multitask better by loading links in the background
Flynx (free) is freaking amazing. Tap on a link and a little bubble will pop up on the side of your screen with a loading animation. Once the link is done loading, tap the bubble to read the article, then flick the bubble down to close it. Best part: you can load multiple pages at once without ever leaving your news feed or social media stream.
2. Set up automatic phone unlock when you’re at home.
“Smart unlock” is a new feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop. It removes your phone’s PIN or passcode in certain locations you trust, like home or work. Go to Settings >Security > Smart Lock > Trusted places and add to trusted places.
3. How to Type Special Characters
If you often need to switch between the on-screen Alphabet and Number keyboards just to type a comma in a sentence, then why not check out below to find out more?
While on the Alphabet keyboard:
- , (comma) => touch and hold the Full-stop key (.)
- ‘ (single quotation mark) => touch and hold the Full-stop key, and slide to choose the single quotation mark (‘)
- ” (double quotation mark) => touch and hold the Full-stop key, and slide to choose the double quotation mark (“)
- Turn caps lock on/off => double-tap the Shift key to lock, single-tap to unlock.
- Special letters not on the keyboard? => touch and hold a key, then slide to choose a variation (See the screenshot).
- Need just a digit or symbol from the Number keyboard? => touch the ?123 key and slide to a digit or symbol key, and you’re back to the Alphabet keyboard automatically.
4. Disable App Notifications
Bugged by annoying app notifications that just keep coming? If you don’t know already, these app notifications also drain your phone’s battery. If you want to turn them off, and you are on Jelly Bean 4.1 and above, here’s how:
- On any of your unwanted notifications in your notification bar, long presson the notification for a message box to appear.
- Tap on App Info > Untick Show Notifications > OK.
5. Disable Mobile Data
Whenever you don’t need to stay connected, disabling the Mobile Data can help keep your smartphone battery from draining too quickly. Turning off mobile data is as easy as:
- Going to Settings > Data Usage.
- Disable Mobile data by toggling the setting from ON to OFF.
6. Set Mobile Data Limit
Want to keep track of how far your usage is from your monthly mobile data limit? If you have ICS and above, there is a feature which lets you keep track of how much of the quota you have left.
- Head over to Settings > Data Usage.
- Set your data limit by dragging the orange line to reflect your monthly quota.
- Set your data usage cycle based on when your “month” starts and ends, and you’re done.
You will be alerted once you hit the limit you have set. Note that the tracked data usage of your phone may vary slightly than your carrier’s tracking.
7. You can plug a mother-freaking mouse (wireless or wired) into your phone.
8. Extend battery life.
First, turn off Bluetooth, GPS (Settings > Location > switch to off *or* tap Mode >Battery saving), and sync for apps (Settings > Under “Accounts” select which apps to stop syncing (Google, Facebook, and chat apps are probably big culprits)). This will cut most of the battery drainage.
Next, go to Settings > Battery to see which apps are using most. It’ll probably be your screen or any app that requires GPS. Tap the app to “force stop.”
You can also see all apps that are currently running by going to Settings and tapping the Running section (for Moto X), then closing those apps.
If you’re really desperate, turn your brightness all the way down and turn off keyboard sound and vibration (Settings > Language & input > settings icon next to “Google Keyboard” > Preferences > unselect “Sound on keypress”).
9. Add Multiple Google Accounts
You need a Google account to use an Android phone but did you know you canchoose to run more than one Google account on your Android device. This is convenient if you use more than one account for several of your Google services. To add multiple Google accounts:
- Go to Settings > Add account.
- Select Google and setup your New or Existing Google account.
- Once added, choose what you want to sync with the account.
Repeat all the steps above if you want to add more accounts.
10. Disable automatic App Updates
Prefer to read through app permissions and manually pick which app updates to adopt? You can, but first you need to disable your automatic app updates. Here are the steps:
- Open Play Store and head over to Settings.
- Tap on Auto-update apps.
- Choose Do not auto-update apps.
If you want to enable the auto updates, follow the same path and choose Auto-update apps at any time or via Wi-Fi (available for certain Android devices only).
11. How To Check For android System updates
For Android users that are using stock ROM, you may want to look for new updates to your system. To check for updates:
- Go to Settings > About phone/tablet.
- Tap on System updates.
- Tap Check now to look for system updates.
12. Organize Homescreen Shortcuts With Folders
Once you have a lot of apps installed, your homescreen might be filled with app shortcuts. Unlike the app drawer, the apps on your home screen are not arranged alphabetically. So, you might want to create some folders for your homescreen shortcuts.
- Assuming you have more than a handful of shortcuts already on your homescreen, long press on any of the shortcuts and drag it onto another shortcut.
- A circle should now appear around the apps, indicating that a folder has been created.
- By tapping on the newly created folder, a mini window will pop up with your apps in it.
- You can drag and drop additional apps into the folder if you like. You can also rename the folder by tapping on the text area at the bottom of the mini window.
13. Find your phone after it’s been lost or stolen.
Don’t skip this tip — you’ll regret it! Prey (free; with pro version, $15 per month to protect 10 devices) is an app that keeps track of your device’s location using GPS and Wi-Fi. It detects changes in your SIM card and can access the front-facing camera to snap a photo of the perpetrator.
You can also use Android Device Manager which will remotely ring, lock, or erase a device. It requires some setup.
14. Install custom icon sets.
Look, Glass Sense!! Download this icon pack here and install it through any major app launcher (Nova, Apex, etc.).