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20 Android Suggestions and Tips for Getting the Most From Your Telephone

Android is a remarkably highly effective, modern cell working system that steadily leapfrogs Apple’s iOS in new expertise assist. 5G, NFC cost, customized keyboards…the listing goes on. All of that state-of-the-art performance makes for a posh, sprawling OS, although. On the floor stage, the interface is easy sufficient for informal customers—who simply wish to textual content, make calls, and use their apps—however hidden a layer or two deep within the interface are all kinds of power-user settings and instruments. You simply need to know the place to look.

We would like you to have the ability to use Google’s cell OS like a boss, and our listing of recommendations and shortcuts will help you do exactly that. These are solely among the methods you may reap the benefits of the Google’s OS—there’s such a deep listing of options that you simply’ll little doubt discover extra. Be sure you take a look at our listing of the greatest Android apps, too, and be at liberty to chime in on our feedback part on the backside of the article. We might add them to future updates of this story!

1. Uninstall Apps You Don’t Want

Most Android telephones include a wholesome serving to of preinstalled apps. Many shall be welcomed by almost everybody—maps, e-mail, browser, and so forth—however there are undoubtedly some you don’t need or want. For those who’re simply not a podcast particular person, you don’t want a podcast app. And telephone distributors have a tendency to incorporate a bunch of their very own apps that you could be by no means want to make use of. Merely long-press an app’s icon after which choose the i entry to get to its element web page the place you may uninstall it.

Sadly, there are some inventory apps you can’t uninstall. For instance, in case you solely use Firefox or Edge as your internet browser, you continue to cannot uninstall Google’s Chrome browser. For these apps, you may no less than select Disable, which can cover them from the interface and unencumber system assets.

2. Use Digital Wellbeing Options

It’s not the healthiest factor on the earth to remain up all evening texting and doomscrolling. Android 11’s Bedtime mode is a part of the Digital Wellbeing function. Not solely does it silence your telephone at a set time, it additionally modifications the display screen to black-and-white, in case you do have to take a look at the display screen after hours. There’s a Pause choice within the dropdown menu in case you want extra time earlier than retiring. For those who’re in search of extra sleep suggestions, it’s best to learn our function on how tech will help (and damage) your sleep.

One other really useful Wellbeing function is Focus mode, which silences noisy apps’ notifications. Some telephones, together with latest Pixels and Motorolas, activate Do Not Disturb mode while you set them down with the display screen going through down—a fast and simple method to get aid from disturbances. Lastly, utilizing Work Profile hides all these productiveness apps when it’s time to loosen up.

3. Set Up the Your Telephone App in Home windows

I believe that most individuals who use Mac desktops or laptops are additionally most certainly utilizing an iPhone, which presents terrific integration with macOS. However with the Your Telephone desktop app for Home windows 10, Android customers can get simply as a lot continuity with their desktop laptop—maybe much more. It’s best to begin setup out of your PC. Go to the Setting’s app’s Telephone part, select Add a Telephone, and also you’re off and working. You’ll have the ability to make calls, ship texts, and immediately see and use pictures from the telephone in your PC.

Current Samsung units and the Floor Duo telephone get much more prospects with the Hyperlink to Home windows choice, together with working a number of Android apps on the desktop within the Your Telephone app. For those who’re not working Home windows, you may get Android messages on the net—one other functionality annoyingly not provided by Apple’s cell OS. You may as well run Android apps in an emulator on both Home windows or macOS, however that route just isn’t as handy as Home windows 10’s Your Telephone.

4. Edit Fast Settings

One factor I’m not loopy about in Android is that the Fast Settings require two swipes to point out multiple row—and even after you try this, you continue to have two pages of them. You’ll be able to ensure that the settings you want most frequently are there within the first swipe-down row. Simply hit the pencil icon, and you may add helpful instruments like Focus mode or Darkish mode switches.

5. Set up Apps From the Net

For me, this is among the coolest benefits of Android over iOS: You don’t need to have your telephone in your hand to put in an app on it. Simply go to the Google Play retailer in your internet browser and you may remotely set up any app or sport, so long as you’re signed in to the identical Google account the telephone makes use of. In case you have a number of Android units below your account, you’ll see them listed while you go to put in. It’s an incredible comfort for while you uncover an app at your laptop and don’t wish to fumble along with your telephone to get the app on it.

6. Set up Apps From Different Sources

One in all Android’s distinctly open options is that, in contrast to on iOS, you’re not restricted to utilizing one firm’s app retailer. Most customers will discover each app they need on Google’s Play retailer—and there are worthwhile protections that come together with that. If, nevertheless, you want one thing that’s not in there, nothing is stopping you from heading to Amazon’s app retailer, your telephone maker’s app retailer, and even downloading the app and putting in it as an APK (the extension for an Android Utility Package deal file).

One essential word: For those who do go this route, be completely positive that you simply’re getting the app from a dependable supply, since third-party app shops are the number-one supply of Android malware. Perform a little research first! Additionally remember to flip off the Set up Unknown Apps setting for the supply after you put in the app you need, simply in case.

One instance of why you may wish to sideload (that’s, set up outdoors of the official app retailer) an app is the mega-popular sport Fortnite. Android customers can go to the sport maker’s web site to get the APK, whereas iPhone customers who wish to set up the sport for the primary time are merely out of luck. You’ll be able to learn in regards to the course of in PCMag’s article about the best way to play Fortnite on Android.

7. Set up a Launcher App

That is one customization sort iPhone customers don’t get: You’ll be able to change the fundamental begin display screen in your telephone by putting in a third-party launcher app from the Play Retailer. A pair noteworthy launchers are Motion Launcher, Apex, the cleverly named Garden Chair, Lightning, the Microsoft Launcher, Nova, Niagara, and Sensible Launcher.

Microsoft Launcher for Android

You’ll be able to even make your Android seem like an iPhone with the iOS 14 launcher, which incorporates Siri shortcuts and an App Retailer icon rather than the Play icon. Wish to return to the times of Home windows Telephone? There are launchers that emulate that OS’s design, too.

8. Customise Message Notifications

Android 11 notifications options

Android 11 enables you to select message notifications in order that some contacts are extra outstanding, and conversations keep collectively. Now you can set messages to look on high of some other working apps as bubbles. You merely flip them on in Settings and set the contact to Precedence. Inside a notification there’s one other setting for Bubbles with three choices: All Conversations Can Bubble, Chosen Conversations Can Bubble, and Nothing Can Bubble.

Add Widgets and Customize Home

iOS simply received the power so as to add widgets to the house display screen with model 14. Android customers have been in a position to do that for ages, however not everybody is aware of how. All it’s a must to do is solely long-press on the house display screen, select Widgets, after which choose from the choice made accessible by any apps put in on their telephones. Lengthy-pressing on the House display screen additionally offers you different customization choices, equivalent to eradicating the Google feed web page to the left of the House display screen or to disabling display screen rotation for the House display screen—which we might by no means do, as a result of it’s cool to see your house display screen in panorama.

10. Beef Up Storage

microSD slot on Android phone

A serious benefit of Android over iPhones is that some telephone fashions will let you improve storage with a microSD card. Not solely does this allow you to retailer extra media and apps in your telephone, however it additionally presents a method to switch massive quantities of file knowledge between your telephone and different units. One other benefit is that you would be able to plug some Android telephones into an exterior USB storage drive and browse its information. In case your telephone has a USB-C port, you may merely plug in a USB flash reminiscence drive with a Sort-C connection.

11. Set up Antivirus

Since Android is way extra open than iOS—that’s, extra like Home windows than macOS—it’s additionally extra open to malware assaults. Google has in-built a number of sturdy protections, however we advocate you run an antivirus app on Android. PCMag safety guru Neil Rubenking recommends 4 PCMag Editors’ Alternative choices: Bitdefender Whole Safety, Kaspersky Safety Cloud, Norton 360 Deluxe, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus. Most of those additionally cowl your desktop units. They ensure you’re not putting in dangerous apps and run common malware scans. Additionally they forestall thieves from merely swapping your telephone’s SIM card to realize entry. Some additionally embody VPN safety.

Really useful by Our Editors

12. Double-Faucet the Energy Button to Open the Digicam

Not like the iPhone—which does, nevertheless, features a digicam icon on the lock display screen—most Android telephones allow you to double faucet the ability button to activate the digicam. Fast digicam entry is crucial for capturing these fleeing moments. You may as well use quantity keys to focus and take the shot. Lengthy-press on both to begin a video recording.

13. Use Display screen Pinning

Screen Pinning in Android

It is a nice tip from our mates at ExtremeTech.com: If it’s worthwhile to hand your telephone to another person and don’t need them snooping round in different apps, simply pin the display screen. If this isn’t enabled by default, you may flip it on within the Safety menu. Faucet the app icon on any app within the multitasking interface and choose “Pin” to stop them from switching apps. You’ll be able to defend switching apps by requiring your telephone PIN. Notice that the app icon in app switching view additionally enables you to cut up the display screen, pause the app’s notifications, and see its data.

14. Set Up Visitor Entry

If you wish to give another person just a little extra entry than screen-pinning permits, you may. To let somebody borrow your telephone, however not entry your apps, knowledge, or settings, or ship textual content messages, head to Settings > System > Superior > A number of Customers and allow it. You’ll be able to optionally allow the slider for Add Customers from Lock Display screen. Now you can swipe down twice from the highest of your telephone to get to Fast Settings. Faucet in your consumer icon within the decrease proper and select Add Visitor. The telephone takes a short time to change to the mode, which removes any private accounts (equivalent to e-mail) however permits issues like telephone calling, maps, and internet looking. Solely default Android apps seem, so that you don’t have to fret about your visitor sending a Fb submit or tweet on your account.

15. File Display screen Exercise 

Record screen in Android 11

With Android 11, Google added built-in screen-recording functionality proper into the OS. Beforehand, Samsung, LG, and OnePlus house owners had the aptitude, however now any telephone working Android 11 will get it. It’s easy to make use of: You simply pull down the highest shade and select Display screen File > Begin Recording. You get selections for exhibiting contact factors and recording audio or not. To cease recording, pull down the shade once more and faucet the large purple bar. It labored like a appeal in our testing, producing a regular MP4 file within the photograph gallery.

16. Use Developer Choices

Developer Options in Android

This one comes through PCMag’s Ben Moore. To show this on, head to the Settings app’s About Telephone part, go right down to the Construct quantity and faucet on it seven instances. Then head to Settings > System > Superior > Developer Choices. From right here, you may present display screen faucets, change Bluetooth machine choices, and set USB connection preferences, together with many different settings solely of curiosity to builders. This one is certainly just for the intense tinkerer, and never for the technophobe.

17. Activate Discover My Machine

Find My Device in Android

For those who misplace your telephone or it will get stolen, each cell OSes have options that provide help to find it on a map. Not solely that, however these additionally Discover My companies allow you to disable the telephone, wipe it, and play a sound on it. Apple’s cell working system goes just a little additional by letting you show your quantity or one other message on the display screen of the misplaced machine, one thing we do not see why Google hasn’t added.

18. Use Battery Saver Mode

Battery Saver mode in Android

Android presents much more management over battery saving choices than the iPhone does. Not solely are you able to allow Battery Saver mode and have it mechanically flip off when the telephone is charged, however you can even use the Adaptive Battery function, which extends battery life primarily based in your utilization patterns. You may as well set a schedule for Battery Saver mode and have that mechanically chosen primarily based in your utilization or while you hit a specified proportion of cost.

19. Management Your Sensible House With Your Android Telephone

Control Your Smart Home with your Android Phone

With model 11, Android made controlling sensible house units simpler. For those who long-press the ability button, a display screen with large buttons for controlling your gentle bulbs and different units seems. For this to work, it’s worthwhile to arrange the units within the Google house app and—optionally—create a room for the units.

20. Replace Continuously

As we had been engaged on this story, our take a look at Pixel’s safety settings web page knowledgeable us that there was a safety replace accessible. By all means, you wish to set up these as quickly as attainable. Updating Android is faster and easier than ever, and also you by no means know what new options an replace may allow. Relaxation assured that, as we spot new hacks and shortcuts, we’ll add them to future updates of this story.

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