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


Android is a remarkably highly effective, modern cell working system that often leapfrogs Apple’s iOS in new know-how help. 5G, NFC fee, customized keyboards…the checklist goes on. All of that state-of-the-art performance makes for a posh, sprawling OS, although. On the floor degree, the interface is easy sufficient for informal customers—who simply need 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 should know the place to look.

We wish you to have the ability to use Google’s cell OS like a boss, and our checklist of solutions and shortcuts can assist you just do that. These are solely a number of the methods you’ll be able to benefit from the Google’s OS—there’s such a deep checklist of options that you just’ll little doubt discover extra. Make sure to try our checklist of the finest Android apps, too, and be happy 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 practically everybody—maps, e-mail, browser, and so forth—however there are undoubtedly some you don’t need or want. Should you’re simply not a podcast particular person, you don’t want a podcast app. And cellphone 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’ll be able to uninstall it.

Sadly, there are some inventory apps you can’t uninstall. For instance, in case you solely use Firefox or Edge as your net browser, you continue to cannot uninstall Google’s Chrome browser. For these apps, you’ll be able to at the least select Disable, which can cover them from the interface and release system sources.

2. Use Digital Wellbeing Options

It’s not the healthiest factor on the planet to remain up all night time texting and doomscrolling. Android 11’s Bedtime mode is a part of the Digital Wellbeing characteristic. Not solely does it silence your cellphone 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. Should you’re on the lookout for extra sleep ideas, you need to learn our characteristic on how tech can assist (and harm) your sleep.

One other really useful Wellbeing characteristic is Focus mode, which silences noisy apps’ notifications. Some telephones, together with current Pixels and Motorolas, activate Do Not Disturb mode once you set them down with the display screen going through down—a fast and straightforward approach to get reduction 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 think that most individuals who use Mac desktops or laptops are additionally more than likely utilizing an iPhone, which provides 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 pc—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 operating. You’ll be capable to make calls, ship texts, and immediately see and use pictures from the cellphone in your PC.

Latest Samsung gadgets and the Floor Duo cellphone get much more prospects with the Hyperlink to Home windows choice, together with operating a number of Android apps on the desktop within the Your Telephone app. Should you’re not operating Home windows, you will get Android messages on the internet—one other functionality annoyingly not supplied by Apple’s cell OS. You can even 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 indicate a couple of row—and even after you try this, you continue to have two pages of them. You’ll be able to guarantee that the settings you want most frequently are there within the first swipe-down row. Simply hit the pencil icon, and you’ll 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 should have your cellphone in your hand to put in an app on it. Simply go to the Google Play retailer in your net browser and you’ll remotely set up any app or sport, so long as you’re signed in to the identical Google account the cellphone makes use of. When you have a number of Android gadgets below your account, you’ll see them listed once you go to put in. It’s an awesome comfort for once you uncover an app at your pc and don’t need to fumble along with your cellphone to get the app on it.

6. Set up Apps From Different Sources

One in every of 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, nonetheless, you want one thing that’s not in there, nothing is stopping you from heading to Amazon’s app retailer, your cellphone maker’s app retailer, and even downloading the app and putting in it as an APK (the extension for an Android Utility Bundle file).

One vital word: Should you do go this route, be completely positive that you just’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 make sure you 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 would possibly need to sideload (that’s, set up exterior 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 need to set up the sport for the primary time are merely out of luck. You’ll be able to learn concerning the course of in PCMag’s article about methods 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 essential begin display screen in your cellphone 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 Good Launcher.

Microsoft Launcher for Android

You’ll be able to even make your Android appear like an iPhone with the iOS 14 launcher, which incorporates Siri shortcuts and an App Retailer icon rather than the Play icon. Need 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 distinguished, and conversations keep collectively. Now you can set messages to look on high of another operating 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.

9. Add Widgets and Customise Residence

Add Widgets and Customize Home

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

10. Beef Up Storage

microSD slot on Android phone

A significant benefit of Android over iPhones is that some cellphone fashions can help you enhance storage with a microSD card. Not solely does this allow you to retailer extra media and apps in your cellphone, nevertheless it additionally provides a approach to switch giant quantities of file information between your cellphone and different gadgets. 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 cellphone has a USB-C port, you’ll be able to merely plug in a USB flash reminiscence drive with a Kind-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 inbuilt a variety of robust 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 gadgets. They be sure to’re not putting in unhealthy apps and run common malware scans. Additionally they stop thieves from merely swapping your cellphone’s SIM card to realize entry. Some additionally embody VPN safety.

12. Double-Faucet the Energy Button to Open the Digital camera

Not like the iPhone—which does, nonetheless, features a digicam icon on the lock display screen—most Android telephones allow you to double faucet the facility button to activate the digicam. Fast digicam entry is important for capturing these fleeing moments. You can even 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 buddies at ExtremeTech.com: If it’s good to hand your cellphone 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’ll be able to 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 shield switching apps by requiring your cellphone PIN. Word 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 somewhat extra entry than screen-pinning permits, you’ll be able to. To let somebody borrow your cellphone, however not entry your apps, information, 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 cellphone to get to Fast Settings. Faucet in your person icon within the decrease proper and select Add Visitor. The cellphone takes a short time to change to the mode, which removes any private accounts (resembling e-mail) however permits issues like cellphone calling, maps, and net shopping. Solely default Android apps seem, so that you don’t have to fret about your visitor sending a Fb publish or tweet on your account.

15. Report 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 potential, however now any cellphone operating Android 11 will get it. It’s easy to make use of: You simply pull down the highest shade and select Display screen Report > Begin Recording. You get selections for displaying contact factors and recording audio or not. To cease recording, pull down the shade once more and faucet the massive crimson 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 by way of 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’ll be able to 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 unquestionably just for the intense tinkerer, and never for the technophobe.

17. Activate Discover My System

Find My Device in Android

Should you misplace your cellphone or it will get stolen, each cell OSes have options that show you how to find it on a map. Not solely that, however these additionally Discover My companies allow you to disable the cellphone, wipe it, and play a sound on it. Apple’s cell working system goes somewhat 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 provides much more management over battery saving choices than the iPhone does. Not solely are you able to allow Battery Saver mode and have it robotically flip off when the cellphone is charged, however you can too use the Adaptive Battery characteristic, which extends battery life based mostly in your utilization patterns. You can even set a schedule for Battery Saver mode and have that robotically chosen based mostly in your utilization or once you hit a specified proportion of cost.

19. Management Your Good Residence With Your Android Telephone

Control Your Smart Home with your Android Phone

With model 11, Android made controlling good house gadgets simpler. Should you long-press the facility button, a display screen with massive buttons for controlling your gentle bulbs and different gadgets seems. For this to work, it’s good to arrange the gadgets within the Google house app and—optionally—create a room for the gadgets.

20. Replace Continuously

As we had been engaged on this story, our check Pixel’s safety settings web page knowledgeable us that there was a safety replace accessible. By all means, you need 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 would possibly 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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