12 Android Tips & Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know About

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1) Enable Developer Mode

Ok, this is one of the more widely known tricks, but it’s important nonetheless, so we are going to include it.

dev-options

Navigate to Settings > About phone and tap on your phone’s build number seven times. You’ll get an onscreen countdown, eventually followed by a message saying “Congratulations, you are now a developer”.

2) Change the Animation Scales

For the most part, the latest Android phones already feel very snappy. However, after the latest Nexus 5X only shipped with 2GB of RAM, some users were left feeling a bit underwhelmed by Google’s hugely popular product line.

scale-screen

One solution is to change your phone’s “Window animation scale”, “Transition animation scale” and “Animator duration scale” from 1x to 0.5x. Granted, it won’t actually make your phone faster, but it will make it feel faster.

Go to Settings > Developer options and scroll about two thirds of the way down the list to find the necessary options (you’ll need to have first enabled Developer Mode).

3) Clear App Defaults

It’s annoying when a link opens in a certain app rather than in the browser. It could be a YouTube link, a tweet, or a Facebook page — you’ll end up waiting around while your phone shuts down Chrome (or your browser of choice) and fires up something else.

It’s easily fixed.

Go to Settings > Apps and find the app that keeps opening. Once there, scroll down to Open by default, press it, and then select Clear Defaults.

If that doesn’t work, try doing the same with your browser app as well.

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4) Quickly Change Your WiFi Network

Oddly, how to quickly switch between WiFi networks is not very obvious. Sure, you can go to Settings > Wi-Fi and change it there, but there has to be a faster way, right?

wifi-android

Swipe down twice from the top of your screen to open the Quick Settings menu, and instead of pressing on the WiFi icon (which disables it), instead press on the network’s name. You’ll immediately be given a list of all the networks in your vicinity.

That is, if your version of Android supports this.

5) Quickly Access the Quick Settings Menu

Speaking of the Quick Settings menu, did you know you don’t actually need to double swipe in order to  access it? Instead, a simultaneous two-finger swipe will have the same effect.

6) Cast Your Screen

If so, you can easily mirror your Android’s screen (and individual apps) by using the cast function.

Just open the Quick Settings menu and hit Cast. Your device will find your Chromecast (assuming it’s on the same local network), and you’re good to go.

android-notifications

In short, it allows you to put your phone into quiet mode, but still allow some “noises” to get through. This could be calls, texts, or WhatsApps from specific contacts, notifications from certain apps, or important alerts such as alarms.

To set it up, go to Settings > Sound & Notification > Do not disturb, then select the options that you require.

It can be quickly toggled on and off from the Quick Settings menu.

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10) Map Zoom

Ever need to use Google Maps one-handed? (No, not while you’re driving!)

Just double tap the screen and swipe up and down to zoom in and out — it’s a lot less fiddly than trying to pinch your fingers and hold your phone at the same time!

11) Smart Lock

Smart lock is super useful. It removes the need to use a keypad lock when you’re at home or in another “trusted” environment

smart-lock

It can use GPS, certain networks, your face, or even your voice to prevent your phone from locking itself, making for a much faster and hassle-free experience.

Head to Settings > Security > Smart lock to set it up.

12) Screen Pinning

If you have kids using your phone regularly, this is a great way to make sure they don’t accident run up huge bills or set their eyes on content that is age-inappropriate.

Firstly, you’ll need to enable the feature (oddly, it is turned off by default). Do that by going to Settings > Security and scrolling down to Screen pinning.

To pin a screen, open the app, press the Overview button (the square) and then the pin icon.

You can choose to PIN-protect the pinned screen, if you so wish.

 

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