Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Android is by far the most popular OS in the world and for good reason. There are many choices available for hardware, from high-end flagships to affordable budget phones; there’s an Android phone for everyone. But there’s a good chance your phone still has a lot to explore. Here are the best Android tips and tricks that every Android phone and tablet owner should know.
Turn on Find My Device.
One of the first things we recommend doing on a brand new phone is double checking that Find My Device is turned on.
Find My Device is Google’s powerful solution for tracking and managing your phone if it’s lost or stolen. You need to enable the feature first, so this is our first tip.
Take this moment to check if Find My Device is enabled on your phone. to go Settings > Google > Find my deviceand make sure it is enabled on your phone. In the near future, Google will also add a Find My Device network, allowing Android phones to locate each other.
Customize your quick switches
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
While most people know about customizing the launcher experience on Android, few people bother to adjust their Quick Toggles. It’s one of those small changes that will repeatedly affect the overall use and experience of your phone.
The first few icons in your Quick Toggles should always be your most toggled icons, as this will help you avoid double-swiping to expand Quick Toggles. Samsung Galaxy phones display six quick disconnects in the notification shade, while Google Pixel phones display only four. So adjust it accordingly and save yourself precious seconds every day.
To customize your Quick Toggles, swipe down on your notification shade to open the Quick Toggles and locate and tap the pencil icon. As mentioned, your frequently toggled settings should be at the top, while you can remove settings you rarely change for a clean and uncluttered experience.
Next time you’re handing your phone to someone, try Screen Pinning.
If you frequently lend your phone to friends and family for some quick tasks, screen pinning is an underrated feature you should know about.
Screen pinning allows you to pin one app to your phone. This blocks the use of other apps, so the person you’ve transferred your phone to can’t switch to another app. You can set it so that the phone requires your security PIN to exit the pinned app. So the next time you hand your phone to your kid to play a game, secure it so they can’t unlock anything else on your phone.
To use screen pinning, first enable the feature:
- On Samsung Galaxy phones. Settings > Security & privacy > Other security settings > Pin app.
- On Google Pixel phones: Settings > Security & Privacy > Other Security Settings > App Pinning.
After you’ve activated the feature, open the app you want to pin, tap the Recents button (or swipe up and hold if you’re using gestures), tap the app icon in the Recents view, and tap Pin.
Once an app is pinned, you cannot exit the app. The status bar is disabled, as well as the Home and Recents gestures. No floating notification can force you to leave a pinned app. However, an app can launch other apps inside it, allowing access to a second app.
Swipe up and hold to unpin an app.
User profiles are good for work-life separation
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Android has supported user profiles for a long time, but this feature usually flies under the radar for most people. If you have a lot of work apps on your personal phone, you might want to try a custom user profile for your work apps. This helps with work-life separation if your phone doesn’t have specific work-life modes.
If you’re sharing your phone for several different purposes and screen pinning isn’t entirely helpful, you can also try guest profiles. Although guest profiles don’t make much sense on phones as they are much more personal. Guest and multi-user profiles make a lot of sense on tablets and shared devices.
Sleep peacefully with Do Not Disturb mode
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Is your phone buzzing at night and disturbing your sleep? Many users will set their phone to silent or vibrate when they sleep and manually change it when they wake up. But there is a more serious solution to this everyday radius.
Android has a nice Do Not Disturb mode that you can configure to let it run on your specific schedule. You can add contacts of people who can bypass your DND settings and apps that can send you a notification during this schedule.
After turning off the settings, you can leave your phone on every day and it will allow you to sleep soundly without unwanted disturbances.
Smart Lock can keep your phone unlocked at home
If you’re like me and spend a lot of time in the privacy of your own home, you’ll appreciate this tip. Smart Lock for Android can keep your phone unlocked in trusted situations you specify.
For example, you can add trusted places like your home where your phone won’t be locked, meaning you won’t need to deal with PINs or fingerprint scanners when you’re at home.
You can add your Bluetooth headset to trusted devices and your phone will remain unlocked as long as your Bluetooth headset is actively connected. You can also add your smartwatch or your car’s infotainment system to keep your phone unlocked when connected.
To restore normal lock protection, exit your set setting: leave home or turn off the headset. Once set up, you won’t have to manually change the lock settings.
Notification history keeps track of all incoming notifications
Have you ever dismissed a notification out of habit and wondered what exactly you swiped? We’ve done this many times, and that’s why we love Android’s notification history feature.
You need to activate the feature before you can use it. But once activated, your phone will keep a log of every incoming notification. You can check the notification history when you need to find out which notification has been removed.
To activate the feature:
- On Samsung Galaxy phones. Settings > Notifications > Advanced settings > Notification history.
- On Google Pixel phones: Settings > Notifications > Notification History.
Credit to Aamir Siddiqui / Android
Notification history also gives you a quick way to see how many notifications an app has sent you in a 24-hour period. Note that notification records are only stored for a rolling 24 hours.
Multitask like a boss with split screen
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority
Android has had split-screen multitasking for years, but hardly anyone knows about it or uses it. It’s a powerful feature that allows you to take advantage of ever-increasing phone screens.
Open to try split-screen multitasking Recently apps screen with a screen gesture (swipe up from the bottom and hold) or the navigation button, tap an app icon and select split screen option. Next, select the second app you want to use in split screen.
Credit to Aamir Siddiqui / Android
One of my favorite split-screen multitasking uses is using YouTube alongside a second app, usually Chrome or WhatsApp. This way I can instantly look up any information I need to look for while watching a video or continue my IM conversations when ads are shown or the video has an uninteresting patch.
Google’s Nearby Share is pretty good
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Nearby Share is Android’s equivalent of AirDrop, and the app has improved significantly in recent months. Using Nearby Share, you can easily share images, videos, files, links, and even your Wi-Fi password between Android devices and Chromebooks. Google recently released Nearby Share for Windows, allowing you to share data between an Android phone and a Windows PC.
So the next time you need to share a file with a friend nearby, don’t bother uploading it to a cloud service for them to download from. Use Nearby Share and transfer any file, big or small, in seconds.
Uninstall apps that cannot be uninstalled
Most phones come with a bunch of apps, some of which you might not find useful. For a clean phone, we recommend uninstalling apps you don’t use, especially if they send you notifications.
But what if your phone’s Settings app won’t let you uninstall the app? The truth is that you can uninstall any app from your phone using ADB. You need to find the package name of the installed application, which you can find with an application like Package Name Viewer. Then you need to run the ADB command adb uninstall <փաթեթի անվանումը> to remove the application.
Use Link to Windows to unlock Android-Windows synergy
If you spend a lot of time on a Windows computer, try Link to Windows. This application allows you to access several functions of your phone from your computer through the Windows Phone Link application. The result is that you’ll use your phone less, but get more done with it.
After setting up the app, you can receive your phone’s notifications on your computer, easily copy files, and more. You can even manage your phone’s apps from your computer. And all this is done only by staying connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Bonus tip: many problems are solved by restarting
Here’s a bonus tip for you. One of the first things we professionals do to fix a phone problem is to restart the phone. You’d be surprised how many common everyday phone problems can be fixed with a simple reboot.
So, the next time you have an app that’s behaving strangely, or your phone shows a peculiar glitch, try restarting your phone. There is a good chance that your problem will be solved with this simple step.
We hope these tips and tricks help you make better use of your Android phone. If you have other lesser-known tips and tricks, let us know in the comments below.