This story has been up to date. It was first printed in January 17, 2020.
Android telephones are available in all kinds of styles and sizes. But inside, all of them run the identical primary working system, that features settings to let you tailor your smartphone to your wants. In this information, we collected 24 lesser-known customizations for you to toy with.
Before we begin, a fast caveat—though the identical Android code runs all of those telephones, producers typically modify the working system by slapping a software program pores and skin on high. Our directions particularly apply to Android 10 and Android 11, which you’ll discover on Google’s newest Pixel telephones.
However if you personal a cellphone that runs a unique model of the working system, you should still be capable to apply these Android settings—you’ll simply should rummage round a little bit extra to search out them.
1. Increase font dimension
You don’t should squint and pressure your eyes when viewing Android screens. Open Settings and select Display, Advanced, adopted by Font dimension, to make changes. Drag the pointer alongside the slider to make modifications, and examine the preview window to see what the tip consequence will seem like. Once you set the Android font dimension, most apps will apply it.
2. Make certain you can discover your cellphone
To maximize your possibilities of recovering a lacking system, be sure to activate Android’s built-in monitoring system. Open Settings, go to Security and faucet Find My Device. After that, should you misplace your cellphone, head to this web page in any browser and log in to your Google account. If you’re logged in to your account on Chrome, you can even sort “Where’s my phone” on the search bar. You’ll be capable to view your handset’s location on a the map, amongst different choices, like making the system ring (even when it’s in Do Not Disturb mode), lock it, or erase it. For extra particulars, try our information to discovering a misplaced cellphone.
3. Tweak the Quick Settings panel
Drag two fingers down from the highest of the display screen, and you’ll open Android’s Quick Settings panel, which offers quick entry to Android settings akin to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and flashlight mode. These shortcuts are helpful, however you could make them even handier by customizing which of them present up and the order wherein they seem. Open the panel, faucet the pen icon on the decrease left, and you’ll be capable to add shortcuts and drag the icons into a brand new association.
4. Reduce knowledge utilization
Android features a built-in system to restrict how a lot knowledge background apps can gobble up (not less than when you’re not related to Wi-Fi). This mode will have an effect on completely different apps in numerous methods—for instance, in a browser, pictures won’t present up except you faucet on them. To swap on this useful function, open Settings and choose Network & web, then activate the toggle swap subsequent to Data Saver.
5. Stop new apps from creating shortcuts
By default, when you set up an app, it routinely seems as a shortcut on one among your cellphone’s residence screens. This permits you to shortly launch a brand new app, however it might probably additionally muddle up your interface. To disable this default, carry out an extended press on any clean a part of a house display screen. When a menu pops up, select Home Settings and switch off the Add icon to Home display screen possibility. Note: This setting used to seem within the Play Store app, however beginning in Android 8.0, you can now entry it from any residence display screen.
6. Rotate the house screens
Within an app, you can flip your cellphone to change the view from portrait to panorama or vice versa. But the house display screen doesn’t include the identical default—you have to show this feature on. Return to the Home Settings display screen mentioned within the earlier tip. Here, you can select whether or not or not the house screens rotate with the cellphone by turning Allow Home display screen rotation on or off. Note: You received’t be capable to entry this feature (it’ll seem grayed out) if you’ve locked the orientation of your cellphone. To restore this means, you should unlock your display screen orientation—open Settings, go to Display, Advanced, and alter the Auto-rotate display screen possibility.
7. Project your cellphone on a much bigger display screen
Android now comes with built-in casting, so you can mirror the display screen on any monitor or tv geared up with a Chromecast system. Although many apps have their very own Chromecast buttons, you can even undertaking any display screen or app from the Settings. Just go to Connected gadgets and choose Cast. If you do that typically, Android 11 additionally permits you to create a shortcut within the Quick Setting menu. Go to tip quantity 3 and drag the icon for Screen Cast to the highest.
8. Change app permissions
You can see precisely how a lot entry and permissions an app has by going to Settings, tapping Apps & notifications, and choosing an app (or hitting See all apps to view the complete listing). Then, to view and edit that app’s entry, faucet Permissions. For instance, you may enable an app to entry your contact listing however not your location.
9. Control battery use
Android now optimizes apps so that they received’t drain the battery as a lot. For instance, your e-mail app can nonetheless run within the background, checking for updates, however it does so much less steadily. However, you can exempt sure apps if you need them to all the time run at full throttle. Open Settings and faucet Battery, then the menu button (three dots on the highest proper), then Battery Usage. Here, you’ll be capable to see which apps drain your battery in keeping with how a lot you use them. Tap on any of them after which on Battery Optimization. Next, hit the Not optimized hyperlink, then All apps. Finally, choose an app and choose the Don’t optimize possibility.
10. Wake your cellphone along with your voice
You don’t have to the touch your cellphone to achieve entry to Google Assistant. You simply want to regulate your Android settings. Open the Google app, faucet the menu button (three horizontal strains on the underside proper), after which hit Settings adopted by Voice. On a Pixel cellphone, faucet the Google emblem on the left of the search bar of your property display screen. Tap on the Assistant Settings icon on the left (the field with three strains popping out of it) after which your avatar image or preliminary within the high proper nook of the display screen. Choose Voice Match, and toggle the swap subsequent to Hey Google. Then the phrase “Hey Google” will work at any time, even when your system is locked. In reality, you can use voice recognition to unlock your cellphone this fashion.
11. Free up extra reminiscence
If you’re working Android 7.0 Nougat or later, you can make the most of Smart Storage. If your system is struggling without cost house, this function will routinely delete native copies of photographs and movies which have safely been transferred to Google Photos. To allow it, open Settings, faucet Storage, and activate the Smart Storage toggle swap.
12. Adjust lock display screen timing
Why should you scale back the time your cellphone takes to routinely lock the display screen? Less down time makes it much less doubtless somebody will swipe your handset earlier than it locks itself. This may even scale back battery drain, as a result of the display screen will keep lit for a shorter interval. From Settings, head to Display, faucet Advanced, and select Screen Timeout. Then you can choose a time-out interval that works for you.
13. Customize notifications from particular contacts
To assist you immediately determine who’s calling—and to determine whether or not or to not choose up—you can assign sure contacts distinctive ringtones. Your default ringtone will stay the identical—change it in Settings, beneath Sound & Vibration, and selecting Phone ringtone. To change notification settings for people, launch the Contacts app, faucet the Contacts tab after which a contact identify. Open the menu (three dots on the highest proper), and select Set ringtone. Then you can choose a particular sound from an inventory.
14. Change quantity ranges individually
You won’t need to play your podcasts on the identical quantity as your ringtone. To alter these individually, launch Settings and open the Sound & Vibration menu. Here, you’ll discover quantity sliders for media, name, alarms, and ringtones. You can even entry particular person quantity settings by urgent the bodily quantity button, which is able to make one slider seem on display screen, after which tapping the slider possibility on the underside. This will open a menu the place you can see all three quantity sliders.
15. Unlock your cellphone in your automobile
Once you’re securely seated in your automobile, you may need your cellphone to unlock itself. This would let you open a map with out getting into a code, and would enable any passengers to place in your favourite tunes. Android can do that by recognizing your automobile stereo as a “trusted” Bluetooth system, one which proves you’re in possession of your cellphone. From Settings, head to Security, then Smart Lock, then Trusted gadgets. Finally, work by means of the straightforward setup course of, after which your cellphone will unlock when it’s within the presence of your automobile stereo.
16. Turn on Wi-Fi routinely
Keeping your Wi-Fi off whereas you’re out and about will increase your cellphone’s safety and preserves its battery. But within the presence of a robust, trusted Wi-Fi community, one which you’ve used prior to now, Android 10.0 and 11.0 can routinely flip your cellphone’s Wi-Fi again on. From Settings, faucet Network & Internet, then Wi-Fi, then Wi-Fi preferences. Finally, activate the Turn on Wi-Fi routinely toggle swap.
17. Change notification priorities
The newest variations of Android additionally let you prioritize various kinds of notifications from a given app. In Gmail, for instance, you may select to obtain a loud alert for necessary emails and a much less obtrusive one for normal updates. Open Settings, faucet Apps & notifications, and choose a particular app or faucet See all to view a full listing. Different apps will supply completely different classes of alerts, so select Notifications to view them and configure completely different sounds for every.
18. Quickly swap between apps
Jumping instantly from app to app shouldn’t be, strictly talking, an Android setting—however it nonetheless makes a really helpful shortcut. On Android 8.0 a single faucet on the Overview button—the sq. icon within the navigation bar—brings up a view of all of your open apps as tabs. However, if you double-tap on the button, you’ll instantly bounce out of your present app to the one you had been beforehand utilizing. On Android 11, nevertheless, you haven’t any buttons however you can nonetheless bounce seamlessly between apps. While on an app, make a brief swipe up from the underside of the display screen after which to the best to leap on to the subsequent opened app.
19. Change emoji mode
You can view emojis on the default Google keyboard for Android by tapping on the emoji button to the left of the house bar. But did you know you can pull up emojis with completely different pores and skin colours or genders by urgent and holding on a person icon? This works on most emojis depicting individuals or physique elements, akin to a thumbs up.
20. Show emergency info
If somebody should uncover your cellphone after you’ve been in an accident, having your key medical info present up on the lock display screen may save your life. To do that, open Settings, select About cellphone, then faucet Emergency info. You can present particulars like allergy symptoms and organ donor standing, in addition to emergency contacts.
21. Move the cursor extra delicately
Using solely your clumsy fingers, you in all probability have a tough time highlighting particular sections of textual content. If you’re utilizing the default Google keyboard, then this neat trick will make it simpler to maneuver the textual content cursor only one or two characters at a time. Launch any app the place you can write and edit textual content, and faucet in a textual content field to tug up the keyboard on display screen. Then, as a substitute of transferring the cursor throughout the textual content field itself, place your finger on the house bar. Tap and drag left or proper on the spacebar to maneuver the text-editing cursor in the identical path.
22. Tweak the colour vary
A cellphone’s “color gamut” controls the vary of colours that you see on display screen—a wider gamut means colours will seem extra vibrant, but additionally much less pure. You can alter the gamut in Settings by going to Display, Advanced selecting Colors, and selecting Natural, Boosted, or Adaptive. Depending on the make and mannequin of your cellphone, you might even see completely different choices listed right here. Play round with them to search out the colour scheme that works greatest for you.
23. Snooze notifications
To clear a cluttered notification menu, you can drag particular person alerts to the left, and so they’ll disappear. But what if you need to clear these distractions now, however revisit them later, when you have time to take care of them correctly? Snoozing notifications is a fantastically helpful function solely out there on telephones that run Android 8.0 Oreo and up. To allow this function, go to Settings, Apps & notifications, after which Notifications. Scroll down, faucet on Advanced and activate the toggle swap subsequent to Allow notification snoozing. Once activated, the function will let you drag any notification to the best, and a clock icon will seem. Tap the clock, and you can select to snooze the alert for quarter-hour, half-hour, 1 hour, or 2 hours. Once the time has expired, the notification reappears as if it’s come by means of for the primary time.
24. Get assist from Cortana
When it comes to varied AI assistants, everybody has a favourite. If you want Microsoft’s digital helper to Google Assistant or Samsung’s Bixby, you can set up Cortana for Android. You may even make it the default app that seems when you maintain down the Home button on Android 8.0 Oreo and up. Open Settings, go to Apps & notifications, after which faucet Advanced, Default apps, and Digital assistant app.