How to make your phone more useful - 15 practical tips

How to make your phone more useful - 15 practical tips

Nowadays, the mobile phone is not only used for making voice calls, but it is almost a marginal function of it. The modern smartphone is the center of social life and more. Here are some ideas on how to make it even more practical.

1. Find your phone

Everyone puts the phone in a strange place from time to time and cannot find it. You don't have to run around the house looking for it anymore. Use the Google tool Find My Device. You can access it via the Internet on any device. Log in to your Google account, then select your missing phone from the list. Google will show you where to look for it. You can also call him, even if he is muted. Another option is to erase your phone to prevent data leakage.

2. Do not disturb

In the volume pop-up, you'll find a Do Not Disturb option. You can choose when it is automatically turned on, what it blocks and whether any contacts can contact you anyway. The details of this option vary between phones.

3. Digital balance

If you feel you are spending too much time using your phone, Android has options for you. With Digital Wellbeing, you can start controlling it. You will find there information which applications you are using and for how long. You can set usage limits to prevent this from happening. With Rest Mode, some apps will be grayed out when it's near to bedtime.

4. Automatic photo backups

It is a very unpleasant situation to lose photos due to the lack of a backup. To avoid it, go to the Google Photos app and follow the instructions to allow automatic backups. You get 15 GB for free, and you can expand that capacity even more.

5. OK Google

Searching by voice significantly speeds up the use of the phone. If you go to the search settings, you can make OK Google work everywhere. In your search settings, select Voice> Voice Match. Then just turn on Access with Voice Match and your phone will ask you to repeat OK Google a few times to learn your voice.

6. Try a different home screen

Most Android devices have a custom UI that was created by the device manufacturer itself. By installing an alternative such as Nova Launcher or Action Launcher, you can make your device easier to use. These apps give you the ability to change icons, assign navigation gestures to them, organize apps, and more.

7. Google Assistant

The Google Assistant is a very convenient option to make your phone easier to use. Use OK Google or long press the Home button to go to it. Then just start talking. Assistant understands more context and natural language than Google's old voice search feature and can be integrated with third-party services. Thanks to this, it is now really practical and is no longer associated with bizarre results. Great for home automation and web searching.

8. Manage your applications in the Play online store

Google offers a Play Store app on Android devices, but there is also an online version of the Play Store, which not everyone knows. The online Play Store lets you do the same things as on your phone, but faster. Apps and games can be purchased and streamed wirelessly to Android, including multiple devices.

9. Use energy saving modes

All Android phones have some kind of power saving modes. Go to the battery menu (usually only Settings> Battery) on most phones to see these settings. For example, Samsung offers a regular power saving mode that reduces screen brightness and slows down the CPU, as well as an ultra energy-saving mode that locks the device down to only a few basic applications. Most phones offer basic power saving modes that can be turned on automatically when the device reaches a certain battery level.

10. Dark system theme

The dark theme is slowly replacing the previously more popular white one. It is available in the display settings or conveniently in the quick settings. Some phones also have options for scheduling dark theme to start automatically in the evening and shut down in the morning. Only the apps that have been developed for this theme will work, but the list is growing day by day.

11. Manage default applications

Most phones currently have a dedicated app default settings menu, but you can always clear these settings by finding your own default apps in the main settings menu.

12. Turn on Developer Options

Google hides some of the more advanced tools in a dedicated Developer Options menu that you'll need to enable to access features like animation speed, USB debugging, and app standby. Open the About phone menu at the bottom of the system settings and find the build number. Tap on it seven times and you'll get a message saying you're a developer. Developer options will now be at the bottom of the main system settings.

13. Rotation lock button

Screen rotation lock can be a bit annoying. However, in Android 9 Pie and above, you can change the rotation setting to lock the screen in portrait mode but still have access to landscape mode. Start by disabling auto-rotate in the settings. Then look for the rotate button at the bottom of the screen the next time you turn your phone sideways. Touch it and it will lock in landscape mode until the phone is rotated again. Then press the button and it will be locked in portrait orientation again.

14. Autocomplete service

If you have Android 8.0 or later on your phone, you never need to enter passwords again. Go to Input Settings and open the Advanced menu to enable autocomplete user names and passwords. By default, you can enable the Google autocomplete service that is associated with Chrome.

15. Save offline maps

Google Maps includes support for offline map saving, and the feature was recently expanded to be even more efficient. Find the area you want to save offline, then tap it on the search bar at the top of the screen. Close the keyboard and scroll down and you'll see the download option. The app will display an outline to indicate the area that will be downloaded and estimate how much space it will take up. Offline data will include streets, key points and the ability to use navigation, so it is more than enough for basic functionality.

Show more entries from September 2021
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