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Android customization
© Daila Jansone |
Smartphones & gadgets

7 hidden options on your Android phone you can use right now

Android devices are convenient. Not only do they come with fantastic tools built-in, but you can add apps to get even more out of your device. Tap or click here for five handy Google apps you should use on your Android.

Your Android phone is also highly customizable. You can customize your phone using many different tools and settings, but what’s practical?

Let’s look at what options you can change to unlock your phone’s hidden potential.

1. Change your text size

Font size is a big issue on smaller phone screens. Even when your phone upscales text, it isn’t always clear. You can control your phone’s font size (which will apply to everything on your entire device, including internet browsing) with these steps:

  • Open the Settings app on your phone.
  • Select Accessibility and open those settings.
  • Find and tap the Font settings.

Here you can change font sizes with a slider. You will be able to live preview the changes as they occur.

2. Prevent new app installs from making shortcuts

Maybe you want to do that manually. Perhaps you’re tired of the apps crowding your home screen. Whatever the reason is, this is how to fix it:

  • Find a blank section of your home screen, then Tap and Hold until a menu pops up.
  • On that menu, tap Home Settings.
  • You’ll see the Stop New Apps From Creating Shortcuts prompt appear. Tap it.

Keep in mind that this will impact every download in the future from the Google Play Store. If you want to disable it, repeat the same steps and reverse your choice.

3. Change screen lock timeout

Your screen locks after a set amount of time. Someone can access your information in a public space if you put your phone down without locking it. If they swipe your phone while it’s unlocked, they have greater access to your apps and information. Try this:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Display.
  • Find and tap Advanced under the display settings.
  • Choose the Screen Timeout option.

Select a shorter period for lockout. Viewing media will not affect this, so shorter times are still usable.

Beyond security issues in public spaces, you also save battery by locking the screen faster. If you’re known for leaving your screen unlocked when you place it down, this will help reduce the number of recharges you need, prolonging your battery life.

4. Automatic Wi-Fi connection

Ever turn off Wi-Fi and forget to turn it on once you get home? Bye-bye, monthly data cap. You can use this option to turn Wi-Fi back on without remembering. Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Go to Networking & Internet.
  • From here, tap Wi-Fi and then Wi-Fi Preferences.
  • Select Turn on Wi-Fi Automatically.

This will auto-connect you to trusted Wi-Fi networks when you’re within reach. That means when you get home, you’re back on Wi-Fi. If you go to a friend’s house and your phone remembers that network, it will auto-connect while you’re there and save your data.

5. Show emergency information on the lock screen

If you lose your phone or wind up in an accident, access to emergency contact information is vital for anyone trying to help or return your missing phone. Here’s how you can display this information on the lock screen without giving anyone access to your phone.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap About Phone.
  • Here, you’ll have access to your Emergency Information. You can input allergies, contact numbers and other medical information to display.
  • Follow the prompts to ensure this displays on your lock screen.

Most people are good. If someone encounters your missing phone, they can use theirs to call your emergency contact and discuss how to get it back in your hands.

6. Change your phone’s color range

Is your display looking a little dull? Out-of-the-box color settings are rarely the best since there’s no way the manufacturer can know what will look best to your eyes. Here’s how to fix it:

  • Open the Settings app and go to Display.
  • Find Advanced under the display options, then choose Colors.
  • You have three options: Natural, Boosted and Adaptive. Select your preference.

NOTE: This could be different depending on the phone manufacturer. Some phones will have differently named options. Flick through them to find out which looks best to you.

7. Snooze notifications (on a timer)

Sometimes notifications can be a bother. If you want to sleep on them for a little while, this is how:

  • Open Settings and go to Apps & Notifications.
  • When you scroll down, you’ll see an Advanced option. Tap it.
  • Tap Allow Notification Snoozing.
  • Set a timer to snooze all inbound notifications.

You’ll see a small timer on the top-right corner of your phone to let you know a snooze timer is active. This is ideal if you’re about to go to the movies or need to focus during family dinner without your device pinging.

Read more

Eight hidden Android features you should be using

Secret treasures: Hidden apps on your smartphone and how to find them

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