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3 settings every Android user should change now

Android is the most versatile platform in the mobile world. Android phones and tablets come in the widest variety of shapes, sizes and prices from a multitude of brands and manufacturers. They're built for customers who like several options to choose from.

Whether you’re unwrapping your very first Android or upgrading to the newest model, chances are, you want to get the most out of your new smartphone. But all of those options in your settings menu are enough to make your head spin. That’s why we've rounded up five of the easiest ways to personalize your phone, and save your battery.

1. Simple changes to save battery

Lower the brightness of your screen: You will help extend the life of your battery by cutting back on the brightness of your phone. You should think about dropping the brightness setting by at least 50 percent. Most people adjust to the dimmer lighting rather quickly. Before long you will not notice the difference.

To adjust the brightness go to Settings >> Display >> Wallpaper. Drag the slider around to the level you desire.

Another option is to use the "Auto Brightness" feature so that the brightness of your screen adjusts automatically to surrounding conditions. This way, you won't have to constantly adjust your screen's brightness as you move between indoor and outdoor settings, or day and night.

Select a black wallpaper: Android phones that have an AMOLED screen can save even more battery power by changing the display to a black wallpaper. Most Samsung phones have this type of screen. AMOLED screens are meant to improve color range over LCD screens, but that also tends to require more power. Switching to a black background will reduce the amount of color your screen needs to display, and will extend the life of your battery.

Phone models with AMOLED screens typically include: Nokia N85, C6-01, N8 and N9; Samsung Galaxy S, S4 Mini, Note, Note II, Nexus; Motorola Droid RAZR, and others. To see if your Android device has an AMOLED screen, pull up the product specifications provided by the manufacturer.

Updating to a new wallpaper is easy. Just tap and hold any unoccupied area of the home screen. Tap Wallpapers from the menu, then select the wallpaper you want to implement. If black is not available in the menu you can get the pure black wallpaper from the Android Central site. You should use the black wallpaper for both the lock and home screens.

Shorten the screen timeout: If you're constantly checking your phone throughout the day, adjusting the screen timeout is an easy way to save battery power. Even just changing it from 30 seconds to 15 seconds will significantly reduce the amount of time your screen is displayed when you're not using it. To change this setting, tap Settings >> Display >> Screen Timeout.

Next page: Better alerts and ways to save data.
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