Leave a comment

Android power tips you'll wish you'd known all along

Android power tips you'll wish you'd known all along
© Erica Schroeder | Dreamstime.com

Do you want to take your Android expertise to the next level? If you read our everyday essential tricks for your Android, you might feel like you have everything you need to know to go about your daily Android life.

But think again. From blocking calls to naming a song that's playing, maybe a few more advanced tricks will have you saying "I wish I knew this all along."

These five tips will definitely power up your Android experience.

1. Set up your phone to automatically unlock

 

Do you find it too cumbersome to keep unlocking your phone in trusted places like your home? Well, here's a tip you can try.

Introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, Smart Lock is a feature that lets you automatically unlock your Android phone without entering your passcode, pattern lock, or password under certain conditions.

The options for Smart Lock are as follows:

  • On-body detection - your phone stays unlocked as long as you hold and carry your phone.
  • Trusted devices - pair your phone with another device such as a Bluetooth smartwatch to keep it unlocked when it's nearby.
  • Trusted places - add a location where the phone is unlocked, for example, your home.
  • Trusted face - if your Android phone supports it, unlock your phone with facial recognition.

 

2. Plug in a mouse or keyboard

Did you know that you can connect an external wired mouse, keyboard or game controller to your Android gadget?

All you need is a USB On The Go (OTG) cable like this one on Amazon.


An OTG cable is an adapter that converts a regular micro-USB port into the standard sized one so you can connect a variety of peripherals.

Connecting an external peripheral to your Android gadget has its advantages since a mouse will display a cursor and a keyboard, apart from accurate typing, will let you do keyboard shortcuts.

Not all Android gadgets support this setup, though, so make sure you check beforehand.

3. Zoom in on anything on your screen

With all the high pixel density displays that Android phones are rocking nowadays, sometimes text can be hard to read. To remedy this, you can use Android's built-in magnification feature.

Turn this on by going to Settings >> Accessibility >> Magnification gestures then toggle it to "On."

To quickly magnify a portion of the screen, just quickly tap it three times. Pinch with two or more fingers to adjust the zoom level. You can also hold down your finger on the third tap and move around the screen.

4. Set up priority interruptions to only accept calls from "starred" contacts

 

On occasions when you don't want to be disturbed, you can filter text and call notifications to only show contacts you deem as important.

To set your "Do Not Disturb" priority settings, head on to Settings >> Sound >> Do Not Disturb. Here you can choose your message and notifications for calls and messages. 

Note: To set your "starred contacts," open Contacts, search for the contact you want to favorite then tap the star in the upper left.

You can also turn on "Repeat callers" in this section. If this feature is turned on, you will always get a notification if a caller tries to call you within a 15-minute period regardless of your priority settings.

If these options are not enough, you can also set up your own notification custom rules under "Automatic rules."

5. Access quick settings

Here's a quick trick that may come in handy.

You are probably used to swiping down from the status bar to view your notifications by now. But did you know that you can access your Android device's Quick Settings by swiping down with two fingers instead?

Try it. It's a convenient way to tweak Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode and Rotation settings.

Bonus:  Ask Google to find out what song is currently playing.

Ever had the compulsion to know the title of an unknown song that's playing? Instead of using a third-party app like Shazam or Soundhound, you can just ask Google.

Do this by opening the Google app, tap the mic on the search bar then audibly ask "What's this song?" Your phone will then listen and it will try and show you the song title, artist and album info.

5 tricks only Android pros know

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and our identity. Are you an Android owner? I bet you enjoy the flexibility of apps and the huge amount of features that come with your device. Android phones are known for versatility and customization. Click here for 5 tricks only Android pros know.

Next Story
Creating a shared photo repository is a snap
Previous Tips

Creating a shared photo repository is a snap

How to make free phone calls, even on your tablet
Next Tips

How to make free phone calls, even on your tablet

View Comments ()