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3 great hacks for your Android device

Wallpaper Your Phone

If you're like many people, you need a smartphone to stay in touch. You call your kids, text your friends and post pictures and videos on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

That's perfectly fine. Yet, if you haven't done anything to the look of your smartphone since you took it out of the box, you're missing out on a way to show the world what you're all about. What makes you smile? What issue do you care about? Which of your hobbies sums up your personality in a few words - cat lady, nerd, sports nut?

Whatever your personality is, you can show it off on your phone. Look at your smartphone now. What do you see? If it's the same screen you've been looking at for years, it's time for a change.

Note: Many manufacturers make Android smartphones and tablets. The instructions below may work on your Android. If not, it's likely your phone will work in a similar way.

To add wallpaper to your Android's screen: Apps >> Settings >> Home Screen >> Wallpaper >> choose from a gallery

To change the look of your Lockscreen: Apps >> Settings >> Home Screen >> Theme >> choose the design you like

Bonus: If you want more design options, look for sites like Muzei, DeviantArt, and many others.


Ringtones were all the rage a few years back. Everyone seemed to be choosing different options from a selection that came pre-installed on your phone or from ringtone websites.

Now, your ringtone is just the beginning of sounds that reflect your personality. You can start by choosing a ringtone that says something about you. It could be Vintage Telephone, which sounds like the old landlines you may have used. Ring, ring, ring.

Your ringtone could be the sound of video games, a piano, a ukulele, a single "dong" or something like Sunshine. Search around your phone and find the ringtone that best reflects you.

Here's how: Apps >> Settings >> Sound >> Phone Ringtone >> choose a tone

But don't stop there. Your smartphone makes so many different noises so often that you may not even notice it anymore. You have little dings when an email comes in. You may have a chirp when a text comes in, and so on.

Try this: Apps >> Settings >> Sound >> Notification Sound

And speak of phone hacks, here's how to unlock Android's secret menu

Did you know that Android has a secret menu for customizing your phone's system user interface? You can use it to customize your gadget's status bar, clock and app notification settings. This helpful tip will show you how to access this menu you didn't know about.

Click here for step-by-step instructions and screenshots.

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