Android is a remarkably highly effective, progressive cellular working system that continuously leapfrogs Apple’s iOS in new expertise help. 5G, NFC cost, customized keyboards…the listing goes on. All of that state-of-the-art performance makes for a fancy, sprawling OS, although. On the floor degree, the interface is straightforward sufficient for informal customers—who simply need to textual content, make calls, and use their apps—however hidden a layer or two deep within the interface are all types of power-user settings and instruments. You simply need to know the place to look.
We wish you to have the ability to use Google’s cellular OS like a boss, and our listing of recommendations and shortcuts may help you just do that. These are solely a few of the methods you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the Google’s OS—there’s such a deep listing of options that you simply’ll little doubt discover extra. Make sure to try our listing of the greatest Android apps, too, and be at liberty to chime in on our feedback part on the backside of the article. We might add them to future updates of this story!
1. Uninstall Apps You Don’t Want
Most Android telephones include a wholesome serving to of preinstalled apps. Many might be welcomed by almost everybody—maps, e-mail, browser, and so forth—however there are undoubtedly some you don’t need or want. Should you’re simply not a podcast individual, you don’t want a podcast app. And cellphone distributors have a tendency to incorporate a bunch of their very own apps that you could be by no means want to make use of. Merely long-press an app’s icon after which choose the i entry to get to its element web page the place you’ll be able to uninstall it.
Sadly, there are some inventory apps you can not uninstall. For instance, if you happen to solely use Firefox or Edge as your net browser, you continue to cannot uninstall Google’s Chrome browser. For these apps, you’ll be able to no less than select Disable, which is able to disguise them from the interface and liberate system assets.
2. Use Digital Wellbeing Options
It’s not the healthiest factor on the planet to remain up all night time texting and doomscrolling. Android 11’s Bedtime mode is a part of the Digital Wellbeing function. Not solely does it silence your cellphone at a set time, it additionally modifications the display to black-and-white, in case you do have to have a look at the display after hours. There’s a Pause choice within the dropdown menu if you happen to want extra time earlier than retiring. Should you’re searching for extra sleep ideas, it is best to learn our function on how tech may help (and damage) your sleep.
One other advisable Wellbeing function is Focus mode, which silences noisy apps’ notifications. Some telephones, together with latest Pixels and Motorolas, activate Do Not Disturb mode whenever you set them down with the display going through down—a fast and simple strategy to get reduction from disturbances. Lastly, utilizing Work Profile hides all these productiveness apps when it’s time to calm down.
3. Set Up the Your Telephone App in Home windows
I think that most individuals who use Mac desktops or laptops are additionally most certainly utilizing an iPhone, which presents terrific integration with macOS. However with the Your Telephone desktop app for Home windows 10, Android customers can get simply as a lot continuity with their desktop laptop—maybe much more. It’s best to start out setup out of your PC. Go to the Setting’s app’s Telephone part, select Add a Telephone, and also you’re off and operating. You’ll have the ability to make calls, ship texts, and immediately see and use images from the cellphone in your PC.
Current Samsung gadgets and the Floor Duo cellphone get much more potentialities with the Hyperlink to Home windows choice, together with operating a number of Android apps on the desktop within the Your Telephone app. Should you’re not operating Home windows, you will get Android messages on the internet—one other functionality annoyingly not supplied by Apple’s cellular OS. You can too run Android apps in an emulator on both Home windows or macOS, however that route shouldn’t be as handy as Home windows 10’s Your Telephone. https://www.youtube.com/embed/tZrpoSUQCJ0
4. Edit Fast Settings
One factor I’m not loopy about in Android is that the Fast Settings require two swipes to indicate multiple row—and even after you try this, you continue to have two pages of them. You possibly can ensure that the settings you want most frequently are there within the first swipe-down row. Simply hit the pencil icon, and you may add helpful instruments like Focus mode or Darkish mode switches.
5. Set up Apps From the Internet
For me, this is likely one of the coolest benefits of Android over iOS: You don’t need to have your cellphone in your hand to put in an app on it. Simply go to the Google Play retailer in your net browser and you may remotely set up any app or sport, so long as you’re signed in to the identical Google account the cellphone makes use of. You probably have a number of Android gadgets beneath your account, you’ll see them listed whenever you go to put in. It’s an excellent comfort for whenever you uncover an app at your laptop and don’t need to fumble along with your cellphone to get the app on it.
6. Set up Apps From Different Sources
Certainly one of Android’s distinctly open options is that, in contrast to on iOS, you’re not restricted to utilizing one firm’s app retailer. Most customers will discover each app they need on Google’s Play retailer—and there are worthwhile protections that come together with that. If, nevertheless, you want one thing that’s not in there, nothing is stopping you from heading to Amazon’s app retailer, your cellphone maker’s app retailer, and even downloading the app and putting in it as an APK (the extension for an Android Utility Package deal file).
One essential notice: Should you do go this route, be completely certain that you simply’re getting the app from a dependable supply, since third-party app shops are the number-one supply of Android malware. Do a little analysis first! Additionally make sure you flip off the Set up Unknown Apps setting for the supply after you put in the app you need, simply in case.
One instance of why you may need to sideload (that’s, set up outdoors of the official app retailer) an app is the mega-popular sport Fortnite. Android customers can go to the sport maker’s web site to get the APK, whereas iPhone customers who need to set up the sport for the primary time are merely out of luck. You possibly can learn in regards to the course of in PCMag’s article about the way to play Fortnite on Android.
7. Set up a Launcher App
That is one customization kind iPhone customers don’t get: You possibly can change the essential begin display in your cellphone by putting in a third-party launcher app from the Play Retailer. A pair noteworthy launchers are Motion Launcher, Apex, the cleverly named Garden Chair, Lightning, the Microsoft Launcher, Nova, Niagara, and Sensible Launcher.
You possibly can even make your Android seem like an iPhone with the iOS 14 launcher, which incorporates Siri shortcuts and an App Retailer icon rather than the Play icon. Need to return to the times of Home windows Telephone? There are launchers that emulate that OS’s design, too.
8. Customise Message Notifications
Android 11 helps you to select message notifications in order that some contacts are extra distinguished, and conversations keep collectively. Now you can set messages to look on prime of every other operating apps as bubbles. You merely flip them on in Settings and set the contact to Precedence. Inside a notification there’s one other setting for Bubbles with three choices: All Conversations Can Bubble, Chosen Conversations Can Bubble, and Nothing Can Bubble.
9. Add Widgets and Customise Dwelling
iOS simply received the flexibility so as to add widgets to the house display with model 14. Android customers have been in a position to do that for ages, however not everybody is aware of how. All it’s a must to do is just long-press on the house display, select Widgets, after which choose from the choice made out there by any apps put in on their telephones. Lengthy-pressing on the Dwelling display additionally provides you different customization choices, resembling eradicating the Google feed web page to the left of the Dwelling display or to disabling display rotation for the Dwelling display—which we’d by no means do, as a result of it’s cool to see your own home display in panorama.
10. Beef Up Storage
A serious benefit of Android over iPhones is that some cellphone fashions let you enhance storage with a microSD card. Not solely does this allow you to retailer extra media and apps in your cellphone, but it surely additionally presents a strategy to switch massive quantities of file knowledge between your cellphone and different gadgets. One other benefit is which you could plug some Android telephones into an exterior USB storage drive and browse its information. In case your cellphone has a USB-C port, you’ll be able to merely plug in a USB flash reminiscence drive with a Sort-C connection.