Options in Android You Could Be Missing

Not-So-Familiar Android Settings

  • These tweaks can improve your phone’s performance in a variety of ways, from reducing the use of mobile data to enabling real-time subtitles during movies.

The typical smartphone user spends close to five hours each day engaged with their device. Beyond the domain of video and social networking programmes, though, you may be oblivious to the alternatives and tweaks that may make those hours easier or even shorter.

You might be surprised by how many options there are in Android’s settings menu for streamlining your phone’s interface, protecting your data, and boosting your connections to other devices. In Android 13, the most recent version of “pure Android,” available on Google Pixel devices and other slightly modified variants, you may access all of these through the Settings menu. However, other cellphones, including those made by Samsung or Motorola, should offer equivalent settings in equivalent places.
To have wireless networks turn on automatically, enable this setting.

You may turn off Wi-Fi when you’re away from your home or office.

When you’re back within range of the same network, Android may automatically reestablish a connection with it. You may find the option to automatically activate Wi-Fi by navigating to Settings > Network & Internet > Internet > Network Preferences.

Put Away Your Regrets

When you’re in a foreign country, have a limited data plan, or are in an area with poor cellular service, you may minimise your phone’s data use by accessing Settings > Network & Internet > Data Saver. Many uses may be found for this: Some applications may delay checking for updates, and some web visuals may not load until you tap on them.

Make Contactless Payments Safer

Someone might possibly make a purchase from your account if they stole your phone and used a near-field communication (NFC) payment software like Google Pay. To avoid this, you may safeguard your NFC payments with a password or screen unlock. Connected Devices > Connection Preferences > NFC is where you’ll find the option to turn on Require device unlock for NFC.

Get Behind the Wheel Right Away!

Android now features a “driving mode” that silences notifications and streamlines voice controls for safer use while on the road. Connecting your phone to the car’s stereo through Bluetooth may immediately enable this option. This feature may be customised by selecting Connected Devices, Connection Preferences, and Driving Mode.

Alter the Default Apps on Your Phone

Everyday actions like opening a browser tab or dialling a phone number need specialised preinstalled software. To change which programme runs automatically when you do a certain job, go to Settings > Default Apps. To access websites, for instance, you may tell your computer to always use a particular browser. A list of all the applications that meet your criteria will be displayed on the screen.

Limit Who Can Use Your Mobile Applications

Many applications require access to your phone’s functions or data, including your contacts or location, in order to function properly. Bring up the application menu by pressing the Inspect and, if necessary, adjust the permissions granted to a single app, or limit them to the current session, by clicking on “See all applications” and selecting the desired programme from the list that appears. After that, you may access the settings by clicking the Permissions menu item. Also shown is the most recent time a granted permission was actually used.
A Snapshot of Android’s Preferences Menu

It’s totally up to you to decide how much access apps have to your device. David Nield’s method for blocking inactive Google Play apps from being used

Because you don’t want unused apps to maintain access, Android will now automatically suspend their permissions after a period of inactivity. You may pause app activity while it’s not in use by going to Settings, then Apps, then All Apps, then the app in question, then Permissions, and finally Pausing App Activity When Not in Use. (At this point, you should remove any programmes you haven’t used in a long time.)
You Should Review Your Notification History

Don’t worry if you delete an alert and then realise you need it again; Android will keep a copy in its database. You may view a history of the notifications your apps have given you by heading to the Settings menu and selecting “Notifications.” Here, you’ll also see any notifications that have been previously ignored or are now set to “snooze.”
Hide sensitive notifications behind your phone’s lock screen.

You should probably not set any private or sensitive notifications to appear on the lock screen. To stop this from happening, go to your device’s settings, then Notifications, and off the “Sensitive Notifications” toggle. The degree of the alert is determined solely by the app’s creator; nevertheless, sensitive information is always provided.

Hiding the chirp of silent alarms

More warnings are being sent to you than you can possibly handle at the moment. These notify you of occurrences as you go about your day, such as downloading a podcast while checking the weather or sitting in traffic. Settings > Notifications > Hide silent notifications in status bar will silence them so they won’t be a nuisance.
Status Bar with Battery Percentage

It may be difficult to tell how much battery life you have just by looking at the status bar, as the battery icon is so small. Choose Battery, and then turn on the switch labelled “Battery Percentage” to see a percentage readout alongside the battery icon. The battery icon will remain in the same place on the status bar, but everything else will shift to the left.
Identify the most space-hogging software.

If you’re running out of room on your phone and want to know which apps are to blame, navigate to Storage > Apps. The most data-intensive programmes are presented first. When determining how often an app is used, all content linked with it is considered, such as playlists and episodes downloaded from Spotify and Netflix, for example.
Android’s Live Captioning Settings Window

Some Android phones have the capability of live captioning movies. Real-Time Closed Captioning of Videos on Google, Courtesy of David Nield

More and more Android phones have the ability to subtitle films in real time, which is useful even if you don’t have hearing loss. This option may be found under the Sound and Vibration submenus, and from there it is accessed via the Live Caption submenu. In this way, whenever speech is detected, whether in a social media video or a video call, Google’s AI-processed automatic subtitles will appear.
Whenever you’re through using a computer, remember to quickly lock the screen.

When you set down your phone, the lock screen should activate immediately to begin blocking unauthorised access. In the Display menu, choose Screen Timeout to define a custom timeout for your screen, anything from a few seconds to many minutes.
Zoom out to a larger screen size.

If you’re experiencing problems reading on-screen text, select Settings > Display > Display Size > Text. Font Size and Display Size sliders allow you to modify the readability of the text (which makes everything bigger or smaller, including icons and menus). Click the Reset option to restore the device to its original settings.
Lock and unlock your smartphone only in predetermined, trusted areas.

When you are in a secure location, such your own home, it is safe to utilise the automatic screen unlock option. Go to Smart Lock > Advanced Security Settings > Trusted Places. All you have to do is type in the name of the location you’re interested in.
Fill Out Your Medical Information

Okay, so you’re in the midst of a health crisis. Because of this, you might be unable to tell first responders important details about your health, such as your blood type, medications, and allergies. Nonetheless, if you tell your phone to do so (under Settings > Safety > Emergency > Medical Information), it will do so even if the screen is locked.
Putting restrictions on app usage and access is a good idea.

Android has a feature that might help those who worry they spend too much time on social media apps like TikTok and Twitter. You may limit the amount of time you can spend using apps each day and keep track of your progress in the Dashboard section of the Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls menu.
It’s essential to switch to “Guest Mode.”

Guest mode is the way to go if you want to lend your phone to a friend but not give them access to all of your data. Similar to a user account in macOS or Windows, you may establish a new login for yourself on Android by visiting Settings > System > Multiple Users and toggling on Allow multiple users.

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