Tips for getting more out of your Android smartphone

smartphone dpa - Tips for getting more out of your Android smartphone
Android is the world’s most widely used smartphone operating system, yet it has lots of useful functions that many people don’t know about.

This is partly due to its many versions and also because of the sometimes large differences between the various Android phone manufacturers. Here are some useful tips for users of Android 7.0 and higher, spotted by tech bloggers at c’t and Chip magazines.

User accounts and guest mode

As with a PC, Android users can set up multiple user accounts, something which is especially beneficial for parents who want to control which apps their children can access.

This option can be found in settings under “Users and Accounts”. You might also find the guest mode useful to block certain functions like phone calls, if you often have to pass your phone around.

Gesture control

This feature is supported on many smartphones. Under settings you can define screen gestures which can be used to access specific apps and functions.

Gestures and what they trigger can be freely assigned. For example, the letter M drawn on the screen with your finger tip could open the email app or a circle could be used to quickly access the camera.

Customise your phone with widgets

Want to see all the information that’s important to you with a single glance at the screen? That’s where widgets come in handy. These are small windows that show the functions of an app without the user needing to completely open the app. They can be placed anywhere on the home screen and be used to show what matters to you, for example, upcoming events, the latest news, the weather and new emails.

Simply tap on a blank space on the home screen and hold it down until a menu appears. Then tap Widgets and all the available ones will be shown. Hold down the one you want and move it to wherever you want it on the home screen.

Turn on the flashlight

No need to download a flashlight app, the functionality for using the camera flash as one has long been part of Android. Just pull down the notifications bar at the top of the screen, and you should see a number of functions, including a switch for the flashlight.

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How to control your Android smartphone using a PC

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For this, we are going to use a tool called Vysor, which is an screen mirroring app that allows you control your phone on PC. This app comes handy, when you want to play mobile games on your computer. Follow the below steps

Step 1: First off, you need to enable the ADB on your computer and it works only for Windows as of now. In order to enable, you need to install the ADB drivers. If you are a Mac user, you can skip this step and start from the next one. Once the app is installed, you can open it, then follow the prompts for installation.

Step 2: Now enable the ADB on your Android device. Also make sure that it’s set to always allow connections from your computer. Once done, connect your phone to your computer and open the Settings menu on your Android device. Head on to the Developer options and turn on the toggle for USB debugging as well.

Step 3: Now it times to add the app to your Chrome Browser. Click here and click on the “Add to Chrome” button at the top of the screen to add the Vysor app to your Chrome browser

Step 4: Once you are done, click on “Find Devices” button on Vysor’s main menu. Now choose your device from the list upon which your screen will start mirror over your computer within seconds.

Step 5:
 Now you can control your Android mobile on your PC with mouse or keyboard to navigate. In case, if you open an app with landscape orientation, the window on your computer will automatically rotate to fit the contents of your screen.

By: Gizbot Bureau

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5 tips to speed up a slow Android smartphone

speed up android phone - 5 tips to speed up a slow Android smartphone

Like computers, smartphones become slower over time when not maintained.

This is usually due to an increasing number of applications, processes, and files stored on the device.

If your Android device is running slowly and you can’t determine why, the tips below may help you speed it up.

Bundled software

The first step is to run the device’s included software management application.

Many Android smartphones include a bundled storage, memory, or battery manager which allows you to determine which applications are using the most resources.

This lets you see if a certain application is clogging up your device, or if the problem lies in a certain resource being limited (CPU, RAM, etc.)

These applications can often run automatic cleaning programs too, which may restore your device to a more functional state.

Free up storage

Storage is an often-overlooked component of system performance problems, and does not only consist of files listed in your gallery.

It is good practice to regularly clean out app caches, browsing history, and files or videos received via messaging applications.

If your device has a microSD slot, consider installing a memory card and setting applications to automatically save files to that directory. This will free up space used on your device’s internal storage.

Certain devices are shipped with a pre-installed storage manager app, which can help you find areas where files are taking up space.


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Android Photography Tips And Tricks: Five Best Ways to Snap Photos On Any Android Smartphone

rtsel3v - Android Photography Tips And Tricks: Five Best Ways to Snap Photos On Any Android Smartphone

These days, one of the qualifications a smartphone must possess is a high-quality camera. People simply love to take photos with their smartphones and everyone can easily guess why. Apart from the convenience they offer, mobile cameras are often the most accessible gadget owners can get hold of as they try to capture the best moments in their life.

A great number of Android phones now comes with a high-quality camera. However, if you don’t know how to use it, you might not make the most out of it. But, the good news is, you need not be a professional photographer to nail it. A few tweaks to the settings and a handful of practical tips should do the trick.


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Top 5 Android tips and tricks for smartphones and tablets

Top 5 Android tips and tricks for smartphones and tablets androidability 300x161 - Top 5 Android tips and tricks for smartphones and tablets

Android is the most popular mobile OS with 3 billion active users so here are our top tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your Android smartphone or tablet. 

There are all kinds of things which Android can do and you might not even know it, so that’s why we’ve put together our top tips and tricks. We’ll be adding to it so get it bookmarked and come back soon.

We’ve kept the tips pretty broad but please bear in mind that the look, layout and features will vary between devices. Older phones and tablets may not have the latest version or your manufacturer may use its own user interface, for example.


One of the most basic things you can do in Android to make your life easier is to group your app icons into folders. You can have them littering the homescreen panels but let’s face it, it looks horrible and if you want it like that you’re pretty much mirroring the iPhone.

Google Now

With the introduction of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean came Google Now and if you haven’t used it yet then you really need to check it out. It’s effectively an intelligent digital assistant which is part of the Google Search app and a quick way of seeing if you have it is to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You may have it but not yet opted in for the service.

Swipe gesture typing

This one will depend on your device and Android version but even if you don’t have it you can download the Google Keyboard for free from the Play store or a third-party alternative (SwiftKey is now free).

Manage data usage

Unless you pay enough for unlimited data, you’re phone contract will have some kind of limit. Whether it’s 500MB or 8GB, Android has a great way to track and manage your mobile data usage.

Set security

You might be happy to simply unlock your Android device with a swipe or perhaps not even that, but it’s a good idea to use a higher level of security – especially if it’s a device which goes out and about with you.

by Chris Martin

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So you just got a new Android smartphone …

So you just got a new Android smartphone adnroidability 300x225 - So you just got a new Android smartphone ...

You’ve got the new phone, now we’re going to show you how to get up and running

So, you just got a new Android smartphone — that’s pretty exciting! But once the initial awe of this new gadget wears off, you realize you actually need to use that phone. For those of us who read (and write for) Android Central regularly a new phone isn’t such a big deal, but if you’ve just received your firstAndroid phone it can be a bit daunting.

But that’s what we’re here for — with a little research you’ll have your new Android up and running, and you’ll be a pro in no time at all. Read along with us and see the first things you need to do with your new phone.

Where to get started

  • First thing’s first — you’ll need a Google Account to get started with your Android phone. If you have Gmail you have a Google Account already, and if not you can make one either online or when you first set up your phone. This single account unleashes the power of Google Play for apps, but also Gmail, YouTube and sync in Chrome.
  • Just as important, let’s talk about security. Set up Android Device Manager so you can keep your data safe if your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Coming from an iPhone? You’ll probably want to know how to get your iTunes music over onto Android.
  • Once the music is on the device, check out our favorite music player apps.
  • Don’t care for the look of your phone’s software? Consider a third-party launcher to customizethings a bit.
  • You’ll probably spend some time in Google Play grabbing some new apps.
  • For further learning, read all of the basic help and how-to posts we’ve written on our main How To page.

Where to ask for some help

We have a fantastic and vibrant community in our forums talking all things Android on a daily basis, and we’d love to have you join us! We have forums for all of the major devices — Nexus, Samsung, HTC,Motorola, LG and Sony, some of the lesser-known stuff, and everything in between. You can even just go browse at your leisure, or maybe introduce yourself and get into the conversation.

by Andrew Martonik

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12 things not to do with your Android smartphone

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Your Android phone is many things: one of your most precious possessions, a statement of who you are, and maybe even the place where you keep your secrets. And yet many of us don’t protect our phones properly, or we do daft things that could do serious damage to our data or our reputations. What shouldn’t you do with your smartphone?

According to Paul Simon there are fifty ways to leave your lover, including “hop on the bus, Gus” and “make a new plan, Stan”. What would the list be like if he were singing about phones rather than partners? Would his Android anthem include such advice as “don’t forget to lock the screen, Gene”? Er, probably not, and it’d probably be rubbish – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a sensible list of things you really shouldn’t do with your smartphone. Here are some of our favourites.

Don’t forget to lock the screen, Gene

IMGL4100 - 12 things not to do with your Android smartphone
A lockable phone is a happy phone – and there are stacks of great lockscreen apps. / © ANDROIDPIT

The more we do on our phones, the more damage someone can do if they can get access to it – and one of the simplest ways to secure your phone is to lock it. There’s no shortage of great lockscreen apps on Android, and many of them add useful features as well as security.

Remember to update, Kate

It can be hard keeping tabs on which devices get Android updates, but it’s worth paying attention: each new version of Android is mightier than the last. Google Play Services keep the guts of your device current, but the big updates can make your phone feel brand new all over again.

by Gary Marshall

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How to update your Android smartphone or tablet: Get the latest software on your phone or tablet

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update small androidability - How to update your Android smartphone or tablet: Get the latest software on your phone or tablet

To get the best performance and features from your Android smartphone or tablet you should make sure you’re always running the very latest software available for it, not just in terms of apps but also the Android operating system. Here’s how to update Android on your smartphone or tablet. For more Android tips and tricks see Android Advisor.

Android has been heavily criticised for its OS fragmentation – as of 7 July 2014, 13.5 percent of devices were still running Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 Gingerbread, 11.4 percent were still running 4.0.4-4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and 56.5 percent were running 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean. Given that we (or, at least, 17.9 percent of the Android-owning population) are now running Android 4.4 KitKat, with Android L expected this autumn, you can see why people might complain. Also see:37 best smartphones 2014

It’s not just about device stability and speed, either. New operating system updates bring new features, such as Jelly Bean’s multiple user accounts and KitKat’s improved Google Now and smarter Caller ID. Android L, when it launches in the next few months, will bring a new Material Design, enhanced notifications, as well as ahuge improvement to battery life. Check out our Android KitKat vs Android L comparison review.

See alsoGoogle I/O round-up – Android, Google Play, Google+, Chrome and Maps.

Google I/O announcement roundup: Android, Google Play, Google+, Chrome and Maps – See more at:

Upgrades for Android devices are generally available over-the-air (OTA), which avoids the need for cables and a desktop PC. They are also rolled out gradually and will depend on the manufacturer and mobile operator. Also see: 26 best tablets 2014

That last bit’s important: it’s up to your phone- or tablet maker whether it wants to release new operating system updates for your model, and it is under no obligation to do so. If you have a high-end, flagship phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S5HTC One M8 or LG G3, you can reasonably expect that your manufacturer will provide at least one operating system update. If you have a cheap or mid-range phone or tablet, you may find that what you’ve got is what you’re stuck with – particularly if it’s from a relatively unknown brand. Also see: 14 best budget smartphones 2014

by Chris Martin

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