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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Android, Apple, or Windows: How to Choose the Right Tablet

how to choose right tablet androidability - Android, Apple, or Windows: How to Choose the Right Tablet

It’s difficult to remember a time before tablets, but it’s been four short years since the original Apple iPad hit the scene, and the current tablet market was born. Since then, we’ve seen scores of manufacturers trying to snag a slice of the tablet pie. And the game is finally getting interesting: For the first time in 2013, Android tablet sales overtook the iPad. Growth is so rapid in the segment that some analysts claim tablets will make up half the PC market by the end of the year, and that’s the direction things are heading in as tablets continue to eat away at PC market share. There’s no denying the tablet is here to stay.

But which tablet is right for you? Whether you’re eyeing an iPad, one of the many Android tablets available, or a Windows model, here are the key factors you need to consider when shopping for a tablet:

What Do You Want to Do With Your Tablet?

Despite four years of refinements, tablets still can’t truly replace computers or smartphones. You can tackle productivity tasks on a tablet, but there are inherent ergonomic benefits to desktops and laptops. Plus, since we’re talking about slates here, we’re mostly talking about on-screen keyboards. There are plenty of worthy add-on hardware keyboards, especially for the iPad, but few will provide the same comfort you’ll experience with a laptop or a desktop. The main focus of the tablets we’ll discuss here is media consumption, rather than productivity. We’ll touch on lower-cost Windows tablets here as well, but if you want a convertible tablet with a laptop-grade processor for serious work, take a look at the top Windows 8 tablets we’ve tested—but be prepared to pay laptop prices, as many run around the $1k mark.

by Wendy Sheehan Donnell

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Best tablet games: 7 to play on your shiny new Android slab!

Best tablet games 7 to play on your shiny new Android slab androidability 300x168 - Best tablet games: 7 to play on your shiny new Android slab!

Tablets have adopted a major role in the Android world and an increasingly large number of apps uploaded onto the Google Play Store have been optimized for tablets. Although the games selected today are also compatible for smartphones, they are actually designed for larger screens in order to take full advantage of the graphics, effects and features. If whether you’re the owner of a Nexus 9 or Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, here are our essential Android tablet games.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a puzzle game the likes of which is rare to find on Android. It’s not free-to-play, if you want the game you will have to purchase it, but it is also not plagued by ads and in-app purchases that damage the experience of other titles. It’s also brief (though it recently received some additional levels), you could beat it in an afternoon. But what an afternoon it would be! What it lacks in length and cheap thrills, Monument Valley more than makes up for its painterly graphics and clever level design. The gameplay is also genuinely rewarding: each puzzle you solve will hand you a metaphorical pat on the back. It’s subtle, and gentle, and lovely.

Real Racing 3

No tablet is complete without an exhilarating racing game. Real Racing 3 has amazing graphics which are uber realistic, via three different camera modes (behind the car, steering wheel and bumper view). The app features real car brands, like in Gran Turismo. If you like racing games, don’t miss out on the racing experience that Real Racing 3 brings to your Android tablet. Did I mention that it is 100% free?

 by Scott Adam Gordon

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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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How to get good bass on Android: boost the sound on your Android smartphone or tablet

Here’s where we show you how to get good bass and boost the sound on your Android smartphone or tablet.

If you’re looking to find out how to get good bass on yourAndroid device, or simply boost the overall sound and audio performance of your Android smartphone or tablet, then you’ve come to the right place. See all Android tips.

The first thing you should know – and probably already do – is that there is no magical piece of software that can improve the power of your Android’s audio output, it simply is what it is. However if you have a good pair of headphones and want to improve the bass and overall sound performance of your Android smartphone or tablet, here’s a method you should try.

How to get good bass and boost the sound on Android: Step one

Go to the Google Play store and search for the app Music Volume EQ, download it (It’s only 2.1MB) and install it.

How to get good bass on Android 2 - How to get good bass on Android: boost the sound on your Android smartphone or tablet

How to get good bass and boost the sound on Android: Step two

Now that you have downloaded the Music Volume EQ, you want to start playing a song in the background of your Android device and then open the Music Volume EQ app.

The app will appear like a floating widget, don’t panic, it’s a bit weird to look at but it works fine. The first thing you will see in a big onscreen volume control as well as a basic audio visualizer, in-between the two of these is an EQ button, which is where the party starts. Press it.

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How To Set Up Your Android Tablet

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Having problems setting up your new Android Wi-Fi tablet? Here’s how to connect to a wireless network, set up a Google account and connect to a wireless printer.

Tablets are really useful personal computing devices, but unlike a laptop or desktop PC, they tend to be a little bit fiddly to set up, especially now that there are so many different brands you can buy.

We’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot setting up a Android tablet, including connecting to the internet to install key updates.

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Keep your Android Tablet Perfect with these Tips

Google Nexus - Keep your Android Tablet Perfect with these Tips
Did you just get hold of your new Android tablet ? Are you done with your installation and activation processes?

Well, in that case we3 have for you a list of things you could do to take care of your new memento! Going by what folks at CNet say, the steps are not compulsory, but they will help you in keeping your tablet’s performance enhanced . 

The first and foremost need you nurse when you buy a new device would be to have an extended battery life, right? Though there are number of factors about battery life that are beyond your reach, like the size and optimization etc, you can prevent battery drain by controlling the brightness of the screen. This will decide, for the major part, on how long your battery lasts.

By Sanjeev Ramachandran****See Full Story on

Slice now lets you track all your online purchases from your Android tablet

ImageSlice 730x450 - Slice now lets you track all your online purchases from your Android tabletIf you’re based in the US, you may have come across Slice before, the service thattracks all your online purchases and pulls the information together into one place.

Thus far, Slice has been available for iPhone, Android smartphones and the Web. But from today, it’s now available for Android tablets too.

To use Slice, you don’t need to log-in to multiple retailer websites – by connecting your email account it automatically finds tracking numbers. And its mobile apps even send you push notifications to let you know when a package is on its way. It also keeps a record of everything you’ve ever bought online, which means you don’t have to go looking for receipts, and serves up price alerts (for partial refunds), as well as newly-released recall monitoring.

➤ Slice | Android

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