There is no disagreement that Android is now the most used mobile operating system in the world. With many commentators putting its market share at around 70%, Android will rise to the top surpassing Apple’s iOS for sure. With such growing presence, there are too many Android applications, although if we are able to hack Android OS and customize it as we wish. Not to worry, crazy Android developers have already done this for us.
People have successfully rooted their Android smartphones and there are number of wild Android tweaks and hacks with countless applications (Android apps). Some of these Android apps are fun and some are very useful too. In this post, we are going to present the top Android tweaks, hacks, tips and applications to make your Android Smartphone smarter than ever before. While some may already be known, there may be a few too many that you either did not know of or probably did not remember to use. So why not adopt some of these tips in your everyday Android life and make the best use of your Android smartphone to make your smartphone life easier.
Discover Apple’s Find My iPhone Android Counterpart
You may have several friends who are using Apple products, and they boast about how secure their handsets are thanks to the Find My iPhone feature.
Well, you won’t have to shy away from them as your Android phone also has Find My Device (formerly called as Android Device Manager) - a feature that works exactly like Find My iPhone. It lets you locate your lost or stolen smartphone easily, so you’ll know where to retrieve the device.
Apart from that, Android’s Find My Device allows you to lock your phone remotely, especially if the phone was stolen. By blocking his access to your confidential data, the thief will be prevented from gathering useful information. And if you want to go further, you can erase everything on your phone via Find My Device.
To activate, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Go to Settings and look for Security & Location. The name of this section varies depending on your phone.
Step 2: Tap on Find My Device.
Step 3: Turn the feature on and set up your location for an accurate tracking if ever the worst thing happens unexpectedly.
Step 4: You can also head to Device Admin Apps.
Step 5: Click Find My Device.
Step 6: Read the permissions first. If you opt to, you can activate this device admin app to automatically delete everything without warning once the phone is lost or stolen.
For your information, you can also download the Find My Device app from Google Play Store for an easier access to the feature. You can also configure the settings.
Now, if before the calamity struck (let’s say, the phone got lost or stolen) you have already switched on the Find My Device feature, here’s what you need to do:
Step 7: Open your Google account on your PC or another phone. Look for Find Your Phone.
Step 8: If you have several gadgets connected to your Google account, select the one that’s lost. Let’s just suppose that we lost our device (that we wish won’t happen).
Step 9: After Google asks for verification, you’ll be given some options to locate and hopefully, retrieve your phone. You can also choose to sign out your account on the device.
Keep Your Apps Private Hack
You don’t want others scrolling through your messages or photo albums, do you? We understand why you are very strict when someone borrows your device. After all, it’s your personal space!
You won’t want your friends to turn you into a laughingstock just because of your goofy images they spotted on your recent album! That’s a big no-no. So how do you keep your nosy friends out of your other apps? Here’s how:
Step 1: Go to Settings. Find Security & Location.
Step 2: Tap on Screen Pinning.
Step 3: You’ll be instructed how to do screen pinning. Enable the feature.
Step 4: As what was instructed, you have to press the Overview button. You’ll then see the Pin icon on the bottom right. Once you found the app you want to pin, click it.
Step 5: To unpin, you have to press the Back button and Overview key simultaneously for a second or two or enter your PIN/passcode. You can now transfer to your other apps.
Use Guest Mode On Android
One of our phones, which is a Lenovo K8 Note, comes with the Guest Mode feature which we found very useful. While screen pinning only lets your friends access one app, the Guest Mode allows access to multiple apps, whether they like to take a selfie and post it on their social media accounts.
The good thing about Guest Mode is that it only shows the default apps. There was one time that a kid borrowed our phone and we realized that he restarted a game!
Guest Mode lets other people download new apps, take new photos, and enter their social media accounts as if the device is theirs. However, once you get out of Guest Mode, all your data will be retained. The next time they borrow your phone, switch back to Guest Mode and they’ll see that you haven’t deleted their pics.
Here’s how Guest Mode works:
Step 1: Swipe down the Status Bar. Press the User icon.
Step 2: Switch to Guest Mode.
Step 3: You’ll be asked if you want to start over or continue your previous activity.
Step 4: Here’s what our Guest Mode looks like:
Compare it to our home screen:
Note: Don’t mind the wallpaper. We really love Japan’s sakura tree (and watercolor wallpapers).
Bypass Your Security While Staying Safe
When we say bypass, it’s not what most of us think- hackers trying to bypass your personal space to steal information. We believe it’s time to think of “bypass” in a positive light. How can you bypass your security while staying safe?
First off, you need to set up a trusted location that your device won’t require you to key in your passcode. This simple Android hack is perfect to do in your own house. Beware! Don’t set any public place as a trusted location.
To do this, follow the instructions below:
Step 1: Go to Settings and click on Security & Location.
Step 2: Tap on Smart Lock. You’ll then be asked to enter your device PIN to continue.
Step 3: Click on Trusted Places.
Step 4: Now, add a trusted place. We advise you to choose this one well because it might put your phone at risk.
Step 5: Using Google Maps, you have to locate your chosen address and press Select this Location. While you’re in that area, you won’t have to repeatedly unlock the phone.
Access Developer Options
Although this Android hack usually gets overlooked, it is very useful for us device owners. By unlocking developer options, we can configure our phone’s profile, tweak its performance, to name a few.
Through accessing developer options, you can view the device statistics or opt to disable bloatware that came with the smartphone. Now that you know how useful the developer options are, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Head to Settings and click System. Other phones don’t have this section. If your phone is among them, just proceed to the second step.
Step 2: Look for About Phone and click it.
Step 3: Find the Build Number and tap on it exactly 7 times.
Step 4: After the seventh click, we were asked to key in a passcode. A notification showed up saying that we already are a developer.
Step 5: Go back to the System tab and you’ll now see the Developer Options section.
Step 6: Tweak your device according to your liking.
Never Lose Important Files Again
Have you been in a situation which you felt regret? Like that time your phone dived in the pool with you or fell from great heights, only for you to realize that you haven’t had a copy of all the files you have in there.
In case you don’t know, your Android phone comes with a built-in backup system. Of course, the feature is limited but is enough to retain your very important files before they get lost too soon. Here’s how to activate the backup system:
Step 1: Go to Settings and tap on System.
Step 2: Look for Backup.
Step 3: Make sure your Google account is connected to the backup feature. Mine has been activated already since we started using our phone a couple of months ago.
Step 4: Click Back up now. You should see the cloud load and back up your data.
Interesting Fact: Once you buy a new phone and connect your Google account, you get to choose whether to transfer the file from your old device or not. In our case, we got all the images from our previous device and transferred it here on our K8 Note.
Different Apps, Varying Volumes
How many of you here who needs an alarm to wake you up in the morning? We do and we know we’re not alone. But, have you tried to turn up the volume for the alarm but end up disturbed by the sound of notifications and messages?
Android has this feature which lets you tweak the volume of Media, Ring, and Alarm, depending on your preference. It will help you to choose which one to turn up and which one to turn down. You’ll see how we toggle our app volumes a little later.
Yes, (sigh), this Android hack doesn’t require us to head to the Settings again. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Press the Volume button.
Step 2: Tap on the drop-down panel. You should see these 3 options: Media, Ring, and Alarm.
Step 3: Here’s how we tweak the volume. Media gets half, Ring is in low volume, while the Alarm is in full. Why? We usually put our headphones on so we don’t want it blasting off our eardrums by turning up Media to full volume, Ring is low because we don’t get messages or calls that frequent and we get annoyed with the telecoms sending us promo texts, and Alarm is, we don’t think we have to explain it further. HAHA
Make Your Fingerprint Scanner More Accurate
This one is not necessarily a “hack” but more on like a “tip” from the pros. It doesn’t enhance the physical fingerprint scanner as if we have some magic tool to use. It only gives you an advice on how to make it work efficiently.
Try this one and see the difference!
Step 1: Go to Settings. Choose Security & Location.
Step 2: Tap on Fingerprint. Ours says that we have 1 fingerprint set up.
Step 3: After requiring you to enter your passcode, you can access the tab. Now, add a new fingerprint to your phone.
Step 4: The trick here is you have to register the same fingerprint multiple times in a slightly different position or angle.
Step 5: We have now 5 fingerprints set up. Please note that you can only add up to 5 fingerprints.
After we tried this one, we noticed that our biometric scanner works faster and opens even if we only tapped on it with the tip of our finger.
View Detailed Usage Of Battery and Mobile Data
One of the issues of many Android phones is poor battery life and big mobile data consumption. Curious, you want to know what’s behind this scenario. What’s really eating your battery and data so much?
These battery and data-hungry apps should hide by now. You can see them by viewing the detailed battery and mobile data usage graphs silently lurking on your phone’s Settings tab.
Step 1: Go to Settings.
Step 2: Tap on Battery.
Step 3: Click on Usage Details.
Step 4: Now here’s what’s consuming our battery so much. The biggest percentage, 20%, was used by Google Play Services. We’re not surprised as we’re really into apps and games.
Mobile Data Usage:
Step 1: Go to Settings.
Step 2: Click on Network & Internet.
Step 3: Tap on Data Usage.
Step 4: Here’s how our mobile data usage looks like. It says that we’ve spent 411 MB since October 14. So far, nothing’s suspicious.
View PC Version Of A Website In Your Browser
Thankfully, developers have made formats for their websites that are suitable for mobile view. It would help conserve mobile data usage and makes content reading better.
But, there might be times that you want to view the PC version of a website, for just no reason. Well, why not? Sometimes we do this one when we want to know how the site will look on our PC. This is how you do it:
Step 1: Open Chrome or any browser of your preference.
Step 2: Launch the website you want to visit. As you can see, it’s on Mobile View.
Step 3: Tap on the Settings marked by the 3 dots on the upper right corner. Click Desktop Site.
Step 4: Now here it is: the Desktop View of the Joy Of Android website.
Step 5: To go back to the Mobile View, go back to the Settings menu and uncheck Desktop Site.
Article Contributed By/Source: Joy Of Android...