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10 things your phone could do you don’t know about

Published by on July 4th, 2020.


So you feel like you are an expert and you know

all you need to know about your Android phone.

You can adeptly make calls, send text messages,

check emails, change settings, download apps

and everything in between.

Sure, having the right know-how to get things

done on your smartphone can make you feel like

a bonafide master. But of course, there are still

hidden Android tricks here and there that might

surprise you.

Here are 10 things that, chances are, you never

knew your Android phone could do:

1. Use your voice to perform tasks

If you want to use Google’s voice assistant ala

Cortana, Siri or Alexa, simply say “OK Google” or

click on the microphone icon on the Google

search bar.

You can then use your voice to do a variety of

tasks like send emails, texts, make phone calls,

reminders and, of course, do Google searches.

You can even have your Android phone listen in

to a song to identify it.

2. Priority Calling

On occasions when you don’t want to be

disturbed, you can filter text and call notifications

to only show contacts you deem important.

To set your “Do Not Disturb” priority settings, go

to Settings >> Sound >> Do Not Disturb. Here you

can choose your notifications for calls and

messages.

Note: To set your “starred contacts,” open

Contacts, search for the contact you want to favor

then tap the star in the upper left.

You can also turn on “Repeat callers” in this

section. If this feature is turned on, you will

always get a notification if a caller tries to call

you within a 15-minute period regardless of your

priority settings.

If these options are not enough, you can also set

up your own notification custom rules under

“Automatic rules.”

3. Unlock your phone automatically in your home

Smart Lock allows your Android phone to

automatically unlock when it’s in a trusted

location such as your home or office.

To enable Smart Lock, go to your phone’s

Settings >> Security >> Smart Lock then tap on

Trusted Places to add your home or office

location. Note: You will need to set up a PIN,

passcode or pattern lock to turn on Smart Lock.

4. Plug in a USB mouse or keyboard

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To do this trick, you’ll need a USB mouse or

keyboard and something called a USB OTG (On-

The-Go) cable.

USB OTG cables typically have a micro USB

connector on one end and a female USB

connector on the other. With it, not only can you

connect a USB mouse or keyboard to your

Android gadget, you can also connect other USB

peripherals like USB flash drives, card readers,

digital audio converters and game controllers.

USB OTG cables are not that expensive.

Check this one out at Amazon.

5. Invert colors for better readability

To make your Android phones look a bit easier on

the eyes, try inverting its colors. Do this by going

to Settings >> Accessibility then toggle “Color

Inversion” or “Negative Colors” to on.

This will make your Android phone’s graphics

look odd but it does help reduce eye strain.

6. Turn on the Developers Options menu

Did you know that your Android phone has a

hidden menu that you can access to enable

advanced options?

It’s called the Developers menu and you can turn

it on by going to Settings then scroll down

to About Phone or About Tablet.

Under this section, locate the Build Number then

tap it multiple times until you see a notification

saying “you are now X steps away from being a

developer” with X being the number of remaining

taps before the Developer Options are unlocked.

After the seventh tap, the Developer options

should be available.

With Developer options on, your Android phone

opens up to tons of advanced settings. Be careful

with what you tweak in here since these options

can seriously mess up your phone. If you are not

sure what a particular developer option does,

better leave it alone.

7. Speed it up by turning off unneeded

animations

In case you haven’t noticed yet, there are subtle

graphical flourishes that add to your phone

user interface’s polished look. Although these can

be cosmetically pleasing, they are really not

essential to your phone’s functionality. In fact,

these effects may even be slowing down your

phone!

With the Developers Options turned on, to disable

animations go to Settings >> Developer options

and scroll down to Window animation scale,

Transition animation scale, and Animator duration

scale and turn them all off.

Keep your Android gadget’s Developer options

turned on or the animation settings will revert

back to their default settings.

8. Encrypt your phone data

Encrypting your phone is always a good idea. By

doing this, it scrambles your data into an

unreadable state and it requires your PIN,

password or pattern lock to decipher it.

To turn your Android phone’s encryption on, go to

Settings >> Security >> then tap Encrypt phone. If

your phone is not encrypted yet, the whole

process may take an hour or so, depending on

the amount of data stored.

Also, keep in mind that encryption may slow

down your phone. Although this is no longer an

issue with newer phones, older phones with

slower processors can be impacted.

9. Display a custom lock screen message

Losing your phone is always a hassle but

hopefully, this next trick will increase your

chances of getting it back.

To display a custom lock screen message, go to

Settings >> Security >> tap the Screen lock gear

>> Lock screen message. From here you can type

specific messages like “If found, please call XXX-

XXXX” or other contact info.

10. Lock or wipe it remotely

Losing your phone is bad enough but a stranger

gaining full access to your lost phone’s data is

even worse. Thankfully, Google has a “remote

lock and erase” option via Android Device

Manager.

To turn this on, open Settings >> Google >>

Android Device Manager then toggle “Remotely

locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and

erase” to on.

To remotely track, lock or wipe your Android

phone, log in to the Android Device Manager app

on another Android gadget or the Android Device

Manager website. Here, you can track your lost

phone’s location and do these three options: ring

it, lock it or erase it.

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