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Android how-to

Make Your Android Work for You: Top Tips to Consider

Google users have ten ways to work fast with their devices that are not explicitly noticeable when operating devices normally. They have to get smarter, and here are the tips how.  The most popular version of Android (as of now), and which works with these tips is the Ice Cream Sandwich. The tips also work on the latest version Jelly Bean and even with earlier ones and custom operating systems.  Users will enjoy using the tips because they help them to operate their phones faster amongst other benefits.

Smart android

1. Smarter Web Browsing

Users who own and use several devices can now use Incognito Mode on their mobile device and leave no footprints indicating having used them or what they had been doing.

Users activate this on Menu, New incognito tab.

This happens with people who have Google Chrome browser on their devices (it comes preloaded on Android devices).  The steps to follow in order to get this function are tapping Menu, Other Devices and finally tapping an open website in another device’s opened tabs. This safely enables them to use Chrome on the device without leaving a trace of their actions.


2. Auto-Update Apps

Smart users can now get their apps updated automatically as they are received. They only need to set the dates over Wi-Fi and they can sit pretty for the command to work for them. This helps them to avoid the update notices which appear and require their attention as they do other things. With the auto update, they capture every notification and can read through at their own pace and time.


3. Shortcut to Contacts

Contact details of a user’s favorite people can be can be chosen and set together on the Homescreen.

This function enables users to get in touch with people in an easy way by going to All Apps, Widgets and choosing the Contact widgets. On selecting a person’s name, his/her photo and the name are pinned on the Home screen. It means therefore they shall be accessed a lot easier when needed.


4. Screen Shots Made Simple

Android users who have Ice Cream Sandwich app can capture still images of screens they look at. It is easy to capture by pressing the power and volume down buttons concurrently.  The images are saved automatically in the Gallery, as Screenshots or in the Notifications shade.


5. Easier Keyboarding

Using the key board on a device has now been made a lot easier, and faster.  But still users can still type in the ordinary way, keys and letters at a time.

With many Android devices coming preloaded with Swype, users now only need to drag their fingers from one letter to another, without having to lift them until after the word is ended.   To be able to tell if Swype is working on a device, users are required to type a word without lifting a finger. The input method is selected by tapping and holding the Select Input Method screen and choosing Swype.


6. Back Up and Restore Settings, Apps

People love functions they do every day, or using apps they are proficient in. It means they may want to keep the functions even on acquiring a new device.

In just a few minutes , users of Android version 2 will have moved the old applications to the new device by going to Settings and then to Privacy Settings. Users of versions 4 and 5 will go to Settings, Backup and Reset.

In both cases they place a check mark beside the Back Up My Data option, give it a few minutes to back up. Once it is finished, restart the new Android device and by a setup option, they will have transferred apps and settings from back up.


7. Unlock With Your Face

Android users can now, without touching a screen or a button, unlock their devices by just staring onto them!

This function is found on Settings, Security, Screen Lock.  It is easy to use. However, in case it does not work, users can select Face Unlock, Set a backup PIN or pattern in order  to be able to unlock their devices.


8. Sync Photos and Videos on the Go

Android users who join Google+ are able to save photos and videos captured on their devices to a private folder called Instant Upload. These settings are adjustable from mobile devices in Google+, Settings, Instant Upload.  Data usage is conserved by adjusting when photos and videos are uploaded e.g. as users plug in or when charging their devices.


9. Manage Screens

Android users can rearrange or remove apps and widgets icons by swiping from right to left onto the last screen and tapping the bottom.  They then touch and hold a screen to rearrange its order or remove it. This process can be shortened by tapping the Home button for a second.


10. Save the Battery with a Widget

A single tap and holding onto the Power Control widget (available on the All Apps page), users can turn off five high power-consuming functions Wi-Fi, GPS, automatic account syncing, and screen brightness. The reverse brings them back on when users need to use them.

A longer battery usage time enabled by a single touch is ideal especially when one is away from charging points and it is good to conserve energy anyway!

10 Ways to Maximize the Battery Life on Your Android Smartphone

You have your new, powerful shiny Android smartphone ready.  You love it, because it has so many tools and applications – or games.  These tools and applications are fun to use and keep you glued to your phone or tablet screen and using them makes your days so much fun and very productive.  There is one problem though; your device battery does not last long enough for you to do everything you would wish to.  Is there a way to prolong the battery?  What can you do to save the battery?

Here are a few tips that you will find useful to prolong the life of your device battery per single charge.


i) Take advantage of Android’s in-built battery usage system

There is a very handy screen that all Android devices come with which most average users may not even know about.  This tool tells you what exactly is draining your battery and you can access it on Settings > Battery use to check the specific details of application battery usage.

As you can see on the image, this screen shows the specific battery usage details for each application for you to know which applications are battery drainers and need to be stopped when not in use.  If you have any applications running in the background that you do not need, terminate them to conserve battery life.


ii) Reduce your screen brightness

The backlight is one of the top suspects of battery drainers.  Imagine several bulbs on the phone, constantly on when you are using it.  The good thing is that Android grants you control over the brightness of the backlight.  I would recommend activating Automatic brightness which will reduce the brightness of the screen when the device is used in dark rooms or low-light conditions and increase the brightness for better visibility when it is used in bright light conditions such as outdoors.

To activate Auto Brightness, go to Settings > Display > Brightness and check Automatic Brightness.  You should also adjust the screen’s Time out duration lower value such as 5 seconds to get the most out of a single battery charge.


iii) Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Wireless connections run hardware devices that are responsible for transmitting and receiving data.  These devices use a lot of power and it is imperative that they stay disabled or turned off whenever they are not in use.  Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and phone radio use up power even when not in use, if you do not need to make or receive calls and do not need any of these wireless networks, disable them all by enabling Airplane Mode.

With the new Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system have Airplane mode widgets on the screen to quickly enable and disable phone and wireless devices.  If yours does not have one, you can create it or use the long route


iv) Use power widgets to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Screen Brightness

The idea of switching off Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and adjust screen brightness every time your location or situation changes sounds very cumbersome, and it is.  But there is a way around it, and you do not even need to be a geek to know how.  Just edit the power widget with the shortcuts on your main screen.

You can customize the widget depending on which tools you use, how frequently and how long you use them to make it easy and fast to enable and disable them.  This is possible the easiest and most convenient approach to saving battery power without having to go to the settings menu for each individual device or tool every time.

v) Disable constant syncing

There are applications that are constantly syncing data online, and they use up a lot of battery juice.  The Gmail email application though does not because it uses Push technology, so you do not need to worry about that.  If you have many accounts though that uses POP to check for mail every 15 to 30 minutes, it is a good idea to disable the frequent syncing especially if the emails on those accounts are not that important or disable automatic syncing completely and instead check the mails manually when need be.


vi) Disable GPS Location Features

One of the best features that most Android smartphones come with are location features which are mostly used in social networks and in GPS maps.  The GPS system is a great tools to use in navigation but it is also a power drainer which should be disabled when not in use.

Do not assume that just because you are not running Google maps, the GPS system is not running.  Many other applications, including the browser, may be using the GPS in the background without your knowledge.  Go to your twitter client, Facebook clients and browser settings and disable geolocation features.

vii) Disable tasks running in the background using a task manager

Make sure that applications you used the night before were actually properly terminated because even tasks and processes running in the background uses up power.  The best approach is to have a lightweight task manager that can find tasks and programs running in the background and give the option to terminate.


viii) Disable unused widgets

Applications are not the only ones that use up power, even the small widgets dotted all over your screen use up power.  The fewer the number of widgets running, the more the battery life you will get.  Therefore, you should disable all the widgets that you do not need or use and keep the home screen clear and simple.

ix) Disable animated wallpapers

Your device looks amazingly beautiful with custom animated wallpaper but this also drains the battery.  It is just like having a video playing in the background continuously.


x) Do not let the device or the battery get too hot

A hot battery or device uses up the battery much faster.  Therefore, do not let it overheat – you can prevent this by keeping the phone in a cool place and installing an application that manages the battery as well and even provide you with tips and ideas on how you can get the most out of your battery.

Preserving the battery has a lot of significance – a properly conserved battery will last longer and will give better performance for many years to come.  These 10 ideas should help you get the most out of your battery per single charge as well as prolong its life.