9 Easy Ways to Make Your Android Phone Less Annoying
These days, it’s hard to avoid the web. PCs, tablets, smartphones—even our coffee makers—can wirelessly connect to the internet at the push of a button. Devices buzz with emails, notifications, and status updates at all hours of the day, making it hard to concentrate.
This may sound like an easily avoidable problem, but it’s hard to imagine life without your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or Google Pixel 3 blowing up all day. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid some of these small irritations and make your day just a little bit calmer. Namaste.
Rearrange Pull-Down Buttons
One of the best features on an Android phone is the pull-down shade (or notification shade). Simply slide your finger from the top of your screen down and you’ll find oft-used settings in nifty one-touch button form (i.e. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Location).
And Android is nice enough to allow you to choose which icons are included in the shade for easy access. Perhaps you don’t really use things like Wi-Fi calling or NFC, but like having the ability to quickly set your phone to vibrate, toggle Location on/off, or access the flashlight—all with a single tap. You can rearrange which buttons appear in the shade by tapping the hamburger icon () in the top-right corner of the shade and tap the edit button. You can then move the buttons around to your liking.
Customized Your Lock-Screen Settings
Your Android phone offers several ways to protect your device. Requiring a password, fingerprint, or some other form of biometric authentication adds a small barrier between you and your digital world, but it’s worth it. Still, security and convenience don’t have to be enemies—for example, you can set your phone to not require a login for a set amount of time after it goes to sleep.
Find the lock time that works for your lifestyle. Go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure lock settings > Secured lock time > choose the time that works for you. Alternatively, your phone may have a “Smart Lock” setting (nested under “Secure lock settings”), which keeps your phone unlocked when it registers you are in a “trusted” location (i.e. it can tell when it’s at your home via location services, or if it is connected to a trusted device like your car via Bluetooth). In this instance, you’ll also just have to trust the users around you.
Never Use the In-App Camera
Like to post selfies to Instagram or Snapchat? Sure, we all like to show off our fabulous new dos or that time we met that celebrity at that thing. You might have noticed that the in-app camera on these apps are kinda…lacking? If you’re not happy with the in-app camera your apps offer you, there is a very simple workaround. Take photos with your phone’s stock (and probably superior) photo app and upload to these social networks after the fact.
Use Widgets Already!
If you’re an Android user and you’re not taking advantage of widgets, you’re doing it wrong. Widgets are live app windows you can keep open on an individual home screen page. Many of the apps you will download also come with a widget that works in tandem with the program.
If there is information you check often—email, weather, music, podcasts—you can just create a widget and fill up a portion of your home screen with it. Widgets make it a lot easier to access information—no need to open an app and swipe around for the info you’re looking for, because now it’s just always right there.
To create a widget, long-press anywhere on any home screen page to prompt a series of options. Here, you’ll find the widgets link—tap that and you can swipe through a list of apps that have available widgets (not all apps do). Tap on any app widget and drag it into an open sector. Some widgets will come in different sizes and shapes to allow you options when fitting it onto your home screen.
Get an External Bluetooth Speaker
This tip is applicable to all mobile phone users: Get an external Bluetooth speaker. Some phones boast impressive speakers, but smartphone speakers (even top-of-the-line ones) can only achieve so much volume and bass. If you really want to fill a room, you’re going to need an external speaker. There are many high-quality Bluetooth speakers you can connect to your phone to listen to music, streaming radio, or podcasts while you perform other tasks around the house.
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