if you a As a typical smartphone user, you now spend an average of almost five hours a day on your phone. But video and social media apps aside, you may not be aware of the tweaks and settings that can make those hours easier or even shorter.
The Android settings screen is packed with more options than you probably realize, options that make using your phone more comfortable, keep your data more secure, and allow for faster connections to other devices. These all appear in the Settings app on the latest version of Android 13 in the so-called “pure Android” you get on Google Pixel devices and other light-touch models, but other phones, like those from Samsung or Motorola, should be similar Options in similar places.
Turn on Wi-Fi automatically
You may have WiFi turned off when you are away from home or the office. If it does, Android can turn it back on for you when you’re back in range of a network you’ve previously signed into. Go to network and internetthen Internet, and network settings to find them Turn on WiFi automatically Switch.
Use less data
If you’re in a foreign country, have a limited data plan, or are in an area with patchy cellular coverage, you can tap to make your phone use less data network and internet and data saver. This works in several ways: certain apps, for example, check for updates less frequently, while pictures on the web may not load until you tap them.
Add extra security for contactless payments
Apps like Google Pay let you pay with your phone through the magic of NFC, meaning anyone picking up your phone could potentially use it to pay. You can prevent this by ensuring that a screen unlock is required for NFC payments. Go to Connected Devices, connection settings, NFCand turn on Device unlock required for NFC.
Start driving mode automatically
Android now comes with a special driving mode that makes it easier to perform certain actions with voice commands and suppresses other notifications. You can have this mode start automatically when your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth stereo device: To set up this feature, select Connected Devices, connection settingsand driving mode.
Set default apps on your phone
Certain actions, like opening links or answering calls, need to be associated with default apps. To control which apps are associated with which jobs, choose applications and then Default Apps– You can then select an app type (e.g. a web browser) and choose which one to use first. All available apps that match this type will be listed on the screen.
Manage what apps can do on your phone
Apps often request permission to access certain data or parts of your device, e.g. B. Your contacts and the location of your phone. To view these permissions — and edit them if necessary — or restrict access to them when using the app, open applications and then select Show all applications to select a specific app. Then tap Permissions to review settings and make changes. It also shows you when a particular set of permissions was last used.
Pause permissions for unused apps
You don’t want old apps you don’t use to keep their permissions, which is why Android now pauses permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while by default. To control this for individual apps, select applicationsthen Show all applicationsthen choose an app and select it Permissions and Pause app activity when not in use. (By the way, now is a good time to get rid of any apps you really don’t use anymore.)
Check your notification history
Android records your notifications in case you swiped them away too quickly and need to get them back. You can turn on the feature and see recent notifications from your apps by selecting notifications and then notification history. Note that notifications that are currently deferred, as well as notifications that you have dismissed, appear in this list.
Hide confidential notifications on the lock screen
You don’t necessarily want confidential or personal notifications to appear on your lock screen where anyone can read them. You can prevent this by choosing notifications and disable the Sensitive Notifications toggle switch. A notification’s sensitivity is actually controlled by the developer of the app sending it, but direct messages are usually included.
Hide silent notifications
You probably get enough notifications without all the silent ones. These are the ones that might tell you the weather, or that there’s traffic in your area, or that a podcast is downloading in the background. If you don’t want these to appear on your phone and distract you, vote notifications and enable Hide silent notifications in the status bar.
Shows the battery percentage in the status bar
It can be difficult to tell how much battery life you have left on your phone from the small icon in the status bar. To display a percentage next to it, select battery and then switch on battery percentage toggle switch. All other icons in the status bar move to the left accordingly, and the usual battery life icon remains.
See which apps are using the most storage space
If you’re running out of storage space on your phone, see Which apps are taking up the most storage space storage and then applications. The largest apps in terms of storage space are shown at the top of the list. The numbers shown include all files of an app – for example, downloaded Spotify playlists and Netflix shows count as well as the actual Spotify and Netflix apps.
Add live subtitles to videos
The ability to subtitle speech in videos – in real time – is available on a growing number of Android phones, and it’s useful even if you’re not hard of hearing. You can find the option by tapping sound and vibration and then live subtitles. Subtitles generated by Google’s AI processing are then automatically displayed when speech is detected, whether it’s a social media video or a video call.
Get the screen locked earlier
Your lock screen protects your phone from unwanted users, so ideally you want it to activate as soon as possible once you put it down. You can change this duration by opening that advertisement and then select screen timeout from the list – you can usually select a duration from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Make everything bigger on the screen
If you’re having trouble reading text on the screen, go to advertisement and display size and text in the settings. You will see two sliders, one for font size (which makes the text larger or smaller) and one for screen size (what does all larger or smaller, including icons and menus). Tap the reset settings to return to the default settings.
Unlock your device in trusted places
If there are certain places where you are sure that no untrustworthy person can get to your phone – for example at home – you can have the screen unlocked automatically in those places for added convenience. Go to securitythen Advanced settingsthen Smart lockand finally Trusted Places. Add a location and you’re good to go.
Add your medical information
Suppose you are unlucky enough to get involved in a medical emergency situation. In this case, you may not be able to tell first responders your blood type, medications, allergies, and other important information. However, you can tell your phone – via security and emergency and Medical information– and these details are then accessible from the lock screen.
Set app usage limits
If you’re worried you’re spending too much time on TikTok or Twitter, Android can help here. When you type Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controlsand then select dashboardyou can see how much time you’ve spent on certain apps during the day – and set limits for future usage if necessary.
Enable guest mode
Guest mode is a great way to let other people use your phone without giving them access to your social media accounts, banking apps, or gaming high scores. It works just like a user account on macOS or Windows, and you can set it up on Android by selecting system, Multiple usersand then activate Allow multiple users.