Thursday, 17 October 2013

Some Android Tricks You Should Know

Android tips and tricks

1. Monitor what's using your data

Chances are that your smartphone is almost always connected to the internet, be it over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. Do you know what apps consume most of that data? If not, then try Android's built-in data usage monitor, available from the Settings menu, or just get an app for the job – Onavo Count or Traffic Monitor Plus. Keep an eye out for data-hogging apps.
Monitor what's using your data

2. Keep your storage space clean and tidy

It seems like the on-board storage space on smartphones is never enough. That's why moving your stuff – music, videos, apps – onto a microSD card is a good idea. Also, try to get rid of apps and games that you don't use since these occupy space as well. Just go to Settings > Apps and uninstall whatever software isn't needed. To get a better idea as to what files and folders really take up the most storage space, getDiskUsage from the Play Store. It represents visually each folder with a rectangle – the bigger the rectangle, the more space it occupies. Then just move or delete all the stuff you don't need using a file manager. ES File Explorer is one we'd recommend.

NOTE: Don't delete any files or folders unless you're absolutely sure they aren't in use by an app or the operating system!
Keep your storage space clean and tidy

3. Monitor what apps are loaded and running

When a smartphone is turned on, it loads a whole bunch of apps and services that run in the background. Most (if not all) of these are harmless, but others just sit there, taking up memory and keeping the CPU busy. Autorun Manager is one of the apps that can show you what software is loaded on start-up and what's running on your device. Feel free to disable or uninstall apps that you don't need.
Monitor what apps are loaded and running

4. Avoid suspicious ad-supported apps

We have nothing against ad-supported software, but some apps take that concept to the extreme, with ads being displayed on the notification bar. Some even add links to shady search engines to your home screen and suspicious bookmarks to the browser. These apps should be avoided since their ads consume data and battery life, not to mention that they might put your private information at risk. To see what ad-supported apps you have installed on your Android device, give Lookout Ad Network Detector a try.
Avoid suspicious ad-supported apps

5. Monitor apps' battery usage

There is a built-in battery monitoring tool in the Android operating system, accessible by going to Settings > Battery. Keep an eye out for apps that consume excessive amounts of power without being used that often.
Monitor apps' battery usage

6. Make parts of Google Maps available offline

In case you use Google Maps on a regular basis, you might want to save frequently viewed areas for offline use. That will save you data whenever Wi-Fi isn't available. To do that, open the menu in Google Maps, tap on "Make Avaliable Offline" and select the area you want to cache onto your device. Note that saved areas may be up to 100MB in size.
Make parts of Google Maps available offline

7. Monitor the permissions of installed apps

Do you know what kind of information your apps have access to? If not, Clueful Privacy Advisor is the app you should consider downloading. It scans your Android device for suspicious apps, including apps that may leak your passwords, phone number, and other sensitive data.
Monitor the permissions of installed apps

8. Know how to track a lost or stolen phone

In case you have not heard of these already, there are Android apps capable of tracking a lost or missing smartphone – apps like Lookout, which is also a good anti-virus tool, and Where's My Droid. Just make sure you have these installed and configured before actually losing your phone.
Know how to track a lost or stolen phone

9. Automate your phone

Your phone is smart enough to mute itself while you're at work, to turn the Wi-Fi and 3G off at night, and to do all kinds of stuff automatically. you just need the right app for that – an app like AutomateItTasker, orPhone Schedule, to name a few.
Automate your phone

10. Try an alternative virtual keyboard

Not entirely happy with your smartphone's on-screen keyboard? Well, there's plenty of alternatives to try, including SwiftKeyTouchPalSwype, and many more.
Try an alternative virtual keyboard

11. Get an SMS counter

Obviously, this tip is for people who don't have unlimited text messages included in their monthly plan. To them we recommend trying the SMS Counter app, which will keep count of both incoming and outgoing text messages.
Get an SMS counter

12. Take over your notification light

In case you have a notification light on your phone, you may customize the alerts it displays using the Light Flow app. And in case you don't have one, make your camera's LED light flash at specific events with theFlash Notification app.
Take over your notification light

13. Cut the wires

There's this neat application called AirDroid, allowing one to manage their Android smartphone from a computer over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection. In other words, with this app you can access your phone from a PC and then copy files from and onto your smartphone, send text messages, install or uninstall apps, view photos, music, video files, and much more.
Cut the wires


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