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19 Android Settings You Might Not Know About

if you are a typical smartphone user, you average almost five hours a day on your phone now. But beyond video and social media apps, you may not be aware of the tweaks and settings that can make those hours easier or even shorter.

Android’s settings screen is packed with more options than you probably realize, options that can make your phone more convenient to use, keep your data more secure, and enable faster connections to other devices. All of these appear in the Settings app in the latest version of Android 13 in so-called “pure Android,” which you get on Google Pixel devices and other slightly touched models, but other phones, like those from Samsung or Motorola, should have similar options on. similar places.

Turn Wi-Fi on automatically

You may have Wi-Fi turned off when you’re away from home or the office. If so, Android can turn it back on when you’re back in range of a previously connected network. Go to Network and Internetafter Internet, other network preferences To find the Turn Wi-Fi on automatically change.

use less data

If you’re in a foreign country, on a limited data plan, or in an area with patchy cell coverage, you can make your phone use less data by tapping Network and Internet other data saver. This works in several different ways: Certain apps may check for updates less frequently, for example, while images on the web may not load until you tap on them.

Add extra security for contactless payments

Apps like Google Pay let you pay with your phone through the magic of NFC, meaning anyone who picks up your phone could potentially make a payment with it. You can prevent this by making sure NFC payments require a screen unlock. Go to connected devices, connection preferences, NFCand turn on Require device unlock for NFC.

Start driving mode automatically

Android now comes with a special mode for when you’re driving, making it easy to perform certain actions with voice commands and suppress other notifications. You can have this mode start automatically when your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth stereo: To set this feature, choose connected devices, Connection preferencesY driving mode.

Set default apps on your phone

Certain actions, like opening links or answering calls, need default apps associated with them. To control which apps are associated with which jobs, choose app and so Default apps: You can then choose an application type (such as a web browser) and choose which one is used first. All available apps that match that type will appear on the screen.

Manage what apps can do on your phone

Apps often ask for permission to access certain data or parts of your device, like your contacts and your phone’s location. To view (and, if necessary, edit) these permissions or limit access only when you’re using the app, open app and then select See all apps to choose a particular application. Then tap on permissions to check the settings and make changes. It will also show you the last time a particular set of permissions was used.

You are in control of the permissions that apps have.

Google via David Nield

Pause permissions on unused apps

You don’t want old apps you no longer use to keep their permissions, which is why, by default, Android now pauses permissions on apps you haven’t used in a while. To control this for individual apps, choose appafter See all appsthen choose an app and select permissions other Pause app activity if not in use. (By the way, now is a good time to delete any apps you no longer use.)

Check your notification history

Android keeps a record of your notifications, in case you deleted them too quickly and need to retrieve them. You can turn on the feature and view recent notifications from your apps by selecting notifications and so notification history. Note that currently postponed notifications appear in this list, as well as notifications that you’ve dismissed.

Hide sensitive notifications on the lock screen

You don’t necessarily want sensitive or personal notifications to appear on your lock screen where anyone can read them. You can prevent this from happening by choosing notifications and disable the sensitive notifications toggle switch The sensitivity of a notification is actually controlled by the developer of the app that sends it, but direct messages will usually be included.

Hide silent notifications

You probably get enough notifications without all the silent ones. These are the ones that maybe tell you the weather, or that there is traffic in your area, or that a podcast is downloading in the background. If you prefer these not to appear on your phone and distract you, choose notifications and enable Hide silent notifications in the status bar.

Show battery percentage in status bar

It can be hard to tell how much battery your phone has left by looking at the little icon in the status bar. To get a percentage reading next to it, choose batteries and then turn on the battery percentage toggle switch All other icons in the status bar will shift to the left accordingly, with the usual battery life icon remaining in its place.

See which apps use the most storage

If you’re running out of space on your phone, see which apps are taking up the most space by going to Storage and so app The largest apps in terms of storage space are shown at the top of the list. The figures shown include all files in an app, so downloaded Spotify playlists and Netflix shows count just as well as actual Spotify and Netflix apps, for example.

Some Android phones have the ability to subtitle videos in real time.

Google via David Nield

Add live subtitles to videos

The ability to caption speech in videos, in real time, is available on a growing number of Android phones and is useful even if you are not hearing impaired. You can find the option by tapping sounds and vibrations and so live subtitles. Subtitles generated by Google’s artificial intelligence processing will automatically appear whenever a voice is detected, whether it’s in a video on social media or in a video call.

Make the screen lock before

Your lock screen protects your phone from unwanted users, so ideally you want it to wake up as quickly as possible once you put it down. You can modify this duration by opening the screen and then choosing screen timeout of the list; you can usually select durations from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Make everything on screen bigger

If you have difficulty reading the text on the screen, go to screen other Screen size and text in the settings of. You will see two sliders, one for font size (which makes the text bigger or smaller) and one for screen size (what are you doing all larger or smaller, including icons and menus). tap on the reset settings to return to the standard settings.

Unlock your device in trusted places

If there are certain places where you are sure that your phone will not be accessed by untrusted people, for example at home, you can have the screen unlock automatically in these places for added convenience. Go to Securityafter advanced settingsafter smart lockand finally Trusted places. Add a location and you’re done.

Add your medical information

Suppose you are unlucky enough to be involved in an emergency medical situation. In that case, you may not be able to tell first responders about your blood type, medications, allergies, and other important information. However, you can tell your phone, through Security and Emergency other Medical information—and these details will be accessible from the lock screen.

Set limits on app usage

If you’re worried about spending too much time on TikTok or Twitter, Android can help here. if you touch Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controlsand then choose Boardyou can see how much time you’ve spent on specific apps during the day and, if necessary, set limits on how long you can use them in the future.

Enable guest mode

Guest mode is a great way to let other people use your phone without them being able to access your social media accounts, banking apps, or game high scores. It works like a user account on macOS or Windows, and you can set it up on Android by selecting system, multiple usersand then enabling Allow multiple users.

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