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Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users

Arguably the most powerful OS that smartphones have ever seen, Android has captured over 88 percent of the market while its closest rival is Apple’s iOS at 11.9 percent. Android was made with customisation in mind. At the time of its inception, two of the biggest mobile OS came from Apple and Microsoft but the intuitive Android didn’t take a long time to crush its competition and push one of the two giants towards the exit door.

Aforementioned, Android was developed keeping in mind ease of use as well as customisability. Here we talk about 11 tips and tricks that you might not know and will be useful if you’re a power user.

Note that these features have been tested on devices running (stock) Android 9 Pie and Android 8 Oreo. While the same features should be available for proprietary skins as well as earlier versions of Android, their location might differ.

Also read: 8 ways to block ads on Android smartphones

Stop new apps from making an icon on the Home screen

You can stop newly installed apps from creating an icon on the home screen as soon as they’re ready to use. This feature is especially useful when you’re installing several apps on a new device and don’t want a crowded home screen.Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology To disable new apps from making an icon on the home screen, follow the steps below.

  • Long press on an empty space on your home screen until you see a few options, including Widgets and Home Settings.
  • Tap on Home Settings
  • Toggle off Add icon to Home screen to disable new apps from making an icon on the home screen

Now whenever you install a new app on your device, an icon won’t be created on the home screen. To disable it, that is show new app icons on the home screen, switch the toggle on.

Force update Play Store

If due to some internal error, your Google Play Store isn’t getting updated, you can try to force update it using the following steps.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Open the Play Store and tap on the Menu on the top left
  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll down to the bottom to find Play Store Version and tap on it once

If your Play Store isn’t updated, this will force update it. If it’s updated then the dialog box will read: “Google Play Store is up to date”.

Enable/Disable home screen rotation

If you like using your home screen in landscape mode, then you’ll surely find a use for this option. Usually, displays of smartphones reorient themselves to vertical when you hit the home button but if you’d like to keep things in horizontal, you can enable home screen rotation or disable if you don’t like your home screen rotating.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Long press on an empty space on your home screen until you see a few options, including Widgets and Home Settings
  • Tap on Home Settings
  • Toggle on Allow Home screen rotation to enable landscape mode on the home screen and toggle off to disable it

Play game on Chrome

If you’re getting bored of everything there is on your phone or else don’t have access to the internet but want to pass some time, Google’s Dino running game can come to your rescue. If you haven’t already lost access to the internet, you can do so by switching off the WiFi and mobile data (or switching on Aeroplane mode) and then open Google Chrome.Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.TechnologyYou’ll see a Dino standing over the ‘No Internet’ sign. Tap on the Dino and let the games begin. This feature is also available for Chrome users on PC or iOS.

Also read: Top 15 offline games for Android that you must try

Use the power button to end a call

If you wish to use the power button to double up and also work as a toggle for ending calls, follow the steps below.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on Accessibility
  • Under Interaction controls sub-head, find and toggle on Power button ends call

Customise touch and hold delay

The delayed touch function that enables users to find more options on several windows across Android can be customised according to your preference. By default the touch and hold delay is set to ‘Short’ but that can be changed Medium and Long.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on Accessibility
  • Under Interaction controls sub-head, find and tap on Touch & hold delay
  • Set the preferred option from Short, Medium and Long

How to enable developer options in Android?

Since accessing the features mentioned below would require you to enable the Developer Mode on your device, first let’s talk about how to do that exactly.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to your phone’s Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • Tap on About
  • On the next window, scroll to the bottom, find and tap on Build Number seven times.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.TechnologyOnce enabled, the developer mode will appear in the System menu as Developer Options.

How to see Active app running in the background?

If you wish to see which apps are hogging your device’s RAM and if there’s some app that shouldn’t be there, follow the steps below.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll a bit to find Running Services and tap on it
  • On the next window, you’ll be able to see all the active apps and processes that are using the RAM

You can also see a list of cached processes by tapping on Show Cached Processes at the top-right of the display.

Also read: Top 5 fitness apps for Android to help with your regime

Control what happens when USB is connected

There are various options for what should happen when you connect your device with some other via USB and you can customise that by following the steps below.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll down until you hit Networking sub-head
  • Tap on Select USB configuration and then select your preference from the list of options

You can choose from the following options: Charging, MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol), RNDIS (USB Ethernet), Audio Source and MIDI.

Keep mobile data always active

In case you have a spotty WiFi connection that keeps dropping every now and then, this feature will help your device to quickly switch over to mobile data as soon as WiFi signal is lost as the connection stays active in the background even when WiFi is connected.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll down until you hit Networking sub-head
  • Find and toggle on Mobile data always active

If enabling this feature eats up a considerable amount of your mobile data, you can toggle off to disable it.

Limit the number of apps that can be opened at once

If you’re limited on RAM and would like your device to keep functioning smoothly at the expense of background processes then follow the steps below.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll to the bottom and under Apps sub-head tap on Background process limit

Set the desired limit from the following options: Standard Limit (set by default), No background processes, and from at most, one process to four.

Say if you select ‘At most, 3 processes’, the device will close any old process running in the background when a new one in opened as soon as the total number of running processes reaches three. This ensures that your device functions smoothly

Kill apps as soon as you leave them

To help maintain privacy is the device is used by multiple users or to ensure that the device runs smoothly without lagging, users can make the system kill apps after you exit them.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll to the bottom and under Apps sub-head and toggle on Don’t keep activities

Enabling this feature will destroy an app/activity as soon as you leave it.

Force apps to resize for multi-tasking

If you wish to use an app in multi-task mode but the app doesn’t support it, you can enable this feature and try putting into the multi-task window.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll to the bottom and under Apps sub-head and toggle on Force activities to be resizable

Now regardless of whether the app supports the multi-tasking window, it’ll be forced to resize to be used while multi-tasking. Note that an app can malfunction when forced to meet parameters outside its manifest value.

Also read: How to enable split screen and multitask on Android 9 Pie, Oreo and Nougat

Display touch points

Displaying touch points can be useful when you’re using screenshots in a video or presentation. Otherwise, it can also be useful when projecting your device’s screen and need a pointer to show where the clicks are being made.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology
Note the circular touch point as highlighted
  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll down and under Input sub-head toggle on Show taps

Force apps to save on SD card

If you’re running out of internal storage on your device, you can force the apps to be written on external storage.

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Scroll to the bottom and under Apps sub-head and toggle on Force allow apps on external

Now, regardless of whether an app supports installing in SD card, it’ll be forced to move there. Note that an app can malfunction when forced to meet parameters outside its manifest value.

Keep your screen active while charging

Top 15 Android tips and tricks for power users | Candid.Technology

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap on System
  • On the next page, tap on Developer options
  • Toggle on Stay awake to keep your device’s display on when it’s being charged.

Also read: 5 ways to detect and avoid fake/dangerous apps on Google Play Store

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