Android Tips and Tricks

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Here you will find the most useful tips and tricks for your Android device.

As we've already established, Android is so much fun.

Uncovering its non-obvious features and functions is even more fun!  In this section, we'll focus on getting most of our Android devices using a number of insider tips and tricks.

I selected the most  useful and the most often searched for Android tips and tricks. Enjoy!

Android Tips and Tricks for You!

NOTE: Some tips may not work (or work a bit differently) on your specific device  or on Android version other than the one I use (I use Jelly Bean on my HTC One X).

Some Basic Tips & Tricks That Turned into Articles

So far I've dealt with hundreds of different issues with Android phones or/and Android apps and games. Here is a list of more exhaustive articles containing most often searched for Android tips and tricks.

Some 30-second Tips and Tricks

And here is the selection of some of the most popular and easiest to implement tips and tricks for your Android device.

How to Lock Screen Orientation

Some users simply don't like it when the screen on their Android device switches to the landscape or the portrait mode depending on how they hold their device. You don't need to get irritated as you can easily switch that feature off. Here's how you do that:

  • Go to Settings (the easiest way is by dragging the top side of the screen and then opening Settings)

  • Tap Display, gestures & buttons

  • Uncheck Auto rotate screen
Android trick and tip one: how to lock screen orientation
Android Tips and Tricks: turning off Auto rotate screen

How to Take Screenshots with Your Android Device

At one point or another, you may need to take a screenshot of  your Droid. There are basically two ways in which you can do that.

  • Just press and hold the Power and the Volume Down button simultaneously. This is an extremely easy  method. However, it works only on Android 4.0 or higher. 

    After you do this, you will hear the camera shutter sound and your screenshot will be saved to gallery. The files are big and high quality (the resolution of files is the one of our Android device's screen).  In the case of my phone, the resolution of screenshots is 1280x720, so the files are really big and high quality.

On the screenshots below, you can see how the whole process looks. 

Android trick and trip two: Just aften holding the power and the volume down controls.
Android trick and trip two: Folder with captured screenshots.
  • You may want to  use Android SDK.   All you have to do is set up the Android SDK and connect your device to your computer.  Setting it up properly may take a while as the app is not the most user friendly.

    Once you set up the Android SKD, you can also use AShot to take screenshots of your device using your computer. I prefer the first way due it its simplicity, but you can learn more about this way here.  

  • Use one of root apps. There is a number of apps designed especially for taking screenshots. However, because of security reasons, you won't be able to use any of them until you root your device (you may lose your device's warranty if you do that), which I don't recommend to inexperienced users.

    One of these apps is,  for instance, AirDroid which also lets you control your device through your computer browser.

How to Protect Your Phone Against Unauthorized Use

This is one of the most useful Android tips and tricks. For sure.

I never really bothered about that before the "era" of Android. However, when I bought my first Android phone and started to install all sorts of apps, sync it  with various accounts (Google Account, Facebook, Twitter or Endomondo to name just a few), I started to feel a bit worried.  

What if I lost my phone or what if someone stole it from me and got instant access to practically the most sensitive data (address book, SMS messages, e-mails and so on)?

Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can secure your device. Here's how you can do that:

Protecting Your Device Way No. 1

Simply go to Settings, and then tap Security. Choose either Face Unlock, Pattern or PIN. Out of these three options, PIN is the most reliable one.

Face Unlock is far from being perfect as  it will fail to recognize you most often than not and it takes a few seconds until it unlocks the device (even if it recognizes you instantly).

Pattern also has a serious disadvantage. If you use your phone much and frequently lock and unlock it, the patter will simply remain on the screen if you don't wipe it off manually.  That denies the necessity to use this option.

That's why I recommend using PIN which is the quickest and the most reliable way to protect your phone against unauthorized use.

Android tip and trick: how to sercure your device against unauthorized use
Android tip and trick: securing your Android device with PIN

Protecting Your Device Way No. 2

Go to Settings, then tap Storage and check either Storage encryption or Phone storage encryption.  If you want to feel really secure and there is sensitive information on your phone, you may want to use that option.

If you choose that option, you will have to set a new password (which you will use at each power up and to unlock the phone) and then the encryption process will start. It may take up to two hours.

Remember that this process erases all your memory (so remember to backup your data using some backup apps).  You won't be able to remove the password after that unless you reset your phone again.

Android tip and trick: how to sercure your device against unauthorized use by using Storage encryption
Android tip and trick: phone storage encryption alert

TIP! You may want to set your phone to lock after 3, 5 or more minutes. Thanks to this, it will be more comfortable to use your Android device but it will still be secured against unauthorized use.

How to Transform Your Phone Into a $800 Camera

Instead of buying a super expensive professional camera, you may want to use a great app called AfterFocus. This app allows you to create a DSLR-style background blurred photos.

All you have to do is select focus area and you can also use various filter effects. Consider using this app before buying a DSLR camera.

Andoid tip and trick: After Focus
Andoid tip and trick: After Focus in action

How to Make Your Phone Run Faster

This is also one of the highly useful Android tips and tricks.

If you've been using your Android device for some time and have installed many apps, you may encounter some problems, e.g. your phone may be slower to respond, applications may stop unexpectedly, you may run out of memory. I suggest going the following things to deal with these issues:

  • Use an app designed especially for optimizing your Android device and its memory. Here I can suggest using Android Assistant

  • Use some Android app killer and regularly kill unwanted processes. Some apps let you put a shortcut on your desktop and all you have to do is tap it and it kills processes. I use Advanced Task Killer and Android Assistant (on the top of the screenshot you can see its widget). There is also a handy task manager widget to be installed if you use GO Launcher (the one on the bottom).
Andriod tip and trick: two widgets for killing processes
Andriod tip and trick: Android Assistant

How to Create Your Own Ringtone

Every Android device comes with some nice ringtones. But what if you got bored with all of them? No problem! You can create your own unique ringtones.  You can do that with the help of a great app called Ringdroid.

Thanks to this app, you can create your own ringtone, alarm or notification sound as well as record a new one. This is an open-source app which doesn't display any ads!

Andriod tip and trick : Ringdroid
Andriod tip and trick: Ringdroid

Android Tips and Tricks Available on Your Phone

There is also a great number of most useful Android tips and tricks available on your phone. Go to your app drawer and choose Tips & Help. There will be a number of videos and how-tos  containing very useful information concerning practically every aspect of your phone.  

HTC Android tips & help videos
HTC Android how-tos

How Else Can You Customize Your Phone?

The beauty of Android OS is that it gives you so much freedom to customize its every aspect in any way you want. What else can you customize in Android device?

Your Feedback Is Important

Did you like these Android tips and tricks? Do you know any other valuable tips & tricks for Android devices? If you do, please let me know. 

This site would be worthless without your feedback and your involvement. Please leave a comment in the comment box below or submit your unique Android story and have it published as a webpage to this site.

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