Android comes with a plethora of options for customizing and improving your smartphone experience.
By default, Android selects the best settings for you, but playing with your Android preferences and settings is a smart idea to get the most out of your device, depending on the sort of user you are — beginner, average, or pro.
You must, however, be aware of where these controls are located and what they can accomplish. We’ll go over options that can help you optimize battery life, clean up clutter on your home screen, locate a stolen or lost device, and more in this article.
Note that not all Android devices are made equal, and depending on the version of Android you’re running and the manufacturer of your phone, certain settings may be missing or in a different location, so keep that in mind when modifying these settings.
Setting to extend the life of the battery:
Living with a phone that has short battery life can be aggravating, but there are several things you can do right away to maximize each charge:
1 – Turn off auto screen brightness (also known as adaptive brightness) and lower the brightness level slider below 50%. The more battery power your screen uses, the brighter it is. To access the setting, pull down the shortcut menu from the top of the screen and, if applicable, adjust the slider. Auto-brightness may be toggled in the shortcut panel on some phones; otherwise, open the settings app and search for “brightness” to find the setting and turn it off.
2 – Use Adaptive Battery and Battery Optimization to get the most out of your battery. Both of these capabilities were introduced in Android 9.0 Pie, and they are aimed at learning how you use your phone, determining which apps you use and when, and then optimizing the programs and the amount of power they consume.
Some Android phones have a distinct Battery area in the Settings app, but others (looking at you, Samsung) hide this information. Every phone is a little different. I recommend going into your settings and looking for the word “Battery.” You should be directed to the correct screen as a result of the results. Your phone may also feature an adaptive charging mode that can track how quickly your battery charges overnight in order to keep it healthy.
3 – Dark mode on every phone is a simple and attractive method to preserve power.
Using Android’s specialized dark mode is another option to improve battery life while also helping to protect your eyes. A specific dark mode option will be available on every Android phone running Android 10 or newer.
According to Google, dark mode not only lessens the strain on our eyes caused by smartphone displays, but it also increases battery life because dark backgrounds on OLED displays (used in most flagship phones) use less power than white backgrounds.
You may have to rummage around in the settings app to discover a dark mode depending on the version of Android your phone is running and whose business produced it. You can enable systemwide dark mode if your phone runs Android 10 or later. Don’t worry if it runs Android 9. Whether you have Android 10 or not, many apps offer their own dark-mode option in the settings that you may use.
Open the Settings app and look for Dark Mode, Dark Theme, or even Night Mode to enable it (as Samsung likes to call it). I recommend utilizing dark mode all of the time, but if you’re unsure, you may always configure it to turn on on a schedule, such as from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day, or have it switch automatically based on your location at sunset/sunrise.
4 – Keep your home screen as clutter-free as possible.
Are you looking to get a variety of new Android apps from the Google Play Store? Expect a lot of icon clutter on your home screen, as shortcuts arrive there every time you install something.
Thankfully, there is an easy solution: Tap Home settings after long-pressing on an empty region of your home screen. Turn off the option that says something along the lines of “Add icon to Home Screen.”
Presto! When you install new apps, you won’t see any more icons. You can still add shortcuts to your home screen by dragging an app’s icon from the app drawer, but they won’t clutter it up until you want them to.
5 – Set up a Do Not Disturb system.
You probably don’t want your phone beeping or buzzing every time there’s a call, message, or Facebook alert if it spends the night on your nightstand, especially when you’re attempting to sleep.
Thankfully, Android includes a Do Not Disturb option that keeps the phone mostly silent during set hours. This is known as the Downtime setting or even quiet time on some phones.
In conclusion: Look for Do Not Disturb or a similar name under Settings > Sounds (or Sounds and notifications or maybe Sound & vibration). You can use the option to schedule when the digital noise should be turned off (typically at night). Don’t worry, any notifications you receive when Do Not Disturb is enabled will still be there when you wake up.
Additionally, you can usually set an exception that permits calls from repeat callers and favored contacts to go through. That should be turned on. If someone is attempting to contact you in an emergency, they are likely to try again.
6 – find-my-device
After you use Find My Device to lock your Android phone, this is what someone who finds it will see.
Expect to misplace your phone.
Is there anything more frustrating than having your phone stolen or lost? Only the knowledge that if you had enabled Google’s Find My Device feature, you could have tracked it down.
Here’s what you need to do to set yourself up for a successful recovery: Open the Settings app and look for the Find My Device option. It’s commonly found in the Settings app’s Security section.
You can also use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service, which can be found in Settings > Biometrics and security > Find My Mobile if you have a Samsung handset.
Once enabled, you can login in to your account at android.com/find from any PC or mobile device. To locate a misplaced Samsung phone, go to findmymobile.samsung.com.
It’s never fun to misplace your phone.
If you have any problems setting up any of these, make sure to read our comprehensive guide to recovering a lost Android phone.
If your phone is turned on and connected to the internet, you should be able to see its location on a map. You can then make it ring, lock it, leave a note on the lock screen instructing whoever has it how to return it to you, or, in the worst-case situation, remotely wipe the entire device.