8 things you didn’t know you can do on your Android phone

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1/9) 8 things you didn’t know you can do on your Android phone

Don’t be satisfied with what you have on Android. You can change, push, pull, rip apart and tweak almost anything to your heart’s content. However, because of some limitations of other operating systems, these are hacks that will only work on Android, explain Karan Bajaj and Hitesh Raj Bhagat.

Android

2/9) Have multiple accounts on one device

A lot of us have moved on ­ from having just one email or social media account to multiples. Some of you with multiple phone numbers may also have multiple WhatsApp accounts. But you can’t have these on all the same device -­ unless you use virtualisation that is. Based on MultiDroid (a virtualisation engine), Parallel Space lets you keep multiple accounts (all online simultaneously) on the same device. To start with, you should have all the apps you want to use (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and so on) already installed on the device.

Once you install Parallel Space, you can select which ones you want to run in the virtual space of this app. You can also password protect this area so that only you can access this virtual area. With Parallel Space working, you can then sign in to your alternate accounts -­ it’s that simple. Make sure that your phone has at least 3GB of RAM so that this transition works smoothly.

Android

3/9) Make messaging work for you

You’ll always get spam text -­ no matter how many services you try to unsubscribe from and no matter how many times you register for the Do Not Call registry. Once you accept this, you can do something about it if you’re on Android. True Messenger (from True Caller) uses the company’s vast, global database of numbers, crowdsourcing plus a list of known spammers to keep your inbox clean.

It will just automatically filter out all the junk. On the other hand, if you’re bored with the plain old SMS app, try Chomp SMS (it’s ad-supported but you can upgrade to remove ads permanently). You need to install and make it default SMS inbox for your phone ­ in return, you get a password protected inbox, 100’s of free themes, SMS scheduler, lots of emoji, blacklisting, automatic signatures, quick reply (you can also reply from the lock screen), better group SMS features, better dual SIM messaging features and unlimited customisation for notification icons, LED colours and vibrate patterns.

Android

4/9) Drop the screen size down

Larger screens are all the rage on Android devices ­ they can be very useful too, but if you’re always struggling to reach all corners of the screen, you should check if your device has a one-handed mode in settings. This feature brings the size of the screen down to a more manageable size so that you don’t have to adjust your grip to reach all four corners. If your phone doesn’t have this feature built in, you can add it in if you’re prepared to root your phone. Once your device is rooted, you can head to the Play Store and get an app called Niwatori ­ this adds the Xposed module to your phone to enable one-hand use. If you prefer not to root, try making the large screen more useful ­ with something like Lazy Swipe. This free app allows for simpler one-handed use by using a small app launcher.

It stays on top of the existing Android interface (or any other third-party launcher that you have installed).All you have to do is slide out the Lazy Swipe from the screen’s left or right bottom corner.

It has three main sections: Toolbox (which has toggles for all the often used settings like GPS, Bluetooth and data), Recents (which automatically gets populated with all the recently used apps) and Favorites (which you can customise with a simple drag-drop).

Android phone

5/9) Make animations faster or switch them off

This little hack works on almost any Android phone and you don’t need to have a rooted phone. Head to settings > about Phone and tap continuously on the Build Number. Usually, after about 7 or 8 taps, you’ll get a little pop-up informing you that developer options have been enabled. Go back a level in Settings and you’ll see developer options.

Head here and scroll down till you see settings for Window and Transition Animation scale. The default values are 1x (or normal speed). You can reduce this to 0.5x (half the time taken, or twice the speed). Head back to the home screen and give the device a whirl for a few minutes. If you like what you see, you can also turn the animation off completely . This can even make an older or bloated phone feel faster than before.

Android

6/9) Backup text messages, transfer them or view on PC

Over time, you will unwittingly build up a database of 1000’s of messages you can’t delete them because there’s some important info there ­ you just don’t remember where, when and from whom. They’ll slow down your messaging app too. Get the free SMS Backup & Restore app ­ it offers the easiest one-touch backup, transfer and restoration of your messages from one device to other.

You can choose the folder where you want to create a backup and it supports saving directly to external storage. Once a backup is created, you can just email it to yourself and open them on a computer (they get saved in an XLS format which will open with Excel or any spreadsheet viewer). This way, your messages will be searchable too.

Android

7/9) Automate daily or mundane tasks

IFTTT (IF This Then That) is an ingenious solution that helps you get the more boring tasks done with little to no intervention. It’s all about the recipe: this is a statement that triggers an action in response to events that you specify . For instance, a simple recipe could be ­ when I leave home, turn off phone WiFi. Recipes can be more complex and you don’t even need to create them yourself ­ IFTTT has a vast library of recipes that you can browse through and download. Everything is free and the community of global users are always willing to lend a helping hand if you get lost.

What’s more, you can stack recipes and automate daily activities. For instance, if you upload something to Instagram, you can have it automatically saved to your DropBox. Or if you star an email in Gmail, it can automatically create a reminder to follow up about it.

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8/9) Move stuff to external storage

On any Android device, you need to keep a certain amount of free space on the internal memory for proper functioning. If your device has a memory card slot, you’re in luck. MicroSD cards are cheap and most phones support cards up to 32GB in size (a 32GB micro SD goes for as less as Rs 700). You can get 64 or 128GB cards if your phone supports these sizes.

Once the card is installed, you can start moving photos and videos to it. Next step is to move apps from the internal memory to the memory card to free up space. To do this, get the free App2SD by Sam Lu. It clearly shows you which apps are movable and which ones aren’t. If you don’t want a bunch of apps, you can uninstall them all in one go (batch uninstall). It will also show you a list of apps that can be frozen (to stop them from working and eating up more space) and those that can be hidden (they’ll disappear from the app drawer).

Android

9/9) See how well your charger & cable are doing

 

A free (ad-supported) app called Ampere by developers Braintrapp aims to measure the amount of current that your charger supplies to the phone. All you have to do is start up the app and it displays the current on screen. When not connected to a charger, the app will display the rate of discharge.

Discharge rate will change based on screen brightness, number of running apps processes. The aim is to find out which charger and cable combination works best for your device. It only works on Android 4.0.3 devices and above but there is another catch -­ not all devices are supported. On the Google Play page for the app, they have a complete list of supported devices. For this reason, on some devices, you may not even find the app when searching in the Play Store.

 

 

(Post courtsey: Times of india)

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