Whether you’ve been a faithful follower of Android from the beginning or have just jumped ship from Apple, we’ve rounded up the top Android tips and tricks to help you make the most of your smartphone. No matter what device you have, from Samsung to Motorola to HTC, you’re sure to find a helpful hint you can put to good use.
Never lose any of your precious photos, videos and files again by backing up everything on Google Drive, which you can access from anywhere on any of your devices. All you need to do is ensure Google Drive is installed on your Android phone and hit the + button to upload whatever you like.
Another way to back up all your photos and videos is through the Google Photos app, which is the easiest way to transfer your media from your old Android phone to your new one. Just tap “Settings” in the app, followed by “Backup & Sync” and turn on “Backup” – now you can rest easy you’ll never lose your images!
You can add multiple accounts to the Gmail app, so you can receive all your emails in the one place – just tap the arrow beside your username in the app, then select “Add Account”. It’s up to you whether you view them grouped together or individually.
Google Now Cards
This is the easiest way to get the information you want when you want it on your Android device. You can set up Google Now cards to give you updates on news, weather, traffic and more, through the Google app – simply hit “Settings”, then “Now Cards” and tap “Show Cards”.
Google Now on Tap
This handy Android trick takes convenience that bit further by allowing you to open multiple apps without closing the other. Simply press and hold the home button while in an app and Google will automatically provide you with relevant links for what you’re looking at, such as directions to the restaurant your friend has just text you.
Get your device to do all the hard work for you with “Ok Google”, Android’s voice commander. You can make calls, open apps, set alarms and more without lifting a finger, simply by asking Google – all you have to do is start saying your instruction with “Ok Google…”
Google Docs, Sheets & Slides
The Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps are essentials on your Android device if you want to write, edit and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the move.
You can now continue where you left off on the computer by opening the same tabs on your phone using Google Chrome. This is perfect for transitioning from the office to your commute home, if you still have few bits and pieces to do. Simply sign in to the Chrome app on your Android phone and tap “History” to see the websites you’ve visited on your desktop.
Speaking of commutes, you can add your home and work address to Google Maps and get real-time traffic updates straight to your device – perfect for planning your journey!
Doze is designed to help you increase your battery life by putting your Android device to sleep when it has been idle for a significant period of time. To control which apps you still want to get notifications from, just head to ‘Settings’, ‘Battery’, then hit the three dot menu to select ‘Battery Optimisation’. From there, tap ‘Not Optimised’ and choose ‘All Apps’ to control which ones you would like to remain active in Doze mode.
If your Android phone is running slow for no apparent reason, you can check which apps are using the most RAM by going into “Settings”, then “Memory”. Here, you can check out your average memory usage for the day or tap “Memory Used By Apps” to find the culprit.
If you have the latest Android Marshmallow update on your phone, you can now customise the Quick Settings menu by holding the “Settings” icon in the top-right corner of the Quick Settings menu. After you receive a popup telling you System UI Tuner has been added to your “Settings”, head there and tap on “Quick Settings”. From here, you can move or delete tiles from the menu, as well as adding new ones. You can also enable battery percentage here by clicking “Show Embedded Battery Percentage”, so you know exactly how much power you have left.
Do Not Disturb
From the Quick Settings menu, simply tap on “Do Not Disturb” and select which option you’d like from “Total Silence”, “Alarms Only” or “Priority Only”. You can choose whether you want your peace and quiet to last until you manually turn off Do Not Disturb or until a set time. The “Priority Only” mode allows you to handpick which notifications and contacts you’d still like to hear from.