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  1. #1
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    Post 40+ Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of your Android


    Less-Than-Obvious Menus and Screens
    These menus, screens, and settings aren’t exactly hidden, but they’re easy to miss.

    1. Extra Wi-Fi Settings

    In the Wi-Fi Settings menu, hit Menu > Advanced for extra settings, and to find your MAC and IP addresses. This is also the place where you can change the Wi-Fi sleep policy (the point where it switches back to 3G).

    2. More Camera Options
    The little kitchen timer icon in the Camera app hides a lot of options: metering mode, ISO, color effects… it’s not just for focus and exposure settings!

    3. Bigger Battery Graph
    For a detailed analysis of how your phone is losing battery, go to Settings > About Phone > Battery Use and tap the graph at the top of the screen. The screen that appears contains a visual timeline of the phone’s signal strength, Wi-Fi connection, sleep status and charging status since the last time the phone was 100% charged.
    Bigger Battery Usage Graph
    If you’re running low on battery faster than you expect to, take a look at our article
    How to Improve the Battery Life of Your Phone


    .

    4. Change Default Apps
    If you have an application set as the default for some action – for example, a particular browser is the default for opening web pages – you can change that. Find the app in Settings > Manage Applications, then tap Clear Defaults.
    This also applies to launchers. If you want to try another one, then remove your current selection as the default; whenever you press Home it’ll let you choose between all the launchers you have installed, until you select a new default.

    5. Get the Date With a Tap, Anywhere
    You can quickly see the day of the week and month by tapping and holding the notifications bar, without having to pull it down.

    6. Access Your Contacts on the Computer
    Assuming you’ve linked your phone to a Google account, you can view all your phone contacts (with their numbers, email addresses, and any other info you have about them) at
    google.com/contacts


    .

    (This came in very handy when I had my phone in for repairs for a few days! – Ed.)


    7. Silence the Ringer
    When someone calls you, you can mute the incoming call ringer without hanging up or accepting the call by pressing the volume rocker.
    On HTC handsets, you can open Settings > Sound and Display and enable “Quiet ring on pickup” to make it fade to silent as soon as you pick it up.

    Ice Cream Sandwich
    Android 4.0 (as found on the Galaxy Nexus) is still pretty new, and I’m sure we’ll gather more tips over the next few months, but here’s what we have for now.

    8. Tweak Your Home Screens
    If you’ve
    rooted your handset


    , you can use
    Trebuchet Launcher


    to remove the persistent search bar and adjust the number of homescreens.

    Alternatively, you can use
    Nova Launcher


    , which doesn’t require root. However, without rooting, you won’t be able to view widgets in the App Drawer.

    9. Enable Near Field Communications

    Enable NFC by opening Settings > Wireless & Networks > More, then checking NFC. And if you’re wondering why,
    read this explanation of the technology


    .


    10. Monitor Your Data Usage

    Check your data usage by going to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage. You’ll see a breakdown of all data transfers and you can tap any app to see how much data that specific app is using.
    The Data Manager
    You can also set a 3G limit here; after this point, 3G data will automatically be disabled – useful for anyone on a restricted plan.

    11. Easily Create Folders
    On any home screen, create a folder by dragging and dropping one app on top of another. To rename the folder, tap it, then tap the name.

    12. Resize Your Widgets
    For widgets that support resizing, you can long-press the widget on your home screen to make controls appear; drag these to change the width and height.

    13. Use the Audio Equalizer
    There’s an audio equalizer built in to the stock music player. Just hit Now Playing > Sound Effects to open it.

    Browser
    The browser may be the app you use the most, so here’s a handful of tips to help you use it better.

    14. Change the User Agent
    Some websites will automatically serve you a mobile-friendly version of their site, if they detect you’re using a phone. But these versions can sometimes be severely cut down versions of the main site, with far fewer features.
    You can tell websites to serve you desktop versions by changing the browser’s User Agent setting to Linux Desktop or Mac Desktop. Alternatively, you can select iPhone, iPad, different versions of Android, or even IE6.

    15. Alter the Default Zoom
    By default, when you open a page, your zoom level will be set to Medium. You can change this to Far or Close by altering the “Default zoom” option in the settings.
    The other setting that affects this is “Open pages in overview”, which makes new pages open zoomed all the way out when checked.

    16. Quickly Access the Address Bar
    Instead of scrolling all the way back up to the top of the page, you can just hit Menu to make the address bar appear.
    On devices designed for Ice Cream Sandwich, which have no Menu button, you can do a “pull-down” gesture to achieve the same thing.

    Keyboards
    There are
    a lot of keyboards


    to choose from, each with their own tricks; here, we’ll just look at a few tips that apply to all keyboards in general.


    17. Quickly Switch Keyboard
    Instead of diving through the Settings menu to switch keyboard, you can do it from within any app: just long-press a text field and tap “Input method”, then choose your new keyboard from the list.

    18. Alternative Symbols
    Some keys can display more than one symbol: you can long-press the key and swipe over one of the symbols that pops up to insert it. For example, long-tap “c” and you can insert a “ç”. On the default keyboard (and some others), the letters that hide extra symbols have an ellipsis (“…”) in the corner.
    Most keyboards also have a whole set of alternative keys, accessed by pressing a key marked “?123″ or “ALT” or similar. HTC Sense has two menus, but it’s easy to miss the second one: it’s opened by pressing a key marked “1/2″, which some people naturally assume means a “half” symbol!

    19. Hide the Keyboard
    You can almost always toggle the keyboard by long-pressing the Menu key. On Ice Cream Sandwich, this won’t work, but most keyboards let you dismiss them by swiping down within them. (One exception is Swype, for obvious reasons.)
    Why would you want to do this? Well, sometimes text fields trigger the keyboard when you don’t want it covering half of the screen, and sometimes the keyboard doesn’t automatically appear when you do want it
    – this often happens with web pages that require text input, but don’t have any text boxes.


    20. Quick Contractions
    The standard keyboard’s auto-correct is great, overall, but there are circumstances where it can’t guess what you’re saying. In particular, it can’t automatically change “ill” to “I’ll” or “well” to “we’ll”, which is frustrating but understandable. However, itwill automatically change “il” to “I’ll” and “wel” to “we’ll” (unless you have “il” and “wel” saved in the dictionary), so remembering this could help you stay in flow when typing.
    It also seems that “iys” and “thays” get changed to “it’s” and “that’s”, respectively.

    LED
    A few phones don’t have notification LEDs (or trackballs), but they’re definitely in the minority. Assuming you have one, here are a couple of things you should know.

    21. HTC Charging Light
    On HTC handsets, when plugged in and charging, a green LED does not mean that the phone is fully charged; it means it’s at 90% charge or more. (You can see the current charge level in the Clock app, if you don’t have a widget for it.)

    22. Get More Control Over the LED
    The app
    Light Flow


    can offer you much more control over your LED: you can alter which types of notification trigger the light, automatically turn the LED off at night, and assign different colours to different types of notification.

    These small changes make it easier to tell when you’ve got an important notification at a glance, without having to touch the phone.

    Screenshots
    We’ve covered
    how to take screenshots on Android


    before, both with and without root (and with and without having to plug it in to a computer). A few phones offer different ways of doing this, however.


    23. Samsung Galaxy Phones

    Samsung Galaxy phones offer a shortcut to let you take a screenshot immediately, without having to root. On most devices, that shortcut is Back + Menu; on the Galaxy S II, it’s Home + Power. In either case, the shot will be saved to a folder called “ScreenCapture” on the SD card.

    24. Ice Cream Sandwich
    One of the new features in Android 4.0 adds the same sort of feature to all phones: just hit Power + Vol Down to snap a shot of the screen.
    Taking a Screenshot on ICS
    Search
    You will perhaps not be surprised that Google’s Search app does a little more than just search the web.
    Note:
    a new version of the app


    was released on 11th Jan, with a cleaner interface.


    25. Search Apps, Texts, and More
    Besides Google, you can also search through your SMS history and music tracks, as well as any app that supports it (your Kindle books, your Evernote notes, your Twitter tweets, and so on).
    From within the app, press Menu > Search Settings > Searchable items, and choose the apps and areas you want to search. The search results will show Google listings at the top, and other results at the bottom.
    (In the previous version of Search, you can do the same thing by tapping the logo in the top-left and selecting the little dial button.)

    26. Auto-Complete
    When typing a query, a list of auto-completions will appear. Tap the words to go directly to a search for the selected query; tap the arrow on the right to just add the words to your query, so that you can type more.
    Search history, auto-complete arrows, bookmark search, and contact search.


    27. Remove Items From Your Search History
    For results in your search history (the ones with a little clock on the left), long-press any to get an option to remove it from your history.

    28. Assign an App to the Search Button
    Certain apps let you assign a long-press of the search button as a shortcut to run them. Voice Search is the default, but you can also assign Screenshot Now to take a screenshot, or SoundHound to identify the song, for example.
    Just remove the currently selected app as the default (explained in an earlier tip), then long-press Search to select a new one.

    CyanogenMod 7
    CyanogenMod 7 is the ROM of choice for most of the Android.AppStorm team – and if you’re not sure why, check out Rita El Khoury’s article,
    10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod 7


    . It’s no wonder that we’ve got a few CM-specific tips, then.


    29. Use Lockscreen Gestures
    You can enable lockscreen gestures that let you quickly jump to an app or perform a task directly from the lockscreen. These can be enabled and customized fromSettings > CyanogenMod Settings > Lockscreen.
    Lockscreen Gestures


    30. Quickly Dismiss Any Single Notification
    In the Notifications panel, swipe to the right on a notification to remove it. (This has since been introduced as a stock feature in Ice Cream Sandwich.)

    31. Change Number of Recent Apps
    You know in Android 2.x you can long-press the ‘Home’ button on your phone for a list of the recently used apps? In CM7, you can change the number of apps in this list: open Settings > CyanogenMod Settings > Input Settings > Long-press home settings, and change “Number of recent apps”.

    32. Force-Kill Apps With the Back Button
    In Settings > Applications > Development, there’s an option called “Stop app via long-press”, which, when checked, allows you to force-kill the current foreground application by long-pressing the back button. Useful if you frequently use an app that’s a bit flaky, but watch out: some apps use a long-press of the back button as a shortcut for another feature (for example, it shows the History in the default browser).

    33. Save Power by Going Monochrome
    You can use RenderFX to set a single colour for the display to use – for example, pick red and you’ll eliminate the green and blue pixel usage, thereby saving power. The option is in CyanogenMod Settings > Interface > Render Effect.

    34. End a Call With a Button Press
    You can enable an option that let’s you end a call by pressing the Power button, instead of having to tap the screen. The setting can be enabled in Menu > Settings > Accessibility, and is called “Power Button ends call”.

    35. Change Volume Without Unlocking
    You can change your ringer volume quickly, while your phone is locked, by tapping Power to turn on the display, then holding Power to open the power menu, and then using the volume keys to adjust the volume.
    (This also gives you a quick way to switch to Silent Mode or reboot the phone from the lock screen.)

    36. Edit Notification Power Widget Buttons
    Above the notifications, when you swipe down the bar, is a set of icons for toggling Wi-Fi, silent mode, and so on. You can choose what to show in here in Settings > Interface > Notification Power Widget > Widget Buttons.
    Notification Bar Power Widget
    I find it useful to have the Torch in this bar, for fast access.
    Long-pressing on some of these icons will load additional options, or open the related app,

    37. Show Battery Charge in Notification Area
    You can replace the vague power icon with one that shows the percentage charge inSettings > Interface > Status Bar Tweaks > Battery Percentage.

    Troublesome Ads?
    Ever seen an ad appear in your notifications? This is thanks to a service called AirPush, which developers can use in their apps. Rather annoyingly, AirPush ads don’t indicate which app they come from.
    An ad for AirPush, showing an AirPush ad.


    38. Discover Which Apps Use AirPush
    You can use
    AirPush Detector


    to find the app responsible for putting ads in your notifications.

    I was surprised to find that
    45% of readers


    were happy with the idea of using notifications for purposes other than… well, notification.


    Google Maps
    Google Maps is one of Android’s Killer Apps. It’s great on the surface, but even better if you know a bit more about it.

    39. Transit Navigation

    Transit Navigation


    adds support for public transit: buses, trains, and so on. It not only tells you which routes to take, it also alerts you when it’s time to get off at the next stop.


    40. Share Your Location
    Tap your location on the map (you can hit the button in the top right to pan the view to this), then hit the “My location” popup that appears. From here, you can send the location to other people, via SMS, email, Facebook, or any other method in the Share menu.

    41. Enable Labs
    Hit Menu > Settings > Labs to find extra features you can turn on.
    The most useful one, in my opinion, is “Precache map area”, which lets you download any area of the map in advance.

    Specific Apps
    Or, “the stuff we couldn’t fit in any other section”.

    42. Fix YouTube Problems
    If you have problems with YouTube freezing during playback or not refreshing the video, go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > YouTube, and press Force Stop followed by Clear Cache and finally Clear Data. This will effectively reset YouTube.
    Next time you open the app, just sign in again with your Google credentials and you’ll be good to go. This solves most of the issues with video playback.

    43. ADW Dockbar With Infinite Apps
    In ADW Launcher, as well as the 1-, 3-, or 5-icon dock, you can enable a “dockbar” that can store as many shortcuts as you like (swipe left and right to scroll through them). Just swipe up from the bottom of the home screen to make it visible and drag any shortcuts onto it. Swipe down to hide it and show the regular dock again.

    44. Go Launcher Ex Tips
    You can configure an app to be launched when you swipe down on your Home Screen (in Menu > Preferences > Operation Settings > Glide down action). You can configure the slide up action too.
    You can also set swipe actions for dock icons. I’ve set the app drawer icon in my dock to open the settings on swipe.
    If you don’t like the text labels for homescreen icons cluttering the space, you can disable them in Menu > Preferences > Screen Settings.

    45. Chrome to Phone Tips
    This can do more than just remotely open links in a browser: Google Map pages will open in the Maps app, and YouTube videos will open in the YouTube app. Also, if you copy text, it’ll be transferred to the clipboard; phone numbers will be automatically entered in the dialer, ready to call. Find out more in
    this article


    .

    Also, you can open the actual app on your phone to get a list of all things sent to it in the past, sorted by date.
    If you’re using
    Chrome for Android


    , use
    Chrome to Mobile


    instead of Chrome to Phone.


    Just for Fun
    Finally, a couple of tips that are useless, but fun.

    46. View the Easter Egg
    This works on most Android devices: open Settings > About, then tap “Android version” repeatedly. The result differs depending on the version of Android that you’re running.

    47. Solve Sudoku With Your Camera
    The
    Google Goggles app


    can solve Sudoku puzzles. Just snap a photo and give it a few seconds.

    (And if you enjoy Sudoku, check out our collection of
    coffee time puzzle games


    . – Ed)


    Source:
    Android Storm











































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  3. #2
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    this is the reason i joined this forum. The info is much appreciated!

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    How come it's in the Mercury section and this post talks about Cyanogenmod? Other than that, it's very normative.

    Sent from my M886 using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nestoh View Post
    How come it's in the Mercury section and this post talks about Cyanogenmod? Other than that, it's very normative.

    Sent from my M886 using Tapatalk 2
    Because I own a Mercury phone

    Sent from my M886 using Tapatalk 2

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    Who uses what tool to tweak your system settings

    I'm about to purchase
    Tasker by Crafty Apps


    , this seems to be a nice to for regular ROM.


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    Nice thread...good, good stuff!

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    Nice thread. Great info. Thanks

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    I simply skimmed this,
    but i swear i didn't see ROOT anywhere.
    imo it should be like every other tip lol
    protip 1. root your phone
    protip 2. install cwm.
    protip 3. backup phone.
    lol
    Last edited by Woof; 09-20-2012 at 02:31 AM. Reason: removed unnecessary quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony S Burkett View Post
    I simply skimmed this,
    but i swear i didn't see ROOT anywhere.
    imo it should be like every other tip lol
    protip 1. root your phone
    protip 2. install cwm.
    protip 3. backup phone.
    lol
    In between 28-29 that's pretty much it. And not all phones are root able (I think) and did you really have to quote the whole thing?

    Sent from my Verizon Galaxy S III

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    Quote Originally Posted by salas View Post
    In between 28-29 that's pretty much it. And not all phones are root able (I think) and did you really have to quote the whole thing?

    Sent from my Verizon Galaxy S III
    ya hit the wrong button.
    from what i know all androids are root capable, there's no reason they wouldn't be.
    and you didn't put root, you simply put cyanogenmod. that's not root, that's a rom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony S Burkett View Post
    ya hit the wrong button.
    from what i know all androids are root capable, there's no reason they wouldn't be.
    and you didn't put root, you simply put cyanogenmod. that's not root, that's a rom.
    But to get cyanogen you have to do what? and yes they are CAPABLE. But it doesn't mean every single model out there has been rooted.

    Sent from my Verizon Galaxy S III

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    Quote Originally Posted by salas View Post
    But to get cyanogen you have to do what? and yes they are CAPABLE. But it doesn't mean every single model out there has been rooted.

    Sent from my Verizon Galaxy S III
    I dont know of any that aren't rooted. And you can get cyanogen without rooting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony S Burkett View Post
    I dont know of any that aren't rooted. And you can get cyanogen without rooting.
    One does not simply flash a custom ROM without knowing what root is.

    Sent from my Verizon Galaxy S III

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    Moved this thread to a more appropriate section. It's a general android topic and not mercury related.

    Cmon guys try a little bit will ya.
    ** Don't PM if you need something. I will NOT respond**
    Start a thread and let the whole forum benefit form your questions and the answers we provide.

    Supporting members get free ESN changes, along with more PMs, better signatures/avatars, and more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woof View Post
    Moved this thread to a more appropriate section. It's a general android topic and not mercury related.

    Cmon guys try a little bit will ya.
    My fault, thanks.

 

 
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