if I were Typical smartphone user, you are average Almost five hours a day on your phone now. But unlike video and social media apps, you may not know the tweaks and settings that might make those hours easier or even shorter.
The Android Settings screen is filled with more options than you might realize, choices that can make your phone more convenient to use, keep your data safe, and enable faster connections to other devices. All of these things appear in the Settings app on the latest version of Android 13 in what’s called “Pure Android,” which you get on Google Pixel devices and other lightly touched models, but other phones, like those from Samsung or Motorola, have to Have the same options in similar places.
Turn on Wi-Fi automatically
Wi-Fi may be turned off when you are away from home or the office. If so, Android can restart it for you when you go back to the range of a network you were logged into previously. head for Network and the Internetand then Internet, And the Network Preferences to find the Turn on Wi-Fi automatically Transformation.
Use less data
If you are in a foreign country, have a limited data plan, or are in an area with spotty cellular coverage, you can make your phone use less data by clicking Network and the Internet And the data provider. This works in a few different ways: some apps may check for updates at a lower rate, for example, while images may not load on the web until you click on them.
Add extra security for contactless payments
Apps like Google Pay let you pay with your phone through the magic of NFC, which means anyone who picks up your phone can pay with it. You can prevent this by making sure that NFC payments require unlocking the screen. head for Connected devicesAnd the contact preferences, NFCand run Request to unlock the device for NFC.
Start driving mode automatically
Android now comes with a special while driving mode, which makes it easier to perform certain actions using voice commands, and blocks other notifications. You can start this mode automatically when your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth stereo: To set up this feature, select Connected devicesAnd the Contact preferencesAnd the driving mode.
Set default apps on your phone
Certain actions, such as opening links or answering calls, require default apps associated with them. To control job-related applications, choose apps and then default apps—You can then choose the type of application (such as a web browser) and choose which one is used first. All available applications matching this type will be listed on the screen.
Manage what apps can do on your phone
Apps often ask for permission to access data or certain parts of your device, such as your contacts and your phone’s location. To view these permissions – and modify them if necessary – or limit access to when using the app only, open apps then select View all apps to select a specific application. Then press Permissions To check the settings and make changes. It will also show you the last time a certain set of permissions were used.
Pause permissions on unused apps
You don’t want old apps that you no longer use but keep their permissions, which is why Android now defaults to pausing permissions on apps you haven’t used in a while. To control this for individual apps, choose appsand then View all appsthen choose an app and select Permissions And the Pause the app’s activity if it is not being used. (Now is the time to remove any apps you don’t really use anymore, by the way.)
Check your notification history
Android keeps a history of your notifications, in case you wipe them away too quickly and need to get them back. You can turn on the feature and see recent notifications from your apps by selecting Notices and then Notification date. Note that currently delayed notifications appear in this list in addition to notifications you have dismissed.
Hide sensitive notifications on the lock screen
You don’t necessarily want sensitive or personal notifications to appear on your lock screen where anyone can read them. You can prevent this from happening by choosing Notices and disable Sensitive Notifications Electrical disconnect switch. The sensitivity of the notification is already controlled by the developer of the app sending it, but usually direct messages are included.
Hide silent notifications
You might get enough notifications without all the silent notifications. These are messages that probably tell you the weather, that there is traffic in your area, or that podcasts are downloading in the background. If you’d rather not have these appear on your phone and distract you, choose Notices and enable Hide silent notifications in status bar.
Show battery percentage in status bar
It can be difficult to tell how much battery life is left on your phone by looking at the small icon in the status bar. To have a reading percentage next to it, choose battery then turn on Battery percentage Electrical disconnect switch. All other icons on the status bar will shift to the left accordingly, and the usual battery life icon stays in place.
Find out which apps are using the most storage space
If your phone is out of space, see which apps are taking up the most space by going to storage and then apps. The largest apps in terms of storage space appear at the top of the list. The numbers shown include all of the app’s files – so downloaded Spotify playlists and Netflix shows are counted as well as the actual Spotify and Netflix apps, for example.
Add Live Captions to Videos
The ability to caption speech in videos is available – in real time – on a growing number of Android phones, and it’s useful even if you don’t have a hearing impairment. You can find the option by clicking sound and vibration and then direct explanation. Captions generated by Google’s artificial intelligence processing will automatically appear when speech is detected, whether it’s in a video on social media or in a video call.
Get your lock screen sooner
A lock screen protects your phone from unwanted users so it’s best to activate it as soon as possible once it’s set. You can change this time by opening a file Show Then check timeout screen From the menu — you’ll usually be able to select intervals ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Make everything on the screen bigger
If you struggle to read text on screen, head over to Show And the Display and text size in the settings. You will see two sliders, one for font size (making the text bigger or smaller) and one for display size (which makes everything larger or smaller, including icons and menus). Click on Reset To return to the standard settings.
Unlock your device in trusted places
If there are certain places where you’re sure no untrustworthy person has access to your phone — at home, for example — you can have the screen automatically unlock itself in those locations for added convenience. head for protectionand then Advanced Settingsand then smart lockand finally Trusted places. Add a location and you are good to go.
Add your medical information
Let’s say you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a medical emergency. In this case, you may not be able to tell first responders about your blood type, medications, allergies, and other important information. However, you can tell your phone – via Safety and emergency And the medical information—These details can then be accessed from the lock screen.
Set app usage limits
If you are worried about spending too much time on TikTok or Twitter, Android can help you here. If you click Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controlthen choose dashboardYou can see how much time you spend on certain apps during the day – and if necessary, set up limits on how much time you can use in the future.
Enable guest mode
Guest mode is an excellent way to let others use your phone without being able to access your social media accounts, banking apps, or high scores in games. It works just like a user account on macOS or Windows, and you can set it up on Android by selecting SystemAnd the multiple usersthen enable Allow multiple users.