An Android smartphone is known for the kind of customization and super user tweaks and features that it offers. Most of us use our Android for checking mail, browsing social media, taking calls and sending messages. You may be using your Android smartphone every day, all day but do you really know its actual potential?
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Here are the top 10 super tweaks that you probably never knew your Android could manage.
Scan barcodes with the camera
Most of us use the camera sensor on our Android to click photos and videos for memories. But, with a simple app, aptly called Barcode Scanner, you can scan barcodes off products in the store and view crucial information that you would have not known earlier. This app does work with QR codes and barcodes equally well and there are many other such apps on the Play Store that can do the trick.
Remotely lock and reset your lost phone
Losing a smartphone is one of the worst feelings ever but what is even worse is someone accessing your data on the device. If the smartphone contains sensitive information, such a thing can be extremely dangerous and harmful. To prevent this from happening, Google has a neat little app called Android Device Manager. Just go into Settings>Security>Device Administrators and enable the feature. You can then access your phone from a computer after you lose it, and choose to lock it or even perform a factory reset on it.
Voice commands when the screen is off
Some, not most, Android smartphones currently have the feature of using the 'OK Google' voice command while the screen is off. You can check your device's compatibility by going into Google Settings>Search and Now>Voice>OK Google Detection>Always On and enable this option. The software will prompt you to record your voice for the command, three times.
Sync Google Chrome with all devices
Except few Chinese OEMs, most Android smartphones come with Google Chrome as the default web browser. To make the most out of your experience, log into the Chrome browser, with your Gmail ID, on all your Android devices. Now when switching to different devices will feel like an integrated process, with the Recent Tabs option showing all the previously opened tabs on each device.
Invert colors to reduce brightness
Most Android smartphones with Android 5.0 Lollipop and above have a rather pointless feature (according to many), called Invert Colors. While it may seem useless, there is a very specific use case for the feature, a much-needed darkness mode. If you are using a lighter theme, inverting colors can do wonders, especially if you require minimum brightness in a low-light area.
Convey ownership of your device
We take our smartphones to a lot of public places and they get handled by a lot of people each time. With most OEMs making similar Android smartphone designs, distinguishing between them can be somewhat of an issue. This can be solved by displaying the name of the owner on the lock screen itself. Go into Settings>Security>Lock Screen message and set up the text as 'First Name's Smartphone' to avoid any sort of confusion.
Make a Wi-Fi hotspot
Via the method of tethering, you can easily convert your Android smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, for other devices to connect with. All you need is an active cellular data connection and sharing connectivity is a breeze on Android 5.0 and above. Just head on to Settings>More>Tethering and Hotspot and configure the settings to use your data plan as a Wi-Fi hub for others.
Experiment with multiple launchers
The biggest advantage of Android over iOS is the freedom of experimenting with the themes, icons and launchers, without much of a headache. So why not do that? Try out launchers from the Play Store and select and modify what suits you the most. Nova Launcher, Aviate and even the Classic Google Now launchers are great options to choose from.
Access hidden developer options
To really get a sense of the depth to which Android is customizable, unlock the Developer options. Slyly hidden under the Settings menu, you can access these options by tapping on the Build Number option under About Phone. Now you have access to a huge variety of tweaks and customizations that were previously not possible.
Try alternative app stores
While Google Play Store is the best and default app store for Android. you shouldn't be afraid to try out other options in the market. Amazon, for example, is a great choice with premium apps going free as App of the Day each day of the year. These apps may cost several dollars on the Play Store and you can end up saving money with the Amazon App Store.