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Secret tips and hacks for smartphones

How to change the icons in the quick settings?

Since Android 6, you can determine which items are displayed in the Quick Settings and how they are sorted. When you tap the pen, you’ll be able to see new items that may have been hidden before. Especially cool are the first few elements, as they will appear above your notifications.

quick settings android oreo 2017
Press the small pen to reveal new quick settings. Press and hold the elements to make them move. The first elements are already visible and operable before unfolding. / © AndroidPIT

The text is too small for me! No problem

Since Android 7 you can choose how large fonts are displayed. You can also change the size of all the buttons if you don’t like the default size.

display size android oreo 2017
Space or readability: since Android 7 you have the choice. / © AndroidPIT

There is more than one volume control on Android

The volume control on Android is divided into three parts. But when you press the volume lever, you see only one of the three controls. If you want to watch videos or games without sound at a lower volume, you need to find the Media slider, not the Ringtone slider.

volume rocker android oreo 2017
During media playback, a different volume control appears than usual. / © AndroidPIT

Conversely, you cannot adjust the ringtone volume with the volume rocker while a game or video is playing. You have to unfold the three knobs and change the ringtone volume on the display. The App Rocker Locker can assign a fixed function to your volume rocker, though.

Multiplayer in Easter Egg: eggs for everyone

The Android Easter Egg, introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and present in the succeeding versions, allows you to play with multiple friends at the same time . For this, go to the information on the device and tap multiple times on Android version. Then press and hold down the letter corresponding to your version to start the game.

AndroidPIT ANDROID Easter egg oreo
The Android Oreo easter egg. / © AndroidPIT

Use the built-in file explorer

You probably do not need a file explorer app. To explore, just go into the settings under Memory USB. Then you can scan the file system and handle files.

androidpit file commander app
Since Android Marshmallow an explorer is already integrated. / © AndroidPIT

Time-saving connection to Wi-Fi with WPS push button

Did you know that you can connect to secured Wi-Fi without typing the password? There’s a button at the router that will save you from searching for the Wi-Fi key and its lengthy installation. Sometimes it will ask you to Log in, or WPS / Reset, or you’ll just see the double arrow symbol, like what you can see below:

wps push hero
The WPS push button helps many routers and smartphones to connect quickly.. / © AndroidPIT

WiFi Protected Setup hides itself behind all that; a simple authentication method allows access to your WiFi router for a short period of time, which also has a push button on its device. Go to the WiFi menu on your smartphone, open Advanced and then tap on WPS push button. The connection should happen within a few seconds.

Accelerated animations

Go to the developer settings and set all Animation times to 0.5. The menus will then fold twice as fast and makes the smartphone feel as though it’s working in fast-motion.

enable developer options
The developer options include simple Android tweaks. / © AndroidPIT

Get important settings on the home screen

Is there somewhere in the settings that you access on a regular basis? Whether it’s the dual-SIM management, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the settings app has 1×1 widgets for quick access. You can even put them on your home screen.

android settings widget huawei mate 9
Settings widgets are a hit! / © AndroidPIT

Operate the smartphone with a mouse

Is your display broken and the touchscreen doesn’t work? Or do you fancy a round of Open TTD, but are nervous about using the touch operation? Connect a USB mouse. You only need a USB OTG cable, and then you can begin. You can also connect gamepads, USB sticks and more with the adapter. Do it and your iPhone friends will be turning green with envy. Here is a microUSB OTG adapter, and one for Type-C.

AndroidPIT control a phone with a mouse 1
Android also has a mouse cursor. / © AndroidPIT

Use new features from the Android updates

With the large operating system updates we receive its easy to overlook small innovations and not use them. For the most part, they are practical and very cool. With Marshmallow, for example, there’s a sophisticated notification function, and your ability to pin individual apps is great. In Nougat, the split screen is very good as this finally enables you to watch YouTube and chat on WhatsApp at the same time. Oreo introduced Picture-in-Picture mode and Notifcation Snooze. Android 9 Pie, of course, has a focus on digital well-being.

Use secret codes

Smartphone manufacturers and providers also offer codes that you can type into the number field of your phone app. With these, you can switch off the mailbox, display the IMEI or enter secret menus. We’ve got a list of secret codes right here for you to try.

Which Android hacks do you use on a daily basis? Are there any we’ve missed that you would have liked to see included? Let us know in the comments!

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