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5 Settings You Won’t Regret On Your Android Phone



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Change these settings on your new Android phone.

Angela Lang / CNET

The default settings on one Android phone are ok, but they don’t help you get the most out of your phone. Instead of settling for the same experience as everyone else, just take a phone call to adjust the settings of your Android phones.

Like us approach the holidaysthere are plenty of options to get one good deal on a new android phone, or as a gift or an excuse to treat yourself. For the most part, the Android experience is the same no matter who makes the phone. That’s what makes Android great, well, that, along with a wide variety of customization options and settings seen Android users brag about iPhone owners.

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE and Google’s Pixel 5 to be 5G Compatible Phones which are not too expensive, while the Galaxy Note 20 has a high asking price, but is packed with features.

We will help you get the full battery life out of your new device – or the one you already have – and take preventive measures in the event of a lost or stolen phone and keep your home screen free from unnecessary clutter.

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A screen that is too bright will drain your battery incredibly quickly.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

Settings to improve battery life

Living with a phone with poor battery life can be annoying, but there are some steps you can take to maximize every charge from scratch:

1. Turn off automatic screen brightness and set the slider to less than 50%. The brighter your screen, the more battery power it will require. Open the shortcut menu from the top of the screen and adjust the slider.

Some phones also have an auto-brightness switch in the shortcut panel; otherwise, you have to open the settings app and search for “brightness” to find the setting and turn it off.

2. Use Adaptive Battery and Battery Optimization. Google first introduced both features in Android 9.0 Pie: they focus on learning how to use your phone, knowing which apps you use when, and then optimizing the apps and the amount of battery they use.

Some Android phones have a dedicated battery section in the Settings app, while other phones (looking at you, Samsung) bury these settings. It’s a little bit different for every phone. I recommend opening your settings and looking for Battery. The results should take you to the correct screen.

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Using dark mode on any phone is an easy and beautiful way to save battery.

Dark mode is your friend

Another way to improve battery life while helping your eyes at the same time is to use Android’s special dark mode. Every Android phone with Android 10 or later has a special dark mode option.

According to Google, dark mode not only reduces the strain that smartphone screens put on our eyes, but it also improves battery life because it uses less power to display dark backgrounds on OLED screens (which are found in most flagship phones) than a white background.

Depending on what version of Android your phone is running and which company made your phone, you may have to search the settings app to find a dark mode. If your phone has Android 10 or later, you can enable dark mode for the whole system. If it’s running Android 9, don’t despair. Tons of apps have their own dark mode option in the settings that you can use regardless of whether you have Android 10.

To enable it, open it Settings app and search for Dark mode, Dark theme, or even Night mode (as Samsung likes to call it). I recommend always using dark mode, but if you’re not sure you can always set dark mode to turn on automatically based on a schedule, for example every day from 7pm to 7am, or late automatically switching with your location at the time of sunset / sunrise.

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An important advantage of Android is a clear start screen.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Keep your home screen uncluttered

Planning to visit the Google Play Store for one bunch of new Android apps? Be prepared for lots of cluttered icons on your home screen, which is where shortcuts end up every time you install something.

Fortunately, there is an easy way out: long press on an empty area of ​​your home screen and tap Home settings. Look for the option labeled something like Add icon to home screen and turn it off.

Presto! No more icons when you install new apps. You can still add shortcuts by dragging an app’s icon from the app drawer, but they won’t clutter your home screen unless you want to.

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DND gives your mind a chance to take a break from the constant onslaught of notifications.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Set Do Not Disturb

If your phone regularly spends the night on your nightstand, you probably don’t want it to beep or buzz when there’s a call, message, or Facebook notification, especially when you’re trying to sleep.

Fortunately, Android offers a Do Not Disturb mode that keeps the phone more or less silent during certain hours. On some phones, this is referred to as the Downtime or even quiet time setting.

In short: go to Settings > Sounds (or Sounds and notifications) and then search for Do Not Disturb or a similar name. Using the function, you can set a range of hours (usually at night) when you want to turn the digital noise off. But don’t worry, any notifications you receive while DND is on are still waiting for you when you wake up.

You can also usually create an exception that will allow repeat callers and calls from favorite contacts to continue. Turn that on. If someone calls you in an emergency, chances are they will keep trying.

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What someone who finds a lost or stolen Android phone sees after you use Find My Device to lock it.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Be prepared to lose your phone

Is there anything worse than a lost or stolen phone? Just knowing you could have tracked it down if you had Google’s Find My Device feature enabled.

To set yourself up for a successful recovery, here’s what you need to do: Open it Settings app and then search for Find my device. It is usually in the Safety section of the Settings app.

Or if you have a Samsung device, you can use the Samsung Find My Mobile service in Settings > Biometrics and security > Find my mobile.

Once enabled, you can go to android.com/find and log into your account from any PC or mobile device. Samsung users can visit findmymobile.samsung.com to find their lost phone.

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Losing a phone is never a fun experience.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you’re having trouble setting this up, be sure to read our complete guide on how to find a lost android phone.

Assuming your phone is on and online, you should be able to see the location on a map. From there you can make it ring, lock it, set a note on the lock screen to tell whoever has it how to get it back, or worst case, wipe the whole thing remotely.

There is, of course, much more to learn about a new phone. If you have a phone with Android 11, such as the Pixel 4A 5G, check out these features. Or if you’re looking for ways to boost battery life Galaxy S20, read this. Gestures are a new way of finding the way that depends on tap and swipe you need to learn. Do not forget it move Google Authenticator when you get a new phone, and if you’re not sure which apps to have, here our top picks for Android apps for 2020.


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