Making the most of Android
Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, with more than a billion Android phones built last year alone. It’s also one of the most feature-packed bits of software ever. There are loads of handy features you might not even know about.
So every month, we’re going to post a new expert Android tip to help you find the most useful things your phone can do. Keep checking back for the latest tips.
1. Turn on your torch in a flash
Got caught in a power cut? Or maybe you just need to find something in your bag. Whatever you need some extra light for, you can easily turn your Android phone’s torch on. Just swipe down from the top of your lock screen to get Quick Settings and tap the Flashlight icon in the bottom left.
2. Send unwanted calls straight to voicemail
If there’s someone you don’t want to talk to, you can send their calls straight to voicemail automatically. That means you don’t have to worry about calls from the ex. Just choose the contact you want to reject, tap the pencil icon or word ‘More’ in the top right, tap the 3-dot menu icon and select ‘All calls to voicemail’.
3. Never lose a photo again
When you lose or break a phone, you lose a lot more than just a gadget. Our smartphones hold all our most precious memories. With Google Photos, you can back up all your photos to the cloud for free – they’ll even be stored in their original quality (up to 16MP). Just open the Photos app on your phone and turn on auto-backup in the settings.
4. Keep a tab on data usage
There’s nothing worse than getting your phone bill at the end of the month and finding that you’ve accidentally gone over your data allowance. But don’t worry, Android can help. In the ‘Data Usage’ settings, you can set a limit for your mobile internet use and create warnings that’ll let you know when you’re close to that limit. It’s not fool-proof as your phone might register data differently to your network, but it’ll definitely stop you getting a huge bill.
5. Find my phone
We’ve all been there — you’ve searched under your car seat, rummaged around the sofa cushions and you still can’t find your phone. But if you can get online, you can now simply type ‘Where’s my phone’ into Google.
If the pesky phone is hiding nearby, Google can ring it for you. Or you can use Google Maps to find it if you left it somewhere while you were out.
6. Face unlock
We all need a little privacy every now and then, and Android totally gets that. With the most recent Lollipop OS update you can unlock your smartphone using your face. To activate it go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock, then stick your face inside the green dots. Safe as houses.
7. Powering up for the long-haul
With Android Lollipop, you can enable a battery saver mode that can extend your smartphone's charge by up to 90 minutes in emergencies.
To activate it, swipe down from the top of your screen, and tap the battery icon. This will take you through to a new menu where you'll be able to turn the setting on.