New Android phone? Take a peek at its settings. So many categories, so many options within those categories. It’s enough to make your head swim.
And you might find yourself wondering, are the factory settings ideal? Right out of the box, is your new phone really configured for optimal performance, productivity and battery life?
- Crank down the brightness
It is a simple math the brighter your screen, the faster it will consume your battery. That’s why you should lower the brightness setting, and not by a little. Consider dropping it to 50 percent or even less.
- Crank down the whiteness
Does your phone have an AMOLED screen? (Most Samsung models do.) If so, there’s another way to improve battery life: Choose a black wallpaper. That’s because black pixels don’t need to be illuminated. And considering the wallpaper occupies the entire screen, the power savings could be substantial.
- Disable new-app shortcuts
Planning to hit up the Google Play Store for a bunch of new apps? Be prepared for a lot of icon clutter on your home screen, because that’s where shortcuts land every time you install something.
Thankfully, there’s a simple way out of this: Open the Google Play app, then tap Menu > Settings. Now clear the checkbox next to Add icon to Home screen.
Presto! No more icons when you install new apps. Obviously you can still add shortcuts via the Apps screens, but they won’t clutter up your home screen unless you want them to.
- Turn on scheduled “Do not disturb”
If your phone routinely spends the night on your nightstand, you probably don’t want it beeping or buzzing every time there’s a call, message or alert — especially when you’re trying to sleep.
- Set up “Find my mobile”Is there anything worse than a lost or stolen phone? Only the knowledge that you could have tracked it down. You can do this using either built-in or third-party apps.
Start with Android Device Manager, which leverages location tracking built right into the OS. The catch: You have to make sure it’s enabled, and that requires a trip into Google Settings (as opposed to regular Settings). Read the Google support page devoted to this topic if you’re not sure where to locate this.
Once enabled, you can head to android.com/devicemanager from any PC or mobile device and sign into your account. Assuming your phone is on and online, you should be able to see its location on a map. From there you can make it ring, lock it out or even remotely wipe the whole thing.