If you're using Samsung's default keyboard on a Galaxy or Gboard on any Android phone, here's a cool trick you should know about.
In the past, if you upgraded to a new Galaxy or if you had to factory reset your existing one to fix an issue, you had to restore your home screen layout manually. Your wallpaper, widgets, icon placement, and launcher settings were all dependent on you to be put back in their place. Thankfully, this isn't an issue anymore.
When using your right hand, Gboard's one-handed mode will help you type faster with a single thumb. But not all of us hold our phones the same way — some of us prefer our left hand or hold our phones higher or lower than where the keyboard is positioned. But with the latest version of Gboard, you can change this.
If your phone has an A/B partition layout, there are two virtual hard drives that each contain a copy of Android. After every restart, it picks a partition to boot from, then the other lays idle. The idle partition can be overwritten with a new copy of the OS and it won't affect the active one. So the next time you reboot, it just switches partitions and it's as if you updated instantly.
Not every app is designed well. With nearly 3 million apps on the Play Store and countless more that you can sideload from other sources, there are bound to be a few stinkers. And many of them do a terrible job using RAM.
After adding and removing a screen recorder feature in Android 10, Google finally adopted a proper version in Android 11. Unlike the buggy and incomplete function last year, this one looks like a final product. And best of all, it is no longer hidden.
As phones' screens get closer to seven inches, now is the perfect time to take advantage of Android's split-screen mode. This feature has available since Android 7.0 Nougat and allows you to divide the screen into two halves, with a different app on each side.
An unfortunate byproduct of Samsung's One UI version of Android is redundancy, where you have the Google/AOSP way of doing things mixed with Samsung's methods at the same time.
There's an official way to install apps onto your Android phone using basically any device that has internet access — heck, you can even download new apps from an iPhone and they'll install in seconds on your Android device.
Waking up to buzzing alarm clock is so 20th century. Wouldn't it better if the first sound you heard in the morning was your favorite song? Whether it's a track to get you motivated or something to put a smile on your face, a song can do wonders for your mood and help you start the day right.
Not trying to gatekeep here, but if you're not customizing things on your Android phone, you're doing it wrong. Still, I won't shame you for not knowing what to do if you take this time to learn how to make one of the biggest changes you can make.
Ever typed out a long message on your phone only to find several errors after you hit send? Proofreading would fix this, but anyone who's spent time trying to edit on a smartphone knows how difficult it is. Thankfully, Gboard makes this task easier.
Android phones finally have a true AirDrop alternative called "Nearby Share." The new feature was added through an update to the Google Play Services app that comes pre-installed on all Android devices in the US, so you don't even have to wait on a firmware upgrade — it's just there.
With Samsung's One UI version of Android, it's easier than ever to take a screenshot and quickly edit the captured image. However, the downside to that convenience has manifested itself in an overlay ribbon that can also get in the way.
No matter how many camera improvements a phone adds, you're always better off using manual mode. Known as "Pro Mode" on the Galaxy S20, this feature can remove Samsung's pre- and post-processing from photos, putting you in total control.
Apple added a Bedtime Mode to its Screen Time tool for curbing smartphone distractions. Google's version of Screen Time, called Digital Wellbeing, actually predates Apple's, but a recent update is finally bringing in Bedtime Mode.
The Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut makes switching between apps and programs a breeze on your Windows PC. Just like your computer, your Android phone has the same feature baked in to make switching between recent apps just as hassle-free.
There are phones nowadays with 12 gigs of RAM, but they'll cost you well over a grand. The majority of Android devices have much less memory — I'd wager most have less than 4 GB. And with the system taking up around 2 GB, that leaves user-installed apps little room to breathe.
One of Android's biggest strengths relative to iOS is how simple it is to sideload apps that aren't on the official app store. Rather than having to sign IPA files or tell your phone you trust a developer every two weeks, you can just enable a setting and be done with it.