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Tips for getting more out of your Android smartphone


Android is the world's most widely used smartphone operating system, yet it has lots of useful functions that many people don't know about. — dpa

Android is the world's most widely used smartphone operating system, yet it has lots of useful functions that many people don't know about. — dpa

Android is the world's most widely used smartphone operating system, yet it has lots of useful functions that many people don't know about.

This is partly due to its many versions and also because of the sometimes large differences between the various Android phone manufacturers. Here are some useful tips for users of Android 7.0 and higher, spotted by tech bloggers at c't and Chip magazines.

User accounts and guest mode

As with a PC, Android users can set up multiple user accounts, something which is especially beneficial for parents who want to control which apps their children can access.

This option can be found in settings under "Users and Accounts". You might also find the guest mode useful to block certain functions like phone calls, if you often have to pass your phone around.

Gesture control

This feature is supported on many smartphones. Under settings you can define screen gestures which can be used to access specific apps and functions.

Gestures and what they trigger can be freely assigned. For example, the letter M drawn on the screen with your finger tip could open the email app or a circle could be used to quickly access the camera.

Customise your phone with widgets

Want to see all the information that's important to you with a single glance at the screen? That's where widgets come in handy. These are small windows that show the functions of an app without the user needing to completely open the app. They can be placed anywhere on the home screen and be used to show what matters to you, for example, upcoming events, the latest news, the weather and new emails.

Simply tap on a blank space on the home screen and hold it down until a menu appears. Then tap Widgets and all the available ones will be shown. Hold down the one you want and move it to wherever you want it on the home screen.

Turn on the flashlight

No need to download a flashlight app, the functionality for using the camera flash as one has long been part of Android. Just pull down the notifications bar at the top of the screen, and you should see a number of functions, including a switch for the flashlight.

Take a screenshot

Android offers an easy way to do this, but it varies depending on the manufacturer. The standard method is to hold down the power button and the volume key at the same time. On newer Samsung models you can take a screenshot by hand gesture.

Check your data consumption

You've already exceeded your data limit? You're battery's already dead again? Android can show you which app is the culprit. Go into "Data usage" within settings to see the worst offenders. Under "Battery" you can see which apps consume the most power. — dpa
   

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