5 Android tricks you’ve probably never heard of

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Android is the most versatile platform in the mobile world. Android phones and tablets come in the widest variety of shapes, sizes and prices from a multitude of brands and manufacturers. They’re built for customers who like lots of options.

The operating system in your Android gadget is built to be modified. Many manufacturers of Android hardware often customize the operating system with their own tweaks and tricks. Plus, you too can customize almost every aspect of your Android gadget. That doesn’t mean that you have to, though.

You might not know about some of the nifty features that come packed right into the DNA of your Android device. Google, the company behind the upcoming consumer-grade self-driving car, built and maintains Android. The company designed the mobile operating system with tons of useful features to make your life easier.

Ready to learn some of the coolest Android features that you might not know about?

1. SEND SOMEONE STRAIGHT TO VOICE MAIL

If you’d rather not receive calls from a certain someone, then Android has a solution for you. I’m not talking about tapping your phone’s sleep button to end a call, either. You can set any calls from someone to go directly to voice mail. Here’s how to do it:

First, open up the contact card for whomever you don’t want calling. Tap edit, then scroll down to Additional Info. Tap the “Send straight to voice mail” option.

If you’re sending someone important to voice mail temporarily, be sure to check your voice mail so you don’t forget that you’ve semi-blocked them.

2. TAP & GO

I’m sure that many Android users out there will admit that getting a new Android device was always kind of a pain until the release of Android 5.0. What makes Android 5.0, and it’s successor 6.0, so great? A little feature called Tap & Go.

If you buy a new Android gadget you should see the Tap & Go menu pop up at some point during the setup process. Tap & Go wirelessly transfers your accounts and data from your old gadget to your new one.

Bonus tip: Make sure that you aren’t transmitting old viruses to your new gadgets. Find out if you have an Android virus here.

First, make sure that Near Field Communication is enabled. Open up your Settings app, scroll down to Wireless & Networks and then select more. Scroll down and check the NFC and Android Beam boxes.

If NFC is enabled, then Tap & Go is a one-touch transfer tool. Tap your old phone to your new one and the data will be transmitted.

3. SCREEN CALLS POLITELY

You can quickly respond to a call without ignoring your caller. When you receive a call and you’re not in a position to answer it, then you don’t have to just send them to voice mail without a response.

Instead. after your phone starts ringing, swipe up to see a list of pre-written responses. Most of the default responses are a little impersonal, so writing your own is probably a good idea to consider.

You can write up your own custom quick response by opening up Settings, tapping Quick Responses and then adding your own response.

4. BUILT-IN FLASHLIGHT FUNCTION

If you’re as tired of “free” flashlight apps stealing your personal data, then rejoice. Android now comes with a flashlight function built-in. To use your phone as a flashlight, you’ll also have to know how to access the quick settings menu.

See also: Find out which “free” apps are stealing your personal data.

First,  open up the home screen. Now swipe downwards to reveal the notifications menu. Now swipe down again which will bring up the quick settings menu. You’ll be able to easily access your data settings, screen casting, Wi-Fi, flashlight and more from this screen.

5. SAVE YOUR DATA PLAN

There’s a major side effect to Google Chrome’s convenient tabbed browsing on your Android device. Every time that you leave a tab open, Chrome preloads information from that tab.

Chrome’s tab preloading can burn through your data plan pretty quickly. Preloading is enabled by default, but disabling it on 3G or 4G Internet is pretty easy.

Open the Chrome app, an in the upper right corner find the icon with the three vertical dots. Tap it and then under Advanced select “Privacy.” Scroll down to find “Prefetch page resources” and set it to “Only on Wi-Fi” or “Never.”

That’s not the only way that you can save on data. The most expensive mistake that you can make when it comes to data plans is while you shop for one. Find out how to avoid the most common errors in this helpful tip.



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