25 Essential tips for Android smartphone users

26. September 2023 Published by Jana Greyling

Smartphones have long been more than just communication devices. With the right knowledge, you can make the most of your Android device, manage it efficiently and even make your daily life easier. This guide offers you 25 selected tips and tricks to give both beginners and advanced users the tools they need.

  1. check smartphone condition

Before you buy a used Android phone, use the key combination #0# to check basic functions such as the display, loudspeaker and camera. This function is also used to check after borrowing a phone.

  1. new or outdated mobile phone?

With the combinations *#2222# and +#1111# you can determine whether the device is brand new or refurbished. This check is essential for online purchases.

  1. update status

The key combination *#1234# provides information about the current software version. Update outdated versions to ensure full functionality and security.

  1. monitor power consumption

If your battery is draining quickly, use ##4636## to analyse power consumption. This tip will help you identify hidden energy guzzlers. (Note: Does not work on all devices)

  1. specifically block apps

Protect sensitive apps such as banking or trading apps by activating the app lock in the settings.

  1. quick access to applications

Facilitate access in familiar environments such as at home by activating “Smart Lock”. Note the higher power consumption.

  1. switch off energy guzzlers

Under Settings – Mobile network – Data usage, you can switch off background applications that consume energy unnecessarily.

  1. block a stolen smartphone

With the IMEI number and the lock hotline 116 166 (or specific numbers for Vodafone and Telekom), you can quickly render a stolen device unusable.

  1. recover deleted files

Use ##273283255663282*## to access the media file backup to restore lost files.

  1. control over advertising

Under the Google settings in the “Advertising” section, you can switch off personalised advertising to prevent synchronisation with your search behaviour.

  1. reset the smartphone to factory settings

Before you sell your device, use ##7780#*#+ to restore it to its original condition. Caution: All data will be deleted!

  1. show available connections

Check available WLAN networks with ##232339## or ##526##. Watch out for spaces when typing.

  1. show position with words

The app “what3words” replaces GPS coordinates with easy-to-remember word combinations and thus facilitates orientation.

  1. completely rebuild the phone

Use 27673855# to delete all data and reload the operating system. Back up important information first!

  1. block telephone numbers

Unknown or annoying calls? Block numbers directly via your call logs or in your phone provider’s settings.

  1. quick emergency calls

Most devices allow quick emergency calls by pressing the power button five times quickly. Activate this option in your settings.

  1. show hidden files

Use a file manager such as ES File Explorer to see hidden files and folders. However, be careful about deleting these files.

  1. use live transcription

Google Live Transcription converts speech into text in real time. A useful feature for the hearing impaired or at meetings.

  1. one-hand mode

Activate the one-hand mode in the settings to make it easier to operate large smartphones with one hand.

  1. text-to-speech

Under “Settings > Operating aids” you can activate text-to-speech functions to have texts read aloud.

  1. faster system start

Would you like to start your smartphone faster? Remove unnecessary start-up apps under “Settings > Apps > Start-up”.

  1. adjust screen colours

The “Digital Wellbeing” option in the settings allows you to adjust colour schemes to reduce eye strain.

  1. scan QR codes without an extra app

Most camera apps can scan QR codes directly. Just try it out by aiming your camera at the code.

  1. using the smartphone as a remote control

With IR Blaster and the appropriate app, your smartphone can act as a universal remote control for TV and other devices.

  1. find your lost smartphone

By activating “Find My Device” under Google Settings, you can remotely locate, lock or wipe your device.

The 25 tips and tricks in this guide will allow you to realise the full potential of your Android device. Whether you want to improve security, extend battery life or increase your everyday productivity, there is always a useful trick you can apply.

Important note: Some of the codes and functions mentioned may not be available on all Android devices. The use of key combinations and other interventions in the system should always be done with caution, as they may affect the device. If you are unsure, please consult the manual of your device or a specialist.

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