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4 annoying Android features you should switch off right now

4 annoying Android features you should switch off right now

Let's be honest: for all the great features of Android smartphones, there are a few settings and options that you should probably turn off straight away. Today we'll show you which ones aren't worth using and how you can get rid of them. It all takes just a few seconds and will save you a lot of frustration. Have fun with the time you save.

1. Curb Location Services

Among the biggest battery suckers on your smartphone is Google's Location Services. This feature constantly pings your device and sends the data back to Google's sinister tracking lair.

You would have most likely agreed to Location Services when you first set your phone up without even thinking about it. But a wise man once said: "You don't need Location Services unless you're lost." 

androidpit lg g3 setup 2
Like most people, you probably just hit Next without even reading about Location Services. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you go into your Quick Settings (swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers on Lollipop) and tap the location pin or GPS icon you'll instantly turn off Location Services.

If you'd rather not just turn location off completely – it is useful after all – then just long press the icon to be taken to your location settings (you can also get to it via Settings > Location or through the Google Settings app).

Here you can choose to turn location services on or off, as well as reduce the accuracy of location data by choosing to use (or not use) GPS, Wi-Fi networks and cellular networks to pinpoint your location.

For obvious reasons, Battery Saving is our favorite setting, but we also tend to keep locations services off for a little additional privacy until we actually need it. Take a look at Location History while you're on this page too.

AndroidPIT Google Location Services location mode battery saving LG G4 Lollipop
I don't always use Location Services, but when I do, I choose Battery Saving mode. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Kill heads-up notifications

Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced a new feature that sounded great at first but quickly became one of the most annoying Android features of all. Heads-Up notifications are those little Chat Head-like pop-ups that that appear when a new notification comes in.

Gone are the subtle days of KitKat's discreet ticker text in the status bar, but with an app called Heads Off you can at least stop Heads Up notifications from driving you cray cray while you're trying to watch a movie or play a game.

Heads Off lets you take control over which apps have access to post Heads-Up notifications. If you want to pay for the app, you can even get ticker text notifications back.

AndroidPIT Heads Off notifications lollipop heads up ticker text
Heads Up notifications (left) and Ticker Text (right)./ © ANDROIDPIT

3. Stop the Play Store from choking up your home screen

By default, whenever you install a new app, the Play Store puts a shortcut to it on the home screen. If you're anything like me though, your home screens are a finely crafted area, not a community cork board in the supermarket like, ahem, iPhones.

If you'd prefer to have control over which app icons make it your home screen, or simply prefer to create gesture shortcuts with an alternative Android launcher or make use of folders, you can easily disable the Play Store's home screen icon permissions.

Just open the Play Store, go to your settings and un-check the box for 'Add annoying app icon I don't want on my home screen'.

AnddroidPIT Play Store Settings add app icon to home screen
Un-checking that one box (right) will save you countless hours of removing unwanted app icons. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Allow selected apps to keep your screen on

Having your screen turn off quickly is one of the best tricks for better battery life, but there are times when the last thing you want is your screen constantly dimming and turning off.

Take apps like Feedly, Pocket, Kindle or any other great reading app for Android: it surely takes you longer to read a page than your screen timeout setting. This is why you need an app called Caffeine.

Caffeine will keep your screen on while you are in any app you choose, so with a little clever curation, you'll be able to read, surf the web, watch videos or whatever else takes a little more time on your phone, without needing to constantly swipe the screen to keep it from shutting off.

AndroidPIT Caffeine no screen timeout app
Caffeine gives you complete control over what keeps your screen on and how. / © ANDROIDPIT

Are there any Android features you're more than happy without? Share your tips for getting rid of unnecessary settings in the comments below.

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  • I have a tablet with Android 5.1; there is a Google browser bar at the top of the screen and I can't remove it. It's annoying and I want to get rid of it (long tapping doesn't work as it works on icons).

  • If you have updating problems (Sync not working temp) Try turning off the battery saver. I spent 4 weeks with Google techs trying to fix the problem. When I turned off the battery saver the sync works great.

  • do anyone know that how to toggle between data enable and disable with a single click?it is so annoying to go every time into settings to disable the data.

    • Use a 3rd party app - you can get ones like "floating touch" puts a floating button which opens quick settings. There are others that put a widget with quick settings.

      • I forgot to mention that I have a lollipop 5.1 Android version.the floating touch app doesn't seem to do anything about data enable problem.thanks for your reply.

      • I'm using 5.1 as well. If you go to the website on my last post or google "how to put settings shortcuts on Android home screen" you will find out how you can put a shortcut to any of the settings you want. I have about 6 on my home screen.

      • settings shortcut is not a problem the only problem I am facing is that I am not able to disable data by the use of notification bar over by other any third party app in a single click.

    • How to put a shortcut on your home screen go to "howtogeek.com/197501/how-to-add-settings-shortcut-widgets-to-the-home-screen-in-android". As a new user I couldn't post the full link.

  • Thank you for good suggestionc; abouth locain servis and play store, it's made. For Cofein and Heads of I didn't know before, buth that two apps could be also worth to install it.

  • Thank you for good suggestionc; abouth locain servis and play store, it's made. For Cofein and Heads of I didn't know before, buth that two apps could be also worth to install it.

  • The spell checker should not automatically change my spelling because it often picks the wrong word, and when I am doing my Spanish lesson in duolingo, it drives me crazy by inserting whatever English word that is close in spelling to the Spanish one that I actually intended.

  • "sends the data back to Google's sinister tracking lair."
    If by "Sinister Tracking Lair" you mean, A location where you can view your own location history, or even use the location services to locate your device when it it lost or stolen.....

    Disabling or limiting Location Services just ruins your ability to use adroid device manager to locate your own device in the event it becomes lost or stolen. disabling it is very bad advice.

    • Yes Big Brother.... NEVER disable Location Services, you might get lost in the toilet.... LMAO

  • Thanks Mr.Eric Herrmann for the update on
    4 annoying Android features I switched off right on all our 3 Samsung phones. Especially my Wife's, she was driving me nutts on her Battery drainage.But I wish there was a layman's way in deleting root apps like Facebook and the intrusive apps that i'd like to free of.looking forward Thanks

  • Sounds like sour grapes from a guy that didn't get a big enough bribe from Motorola

  • I've used SCREEBL for years and don't know what I'd do without it. As long as your phone is held at a certain angle the screen will stay on. It has a stillness timeout so if you set your phone down at the right angle it will still turn off.

  • The best part of this article is your mention of "ahem, iPhones."

    Android let's us do what we want. It's open source sports any dev who imagines a useful function for these hand helds.

    iPhone sticks to its incompatible "ecosystem" aka iOS, it doesn't work with any other chargers or USB interfaces on Windows computers, and the app store, sorry... iTunes, is spendy when it comes to apps.

    iPhone & Mac users don't want to think about functionality. They just want "it" to "work"... sans putting any thought into it.

    PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair...


    PICNIC = Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

    iPhone owners/users/losers just don't want to put in the effort.

    Thanks ;-)

  • I just set my screen of time on 2 minutes that's enough time to stare at my screen.

    The thing that I find the most annoying is the way the ask wich app you wanna use to open certain links like YouTube

  • I don't find the heads up notification annoying, though I'm a lonely soul and don't get many txts.
    Though it's extremely easy to just "swipe" it away.

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