So you just got a new smartphone and in a blink, you've already installed all your favorite apps and services. But are you sure you've configured the device correctly? Let's have a look!
The items in this article shouldn't be treated as absolute rules that every user must follow. You can choose to disable these features or not, depending on your habits and preferences. That’s the beauty of Android: the choice is yours.
We all want an ultra-fast smartphone that loads applications quickly and offers maximum battery life. Some of you will have an advantage over others (if you have a powerful smartphone), while others will have more difficulties. In both cases, it’s recommended that you follow a few simple steps to avoid basic issues.
1. Automatic brightness and other features that affect battery life
Many manufacturers offer an automatic or 'adaptive' brightness system. The smartphone detects the ambient light level and adapts its display so it's comfortable to read. It's a laudable idea, but the execution is disappointing most of the time, since the luminosity threshold can be higher than you need. Brightness means energy, and consumption will increase - your battery is ultimately paying for it. In short, turn off the automatic brightness and calibrate it yourself. You’ll get more battery life out of it.
The screen is the element that affects your smartphone’s autonomy the most, so you have nothing to lose by taking a look at your screen options to see if something needs to be changed. This, of course, depends on your use and habits, but in most cases it’s pointless to keep the screen on for more than a minute.
2. Useless and cumbersome bloatware
Your smartphone likely contains at least one app that you don't use or doesn’t interest you. Whether it’s Google service (for example Duo), an app pre-installed by your operator, an app from the manufacturer, or a sponsored app. These applications not only take up space, but may also run in the background. In many cases, they can be deleted (and you’re better off deleting them).
Let’s say it once and for all: as a rule, Google apps can’t be deleted (at least not without some serious work). Some apps pre-installed by manufacturers can’t be uninstalled either. So what to do? You can simply disable them: not only will they take up less space in the system, but they also will no longer bother you. To do this, go to the Settings, find the list of apps and search to find the one you’re looking for.
3. Animations and transitions
If your smartphone isn’t very powerful, you can try to make it run more smoothly. There’s one little trick that can help you on a daily basis: disabling transitions and animations. To be more specific, these are the effects you see when you switch from one screen or app to another: they can be pretty, but they’re unnecessary. If you disable them, transitions will be faster.
All you have to do is simply enable developer options. Once you’ve done this, you’ll find the Developer options menu and ‘Window animation scale’, ‘Transition animation scale’, and ‘Animation duration scale’. Once you’ve done this, you’ll just have to reduce it (for example to 0.5) or deactivate it.
The experience you have with your smartphone depends on many elements, some of which can be quite subjective. Some things can be a pain on a daily basis, so perhaps some of the following points will be useful to you.
4. Vibrations and sounds
Vibrations and sounds are intended to mimic the response of a physical button, but in practice, they’re usually quite irritating. Even worse, they’ll impact your device’s autonomy. This is why you should ask yourself if this feature really is of value to you. If this isn’t the case, you should deactivate it:
To disable sounds and vibrations:
- Go to Settings > Sound & notifications
- Once you’re in this menu, you can disable everything: Dial pad sounds, Screen locking sounds, Charging sounds, Touch sounds, Vibrate on touch, etc.
Please note: if the smartphone is being used by an older person who doesn’t have a great tense of touch, it’s recommended that you leave the vibration on, so that they can better feel the screen.
User privacy has made many headlines in the tech world this year. The Cambridge Analytica case has catapulted Facebook to the forefront (due to criticism of its business model and the exposure of some of its practices), and other big names in technology have quickly followed up by providing clearer terms and conditions for user privacy.
5. Delete Facebook
The Facebook app comes preinstalled on many phones, but it's a notorious hogger of data (your personal data sure, but also your cellular data) and smartphone resources. Uninstalling it will speed up your smartphone, and improve your device's performance. Scientists even suggest that avoiding social media will make you feel happier and less lonely.
Even if you want to use Facebook on your smartphone, there are more efficient ways of doing it than the official Facebook app. Try these best Facebook alternatives for Android.
6. Personalization for advertisements
Of course, Google uses your private data to get to know you better, which allows it to target you with ads. By accepting Google on your phone, you accept the rules of the game: it will get information about you through its various services and apps. You can’t do much about this (unless you boycott Google), but you can decide whether apps can use your ad ID or not. If you decide to disable this option, Google won’t be able to offer you targeted ads (but they’ll continue to send you ads anyway).
To do this, simply go to Settings and search in the Google menu. You’ll then find ‘Ads’, and there you’ll be able to set which apps may use your ad ID to create profiles and run custom ads. Of course, if you want to see targeted ads it’s better to leave this option enabled, but you won’t prevent Google from getting information about you.
Do you disable these features when you get a new smartphone? Let us know what you think in the comments!