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Android tips to get the most out of your operating system

By Mint Fox

Originally published July 21, 2022


Last Updated August 8, 2023

Image of a smartphone with the Android logo in the center with Mint Fox peeking out from behind it, next to which is text that says (Life) Hack Your Android: 12 Android tips to get the most out of your operating system

Google’s Android mobile operating system is a lot more than the Play Store and custom keyboards. These Android tips can turn even the most casual user into a certifiable life-hacker. Let’s begin.

In this article
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1. Uninstall Apps You Don’t Use

Right out of the box, your Android is a computing powerhouse, loaded with a library of preinstalled apps. Technically you can’t uninstall these Android apps, but you can disable them, freeing up the hard drive for more important downloads – like the Mint Mobile App

How to uninstall apps on Android:

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select Apps 
  • Tap Disable

Yup, it’s that easy. Disabling these apps not only boosts performance in the long run, but it also keeps your home screen neat and tidy  – more on that later. 

2. Enable Digital Wellbeing Features

Digital Wellbeing is a set of controls designed to reduce your phone usage. 

Bedtime mode not only turns your screen to grayscale to reduce blue light, it also automatically pauses notifications at a designated time in order to improve sleep.

How to enable Digital Wellbeing – Bedtime Mode: 

  • Go to Clock app 
  • Select Bedtime mode 

Another Digital Wellness feature is Focus mode. Focus mode pauses notifications for selected apps to reduce distractions when it’s time to grind.

How to enable Digital Wellbeing – Focus Mode:

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls 
  • Tap Focus 

3. Enable Smart Lock

One of the most convenient Android tips on our list, Smart Lock is a privacy feature that eliminates the need to manually use the keypad or passcode encryption when in authorized, trusted spaces. Using GPS, designated Wi-Fi networks, and your lovely face or voice, Smart Lock knows where and when to automatically unlock your device.

How to turn off Screen Lock on Android: 

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select Security 
  • Tap Smart Lock

4. Utilize Screen Cast

Showing friends and family YouTube videos on the big TV is the new sitting-’round-the-campfire. Quickly mirror your screen and individual apps by using the cast function on your Android. 

How to cast your Android apps: 

  • Pull down to open Quick Settings 
  • Select Screen Cast 
  • Select Device 

5. Set Up Guest Access

Keep those embarrassing photos and questionable shopping cart items safe with this security feature. The Guest Access feature removes personal accounts, such as contacts, photos, and browser history when someone borrows your Android. Allowing only basic features such as calling and web browsing, Guest Access keeps your personal information protected. It’ll be our lil’ secret. 

How to program Android Security – Guest Access:

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select System 
  • Tap Advanced 
  • Select Multiple Users 
  • Tap Enable OR the slider for Add Users from the Lock Screen 

6. Turn On Notification History

A Telefonica study discovered that the average smartphone user gets upwards of 60 notifications each day. Keeping track of the important ones amidst the spam is nearly impossible, but thanks to Notification History, it’s at least a little easier.

How to view Android notifications:

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select Apps and Notifications 
  • Tap Notifications 
  • Select Notification History 
  • Tap History  
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7. Turn On Find My Android

A convenient feature for the most inconvenient circumstances, Google’s Find My Device is an Android Security program that allows you to locate your lost device. You can also secure, wipe, and play a sound remotely.  

In order for this feature to work, your phone must be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi, powered on, have location services enabled, and have Find My Device turned on.

How to program Android Security – Find My:

  • Go to Settings 
  • Select Security 
  • Tap Find My Device 
  • Slide to On

8. Take Scrolling Screenshots 

When it comes to taking screenshots, size matters. Available only on devices running the Android 12 OS, scrolling screenshots allow you to capture as much of a web page or app as you want, eliminating the need to take multiple regular screenshots. 

How to take scrolling screenshots: 

  • Press the power and volume buttons simultaneously 
  • Select Capture More 
  • Crop the image to your liking
  • Select Save

9. Enable Developer Mode

This is the most hidden and complex of our Android tips thus far, so technophobes beware. Enabling Developer Mode allows you to show screen taps, configure Bluetooth settings, and customize USB connection preferences – you know, developer-y stuff.

How to access Developer Mode:

  • Open Settings 
  • Select About Phone 
  • Find Build Number 
  • Tap Builder Number 7 times 
  • Now head back to Settings 
  • Select Systems Advanced 
  • Tap Developer Options 


10. Ring In The Widgets

If you’re an Android user, you’ve been customizing your home screen since before it was cool. But if you haven’t, adding widgets gives you an aesthetic shortcut to your most frequently used apps, which is very cool – we’ve been told. 

How to configure Android Apps – Widgets: 

  • Long press the home screen 
  • Select Add Widgets 
  • To configure existing widgets, long press the widget 
  • Either tap Delete or drag to move  
Image of a smartphone with the screen split into two images horizontally; the top image is a text list with the header Fox's to-do, under which is a checkmark next to the phrase Be awesome; the bottom image is of Mint Fox with the phone icons for voice, video, and phone in front of him.

11. Run Apps Side By Side

To multitaskers everywhere: learn this Android phone trick. Setting up a side-by-side or top-bottom view is helpful when managing various tasks across apps. 

How to configure Android Apps – Split Screen:

  • Open the app carousel 
  • Tap the circular icon on the desired app 
  • Select Split Top 

From here you can configure your screen by toggling the thick separation line.

To exit Split Screen, drag the separation line to any corner of the screen. 

12. Bring Your Android To Mint 😉 

Of course, the best of all Android tips in our humble opinion is to join the movemint. Mint Mobile allows you to Bring Your Own Phone to the party or choose from our selection of the latest Android devices.

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