Nov 3, 2022

Android Tips & Tricks

Android Tips & Tricks

How to get the most from your Android phone

You love your smartphone but sometimes you’re unsure how smart it really is. Shouldn’t it be easier to do things like install updates or increase the size of the text or even change the color of the text bubbles? It would be nice if doing these things and others was a bit more intuitive or user-friendly, but, as they’re not, we’re here to help with lots of Android tips.

Below you'll find lots of Android hacks, tips and tricks for getting the most from your Android phone, including how to change your app icons. We've done a similar article for iPhone users, which you can find here, and hope these Android hacks are helpful to Android users.

How to charge your battery faster

Beauiful young woman with lush curly hair standing in the sunshine checking her texts.

This is one of our favorite tips and tricks, because isn't it always at the most inconvenient times that you discover you’re just about out of battery? Well you can charge your Android phone faster and extend your battery life if you first put it in Airplane Mode. Because Airplane Mode turns off lots of features of your Android phone – like cellular and Wi-Fi – there’s much less for the battery to do so it charges more quickly. When you’re all charged up, just turn Airplane Mode off.

To do so:

Open the Settings app on your Android device, then click on “Network & Internet.” Tap the button next to “Airplane Mode.”

How to increase the font size on your Android phone

Pretty young mom and sweet daughter sitting on the sofa and Facetiming with family.

This is another of our favorite tips and tricks. Using it makes reading text messages easier by doing the following:

Under the Settings in app drawer on your Android device, choose “Accessibility.” At the next screen, tap “Font Size.” Here, you’ll see a slider. Drag it as far to the right as you like. The farther it goes to the right, the larger your font size will be. Then, click “Done” to save your changes.

How to install updates on Android phones

Cheerful young dad and daughter, both in orange tee shirts, snapping a selfie.

This is probably one of the most important and best Android tips. In order to keep your phone running its best, it needs to update itself on occasion. To make sure this happens, open Settings, and then click on “About Phone/Tablet.” On the next screen turn on “Automatic Update.”

How to turn Android devices into a hot spot

Sweet young dad holding his daughter on is lap while she plays with his cell phone. .

A hot spot enables you to work on your laptop when you’re away from home or in a place where there’s no public Wi-Fi. Using your Android devices phone in this manner allows you to remain productive and connected.

Open Settings, then “Connections,” then “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.”

Once the hotspot on your Android smartphone is on, return to your laptop or other device and go into your Wi-Fi menu. Your Android smartphone should be there as an option. Select it and provide the password your phone gave you.

How to change the color of text bubbles on your Android smartphone

Cute young dad and son sitting on a sofa looking at something on a cellphone.

Sometimes text bubbles are tough to read. Maybe they’re too light, or maybe they’re too dark. Or maybe you’d just prefer them in a different color! Whatever the case, do this and make reading your text messages easier (and more fun!).

Open Settings and select “Accessibility.” Under “Display,” select “Text and Display.” (It’s possible this could also be called “Color and Motion.”) From the list of options, select “Color Correction.” Toggle “Color Correction” on and then change how the colors display on your phone by using the “Color Correct Mode” options.

How to use your Android device as a scanner

Pretty young woman in a striped shirt laughing with her husband on the sofa.

This is a terrific function if you’re one of those people who’ve had enough of paper files. By using your phone as a scanner, you can cut down on the amount of paper stored in your desk (and, if you’re like lots of people, the “catch all” drawer in the kitchen). Scan the stuff and then email it to yourself to save on your hard drive. Here’s how.

Position the document you want to scan in front of you. Next, open the Camera app and position your phone as if you’re taking a photo. A yellow border will appear on lock screen and the words Tap to Scan will pop up. Tap that button and you’ll see the image you’ve captured. If the scanned area isn’t exactly as it should be, drag the corners to adjust it. If you’re satisfied, tap Save. If not, tap Retake.

How to use Google maps offline

You're on the highway and encounter a spot where there are Internet issues. To avoid any unwanted trouble, you can always download your desired Google Maps and use them Offline whenever and wherever required.

Here's how: Open Google Maps App Click on your Profile at the Top Right Corner A menu will appear on the Left. Select “ Offline Maps ” Now click on “ Select Your Own Map ” Select your Desired Map and click “ Download ”. In few seconds your map will be downloaded for Offline Use.

How to change your default messaging app

If you'd prefer to chat with friends via Facebook Messenger, rather than your phone's built-in SMS app, you can make Facebook's product your default messaging app.

How to create custom app icons

How to Get Custom App Icons on Android

One of the best features of Android is the option to customize nearly anything you want, from the wallpaper and lock shortcuts to the way the app icons look and feel. What’s more, there are many ways to apply custom app icons. You can even create your own!

Before you can change app icons, you’ll need to download and install custom app icon sets. You can find them at the Google Play Store.

Here's how to install them:

  1. Find a set of custom icons you like at the Google Play Store. The best way to find them is to type custom icons in the search bar (located at the top).

  2. When you find an icon set you like, tap the entry in the search results. Then tap the green Install button.

  3. Wait for it to finish, and then return to the home screen or tap Open.

How to use your phone as a pedometer

Happy mom and young son sitting on a sofa looking at a tablet.

We know you’re shooting for 10,000 steps a day because we are, too! It’s a worthy goal – good for your health and keeping those hip flexors flexible. If you want to track how you’re doing steps-wise, see if your phone has the Google Fit app. If so, open it and tap the Steps button. This will start tracking your movement and you can tap Day, Week, or Month to see your data and progress. If you have a Samsung phone, you can do the same thing via the Samsung Health app.

How to get more from your battery

Over time, the battery in your phone won’t last as long as it once did. But there are things you can do to extend its life:

Use Android apps without installing them

Did you know you could use apps and play games on your Android device without downloading and installing them? Yes, it is possible with the Google Play Instant feature. Here's how:

  • Open Google Play Store

  • Tap on your Profile

  • Click on Settings

  • Choose General

  • Turn on Upgrade Web Links

  • Go back to Play Store

  • Explore the apps and games that have the Try Now options available

Once the feature is turned on, people can try many apps and games. If and when people are satisfied with the apps and games, they can download and install the same app notifications again. It is a great way to prevent using or freeing up storage space to test a new app or play a new game.

Have animated or live wallpaper?

If you have animated or live wallpaper on your phone, delete it. It’s fun and it looks nice, but it drains the battery.

Adjust tracking

Certain apps, like Uber and Grubhub, track your location. If they’re tracking it all the time, it will drain your battery. On your Android phone, go to Settings, click on “Location” then “Mode,” and on the next screen tap “Battery Saving Option” to turn it on. Set this way, your phone will only know its location when it’s connected to a network.

Adjust screen brightness

If your screen is very bright, which you might have needed it to be prior to enlarging your font size, it will drain your battery. To dim it, under Settings click on “Display & Brightness,” then use the slider to adjust the brightness down a notch. These quick settings and directions apply to iPhones and Androids alike.

Turn Bluetooth off

Using Bluetooth to transmit data requires an enormous amount of battery power. Enable it when necessary, and shut it off when you don’t need it.

Go to Settings and click on “Bluetooth.”  Move the slider to the “off” position.

Adjust email retrieval

If you get your email on your phone, it’s important to note that the more frequently your device looks for new data, the more it drains your battery. To adjust the frequency, open Settings and click on “Accounts.” On the “Accounts” screen, tap on the three dots icon in the right hand corner. This will bring up “Auto Sync Data.” Click on “Ok” to disable auto syncing.

With both iPhones and Android phones, even though you adjust the frequency with which they check for email, you can still check your email manually by opening up Gmail, etc.

How to know when it’s time for a new Android phone

Man in a blue shirt sitting at a bar sending a text.

Most people upgrade every one to two years, but you really can go three years or more. If you’re considering getting a new phone, here are a few reasons to take the plunge:

  • To get the latest updates. If your current Android phone has reached the point where it simply can’t support them, it’s time for an upgrade.

  • If despite all your best efforts and trying all the suggestions provided above for saving your phone’s battery your phone holds a charge for only a half day or less, it’s time for a new phone.

  • And if, even though you made the font size larger and maybe even bolder you’re still having trouble reading what’s on the screen, it’s time for a bigger screen. One that’s attached to a new phone.

In closing

We hope these tips and tricks have helped you supercharge your Android experience. Now that you’re the smartest Android user you know, make another smart move:

Get FREE wireless with Life Wireless

Now that you know many of the tricks and tips to get more out of your Android phone, why not make another smart decision. Let’s get you going with free cellular service from Life Wireless.

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s 100% real.

Life Wireless offers government subsidized free cellular service through the Affordable Connectivity Program to qualifying individuals and families. And, if you’re unemployed or participate in a government benefit program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC, you already qualify for this Federally funded free cellular service. As a participant, you receive the following, free, each month: Unlimited talk, text and data, and a free smartphone or you can bring your own.

Even if you’re paying just $20 a month for cell service, wouldn’t you rather have that $240 to spend on groceries, gas, or paying down debts? Of course you would. All it takes is just a few minutes to complete the application. Do so now, and you could be cutting your monthly cell phone bill to nothing in no time.

Plus, if you’re approved for Life Wireless/Lifeline Assistance Program and sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you get two sources of free talk, text, and unlimited data that you can split between two phones. That means free cell service for you and free cell service for someone you love. If your child has been asking for a cell phone, this is a terrific opportunity to provide him or her with talk, text, unlimited data and the ability to stay in touch with you!

Of course you don’t have to split the service between two phones, you can keep it all on one. But it’s a wonderful option if your spouse, child or relative needs a phone – and who doesn’t? – but has been unable to get one due to the expense.

Whichever option you choose – to keep the data on one phone or split it between two – Life Wireless will make sure you receive the free talk, text, and unlimited data to help you stay connected.

Option 1: Combine Your Data

Activate Lifeline and ACP on the same device and receive unlimited talk, text, and data, plus 5GB of mobile hotspot.

Option 2: Split Your Data
Split your data between two phones or supported devices and you’ll have one device with ACP’s free talk, text, and 6GB of data and a second device with Lifeline’s talk, text, and 4.5GB of data (6GB of data in California).

Fast facts about Life Wireless

Yes, you can add more minutes and data!

You can purchase additional minutes or data one of the following ways:

  • Go to and click "Add Minutes/Data"
  • If you have a smart phone, go to your MyLifeWireless app and click "Add Minutes".
  • Call Customer Service at 1-888-543-3620, or by dialing 611 on your Life Wireless phone.
  • You can also go to any Moneygram location and use Receive Code: 7924

Yes, you can track your minutes!

Your minutes replenish each month on your anniversary date before end of the day. For example if you signed up and received your minutes on the 12th of the month, your minutes will replenish every month on the 12th of the month.

You can check your account balance the following ways:

  • Go to and click "My Account"
  • Go to your MyLifeWireless app on your phone, and click "Check Balance"
  • Call Customer Service at 1-888-543-3620, or by dialing 611 on your Life Wireless phone.

Yes, you can keep your current phone number!

If your application is approved, you have the option to keep your current phone number.

Once you receive your Life Wireless phone in the mail, call Life Wireless Customer Service at 1-888-543-3620 and a representative will assist you in keeping your current number. Make sure that you don't call from your Lifeline phone and have your account number and password from your previous carrier handy.

What our customers are saying:

"Life Wireless has been great. I have used it so many times for appointments and finding the proper care providers for my needs as well as for my family's needs. Thank you so much Life Wireless!"

Rebecca L., KY

Without this phone I would be lost. It has helped me stay in contact with my daughter’s specialist. I schedule her appointments and they can call back if there are any complications with her results. Thank you, Life Wireless.” Amanda Z., PA
“I've been looking for apartments, doctor’s offices, and school phone numbers, and my data provided has been a tremendous help in gaining access to this information. I'm very grateful for this service.” Maria R. AZ

Don’t wait. Get FREE wireless service now!


Posted 1 year ago