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Android, Android, How to ?, Mobile, Tips and Tricks, Top Ten

Top Ten Android Tips and Tricks

There are lot of tricks (actually options) which are available in Android. Most of them are not straight forward and happen to be identified by chance.  Here are my top 10 android tips and tricks

[Note: All these have been tested on Samsung Galaxy Phone]

1. Quick Contact Search

Quickly search the contacts using the Phone Dial Pad. I always find it bit difficult to scroll through the contacts and then search for a contact. The alternate way is to use the dial pad and type the numbers which  have the letters on it.

Example: You want to search for “John

Open dial pad, type 564 and you will see all contacts which match with letter combination available on keys 564. In this case, it matched with John.

Next select the contact and press the call button.

2. One Touch Direct Dial

Usually the home screens are filled with apps and widgets. The home screen can also be filled with one touch dial shortcuts. You can keep the shortcuts of frequently calling numbers. Next time when you need to call, just tap the shortcut and the call is made.

To add a direct dial, long press on a blank area of the home screen –> select shortcut -> select direct dial. Choose the contact from contacts. If the contact has multiple phone numbers, make sure you select the right phone number.

Alternately, you can use the same approach to add direct message and email shortcuts.

3. Sync Facebook Contacts

I cannot imagine an android phone without the Facebook app. However many do not know that the contacts on your Facebook account can be synced with the phone contacts. You will be surprised to see many of your friends phone numbers on your phone without you asking them. Also, based on the brand of your phone, you will be able to see some extra feature. Like in Xperia you have Time Space.

To sync your Facebook contacts, open the Facebook app, go to settings, scroll to other settings andsync contact. You can select to Sync all or sync with existing contacts.

4. Scroll contacts – Secondary Scroll

Lets say you have about 50 contacts with letter starting ‘J’. You scroll up to letter J in your contacts and then start looking into all 50 contacts to choose one. Did you know that there was a secondary scroll which will show the contacts by filtering with first two letters?  All you have to do is, once you reach the desired letter, swipe your finger to the left and then start scrolling down. ie in the reverse L direction

Example as shown in the picture, first you scroll till ‘J’ and then swipe the finger to left and scroll till ‘JO’. The secondary scroll will filter the contact start with ‘JA’ to ‘JZ’ based on the direction in which you swipe.

Try it out and you will understand it better.

5. Take a Screen Shot

Android has an option to take the screen shot of your phone screen at any point. You can take the screen shot of your home screen or when an app is opened or when a setting screen is opened or even while watching the video.  All the images taken in this page are using the screen capture functionality.

To take a screen shot, simply press the back button and press the center home button. The captured image will be saved into your gallery.

6. Use Voice Recognition

I am not a big fan of using the phone while driving, having said that sometime we will end using the phone while driving. You may need to send a text message or make a phone call. Use the voice activation feature and be a safe driver.

Press the Mic option available next to the Google search bar and speak.

  • Search Google: [search text] – Ex:president of America
  • Send SMS: send text to [recipient] [message] – Ex: send text to John will be at home by 4 pm
  • Send Email: send email to [recipient] [subject] [body] –  Ex: send email to John Doe presentation Send me the ppt by end of day
  • Make a phone call: call [contact] [phone type] – Ex: call John mobile
  • Play Music: listen to [artist/song/album] – Ex: listen to the decemberists
  • Open website: go to [website] – Ex: go to cnn
  • Get Directions: navigate to [location] –  Ex: navigate to KFC
  • View a map: map of [location] – Ex: map of London

7. Open Recently Used Apps

Android has an option  to open recently used apps without having to look for those apps in that huge list.

Simply long press the home button to get the recently used apps pop up window. Select the app which you need. Also you may have an option to open the task manager where you will be able kill the apps/services which are long running.

8. Fast Redial and Quick Message

Ever felt that it would have been nice to quickly redial the last number from the log without having to first select the log entry and then press the call or message option. There is a way.

To call : Swipe the call log entry from left to right

To Message: Swipe the call log entry from right to left.

9. Google Search Quick Launch

You don’t like that Google search bar using the precious space on your home screen but still need an easy way of accessing it. No worries, long press the menu button of your phone and the Google search bar opens up.

10. Hidden Codes

There are some hidden secret codes which shows some interesting options and some useful information about the phone.

Use the dial pad to type in the below codes

*#*#4636#*#* - Shows Phone information, Battery information, Battery history, Usage statistics

*#*#8255#*#* - Show GTalk service monitor

*#*#1111#*#* - Service Mode

*#*#232331#*#* – Bluetooth test

*#*#3264#*#* – RAM version

*#*#0588#*#* – Proximity sensor test

*#*#2664#*#* – Touch screen test

*#*#0842#*#* – Vibration test

If you have any other tips and tricks, I would love to hear those. Please leave a comment.

Related Articles:

Top Ten Must have Android Apps
Top Ten Free Android Apps
How to use your android mobile phone as a modem?

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About Shree

Software Programmer by profession

Discussion

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Android Tips and Tricks

  1. Very good written information. It will be beneficial to everyone who usess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

    Posted by Sheldon Dugue | January 3, 2012, 3:39 pm
  2. I tried to take a screenshot using the information provided in tip #5 (on a Droid Global_2) but I couldn’t get it to work. Perhaps I’m not using the right keys as specified in the tip? I know what the back key looks like, but when pressed with the “home” button, I don’t get a screenshot. Is there a different “center” home button? I have four “buttons” at the bottom of my screen…Menu key, home key, back key, and search key (left to right). But no “Center” Home key.

    Posted by Kathy | May 8, 2012, 8:36 am
  3. thanks yaar, very helpful

    Posted by abdul samathu | June 20, 2012, 1:01 pm
  4. can u tell me something abt multitasking ???????

    Posted by vibs villa | September 18, 2012, 4:15 pm
  5. i dont want to google Sync…???i wana remove that..

    Posted by Anil | September 26, 2012, 1:10 am
  6. @VIBS VILLA – Multitasking is when you can run multiple applications simultaneously. For an instance, you can open the ‘Notes’ in your Smartphone and jot down something while the music is playing in the background.

    Posted by Tech Guru | February 6, 2013, 4:08 pm
  7. how do I get that dialer with the message icon on the bottom?
    the dialer I have does not have that and I have a galaxy s3.

    Posted by bob | March 24, 2013, 12:52 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Free Android Apps « The Lunch Talk - December 18, 2011

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  3. Pingback: How to receive your multiple emails to a single inbox on your Android Phone « The Lunch Talk - January 10, 2012

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