What are some good text messaging tips

Ingenious Android tips that nobody knows

Michael Rupp, Thomas Joos

Helpful tricks and clever moves - we will show you how you can use the hidden functions of your Android smartphone in everyday life without any problems.

EnlargeThe manual doesn't reveal everything about your smartphone. We reveal secret Android tricks.
© iStockphoto.com/juniorbeep

Some of the useful operating functions of the small all-rounder devices are insufficiently or not at all documented. This has disadvantages, because with the right key and operating shortcuts you save a lot of time. The following tips will help you use Android more effectively. Note that the availability of the functions shown depends on the Android version.

1. Connect to invisible WiFi

Wireless networks that are configured as invisible for security reasons do not transmit any WLAN identification (SSID) and are therefore not displayed in the list of available wireless LANs. To establish a connection to the wireless network anyway, go to "Settings ➞ Wireless and networks ➞ WLAN". Scroll to the bottom and tap Add Network. Enter the network name and the WLAN login data here.

EnlargeUsers can also add hidden WLANs in the WLAN settings.

2. Place widgets on the start screen

Android offers between three and seven home screens, depending on the manufacturer of the smartphone. Links to frequently used apps, folders, people, settings and mini programs (widgets) can be stored on it. Above all, widgets do those tasks at lightning speed for which a separate app is not necessarily worthwhile, for example for displaying the time, traffic situation, weather forecast, calendar entries, news or Twitter tweets.

Another example is the energy control widget, which you can use to switch power-guzzling smartphone functions off and on again. The “News and Weather” widget, in turn, places a news ticker with information on the current weather on the home screen.

To set up a widget or a shortcut on the home screen, press and hold the desired start screen and select from the menu that then appears which function you want to anchor.

EnlargeWidgets offer sub-functions of apps that can be accessed directly on the home screen.

3. Photo search by date

Android saves photos taken or synchronized with the computer in the "albums". After starting the albums app and tapping an album, you can scroll through the image gallery by swiping on the display. If you want to quickly get to the photos that you took on a certain date, use the scroll bar on the far right of the display to scroll through them. As soon as you move it with your finger, the date the pictures were taken will appear at the current position.

EnlargeYou can also sort and filter photos by date.

4. Use the multitasking list

Android supports multitasking. Therefore, open apps continue to run in the background when you press the home button. Once started, apps can easily be brought back to the front using the multitasking list. To do this, tap on the small square at the bottom of the screen. You can swipe through the open apps.

5. Better photos with subject program

Would you like to capture a fast-moving object in focus or take a portrait? For these areas of application, Android smartphones offer a small arsenal of motif programs such as panorama and focus effect or Photo Sphere.
To do this, press the "Hamburger" menu with the three lines and type the function that you want to use.

6. Take photos without GPS tracks

The camera app in Android provides photos with the coordinates of the place where they were taken. This allows the images to be integrated into a map at the appropriate location via Google Maps. You can also use the geographic coordinates to sort pictures according to where they were taken and see where they were taken. If you want to prevent third parties from seeing where the photos were taken, you can easily prevent the coordinates from being embedded during the recording: Start the camera app and press the "Settings" button. Temporarily turn off the Save Location option.

7. Quit apps, free up memory

Android includes a built-in task manager, with which applications that are currently not in use can simply be closed so that storage space is freed up again. Go to “Settings ➞ Apps”. Select an app by tapping it. With "Quit" or "Force quit" you quit the app and thereby free the working memory used by the app.

8. Close the app quickly

Thanks to multitasking, an app that has been started in Android continues to run until you explicitly exit the program. Since every application running in the background consumes memory and computing power, it is advisable to close apps that are no longer required. The quickest way to do this is via the “Recent Apps” button (the small square at the bottom of the screen next to the Home button): Press the button and swipe any apps you no longer need to the left, right or upwards - the exact swiping movement differs depending on the manufacturer or Android interface.

9. Reset for telephone network and WLAN

Even though you are within range of a WLAN or in an area served by cellular networks, Android sometimes does not recognize a connection. Such connection problems can also occur with Bluetooth.

Most of the time, resetting all wireless connections can solve the problem. To do this, open the settings and switch on flight mode. In airplane mode, Android resets wireless connections. After a short wait, switch off airplane mode again.

10. Take screenshots

In Android, screen snapshots can be conveniently taken without a special app or even root function. On most Android smartphones, it is sufficient to hold down the power button and click the bar button. Android then saves a snapshot of the current screen content as an image file in the album. Alternatively: With some manufacturers you have to hold down the power button and press the home button to take a screenshot.

11. Coupling in the car via Bluetooth

Many newer vehicles have a Bluetooth hands-free system that can be used in conjunction with an Android smartphone to make phone calls without cables. To set up the wireless hands-free connection, you have to pair the mobile phone with the vehicle once. To do this, activate Bluetooth on the smartphone under “Settings ➞ Wireless and networks ➞ Bluetooth” (with some manufacturers you can also find the Bluetooth menu directly under “Settings”.

Now start the Bluetooth area search on the vehicle. Once the two devices have found each other, enter the confirmation code shown on the display. Once the pairing is complete, the smartphone and vehicle connect as soon as they are within range.

12. Fast voice search

There is also a voice control function in Android. To activate it, say “Ok Google”. Possible commands are, for example, “Call Dieter Huber at home”, “Map of Stuttgart” or “Send SMS to Klaus Müller”.

EnlargeAndroid also offers speech recognition

13. Control unwanted calls