5 Android features you should be using

November 11th, 2015
Android has many useful features, often overlooked by even the most advanced users. Here are some tips for getting the most out of an Android device.

Use Android Device Manager to secure your phone

Smartphones are attractive targets for thieves and they’re also easily lost. With Android Device Manager, you will be able to locate and ring your phone if you misplace it. You can also lock it remotely or wipe your data off if it is stolen or lost for good. To set up this feature, look at the security function in your settings manager. Once you’ve configured it, you can use Android Device Manager from any web browser, and gain access to your smartphone.

Monitor your data usage

Android includes an integrated tool that allows you to track your data usage and receive an alert when you’re about to exceed your data limit. You’ll find the data usage function in the settings menu, where you can set the device to notify you when you’ve used a certain amount of data. It’s a good idea to set the threshold a couple of hundred megabytes below your limit so that you can top up your data or save your last bit of bandwidth in case you need it.

Ensure your device knows when it’s tethered to a mobile hotspot

When your Android smartphone is tethered to a mobile hotspot shared by a tablet or smartphone, it will treat it as it does any other Wi-Fi connection. That can be pretty expensive if you have set your device to automatically download large files and updates when it is connected to a Wi-Fi connection.

This problem is easily solved. Simply go to the data usage menu and use the overflow button to list Wi-Fi networks. Then, you can use the toggle to select network restrictions for Wi-Fi networks that are actually using mobile data. This will prevent your smartphone from abusing mobile bandwidth.

Share big files with Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi Direct support in Android devices, which lets two phones connect directly via Wi-Fi, is a great way to share large files such as videos and images. Download an app like SuperBeam to enable this feature and you’ll be able share files with someone else quickly and easily.


Use the Android priority notification system to prevent specific apps from bothering you with unwanted notifications and to stop alerts from disturbing you when you’re sleeping. On Android, you can enable three notification settings: all, priority, or none. With none, you’ll get no alerts. With all, you’ll get the standard notifications. And priority mode allows notifications only from apps and numbers you’ve prioritised.  You can switch between these modes as you’d like to, or set it up to enter these modes at scheduled times. No more text messages or app notifications waking you up because you forgot to switch your device to silent.

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