Our smartphones are probably the best gadget we’ve ever had. But let’s admit it. They are also perfectly distracting, time-wasting machines.
There’s no time to lose.
We already know that we check our mobile device a lot, like 150 times a day. That’s time and effort tossed in the garbage bin. What if I told you can perform basic stuff on your Android way faster and with fewer taps?
The trick is making stuff more accessible by bringing it to the front-end. Discover how to become a Android-ninja with these 5 simple hacks the Appszoomeditorial team has carefully crafted for you.
1. Contacts shortcuts
It’s true that we don’t make as many phone calls a day as we used to. However, calling is still the main activity for some people on their smartphone (in the end, we are talking about cell phones, aren’t we?). Even the most social beasts iterate over a close group of 4-5 friends and relatives who call the most throughout the day.
Placing contacts shortcuts on your Android home screen can help you save some taps and precious seconds everyday. How?
1. Go to your App Drawer
2. Tap Widgets Tab
3. Swipe until you get to “Contact” widget
4. Long-Press and Drag to place it on your homescreen
5. Select your favorite contact -> Voilà!
Built-in contacts shortcuts are useful but may not look so fancy. If you are concerned about having the best-looking homescreen, you can also try some third-party apps such as Contacts+ (download – full review).
2. Home screen Widgets
We already shared the benefits of placing app widgets on your homescreen. Widgets are an excellent way to get things done on your Android. They are like dynamic shortcuts that retrieve data from the app and deliver it to your homescreen so you don’t even have to launch it. Those specially connected apps can get updates several times per day, such as Social Networks, News Readers, Weather Forecast apps, and e-mail.
You can read our previous post on widgets thoroughly or you can follow these instructions and play with them on your own!
On Android 4.0+
1. Go to the app drawer
2. Tap top-left corner tab “Widgets”
3. Long-press the desired widget
4. Release it on the homescreen
On non-Kit Kat Android OS (below 4.0):
1. Long-press home screen
2. Tap “Widgets” in the popup window
3. Select the widget you want
3. Notifications on your lockscreen
Push notifications are both most appreciated and most distracting feature of our smartphones. We spend a lot of time unlocking the screen, swiping down the notification drawer, tapping on the notification, reading it… Such a waste of time. Let’s be more efficient here: bring your notifications to your lockscreen. Know at a glance if it is worth checking them right now or if they can wait… and carry on.
DashClock (download – full review) is probably the most well-known app that lets you bring your notifications to the lock screen, due to its neat design and the amount of add-ons it supports. There are others though, and some of them truly disrupting. For example, Base – Smart Notifications (download – full review), which pushes notifications to your lock screen and fires the display up automatically (you don’t even need to touch any hardware button).
4. Browser bookmarks
This trick is especially useful for those who navigate on their smartphone on a daily basis. Best you can do is first, bookmark your most-visited websites from your default mobile browser and then bringing those bookmarks to your homescreen for a quick access. An easy and time-saving solution.
1. Open any website on your default web browser
2. Tap the bookmark button (in Chrome is a star within the three-dot button)
3. Go to your app drawer and tap the “Widgets” tab.
4. Long-press “Bookmark” and release it on your home screen
5. Select the bookmark you want to create the shortcut for
5. Floating buttons
As you might have noticed, the main trick to save time and efforts is bringing your most-used stuff to your lock screen or home screen. Cutting down in those automated process is the best way to get your s**t done faster and more efficiently. We’ve brought already contacts, apps (widgets), notifications, and bookmarks to the front-end. Now, it’s time for power toggles.
Power toggles are the ones that enable/disable WiFi, data network, GPS, sound, brightness, Bluetooth, and many other built-in Android OS features. There are lot of well-crafted third-party apps to achieve this. One of our favorites is Floating Toucher (download – full review), which brings a floating button that spreads out when you touch it to show all power toggles. Power Toggles (download – full review) is another classic app within this category. It’s more classic regarding design (horizontal bar instead of floating widgets) but highly customizable.