Android now accounts for a immeasurable infancy of blurb smartphone shipments, according to marketplace comprehension organisation IDC, with some-more than two-thirds of all tellurian enterprise-oriented purchases in a initial entertain of 2017. Out of a box, though, a standard Android phone is anything yet optimized for productivity.
Power adult many renouned phones, and you’ll find ineffectual home screens, common keyboards and all sorts of untapped potential. But all it takes is a tiny tweaking to go from direct jigger to finely tuned work companion.
Follow these 8 steps, and your Android phone will be primed for capability and prepared for business.
1. Optimize your home screen
One of a simplest and many impactful ways to urge your phone’s efficacy is to concentration on a foundation: a home screen. Your home shade is a initial thing we see when we clear your device, and it’s a rising indicate for many all we do. Yet for many people, it’s a cluttered and emasculate disaster — and that, sufficient it to say, is counterproductive.
It helps to cruise of your home shade as a toolbox. If we were scheming to perform a home correct job, you’d wish to be means to find a collection we use a many with a minimal volume of suspicion and effort. Were your toolbox a random mess, you’d rubbish profitable time digging around any time we non-stop it.
Your home shade is no different. And distinct iOS, Android doesn’t extent we to a immobile grid of retard icons. You can lay things out in any approach that works best for you, contracting a brew of app shortcuts, widgets and — critically — vacant space.
Start by meditative delicately about what apps we indeed open on a near-daily basis. Ideally, your categorical home shade quarrel should enclose these equipment and usually these equipment — things like a Phone app, any applicable messaging apps, your email app, your calendar app and your web browser. (Some if not all of those would substantially make clarity in a wharf during a bottom of a screen.)
You competence also wish to embody any note-taking apps, song apps, home control apps or print apps we open regularly. As for all else, make this your mantra: If we don’t open it roughly any day, get it out of your way. Having a ton of app shortcuts on your home shade indeed creates it some-more formidable to find what we want; you’ll be many improved served by squeezing it down to a tiny handful of icons (10 to 15 during most) and afterwards relying on your phone’s alphabetically orderly and simply scrollable app drawer when we need anything else.
That’ll keep a collection we use a many during your fingertips and make them easy to locate though any visible scanning. You’ll expected even rise flesh memory and start touching a suitable areas of a shade for opposite functions though thinking.
For forms of info that are useful to see during a look — like weather, for instance — cruise a well-placed widget that’ll make that information always accessible though a need for any additional taps. Just remember: Less is more. If your home shade reaches a indicate of being jam-packed with remaining info, it ends adult being an ineffectual toolbox for your mobile capability needs.
2. Let Gboard speed adult your typing
It’s tough to feel prolific on your phone when any judgment we form takes 10 mins and requires a veteran gibberish-translator to decipher. Smartphone typing doesn’t have to be a source of frustration, yet — if we find and implement a right keyboard and learn how to take advantage of a strengths.
For many people, I’d suggest installing Google’s possess Gboard app. (It comes preinstalled as a default keyboard on some devices, yet many manufacturers — including Samsung — opt to yield their possess defective alternatives instead.) There are positively other worthy keyboards out there, yet Gboard has grown into a many polished, well-rounded and easy-to-use option, and it comes with some flattering constrained perks.
First are a keyboard’s time-saving shortcuts. For instance, we can fast form a series or special impression by holding your finger on a ?123 pivotal in Gboard’s bottom-left dilemma and afterwards shifting it upward; that’ll means a preference of black to appear, and we can afterwards simply pierce your finger to whichever one we want.
When we need to reposition your cursor, meanwhile, slip your finger along a spacebar — or, for even finer control, daub a menu pitch () in Gboard’s upper-left dilemma and afterwards daub a I that appears in a core of a tip bar. That’ll move adult a control quarrel with buttons for precisely positioning a cursor as good as for selecting text.
And vocalization of that top-bar menu, that’s where you’ll find some of Gboard’s some-more modernized features: a hunt icon, that allows we to hunt Google right from a keyboard and afterwards share equipment like news, continue and plcae info directly to any content field; a Google Translate icon, that lets we interpret into another denunciation on a fly; and a settings icon, that lets we customize countless facets of a keyboard — including a height, a visible character and a participation of a dedicated series row.
Gboard can also make it reduction ungainly to form on a large-screened device: Just press and reason a comma pivotal and afterwards name a idol that looks like a palm holding a phone. That’ll put a keyboard into a sized-down single-handed mode; we can afterwards position it toward a left or right of a shade or boyant it manually to any area we like.
3. Remember to use reminders
Your Android device has considerable memory, and I’m not articulate about a RAM. Google maintains a fantastic cross-platform sign complement that’s integrated directly into your phone, and it can be an useful capability apparatus — if, that is, we remember to use it.
Anytime we need to remember something, no matter how trivial, tell your phone — possibly by typing into any hunt prompt or by vocalization aloud (via a microphone idol on your home screen, a “OK Google” voice activation prompt or Google Assistant). Whichever trail we take, simply use a format: “Remind me to [whatever]” — followed by a time or place during that we wish to be reminded.
Location-based reminders are generally useful. You could indoctrinate your phone to remind we to record a news when we get behind to a office, for instance, or to remind we to email your trainer when we get to a Chicago airport. As shortly as we arrive during a plcae in doubt — either it’s after that day or weeks into a destiny — your phone will broach a alert. (Google should automatically know any businesses or open locations, and we can set your possess tradition locations like “home” and “work” by labeling them in Google Maps.)
And here’s a unequivocally absolute part: Since a sign complement is connected to your Google comment and automatically synced everywhere, we can also set and perspective reminders from a desktop mechanism (provided you’re sealed into a same Google comment there, of course). Just form your sign into a Google hunt box or directly into a residence bar of Chrome, or form “show me my reminders” to see a list of arriving and past items.
The same complement is also benefaction opposite all platforms in Google Keep, where we can emanate reminders for records and lists, and Google Inbox, where we can emanate reminders for emails and tasks as good as conduct all existent reminders.
4. Take control of notifications
Let’s face it: Smartphone notifications aren’t always so smart. Our phones have devolved into consistent sources of stop — and that isn’t accurately gainful to productivity.
Take a few mins to take control of your notifications, however, and they can spin honestly useful instead of annoying. The initial step is to perform a personal presentation audit: Over a subsequent few days, delicately cruise any presentation that shows adult on your phone and either it’s revelation we something we need to know immediately — something, in other words, that indeed warrants a notification. Odds are, many alerts from amicable media apps, news apps, selling apps and other non-essential sources are some-more distracting than useful, and branch them off will spin your phone into a improved business tool.
One by one, demeanour in any overly fervent app to see if there’s an apparent approach to invalidate or during slightest scale behind a notifications. If we can’t find such an option, let Android help: Press and reason a subsequent presentation a app sends you. That’ll give we options to retard a app’s notifications wholly or concede them to come by usually silently, though any concomitant sounds or vibrations.
Think, too, about simple notifications like email. Do we unequivocally need to be told about any singular summary that comes into your inbox? If we use Gmail or Inbox, we can configure a apps to forewarn we usually for specific forms of high-priority messages, that can go a prolonged approach in slicing down on sound and vouchsafing we concentration on what matters.
Last yet not least, learn to entirely implement Android’s Do Not Disturb feature. Look in a Sound territory of your complement settings to set adult a parameters for how it’ll work, profitable tighten courtesy to “priority only” mode. That mode allows usually a forms of alerts we whitelist — such as phone calls, for example, and maybe messages from high-priority contacts — to forewarn we when it’s activated. You might also wish to set adult manners to automatically activate Do Not Disturb during specific times or resources (a underline accessible on Android 6.0 and higher).
5. Snap between apps
On a desktop front, energy users have prolonged relied on Windows’ Alt-Tab hotkey to toggle between apps though wasting time. As of final year’s Android 7.0 release, Android has a identical option: Double-tap your device’s Overview pivotal (the typically square-shaped idol subsequent to Back and Home), and you’ll snap behind and onward between your dual many new processes — no additional movement required.
6. Split your screen
Sometimes, it’s easier to get things achieved when we can see a span of interrelated equipment on your shade together — either it’s a discuss window and a browser, a request and a web page or any other work-assisting combination.
On inclination regulating Android 7.0 or higher, a local split-screen mode creates this turn of multitasking possible: With one app actively open, press and reason a Overview pivotal and afterwards name a second app we wish from a list. When you’re finished, press and reason a Overview pivotal again to finish a split-screen session.
(Note that some manufacturers, including Samsung, have offering a identical underline for some time and continue to yield their possess swap implementations.)
7. Harness Chrome’s cross-platform power
Google’s Chrome browser can save we critical time by creation your mobile work a healthy prolongation of your in-office efforts. The Android app automatically syncs with a desktop equivalent, so all of your bookmarks are always accessible — and any page you’ve non-stop from your desktop is simply discoverable in Chrome’s History territory on your phone (so prolonged as you’re sealed into both places).
You can also see what pages are actively open in Chrome on other inclination — if, say, we left something open on your desktop and now wish to lift it adult on your phone — by drumming a “Recent tabs” duty in a Android app’s menu. On a desktop side, we can find that same info in a sidebar of a History page.
Chrome for Android has some dark settings that can make it even some-more efficient, too. Be certain to take a few mins to find and activate them.
8. Make Android itself some-more efficient
Android is distinct other mobile handling systems in that it allows a outrageous volume of interface customization around third-party apps — and with a right tools, that can emanate all sorts of opportunities for extended productivity.
I’ve put together a collection of such efficiency-enhancing options. Take a look — and, in and with a tips above, watch your mobile capability soar.