Hidden away within the settings menu of your smartphone is a range of functions and features that you may not have seen or used before. Below, we’ve put together some quick tips on how to be more efficient with your daily Android device usage.

Always use VPN

We've previously discussed the justifications for using a mobile device VPN. This kind of software can hide your browsing activity, including private credentials transferred over public networks, and stop third parties from seeing what you're doing online.

If you're already running a VPN application, you don't have to open and log into it every single time you're leaving the house. Instead, you can simply use Android's 'Always-on VPN' option, which will keep the feature permanently enabled.

Open Settings and then tap on Network & Internet, and finally VPN. Next. tap on the gear icon beside your chosen VPN option and toggle the Always-on VPN option. If you want to be extra-careful with your browsing activity in public, then you can also block connections from being possible unless your VPN software is enabled.

Automatic brightness

Keeping your phone on a single level of brightness won't suit all scenarios; if you're heading outside after being in a dark room, then you won't be able to see the screen. Similarly, if you have maximum brightness enabled when heading to bed, you'll be blinded.

You can make things a lot simpler by using Android's automatic brightness feature. You can switch this on by heading into Settings and then Display, before toggling on the Adaptive Brightness function.

Automatic updates

The applications that you run on your Android device are typically issued with frequent updates by the developers. As these updates often contain security and bug fixes, or provide useful new functionality, it's a good idea to install them whenever they become unavailable. However, it's easy to let them pile up if you forget to manually install them.

Fortunately, you can take the work out of updating your applications by turning on Google's automatic update process. Open the Google Play Store application and navigate into the menu on the left side. Tap on Settings and then on Auto-update apps and choose Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only. This will stop your phone from trying to process updates using mobile data, which could get costly.

Automatic Wi-Fi

When you're connected to Wi-Fi, you don't use your smartphone's mobile data. If you're on a low-cost plan, then you can quickly run out of data simply by using media-heavy applications. Though you should always be careful with public Wi-Fi, most people have at least a few trusted networks that they alternate between, such as friends' and family members' houses, workplaces or schools and colleges.

Turning on automatic Wi-Fi connections means that your phone will remember and connect to networks that it has previously connected to, when coming into range. You can switch this feature on by going into Settings and Network & Internet, then tapping on the Wi-Fi options. Tap on Wi-Fi preferences and enable Turn on Wi-Fi automatically.

Scheduling ‘Do Not Disturb’

The 'Do Not Disturb' feature that is built into Android will stop you from receiving alerts whilst you have the option enabled. It's useful for when you're trying to focus on an activity, whilst you're working, or when you're asleep. Though you can enable and disable it freely, you can also set it to come on via a schedule.

To enable the DND schedule, open the Settings menu and then tap on Sound and Do Not Disturb preference. This is where you'll find the scheduling assistant for setting up specific timers on which the function will operate. Your phone will have a few pre-set options already built in, which you can modify. Alternatively, you can create your own schedule.

Need any more help with your phone?

Here at WiseGuys, we offer smartphone repairs in the Bournemouth and Christchurch area. However, we can also offer a whole range of other advice when it comes to using your Android, iOS or other mobile device. If you have any questions or would like to book in a repair, you can reach us on 0808 123 2820.