Tag Archives | android tips

Personalizing your Android’s dock

The dock on your Android just might be the most important part of your homescreen. It’s where you like to leave your most used apps and it’s your quick launch guide. Apps are on your dock for functional reasons but that’s not the only thing you can stick there.

One of the more basic decisions you can make dock-wise, is choosing to keep an app drawer button or instead use a gesture to access the app drawer. Using a gesture instead of a button frees up more space on your dock for another app. There are also plenty of ways to enhance the functionality of your app without compromising your app drawer button.

You can also add more slots to your dock. It’s true that it isn’t an option with every launcher, but if your launcher supports more than five dock icons, it’s worthwhile to consider adding a few more slots. The Action Launcher for instance can support up to 12 icons in its dock.

 

Docks can be big and busy or small and simple.

Of course, the more icons you add to your dock, the smaller each icon becomes. So if you want that additional space without downsizing your icons, see if your launcher supports dock pages. Dock pages can allow you to double or triples the amount of icons in your dock by swiping back and forth like the pages of your home screen.

 

Nine apps, one dock space. Ta da!

Another way to beef up your dock capacity is to add folders to it. Putting folders in your dock can help you achieve a less cluttered home screen, or just make way for more widgets and apps on your home screen.

In Action Launcher, covers allow these folders to resemble a simple app shortcut. Gesture actions are quite useful in folders and some launchers like Nova allow you to use them in regular apps and on your home screen. Gestures can allow you to hide one app in another or hide specialized shortcuts. You can have both the phone on your dock and gesture shortcut that when you swipe up automatically dials your bestie.

A long press or a swipe up on supported apps can reveal a small list of direct action shortcuts you can choose from.

Theming a dock is simple and it can either show off the apps in your dock or hide them from snoops. The key to an awesomely themed dock is symmetry and individuality.

There must always be balance.

It is important to keep your dock looking even. When choosing icons for your dock, pick one icon from your folder to represent the whole folder, so that rather than a mix of different sized app icons, you have one consistently sized line.

Accent icons can both fill gaps in an icon pack and bring extra style to your dock.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a consistent dock and a boring dock. So keep in mind something as simple as a custom app drawer icon can really bring your whole dock theme together.

What could be behind icon number 1? Nobody knows but you.

Custom dock icons can be subbed for any icon or folder and can be used to disguise certain apps. It may make it harder for a snoop to find their way around, but you need to choose icons that help you remember what they represent.

Sources: AndroidCentral

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How to switch the position of the nav buttons on your Samsung Galaxy S8

Tomorrow is when the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, finally go on sale at all of our locations. You may not know this, but there is one minor change that will definitely throw some of you off.

After an adjustment period, you may actually come to appreciate this new feature, if you’re right-handed, but you may be too annoyed to give it a fair chance.

So if you can’t abide it, we’ll tell you how you rearrange the nav buttons at the bottom of your S8 or S8 Plus back to their expected positions. On both phones the back button will be moved the right side of the device, with the multitasking aka opened apps button on the left side. Thankfully the home button will remain in the middle where it belongs.Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus nav button rearrange

If you want to rearrange the order of your nav buttons on your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, here’s how to do it:

  • On your home screen, swipe down from the centre of the top of the screen to pull down your notification shade.
  • Then tap on the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner to open up your Settings.
  • Then tap the section marked Display.
  • Then scroll down and tap on the Navigation Bar section.
  • Then tap Button Layout.
  • Then just tap to switch the button orientation to Back-Home-Recents.

It’s as easy and painless as that. Remember, after you purchase your new Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus from Open Connection, you are entitled to a free learning session to help you get comfortable using your new smartphone.

Sources: AndroidCentral

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How to create your own custom app icons on Android

You don’t have to put up with boring Android app icons. The beauty of Android is that you can customize almost anything and that includes app icons. So revitalize your homescreen with some fresh new app icons.

It’s so easy, just download Awesome Icons app. Awesome Icons is a very simple icon editing app that helps you make shortcuts. You pick an app, an icon, and a label, and Awesome Icons creates a new app shortcut on your home screen to use instead of the one you’d find in your app drawer.Awesome Icons Android app

Once you open Awesome Icons, you’ll see a list of your installed apps, and under each app will be a carousel of different icons available for that app from installed icon packs. If you tap on one, it’ll bring up the shortcut creation screen, where you can see what app you’re linking to, the icon you selected, and you can change the label to read something other than the default app name. Then once you hit OK, you’ve saved your choices and you’ll see a shiny new icon waiting for you on your homescreen.

Also for your theming convenience, you can dim the rest of the screen except the icon, which can be useful in selecting icons for a dark theme. If you want to create a shortcut with a different icon than the ones in the carousels, you can tap the + in the top bar to open a blank custom shortcut.

It can be also useful in hiding apps you don’t want other people to see, because adding a new name and icon can effectively disguise pretty much any app.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy your new custom-looking apps.

Sources: Android Central

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What you can do to make your Android even better

Android smartphones are already great, but they can be so much better in just a few easy steps. So here’s how to have the best Android experience possible.

There’s a couple of key components. First and foremost, at least for me, is managing your notifications. Android Marshmallow and Nougat, both allow you to turn off notifications for a specific app. This is the single most important thing you can do to enhance your Android experience.Android in a red cape

So many apps and games, don’t have a single useful notification to offer. Why should you care if your game wants to notify you that you haven’t played in a while. That’s a useless notification. So turn off every single app notification that you don’t need.

Just open up your Settings, then tap Apps. Then tap to select an app with useless notifications. Then tap the section labeled notifications. Then flip the toggle at the top of the page to Block all. That way that particular app will never send you another notification. Repeat process as necessary.

While we’re on the subject of apps, go ahead and disable the bloatware apps that you don’t want or need. Just because Galaxy Apps comes pre-installed on your Samsung Galaxy S7, doesn’t mean that it’s a useful app that you need.

So head into Settings, and find a bloatware app that you neither want nor need. First, make sure that the app in question isn’t essential to your system like Android System WebView or something. If it’s not essential then tap it and then tap the button labled Disable. It will ask you to confirm your choice. Then repeat this process as necessary.

Next up, improve your smartphone’s battery, turn auto-brightness off. There’s no reason your Android should have a screen as bright when you’re inside a well-lit room as when you’re outside in the dark. Pull down your notifcation shade, turn off auto-brightness and then adjust the slider, so that your screen is bright enough, but not too bright.

Did you know that you can reorder the short cuts displayed at the top of your notification shade? That’s right, if there’s a shortcut up there that you never need like Airplane mode, you can actually remove it. Keep in mind that this technique only works if your phone is running Android Nougat, (which it probably isn’t).

If your Android is running Nougat, tapping the hamburger in the top-right corner of the shade > edit and rearranging everything as you like it.

Next up your camera app. It’s there for a reason, if you’re using image-heavy social media, do not suffer the indignities of your in-app camera. Exit the app and take the photos on your far superior stock camera app and then post them to the social media service of your choice.

Use your Do Not Disturb mode. You deserve a few blessed hours of silence every once and a while, which is where your Android’s Do Not Disturb mode comes in handy. You can schedule Do Not Disturb via Settings > Sounds and vibration > Do not disturb. Here, you can tell your phone to forgo all notifications during a specific time, even phone calls.

Don’t forget that you can set up exceptions in your Do Not Disturb mode that would still allow for calls from your partner or boss to come through for instance. So take the time to set up exceptions, if you need them. Exceptions setting, you can set up the feature to always allows calls and messages from particular contacts (say, all those designated as “Favorites”), from “priority” apps, or even from callers who have repeatedly tried to reach you (the type of calls you get in an emergency situation).

That’s all there is to it. Now you’re ready to put your best Android forward, in any situation!

Sources: PCMag

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