Year In Review

20 Android tips and tricks you shouldn't miss from 2017

Make the most of the upcoming holiday break with these standout tips for your favorite Android phone or tablet.

Android Tips 2017
JR Raphael, IDG

'Tis the season for kicking back, crankin' up the fireplace, and finding some time-saving new tricks for that pretty slab o' glass in your pocket.

Enhanced efficiency is one heck of a holiday treat, after all — and one that keeps paying off for months to come. Hey, productivity matters, and there's never a shortage of fresh Android shortcuts and enhancements just waiting to be embraced.

In case you missed any of 'em the first go-round or maybe just didn't have time to try everything out, here are some of my favorite Android tips and tricks from 2017. Pour yourself some cocoa, polish up the ol' Festivus pole, and give yourself the gift of finely tuned technology.

Best of all? It's the rare gift that won't cost you a single dime to acquire.

1. 16 time-saving Android shortcuts

We'll start things off with a zesty power-shot of powerful shortcuts. They'll save you time and help you get around your phone like a seasoned pro.

2. 8 ways to turn Android into a productivity powerhouse

A broader look at some easy adjustments that'll turn any Android phone into lean, mean productivity machine.

3. The smarter way to search on Android

One of my favorite snack-sized tips of the past 12 months — a handy Android search hack that'll help you find what you need faster and more effectively.

4. The time-saving typing trick every Android user should try

Another clever little way to shave seconds off your day by automating some of your most frequently typed phrases.

5. 4 hidden shortcuts for typing faster on Android

Speaking of typing, who doesn't want to make on-screen input easier? Most of the items in this story are things I use almost every day.

6. The best note-taking apps for Android

Take notes? Then take note: I put together a detailed guide to Android's top note-taking apps, with recommendations broken down by how you like to work.

7. 6 efficiency-enhancing Android apps

Some innovative tools that fine-tune your phone's interface to help it reach its full productivity potential. (A few really cool options in this one.)

8. 4 fantastic features in Google's Android Phone app

Google's Phone app may seem as basic as can be, but I'd be willing to wager it's hiding some super useful features most folks have never noticed.

9. 2 useful Google Docs features you probably aren't using

On the subject of overlooked options, Docs on Android has a couple awesome features even I always forget to use. And also...

10. Google Docs on Android has an interesting hidden option

If you use Docs but deal with Microsoft Office formats at least some of the time, you'll definitely want to know about this inconspicuous little setting.

11. 30 tasty tips for Android Nougat

Got Nougat? A thorough collection of tips to help you take full advantage of everything your Android 7.0 or 7.1 software can do.

12. Oh, Oreo! 8 things to try when you get Android 8.0

And in case you get Android 8.0 or 8.1 sometime soon, here's an easy-to-follow checklist of its sweetest must-try features.

13. No Android 8.0? Here's how to get Oreo features on any phone today

On the flipside: Follow these tips and enjoy a taste of Oreo's finest elements on any Android device — no Android 8.0 upgrade required.

14. 5 clever apps for customizing your phone's Quick Settings

Android's Quick Settings panel (Nougat and higher) is far more powerful than it initially appears. Here's how to make the most of it.

15. How to make your phone's Gmail notifications much, much better

By default, your phone's email alerts are working against you — but there is a better way.

16. How to turn Google Assistant into a powerful list-making machine

All it takes is a few minutes to teach your Google Assistant an incredibly useful trick for next-level organization.

17. Android security audit: An 11-step checklist

It's painless, I promise — and it's something you should do at least once a year.

18. I went on an Android app diet, and I've never felt better

I hate to bring up diets ahead of the holidays, but my experience with slimming down my Android app collection may make you think twice about your own phone's bulging waistline.

19. How to make free calls from your own number on any old phone

Turn your old Android phone into a functional extension of your current device with one download and two minutes of setup.

20. 20 great uses for an old Android device

Oodles of excellent ideas for giving an old device new life and making it genuinely useful again.

And just for funsies...

Android nostalgia: 13 once-trumpeted features that quietly faded away

So many years, so many features that went from front and center to gone and forgotten. Ready for a jog down memory lane?

Android nostalgia: 20 once-essential apps you've probably long forgotten

Get ready to see some dear old friends you haven't thought about in ages.

Thanks as always for reading — and happy holidays to you and yours!

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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