7 Ways to Boost Your Android Smartphone

Get the Most Out of Your Android with These Simple Tips

If you have an Android phone, you already know that can customize it to fit your needs. But there's always room for improvement. Here are seven ways to get the most out of your Android smartphone right now. 

01
of 07

Customize Your Notifications

Google Nexus 7
Google Nexus 7. Google

Distracted by notifications? If you've upgraded to Lollipop (Android 5.0), you can customize your notifications quickly and easily. A new Priority mode lets you put up a "do not disturb sign" for certain blocks of time so you won't be interrupted or awakened by unimportant notifications. At the same time, you can allow certain people or important alerts to break through so you don't miss any essential notifications.  

02
of 07

Track and Limit Your Data Usage

data usage
Tracking your data usage. Molly K. McLaughlin

Whether you're worried about overage charges or you're going abroad and want to limit usage, it's super easy to track data usage and set limits on your Android phone. Simply go into settings, click on data usage, and then you can see how much you've used each month, set limits, and enable alerts. If you set a limit, your mobile data will automatically shut down when you reach it, or you can set up a warning, in which case you'll receive a notification instead.  

03
of 07

Save Battery Life

Smartphone battery
Charging your phone, again. Getty

Also a necessity when traveling or running around all day is saving battery life, and there are many easy ways to do this. First, turn off syncing for any apps you won't be using, such as email. Put your phone in airplane mode if you'll be travelling underground or otherwise out of network – otherwise, your phone will keep trying to find a connection and drain the battery. Alternatively, you can shut off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi separately. Finally you can use Power saving mode, which turns off haptic feedback on your keyboard, dims your screen, and slows down overall performance. 

04
of 07

Buy a Portable Charger

Smartphone charging
Charge on the go. Getty

If those battery-saving measures aren't enough, invest in a portable charger. You'll save time by not searching for outlets and extend your battery life by up to 100 percent at a time. Portable chargers come in all shapes and sizes with varying levels of power, so choose wisely. I always have one (or two) on hand.

05
of 07

Access your Chrome Tabs Anywhere

Chrome mobile browser
Chrome mobile browser. Molly K. McLaughlin

If you're anything like me, you start reading an article on one device while on the go, and then resume on another. Or you're looking for recipes on your tablet that you've discovered while surfing on your phone or computer. If you use Chrome on all your devices and you're signed in, you can access all open tabs from your Android phone or tablet; click on "recent tabs" or "history" and you'll see a list of open or recently closed tabs, organized by device. 

06
of 07

Block Unwanted Calls

Annoying phone calls
Another telemarketer?. Getty

Getting spammed by a telemarketer or avoiding other unwanted calls? Save them to your contacts if they're not already there, click on their name in the Contacts app, click the menu, and add them to the auto reject list, which will send their calls straight to voicemail. (May vary by manufacturer.) 

07
of 07

Root your Android phone

smartphone
Getty

Finally, if you need even more customization, consider rooting your phone, which gives you admin rights to your device. There are risks of course (it could break your warranty), but also rewards. These include the ability to remove apps that have been pre-loaded by your carrier (aka bloatware) and install a variety of "root-only" apps to block ads or turn your phone into a wireless hotspot, even if your carrier blocks this function.