30 hidden settings in iOS and Android

You use your smartphone every day, but chances are you don't take a look at the settings menu of your iPhone or Android device every day. In this extensive article we will show you which handy settings you can change.


Tip 01: Choose notifications

You can determine how notifications are displayed on your iPhone per app. Go to Settings / Notifications and choose an app under Notification style. First of all, you determine whether an app is allowed to give notifications at all by pressing the button behind Allow reporting turn on. Under Notifications you choose how these notifications should look. At the bottom you then have the option to Sounds or Badges before turning on the app. Badges are the red dots next to an app icon.

Without realizing it, you spend hours on your smartphone every day

Tip 02: Battery info

Want to know more about the condition of the battery in your iPhone? Go to Settings / Battery and scroll down. below last 24 hours you now see two graphs. The first shows what the battery level was, the bottom graph shows how much time you spent on your iPhone. You can also click the Battery condition Tap to find out the maximum capacity of your battery.

Tip 03: Add App Limit

You probably spend at least an hour a day staring at your smartphone without realizing it. Apple wants to help you waste less time, so iOS 12 lets you control how much time per day you can use an app. Go to Settings / Screen Time and choose Continue. Indicate whether this is your own iPhone or if you want to set screen times for your child's iPhone and choose App Limits. Tap Add limit and choose a category, for example Social networks. Now indicate a maximum amount of time per day that you can spend on this. You can even indicate on which days the limit applies. Bee Change apps you can exclude certain apps from the limit.

Tip 04: Secure app

A common wish among iOS users was the ability to password protect apps. In iOS 12, this is partly possible via a detour. You must first select the option screen time below Institutions activate. Tap on Use Screen Time Passcode and enter a code. Open and close the app you want to code and return to the home screen of screen time. Tap the chart at the top and choose the app you want to protect under Most commonly used. Tap on Add limit and put it on 1 minute. Because the option Block at end of limit is on, the app will ask for your passcode after 1 minute.

Tip 05: Smart night mode

Your iPhone has the so-called Night Shift mode that ensures that your screen displays warmer colors as it gets later. Even on the warmest setting, the screen of your iPhone is still very bright in the dark. One trick is to invert the colors of your screen. The disadvantage is that all images are now also shown in negative. If you want to enable a smart night mode, yes go to Settings / General / Accessibility / Custom View and choose your Invert colors. Choose the option Smart reverse and voilà!

A trick is to invert the colors of your screen

Tip 06: Limit Tracking

Most of the advertisements you see online are tailored to your preferences in one way or another, for example because you are logged in with your Google account or because a Facebook tracking pixel follows you on websites you visit. On your iPhone, you can reduce this form of ad tracking by: Settings / Privacy / Advertising the option Limit Ad Tracking turn on.

Tip 07: Clear all data

You should only set this function if you do not have small children. You can choose to have your iPhone wiped if someone has entered an incorrect passcode ten times. Go to Settings / Touch ID and access code and enter your access code. At the very bottom you put the slider behind Clear data at. Confirm the action with Switch on. In this screen it is also possible to determine exactly what you can do with your fingerprint on your iPhone.

Tip 08: Passwords

Do you always forget your password? No problem. Go to Settings / Passwords and Accounts and tap Passwords. Use your fingerprint to access all your passwords and search the window for the service for which you forgot the password. Tap the name and password and your username, if any, will be displayed. If you log in to a website or service on your iPhone, you can now also see whether iOS has saved a password for the service. With Touch ID you can easily have the password filled in automatically at such a moment.

Tip 09: Respond quickly

Do you receive a call and do you want to respond quickly with a text message? Then tap on an incoming call Message and choose one of the three options. You can change the three options by pressing Amended to tap. You can also find them when you visit Settings / Phone on Reply with text message ticks. Here you can change the default responses if necessary. You can also click on an incoming call Memory to tap. The call will now be cut off, but after an hour you will receive a reminder that the person called you.

Tip 10: Call 112 quickly

If you're in an emergency and unlocking your iPhone and navigating to your phone app is too much work, you can also dial 112 by pressing the top snooze button five times in quick succession. If you do this, a red SOS button will appear. Tap it and the emergency service will be called. The iPhone does this automatically based on where you are. Put the slide back Automatic call on, a timer will appear that counts down for three seconds and then calls itself. Only enable this option if you know that you cannot accidentally turn on your iPhone.

You can quickly call the emergency service by pressing the snooze button five times quickly

Tip 11: Measuring is knowing

A new app in iOS 12 is Measure. It uses the AR capabilities of your iPhone to measure objects. Point your iPhone at an object and the app asks if you want to move the iPhone slightly to index the space. Then you can add a point of the object by pressing the plus to tap. Add another plus sign and the app immediately calculates the distance between the two points. The app works best when you measure an object from above, at weird angles you get mixed results.

Tip 12: Photo opportunities

The photo app can make fun suggestions for photos from your camera roll. Go to the photo app and tap For you. below Looking back find moments that your iPhone has automatically selected for you. For example, you can see photos from last summer or portraits of yourself. You can't set preferences, but it's nice to be surprised by nice photos that you haven't seen in a while. Tap a category to see more photos that share the same properties.

Tip 13: Search in photos

We'll stick with the photo app. You can search very easily in your photos. Tap the magnifying glass at the bottom right of the app. below People iOS has already put a few people it recognized in your photos. Tap a person to see more photos of this person. You can also search for places, sights or animals. After searching, tap Show all to see the photos. Apple indicates that the photo recognition is done locally on your iPhone; so you don't have to worry that all your photos will be scanned on a remote server.

Tip 14: Video quality

If you want to save space on your iPhone, it is possible to adjust the video quality. Go to Settings / Camera and tap Record video to choose a lower quality. If you want better quality, you can even opt for this 4K at 30 fps. You determine the quality of slow-motion videos by Record slow motion to choose an option. If you do not want to keep the original photo when taking an HDR photo, then put the slider behind Save normal photo from.

Tip 15: Search engine

By default, you search on your iPhone with Google's search engine, but that can be changed without any problems. Go to Settings / Safari and choose back Search engine for example Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo. In this screen you also decide whether you want to display search engine or Safari suggestions. The option Quickly search on websites means that Safari interprets a query like “wiki einstein” as a search for “Einstein” on the Wikipedia page.

Quick Website Search feature lets Safari interpret your search

Android Tip 16: Notifications

Just like on the iPhone, you can manage what your notification screen looks like in Android. You can quickly turn off certain notifications by long-pressing them in the notification screen. But did you know you can also snooze notifications? To do this, swipe them a bit to the right and click on the clock. Then you choose how long you want to snooze this notification. You can also manage the notifications per category with many apps. For example, you can instruct the Google Play Store to send important notifications about your account but not about updates. Through Settings / Apps & Notifications you can manage all notifications in detail per app.

Tip 17: Adjust per app

Some apps have additional settings for notifications, with which you can specify very specifically when you do and do not want to receive notifications. A good example is the Outlook app. In it you can indicate that you do not want to be disturbed with notifications for new messages for an hour or during the weekend, for example. To do this, open the Outlook app, open the menu and click on the bell in the top right corner.

Tip 18: Find Android

Android has a handy facility that allows you to find your device if you lose it. You can also protect data remotely if your device is stolen, for example. To check if this is on, go to Settings / Security & Location / Find My Device. You can then find your smartphone on a map via the website and the special app. You can also use other options, such as lock or delete. Do you also have the Google Home smart speaker at home? Then ask Ok Google where is my smartphone!

The Do Not Disturb function ensures that you sleep peacefully without receiving notifications

Tip 19: Do not disturb

The Do Not Disturb function ensures that you can sleep peacefully without receiving notifications, for example, while important calls come through. Through automatic rules, Do not disturb switched on or off at regular intervals, for example at night. You can find these rules under Settings / Sound / Do Not Disturb / Auto Power On. At the rules you also see the option The alarm clock can overwrite the end time. In fact, this ensures that the Do Not Disturb function is immediately turned off when the alarm goes off.

Tip 20: Font size

Do you often stare at your screen because you can't read certain texts properly? With Android 7 and higher you will find under Settings / Display the option Font size to make the text on the screen smaller or larger. Display size does the same for items on your screen. below Settings / Accessibility you will also find these options and a few more useful extras. For example, with magnification Set to zoom in on a point on the screen when tapped three times in a row.

Tip 21: Block number

Are you being harassed by pushy callers? Android makes it easy to block them. In the past, the feature was only available on specific devices, but nowadays it is available for every Android user (version 7 and higher). Open the Phone app and go to the settings via the icon at the top right. In this menu go to Blocked numbers. Enter the phone number to block and you will not be harassed again.

Are you harassed by pushy callers? Android makes it easy to block them

Tip 22: Calling via WiFi

Do you have poor mobile coverage at home? And do you call via KPN or Vodafone? Then you can now use WiFi calling. The calls then run via the often much more powerful WiFi network. In addition to the coverage, the quality of the conversation can also improve considerably. You must have a suitable smartphone for it: apart from the iPhone, these are only recent Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy S9. You can turn Wi-Fi calling on and off in the Phone app settings.

Tip 23: Save battery

Android has some handy mechanisms to make sure you get through the day without having to recharge your smartphone battery in the meantime. Very practical are the battery saving options that you will find under Settings / Battery / Battery Saver. By default, a battery percentage of 15 percent disables certain features and limits apps. It is useful to widen this a bit, so that you can be sure that you will call home.

Tip 24: Smart Lock

It is of course wise to protect access to your smartphone with a pin code or fingerprint. But in some cases, for example when you are just at home, that is unnecessary. With Smart Lock you ensure that you have to unlock less often. You can set different situations in which the device no longer locks automatically. For example, if it is near a trusted place or connected to a secure device. For this you go to Settings / Security & Location / Smart Lock. You now have to unlock the phone first. Then you can set Smart Lock to your liking.

Tip 25: Adjust ringtone

Do you already want to hear from the ringtone whether you are being called by your partner or your boss? In Android, you can choose a custom ringtone per contact. That ringtone will then be given preference over the standard ringtone (which you can use via Settings / Sound have set). To do this, browse to the contact person and open the menu via the three dots at the top right. Choose Set ringtone to choose a different ringtone.

Tip 26: Secret Codes

Android has a hidden information menu that you reach by entering the number in the Phone app *#*#4636#*#* to key in. Here you will find, under Phone information, detailed information about the mobile network you are connected to, including signal strength and connection speed. You will also find such data for WiFi. You can find many more such codes on the internet, but not all of them work. Plus, most of them are only useful for running certain hardware tests if you suspect something is wrong with your phone. There are tests for Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi and the touchscreen.

The device turns on Wi-Fi when you get close to a known Wi-Fi network

Tip 27: Automatic Wi-Fi

You can turn off Wi-Fi while on the road to save battery. From Android 8.0 (Oreo) you no longer have to think about turning it back on. That can be done automatically. Go to Settings / Network & Internet / Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi Preferences and tick the box Turn on Wi-Fi automatically on on. It will then scan for Wi-Fi networks in the background, but only when you are near a known Wi-Fi network, for example at home, it is actually turned on. Even if you don't want that, it's good to check the setting. With devices with Android Pie, the setting is sometimes already on by default.

Tip 28: Bluetooth

Devices that exchange data via Bluetooth use so-called profiles. You can set which profiles are allowed per device. This allows you to influence what is exchanged. For this you go to Settings / Connected devices and tap the settings icon behind the bluetooth device. For Bluetooth headphones, you can also see here since Android Pie whether aptX is used for improved sound quality - if your headphones support this.

Tip 29: Back to app

Android has a button at the bottom of the screen with which you can call up an overview of your recent apps. But did you know that you can also go back to the previous app in one go by quickly tapping it twice? That overview of recent apps has had some tricks since the arrival of Android Pie. For starters, now scroll horizontally instead of vertically through the thumbnails of recent apps. Moreover, you can expand additional options by tapping the icon of that app. For example Split screen to use two apps side by side.

In the menu for developers there are some options that also come in handy for the regular user

Tip 30: Developer Options

Although quite widely known, this is really a hidden setting: the menu for developers. There are some options that are also useful for a 'normal' user. To activate it go to Settings / System / About phone and browse to Build number. Keep pressing it until the screen shows that you are a developer. Go back one step and you will see (on recent devices collapsed under Advanced) the Developer options. Here you can, for example, set the screen to remain on when charging; another option is to make the animations play faster, the transitions you see when opening windows. If you want to try that, put the values ​​in front Window animation scale, Transition Animation Scale and Duration of animation scale at 0.5x instead of 1x.

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