After years starting several mobiles from scratch every month, I have finally ended up gathering a stack of basic settings that I use to activate with each new Android that I configure. Whether it’s making your phone faster, enlarging what’s on your screen, or extending battery life, all of these settings will help you get more out of your phone.
The first time I set up an Android, my HTC Magic back in 2009, I went through each of the settings contrasting what each one did until I got a collection that it was logically evolving along with Android itself. I have lost count of those that I have configured during these 13 years, of all those ROMs that I started from scratch, of each one of the phones of friends and family that passed through my hands in search of the most optimal initial configuration possible. With experience I think I ended up finding it.
Find your own collection of settings
Android comes with a myriad of different settings, each phone offers small adjustments that can make big changes in use. In addition, brands add their grain of sand to the customization of the operation thanks to the relevant custom layers. Mastering all this range of options is not easy, but, at least, it is convenient to know what the majority does.
With each Android that comes into the house to analyze, or every time I restore mine either to test something or to change the ROM, I do the same steps: I configure the phones with the two accounts I use (personal and professional), I restore the applications of any other Android that is operational, tidy up desktops with the usual apps and folders, and check Android settings to see what’s different; while marking each of my preferred settings.
It is a ritual that takes a long time and that ends up bearing fruit in two very specific aspects: on the one hand, I make the new phone mine, which allows me to directly compare it to anything I’ve already used; on the other hand, I optimize the user experience and battery life. Let’s see how.
No “Ok Google” detection
With every mobile I set up, Google asks me if I want to activate the detection of Ok, Google. I always answer the same: no. Having voice listening active consumes battery. Therefore, removing it always grants a few minutes away from the socket. After all, there are different ways to invoke Google Assistant manually, it is not necessary for the mobile to be listening.
always the same apps
I may be trying new apps, but the initial configuration is always the same: Backups restore the apps I use regularly and can’t do without. If any more are installed (depending on where I load the backup, it may come with extra software that I was testing), I usually delete it when I do the…
Review of pre-installed apps
It’s basic: You have to clean the phone of everything that comes pre-installed and that is not going to be used. Facebook, unwanted games, duplicate apps (what do I want two web browsers or two phone apps for?) and other junk that is not only going to be of no use to me, but is also going to eat up the battery (and will make the comparison with previous mobiles not be as precise as I would like).
I go to the Android settings, go to “Applications“, select the system apps and read the list one by one uninstalling or disabling everything you don’t want. If an unusual application was installed from another mobile, I also remove it: you have to leave the mobile as clean as possible at the beginning.
Is it a very heavy layer? Cleaning by ADB
If the phone is mine and not an analysis phone (I don’t use advanced tools with review phones), I usually do a deeper cleaning of the pre-installed apps. For it I use ADB and tools like Universal Debloater: It is wonderful with layers like MIUI. However, you have to use it very carefully.
Screen content as small as possible
The screen always takes me a few minutes because I am very obsessed with its representation: I always choose a reproduction that is as natural as possible I set the time limit to two minutes, I usually leave the refresh rate automatic and I make sure that the size of the text and the display are as small as possible.
There are times when, after reducing the views to the maximum, the elements on the screen still look too big (phones pixel density is calibrated too low). In these cases I force the DPI from the developer settings until I leave the display to my liking: as small as possible to fit the maximum amount of space on the screen.
Removal of animations
This adjustment has been left in the reserve, it all depends on how slow the phone is and if its animations are very heavy. That the transitions between apps take forever? Well, it is best to eliminate them, thus increasing the feeling that the mobile is fast.
Double tap to turn screen on/off
It is one of those settings that, despite not being present on all Androids, is provides an extra comfort to come installed. The option is usually found in the home screen settings; although it can also be in the advanced options and even in the screen settings. It is best to type “touch” in the settings search engine and locate it to activate both: the screen off and the screen on.
A private DNS to reduce advertising
I don’t usually have it activated, but I think it’s good to configure it for those occasions when you need to use applications without advertising. The one I like the most is “dns.adguard.com“: just add it to the private DNS box, within the network and Internet options, so that the phone spend less data, use less battery and receive fewer ads. Of course, there are more privacy risks: the DNS server will receive all the navigation information.
Extra: battery restriction for the apps that spend the most
By default, Android optimizes the background use of all applications, although there is an option to further restrict spending: cutting off the faucet from the background. Of course, I usually wait for one or two battery cycles to know which applications are the ones that consume the most: depending on this data, and as long as the app is not essential for me, I restrict access to the background from the battery settings (It is located in the menu of each application, within the “Applications” settings).
These are the settings that I activate on all my mobiles as soon as I configure them and they are extremely practical: with them I can make sure that your mobile will work better without sacrificing the experience of its use. There is no new mobile that is without them.