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Android settings explained

There are lots of settings you can tweak on your Android phone, but what is hiding behind each one? Our quick guide explains all…

Wireless & networks
Control all the wireless connections on your phone, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the mobile network, plus activate the wireless hotspot feature.

Configure some of the call settings such as your voicemail number or setting up call forwarding. It’s unlikely you’ll need these options too often.

Create sound profiles, set the volume (and vibrate) level for your various notifications and choose a ringtone. All other sound-related options are here.

The main option here is to set your screen brightness level – auto is the best option where it is available. You can also turn off animations for a speed boost.

Accounts & sync
Set up how your phone syncs with your Google account. Other syncing services like news and weather apps may also be listed here.

Turn GPS on and off. You can also use wireless networks for basic location information, which is a good bet for weather and other location-based apps.

Configure the search settings for your phone. How does Google search work, and what data will be searched when you press the search button?

Few settings are in here by default, but there is the option to control whether your information should be backed up to, and restored from, Google.

Connect to PC
This controls what happens when you plug your phone into a PC via USB. Do you just want to charge it, or do you also want to be able to access the memory card?

Set up a password or pattern lock, and determine how regularly you want it to be activated. Several deeper options for adjusting security are also here.

Power Saver
An optional mode not seen on every device. This enables you to set your phone to utilise less power when the battery starts to hit a critical level.

A major setting. See what apps you’ve got installed, move them to your memory card, and kill running tasks are among the options here.

SD & phone storage
Check how much free space you’ve got available on your phone’s internal memory and on your card. You can also perform a factory reset here.

Date & time
A feature you’ll never use once your phone is set up. Ensure the Automatic option is ticked and the date and time will come straight from your phone network.

Language & keyboard
If you’ve installed third party keyboards on your phone you’ll need to acitvate them here. You can also tweak the settings for all your keyboards.

This is empty unless you have installed certain applications to aid accessibility. These might include text-to-speech apps for the visually impaired.

Voice input & output
If you use speech-to-text you can adjust the voice recognition settings here, and also configure voice output, such as that use in Google Maps Navigation.

About phone
The final setting enables you to see what’s on your phone, such as the Android version number, to check for updates and also view battery analysis.