Android phones have several features that can help improve productivity. The “Focus Mode”, for example, allows you to set a period to block specific apps and focus on the desired tasks. The “Split screen” option makes it possible to use two services at the same time, being valid for optimizing tasks. In addition to these, other functions, such as restricting apps, configuring notifications and customizing the interface and keyboard, also serve to reduce distractions and be more agile. Here are seven useful Android tools for everyday use while working or studying.
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Android settings can help with productivity; check the list — Photo: Flávia Fernandes/TechTudo
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The “Split screen” feature allows you to use two apps at the same time and, for this, the mobile screen is separated into two equal parts. Thus, it is possible, for example, to open the notebook and the calendar at the same time, which allows you to take notes while analyzing your events, for example. Therefore, the function can help a lot when it comes to speeding up tasks and being more productive.
To use the tweak on Android 9 or higher, open one of the apps you want and then tap the “Recent” button, represented by three vertical bars. Then press and hold the three-bar icon and select “Split screen”. Once this is done, open the second desired application and they will be displayed on the same screen. On some smartphones, the “Split screen” option can be viewed by pressing and holding the app icon in the “Recents” tab.
Splitting the screen is an option to work with two apps at the same time — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
2. Adjust notifications to your preference
Managing notifications on Android makes it possible to choose which alerts you want to receive and even define the times when they will appear. Through the feature, you can turn notifications on or off, choose specific times not to be notified, silence vibrations or sounds, among other settings. Thus, the tool can serve, for example, to control applications that hinder productivity with unnecessary reminders.
To adjust notifications, it is necessary to open the menu “Settings” and touch “Notifications”. It is also possible to access the area by receiving a reminder and pressing on it for a few seconds. Thus, it will be possible to manage the alerts of the desired applications.
Choosing times to not receive any notification is an adjustment that can be done in the “Do not disturb” option, located in the “Notifications” menu — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
3. Schedule “Focus Mode”
“Focus Mode” is a feature available on Android that blocks apps and pauses notifications for a certain period. Thus, all mobile apps are grayed out on the tray and home screen, unable to be opened – with the exception of basic functions such as “Phone” and “Clock”. So, while active, the feature counts the user’s concentration time.
It is worth mentioning that the duration of the “Focus Mode” can be defined as you wish, as well as the apps that can be used within the stipulated period. After you finish using the tool, notifications received in the meantime can be redeemed. In this way, the functionality can be useful, for example, to avoid distractions when working or studying.
To use “Focus Mode”, enter the “Settings” from your smartphone and tap “Digital Wellbeing”. Then scroll down until you find the option “Focus Mode” and then enable it.
Android’s focus mode makes it possible to manage time in apps — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
4. Use Gboard’s quick settings
Gboard, Google’s keyboard, has some customization options that speed up the use of the tool. Among them, the possibility of configuring shortcuts for ready-made answers, voice typing, customizing the layout to be able to use it with one hand and access to the history of copied and pasted items.
Autoresponders, for example, can be used for frequently sent phrases. That way, you don’t have to type them every time, just insert a shortcut with a letter or symbol to access them easily. Changing the keyboard layout allows you to make it smaller and more accessible to the hand, both for left- and right-handers – which can speed up productivity.
Gboard adjustments can be made through the service’s app or through the keyboard of any app where you can type. Shortcuts can be entered by tapping “Dictionary” > “Personal Dictionary” in the settings menu. To do so, simply select the language and press the (+) symbol to enter the information.
One-handed typing, on the other hand, can be activated directly in the tool by tapping the three dots and then the “One-handed” option. Also, through the arrows that will be displayed, it is possible to move the keyboard to the right, left or freely.
Gboard keyboard helps in productivity and agility — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
5. Put restrictions on apps
Insert restriction in apps is an Android function that allows you to select how long an app can remain active on your phone. At the end of the determined period, the application receives a gray color and is blocked on the device, being unable to be accessed or to send notifications.
To access the option on mobile, go to “Settings” > “Digital Wellbeing” and tap the graph that displays the screen time for each app. In this area, you can select the service you want to restrict. On the next screen, tap “App Timers” and set the desired time.
Restricting apps can help you be more productive — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
6. Configure a specific screen capture button
Selecting a specific screen capture button can be an interesting option to speed up screenshots. The function can be accessed on Android through the side menu, and presents the option to change the way the screenshot is taken. For example, instead of performing a standard procedure like pressing two buttons at the same time, it is possible to select a single specific key to perform the function.
The feature can be accessed by gently pressing the smartphone’s power button from the menu “Print Screen” or in “Side key settings”.
Configure Android’s side keys to change the way to capture screen — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
7. Use smart text selection
Smart text selection is an Android feature that provides additional options for selected items. In addition to performing the usual copy and paste function, the tool allows the system to predict which app the text will be pasted into. When selecting a phone number, for example, the operating system will open a menu that will allow you to send the number directly to the call area. In the case of emails, the selected text will be directed to Gmail.
Likewise, this happens with web links, sent to Chrome; or location addresses, which can be searched on Google Maps. The tool can be interesting to speed up copy and paste processes and is already activated by default in Android 8 or higher. To use it, simply select the desired text to get the system-suggested application option.
Android smart text selection directs selected item to specific app — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
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