Android 14: guide with 42 functions and tricks to get the most out of the mobile operating system

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We bring you a guide with 42 functions and tricks for Android 14 , with everything you need to get the most out of any mobile phone that has this version of the operating system. In this guide, we will tell you the main functions and some more hidden tricks that your mobile offers you.

In this article we will not limit ourselves to the new features of this specific version. Our idea is that if someone is faced with an Android mobile for the first time or for the first time in many years, they have all the necessary tools to get the most out of it.

If this is the first time you are using Android, possibly the advice that will save you the most time is to use the operating system’s internal search engines. You have one in the app drawer and another in the settings, and in both cases you can search for content directly by typing the name without having to search for it or navigate through the options.

The app drawer finder is simple, just start typing and the apps that match what you type will be displayed. And in the settings search engine, when you start typing you can find the options without having to navigate to them.

Activate dark mode

One of the great classics when it comes to starting to personalize our mobile is to decide if you want to use dark mode or stay in light mode . Dark mode makes everything look blacker, and beyond aesthetics it makes the phone consume a little less battery.
  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Screen .
  • Now, tap on Dark Theme .
  • Here you can activate or deactivate it.
  • If you click on Schedule , you can choose the times at which it is activated.

Adapt the colors of your interface

For a couple of versions, Android has allowed you   to adapt the colors of the interface to those of your wallpaper . Thus, if you have chosen a wallpaper of a certain color, you can make the interface elements use a related one, and thus make everything more aesthetic and cohesive. The icons can also be those that you give the same color as the background.
  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Wallpaper and style .
  • When you change your wallpaper, the interface color will change to suit.
  • You will also have options to manually choose the color combination.

Customize the lock screen

One of the new features of Android 14 is that you can now customize the lock screen . In this way, you will be able to give it a unique and personalized aesthetic, changing its colors, changing the design of the clock , and changing other elements that appear on it.
  • Tap a free space on the lock screen.
  • Click on the Customize Lock Screen button that appears.
  • Here you can customize all the elements you want on the lock screen.

Create a wallpaper with emojis

And speaking of customization, one of its new features has to do with new methods to customize wallpapers. One of the most curious is being able to compose a wallpaper using emojis , customizing it exactly as you want.
  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Wallpaper and style .
  • Choose between lock or home screen.
  • Click on More wallpapers .
  • Choose the Emoji Workshop option .
  • Now compose your wallpaper.

Resize the app grid

The desktop of your Android mobile is divided into grids, a grid that depends on how many applications fit on it. Depending on your taste, you can make the grid smaller and fit fewer apps but appear larger or the opposite, more rows and columns for more apps.
  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Wallpaper and style .
  • Choose the Home Screen section .
  • Tap App Grid .
  • You will go to a screen where you will be able to choose the number of rows and columns you want to use.

Change font size and visualizations

And since we’re talking about sizes, another option available for some time is to increase or decrease the size of screen elements . You can change the size of visualizations such as icons, the font size of letters, and more.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Screen option .
  • Now click Display and text size .
  • Choose the size you want for the font or icons

Screen or flash notifications

Now the mobile implements two new ways to see when notifications arrive , for those mobile phones that do not have a notification LED. You can be notified of a new notification with camera flashes or color changes on the screen. It all depends on your preferences.
  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Flash Notifications , in the General section .
  • Here you can activate showing notifications with camera flash or screen flash.
  • When you activate each one, click Preview to see if it convinces you.

See how long your battery lasts

his is an option that Google has brought back in Android 14 after removing it. It will allow you to know how much screen time your phone gives you since the last charge . This way you can know how much you have been using it since you last charged your phone, and how long the battery lasts until it runs out.
  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Battery option .
  • Here, tap on Battery usage .
  • You will also be able to see the percentage of battery consumption of each app.

Record your mobile screen

Forget about downloading applications to record your mobile screen , because Android has long included a native option to do so. In addition, you can also choose if you want to record the audio or the touches you make on the screen, the latter perfect for teaching how to do some things.
  • Swipe down with two fingers from the notification bar to display quick settings.
  • Tap the Screen Recording shortcut .
  • Sometimes you will have to swipe a little to the right if the option is a little more hidden.
  • You’ll be taken to a screen where you can enable audio recording or show taps on the screen.
  • If you click where it says Record audio , you can choose between using the device’s audio, the microphone’s audio in case you speak, or the device’s audio and microphone.
  • Tap Start to record, and then stop recording whenever you want. A video will be generated with what you have recorded.

You can also scan QR codes

You also do not need to download any application to scan QR codes , because since Android 13 this is a native option for all mobile phones, although some manufacturers have been offering it for years.

The option is in the quick settings , so just open them and the camera will open and you can scan the QR. However, it is also a good idea to check your mobile phone’s camera application, because many manufacturers may also have another QR scanning function implemented there.

Sort your quick settings

The two previous functions are present in the quick settings of your Android. But if they do not appear, perhaps it is because they are not activated in them, so it is perfect to remember that you can edit the quick settings . With this, you can organize the options that appear, remove some or add others that are disabled by default.

  • Swipe down with two fingers from the notification bar to display quick settings.
  • Press the button to change icons. It is not the gear icon, but the pencil icon.
  • You will go to the screen to edit the shortcuts. Above you have the ones shown, and you can drag them to change the order.
  • Below you have those that are available but you do not have configured, in case you want to drag them up to add them.
  • The quantity and access available will depend on each manufacturer and the options it offers.

Interact with your notifications

This is one of the classic Android functions, which have been present for many years. Notifications show you messages with things that happen in your mobile applications, which send you these notices to inform you of content updates. Well, you can also interact with them , they are not just informative.

In the notification panel, in the notifications you receive, you will see interaction options. These options depend on each app and the options offered by the developers. For example, if you receive a message you can respond to it from the notification and without needing to enter the app.

Turn off silent notifications

On the notification screen there are two types of them. There are those that you can interact with, but below them there is a section for silent notifications . These are considered the least relevant, and do not send sound or anything. Furthermore, if you want you can also deactivate them completely.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Notifications .
  • Scroll down and activate the option of Do not show silent notifications in the status bar .

Prevent a new app from sending you notifications

When you install a new application and open it for the first time, you will have to choose if you want it to send you notifications or if you want to disable it. This is a feature that was released last year in Android 13. It is a dialog that will be displayed automatically, and if you later regret it you can configure it however you want later.

Configure app notifications

On Android you have complete control over what type of notifications each application shows . It’s no longer just about choosing whether an app shows notifications or not, but there are several types of them and you can also configure which ones you want to appear and which ones don’t.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Notifications option .
  • Once inside, click on App Notifications .
  • You will go to a list of apps, where you can deactivate all notifications from it with the controls on the right.
  • If you enter one of the apps, you can specify what type of notification you leave activated and which ones you deactivate.

You can use a notification history

In the Android settings there is a slightly hidden option with which you can activate a history that collects your notifications . Thus, whenever you want you can access to consult those that you may have closed accidentally or that have gone unnoticed.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Notifications option .
  • Once inside, click on Notification history .
  • You can activate or deactivate it.
  • If you activate it, you will see the previous notifications that you received.

Don’t share all photos with an app

Until now, when an application asked you for permissions to access your photos, you could give it or remove it, but now there is a middle ground, that of choosing that it can only access specific photos that you determine. Thus, you can use photos in this application, but not all of them.

To do this, you simply have to wait for an application to ask you for access permissions to the photos, or remove them to force it to ask you again. When it asks you for access to photos and videos, you have to choose the option Select photos and videos , and on the next screen choose the ones you can use.

Turn off precise location

It is not the same that your mobile phone knows your area as it is that it knows your portal number , and for this reason, a good way to preserve your privacy without sacrificing functions related to your location is to make a certain app only access an imprecise location .

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Location .
  • Now, click App Location Permissions to manage them.
  • Tap any of the apps.
  • Turn off the Use precise location option .

Revoke access to camera and microphone

And if you want to take care of your privacy, another setting that should be remembered is to be able to completely deactivate access to the camera and microphone . This way it won’t matter how you have each app configured, at certain times you can block all of them from accessing these two elements.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Security and privacy .
  • Now, click on Privacy .
  • Here, you will be able to disable Camera Access or Microphone Access .

Control which apps access your alarms

Android 14 has a new special permissions with which you can control which apps access your alarms and reminders . This way, you can prevent certain applications from setting reminders or alarms on your mobile.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Applications .
  • Inside here, click on Special application access .
  • Now, tap on Alarms and reminders .
  • Here you will see the list of applications with access, and you can revoke access to the ones you want.

Control which apps access your health data

Another option in Android 14 is the Connected Health menu . Here, you can manage access to your health data in a centralized way, choosing which applications can access it.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Security and privacy .
  • Now click on Privacy .
  • Inside here, click on Connected Health .

You can prioritize your chats

Also related to notifications, on Android you can determine the priority of your conversations in messaging apps. Thus, notifications from people with higher priority will be seen more in the notification panel, and those with lower priority will not even show a notification.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Notifications option .
  • Once inside, click on Conversations .
  • You will be able to choose the conversations in your messaging chats to which you give more or less priority.

More privacy on the lock screen

By default, some information and notifications are displayed on your phone’s lock screen, which means someone can read it without having access to or unlocking your phone. You can hide sensitive information from the lock screen to maximize your privacy if you prefer.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Notifications.
  • Tap Notifications on lock screen .
  • In the menu that opens, choose the option to Show sensitive content only when unlocking or Don’t show any notifications .

Check the security of your mobile

Android has a screen in the settings where you can know at a glance if the security of your mobile is good . It does this by showing you a color code with various security points, and resolving those that you have not resolved or that you have not configured properly. There are also shortcuts to access settings you need to improve.

To do this, go to the Android settings and enter the Security and privacy section. On the screen you go to, it will be indicated by color whether your mobile phone has a good configuration, a bad one or a medium one, and you will see a list with the steps to take to improve this security as much as possible. You can also scan your device to check security.

Edit images on your clipboard

When you copy an image or take a screenshot on your mobile, you will see a preview thumbnail appear in one of the corners of your screen. In it you will have an option to share this element, but if you click on it you will enter a preview.

In this preview you will be able to edit the image you have on the clipboard before deciding to save or share it. You can write on it, paint, cut it and edit it with several options that appear on this screen, including undo or redo each change.

Set default applications

If you don’t like the default browser or the launcher that your phone uses, Android allows you to change many default applications so you can choose others that you want to use instead.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Applications option .
  • Now, click on the Default applications option .
  • Now, click on the browser applications, launcher applications, phone applications and all the sections you want to change their default app.

Browse between the apps you have open

This is a very useful gesture when you want to quickly navigate between the applications you have open. Simply slide the dot or dash at the bottom of the screen to the left or right . By doing so, you will navigate between the applications you have open.

Use two apps at the same time

For quite some time now, Android has offered a split screen mode . With it, you can have two applications open at the same time on your mobile screen, one in the upper half and one in the lower half. This can help you on occasions when you need to use two at once.

  • Swipe from the bottom to the center of the screen.
  • The screen with the last open apps will open.
  • Click on the icon of one of the apps, above its preview.
  • In the menu that appears, choose the Split Screen option .
  • That app will remain in the upper half, and now you will have to choose another one for the lower half.

Pin an app to the screen

For those occasions when you are going to expose your phone so that a specific application can be seen but you don’t want anyone messing around with anything else on the device, you can pin an app to the foreground . You won’t be able to close the application or switch to another one, and you can make it so that exiting it requires using a PIN code.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Security and privacy option .
  • Click on More security and privacy.
  • At the bottom, click on Pin apps .
  • You can activate pinning of applications, and choose the option to request your PIN when you want to remove them.
  • Now, in the open applications view, click on the icon of the application you want to pin.
  • In the menu that opens, press the Set option .

Copy text from an app without opening it

When you are viewing all the apps open in the background, when you see the preview of one and without having to enter it you can select fragments of the text that appear in it. You can do it directly from the app viewer in the background and without entering them explicitly.

  • Swipe from the bottom to the center of the screen.
  • The screen with the last open apps will open.
  • Click on the Select button at the bottom right or simply press and hold the text in a text.
  • After selecting a text, the menu will appear to copy it, share it or search for it on Google.

Extract photos from an app without opening it

You can also extract that photo without entering the app from the viewer of applications open in the background. In it, when one of the previews has one, click on the image icon that appears next to it. The mobile will activate Google Lens to analyze it, allowing you to copy, share or save it directly on the mobile.

Put Google Assistant on the power button

If you want to make the Google Assistant appear without having to say anything or press on the screen, just by holding down the power button , you can also configure this on your mobile. You will even be able to indicate how long you want the keystroke to be to avoid invoking it by mistake.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on System .
  • Now, hit Gestures .
  • Inside here, click on Hold down the power button .
  • You can activate the option to use the assistant, or deactivate it to show the shutdown menu.
  • You can also set the duration of the press.

Use your personal dictionary

Your Android lets you create text replacement shortcuts with the Personal Dictionary feature . This means that by typing something short, like “twc”, you can have the text replaced by something long, like “TechWarrant.Com”. You can apply this to many things, from writing shortcuts to email addresses to anything else you can think of.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on System .
  • Now, click on Personal Dictionary .
  • You can click on the add button and configure them to your liking.

Control your phone with one hand

If you have a mobile phone that is perhaps a little big and you are going to have to use it with one hand, you can activate one-handed mode to adapt the screen and make it easier to reach everything with your thumb. This is an option that you can activate or deactivate as you wish.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Accessibility .
  • Now, click System Controls .
  • Inside here, click on One-Handed Mode and activate the option.

Turn off gesture navigation

Although it has been with us for many years, if you have always preferred Android’s three-button navigation mode, the one with which you have three buttons below to perform actions, you will be able to activate it again . A good option for those who do not know how to navigate through mobile menus using gestures.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Accessibility .
  • Now, click System Controls .
  • Inside here, click on Navigation Mode.
  • You can choose the 3 Button Navigation option .

Show or hide the battery percentage

Depending on whether you like to have the information or if you prefer not to stress with numbers, you will be able to activate or deactivate the battery percentage . Depending on this, you will or will not see the percentage next to the battery icon at the top of the mobile.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Click on Battery .
  • Scroll down and turn the Battery Percentage option on or off .

Take advantage of smart battery

Android has a smart battery system . With it, your phone can analyze your usage patterns to limit the consumption of the apps you use less, so that your phone’s battery lasts longer. It is a fairly veteran option that should be used in those moments when you need to make the most of it.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Battery option .
  • Tap Battery saver .
  • Now, at the bottom, it displays Smart Battery .
  • Now decide whether to activate the option or not.

Learn to use Digital Wellbeing

If you think you need to use your cell phone less, Google has some options on Android that will help you with this. With them, you will be able to analyze the use you make of the device , the time during which you use it and, if you see fit, add some restrictions .

This is a Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls section within the mobile settings. In it, you can see the usage time of the device, how many times you have unlocked the phone and the notifications you have received. You can also deactivate a sleep mode so that no one bothers you at a certain time, and see controls in which you can see all the mobile usage information

Mobile unlocked on trusted sites

Having to unlock your phone is a good security measure, but it can be a bit tiring to have to do it at home or in safer places. Therefore, you can keep your phone locked in certain circumstances , such as being in a specific location, near a trusted device, or while you are on the move.

  • Enter the mobile settings.
  • Click on the Security and privacy option .
  • Click on More security and privacy .
  • At the bottom, click on Extend unlock .
  • Write your mobile PIN.
  • Now, you can choose Trusted Sites , or Devices.

Share WiFi via QR or Nearby

If you want to share your home WiFi with a guest but don’t want to have to give the password , then you have two faster methods. You can generate a QR code for the other person to scan and connect, or use the option to share it via Nearby, in both cases you can do it from your mobile.

To do this, go into the settings of the WiFi to which your mobile is connected. There, click on the Share button next to the forget or disconnect options. This will take you to a screen with the WiFi access QR, and below you will have a Nearby button to share it with this technology.

Limit download bandwidth

On your mobile you can limit the download speed of your mobile on a WiFi . This way you can prevent a download from saturating the connection of a WiFi that is not very powerful, and also prevent everything else from going slow. Of course, the option to limit bandwidth on Android is quite hidden.

  • Enter your mobile settings.
  • Go to Phone information , and repeatedly click on Build number until you activate the developer settings.
  • Return to the main settings screen and click on System , and inside go to Developer options .
  • Inside, tap on Network download rate limit .
  • You can choose the bandwidth that your mobile uses on a WiFi, limiting its maximum speed.
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