Ah, the holidays. No matter what style of winter celebration you prefer (I’m a Festivus man myself), late December is a fine time for kicking back and regrouping for the coming year.
That means it’s also a fine time for contemplating that crazy little computer in your pocket and the steps you can take to make it even more powerful — because guess what? A few minutes of tuning up now will make your life infinitely easier throughout all of 2021. Think of it as a gift to yourself — one that keeps on giving and, best of all, doesn’t cost you a single dime.
In case you missed any of ’em the first go-round or maybe just didn’t have the time to try everything out, here are some of my favorite productivity-boosting Android tips from Android Intelligence columns and other associated articles in 2020. Pour yourself some cocoa, polish up the ol’ Festivus pole, and give yourself the gift of finely tuned technology.
Take your hands-free productivity to the next level with this out-of-the-way system for advanced Android text editing and device control.
Ready to get around your phone faster than ever? These easy-to-miss shortcuts for Android’s gesture system will give you just the fuel you need.
If your phone’s gotten the Android 11 update, take note: Not everything about the software is fully optimized out of the box.
A standout Android 11 feature can be made even more valuable — if you know the secret to unlocking its full potential.
Privacy and security boosters
Android’s own native security options aren’t always obvious, but they’re absolutely worth your while to embrace and understand.
This underappreciated Android gem can protect your privacy and make your phone significantly more secure — so come dust it off and use it!
With a single minute of setup, you can give your Android phone another extra dash of privacy protection (and no one even has to know the idea came from Apple).
A thorough, start-to-finish guide on taking back control and deciding exactly how information is used on your Android phone.
And from a broader perspective, some step-by-step instructions to giving yourself added peace of mind by giving your Google account a thorough set of security reinforcements.
These easy-to-master Android shortcuts will bring an instant improvement to your mobile productivity.
On a similar but separate note, these long-standing Android shortcuts can make you much more efficient — if you remember to use ’em.
Turn your Android home screen into a powerful productivity hub with these exceptional, business-friendly widgets.
Google started sending out a spectacular new system for interacting with Assistant on Android this year. Here’s how to uncover its potential.
Hidden features and helpful additions
Google Lens can turn you into a mobile-tech magician. This guide will help you find it — and figure out how to put it to good use.
Got a Google Pixel phone — any Google Pixel phone? These out-of-the-way options will save you time and make your device smarter.
A second set of equally valuable, next-level options for your favorite Pixel phone.
Boost your mobile productivity with these power-packed, time-saving features in the Docs Android app.
And for excellent pairing with the previous item, a hefty set of advanced options for the Gmail Android app.
Want insanely simple, accurate, and automated package tracking on Android? This crafty hack is for you.
This last tip will bring some much-needed nuance into your phone’s notification management and let you take back a healthy slice of your life.
Bonus: My, how far we’ve come
Explore Android’s ongoing evolution with this freshly updated visual timeline of versions, starting B.C. (Before Cupcake — an eternity ago!) and going all the way to this year’s Android 11 release.
Thanks as always for reading — and happy holidays to you and yours!
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