Samsung Galaxy S2 may be an old device compared to the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 but owners of this smartphone can still make it perform outstanding. Know the do-it-yourself tips and tricks on quick controls, maintenance and extra goodies you should have.
Interface, Controls and Device Check
1. Contacts Quick Shortcut
Inside the contacts menu, you can create shortcuts which can speed up things and access related apps conveniently. Drag left on a contact to send a text message, drag right if you want to call them or hold down on it to view hidden options. The left and right drag also works on the messaging application.
2. Brightness Slider
A brightness slider is hidden on your notifications bar which you can use to adjust the brightness level of the screen display. Simply hold your finger on the notifications bar for a few moments and when the bar comes back, swipe left or right to adjust the brightness.
3. Test Mode
In case you want to know if there are any dead pixels, making sure if the touch screen works perfectly or test the cameras, access the test mode to determine them. Just enter #0*# on the dialler application and see the information displayed on your screen.
4. Desktop Version on Browser
If you are frustration on viewing Web sites displayed as mobile pages, you can tweak the browser to view desktop sites. On the address or URL bar in the browser app, type in "about:useragent" then an option will show you if you want to edit the UserAgent. Choose the desktop option then go to a Web site you want to view under the desktop version.
5. Arranging Home Screens and Application Drawers
Do not forget that you can rearrange the home screen panels and app drawers page on your smartphone. Use the zoom out by pinching outward to move panels according to your desire.
If you want to take a screenshot of whatever the screen is displaying, press and hold the Home key then press the Power button once. You will hear a shutter sound and a flash on the screen indicating a screenshot capture.
7. Font Sizes
Sometimes the font can be large in text-heavy applications such as emails or messaging but you can make appear smaller if you wish to. Go to the Settings of the application and select the font size appealing to your eyesight.
8. Keyboard Software
Default software keyboard can be rubbish overtime, but your Galaxy S2 can download third-party apps from Google Play Store to get better keyboards which offer great functionality such as auto-correction, prediction and swipe.
9. The Google Easter Egg
Accessing the Google Easter Egg is easy by going to the device's Settings > About phone > tap the Android version five times and the screen will display Android with Gingerbread on the side.
10. Animated Nyan Cat
It is an application available for free from the Play Store which acts as an animated background on your device with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The animation features a cat flying in space and lasers being shot from the cat's eyes wherever you touch the screen. There are other similar animated backgrounds you can find as well online.
More Advanced Tricks
11. Hard Resetting
There are times you may need to hard reset or factory reset the Galaxy S2 during times of errors and crisis. Go to Settings > Applications > Menu/Setting > Privacy > Personal Data Menu > Factory Reset. Remember that factory reset will erase everything on the device, be sure to remove the SD card and create backup if needed.
Having lots of applications in one home screen can be very confusing which where folders come in. Organise your applications into folders by selecting Applications > Menu key > Edit > Add folder. Drag and drop applications icon inside the folder.
13. Use Widgets
Some applications provide widgets so you can easily view feeds on the screen. Press the Menu key on the home screen then select Add. Choose the widget you want to be added on the screen. You can press and hold the widget to move them across home screen panels.
14. Voice Commands
Control your Samsung Galaxy S2 with Voice Commands for writing messages and memos. Launch the Voice Commands app then double tap the home key to activate Voice Talk. Now say the voice command to carry out tasks.
15. Face Unlock on Galaxy S2
Go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock Menu > Face Unlock. Follow the instructions to use the face unlock security. This security will use the front-facing camera unit.
16. Always Update
Never forget to update your device because firmware upgrades contain bug fixes and other system improvements for your smartphone. Check regularly via OTA or Samsung Kies to know if any updates are available. Go to Settings > About phone > Software updates > Check for updates.
17. Task Manager
When the device goes slow and you wanted to free its RAM of activities, select the Task Manager built inside your phone to optimise performance. Go to the apps drawer then select Task Manager app. You can selectively kill apps or use the Clear Memory to ultimately kill all active applications.
18. Reboot and Refresh
Regularly reboot your device to freshen up its performance. It is recommended to reboot the device every time you are charging it.
19. Remove Unnecessary Applications
Uninstall applications you are not using to free memory, save data connection and speed up the device. Never install overlapping applications, other task managers or power saver apps which may cause damage on your device overtime. Poorly written apps can eventually slowdown your phone.
20. Power Saving
Boost your battery life by disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, live wallpaper, high brightness level and auto-syncing to save more juice on your battery.
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