5 Actually Cool Android Tricks

Here are 5 actually cool Android tricks that you can try on your device. A couple of these tricks will require that you have adb installed on your computer.  None of these tricks require root.

Hide Soft Keys

Softkeys are usually convenient to have but can eat up precious screen real estate. Unfortunately, not many android developers give users to ability to use their app in immersive mode (which autohides the softkeys). However, using the following adb command, you can have your softkey hidden at all times. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen will reveal them for a couple of seconds before they hide again.

adb shell settings put global policy_control immersive.navigation=apps

If you want to white list certain apps (such as nova launcher) you can type in the following:

adb shell settings put global policy_control immersive.navigation=apps,-com.teslacoilsw.launcher

To restore your softkeys back to normal, type in the following command:

adb shell settings put global policy_control null*

You can check out this XDA thread for more info.

Remove Icons From Status bar

That damn NFC icon! It is one of the most annoying things that I have to look at every day. Yes, I keep my NFC on all the time but no, I do not need a notification for it. To remove icons from your status bar type in the following in adb:

adb shell settings put secure icon_blacklist nfc

This will remove the NFC icon from your status bar. There are other icons you can remove such as bluetooth and signal strength. Check out this XDA thread.

System UI Tuner

System UI tuner allows you to make subtle modifications to various UI elements on your Android device (such as removing status bar icons). If you have a device running stock Android (such as a Nexus or Pixel) then enabling System UI tuner is easy. Just hold the settings gear icon in the quick panel window. You will feel a vibration then get a notification that System UI tuner has been enabled.

If you aren’t using a stock Android device, there still is another solution. On my Galaxy S8, I used this app to access System UI tuner. Just a heads up, you will need to type in a couple of adb commands to give it the necessary permissions that it needs.

Good Morning Google

If you say “Good Morning” to Google Assistant, it will read out your agenda along with the weather and the top news headlines.

Move Any App to SD

If you have a phone that has external storage, then this trick is for you. By default, not every app can be moved to external storage. However, if you enable developer options on your phone, then navigate to the bottom of the options list, you will see an option to force allow all apps to external storage. It actually works! Once you select it, any app will be able to be moved to external storage. Just be careful because certain apps might crash because they rely on their data always being accessible (which won’t be the case if you remove the SD card).