If you want to unlock Android’s full potential and play around with full-scale modifications, yes, you have to root. However, rooting is dangerous so it’s best avoided if you don’t want to risk damaging your device.
Currently, rooting Android is not very important. However, some of the more useful apps on the Google Play Store are only available for rooted Android devices, so rooting Android devices properly might be worth it in rare cases.
For all of us, there are tremendous improvements to be made without committing to that level of risk. In this article, we outline some of the best tweaks and tweaks you can make on a non-rooted Android device.
Android Home Screen Tweaking
Install New Launcher
Our advice is to experiment with a few different launchers until you find one you like. Take at least a week per launcher to allow enough time to see how you feel about it.
Install Icon Pack
Install Live Wallpaper
Worried about battery life? Except in rare cases, live wallpapers are relatively light when battery drains. Worse comes to worst, you can delete it if it proves to be problematic.
Tweaking the Android Lock Screen
Wouldn’t it be great if you could interact with apps without having to unlock your phone? That’s where lock screen widgets come into play. This widget is the same as the home screen widget except it’s on the lock screen. Pretty simple, right?
But wait! Don’t widgets defeat the purpose of the lock screen? Not necessarily. Widgets allow you to choose which parts of Android to expose while keeping everything else safe behind a lock screen passcode. As long as you are smart about the widgets you install, your privacy should remain safe.
Tweaking Battery Life on Android
Worried about battery life? For users of non-rooted devices, there is some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news: starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, most battery saver apps require root privileges. The good news is that you can still change battery life without that app.
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Clean All Bloatware
Disable all bloatware you can. Ideally, you’d REMOVE all that bloatware, but that’s not always possible without rooting your device.
Use Airplane Mode
If you really need to squeeze some extra juice out of your device, consider turning on Airplane Mode whenever there’s going to be an extended period of time where you won’t be using any network.
There’s a lot more to battery life on Android. Check out our article on tips for extending Android battery life that actually work.
Tweaking Security on Android
Always Use Lock Screen
However, there is a right and wrong way to do this. Take a look and learn more about whether it’s better to use your fingerprint or PIN to lock your phone.
Install Antivirus App
These days, you don’t really need an antivirus app on Android as long as you’re careful and exercise common sense. Don’t install random apps with multiple reviews. Stay on Google Play Store. Avoid tapping suspicious ads while browsing the web.
But everyone makes mistakes, and malware can be a huge annoyance. That’s when antivirus apps prove useful.
Install Anti-Theft App
Anti-theft apps for Android help you track your phone in a number of ways: GPS positioning, security alarms, lock and data wipe features just to name a few. That last feature can come in handy if you have a secret on your phone that no one should see.
Tweaking Communication on Android
Install SMS App
Install Better Keyboard App
If you spend time typing on your device, it’s worth updating to a dedicated keyboard app that replaces the default one. There are a few free ones out there, but this is one area where paying a few bucks for a paid app can make a difference.
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