Secret menu “For developers”. Getting the most out of Android

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Most Android users do not real­ize that not all smart­phone func­tions are avail­able to them by default. Hid­den in the gloomy bow­els of the secret menu “For devel­op­ers”, which allows you to go beyond the basic fea­tures. Don’t let the name of this menu intim­i­date you. Some of the options hid­den in it are real­ly not need­ed by a sim­ple user. But there are some that can be use­ful to every­one.

Enabling and disabling the “For Developers” menu

By default, the “For Devel­op­ers” menu itself is not avail­able in the set­tings. To acti­vate it, go to set­tings and in the sec­tion “About phone (About tablet)”. Look for “Build Num­ber”. Depend­ing on the ver­sion of Android, “Build Num­ber” may be in the “Soft­ware Details” sub­menu.

Click on “Build Num­ber” sev­en times in a row. This will give you devel­op­er sta­tus, and the cor­re­spond­ing “For Devel­op­ers” menu will appear in the gen­er­al set­tings.

Now let’s look at the options that you may be inter­est­ed in in this menu.

Screen does not turn off when charging

If you check the item “Do not turn off the screen”, then the smart­phone will no longer auto­mat­i­cal­ly lock when it is on recharg­ing. With­out being con­nect­ed to the charg­er, it will con­tin­ue to dim the dis­play accord­ing to the set screen set­tings. The option can be con­ve­nient if, for exam­ple, you use a smart­phone as an assis­tant device when work­ing at a com­put­er. To man­u­al­ly lock your smart­phone, as usu­al, short press the pow­er but­ton.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, the “Keep the screen on” option is called “Stay awake”.

Background process limit

The “Back­ground Process Lim­it” option allows you to set a hard lim­it on the num­ber of appli­ca­tions run­ning in the back­ground. The default is “Stan­dard Lim­it”, but you can dis­able back­ground appli­ca­tions com­plete­ly, or set a lim­it of 1–4 process­es. The option is extreme­ly use­ful for weak smart­phones, which are required to per­form some resource-inten­sive task.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, the option is called “Back­ground Process Lim­it”.

Enable anti-aliasing

MSAA — Mul­ti­sam­ple anti-alias­ing. Enabling this set­ting enables 4‑level anti-alias­ing in OpenGL ES 2.0 games and appli­ca­tions. Sim­ply put, the pic­ture should become smoother and more beau­ti­ful. True, this will require more com­put­ing pow­er from the smart­phone. The bat­tery in games will also start to drain faster.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, the option is called “Force 4x MSAA”.

System animation speed

In the “Draw­ing” sec­tion, there is an “Ani­ma­tion speed” para­me­ter, which is set to “1x” by default. If you turn off the ani­ma­tion here or set the speed high­er, then, accord­ing­ly, the smart­phone menu will scroll a lit­tle faster. Please note that this does not increase the actu­al per­for­mance of the smart­phone, but only cre­ates the illu­sion that it is run­ning fast.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, the option is sim­ply called “Ani­ma­tion”.

“Aggressive Wi-Fi for Cellular”

The “Aggres­sive Wi-Fi for Cel­lu­lar” set­ting has been avail­able in Android since ver­sion 5.0. This is a func­tion that auto­mat­i­cal­ly switch­es the smart­phone to mobile data when the Wi-Fi con­nec­tion is too weak.

It is use­ful for two rea­sons:

  • Bat­tery sav­ing. In nor­mal mode, if your phone can­not con­nect to Wi-Fi for a long time, it sim­ply drains the bat­tery, although it could switch to mobile traf­fic.
  • When leav­ing home, you do not need to switch from Wi-Fi to a mobile con­nec­tion, the smart­phone does every­thing by itself.

On the oth­er hand, the option should be used care­ful­ly, because you may not notice how the smart­phone will spend all your mobile data.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, the option is called “Aggres­sive Wi-Fi to mobile han­dover”.

Process statistics

The “Process Sta­tis­tics” para­me­ter is sim­i­lar in its oper­a­tion to the Win­dows Task Man­ag­er. By click­ing on it, you will see all the run­ning process­es and how much RAM they con­sume. By click­ing on a spe­cif­ic process, you can end it, unless, of course, it is a sys­tem one.

In the Eng­lish ver­sion, this option is called “Run­ning ser­vices”.

Fictitious Locations

The option “Phan­tom Loca­tions” is very use­ful for main­tain­ing pri­va­cy or for bypass­ing some region­al restric­tions.

For exam­ple, if YouTube says that a cer­tain video is not avail­able to watch in your region, it can be fooled. To do this, you need to install from Google Play one of the appli­ca­tions required to change the loca­tion. There are many such appli­ca­tions, but the most pop­u­lar is Fake GPS loca­tion.

But just installing a “trick” is not enough. In order for it to work, you need to check the box “Fic­ti­tious Loca­tions” in the “For Devel­op­ers” set­tings. In the Eng­lish ver­sion, this option is called “Allow mock loca­tions”.



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