Your ANdroid phone has tons of sensors that can monitor everything you’re doing. If you want a more private experience you can turn them off.
Your Android phone has a lot of sensors in it that make it possible to hear, sense, and see what you’re doing. But there might be times when you want to turn those sensors off so you have more privacy. Here’s how to create a button that will turn all of those sensors off.
Note: For this article, I am using a OnePlus Android phone. The menus vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer but this will give you an idea of what to look for.
Disable All Sensors on Android
The first thing you need to do is enable Developer Options. It’s a set of tools that are for app makers. But there is nothing to worry about as this is allowed and won’t void your warranty.
To enable developer options launch Settings and scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap the “About Phone” entry.
Next, tap on the Build Number option from the menu. Tap on it repeatedly until it asks for your lock screen password or PIN.
After entering your password, you will get a notification that you’re now a developer.
Now that you’re a developer go back to the main settings page and navigate to System > Developer options.
Under Developer options scroll down and tap “Quick settings developer tiles.”
Now toggle on the “Sensors Off” switch.
That’s it. Now when you pull down on the notification shade you should see a new tile called “Sensors Off.”
When you turn Sensors off your phone shuts down most of its sensors including cameras, accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone, and more. If your phone tries to access any of the sensors it will refuse to work or put up an error message.
The rest of your phone will continue to function like normal including the mobile network and Wi-Fi. This comes in handy if you want a more private experience on your phone. To turn the sensors back on all it takes is a tap of the Sensors Off button in the notification shade.
So you’d like to make certain your phone isn’t connecting to anything, hearing, seeing, or sensing anything at all, right? Now you can make that happen. Before now, users needed to gain root access (read: not easy for the average person) and potentially void their warranty. Now it’s easy. All you need to know is where to look!
What you need to gain control
To activate this new setting, you’ll need to have a smartphone that’s running Android Q. For now, that’s not exactly possible for most smartphones. Every single Pixel phone can run the software – as can a number of phones that’ve gotten in on the Android Q Beta as of May 7th, 2019.
Users can attain access to the Android Q Beta on an Asus Zenfone 5Z, Essential Phone PH-1, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, LG G8, Nokia 8.1, OnePlus 6T, and Oppo Reno. Also given the green light this week were the Realme 3 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ3, Techno Spark 3 Pro, Vivo X27, Vivo Nex S or A, Xiaomi Mi 9, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
To attain access, head over to the Android Beta testing site (official, yes indeed), and follow the instructions to opt-in. This software might also be available to you in the future as Android Q (final release) if you’re reading this in the latter half of 2019 (or later).
Activate Developer Options!
Once you’ve successfully got an Android Q smartphone or tablet in your hands, open Settings. Scroll down and tap System. Scroll down and tap About Phone. Scroll down and find Build Number – and tap this seven times.
It’ll feel like you’re doing nothing but lighting the button up, but once you get to seven, you’ll have activated Developer Options. Once you’ve tapped Build Number seven times, the phone should deliver unto you a message like the following: “You are now a developer!”
Activate Sensors Off!
Go back to the first Settings screen and find and tap System. Expand the “Advanced” menu. Tap Developer options. Scroll down to the end of the first set of options, just before Debugging, and find Quick settings developer tiles. Tap in and see!
You’ll find a switch for the option Sensors Off. Once you tap this, you’ll find the Sensors Off option in your quick settings from most any screen – that’s up by your notifications. Now, if only I could turn on or off every different part of every device I’ve got, that’d be super duper.
Stop my phone from hearing or seeing me
If I were to wish to turn off my device’s microphones and/or camera, I’d need to do it for each individual app that has access. Both my microphones and my camera are turned OFF by default, until I allows them access to any individual part of my phone.
Generally the first place these components are activated is in the first startup screen for Android. For example I might’ve turned on “OK Google” or Google Assistant, or whatever you’d like to call it. To turn mic and camera OFF for passive listening (OK Google!) I’ll need to go to Settings – Apps & Notifications – See All Apps.
In my Apps settings I’ll scroll down to Google, tap it, then tap Permissions. From there I’ll be able to disable access to any component of my phone – here the microphone. Any app for which I’ve disabled access to your camera or microphones will thereafter need to ask me for permission to gain access once again. Forbid ALL the apps!
Sometimes you are in a hurry and rushing towards some formal intelligence meeting. You don’t want your phone sensors to find your location and other sensors to record your voice etc. So you want to immediately turn off all the sensors because it would take a lot of time to turn them off one by one. Now you have got into a mess and you have very less time remaining to reach the meeting. You don’t need to worry as we have a solution for you. In this article, I am going to tell you how to turn off all sensors on Android in just one single tap.
How to Turn off all Sensors on Android in just one Tap?
Follow our guide to turn off all sensors on Android in just one tap.
In order to do it, you must enable the Developer Options which are a set of extra tools Google bundles primarily designed for Android app makers. However, there’s nothing for you to worry about because this is completely allowed and have no security issues.
First, go to the settings and then tap on the ‘my phone’ or ‘about phone’ option as illustrated in the image.
Now you will see a build number as shown in the above-mentioned image.
Tap on the build number 4 to 5 times, and it will say ‘you are 1-2 steps away from becoming a developer.
Afterwards, it will ask for your pin or any other password. After putting the password it will appear again (you have become a developer).
Now go to the main settings page, then go to the system and tap on the developer options.
In the developer options, click on the quick settings developer tiles.
Inside the quick settings developer tiles, there will be an option to turn off the sensors. Tap that and your all sensors will be disabled.
You probably need to allow location tracking for some apps, but not all apps all the time.
Much to the chagrin of big tech companies, nobody wants their smartphones to spy on them. By default, however, our mobile devices track our every move— and share that data with other apps and services. Luckily, as with most things on Android, you don’t need to live with the default setup presented to you. Instead, you can manage your location services to fit your privacy values.
How to disable Location entirely on Android
You can disable Location on Android so no location data is shared to Google or any of your other apps. To do so, swipe down from the top of the screen, then long-press Location (the icon appears as a “location arrow”). If you don’t see Location here, tap “Edit” or “Settings,” then drag Location into your Quick Settings.
While this might be the best way to secure your location privacy on Android, it isn’t particularly convenient. Any apps that need location data to function, such as Google Maps, simply won’t work with this setting turned off. If you can live with that, you can have a location-free Android experience. But for most of us, we’re better off tinkering with other location settings.
How to disable location permissions for apps
Instead of turning off Location entirely on Android, you’ll likely find it more useful to manage permissions for each of your apps. Not all apps are equal, of course, so you’ll likely want to give some apps more access to location, and hold back for others.
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Head to Settings > Location > App permission. You’ll see three categories: Allowed all the time, which contains apps that have access to your location whenever they want; Allowed only while in use, which contains apps that can only use your location when those apps are active; and Ask every time, which contains apps that must ask permission to use your location every time. Tap any of these categories to view the apps with those permissions. To change the permission for a particular app, tap the app, and choose a new option.
Alternatively, you can change location permissions for apps one-by-one. Long-press the app in question on your phone’s home screen, then tap the (i). Choose Permissions > Location, then choose one of the three above categories, or Deny, which will block that app from your location information.
How to disable Location Accuracy on Android
Android uses Location Accuracy to determine your precise location; it takes your GPS, wifi, mobile network, and phone sensor information to give you location-based suggestions, as well as show your exact location on-screen. This can be useful for certain apps, but you might be uncomfortable with both Google and its connected apps and services having access to that data.
To disable Location Accuracy, head to Settings > Location > Advanced > Google Location Accuracy, then disable Improve Location Accuracy. When you disable this feature, Google will only be able to use GPS to determine your location. Not totally private, but also much less accurate than the default.
How to delete & disable Location History on Android
Location history is exactly what it sounds like; Google saves a record of the places you go with your smartphone to power things like recommendations, helping you find your phone, and real-time traffic updates. To many of us, however, it’s a bit creepy.
To disable Location History, head to your Google Account’s Activity controls . Sign in if you aren’t already . V iew Location History, and choose “Turn off.” On the pop-up, choose “Pause,” and a new pop-up will appear. Choose “Delete old activity,” and Google will launch a Location History map; here, you can see pinpoints for all locations you’ve been with Google. To delete this info, just click the trash can in the bottom right, click the checkbox on the pop-up, then click “DELETE LOCATION HISTORY.”
You can also choose for Google to automatically delete your Location History after a set period of time. From your Activity controls page, select the option under Auto-delete, choose the option under Auto-delete activity older than, then choose either 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months. Choose Next to save your choice.
How to disable Location sharing
If you have Location sharing enabled, but regret sharing your whereabouts with your contacts list, you can easily turn this feature off. Open Google Maps, tap your profile icon, then choose Location sharing. T ap the profile of the contact you don’t want to share your location with any longer, then tap Stop to confirm.
How to disable location permissions for web browsing
Google gives you controls over which websites have your location information. To disable location permission for a website, go to that website in your browser. Tap the Lock to the left of the address bar, tap Permissions, then turn Location off for that website.
Of course, you can disable location permissions for your entire browser; just follow the instructions above for disabling location permissions for specific apps (in this case, a browser like Chrome or Firefox).
Earlier today, i was instigated to figure out the perfect way to turn ON or OFF Android screen using the Double tap feature. If you are a regular custom ROM user, chances are your power button would have gotten weak due to constant reboot into recovery and you will certainly want to limit your device’s power button usage. One of my buddy narrated how his device fell on the ground accidentally and the power key got broken. Now whenever he trys to use it, it usually gets stuck, and causes his phone to switch ON and OFF. The double tap feature can also come in handy whenever you find it difficult to press the power button on your phone or you simply want to preserve your physical power button.
Basically, there are two simple ways to get the double tap feature on your device, the first option is to flash a custom kernel that supports the double tap feature, while the second option is to use a third party app on the Google Play Store. Now you’ll certainly concur with me that the second option is universal, as finding a custom kernel with the double tap feature could prove to be a tedious task and moreover it will demand for root permission. The Google Play Store offers a ton of Android apps that can bring the double tap feature on your Android device, but most of them brings limitations which won’t be an hindrance either. Thus we’re unveiling the best Android apps that can enable you to double tap and wake up / turn OFF Android screen.
#1. Smart Screen On/Off Auto
Smart Screen on/off is a simple application designed to automatically turn On or Off your Android screen by using a proximity sensor and double tap on the home screen. This will limit your device’s power button usage and thus preserve it to last longer. So to begin with, head over to the Google Play Store and install Smart Screen On/Off Auto . When you open ‘smart screen’ for the first time, you will be greeted with a simple and easy-to-use interface, so you’ll only need to tinker with the app settings.
There isn’t much to set up here, under the “Auto screen settings”, you can choose to enable the screen ON or Off automatically. You can also create a shortcut on the home screen to quickly turn off your screen. Tap on the “Create Shortcut” option, then input shortcut name and hit OK. Now under the double tap settings, toggle ON “double tap to turn off screen”. Under the optimization settings, you can choose to enable the first option i.e if your device has a phone cover. This will auto turn on/off your phone when you open or close the cover.
As stated earlier on, Smart Screen can turn ON/OFF your phone by using the proximity sensor. Simply toggle ON this option under the “optimization settings” and then swipe your device through the ‘proximity sensor’ to wake up or off the screen. Next from the “advanced settings” option, you can choose to enable “show floating popup” which will turn off your phone more faster. Tinkering with smart screen isn’t difficult, you’ll only need brains. The app works pretty fine but with limitations.
Smart screen has its own limitations, as the app allows you to only turn off your device with a double tap from the home screen. It will be more perfect if the ‘developer’ adds the double tap to turn ON screen. However you can use other cool alternatives for this. Apps such as KnockON – tap to wake or lock and double tap to screen ON and OFF can do the jobs too. They are capable of turning on/off your device with a double tap. But don’t expect a perfect or impeccable performance.
Android: Smart Screen On is an Android utility that turns your phone's proximity sensor into a substitute power button that can turn your display on or off with a simple wave over the front of your device. If you're sitting in class and want to see what that notification is without picking up your phone, wave your hand over it to turn the display on. Then, with another wave, turn the screen back off.
If this app sounds familiar, it should. XDA forum member DDeleted wrote this app as a sequel of sorts to the previously mentioned Smart Screen Off, which would only turn the screen off when you put your hand over the proximity sensor. Smart Screen On includes this feature, but gives you more control over what you can do with the proximity sensor.
Smart Screen Off Turns Your Android Phone’s Display On and Off Automatically When the Screen is Cove.
Android: By default, your Android device's proximity sensor should turn your display off when you…
For example, you can now control how long the app waits between waves in order to perform a specific action—you can tell the app to only turn the screen on or off after more than one wave, and you can even set the interval between waves so the app doesn't turn your screen on or off accidentally. Another interesting feature in Smart Screen On is called "Tap and Swipe," where you actually put your finger over the proximity sensor, wait for the app to vibrate, and then move your finger before the second vibration to either turn the phone on or off.
DDeleted built the app as a way to save your physical power button from wear and damage—especially on devices like the Galaxy Nexus or the Galaxy S III, which have no other physical buttons. That's a good reason, but we can see some enterprising Tasker fans rolling this app and its features into some Tasker actions that leverage the proximity sensor. Smart Screen On comes in two flavors, the free Lite version and the $2 Pro version . Both are available now at Google Play. For more details, hop over to the XDA developer forums below.
Back in Android 9, Google took away the expanding mini-menu for Bluetooth connections. The way it used to be, you could long-press the Bluetooth toggle in your Quick Settings, then the panel would turn into a fast-access menu for Bluetooth settings. It was a fairly minor feature, but dropping it has made it a lot harder to switch between your various Bluetooth accessories.
While it doesn’t perfectly replicate this feature, a new app by developer Tomas Hadraba makes it even easier to switch between Bluetooth accessories now. Instead of swiping down to open the Quick Settings panel, then long-pressing the Bluetooth toggle and selecting an accessory, you can now switch the active connection by simply tapping a button on your home screen.
- Don’t Miss: 5 Ways to Improve Bluetooth on Your Samsung Galaxy
Step 1: Install Bluetooth Audio Device Widget
To get started, open your Play Store app and search for “Bluetooth audio device widget,” then install the app that matches the screenshot below. Alternatively, just head to the following link from your phone or any browser where you’re signed in with your Google account, then hit “Install” from there.
- Play Store Link: Bluetooth Audio Device Widget (free)
Step 2: Grant Permissions
When you first open the app, you’ll be greeted by a setup guide explaining the available features. Read through these four pages and tap “Next” after the first three, then “Done” on the last.
Once you arrive at the app’s main menu, you’ll be prompted to give the app access to your location. This is only required if one of the accessories you’d like to switch between is a set of Apple AirPods. If so, tap “Allow all the time” on the subsequent popup. On newer Android versions, you’ll first have to tap “Allow in settings” on the popup before selecting “Allow all the time.”
Another permission you might want to enable is the ability to run in the background. This will make the app faster and more reliable at the expense of a small amount of battery life. To do so, open your Settings app and use the search feature to find the “Optimize battery usage” menu. Select “All” from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, then disable the “Bluetooth Audio Widget” toggle.
alt=”How to Switch Between Bluetooth Accessories in 1 Tap on Android” width=”532″ height=”532″ />
Step 3: Configure the Widget
Now, the app will automatically populate a list of Bluetooth accessories you’ve connected to in the past. Future Bluetooth connections will also appear at the top of this menu. Here, you can select an accessory, then tap “Change icon” to edit the name and look of the button that will appear on your home screen.
You can also opt to enable a Quick Settings tile that will quickly launch this app, hide the device’s name on the widget, or even have the app turn off Bluetooth automatically when you toggle a device off. More importantly, when you scroll down, you have the option to set a default volume level for each device and even select a media app to auto-open when you tap one of the widgets.
alt=”How to Switch Between Bluetooth Accessories in 1 Tap on Android” width=”532″ height=”532″ />
Step 4: Add the Widget
Once you’ve got the low-level app settings configured to your liking, head to your home screen and long-press any empty space (i.e., an area without any icons or widgets). Next, choose “Widgets” from the menu that appears, then scroll through the list to find the “Bluetooth Audio Widget.” Long-press it and drag it to a spot on your home screen, then let go and you’ll be prompted to select a device. Repeat this process for any other accessories you’d like to switch between easily.
Step 5: Switch Bluetooth Connections in 1 Tap
With your quick-connect widgets now added, all you have to do is tap the device you’d like to use and your phone will automatically connect to it if it’s in range. Then, when you want to switch to a different accessory, just press its widget and you’ll be done in one tap!
alt=”How to Switch Between Bluetooth Accessories in 1 Tap on Android” width=”532″ height=”532″ />
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There has been a recent change in SmartLife’s compatibility. As of 26th May 2020, SmartLife has discontinued access to IFTTT. You can no longer access automation features through IFTTT with your SmartLife app.
UPDATE June 2020
In recent years, the smart technology market has grown by leaps and bounds. You can now find smart and automated devices for most household appliances, including smart lights, smart plugs, smart thermostats, smart speakers, and so much more.
All of these smart devices can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app or voice commands via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana integration. But the abundance of smart home devices also comes with one complication — an abundance of smartphone applications.
That’s where the Smart Life app comes in!
Smart Life is a single integrated solution to your smart home applications problem. It’s a centralized smartphone app (App Store or Google Play ) that was designed by Tuya , one of the world’s leading IoT platforms.
Instead of controlling your smart devices with several individual smartphone apps, you can now program all of them into the Smart Life app. Consequently, you can control all of your smart devices from a single, central app.
Furthermore, since all of your smart home devices are connected to the Smart Life app, you can also build complex automation and commands through IFTTT. For example, you can set up a routine that turns on the lights and air conditioner as soon as you get back home. Or you can set up a program that turns on the coffee maker as soon as your alarm clock goes off.
Location tracking can be very handy — it’s convenient when an app can tell you, say, where the near restaurants or gas stations are — but it’s also a privacy issue. Do you want all your wanderings registered by Google? Are you comfortable knowing that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions know where you are at all times? (Well, not that Mark Zuckerberg has minions, but you know what I mean.)
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to stop location tracking on your Android phone and how to delete your location history from your OS and from some of the more popular apps. As always, note that versions of Android can differ, and many manufacturers use overlays as well, which can change the locations of various commands — but they should be similar enough for you to be able to find your way. For these instructions, I’ve used a Pixel phone running Android 10.
Stop Google from tracking you, period.
You probably know that Google can track your location and movements through its Google Maps app. But you may not realize that your Android phone is also tracking your movements and activities through several other built-in apps.
If you really don’t want your phone to be tracking any of your movements and activities, there is a way to turn tracking off for all (well, most) of them. You just need to be aware that you’re probably going to render many of your apps (such as ride-share apps, weather apps, and, of course, mapping apps) less usable — or in some cases, completely unusable.
Stop Google tracking using a browser
- Go to https://myactivity.google.com/.
- Select “Activity Controls,” found in the left-hand menu.
- Scroll down through the various activities and choose any you’d like to turn off.
Google’s activity controls let you turn off tracking.
This may take a while, especially if you want to do some research into what you’ll be affecting. Activities listed that would reveal your location include “Web & App Activity” (which covers anything you’ve done on Google apps and services) and “Location History” (where you’ve gone with your device). You’ll probably want to check off “Include audio recordings,” which is under “Web & App Activity.”
As long as you’re here, you can also delete “Device Information” (info about contacts, calendars, etc.), “YouTube History” (which includes both your search and watch history), and “Ad personalization” (which uses your history to choose which ads you’ll see).
You’ve prevented any more data from being gathered. But now you may want to delete all or some of the information that’s already been collected.