Organize Your Phone to Make it More Functional


Keeping your phone organized, making it easy to find the app or information you need-when you need it-is a crucial part to getting the most out of your device. There are plenty of ways to keep your device in order, ready at your fingertips. Let's take a look at a few of them.


Add a Google Search Widget

The Google Search widget can launch an app installed on your device, in addition to performing basic searches. You simply need to add the Google Search widget to one of the available home screens. The next time you want to launch an app without scouring the app drawer, or trying to remember what home screen the app is on, tap on the search bar and enter the name of the app.


Manage Displayed Calendars

When you add different accounts to your device, you'll likely encounter a mishmash of entries in your Calendar app. By launching the Calendar app and tapping on the menu button, you can enable or disable which calendars are visible-permanently, or on the fly.


Organize Contacts

As with the Calendar app showing jumbled calendars, the contacts app will display entries from all your connected accounts and social networks. To display only the contacts you care about, launch the app and enter the Settings menu. Change which accounts display, or add new accounts you'd like to include.


View Only Important Emails

Gmail tries to guess which emails are most important to you, and labels them as such. You can receive alerts and view only your important emails in Gmail by switching a simple setting. Launch Gmail, open Settings and select the email account you'd like to edit. Under "Inbox Type" select "Priority Inbox."


Use Lock Screen Widgets

Lock screen widgets display information, or even app views, without having to unlock the device. The phone's Settings menu helps you add several widgets to the lock screen, or enable the camera shortcut when swiping to the right of the screen. Read your email, SMS, view weather reports and more without having to unlock your device.


Disable Auto-Add Widgets

When you download a new app from the Google Play Store, the app icons are placed on one of your home screens, in addition to your app drawer. To help eliminate clutter and keep your screens organized, disable the "Auto-Add Widgets" option in the Play Store app. Launch the Play Store app, go to Settings and remove the check box next to "Auto-add widgets."


Eliminate Unused Apps

Once a month, look through your app drawer and remove apps you no longer use. Delete an app by dragging it to the top of the screen and releasing it over the text "Uninstall." Follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation process. This periodic culling not only frees up device storage, but it eliminates screen after screen of excess apps in the app drawer.


Disable System Apps

Controlling the apps you download and install is one thing, but eliminating system apps is another. If you find you don't use apps like Street View, you can disable them in the system settings. Launch the Settings app, tap on "More" followed by "Application Manager." Scroll right to the "All" column. Find the system app you'd like to disable and tap on it. Select "Disable" and accept the warning. Just be sure not to disable critical system apps like Settings or Phone.

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