Smartphones and tablets are handheld computers. Computers come with built-in utilities and tools to customize and manage the operating system (OS), and mobile devices are no different. By becoming familiar with the various settings and configuration options available on your smartphone or tablet, you can get the most out of your device. You’ll undoubtedly discover some helpful features you didn’t know about before, as well as some annoying ones you can disable.
Two types of settings
You can usually configure settings for your mobile device on two different levels—for the system as a whole, as well as the specific apps that are installed on your phone. It’s important to distinguish between the two:
- System settings apply to the entire device/OS and normally won’t affect the behavior of specific apps. For instance, if you want to change your phone’s background image or turn on your Wi-Fi, you’ll want to look in your general system settings.
- App settings apply only to the app in question, and the options presented to you by any given app can vary. If you want to change how often your weather app checks for new temperatures, for instance, you would look in the settings for that particular app.
For an Android device, there are two places for two different types of settings. OS settings can be configured under System Settings, normally accessible by launching the Settings app.
App-specific settings can be found by pressing the menu button at the bottom of the screen while using the app.
Apple organizes settings a bit differently for iOS. All settings, both system and app-specific, are located under the Settings utility. Each app which provides custom settings should have a listing.