Android is a powerful and complex operating system. It is also very popular. A recent poll found that seventy percent of Canadian cell phone users planned to buy an Android phone next time. If the past is any indicator, many of them will buy unlocked phones from the U.S. and get a sim card from Bell.ca. Looking at the phone offerings, Bell could change its name to Android Canada.
Android goes toe to toe with Apples iOS and holds its own – more than holds its own in some ways. One way it surpasses iOS is the control the user has over Android without rooting the phone. Here are five little known commands that give you even more control over your Android phone. Enter the commands using the telephone dial pad.
#5. *#*#7594#*#* Power Shutdown Mode
This code does one thing. It gives you the option to change the long press on the power button to shut down the phone instead of bringing up the “silent mode / Airplane mode / Shutdown” window. It also allows you to change it back.
#4. *#*#7780#*#* Factory Data Reset
This is a factory data reset code. This code resets removes downloaded apps, system and app data and settings and the Google account settings. It will not remove the system, bundled apps, or files on the SD card. You will get one chance to cancel the reset before it starts.
#3. *#*#8255#*#* GTalk Services Monitor
This opens the GTalk service monitor. It will show you the status of your connection to Google Talk, the success or failure of past connection attempts, and a wealth of other information. If you have multiple accounts set up on your phone, information for all accounts shows up.
#2. *#*#273283*255*663282*#*#* File Copy Backup
This opens a menu to back up data files. It will backup sound, image, video, and voice files. On some phones, it may require at least one mp3 file before backing up anything else.
#1. *#*#4636#*#* Phone and Battery Information
This code gives access to a wealth of information about your phone. It calls up a four-item menu. Each item on the menu has sub-menus that vary depending on the phone and the version of android:
• Phone information – Provides the IMEI number, phone number and current network. It also has a button for a ping test to google.com, displays the signal strength of the phone radio and a ton of GSM data. You can turn the phone radio on and off and change various settings, including the preferred network type. Changing these settings could cause your phone to stop making or receiving calls.
• Battery information – Tells if the battery is good or bad, the voltage, charge, and time since the phone was booted (turned on)
• Usage Statistics – Lists recently launched apps. The list can be sorted by usage time (in milliseconds), Launch count, or Application name.
• Wi-Fi information – In the sub-menus to this option you can enable and disable the Wi-Fi network, get extremely detailed information about the network, and get detailed configuration information about your phones Wi-Fi adapter, including the MAC and IP addresses.
Some phones may not accept all of these codes. One of the downsides of the Android ecosystem is that each company tweaks the OS to suit their preferences. But most of them should work on most phones.