Android comes with a number of developer options built into it that allow you to go beyond the normal user-centric functionality to give you even more control over your day-to-day experience – here are some of our tips for getting the most out of your phone.
First and foremost, the developer options on some Android devices can sometimes be referred to as “developer mode”. These added controls are somewhat obviously not available out of the box and are intended to allow developers (and by extension users) to configure system behaviors to aid in profiling and debugging app and system performance.
Before we begin, you need to go to Settings > System > About phone > tap ‘Build number’ seven times > Enter PIN or pattern. To access the broader developer options or developer mode, you need to go to Settings > System > Developer Options. From here we can start optimizing.
Video – 10 Advanced Developer Options Settings That Can Be Enabled Instantly
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Standard USB configuration
When you connect your Android phone to a PC or laptop, there is a predefined process that runs automatically. This can vary from phone to phone, but thanks to Android developer options, you can customize this to suit your personal preference.
You can choose between file transfer mode, USB tethering, as a digital interface for audio with MIDI or image transfer with PTP mode. You can also set it so that your Android phone does not transfer data and only charges if supported.
This is a real time saver if you’re only connecting your phone to a computer to remove files, and can be enabled by going to Settings > System > Developer Options > Default USB Configuration. From here, just set up whichever option you want.
Force split screen mode
The default split-screen mode in Android is great for allowing you to truly multitask on your phone. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, it doesn’t work with every single application. Thanks to a toggle in the Developer Options section in Android 12 and Android 13, you can force split-screen mode even for unsupported apps on your Android phone (or tablet).
You might encounter some issues with unsupported apps, but this is especially useful since most apps scale to fit your screen size anyway. To enable this, go to Settings > System > Developer options > Force activity resizing.
Force peak refresh rate
Even if your phone has a high refresh rate screen, it may not always run at the maximum rate. You may notice frame dropouts or periods where the refresh rate drops to lower speeds. Often this is limited by the applications on your device, but the Android system will do this to save battery or even improve performance.
However, you may have a screen with a refresh rate of 90, 120 Hz or an even higher refresh rate. Thanks to the “Developer Options” section in Android, you can force your device’s maximum refresh rate to be used in all areas of the system.
To enable this, go to Settings > System > Developer Options > Force Peak Refresh Rate > Toggle “On”.
Block tile for all sensors
Your smartphone knows a lot about you. Some may say too much. If you’re concerned about your privacy in certain places, you can quickly toggle all your sensors on the device including GPS, microphone, camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and even magnetometer, which are not accessible to any app on your phone while this is switched.
Again, there could be some battery benefits. However, you lose some functionality if you leave the block in place all the time. However, it is still useful to have access to. To add it to your device’s quick settings panel, go to Settings > System > Developer options > Quick settings developer tiles > Sensors.
This will be added to the first position in your quick settings panel or notification shade, but can be moved anywhere. Mobile data and WiFi are not affected by this tile.
Select the mock location app
There are countless applications that require your location for functionality. Some might argue too many. There are countless apps that allow you to spoof your current location, which can be useful for games that require location for certain unlocks or in-game features. A prime example is Pokémon Go or even streaming apps if you want to access geo-restricted content.
You can use location spoofing apps to set a specific region by default and with the developer options it means you can place your Android anywhere in the world without any hassles. To enable, go to Settings > System > Developer options > Select mock location app > Now select your preferred app.
Accelerate animations on the device
Android receives a lot of undeserved criticism for the quality and consistency of animations and perceived smoothness. Things have improved dramatically in recent years. However, thanks to the advanced Developer Options mode, you can tweak your phone’s animations if they’re too slow or not slow enough for your liking.
If you want to optimize animation speed, go to Settings > System > Developer Options. From here there are three options you can toggle to improve speed. “Window animation scale”, “Transition animation scale” and “Animator duration scale” can be adjusted to your personal preference. It’s worth noting that 0.5x speed means faster, so smaller numbers mean even faster animations.
WiFi scan throttling
Battery life is one of the biggest complaints with any smartphone, and it’s always worth taking steps to potentially extend it – as long as functionality isn’t compromised. One such feature that might be worth disabling is Wi-Fi Scanning. However, you can still leave this on for a quick Wi-Fi switch, but limit how often it scans.
WiFi scan throttling limits background WiFi scans by apps to once every 30 minutes. Without activation, this can be up to once every 15 seconds. We think this is a good middle ground if you don’t want to disable WiFi scanning entirely.
To enable, go to Settings > System > Developer Options > WiFi Scan Throttling.
Force dark mode
A dedicated dark theme or dark mode has been one of the best additions to Android in recent years. While it’s still not perfect, thanks to a toggle in Developer Options, you can also force a dark theme for unsupported Android apps and certain system sections.
As you might expect, this can be buggy. Certain parts of the user interface may be obscured or difficult to decipher when using this option. We’d say use this feature with caution as it can make some apps difficult to use properly.
If you want to enable dark theme everywhere, go to Settings > System > Developer Options > Override Force Dark.
Always enable/disable mobile data
Even if your phone is constantly connected to Wi-Fi, mobile data is active for quick switching between networks. This is great if you switch networks regularly, but for most people it can hurt battery life.
To disable or enable this feature, go to Settings > System > Developer options > Always on mobile data > Turn on/off. With this feature disabled, it’s worth noting that turning off or disconnecting Wi-Fi will take a few seconds before mobile data is available, but we think that’s a worthwhile trade-off.
Monitor and manage running services
In developer options, you can manage and monitor all running processes running on your Android phone including cached apps. If your phone is performing strangely, or you just want to get an idea of what’s eating up the device’s memory, then this dashboard is a useful place to get a better idea of what’s going on.
You can also stop any process or application from this area if you wish. Go to Settings > System > Developer Options > Running Services to get an idea of the current state of your Android phone.
We want to know what developer options you just need to enable on your android phone right away. Is there something you literally can’t live without? Let us know in the comments section below.
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