If you are a more advanced (or at least intermediate) user of Android, you are probably thinking about tweaking your Android device a bit or rooting it (to install a custom ROM).
Advanced features (called developer options) are hidden in Android from a regular user so that they don’t do harm to their phone by accident.
If you are a future Android developer or simply a geek, you cannot really do without some developer options in your phone. In today’s tutorial you will learn how to enable developer options in Android and what they really are.
I will also show you the six most useful features you will get access to once you enable developer options in your device. Let’s begin!
What are Developer Options on Android?
As the name suggests, developer options on Android are a bunch of special features and options intended mainly for developers who want to test their apps.
Most of these options will also be very interesting to geeks and more advanced users wishing to make the most of their devices and discover new interesting functions of their devices.
Depending on the phone manufacturer and version of Android, developer options may include a variety of features like (to name just a few):
- USB Debugging (essential if you want to root your device)
- Desktop backup password
- Process stats
- Staying awake
- Various animation options
- Advanced app settings
- Input setting
These are just a few examples of developer options (there are really lots of them). Let’s now learn how to enable them.
How to Enable Developer Options on Android
How you enable developer options in Android may differ depending on the phone manufacturer and version of Android.
The process is extremely simple and quite similar in most phone models. I will show you how to do it on the example of five different Android phones: Sony, HTC, Samsung, Huawei and Alcatel.
Enabling developer options in Android in Sony is very simple. Unfortunately, I have already enabled developer options and I cannot disable them without restoring factory settings, so on the screenshots below you can see that I am already a developer. Anyway, here is how you do it:
- Go to Settings > About phone and tap seven times on Build number.
- The phone will notify you that you are now a developer and you will see developer options in settings. You can enable and disable developer options any time you want but item Developer options itself will remain there (whether active or not).
In HTC phones developer options are hidden a bit deeper. To enable them:
- Go to Settings > About > Software information > More and tap seven times on Built number. The phone will inform you how many steps away you are from becoming a developer.
- Once you tap on Build number for the seventh time, you will be notified that you are a developer. From this moment, you will see Developer options in settings of your HTC. When you want to open developer settings for the first time, your HTC will warn you that these are advanced options that should be used with caution.
In Samsung enabling developer options takes a few seconds at most. Here is what you need to do:
- Go to Settings > More > About device. Swipe down until you see Build number and tap on it seven times. Your Samsung phone will inform you how many steps away you are from becoming a developer.
- When you tap for the seventh time, you will see the notification saying that developer mode has been enabled. From now on, you will see Developer options in the settings of you Samsung phone under More tab.
In Huawei this setting isn’t hidden very deep but the phone will not inform you that you have become a developer. Here is how you enable developer settings in Huawei:
- Go to Settings > About phone. Swipe down until you see Build number and tap on it seven times. Count to seven and go back to settings.
- You should now see Developer options in settings.
Last but not least comes my Alcatel phone in which enabling developer options doesn’t differ much from how you did it in previous phones.
- Go to Settings > About phone and swipe down until you see Built number on which you have to tap seven times. Your Alcatel will inform you how many steps away you are from becoming a developer.
- Once you tap for the seventh time, you will see the notification saying that you have become a developer and you will see Development item in settings.
Congratulations! You now know how to enable developer options on Android devices and you have successfully enabled them.
But what can you do with these options available now? What interesting features are now at your hand? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
6 Interesting Features and Functions You Will Find in Developer Options
Of course, once you enable developer options in your device, you will get access to really lots of new features and options (that you never really knew even existed).
If you are a developer, you know exactly which options you need. If you are more of a regular user (but a bit of a geek), you should know which options are especially interesting and may be useful to you.
Here are my top 6 favorite features you will find in developer options:
USB debugging lets your phone establish connection with your desktop computer. This option must be enabled if you want to use most of Android-related tools on your PC (like Android SDK) or root your phone (and install a custom ROM).
Debugging is usually one of the first options on the list of developer options.
Adjust animation settings
Did you know that you can adjust animation settings in your device (to extend its battery life and improve performance)?
To adjust animation settings, open Developer options and swipe down to Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale. Turn them all off to improve the performance of your phone.
Keep awake wile charging
Keeping your Android phone awake while charging is one of the most desired features.
Did you know that you can enable it in developer options? All you need to do is turn Stay awake on and the screen of your phone will never sleep while charging.
App activities settings
This is also a very interesting option which will improve both the performance of your Android device and its battery life. Swipe down until you see Apps and make sure that Don’t keep activities is turned on.
You can also set background process limit. If you enable both of these features, your device will generally speed up but opening apps will take longer (as each app will have to be started over, not just reopened).
Advanced monitoring settings
If you are into stats and monitoring like me, you will probably like monitoring settings that you can find in developer options. Once you enable Show CPU usage, you will see current CPU usage on the right part of the screen. Profile GPU rendering will be displayed as bars on screen.
These features may not be the most comfortable when enabled (they will cover huge portions of the screen) but may be interesting to a geek to examine and learn.
If you are creating tutorials like me and want to show someone exactly where to touch on the screen, you might want to use input settings, such as, Show touches and Pointer location.
When you enable Show touches you will see your touch on the screen and with Pointer location you will see the exact pointer location.
How are you feeling as a developer of your device? Did you manage to successfully enable developer settings in your Android device? What new hidden features did you like best?
Feel free to leave me your comments in the comment box below or contact me directly. I would love to hear from you.