The Android Developer Options is one area of your Android smartphone that has a lot of functions which aren’t so easy to comprehend instantly.
But with the extensive guide here, you will certainly know what will happen if you turn on any options in the Android Developer Options.
I did some thorough check on my smartphone, just to get to know some hidden Android options. Well, after digging around a bit, I felt like:
What if I share this info with my blog readers. Most of them use an Android smartphone and it would be interesting to talk about one of the most powerful / professional area in the Android system.
To get started properly, it’s important to put first things first. So let’s see some FAQs about Android Developer Options.
What’s Android Developer Options
The Android developer options is a set of features / settings that enables a user have access to alter the Android operating system to the any level, depending on the users knowledge.
One of the options on the Android Developer Options list is USB Debugging. If a user knows how to effectively use this Android Developer Option, it’spossible to bypass lock screens, install APKs via your PC, change settings onyour device and perform a lot of functions that work when USB Degging is turned on.
What is USB Debugging in Android Developer Options
USB Debugging Mode is a mode that can be enabled in Android after connecting the device directly to a computer with a USB cable. The main function of this mode is to facilitate a connection between an Android device and a computer with Android SDK (software development kit).
Enabling USB debugging essentially starts up the ADB(Android Debug Bridge) daemon on your device, which allows it to communicate with adb on another device to enable debugging commands. It’s used when developing and debugging applications, and allows you (primarily) to: Transfer data between a computer and your device and vice versa.
It’s necessary for most PC to Android operations to work properly. That’s why you might see a USB Debugging prompt on your smartphone if it’s connected to the PC and a program needs it to be turned on or allowed. It shouldn’t always be left on but can be useful in case of emergency issues where the device needs to be accessed especially when it’s protected.
The USB Debugging toggle is the most used option under the Android Developer options panel. It’s always the reason why most people enable developer options.
Because of it’s functions and professional uses, the Android developer options isn’t always easily accessible. It needs to be turned on and that’s actually when the user needs it.
Based on your Android’s version, the process varies. So, let’s also see how to easily turn on the developer options on any Android phone or version.
How to easily turn on the Developer options on any Android phone
To turn on developer options, which houses other options like USB debugging, you need to follow some steps. Based on your Android version, the process is kinda different.
To turn on developer options on newer Android devices(4.2 to 8.0 Oreo), follow the steps below.
- Navigate to Settings > About Phone
- Scroll down until you find Build number
- Tap on the Build number seven (7) times.
- You’ll get a short pop-up in the lower area of your display saying that you’re now a developer.
- You can now go back, you will find the Developer options menu.
To turn on developer options on older Android devices with old Android versions, follow the steps below.
- Go to Settings – Applications – Development. It’s as simple as that.
Most people just know about USB Debugging because it’s now so popular among Android power users. Actually, the Android Developer Options spans more than just the USB Debugging options.
What option under the Android Developer Options do you use frequently?
In the next paragraphs, I am going to comprehensively explain what every option under the Android Developer Options menu works and how to use them. Although most of those options are for developers or advanced users, if you know what most of them do, you might start enjoying some.
The settings or functions on the Android developer panel are classified into groups for easy access.You will find categories like Debugging, Networking, Input, Drawing, Hardware accelerated rendering, Apps, Media, Monitoring etc
Let’s start with the popular ones and gradually progress to others.
Show Touches/Show Taps
The show touches/show taps in the developer options is also a popular one. Some use it without any reason but just to see the touches when they touch the sensor.
Some of the notable uses of the show touches in developer options are:
- When recording your Android screen for tutorials or explainer videos. When the show touches/taps is enabled during screen recording, it will be very easy for viewers to know where your finger is actually touching on the screen, the options you selected,how many times you touched it and other reasons.
- It can also be used to check if a touch sensor is malfunctioning.
- It can also be used just for fun.
The OEM unlocking toggle will be a friend to users of Android devices with locked bootloaders. The bootloader on Android is a powerful area which is mostly used to alter the devices core components.
Most manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, some MTK devices etc lock the bootloader from the factory andallow users to unlock it if they wish. Unlocking the bootloader opens up your Android device fromit’s prison.
You can now flash/replace files in the core partitons like recovery, boot, system etc. With an unlocked bootloader, it’s possible to install custom software, root your device and alter it as you wish.
The toggle, if available, must be turned on before the bootloader of the device can be unlocked. So you will only need that option if you want to unlock the bootloader and you understand the implications like losing your waranty or bricking your device.
I haven’t used this option that much but only tested it. If the stay awake toggle is turned on, your Android phone’s screen will never sleep while it’s charging. If you see any important usage for this, you can hit the stay awake button.
The running services is a very useful option under Android developer options. It’s available on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. With this tool or option, you can view apps, processes and services currently eating up your phones memory/RAM. You can view detailed information about your RAM.
You can use this option to stop app processes or services that have been using more of your RAM and aren’t useful to you. Some apps shouldn’t be stopped like WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger unless you actually know what you are doing.
Automatic system updates
The Automatic system updates options is seen on Android 7 Nougat plus. If turned on, your Android device will install any system updates automatically/seamlessly without you needing to approve anything. This isn’t recommended on a rooted smartphone or if you have installed modes, tempered with the Android system or just don’t need OTAs at the moment.
If you turn it off, you will still get notifications once there’s an OTA update available.
You might ask, what’s is Demo mode in developer options?
Demo Mode is a utility setting that has been designed for developers in Android 7.0 Nougat. This mode is usually enabled for taking screenshots as it replaces the notification bar with a generic.
It does not display the notifications and low battery warning which usually appear at the top panel of the phone screen which usually shows notifications icons, alarms, low battery warnings etc.
It has two menu which more or less serve the same purpose. The ‘Enable Demo Mode’ enables demo mode and ‘Show Demo Mode’ shows the demo mode on the notification bar. If you want to enable this mode, then first turn on the Developer Mode.
Developer mode is a mode that unveils certain hidden features that Android has hidden from its users for certain reasons. Turning on the developer features will not cause any harm to your Android smartphone but will definitely unleash some sensitive settings.
Altering these settings may cause some severe changes to your phone. Hence it’s recommended to turn on the Developer mode only after acquiring proper knowledge.
Revoke USB debugging authorizations
USB debugging authorizations are always done whenever you connect your device to the PC and it needs to have full access to your device via ADB. You will then get a prompt to allow usb debugging which will give the computer ful adb access to your device.
The next time you connect it to that PC, it won’t ask you for permissions. If you would like to revoke all USB debugging permissions previously accepted on your device, this is where you can do it.
Select mock location app
Android devices require a “mock location provider” such that they can use an external Bluetooth GPS device instead of the internal GPS. In order to enable mock location, you will need to have your Android phone or tablet read and follow these instructions. Once this process is completed, you will not have to repeat the process on this device unless it is reset.
For version 6.x or greater, there is an option “Select mock location app”. Choose this setting and select the application you would like to use to connect to your Bluetooth device.
Verify apps over USB
Most times we normally install APK to our Android smartphones via ADB. If you had like your phone to check apps installed over USB for harmful behavior the way it does when apps are installed directly through the phone, you can toggle this option on.
Most PC apps install malicious apps to our smartphones without our consent but with the verification on, it will allow the Android system to cross-check whatever the PC installs via USB/ADB.
Select USB Configuration
When you connect your Android device to the PC, you get a notification to select a USB mode/configuration. It mostly appears at the top notification bar. You can select Charge only, MTP(Media Transfer Protocol), PTP(Picture Transfer Protocol) USB Mass storage, Audio Source, MIDI, RNDIS(USB Ethernet) etc
Once connected, the computer will install the necessary drivers to make it function properly. If you hav issues selecting the USB mode from the notifications panel, you can manually change it inside the developer options.
Android Developer Options | Show pointer locations
Enables information to be overlaid onto the screen showing the current touch screen touch location and other statistics.
This setting is similar in working to the Show touches setting, except that it shows considerably more information about the current points of touch rather than just showing their location on screen.
This feature is useful to app developers when troubleshooting issues with their app responding to the touch screen.
Show layout bounds
Enable Show Layout Bounds to show your app’s clip bounds, margins, and other user interface constructions on the device.
Force RTL layout direction
When this is turned on, it forces the screen layout direction to be from right to left (RTL) or from left to right (default). If you don’t understand it, turning it on and off will give you a clearer picture of its function.
Don’t keep activities
Too many running activities can drastically affect your phone’s battery life. When you turn on the Don’t keep activities, the system will destroy every activity as soon as the user leaves the activity’s main view.
This can be helpful to increase battery life, but use it with caution or most apps wouldn’t work as intended.
Background process limit
This is also an important area in developer options. The Background process limit enables you to manually set the number of processes that can run in the background at one time. You can use Android’s standard limit, no background processes, or at most 1 – 4 processes.
This might also positively affect battery life,but only use if you know what you are doing.
Force allow apps on external
This is a very useful option inside the developer options. If you try to install an app to your SD card and it doesn’t work, you can enable “Force allow apps on external” in Developer Options
When enabled, it makes any app eligible to be written to the external storage, regardless of manifest values. It’s a nice option to enable app installation on SD Cards.
The animation scale options includes Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale. This settings mostly affects the display and effects as you go through your Android phone.
It looks attractive when enabled and set to a level, but it can negatively affect your devices battery and performance. It’s recommended that you turn off all animations or set it to their default values to get a faster Android performance and save more battery juice.
Reducing the animation scales or turning them off will definitely have a positive impact on your device’s performance. You can restart after changing the settings.
These are the common Android developer options any user can use. Check them out and know how it works.