If you want a whistle-stop tour of Android up to September 2020 then Android versions: A living history from 1.0 to 11 | Computerworld is a great summary of the versions.

Automated Dialling

If you are like me and find yourself having to join conference calls from your phone, whilst on the move then I recommend automating this with a contact. Usually there are two things you need, the phone number for the conference call system and the conference identifier, as well as the odd press of the # (hash) or * (star) key. So, for example, dialling into a conference call may require you to call a number, like 020 1234 5678 (that is made up, please do not use it!), then pause, enter a conference ID like 87654321 and then press # to join the call. This can be automated in the number of a contact in two ways:
You might also see references to p and w, where p is the same as the , and is a Soft Pause and w is the same as ; and is a Hard Pause. The Soft Pause is a pause for about 1 second, after which dialling continues. The Hard Pause is different in that it wait for the user to confirm before carrying on.


On a Samsung Galaxy, you need to do the following to get a screenshot:

  • Get your phone to the required state, that you wish to capture
  • Press and hold both the standby key on the right side and the home button
  • Wait for a white rectangle around the screen to flash, and possibly the camera sound
  • Release the keys, your screenshot has been captured
  • You can see the image by swiping down from the top and clicking on the image in the notification area
  • Alternatively you can select the "Screenshots" album from the photo gallery
On an Android device that is not a Samsung then the following tips might help:
  • Try Volume Down and Power, instead of Home Button and Power
  • Press the Power Button first and then tap the other button
I have also seen the following work:
  • Press Power and Volume Down buttons together
  • Hold for two seconds

Hidden Menu

There is a "hidden" menu, which is accessed as follows:

  • Go to the telephone dialler (Phone, Keypad)
  • Dial: *#0011#
  • Some information displayed, press Menu button for more options, like Wi-Fi
There is an option in the Wi-Fi area to turn power-saving on and off as well as ping IP addresses or hostname.

There is another hidden menu which is useful for clearing down log files etc:

  • Go to the telephone dialler (Phone, Keypad)
  • Dial: *#9900#

Wi-Fi Issues

If you get the message "Network disabled because Internet connection is slow" when trying to connect to a network then there is an easy fix. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi -> Advanced and uncheck "Auto network switch". That should fix it. It seems this option looks at the connection to all available hotspots and determines others are quicker and gives the message, even if you are not authenticated and able to see the internet on those networks.


When doing Android development it is worth considering running Android in a VM, see How to Virtualize Android on Your PC So You Can Try Before You Buy for details on how to do this,

Location History

Interestingly Google/Android keeps a track of where you have been, see Google Location history for details. Note that you do not need GPS turned on for this to work.

Removing Apps

There are several levels of removing an add, so I'll cover each in turn.


This is quite simple and done via the Application Manager on the phone. Just find the app you wish to disable in the Application Manager, tap it and then tap Disable. Not all apps allow this, it is generally "system installed" apps that you can disable as you can't uninstall them.


Very much like "Disable" above, except you tap "Uninstall". I have found that some apps I cannot uninstall because the phone manufacturer has marked them as "system apps" even though in my eyes they are "user apps" and I should be able to remove them.

Completely Remove

After you uninstall an app, it will still show up at My Android Apps – Google Play. If you want to remove it from here as well, then load the Play Store on your phone or Android device, then go to "My Apps" where you will see "Installed", "All" and possibly "Beta", tap on "All". The list will show most of them as "Installed" but those that you have first uninstalled will have a X or cross, which you can tap to remove completely and then the Play Store will no longer show them.