So, you’ve got the HTC One A9? Nice. It’s a great little phone for people who don’t need something with the massive specs of a flagship. Even though the One A9 isn’t as powerful as some other phones, it still has a ton to offer. HTC has packed in just as many features as you would find on any other phone. We’ll help you get the most out of the One A9 with these 30 tips and tricks!
How to take a screenshot on the HTC One A9
Taking a screenshot is one of the most basic functions of the HTC One A9. It’s also one of the most asked questions when a new device like the One A9 launches. Here’s how to do it:
- Visit the screen you want to capture
- Hold down the power button and volume down button
- You’ll hear a shutter sound and the screenshot will be added to your notification bar
- From there you can Share or Delete the screenshot
Get content from your old phone
One of the first things you’re going to want to do is transfer content from your old device. HTC has built in the ability to get content from any type of phone: iPhone, Samsung, or otherwise. It’s really easy to do. Open up the Settings and navigate to Get content from another phone. You’ll see options for “HTC Android phone, Other Android phone,” and “iPhone.” Tap the one you need and follow the instructions.
Use your fingerprint to unlock the phone
We’ve talked about how great the fingerprint sensor is on the One A9 many times. It’s super fast and very reliable. You’re definitely going to want to use it. Setting up the fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your phone, make purchases in the Play Store, and more. Here’s how to do it.
- Go to Settings > Fingerprint scanner
- Tap Add fingerprint > Next
- If you haven’t already set up a lock screen pattern, PIN, or password, you’ll be asked to set one up
- Tap Start
- Choose which finger to use, touch the scanner until it vibrates, then lift your finger
- Repeatedly touch the scanner until the fingerprint has been successfully recorded
- After you’ve successfully recorded your fingerprint, tap Done
Use smart lock to bypass the lock screen in trusted situations
Even though using your fingerprint is more convenient than having to enter a pattern/PIN/password every time you unlock your phone, it can still be a nuisance. With a feature called Smart Lock, you can have your phone automatically remove the secure lock screen as soon as you walk through the door of your home. You can even set it so that it’s unlocked when it’s on your person, or say, connected to a Bluetooth device like your smartwatch, wireless speaker, or car stereo. Should you leave the phone in a restaurant, you’ll have the piece of mind of knowing that it automatically locked itself.
Go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock (enter password/PIN/pattern). From there you’ll have a few options:
- Trusted devices – keep your phone unlocked when connected to specific devices (speaker, car, smartwatch) via Bluetooth.
- Trusted places – keep your phone unlocked when you arrive in specific places (home, work, etc.).
- Trusted face – phone will automatically unlock when it recognizes your face after turning the screen on.
- Trusted voice – unlock the phone using your voice.
Be prepared for a lost or stolen phone
Should your phone be misplaced or even stolen, you will want to log into Google’s Android Device Manager, where you can track it, ring it, lock it (and change to a new password) or erase its contents from afar. Thankfully, Android comes pre-loaded with the Device Manager functionality. Visit the Android Device Manager web portal to make sure your current device is set up. You can also download the Android Device Manager app to monitor your other devices from your phone.
Use Google Now on Tap for a new way to search
Since the HTC One A9 is one of the first devices with Android Marshmallow, you get to use the latest features from Google. One of the best new things in Marshmallow is called “Google Now on Tap.” It’s a completely new way to search for things. All you have to do is long-press the home button. Google will scan your screen, and then provide contextual results. If you’re talking about Mark Hamill it will give you links to his IMDB and social networks.
- Touch and hold the Home button
- Follow the instructions to turn on Now on tap on your device
Use gestures from the lock screen as shortcuts
HTC has included a number of handy gestures that can help you quickly jump to certain places right from the lock screen, or when the display is off. All you have to do is utilize a few swipes and taps to launch straight into your favorite apps. To enable the following gestures, go to Settings > Display & gestures > Motion Launch gestures.
- Double tap to wake up & sleep – pick up the phone in portrait and double-tap to wake, do it again to sleep
- Swipe up to unlock – pick up the phone in portrait and swipe up to unlock
- Swipe left to go to Home screen – pick up the phone in portrait and swipe left to go directly Home
- Swipe right to launch Blinkfeed – same thing, but swipe right to go directly to Blinkfeed
- Volume button to launch Camera – pick up the phone in landscape and press the volume button to launch the camera
Keep your hands warm on a chilly day with Glove Mode
For when the chilly winds of winter blow, you won’t have to worry about removing your warm gloves in order to use your One A9. HTC has included a handy glove mode that increases touchscreen sensitivity to read input even through a layer of fabric.
- To enable glove mode, navigate to Settings > Display & gestures and tap the check box next to Glove mode.
Take control of permissions
Why does the Twitter app need to know my location? Why does Facebook need to access my microphone? If these are questions you’ve asked, you will love Android Marshmallow. Instead of seeing a long list of permissions when you install an app, you will be alerted when an app requests permission to do something. If Whatsapp wants to use your camera it will ask for your permission first.
It’s also possible to choose which permission you’d like to deny. The new App Info page in the Settings has a section for permissions. You can simply unselect which things you don’t want an app to have permission to do. Go to Settings > Apps > select an app > Permissions.
Choose which apps use the notification LED and when
The notification LED is a dying breed on Android devices. Luckily for One A9 owners, the notification light is alive and well. Some people like notification lights, other people don’t. You can’t completely disable the light on the One A9, but you can customize how it work.
- To setup the notification LED, navigate to Settings > Sound & notification. From here tap Flash notifications to choose whether to always flash the LED light or only when the display is turned off.
- To set flash notifications for individual services, tap App light notifications. From here you can choose to use the LED notification light for missed calls, voice mail, messages, calendar events, mail, and alarms.
Take advantage of the SD card slot
No, you’re not dreaming. The One A9 does indeed have an SD card slot. This is a dying feature in today’s world of cloud storage. If you have the One A9 you’ll want to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Here are some SD cards that you can pop in your phone.
- SanDisk Ultra 8GB microSD with adapter
- Kingston 16GB microSD with adapter
- Samsung 32GB microSD with adapter
- SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSD with adapter
- SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSD with adapter
Show the battery percentage in the status bar
If you like to keep a close eye on battery life, you can display the battery percentage next to the battery icon in the status bar. Simply go to Settings > Power and check the box next to Show battery level.
Enable battery saver mode to squeeze out more life
One of the bad things about the HTC One A9 is that is has a pretty small battery. Should you find yourself in that precarious situation where no outlet is nearby and your power is dwindling, you have some options.
As with all Android Marshmallow devices, the One A9 comes with a built-in battery saver mode. It will trigger automatically when your phone drops down to 15%, but it can be manually enabled by navigating to Settings > Power and flipping Power saver to the On position.
If you need even more extra juice, an Ultra power saving mode can be enabled using the same process. This will put the phone in an extreme power saving mode. You will only have access to a select few apps, and the theme will be switched to dark to conserve battery.
Crank up animations to speed up your phone
Psst. We have a secret to share. Android has beautiful animations, but they can be annoyingly slow, especially on a device like the One A9. After a while it seems like you’re constantly waiting for animations to finish before you can get to your stuff. We like animations, but we wish the transitions were just a little quicker.
Google has hidden a secret way to do this on every device. First, go into Settings > About > Software information > More. Find “Build number” and tap it a bunch of times in quick succession. You’ll notice a message telling you that Developer options have been unlocked. Go back to Settings and tap the new Developer options. Scroll down to Advanced, then adjust the window animation, transition animation, and animation durations.
Create a custom theme just for you
The HTC One A9 comes with a few pre-installed themes out of the box, but if you’re not a fan of those you can create your own. In fact, Sense can create a personalized theme for you. All you have to do is choose a photo. Sense will then identify colors from that photo and change accent colors, icons, and even system sounds.
When you take a photo and view it in the gallery there is an option for “Themes.” It will ask you to crop the photo, and then it will scan the photo and identify different colors. After that it will present you with several different themes to choose from, all of which are based on the photo you took. It’s a really easy and quick way to get a unique look.
Use the HTC adaptive home screen widget
HTC is all about adding features to the Android home screen. Last year they added BlinkFeed, a stream of information that lives just a swipe away. Now, with the latest version of Sense, HTC has added the “Sense Home Widget.” This widget tries to predict which apps you’ll want to use at a particular time or place.
If Sense determines that you are at work the widget might display productivity apps. When you come home from work the widget might show entertainment apps. The idea of changing the home screen for different situations is not new. In the past manufacturers have made it possible to set up different profiles for different places, but Sense Home Widget does all of that for you. If you don’t want to use it you can simply remove the widget.
Add content to BlinkFeed (or remove it completely)
BlinkFeed is HTC’s all-in-one landing for your news feeds, social updates, and new location-based suggestions, all easily accessed with a simple swipe to the left from your home screen. Configuring BlinkFeed to work the way you want is easy.
To add or remove items from BlinkFeed:
- From your home screen, swipe all the way to the left to access BlinkFeed
- Tap the menu icon in the upper lefthand corner
- Tap the + icon to add or remove content
You will now be able to choose the content you wish to view in your BlinkFeed by choosing from a selection of social networks and other sources (or alternatively unselecting the sources you no longer wish to receive updates from).
To enable to disable location-based suggestions
- From your home screen, swipe all the way to the left to access BlinkFeed
- Tap the menu icon in the upper lefthand corner
- Tap the + icon
- Check or uncheck Meal time bundle
Remove BlinkFeed from your home screens
If you wish to remove BlinkFeed from your home screen altogether, you can do that as well. Simply navigate to the BlinkFeed settings menu as described above, select Manage home screen panels, select your BlinkFeed panel, and tap Remove. You can restore BlinkFeed at any time by navigating to Settings > Personalize > Manage Home screen panels.
Adjust the screen color mode
The One A9 has an AMOLED display. Basically, this means darks are darker and colors are more vibrant. HTC has done a nice job by keeping the colors from looking too overly saturated, but they’ve also built in a setting that allows you to control how colors look.
- Go to Settings > Display & gestures
- Tap on Color profile and choose AMOLED or sRGB
Use the full 13.1MP camera
HTC, and a lot of other manufacturers, do something really annoying with camera apps. In order to make the camera look pretty, they will have 16:9 aspect ratio by default. This means that you usually aren’t using the camera to its full potential. On the One A9 the camera is set to 10MP (16:9) by default. You should change it to the full 13.1MP (4:3).
- Open the camera
- In camera mode, tap the three-dot menu icon
- Tap Photo Size and choose 13.1MP
Switch the camera to Pro, Hyperlapse, or Slow motion mode
The default camera experience is bare bones and simple for everyone to use. If you prefer something a little more hardcore, there is Pro Mode and some other fun things to play with. Pro Mode gives you control over things like ISO, exposure, and choosing RAW format. You can easily switch to a different mode whenever you’d like. Open the camera app and tap the four circles icon. Choose from the list of modes.
- Pro – ISO, white balance, exposure, file output
- Hyperlapse – compress a long video into a smooth time lapse
- Slow Motion – slows down video (slow motion videos can be restored to regular speed)
- Selfie – take a photo with the front-facing camera
- Panorama – helps you line up consecutive shots for a panorama photo
Plug in some headphones to use Boomsound
Unfortunately, the HTC One A9 doesn’t have the great dual front-facing Boomsound speakers like the HTC One M9. The good news is that the One A9 still has the Boomsound capabilities, but you’ll need a pair of headphones to hear it.
- Plug your headphones into the headphone jack
- Open Settings > HTC BoomSound with Dolby Audio
- Select an option from the Choose your headphones screen
- The phone remembers the headphone profile you chose so you don’t have to select it again next time
Set up Android Pay to make mobile payments
Whether you hate pulling out your wallet and swiping your credit card, or you simply want a backup method of paying for things should you leave your wallet at home, Android Pay makes it easy to make purchases using nothing but your smartphone. The One A9 is capable of using Android Pay, but you have to set it up first.
- Open the Android Pay app on your phone
- Touch the + sign in the bottom-right corner
- Touch Add a credit or debit card
- If you already have linked cards, choose one or touch Add another card
- Use the camera to capture your card info or enter it manually
Keep in mind that Android Pay also works anywhere tap-to-pay or Apple Pay is accepted. You can find a full list of Android Pay supported banks over here.
Explore the HTC One A9 forums
Did you know Android Forums has a dedicated HTC One A9 forum? Of course you did, so why not use it to your advantage? It’s the perfect place for noobs and seasoned vets alike to come together to share their experiences with the One A9, unearth even more tips and tricks, and ask and answer any lingering questions about HTC’s latest. Check out these threads to start: