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12 Android tips you shouldn't miss from 2019

Ah, the holidays. No matter what style of winter celebration you prefer (I'm a Festivus man myself), late December is a fine time for kicking back and regrouping for the coming year.

That means it's also a fine time for contemplating that crazy little computer in your pocket and what steps you can take to make it even more powerful — because guess what? A few minutes of tuning up now will make your life infinitely easier throughout all of 2019. Think of it as a gift to yourself — one that keeps on giving and, best of all, doesn't cost you a single dime.

In case you missed any of 'em the first go-round or maybe just didn't have the time to try everything out, here are some of my favorite productivity-boosting Android tips from 2019. Pour yourself some cocoa, polish up the ol' Festivus pole, and give yourself the gift of finely tuned technology.

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Optimizing Android

10 hidden tricks for making the most of Android 10's gestures

Get around your phone faster than ever with these easy-to-miss advanced shortcuts for Android 10's gesture system — hopefully coming soon to a phone near you, if it isn't there already.

How to take full advantage of Android 10's privacy-reclaiming powers

Follow these fast steps to make sure you get the full benefits from one of Android 10's most important additions.

[Get fresh tips and insight in your inbox every Friday with JR's Android Intelligence newsletter. Exclusive extras await!]

Android security checkup: 16 steps to a safer phone

An updated 2019 version of my annual (and always non-alarmist) end-of-year checkup — 20 minutes now to keep your phone in tip-top shape for the next 12 months.

13 easy ways to cut back on data use in Android

Some simple tips to stop burning through unnecessary mobile data and start saving money.

Advanced shortcuts and actions

30 time-saving tricks to try with the new Google Assistant

Google's revamped Assistant can do some really useful stuff — if you know what to ask. (And even if you don't have the new Assistant interface just yet, you will soon. Hang onto this!)

8 handy hidden features for Google Calendar on Android

Upgrade your agenda with these out-of-the-way options in the Google Calendar Android app.

13 handy hidden shortcuts for Gboard on Android

Seriously useful shortcuts to help you fly around your keyboard like a (very nerdy, non-life-saving) superhero.

Apps worth exploring

6 efficiency-enhancing Android apps

Clever, Android-only tools that'll save you time so you can get straight to work.

9 useful Google apps you probably aren't using

A collection of easily overlooked Android apps that are all made by Google — and all worth your while.

The best Android launchers for enhanced efficiency

Ready to make your Android home screen more organized and effective? These are the apps to do it.

The best privacy and security apps for Android

Forget malware scanners or over-the-top security suites: These are the tools that'll actually improve your security and protect your privacy for the coming year.

The best travel apps for Android

Just in time for the holidays, some standout Android apps that'll save you time, headaches, and even money for your next travel adventure.

Bonus: My, how far we've come

Android versions: A living history from 1.0 to 10

Explore Android's ongoing evolution with this freshly updated visual timeline of versions, starting B.C. (Before Cupcake — an eternity ago!) and going all the way to this year's Android 10 release.

Thanks as always for reading — and happy holidays to you and yours!