Our living environment is surrounded by turbulence, which is also a concern of the global energy consumption and the greenhouse gas emission, and the viscous force on the solid-liquid/solid-gas interface is an important part of the turbulence. Reducing friction force in turbulence to the greatest extent is becoming an urgent issue to be resolved at present. In this paper, the various state-of-the-art approaches of drag-reducing and energy-saving technologies based on the boundary layer control are reviewed, focusing on the polymer drag reduction additives, the micro-morphology, the super-hydrophobic surface, the micro air bubbles, the heating wall, the vibrant flexible wall and the composite drag reduction methods. In addition, the mechanisms of different drag reductions based on the boundary layer control and the potential applications in fluid engineering are discussed. This paper aims not only to contribute to a better understanding of drag reduction mechanisms, but also to offer new perspectives to improve the current drag-reducing and energy saving technologies.