9 Android features you're most likely not using
The argument between Android and iPhone rages on. However, one thing is certain: Google's phone software is more adaptable and flexible than Apple's. If you go into the settings and customizations accessible for your Android phone, you'll discover a plethora of innovative features and handy tools. We've gathered ten of them right here.
Before we begin, keep in mind that Android comes in a broad range of manufacturers, models, and versions, making it more difficult to locate features that are consistent across all devices. We only tested the following techniques on stock Android 12—they should work on other systems as well, although certain menus and methods may differ significantly.
1 - Mirror your Android screen
For many years, you could use a Chromecast to broadcast the display of your Android phone or tablet to the bigger screen of a television. This streaming gadget can mirror your phone in addition to transmitting video from all of the typical movie and TV applications. Use the mirroring shortcut in the Quick Settings window, which you may get by sliding two fingers down from the top of the screen. In this menu, you should see a Screen Cast option. If it doesn't appear, slide left on the Quick Settings menu to see other options, or hit the pencil symbol at the bottom to add it.
There is another method for configuring mirroring. First, make sure you have the Google Home app for Android installed—you should have used this software to set up your Chromecast. When you launch the app and choose your Chromecast, your device's display should appear on the large screen. Tap Media on your phone and pick Music, Video, Podcasts, or Radio, then select a service to begin streaming.
2 - Run applications concurrently.
This function has been available since Android 7.0 Nougat, however it is one of the few that consumers overlook. This side-by-side or top-and-bottom app view (depending on your screen orientation) is useful when you want to show images, maximize your social networking, or multitask.
To get started, launch the app carousel by performing a quick swipe up from the bottom of your screen. Swipe to the current app you wish to use and tap the circle symbol at the top of the app preview. You should notice a Split top option on the emerging menu. Keep in mind that not all applications offer this function (for example, Instagram), so if you don't see it, it's because you can't use it in this manner. If you see it, hit Split top, and the program will move to the top or left of your screen automatically. On the other side, you'll find an app carousel from which you may launch a second app.This time, simply swipe to it and press on the preview to open it.
You'll see a broad black line separating both apps—drag it up or down from the middle to resize your screen. Simply drag the black line all the way up or down to exit Split Screen mode.
3 - Increase the visibility of text and pictures.
You can zoom in and out on text and objects if you're having trouble seeing what's on the screen, or if you want to pack as much material as possible into the display and don't mind a little squinting along the way. Not all applications will respond to these changes, but the vast majority will.
To alter the size, visit Settings and navigate to the Display section. Tap Font size and then move the slider at the bottom of the screen to make text bigger or smaller as desired.
4 - Change volume settings on your own.
Your smartphone can play a variety of audio files, including ringtones, alerts, alarms, phone calls, and media. If you've ever gone to the Settings menu and accessed Sound & vibration, you'll see that you can alter various audio kinds independently using distinct sliders.
However, Android provides a quick and straightforward shortcut. To make whatever is now playing quieter or louder, use the physical volume controls on the side of your device (if no media is playing, this action will adjust your ringtone volume). When you do this, a little box will appear on the screen, indicating which volume setting is being changed and how. There should be three dots at the bottom of the box. When you tap them, the box expands to reveal numerous volume sliders at once. This can help you avoid going to Settings.
5 - Lock phone borrowers inside a single app
If you've ever loaned your phone to a friend or a young family member, you're certainly familiar with the unexpected worry that comes with the idea of them accessing your private information or posting to your social media accounts. App pinning allows you to be generous without sacrificing your privacy by locking one app on the screen until the lock screen code is entered again. Without your code, the user will be unable to access any other areas of your phone.
Screen pinning is simple to implement. Open Settings, choose Security, Advanced Settings, and App Pinning. After you've enabled the functionality, open the app that your buddy requires. Then, from the bottom of the screen, make a quick upward swipe to open Overview. Swipe to the app you wish to save and hit the circle symbol at the top of the preview. Tap Pin in the new menu that appears. Swipe from the bottom of your screen and hold to unpin the app. This will lock your phone, requiring you to enter your lock pattern, password PIN, or biometrics in order to use it.
6 - At home, turn off the lock screen.
To keep your smartphone secure, set up a PIN code or biometric scan to open it. However, this makes accessing your apps more difficult. Google's Smart Lock function removes this barrier, granting you fast access to your phone—but only while you're at home.
Tap Security, then Advanced Settings, and then Smart Lock from the Settings menu. You may disable the lock screen not only while you're at home (the Trusted Places option), but also when your phone's Bluetooth is linked to a trusted device, such as your vehicle audio unit, or when it detects you have it on you.
7 - Select new default applications
One distinction between Android and iOS is that Google's mobile operating system allows you to select multiple default applications for online surfing, texting, photo viewing, and so on. When you try to do something on your phone, the default app launches automatically—for example, when you click a hyperlink, your default web browser app will open that link.
Take use of this versatility by configuring the defaults to your liking. Go to Settings, then Apps, and then Default Apps. Select one of the screen's categories to view a list of installed applications that can take over default functions. For example, if you'd rather speak with pals using Facebook Messenger than your phone's built-in SMS program, you may choose Facebook's product as your preferred messaging app.
8 - Restore lost notifications
It happens—you swiped away one of the alerts you wanted to read in full, and now you have a nagging feeling someone emailed you, but you're not sure who. You're in luck if you want to see all of your recent alerts on Android. This skill is conceivable, but it's not simple to find.
A screen-adjusting mode will appear if you tap and hold on an empty portion of the home screen. Select Widgets and then the Settings shortcut. Drag and drop this icon onto an empty spot on one of your home screens, and a list will appear immediately. To open Android's notification history, select Notification log from the list and hit the icon.
9 - Turn on one-handed mode.
As smartphones expand in size, they become increasingly difficult to use with one hand. As a result, Google's custom keyboard, which is the default choice on some Android phones, provides a solution: A one-handed mode that may be activated with a simple keyboard shortcut. If you have a Pixel phone, this will be your default keyboard. If you have a Samsung or LG phone, you must first download and configure Google's version as your default keyboard (as demonstrated in tip 7).
Open the keyboard normally, then press and hold the comma key. To enable one-handed mode, drag up to the right-hand icon. The arrow allows you to move this tiny keyboard from side to side, the bottom icon allows you to adjust it, and the top icon returns you to the full-size keyboard. Other phone keyboards may feature one-handed options as well, although they may be more difficult to reach than Google's. To learn more, look up your phone model and search "one-handed keyboard."
author, youssef shnino.