Your Android cellphone has a treasure trove of hidden options.
Android, as a complete, is understood for its vast number of gadgets and customizable software program. But regardless of all the variations between, say, a OnePlus and Samsung cellphone, on the core, the expertise is sort of the identical. Both gadgets run Android, in spite of everything, sharing the identical options — a few of that are hidden.Take split-screen apps for instance. Using two apps on the identical time isn’t solely one thing iPhone customers can solely dream about however it’s additionally downright helpful and inbuilt to your Android cellphone — you simply must know the place to look. One of my favourite hidden options is named Smart Lock, a instrument that retains my cellphone unlocked when I’m at dwelling, then reverts again to requiring my fingerprint or PIN code the second I go away. It’s handy and it permits me to maintain my cellphone safe when I’m not at dwelling.
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Keep in thoughts, all the options beneath might not look or work precisely the identical on each cellphone, and that is as a result of totally different Android system producers like to make use of distinctive interfaces. My recommendation? Use the search bar on the high of the Settings app if you happen to’re struggling to discover a characteristic. Take management of alerts and notifications.
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1. Quiet the notifications that may wait Tired of each single notification inflicting your cellphone to bleep or boop? Tell your Android cellphone whenever you need an app to present silent alerts by long-pressing on the alert till you set off a immediate, asking if you need the notification to be marked as an Alert or Silent. Alert will enable the apps’ notifications to play sounds and present up on the lock display, whereas Silent will mute the alert, however nonetheless make it seen in your notification tray. Live Caption is large from an acessbility standpoint.
2. Add captions to any video or podcast Live Caption is a formidable, but comparatively new characteristic that is slowly making its technique to extra gadgets. When lively, it provides real-time captions to any video, podcast or voice notice in your cellphone. It would not matter if the video you are watching is muted — Live Caption will nonetheless transcribe it for you. Since it was first introduced final yr, Google has expanded its Live Caption characteristic past the Pixel cellphone lineup to included Samsung’s newest telephones, together with the Note 20 and the OnePlus 8 sequence. There is not an official record of supported gadgets, so far as I can inform, and your cellphone should be operating Android 10 to ensure that it to work. To activate Live Caption (or test in case your cellphone is supported), open the Settings app and seek for Live Caption. The Live Caption toggle is in a unique place on the Pixel 4 ($390 at Back Market), Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 ($699 at Amazon). After turning on Live Caption, anytime you start enjoying a video — even if you happen to go away the quantity turned off — a small black field will present up in your display, together with real-time dictation of no matter’s being stated. It’s rather well performed and a characteristic that each cellphone ought to have, not simply Android. You can study extra concerning the characteristic, together with the way to restrict profanity, and the way to use it in our full information. Split Screen is straightforward to make use of on an Android cellphone.
3. Use two apps on the identical time One of my favourite options in Android is with the ability to have two apps on the display on the identical time. It’s useful when I’m a Google Doc and sending an electronic mail, or when I’m trying up a recipe and sending the ingredient record in Messages. But it isn’t totally clear the way to get apps in split-screen mode. Tap on the app switcher button, or if you happen to’re utilizing Android’s gesture navigation, swipe up from the underside of the display to enter the multitasking view and faucet on the app icon on the high of an app’s card or thumbnail adopted by Split Screen. The first app will slide to the highest of the display, and the multitasking view will take up the underside part of your display. Either choose one other app from the multitasking view or launch an app out of your homescreen or app drawer. Not each app will assist break up display mode, and the one manner I can work out to inform if an app lacks assist is to easily attempt opening it. Watch a video and browse Twitter on the identical time? Go on, I’m listening.
4. Watch a video and use an app concurrently Along the identical thought of split-screen apps is Android’s Picture-in-Picture (PiP) characteristic. Using it couldn’t be easier, you simply must know it is there. I like to observe my favourite Twitch streamers whereas I browse Reddit or test my emails. To set off PiP, begin watching a video after which return to the house display. Really, it is that simple. Once you permit the app, if it helps PiP mode, the video will present up as a small window in your cellphone’s display. You can drag it round, resize or shut it. You can even use PiP with getting turn-by-turn instructions in Google Maps, which makes it simple to see which cease you might want to get off at whereas navigating the subway in a brand new metropolis. To view a listing of apps put in in your cellphone that assist this characteristic, open the Settings app, and go to Apps & Notifications > Special app entry > Picture-in-picture. This can be the place you may go to disable PiP for an app. For instance, if you do not need Google Maps persevering with to point out you turn-by-turn instructions after you’ve got left it, and slightly the app utterly shut down. Turn on Smart Lock to maintain your cellphone unlocked at dwelling.
5. Use Smart Lock to maintain your cellphone unlocked whenever you’re dwelling One of my favourite hidden options can preserve you from having to enter your PIN or scan your fingerprint everytime you’re dwelling or at work. You can set it to maintain your cellphone unlocked whenever you’re in a selected location. You can even set it to maintain the cellphone unlocked when it detects you are lively, like whenever you’re strolling round whereas holding the cellphone pressed to your face or talking over Bluetooth on wi-fi headphones. Open Settings > Security > Smart Lock and enter your PIN code when prompted. From there, you may choose which side of Smart Unlock you need to use and when. Just understand that when you’ve got Smart Lock set to maintain your cellphone unlocked at dwelling, meaning anybody you reside with will be capable to get into it. Notification Log in your Android cellphone could be a life saver.
6. Recover unintentionally cleared notifications Ever faucet the button to clear your notification tray, solely to note an provide you with a warning wanted to learn on the final second? I do know I’ve. Thankfully, there is a hidden Notification Log that may present you a operating tally of each alert and notification you’ve got acquired for the previous few days. The solely technique to entry it’s by a house display widget. Long-press on any empty spot in your display, then choose Widgets from the menu. Find the Settings choice, then choose Notification Log. The subsequent time you miss an alert, faucet the widget, and you may see a listing of your entire alerts. If your cellphone would not have a Notification Log, give the Unnotification app a attempt. Android 10 makes it a breeze to share Wi-Fi networks with a QR code.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
7. Quickly share your Wi-Fi community creds with friendsGiving your Wi-Fi community password to a pal or member of the family could be a trouble, particularly if it is a lengthy, complicated sequence of numbers and letters. Or chances are you’ll be hesitant handy over your credentials as a result of it is a password you employ elsewhere — I get it. Granted, having folks over or visiting a pal’s house is one thing most of us are avoiding proper now, however as stay-at-home orders start to raise, and issues start to return to regular, it is certain to come in useful. Thankfully, with Android 10 you may show a QR code in your cellphone’s display that may enable anybody who scans it to hook up with your Wi-Fi community. You can scan or create a QR code in your system by opening the Settings app and choosing Network > Wi-Fi. If you are sharing your community credentials, faucet on the community title after which Share. If you are connecting to a Wi-Fi community, faucet on the QR Code icon subsequent to Add Network. This characteristic additionally is useful if you happen to’re organising a brand new cellphone and do not need to undergo the method of copying your password. You can lastly file your display with an official Google instrument.
8. Have Android 11? Use the built-in display recorderInstead of taking a screenshot to point out off your new all-time excessive rating, or seize a notification or app subject, use Android 11’s new built-in display recorder. Google launched Android 11 in September, however as is often the case with main Android updates, it’d take awhile earlier than it reaches your system. Once your cellphone is up to date to Android 11, you will discover a new Screen Record button within the Quick Settings panel. Swipe down from the highest of your display to entry the panel; you will have to swipe to the left to view extra settings choices, or you may faucet the edit button to maneuver Screen Recorder to the entrance panel. Once you activate Screen Record, you will be requested if you wish to seize audio, both simply the sound made by the app you are utilizing or each the system and audio captured by the microphone — useful within the occasion you are strolling somebody by troubleshooting or organising an app. To cease recording, faucet the Screen Record notification. The video can be saved to your cellphone’s gallery or digicam roll, the place you may then edit and share it. Now that you have mastered Android’s hidden options, ensure you’re utterly acquainted with extra of Android’s staple options, like new privateness settings and a devoted darkish mode. If you are one of many fortunate few that has Android 11, make sure that to take a look at among the Android 11 options we completely love.