10 convenient hidden Android functions you forget to utilize probably
With every new Google android version arrives a flurry of extravagant fresh features. A number of them transform just how we work immediately, while some just quietly fade away without making a lot noise.
And then there are the features that fall in between – features that seem useful somewhere, maybe actually pique our interest whenever we hear about ’em first, but then get dropped in the shuffle and forgotten as period wears on. Particularly when said functions are out of sight rather than at all obvious, they’re all too an easy task to overlook and abandon.
Well, as we look ahead to the launch of another new Android version – Android 12 yet, likely to be announced at any time now (and already leaking out constantly) – think about this your helpful reminder: These hidden Google android features, added in to the operating-system at various points in the last several years, is there but still incredibly handy still. Take the time to rediscover ’em and remind yourself what you’ve been missing.
Hidden Google android feature #1: Quick app-switching
Probably the most useful functions ahead into Android in age range is also among the minimum well-known and discoverable. I’m talkin’ concerning the Alt-Tab-like quick app-switching function that has been first introduced in the past in 2016’s Google android 7 and remains among the best Android shortcuts even today (along with, needless to say, those awesome Gboard shortcuts we discussed last week!).
You may be forgiven if you forgot about any of it – or possibly never also knew about it to begin with – because, honestly, there’s nothing at all that’d clue you into its living. And it’s evolved a good amount through the years, too, which makes the chances of losing an eye on it greater even.
Therefore here’s how it operates: First, if you are using Android’s current gesture system – without any on-screen navigation control keys and only a thin little series at the bottom of one’s display screen – flick your finger toward the proper anywhere along that bottom-of-display area. That’ll snap you back again to your lately used app quicker than it is possible to say “frugal Search engines bugle filled up with tasty kugel” (which, to be reasonable, isn’t something it is possible to say especially quick). From there, it is possible to click flick once again toward the right to return another part of your app-using background or flick left to snap back the additional direction.
You can also perform less of a flick and much more of an arching swipe – moving your finger upward, so slightly ever, as you slide toward the left or even the right on underneath of the screen – in order to get a better consider the apps in the list prior to making the switch.
The farther you swipe and the bigger you go, the even more apps you will see – all in the region of once you last used ’em.
If you’re nevertheless using Android’s older three-button navigation system, concern not, for you personally can do this, – part of it too, anyway: Just double-tap the Overview key (the square-shaped icon close to Back and Home) anytime to quickly zap between your two lately used processes.
Hidden Google android feature #2: App shortcuts
Talking about app-related shortcuts, Android comes with an incredibly handy program called – rather fittingly – App Shortcuts. They’re totally concealed out of view, though, and they are consequently all too an easy task to ignore on accident.
But Goog almighty, can they end up being useful ever. You can think about App Shortcuts as immediate links to specific features within apps on your own phone – methods for you to reach individual actions or locations within an app without needing to feel the typical process of starting it up, hunting around through its menus, and tapping several commands to obtain where you intend to go.
To look during your App Shortcut options, push and hold your finger lower on any kind of app’s icon – possibly on your own home screen or inside your app drawer – for approximately a second. Your options change from one app to another, but you’re bound to get some amazing treasures. For example:
- With Google’s Messages app, long-pushing the app’s icon enables you to jump directly directly into a number of recently utilized message threads.
- With Google Docs, it is possible to hop right into a fresh document or even to the service’s research function without needing to very first open the app and poke around.
- With Google Drive, you will get direct hyperlinks for searching, uploading a fresh file, as well as scanning a physical record together with your phone’s camera.
- And with Google Calendar, it is possible to develop a new event, a fresh task, or perhaps a new Assistant-linked reminder from that hidden long-press menus.
The list there continues on from, so take time to tap and explore what the apps you utilize have to give you around. And when you discover a shortcut that appears especially useful for the true way you work, remember this additional invisible trick: It is possible to draw any shortcut out of an app’s long-press menus and put it on your house screen for even simpler one-tap access. Just push and contain the shortcut you need and drag it into any open up space on your own home screen.
Hidden Google android feature #3: Live life Caption
Google’s Android 10 launch introduced an urgent gem into the operating-system – something that gets the potential to end up being way more helpful than you’d expect initially. It’s called Live life Caption, and it’s really technically an accessibility feature for those who have trouble hearing.
The power in that scenario is obvious, but Live Caption may also can be found in handy for practically anyone on a day-to-time schedule – because what it effectively will is permit you to see just what a video or podcast says without needing to have any audible sound playing from your own device. I’ll usually flip it on briefly when I wish to “listen in” for some types of multimedia while I don’t possess headphones convenient and am in times where blaring sound from my phone’s audio speakers wouldn’t exactly be optimum.
Such moments, all I’ve gotta do is tap just a little box that presents up under the volume controls whenever any type of media is performing on my device – and holy moly, wouldya look at that?
Like magic just, every phrase being uttered inside the movie or audio clip turns up on my display screen therefore i can read it while having the specific sound turned completely down.
And you know very well what? Let’s get this hidden-feature concept a action further, ‘result in there are two even more easy-to-skip possibilities in this system. Once you have got Live life Caption activated and you’re viewing captions on your own screen, it is possible to double-tap the caption package to create it bigger – or push and keep your finger onto the container to go it around anyplace on your own screen. Whee!
If you’re utilizing a telephone with Android 10 or more and you aren’t since Live Caption option in your volume controls, go to one’s body settings and seek out Live Caption there. You will most probably need to discover the associated area and flip a toggle in to the on place within it to activate the function – and, based on your gadget (hi, Samsung folk!), you could also have to activate another toggle for the reason that same area to ensure the Live Caption choice actually shows up in your volume panel.
On Samsung phones, you can also need to expand your volume panel (by tapping the tiny down-facing arrow within it) to get the Live life Caption option – and the choice will arrive as a toggle rather than the simpler box icon that we have been talking about here.
No matter what kind of phone you’re making use of, though, keep in mind: The Live life Caption option is only going to arrive and work when some types of sound has been played.
Hidden Google android feature #4: Talk about menu pinning
This next tucked-away treat was initially added into Android in the past in the 2016 Nougat era but taken away for some time and only cut back with last year’s Android 11 discharge. (Goodness gracious, Search engines, you’re producing me dizzy.)
It’s the capability to customize the purchase of apps inside your phone’s system-level Talk about menu – this means can then hold your own most regularly used sharing destinations near the top of the listing for easy ongoing accessibility. Yippee!
The feature is complicated by the truth that plenty of apps unfortunately, including a lot of Google’s own utilities, now use custom share interfaces rather than relying on the machine standard (grumble, grumble, grumble). But also for any app that’s in fact doing items in a sensible method and utilizing the standard Android talk about menu, take notice: As long as your mobile phone is working Android 11, it is possible to press and keep your finger to almost everything in that sharing checklist to pin it to the very best. And it’ll after that stay static in that place for several future sharing, the typical system menu can be used anytime.
To see on your own, go highlight some textual content within an email within Gmail and choose “Share” from the menu that arises. Then push and hold that ideal small fingie of yours down onto any app you notice in the set of sharing choices – and, ta-da:
You will see the command to pin it. It is possible to pin around four different posting targets, if you would like, and they’ll all come in alphabetical purchase in a particular row near the top of that menu.
Hidden Google android feature #5: App pinning
An oft-overlooked feature introduced completely back 2014’s Android 5 release (mmm, Lollipop…) is really a small somethin’ known as app pinning. It enables you to lock one particular app or procedure to your display and then requires one to unlock your gadget let me give you can be accessed.
The idea is in fact quite sensible: Say you’re passing your phone off to a pal, a co-worker, or some types of rabid jungle bird – probably so a document is seen by them, appear at something on an internet site, or peck out an instant call while their very own tiny bird-phone isn’t handy. Consider two secs to pin whatever app is pertinent to that objective to your display screen, and you will rest simple knowing the others of your things will stay secure and inaccessible before phone’s back in the hands.
To utilize the feature, first lookup one’s body settings for App pinning – or even, if you’re utilizing a Samsung cell phone (where things are often arbitrarily renamed for simply no apparent reason), search rather for the much less logical Pin home windows term.
However you there get, once you’re in the proper settings screen, make certain the primary toggle for the function is activated – and make certain the toggle close to “Require unlock design before unpinning” (or “Use lock display type to unpin,” with Samsung) can be in the about position.
Then just start any app you need – and when you’re using Android’s gesture system, swipe upward from underneath of your display screen to access Android’s Overview interface. Tap the icon near the top of the card for the present app, and lookie what we’ve there: a snazzy brand-new Pin option!
Tap that poor boy, and tap it great. That app will undoubtedly be locked in place, and to reach other things, you’ll first need to swipe your finger up from underneath of the display and hold it set up for a couple seconds – and provide whatever types of unlocking authentication (PIN, design, password, appendage, 14 spots of blood from your own pinky toe, etc) is suitable to continue.
If you’re nevertheless using Android’s old three-button nav program, you’ll instead push the square-shaped Overview button to access the Overview user interface, and you will press and contain the Back and Overview buttons jointly as you prepare to unpin.
Hidden Google android feature #6: Guest Setting
If you really desire to keep your gadget protected from meddling while it’s in somebody else’s fingers and/or claws, have a moment to reacquaint yourself with Android’s clever and practical Guest Mode. It’s basically as an incognito mode for the entire phone: You merely flip a switch, state “Wowser bowser, hubba bubba” once and for all measure, and watch your telephone shift itself right into a blank-slate condition – where your own private apps, accounts, and information are securely saved and you also get an out-of-the-box-like encounter all, with only the essential preinstalled system apps accessible.
No one can reach any of your things without very first signing back as you (and investing in your preferred approach to authentication), and nothing done for the reason that environment has any effect on your standard smartphone set up ever. It is a pretty powerful type of privacy security, wouldn’t ya say?
It isn’t, unfortunately, designed for the Samsung proprietors among us, like Samsung has for zero apparent cause opted to eliminate this standard operating-system element from its software program – but for everybody else, follow these three fast steps:
- Open up the machine portion of your phone’s configurations.
- Tap “Advanced” accompanied by “Multiple users.”
- On the screen that arises, make certain the toggle at the very top is set in to the on position.
And then, once you want to utilize your shiny new Guest Mode option, swipe down two times from the top of one’s display screen to open your Fast Settings, tap your account picture (that is probably only a generic individual icon in the lower-right part of the panel), and tap the “Add guest” option on the display that comes up.
As you prepare to exit away of Guest Mode and obtain back to normal, start the Fast Settings panel again simply, tap that account picture again, and choose “Remove guest” from the menu that arises. That’ll erase and reset precisely what was done for the reason that temporary user profile and consider you back to your personal standard environment (once you have devote your PIN, design, or passcode or utilized your selected appendage to prove you are actually you).
Hidden Google android feature #7: USUALLY DO NOT Disturb rules
You are not still manually silencing your phone during the night or if you are in meetings, are you currently? Android’s got a indigenous way to perform that for you personally automatically – once you learn where it really is and keep in mind to arrange it.
Dig around inside the Sound portion of one’s body settings (or even the Notifications section, in Samsung devices). Start to see the collection that says “USUALLY DO NOT Disturb”? Tap it – the specific line that says “USUALLY DO NOT Disturb” rather than the toggle close to it, when there is one – and search for the “Schedules” choice (or for “Start as planned,” with Samsung).
There, it is possible to activate and create a variety of custom automatic guidelines for how your phone should behave during differing times and conditions. Make sure to search for the plus indication or the “Add even more” substitute for explore the many possibilities. With Pixel mobile phones, for instance, as well as the basic time-based guidelines, you can create guidelines that turn USUALLY DO NOT Disturb on automatically if you are driving as well as when specific forms of calendar events are usually active.
Set ’em upward, activate ’em simply because needed, and rest very easy knowing your friendly cellular companion’s generally got your back.
Hidden Google android feature #8: App pausing
Maybe you don’t desire to silence your entire phone but simply need a break from the specific app’s interruptions – a particular messaging service, perhaps, as well as your email maybe. Well, Android includes a little-known system that may enable you to pause any particular app on requirement and silence it and just it until more notice.
This one’s only obtainable in Google’s own version of Android, so if you a Pixel phone or Android One device, press and keep your finger onto any app’s icon on your own home display screen or in your app drawer to check out the hourglass icon and/or the “Pause app” option.
Tap that factor tap it with abandon, garsh dern it! – and you will start to see the app’s icon become a grayed-out, monochrome colour. The app will stay quiet and soon you tap it again to unpause it completely.
Ahh…the sound of silence.
Hidden Google android feature #9: Focus Setting
It is possible to take the app pausing concept even more with Android’s built-in Focus Setting – a thing that is on most devices jogging reasonably current Android versions, irrespective of who made ’em or even just how much meddling said company did with the program.
To check on it out, search for a Digital Wellbeing section within your phone’s program settings, then choose a “Focus Setting” option within that area. The precise implementation shall change from one device-maker to another, but in some way, you can create a set of apps that you from time to time desire to silence – and optionally established a recurring plan for when those apps, particularly, will be pressured to shut their digital yaps and prevent notifying you.
You can even just choose to activate Focus Setting on need when you wish it – which essentially turns it right into a universally available multi-app version of the App Pausing concept.
To activate Focus Setting manually, search for the Focus Setting tile within your Fast Settings panel – and when you don’t view it there, tap the pencil-shaped icon in the lower-left part (or the three-dot icon in the upper-right part and select “Button purchase,” with Samsung) to edit the panel and increase it in to the mix.
Hidden Google android feature #10: Notification snoozing
Man, I really like snoozing. Rather than the under-the-desk siesta range just, either (though a hearty kudos if you are actually in a position to manage that).
Nope – I’m an enormous fan of Android’s built-in capability to snooze your own notifications and also have ’em get back to requirement your attention later inside the day, like everyone else can with emails in Gmail. The machine isn’t as completely featured and versatile as I’d such as, but it’s even now pretty useful.
So the the next time you visit a notification you do not want to cope with right away but additionally don’t want to depart lingering in your notification panel to be forgotten, do that: Swipe the notification extremely slightly left or to the proper – not far good enough to dismiss it but sufficient to reveal a few carefully saved icons at its edges.
Notice ’em? Tap the snooze icon – an noisy alarms with a “Z” within it in Google’s very own version of Google android or perhaps a bell in Samsung’s edition of the program – and you’ll have the ability to deliver the notification away and also have it come back anew in a quarter-hour, half an hour, 1 hour, or two hours.
In Google’s version of Google android, all notification snoozing gets set to 1 hour by default. Nevertheless, you can tap the tiny down-dealing with arrow in the snoozing confirmation to start to see the full set of choices and change it out to whatever period of time you want.
Being an added bonus, after that you can tell everyone you understand that snoozing can be an important section of your productivity technique. And if they appear at you prefer you’re crazy, properly, by golly, it is possible to cackle knowingly as you gallop away with glee simply.
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