Hidden features on an Android phone

Hidden features on an Android phone

Android has many hidden functions that make it much more enjoyable to use it, and at the same time, usually the typical smartphone owner has no idea about them. Here is a brief overview of the most interesting. Perhaps you will choose something for yourself.

Built-in screen recorder:

Instead of taking a screenshot, use Android 11's new built-in screen recorder. In the Quick Settings panel, you'll find a new screen record button. Activate it by swiping down from the top of the screen or perform another action depending on your phone model. After activating the screen recording feature, you will be asked if you want to capture the sound from the microphone or just the sound made by the application that you are using. To stop recording, tap the Screen Recording notification. The video will be saved to your phone gallery or camera roll where you can then edit and share it. It is much more convenient and allows you to quickly share information with someone, for example in case of problems with the operation of an application.

Recover accidentally deleted notifications:

Have you ever just wanted to clear the notification list, and the alert that you must read though was noticed at the last minute? Luckily, there's a hidden notification log that shows a running summary of every alert and notification you've received in the last few days. The only way to access it is through the widget on the home screen. Long-press on any empty spot on the screen, and then select Widgets from the menu. Find Settings, then select Notification Log. The next time you miss an alert, tap on the widget and you will see a list of all your alerts.

Activate the Google Assistant with the power button:

On Android 12, Google has made it possible to summon the Google Assistant in another way. Now, like on newer iPhones, it can be activated with a long press of the power button. However, this is not enabled by default, you have to change it in the settings. First go to Phone Settings and then to System. In the Gestures section, click the power menu and turn on the Stop switch for the Assistant.

Mute notifications that are not valid at the moment:

On your Android smartphone, you can set when the application should generate silent notifications. To do this, press and hold the alert until you are prompted if you want the notification marked as Silent. Unnecessary sounds will not interfere with your work.

Add subtitles to any movie or podcast:

Live Caption is a very interesting, but relatively new feature that is slowly reaching more and more devices. When the app is active, it adds real-time captions to any video, podcast or voice memo on your phone. Even if the video is currently muted, live captions will be automatically added. However, these are not man-made inscriptions, so they are not as accurate. However, they are still really well done. This will be especially useful for people with disabilities, but also when you cannot use the loudspeaker on the phone and you want to see some material.

Use two applications at the same time:

One of the features of Android is the ability to display two applications on the screen at the same time. This is something for multitaskers. For people who haven't done this before, it's not immediately clear how to put apps in split-screen mode. Tap the app switching button or, if you're using gesture navigation on Android, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go to multitasking view and tap the app icon at the top of an app card or thumbnail, then Split screen. The first app will move to the top of the screen and multitasking view will take up the bottom of the screen. Select another app from the multitasking view, or launch an app from the home screen or app drawer. Not every application supports split screen mode.

Watch the video and use the app at the same time:

Similar to split-screen mode is Android's Picture-in-Picture feature. Using it is even easier. To start PiP, start watching the video and then go back to the home screen. When you exit the app, if it supports PiP mode, the video will appear as a small window on your phone screen. You can drag, resize or close them.

Very dim screen:

Android 12 also has the function of protecting the eyes from too bright screen while reading your favorite book before going to bed. When started, this mode reduces the screen brightness by a significant percentage, and you can also adjust the brightness to the level that is most comfortable for you. It's like having two separate phone display brightness settings that can be managed with Quick Toggles.

Quickly share information about your Wi-Fi network with friends:

Providing a Wi-Fi password to a friend or family member can be confusing, especially if it's a long, complex series of numbers and letters. Starting with Android 10, you can display a QR code on your phone's screen, which will allow anyone who scans it to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Open the Settings app and select Network, then Wi-Fi. If you are sharing your login details to a network, tap the network name then Share. If you are connecting to a Wi-Fi network, tap the QR code icon next to Add network.

Improved app suggestions:

App Suggestions were already present on Android, but in Android 12, you can enable it from the Home screen and the All Apps menu. Now the inventory is updated with the applications you have recently used.

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