Android has been around for over a decade and each update has brought new features. Some features are unknown to the vast majority of smartphone owners, either because the options are not well advertised or because their use of their devices is limited.

In this post, we have compiled some of the best-advanced features Android has to offer.

Replace apps with specific shortcuts

Android app shortcuts are rarely used, probably because they’re not easily accessible. If they always visit the same screen in a particular application, replacing it with the corresponding icon on the home screen with a shortcut can help.

Here’s an example: If most of the time, you open the Play Store to check for app updates. In that case, removing the Play Store icon from the home screen and adding the “My Apps” shortcut can save a few taps. Some other examples include replacing the Files app with a direct shortcut to internal storage or replacing the YouTube icon with the Subscriptions shortcut.

If you’ve never used shortcuts before, just hold an app (in the app drawer or on the home screen) to see which shortcuts you offer. The shortcut API has been added in Android 7.1, so if they have an older device, this feature may not be available.

Connect USB devices

Android’s ability to connect to USB devices is nothing new, but it’s incredibly underrated. Need to transfer files to/from a flash drive or back up photos from your camera? Just turn it on and a notification appears in the phone’s file manager.

Android support for external devices does not end there. They can plug in USB headsets (I do this when I expect to be on a long call), Xbox controllers, SD card readers, hard drives, Ethernet adapters, and even floppy drives.

In the past, using USB devices with Android often required purchasing a microUSB OTG adapter. Now that we are in the era of USB Type-C, there are plenty of external drives and accessories that can be plugged into Android phones without an adapter.

Scroll down to see quick settings

As you probably know, swiping down the status bar shows notifications, and another swipe down is for quick settings. To save time, they can swipe down with two fingers to instantly open quick settings.

Disable battery optimizations

Android puts limits on what apps can do in the background, especially with the Android Pie update. While most apps still work normally with Android’s battery manager, there are some that definitely work best with optimizations turned off. This is especially true for add-on applications that can be used, such as Fitbit and Wear OS.

f necessary, the user can easily disable battery optimizations for a given application. Just press and hold the desired app on the home screen, tap the Info button / icon and look for an option from the Battery menu. The exact text and location will vary depending on the type of device you have, but you should see an option for “battery optimization”.

Configure Night Light

Most Android phones have a “Night Light” feature, where the amount of blue light on the display gradually decreases as the sun goes down. This counteracts the negative effect that blue light has on the human eye, especially when using the phone in bed.

The setup process varies slightly depending on which Android smartphone / tablet you are using, but Night Light options should be in the “Display” menu in the Settings app. They can also try searching for “night light” in the settings.

Quickly open the camera

This may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning anyway. On almost all Android phones, the user can double click the On / Off button to open the camera. Some devices have other shortcuts to perform the same action, such as running on most Motorola phones, but the On / Off button is almost universal.

Switch all audio to mono

If you often listen to music with just one headset, Android has a handy feature that mixes left and right audio channels. This way, the user can listen to all the music with just one earphone.

The exact location of this setting varies by device, but if you search for it “mono” in the “Settings” app, an option for mono audio should appear in the “Accessibility” menu.

End calls with the power button

Another great accessibility feature on Android is to end calls by pressing the On / Off button. This allows the user to hang up without looking for the End Call button in the phone application. This option can be found in the Accessibility section of the Settings application or in the “On / Off button” search in the settings.

Pin the screen

The ability to pin the screen has been added in Android 5.0 Lollipop, but not many people are aware of it yet. This feature allows the user to lock a particular application by requiring a screen lock password to close it or switch to another application. This is extremely useful when someone picks up your phone – the guest will only have access to the application the user has opened for him.

To set up, search for “screen pinning” in the Settings app. The exact method for pinning/dropping an app depends on which version of Android you are using, but the Settings panel should explain how it works on your device.

Clear Cached / Backup Files

Like most operating systems, Android keeps many cached files stored on the device to avoid downloading again later. If you are running out of space on your phone, or some applications are behaving strangely, you can try deleting these cached files using Google Files (formerly Files Go).

The application can erase various file types including junk/cache data, downloads and media backed up in Google Photos. You can also upload files to other nearby Android devices.

Add a message to the lock screen

Another little known feature of Android is that the user can add a short message to the lock screen. For example, you can leave contact information for a friend or relative if your phone is lost.

On most devices, this option can be found under Settings> Security & location> Touch settings next to “Screen lock”> Lock screen message. They can also search for “message” in the “Settings” application.

Reduce smartphone battery consumption

On some Android devices, a mobile data connection is always active, even when you are connected to Wi-Fi. This makes switching from Wi-Fi to a smartphone connection much faster, but also has an effect. negative battery life. This setting can be enabled or disabled in the Developer Options.

If you do not already have the Developer Options menu visible in the Settings app, tap “About phone” (it should be near the bottom) and tap “Build number” until you receive the message “You are now a alert! This will cause a new “Developer Options” menu to appear on the main Settings screen.

After that, open Developer Options and find the option to “Always on mobile data.” Here the user can enable or disable the feature.

Android’s share menu is not perfect. Google promises to fix it in the future But meanwhile, pinning regularly used apps and actions can make it a little more usable. When you pin an app, it will appear at the top of the menu, so you don’t have to navigate much to find it.

Notice how pinning Google Keep moves it to the top of the menu.

To pin an app, hold it down and tap “Pin it”. To remove a pinned app, press and hold again and tap “Uncheck”. The problem is that it doesn’t work in custom sharing menus like those used by YouTube and Google Photos.

Change the animation scale

One way to make an older Android device look faster is to slow down (or completely disable) all animations. This may cause some applications to behave strangely, but it can help the performance of older smartphones and tablets.

If you don’t already have the Developer Options menu visible in the Settings app, tap ‘About Phone’ (it should be near the bottom) and tap ‘Build number’ until you get the message ‘You are now a developer!’ This will make a new “Developer Options” menu appear on the main Settings screen.

After that, open the new Developer Options menu (in the main Settings screen) and look for the ‘Drawing’ section. Here you can change the speed of window and transition animations. Turning ‘off’ will completely disable the animations, and changing them to ‘.5’ will make them twice as fast.


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