These 6 hidden Android features will blow your mind. Here’s how to use them

Your Android phone has a treasure trove of hidden options. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Despite the huge variations in {hardware} and software program design for phones reminiscent of Google’s Pixel 4Samsung’s Galaxy S20 or TCL’s new 10 Series phones, the core expertise is identical. They are all powered by Android, in any case, and have the identical options — a few of that are hidden. 

Take split-screen apps for instance. Using two apps on the similar time isn’t solely something iPhone users can only dream about, however it’s additionally downright helpful and constructed into your Android phone — you simply need to know the place to look. One of my favourite hidden options known as Smart Lock, a device that retains my phone unlocked when I’m at house, then reverts again to requiring my fingerprint or PIN code the second I depart. It’s extremely handy. 

Keep in thoughts, all the options I focus on beneath might not look or work precisely the identical on each phone, and that is as a result of completely different Android gadget producers like to make use of interfaces which can be distinctive from these of their rivals. My recommendation? Use the search bar on the prime of the Settings app if you happen to’re struggling to discover a characteristic. 

Take management of alerts and notifications. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Quiet the notifications that may wait

Tired of each single notification inflicting your phone to bleep or boop? Tell your Android phone once you need an app to provide 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 permit the apps’ notifications to play sounds and present up on the lock display screen, whereas Silent will mute the alert, however nonetheless make it seen in your notification tray. 

Live Caption is large from an acessbility standpoint. 

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Add captions to any video or podcast

Live Caption is a formidable, but comparatively new characteristic that is slowly making its option to extra units. When lively, it provides real-time captions to any video, podcast or voice observe in your phone. 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 12 months, Google has expanded its Live Caption characteristic beyond the Pixel phone lineup to included Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 collection. There is not an official record of supported units, so far as I can inform, and your phone must be operating Android 10 to ensure that it to work. 

To activate Live Caption (or test in case your phone is supported), open the Settings app and seek for Live Caption. The Live Caption toggle is in a unique place on the Pixel 4, Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 ($699 at OnePlus)

After turning on Live Caption, anytime you start taking part in a video — even if you happen to depart the amount turned off — a small black field will present up in your display screen, together with real-time dictation of no matter’s being stated.

It’s rather well completed and a characteristic that each phone ought to have, not simply Android. You can study extra concerning the characteristic, together with learn how to restrict profanity, and how to use it in our complete guide

Split Screen is straightforward to make use of on an Android phone. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use two apps on the similar time

One of my favourite options in Android is with the ability to have two apps on the display screen on the similar time. It’s helpful when I’m taking a look at a Google Doc and sending an e mail, or when I’m trying up a recipe and sending the ingredient record in Messages. But it isn’t completely clear learn how to get apps in split-screen mode. 

Tap on the app switcher button, or if you happen to’re utilizing Android 10 gestures, swipe up from the underside of the display screen to enter the multitasking view and faucet on the app icon on the prime of an app’s card or thumbnail adopted by Split Screen. The first app will slide to the highest of the display screen, and the multitasking view will take up the underside part of your display screen. Either choose one other app from the multitasking view or launch an app out of your homescreen or app drawer. Not each app will help break up display screen mode, and the one means I can determine to inform if an app lacks help is to easily attempt opening it in break up display screen. 

Watch a video and browse Twitter on the similar time? Go on, I’m listening. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Watch a video and browse Twitter concurrently

Along the identical thought of split-screen apps is Android’s Picture-in-Picture (PiP) characteristic. Using it couldn’t be less complicated, you simply need to know it is there.

I like to look at 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 screen. Really, it is that simple. Once you allow the app, if it helps PiP mode, the video will present up as a small window in your phone’s display screen. You can drag it round, resize or shut it. 

To view a listing of apps put in in your phone that help this characteristic, open the Settings app, and go to Apps & Notifications > Special app entry > Picture-in-picture. This can also be the place you possibly can go to disable PiP for an app. For instance, if you do not need Google Maps persevering with to indicate you turn-by-turn instructions after you have left it, and fairly the app fully shut down. 

Turn on Smart Lock to maintain your phone unlocked at house. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use Smart Lock to maintain your phone unlocked once you’re house

One of my favourite hidden options can maintain you from having to enter your PIN or scan your fingerprint everytime you’re house or at work. You can set it to maintain your phone unlocked once you’re in a selected location. You may set it to maintain the phone unlocked when it detects you are lively, like once you’re strolling round whereas holding the phone 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 possibly can choose which side of Smart Unlock you need to use and when. 

Just remember that when you’ve got Smart Lock set to maintain your phone unlocked at house, meaning anybody you reside with will be capable to get into it. 

Android 10 makes it a breeze to share Wi-Fi networks with a QR code. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Quickly share your Wi-Fi community creds with associates

Giving your Wi-Fi community password to a buddy or member of the family generally is a problem, particularly if it is a lengthy, advanced collection of numbers and letters. Or chances are you’ll be hesitant handy over your credentials as a result of it is a password you utilize some other place — I get it. Granted, having folks over or visiting a buddy’s house is one thing most of us are avoiding proper now, however as stay-at-home orders begin to lift, and things begin to return to normal, it is certain to turn out to be useful. 

Thankfully, with Android 10 you can display a QR code in your phone’s display screen that can permit anybody who scans it to connect with your Wi-Fi community. 

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You can scan or create a QR code in your gadget by opening the Settings app and deciding on Network > Wi-Fi. If you are sharing your community credentials, faucet on the community identify 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 phone and do not need to undergo the method of copying your password. 

Now that you have mastered Android’s hidden options, be sure to’re fully acquainted with Android 10’s features, like new privacy settings and a dedicated dark mode.

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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