Eight of Android’s finest hidden options and the place you could find them



Your Android cellphone has a treasure trove of hidden options. 

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Android, as a complete, is understood for its extensive number of gadgets and customizable software program. However regardless of all the variations between, say, a OnePlus and Samsung cellphone, on the core, the expertise is sort of the identical. Each gadgets run Android, in any case, sharing the identical options — a few of that are hidden.

Take split-screen apps for instance. Utilizing two apps on the similar 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 should know the place to look. Certainly one of my favourite hidden options is known as Sensible Lock, a instrument that retains my cellphone unlocked once I’m at residence, then reverts again to requiring my fingerprint or PIN code the second I go away. It is handy and it permits me to maintain my cellphone safe once I’m not at residence. 

Take into account, 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 prime of the Settings app should you’re struggling to discover a characteristic. 


Take management of alerts and notifications. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

1. Quiet the notifications that may wait

Uninterested in each single notification inflicting your cellphone to bleep or boop? Inform 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 would like 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, whereas Silent will mute the alert, however nonetheless make it seen in your notification tray. 


Stay Caption is large from an acessbility standpoint. 

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2. Add captions to any video or podcast

Stay Caption is a formidable, but comparatively new characteristic that is slowly making its strategy to extra gadgets. When energetic, it provides real-time captions to any video, podcast or voice observe in your cellphone. It would not matter if the video you are watching is muted — Stay Caption will nonetheless transcribe it for you. 

Because it was first introduced final 12 months, Google has expanded its Stay Caption characteristic past the Pixel cellphone lineup to included Samsung’s newest telephones, together with the Notice 20 and the OnePlus 8 sequence. There is not an official listing of supported gadgets, so far as I can inform, and your cellphone must be working Android 10 to ensure that it to work. 

To activate Stay Caption (or examine in case your cellphone is supported), open the Settings app and seek for Stay Caption. The Stay Caption toggle is in a special place on the Pixel 4 ($390 at Again Market), Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 ($699 at Amazon)

After turning on Stay Caption, anytime you start taking part in a video — even should you 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 mentioned.

It is very well performed and a characteristic that each cellphone ought to have, not simply Android. You possibly can be taught extra in regards to the characteristic, together with tips on how to restrict profanity, and tips on how to use it in our full information


Break up Display screen is simple to make use of on an Android cellphone. 

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3. Use two apps on the similar time

Certainly one of my favourite options in Android is with the ability to have two apps on the display on the similar time. It is useful once I’m a Google Doc and sending an e mail, or once I’m trying up a recipe and sending the ingredient listing in Messages. Nevertheless it’s not fully clear tips on how to get apps in split-screen mode. 

Faucet on the app switcher button, or should you’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 prime of an app’s card or thumbnail adopted by Break up Display screen. The primary app will slide to the highest of the display, and the multitasking view will take up the underside part of your display. Both choose one other app from the multitasking view or launch an app out of your homescreen or app drawer. Not each app will help cut up display mode, and the one approach I can work out to inform if an app lacks help is to easily attempt opening it. 


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

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4. Watch a video and use an app concurrently

Alongside the identical thought of split-screen apps is Android’s Image-in-Image (PiP) characteristic. Utilizing it couldn’t be easier, you simply should know it is there.

I like to observe my favourite Twitch streamers whereas I browse Reddit or examine my emails. To set off PiP, begin watching a video after which return to the house display. Actually, it is that straightforward. As soon as you permit the app, if it helps PiP mode, the video will present up as a small window in your cellphone’s display. You possibly can drag it round, resize or shut it. You may also use PiP with getting turn-by-turn instructions in Google Maps, which makes it straightforward to see which cease that you must get off at whereas navigating the subway in a brand new metropolis. 

To view an inventory of apps put in in your cellphone that help this characteristic, open the Settings app, and go to Apps & Notifications > Particular app entry > Image-in-picture. That is additionally the place you may go to disable PiP for an app. For instance, if you don’t need Google Maps persevering with to indicate you turn-by-turn instructions after you have left it, and somewhat the app utterly shut down. 


Activate Sensible Lock to maintain your cellphone unlocked at residence. 

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5. Use Sensible Lock to maintain your cellphone unlocked whenever you’re residence

Certainly one of my favourite hidden options can maintain you from having to enter your PIN or scan your fingerprint everytime you’re residence or at work. You possibly can set it to maintain your cellphone unlocked whenever you’re in a selected location. You may also set it to maintain the cellphone unlocked when it detects you are energetic, like whenever you’re strolling round whereas holding the cellphone pressed to your face or talking over Bluetooth on wi-fi headphones. 

Open Settings > Safety > Sensible Lock and enter your PIN code when prompted. From there, you may choose which side of Sensible Unlock you wish to use and when. 

Simply understand that you probably have Sensible Lock set to maintain your cellphone unlocked at residence, meaning anybody you reside with will be capable of get into it. 


Notification Log in your Android cellphone generally is a life saver. 

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6. Get better by chance 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. Fortunately, there is a hidden Notification Log that can present you a working tally of each alert and notification you have acquired for the previous few days. The one strategy to entry it’s via a house display widget. 

Lengthy-press on any empty spot in your display, then choose Widgets from the menu. Discover the Settings possibility, then choose Notification Log. The following time you miss an alert, faucet the widget, and you may see an inventory of your entire alerts. 

In case 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. Rapidly share your Wi-Fi community creds with buddies

Giving your Wi-Fi community password to a good friend or member of the family generally is a trouble, particularly if it is a lengthy, advanced sequence of numbers and letters. Or it’s possible you’ll be hesitant handy over your credentials as a result of it is a password you employ some other place — I get it. Granted, having folks over or visiting a good friend’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 turn out to be useful. 

Fortunately, with Android 10 you may show a QR code in your cellphone’s display that can permit anybody who scans it to connect with your Wi-Fi community. 

You possibly can scan or create a QR code in your system by opening the Settings app and choosing Community > Wi-Fi. If you happen to’re sharing your community credentials, faucet on the community identify after which Share. If you happen to’re connecting to a Wi-Fi community, faucet on the QR Code icon subsequent to Add Community

This characteristic additionally turns out to be useful should you’re organising a brand new cellphone and do not wish to undergo the method of copying your password. 


You possibly can lastly file your display with an official Google instrument. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

8. Have Android 11? Use the built-in display recorder

As a substitute of taking a screenshot to indicate off your new all-time excessive rating, or seize a notification or app situation, 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 would possibly take awhile earlier than it reaches your system

As soon as your cellphone is up to date to Android 11, you will discover a new Display screen Document button within the Fast Settings panel. Swipe down from the highest of your display to entry the panel; you could have to swipe to the left to view extra settings choices, or you may faucet the edit button to maneuver Display screen Recorder to the entrance panel. 

When you activate Display screen Document, 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 via troubleshooting or organising an app. To cease recording, faucet the Display screen Document notification. The video will likely be saved to your cellphone’s gallery or digital camera roll, the place you may then edit and share it. 

Now that you have mastered Android’s hidden options, be sure to’re utterly acquainted with extra of Android’s staple options, like new privateness settings and a devoted darkish mode. If you happen to’re one of many fortunate few that has Android 11, ensure to take a look at a number of the Android 11 options we completely love. 

Supply from www.cnet.com

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