11 Android Tips & Tricks You Probably Didn’t Notice

Posted on November 20, 2016 by Nikhil P Naik

Many people seem eager to buy latest mobile phones purely out of curiosity because they want to know the latest features introduced by multinational companies. Once bought, the new smartphone arouses much interest if it has some unique features which weren’t present in the previous models. The exploration of new features is limited by user’s imagination, for instance, we only explore those features of which we have some previous idea or those ones which are introduced by the companies in their marketing campaigns. But, what about those features which lie hidden?

android tips-tricks

To enjoy smartphone to its fullest, companies also provide you with guide booklets. As these booklets are very large, nobody dares to read it to explore new features. We make ourselves content with what we know, and let the treasure hidden from our eyes which lie not far away but can be discovered with the help of few taps. For this reason, we have compiled a list of 11 Android tips and tricks that we think you probably didn’t know.

Typing By Swiping

You are extremely busy in doing something and at the same time, you need to type a message or send a reply to your loved ones, the only one hand that you can spare isn’t sufficient; you must spare both hands to write a reply. But, you probably don’t know that you can type messages by swiping on the keyboard and it helps a lot in situations when you are doing something with one hand and holding your phone in the other.

This is what we call gesture typing; you can drag your finger from letter to letter and the keyboard will give you suggestions. Many Samsung mobile’s keyboards offer gliding functions, but these functions don’t have any floating previews. If you want to use this feature to its fullest, you can do so by downloading Google Keyboard from Google Play.

Facial Recognition Lock

If you are very conscious about the privacy of your smartphone and at the same time you don’t want to type long passwords – combinations of letters and digits as suggested by many experts to increase the strength – then you should consider trying facial recognition pattern to unlock your smartphone. It will ensure that you and only you can unlock your smartphone, and there is no need to type any password at all.

If you are still afraid that someone will unlock your phone using a picture of yours, then this, too, has a solution. You can enable “Presence Check”, and it will only unlock your mobile when you blink. If you are worried about facial recognition, you can add multiple snapshots, and you can also add a backup PIN code.

Silencing a Phone or Taking a Screenshot with Your Palm

You can take screenshots, and you can also silence a disruptive phone with the help of your palm, and you really didn’t know that. You palm needs to be big enough for this purpose. If you want to take a screenshot, all you have to do is swipe the side of your hand across the phone, and it will take a screenshot. For silencing a disruptive phone all you need to do is place your hand on the screen.

A prerequisite for both these features is that you should enable the “Palm Motion” in the settings menu.

Turning Photos and Recordings into a Movie

Your Android phone can create small videos of multiple pictures that are stored on your smartphone. This trick is somehow difficult than the other ones, but it is quite interesting which makes it worthy enough to be explored. If you want to make a video of pictures stored on your device, the first thing you need to do is enable Auto Backup in the Google+ app; it will store every photo you capture in a private folder in Google+.

Next, you should go to the Photos section and there you will find a video camera icon on the top. By clicking this you will be asked to select photos that you want to convert into a video. It is worth mentioning that this feature works only on Android version 4.3 and higher versions.

Voice Search

You can do things on your mobile on a go or in a situation when you are holding something in your hands, only with the help of your voice. You can do this by clicking microphone button in the Google search or you can say “OK Google”. You can send emails or text messages this way; for sending a text message, you have to say “Text Joseph” followed by whatever you want to say and for emails, you have to say “Email Margret” followed by the content.

It’s not just about sending text messages or emails, you can also do many other things; you can ask about the weather or traffic, you can track flight packages, or you can simply ask things that you would otherwise type in a search bar.

Accessing Tabs That Are Open on Other Devices

You might have never thought of it that you can access tabs from your other device if you are logged-in on both your devices. All you have to do is sign-in on both devices. If you want to access tabs on your mobile which are opened on your computer, select the “Menu” option in your mobile Chrome, and then select “Other Devices”. You can also do it by opening a new tab and then by selecting Arrows button on the bottom-right corner. All the tabs will appear on your mobile like a magic.

This feature works if both the devices are connected to the internet; but, what if you want to send some article from your computer to your mobile, which you are planning to read on the go, then how to access this article in your mobile when you won’t have any internet connection on the way. You can simply install Chrome to Mobile Extension and then you can send an offline version of any page from your computer to your mobile.

Keeping Your Mobile Awake by Looking at it

It happens that when you are doing something on your mobile and you pause for a minute, you mobile turns off the display automatically and you have to unlock it again. It is really a trouble if you have set up a password on your mobile. Now, you can keep the screen of your Android phone alive as long as you are looking at it. If you want to turn this feature on, simply go to settings and turn on “Smart Stay”.

Displaying Contact Info on the Lock Screen

If you forget all the time that where actually have you placed your things, and if same is the case with your mobile phone, then, you must be constantly worried about what will happen in case your mobile gets lost. For this purpose, you can add contact info on your mobile screen, so that if anyone finds your mobile, he will be able to contact you immediately. You can add Owner Information on the screen by going to settings and then by accessing “Lock Screen Widgets”.

Discovering Inner Workings of Your Battery

The battery icon on the top right corner of your Android Mobile isn’t the only thing that can tell you some details about your battery. If you are interested in things like Voltage, ADC, and RSSI, then you can dial *#0228#; it will tell you all the details about your battery.

Controlling Data Usage

If you are the person who goes beyond limits while using online data and comes to know only when it’s too late, then you should try Data Limit. You can turn this option on in the Settings menu, and then by going to Data Usage. This feature will not only give you a graph about the overall usage but it will also show you multiple graphs of individual apps consuming data.

Sending or Receiving Messages without Your Phone

With the help of Android phones, you can send and receive text messages without even holding your mobile in your hands. For this purpose, you will have to download a third-party application, and Mighty Text is a good one. This application synchronizes your mobile with your other gadgets and lets you send or receive messages on more than one device.

This article is written by Lisa Myers, who works at Rebateszone. She is a software engineer by profession and has developed many interesting apps so far.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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