If you are an Android phone user, chances are you may not be aware of some of the best Android features available which can be used to perform cool things on your device. Google released great new features on its mobile firmware with every major Android update. But the question is, are you really using all those features? Well, if you are not using them or simply don’t know about them, keep on reading because in this post, i am going to share 8 best Android Features you are not using.
There are some Android Features that don’t receive the attention they deserve, rather surprisingly, i must say. Today, i am going to talk about some really useful Android features that you are really not using but you definitely should. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get started.
Android Beam can be said is one hidden gem in Android that not many users know about. What’s make it even more baffling is that Android Beam has been an Android feature since Android 4.0 and later firmware versions. Android Beam let’s you share links, phones, videos, and much more from one Android device to another using NFC and Bluetooth. It goes without saying your device should have NFC technology for this to work.
If you have an Android device with NFC on it, here’s how you can enable Android Beam for wireless sharing of content. First, head to Settings, scroll down and tap on wireless and network section and enable NFC option by turning the toggle next to it to the ON position. Once done, you can now enable Android Beam. Do note that Android Beam has to be enabled on the receiving device as well for this to work. Now press data sending device to the back of the receiving device to pair both the devices through NFC. Now, tap on your device display to Beam whatever is on your screen. Also, make sure that the other device is unlocked and on the home screen for the transfer to complete successfully, otherwise Android Beam gets confused on which device to share data.
Android beam is a useful feature if you are looking to quickly share a picture, YouTube video, link, Play Store app, a short clip or something similar. We don’t recommend using Android Beam for transferring larger files.
Next up is the Screen pinning feature that was introduced Android Lollipop. This is a useful feature many Android users don’t know about. We guess you must have been through a situation when your friend asks for your phone to make a phone call and after finishing up with the call start fiddling with your device. The other person could start reading chats, checking out photos, or other private stuff on your device. I know it’s annoying but this is where Android Screen pinning feature comes to the rescue.
Screen Pin feature ensures that the user stays on a single app. It pins a specific app on the your phone, which means user will be able to access only that particular app and not be able use other apps on an Android device. Even the touchscreen Home and Back buttons become unresponsive when Screen Pin is enabled on your device.
To enable Screen Pinning, head over to Settings app, tap on Security and enable Screen Pinning feature. Now, open the app you want to pin, tap on the Recent button and there you will see an app pinning button at the bottom of the app pin card. Now, tap on the Pin icon to pin that particular app. To unpin the app, just long-press the Back button.
If you own a device with meager 16GB or 32GB storage space, you know sooner or later you are going to encounter lack of storage issues on it. One great thing about most Android phones is they come with microSD card slot for external SD card to add extra storage for saving apps and media files. However, even that’s not the perfect solution when you take into the account the fact that not all apps can be saved on the external storage SD card. Moreover, app data can only be saved on the internal device storage.
Fortunately, Google introduced a new Adoptable Storage feature starting from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later version of Android mobile firmware. This adoptable storage feature allows users to format external SD card to set it as an internal storage on Android device. But before enabling this feature, do not forget to backup external SD card data as the process will wipe out all existing data from it. Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure SD card is properly placed inside the microSD card slot.
- Go to Settings > Storage & USB. Here you will see SD card list under Portable Storage section.
- Tap on it and then hit the three-dotted menu button at the top-eight corner, and select Settings option from drop-down menu.
- Now, tap on the Format as internal option.
- Next, hit the red colored Erase and format button.
- It will start the formatting process. If your card already has data on it, you will get a prompt asking whether you wish to move data now or later.
- When data is moved, your SD card will work as internal storage.
- That’s all.
It’s a very useful feature, you should use it on devices that come with limited internal device storage.
If you happen to use an Android device that’s used by multiple people, it can become a hassle to manage tasks on it as each person has their own online accounts, games, apps, photos and other stuff. However, in Android you can create multiple user profiles. This Multiple User Accounts feature has been on Android tablets since the Android 2.0 version. But on Android mobile devices, this feature was not introduced until Android 5.0 Lollipop. So, let’s find out how to create a new user account on your Android devices.
- Go to Settings app. Scroll down and hit Users option.
- Now, tap on the Add New User with plus sign next to it.
- When prompted, tap on Set up now.
- You will then be taken to the newly created account, which can then be used to add apps and games.
- That’s all
Once the new user account has been created, you can switch between users through quick settings in the notification area. If the user account is locked, you will have to enter account password to login.
Another Android security feature that most users don’t use or overlook is the Smart Lock feature. This feature first came with Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware. When enabled, Smart Lock automatically unlocks your device when around some trusted device such as Android Watch, Chromebook, or in your pocket. This is handy when you want to access device in specific situations. To enable this feature, perform the following steps:
- Navigate to Settings > Security
- Under Security, tap on Trusted Agent option.
- Now, enable Smart Lock (Google) by tapping on the toggle.
- However, if Smart Lock option is greyed out, it means you haven’t added a pin lock or pattern. So, set a lock and then enable this option.
- Next, to set trusted agents near which you want to your device to automatically unlock for quick access, go to Settings > Security and tap on Smart Lock. Here, you will see lots of options to set up different agents such as trusted places, devices, face, and voice.
- Simply set up the agent after which you device will be automatically unlock when in the proximity of that agent.
- That’s all
Built-in File Manager
File Manager apps are very popular on Android platform. In fact, many people download a file manager app first thing after purchasing a new Android device or setting up current device as new. However, not many user know that starting from Android 6.0 Marshmallow there is a hidden built-in file manager app, which has gotten even better with Android 7.0 Nougat. To access this default Android file Manager app, see the steps below:
- Go to Settings > Storage
- Scroll down and tap on the Explore at the bottom, which brings up the File Manager.
- That’s all
Now in the File Manager, there’s a side menu from where you can browse videos, images, apps, games, songs, recent files, and more. You can also check Google Drive files from this built-in File Manager to access downloads and documents. This File Manager tool also supports multiple windows, views, along with all basic feature who would expect from a File Manager such as moving files, renaming files, creating new folders and more.
Although, this built-in File Manager may lack some advanced features that would find on third-party File Manager apps on Google Play Store. But it’s still a great choice for performing all basic file manager tasks. It can be said this new built-in file manager is a great addition in Android but it’s a shame that it’s buried inside the Settings app.
Let’s admit it that printing documents, pictures, or anything else from your Android device, it’s not as straight forward as you would expect. However, thanks to Google Cloud Print, printing from Android smartphones has becomes whole lot more easy. But this requires setting things up first. Here’s how to do it:
- Add a printer to Google Cloud Print from your Windows PC or MAC. Make sure the printer is connected to your PC Windows or MAC over the same network.
- Now, go to Google Chrome we browser and click Settings.
- In the Settings page, scroll down and click on the Show advanced settings.
- Then, click Manage button under the Google Cloud Print option.
- Here, you will see a list of printer connected to Google Cloud Print, if any, along with the option to Add Printers.
- Click Add Printer button and the printers available on the same WiFi network as you and available to be register will be listed.
- Select the printers you want to connect and hit the Add Printers button.
- Once done, printer will be automatically added to your Google account and you will be able to see it on your Android device as well.
- Do make sure that the printer is added to the same Google account you are using on you Android device.
- That’s all
Now hit Printer icon on your Android device and print anything you want. It’s only a one-time setup process, after which printer option on your Android device will show at all times even when your Windows PC or MAC is turned off.
Another interesting Android feature is the Daydream. And no, we are not talking about Android Daydream VR platform, which is different from what are going to cover here. However, if you like, you can check out post on Daydream VR app. The Daydream we are talking about has been the part of Android since Android Jellybean, which can be set as a lock screen widget. This is useful if you want to setup clock daydream to turn your smartphone into a night clock when it’s docked. To find screensaver clock daydream, see the steps below:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Display Page
- Here, you can setup a screensaver, when to start screensaver, and preview it.
- You can also download various screensaver apps from the Play Store.
Well, that’s all when it comes to Android features that we think many people don’t know or overlook but can be extremely useful for accomplishing more from an Android device. Thoughts? If you think if you missed out on any interesting hidden Android features, do share in the comments section below.
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