Android Tricks: Features you may not know

Written by Shubhangi Shah

Smartphone space is unimaginable without Android. Currently, more than 2.5 billion mobile users use this operating system (OS), making it the most used mobile OS, followed by Apple’s iOS remotely. While it may seem like Android is here forever, the first smartphone, the HTC Dream, only hit the shelves in 2008, almost three years after search engine giant Google bought it. Since then, it has surpassed several operating systems such as Windows, Blackberry, Symbian and Palm OS, where Apple’s iOS was the only challenger. Low cost, large number of applications, greater flexibility and customizability may explain the relative popularity (at least in Asia). Yes, this OS comes with a basilion feature. However, if you feel that you have finished them all, then you can be ready for a pleasant surprise.

Find your phone

We all know how common it is to put a phone in the wrong place. Worse, if it stays in silent mode because tracking becomes an almost insurmountable task. Or, does it? When you purchase an Android phone and add your Google Account to it, a feature called ‘Find My Device’ is automatically turned on. After that, you don’t have to do anything. Just go to http://www.google.com/android/find and voila! You will get the current location of your lost phone. Not only that, you can remotely lock the phone, sign out of your Google Account, and delete all content. If nearby, you can easily find it using the ‘Play Sound’ option, which will ring for five minutes even if your phone is in silent mode.

Retrieve swiped notifications

When notifications are flooded, it’s not uncommon to delete them en masse However, it may be time for you to delete some important ones. There may be an option to open individual apps to access the required notifications. But wouldn’t that be a big deal? Happily, Android offers you the option to retrieve notifications you’ve foolishly swiped. To do this, long press on the home screen and the Widgets tab will appear. Click on it and scroll down to find the ‘Settings’ widget. Long-press to hold it on the home screen. Then, tap on ‘Notification Log’ to shortcut it. Tap on it and access all your deleted notifications

Notifications are limited

Sometimes, there is nothing more annoying than those constant notifications. If there is a way to limit which apps can send you notifications and which can’t Or, is there? If you are an Android user, OS gives you the option to do this. Just go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Notifications’. A list of apps will appear. Turn on or off the toggle switch opposite individual apps to allow who can send you notifications.

Desktop on smartphone

Although almost all websites now come with a mobile-view option, using some of them can be a chore. In this case, an alternative might be to look at them as they appear on the desktop. To do this, open the website in Google Chrome. Click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner. Scroll to ‘Desktop Site’, click on it and access it in Desktop View.

Check heart rate

Did you know that you can monitor your heart rate with just your Android smartphone? Well, that and the ‘Instant Heart Rate App’. For this feature, just launch the app and place the tip of your index finger on your phone’s camera lens. Give it a few seconds and your heart rate will appear on the screen.

Rotate the screen

Let’s face it, using a plug-in to charge a phone can be a hassle. Also, some smartphones have a headphone jack installed at the bottom, which can disrupt the user experience. A simple trick is to rotate your screen upside down, which can make the whole experience much smoother. Although each phone comes with a rotate on / off option, if your phone doesn’t come with it, use the ‘Adaptive Rotation Lock App’ and you won’t even realize you’re using your phone upside down. Since its launch, Google has upgraded its OS more than once. Earlier this month, tech giant Google announced the Android 13 beta program in the form of a developer preview for both Google and non-Google smartphones. It comes with a reformed Google Wallet and a host of new features like RCS (rich communication service) messaging. The initial earthquake warning feature will be introduced in 25 different countries where it is currently being used. Better graphics performance in games is another option we want to see. While Google is introducing a number of new Android features, it is safe to say that many are still undiscovered by many.

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