You’ve mastered texting, finally figured out how to make a call, and know how to play your favorite games on your Android phone. What else could there be? You might just fall in love with some of these hidden Android features that make your device even more useful and fun.
12 Hidden Android Features to Try
Run Apps Side-By-Side
Android 7.0 gives you the ability to run two apps side-by-side with the multi-window feature. You’ll need to open both apps individually so they’re in you’re recently used window. Next, tap the square Overview button at the bottom of the screen. Tap the double rectangle icon at the top right of the first app you want to view. Repeat the process for the second app.
Pin an App
Want to prevent your kids or a friend from accessing anything but a single app? Screen pinning gives you this option. Go to Settings > Security & Location > Screen Pinning or Settings > Fingerprints & Security. Turn on Screen Pin. This makes the option available. Please note that you’ll need to have a lock screen password or pin set up already.
Pin an app by tapping the Overview icon and swipe up to display the Pin icon. Tap Pin to pin the app. Press the Back icon and the Overview icon to unpin an app. You’ll be asked to enter your lock screen password or pin.
Related Read: How to Avoid Android App Scams and Malware
Store Unlimited Photos
One of the most useful hidden Android features for photographers or selfie lovers is the ability to store unlimited photos for free. Google Photos allows you to upload unlimited pictures and videos to the cloud, including high-quality 16 MP images and 1080p HD videos. It’s free with no strings attached, so why not?
Manage All Notifications in One Place
Managing notifications by going to every individual app is annoying. Newer versions of Android have a dedicated Notifications option. Go to Settings > Notifications and let the sheer power of choice take over. Go to Apps to see all apps with notifications at once. Manage lock screen notifications and even setup Do not disturb for some much needed quiet time.
Play Easter Egg Games
Since Android 2.3, Google’s included a few hidden games. If you love fun little surprises, this might be one your favorite hidden Android features. For instance, in Android Nougat, you’re able to attract cute little kitties. TechSpot describes the combination to launch this hidden game. In other versions, you get to play Flappy Droid. To access older games, download Activity Launcher from the Play Store.
Related Read: Tips and Tricks for Facebook Messenger
Turn on Guest Mode
Hate the idea of someone borrowing your phone, but seeing personal photos and guilty pleasure apps? Not a problem. If you loan your phone out often, this might be your favorite of the hidden Android features.
Make sure you have a lock screen pin or password already set up. Do a two finger swipe from the top of the screen. Tap the user icon at the top right. Tap Guest to switch to Guest Mode. Your phone reverts to how it looked when you first bought it. Repeat the process and tap Remove Guest. Enter your password and your phone’s back to normal.
Enabling Developer Options
You’ll actually find several hidden Android features by enabling Developer Options. Before you skip off to Settings, the Developer Options setting itself is actually hidden. Seems like Google really doesn’t want to hand over those secrets.
Go to Settings > About Phone or About > Software Info. Tap Build Number seven times until you see the Developer notification.
Go back to Settings and tap Developer Options. Some of these options should never be touched because they might make your device act a little strange. A few hidden Android features you might like include:
- Hide your location with a fake one – go to Select mock location app
- Set colors to grayscale to help reduce eye fatigue – go to Simulate color space > Monochromacy
- Keep your phone awake when charging – go to Stay awake
Related Read: Left-Handed Tech Hacks
Limit Background Data Usage
Some apps eat up quite a bit of data in the background. For instance, email apps check for new messages in the background. While some apps have settings to limit background data usage, others don’t. For those apps, take charge manually.
Go to Settings > Data Usage. You’ll see all the apps that have used cellular data within a set time frame. Tap the app and turn off Background data.
Magnify Your Screen
One of the more useful hidden Android features for those with vision issues is the ability to magnify your screen. For older Android devices, go to Settings > Accessibility > Magnification gestures.
For newer Android devices, go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision. Turn on either Window zoom or Touch zoom. You can also change several other vision related settings for a better experience.
Save Articles to Read Offline
You don’t need a special app to save articles for offline reading later. All you need is Google Chrome and you’re all set. Navigate to the article and tap the Menu icon. Go to Share > Print > Choose Printer > Save as PDF. Voila! Now you’re article’s saved for later.
Related Read: Battery Draining Apps
Reduce Lock Screen Logins
Hate entering your password or pin dozens of times every day? Enable Smart Lock and you’ll avoid the hassle in trusted locations, such as when you’re at home or when it’s next to your body.
Go to Settings > Security & Location > Trust Agents. Turn on Smart Lock. On some Android devices, you may need to go to Fingerprints & Security instead. You’ll then be required to set up your trusted locations, body detection, face, and/or voice.
Boot Into Safe Mode
If you’re having problems with your device and want to see if it’s related to apps you’ve downloaded, you may need to boot into safe mode. This is one of the more useful hidden Android features for troubleshooting.
Press and hold the Power button on the back of your phone. Hold the Power off option until your device starts to reboot. You’ll see Safe Mode at the bottom. Simply restart as normal to boot back into standard mode.
Try out any or all of these hidden Android features to see which ones you love best.
Related Read: Does Your Android Smartphone Need Antivirus Protection?