Five Android Features You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard of

Five Android Features You've (Maybe) Never Heard of

Google’s operating system offers a number of well-hidden features that would benefit from being known.

Whether it’s sharing your Wi-Fi code via a line of QR code or automating the locking and unlocking of a mobile device, Android, Google’s operating system, has several features that are little known to the general public. Here are five worth checking out.

1. Use Google Map offline

This feature is very useful abroad. Indeed, the lack of cellular service during travel is often an issue with the consequences of the impossibility of obtaining navigation instructions on Google Map.

This can be remedied by downloading the desired map data for offline use. Open Google Map, click the profile icon at the top right, and then hit the “Offline map” button. Google Map will then suggest the user to download the map of the desired city.

Google Map Screenshot
Google Map screenshot © Louis Mbembe

After the operation is performed, you must return to the “Offline map” tab to view the recovered map. Because a phone’s GPS service is not directly tied to an operator, it is possible to find yourself in the city while recording data.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google

2. Split screen to use two apps at the same time

In this case, the first app fills the top half of the screen, and the second fills the bottom half. This is a useful option for watching videos on YouTube while chatting with a friend in a messaging app, for example.

To do this, you need to open an application and then open the multi-window view by pressing the dedicated button in the navigation bar. Different applications open on the smartphone are displayed in a carousel with their respective icons.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google Map

A long press on the application icon will display a pop-up menu with different functions. Clicking “Open in split view” will display the selected application in the upper half of the smartphone screen. Now all you have to do is select the other app that will open at the bottom.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google

3. “Smart Lock” to unlock the phone in a trusted place

“Smart Lock” proposes to automate the locking and unlocking of a mobile phone within Bluetooth range of a device considered safe or where security measures are not required. Therefore, this function does not have to constantly enter a PIN code or scan a fingerprint to perform these two operations.

To configure it, you need to open the “Settings” menu and then go to “Security” and “Smart Lock”. There, the phone prompts the user to enter their PIN. Once the operation has been performed, it is possible to add a trust as well as disable the security device near a Bluetooth device considered safe, for example a connected watch.

Screenshot
Screenshot © Screenshot

4. Hide an app

Some smartphone users don’t always want some of their apps to be in sight of others. However, it is possible to hide them without deleting them or storing them in a folder hidden in another folder. To do this, go to the “Search” bar located in the app drawer and click on the three little dots on the right.

Screenshot
Screenshot © LM

Then you have to go to “Settings” and click on the “Hide applications” tab in the menu that appears. These are displayed and the user only has to select what they want to hide. The apps then become invisible, but are still installed.

Screenshot
Screenshot © LM

5. Share your Wi-Fi network credentials with QR code

It’s not easy to remember an extended Wi-Fi network identifier to share with a loved one. However, it is possible to display a QR code on a phone’s screen that will allow anyone who scans it to connect to that Wi-Fi network. To do this, you must keep pressing the “Wi-Fi” button in the control center. and click on the gear wheel of the corresponding network.

Screenshot
Screenshot © LM
Screenshot
Screenshot © LM

Here, the QR code option appears at the bottom. All the person asking for the password has to do is scan the QR code in question and their phone will immediately connect to Wi-Fi.

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