Google’s Android operating system has just reached the release of Version 11, known simply as Android 11, having abandoned the dessert-based theme names after Android 9 Pie. It’s the biggest smartphone operating system in the world and 85% of the smartphones globally run it. In fact, as of April 2019, over 35% of the cellular phones on earth run a version of Google Android. With so many versions over the 12 years since the release of the first version, it now has a rich set of features with many more added with each iteration of the operating system. You naturally won’t be aware of all of them. Here are five Android features that are incredibly useful that you might not even know about.
Picture-in-Picture is nothing new, but some people might not be aware that they can do it right on their smartphone. The behaviour will happen by default if you’re playing a video and leave the app, but you can see a list of supported apps by going to the Apps and Notifications section of the Android settings.
Location Based Phone Locking
If you’re at home, you might not want to have to unlock your phone every time you want to use it and that’s where Android’s Smart Lock feature comes in. In the settings screen for security, you’ll find the option to enable Smart Lock and set the locations you want to enable this feature.
Wi-Fi Credential Sharing
You can share the Wi-Fi details stored on your phone using a QR code to another Android device, which is great news if you have a long, complex string of letters and numbers for your password. Simply navigate your way into the Wi-Fi settings in the main settings on your Android phone and tap ‘share’. You’ll need Android 10 or later for this trick, so if you’re taking advantage of the TCL 10L Design you’ll be set.
Turning on Your Device with an Alarm
If you’re running low on battery power and you don’t have ready access to a charger but still rely on your Android smartphone’s alarm to wake you up in the morning, you might do well making use of this feature. There isn’t anything you actually need to do to set this up because it’s default behaviour on some phones. Simply set your alarm (or alarms if you’re a fan of the snooze button) and turn off your smartphone. Android will automatically turn it back on a minute or so before your scheduled alarm to make sure you’re roused from your slumber without risking a dead battery.
Quick App Switching
If you find yourself multitasking in your smartphone and switching between apps, you might be pleased to know that you can quickly and easily switch between the last two used apps on your Android smartphone. To do this, you simply have to double tap on the square to switch to the last app you were using. Tapping it once will bring up your recently used apps if you need to go further back, but the double tap to switch apps is a useful feature, particularly if you’re copy-pasting text between apps.
These are just five of hundreds of features you’ll find in the Android operating system. You’ll probably have some of your favourite hidden gems you like to share, so add these to your Android features if they suit the way you work.