Billions of people around the world use Androids every day, but they may not be getting the most out of their devices. According to Statista, there are 1.6 billion Android users, so if you own one, you’re in good company. One major draw is the variety of apps that are not available anywhere else.
Many users argue that Android is superior to the iPhone because of its functionality and freedom of choice. Others adore Android because of its diverse, user-friendly features that can make life easier.
Some of these features, however, are hidden. That is why we compiled a list of some of the best Android features you may not be aware of. Check them out to see what you’re missing.
1. Use Google Assistant while you’re on hold.
Few things are more aggravating than being put on hold. The obnoxious elevator music that loops for hours can irritate the senses. You might even give up after a ridiculously long period of holding.
Good news: Google Assistant can weather the storm for you. Hold For Me is a feature that waits on hold for you. You can hang up the phone and go about your business.
When you are finally connected, Google Assistant notifies you that a support representative is available to speak with you. Even better, you can share your audio and transcript after the call to help improve the feature. Here’s how to enable it:
- Open the Phone app.
- Select More.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- To activate the setting, tap Hold for Me.
- You can also activate it during a phone call.
2. Enable Smart Lock.
This is a critical security feature. Set up Smart Lock to strengthen your phone’s defense system against hackers. To use it, you must first set up a screen lock. Then, go to Settings and select Smart Lock. Once you’ve entered your password, PIN, or pattern, you can select one of three options:
On-body detection: This feature keeps your Android unlocked while it is in motion or in your pocket. When you set it down, it locks. This is ideal for people who are constantly on the go and want their phone to be ready when they take it out of their purse or backpack.
Trusted locations: You must enable location permissions for this. Once you’ve done so, your phone will be unlocked while you’re in certain locations, such as your home.
Trusted devices: When your device is connected to certain devices, it remains unlocked.
To activate your Android’s Smart Lock feature, tap or click here.
3. Determine the source of annoying app notifications.
Notifications can be useful shortcuts that keep you up to date with your favorite content creators. They can also be extremely annoying, especially if you are not on silent. Don’t worry if tidal waves of notifications are constantly taking over your phone. Follow these steps to fight back against the rising tide.
If you’re still having trouble, here’s another suggestion. You can view your notification history to see which apps are causing the most problems with your phone. To do so, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Settings tab.
- Choose Apps & Notifications.
- Tap Notification.
- Then, tap Notification History.
- You’ll notice a toggle labeled Use Notification History. Turn it on.
It will be empty at first, but it will eventually store a log of all the notifications you receive. This is also useful if you unintentionally delete notifications. If you go to this menu, you can see if you missed anything important.
4. Use Data Saver to reduce data usage.
This is an excellent way to reduce cellular data usage. Data Saver is a mode that limits your data usage. It ensures that you do not exceed your limit, which could result in a hefty fine.
Data Saver limits and reduces the amount of data used by your background apps. Of course, there is a drawback: you will not receive notifications from apps that use push notifications, such as Gmail or Twitter. So, if you’re expecting an important email or message, you’ll have to manually check one of those background apps.
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Nonetheless, the advantages of Data Saver should not be overlooked. Follow these steps:
- Select Settings from the menu.
- Select Data Usage.
- Select Data Saver from the menu.
- Toggle the setting to On.
5. Alter the animation speed
If your Android is slow, try this trick. When switching between apps, menus, and windows, Android displays slick animations to make the transition smoother. Although it is visually appealing, it requires some time. If your phone’s battery is running low, these fancy animations may cause it to lag a little.
Fortunately, you can fix this by speeding up the animations. To begin, you must first enable Developer Options in Android. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Scroll down to About phone.
- Look for the Build number section.
- This is where things start to get weird. Tap the Build number until you see a pop-up message that says Developer mode is now enabled.
- A new section called Developer Options will be added to the Settings menu.
- After that, proceed with the following steps to adjust the animation speeds:
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Navigate to the new Developer Options section.
- Scroll down to find three new features: Window Animation Scale, Transition Animation Scale, and Animator Duration Scale.
6. Customize notifications from specific contacts
If your phone is constantly buzzing with notifications, you might miss something important. Perhaps you’re waiting for an important message from a friend. You can give them a distinct sound to ensure you don’t miss it.
This way, their notification stands out from the crowd. Follow these steps to customize a specific contact’s notification sound:
- First, launch the Messages app.
- Choose a conversation you had with the contact for whom you want to create a custom notification tone.
- Select the three dots in the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap the Details button.
- Select Notifications, then Advanced.
- Select Sound.
- Select the sound you want and press OK.
7. Use your voice to wake up the phone.
You don’t need your hands to pick up your phone and use Google Assistant. You can use Google’s Voice Match feature to say, “Hey Google.” First, you must train Google Assistant to recognize your voice:
While using your Android phone or tablet, say, “Hey Google, open Assistant settings.”
- Scroll down to Popular settings.
- Select Voice Match.
- Turn on Hey Google.
- Choose the Voice model.
- Select Retrain voice model from the menu.
- To record your voice, follow the instructions on your screen.