You don't have to be hearing impaired to appreciate one of Android's best audio accessibility features. This one can notify you when a baby is crying, a smoke alarm is going off, or when various nefarious sounds such as breaking glass are heard.
QR codes are so handy. Nowadays, all you have to do to scan one is open your phone's camera app and tap a button. But creating one is a different story — online QR code generators aren't always trustworthy, and most phones don't have a built-in feature for it. Thankfully, Google Chrome now does.
Apple just rolled out the of iOS 14.5 to developers and beta testers, and one of the headlining features is the ability to keep your iPhone unlocked when your Apple Watch is nearby. As these things tend to go, Android has actually had this same feature for years, though it isn't quite as polished.
Things tend to get noisy when you're in a big group chat, which is why the notification sound for that thread shouldn't be your standard, attention-grabbing ringtone. But you don't want to set the default notification sound to something too subtle, otherwise you'd miss messages that actually matter.
Everyone raves about Gboard and SwiftKey, but the stock Samsung Keyboard on Galaxy devices is awesome in its own right. It's preloaded, so you don't have to do anything to get it, but at the same time, it's packed with features — even some you might not know about.
There's an official way to install apps onto your Android phone using basically any device that has internet access — heck, you can even download new apps from an iPhone and they'll install in seconds on your Android device.
Waking up to buzzing alarm clock is so 20th century. Wouldn't it better if the first sound you heard in the morning was your favorite song? Whether it's a track to get you motivated or something to put a smile on your face, a song can do wonders for your mood and help you start the day right.
Not trying to gatekeep here, but if you're not customizing things on your Android phone, you're doing it wrong. Still, I won't shame you for not knowing what to do if you take this time to learn how to make one of the biggest changes you can make.
Compared to Apple's iOS, the Android operating system has earned a reputation for giving smartphone users more customization options up front — but there are even more Android features to customize hidden from plain view behind secret menus like the developer options. Despite its name, Android's developer options can benefit everyone, but you have to unlock them first.
How To: Check Your Android Security Patch Level to See if You're Protected Against the Latest Vulnerabilities
Numerous potential exploits are found for every operating system each month, and Android is no exception. Trouble is, lots of Android devices don't receive timely updates — but many are now getting regular monthly security patches to at least shore up these vulnerabilities.
If you save your passwords in Chrome or even just use Android's default password manager, Google has some new security tools you'll be interested in.
Android's open source nature means it gets modified quite a bit. First, the phone manufacturer will add their customizations, then your carrier will add even more on top of that. Between the two, someone almost always adds a startup sound so that you and everyone around you will hear their jingle every time your phone reboots.
With Samsung's One UI 3.0 update, the main on-screen volume slider has a little menu button on the top of it. Tapping this will expand the slider into a full-blown volume panel, complete with controls for all of the various types of sounds your Galaxy might make. Standard stuff, really, but there's more to it.
Ever typed out a long message on your phone only to find several errors after you hit send? Proofreading would fix this, but anyone who's spent time trying to edit on a smartphone knows how difficult it is. Thankfully, Gboard makes this task easier.
Android phones finally have a true AirDrop alternative called "Nearby Share." The new feature was added through an update to the Google Play Services app that comes pre-installed on all Android devices in the US, so you don't even have to wait on a firmware upgrade — it's just there.
If you're using Samsung's default keyboard on a Galaxy or Gboard on any Android phone, here's a cool trick you should know about.
In the past, if you upgraded to a new Galaxy or if you had to factory reset your existing one to fix an issue, you had to restore your home screen layout manually. Your wallpaper, widgets, icon placement, and launcher settings were all dependent on you to be put back in their place. Thankfully, this isn't an issue anymore.
When using your right hand, Gboard's one-handed mode will help you type faster with a single thumb. But not all of us hold our phones the same way — some of us prefer our left hand or hold our phones higher or lower than where the keyboard is positioned. But with the latest version of Gboard, you can change this.
If your phone has an A/B partition layout, there are two virtual hard drives that each contain a copy of Android. After every restart, it picks a partition to boot from, then the other lays idle. The idle partition can be overwritten with a new copy of the OS and it won't affect the active one. So the next time you reboot, it just switches partitions and it's as if you updated instantly.
Not every app is designed well. With nearly 3 million apps on the Play Store and countless more that you can sideload from other sources, there are bound to be a few stinkers. And many of them do a terrible job using RAM.