Five Android Features You (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 QR code or automating the locking and unlocking of a mobile, Android, Google’s operating system, has several features that are little known to the general public. Here are five that are worth checking out.

1. Use Google Map offline

This feature is very useful abroad. Indeed, the absence of cellular service while traveling is often a problem with the consequences of the impossibility of obtaining navigation directions on Google Map.

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

Google Map Screenshot
Google Map screenshot © Louis Mbembe

Once the operation has been carried out, you must return to the “Offline map” tab to be able to consult the recovered map. Since the GPS service of a telephone is not directly connected to an operator, it is then possible to locate oneself in the city while saving data.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google

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

In this case, the first application fills the upper half of the screen, the second the lower half. This is a handy option for, say, watching a video on YouTube while chatting with a friend on a messaging app.

To do this, you must open an application then open the multi-window view by pressing the dedicated button in the navigation bar. The different applications open on the smartphone are then displayed in a carousel with their corresponding icon.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google Map

By long-pressing the application icon, a drop-down menu is displayed with different functionalities. By clicking on “Open in split view”, the selected application will be displayed in the upper half of the smartphone screen. All you have to do now is choose the other application to open in the lower part.

Google Map Screenshot
Screenshot Google Map © Google

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

“Smart Lock” offers to automate the locking and unlocking of a mobile when the latter is within Bluetooth range of a device deemed safe or in places where security measures are not required. This function therefore avoids having to constantly enter a PIN code or scan a fingerprint to carry out these two operations.

To configure it, you have to open the “Settings” menu then go to “Security” and “Smart Lock”. There, the phone asks to enter the user’s PIN. Once the operation has been carried out, it is then possible to add a place of trust as well as to deactivate the security device near a Bluetooth device considered to be secure, for example a connected watch.

Screenshot
Screenshot © Screenshot

4. Hide an app

Some smartphone users do not always want to have some of their applications within sight of others. However, it is possible to hide them without having to delete them or store them in a folder that is itself hidden in another folder. To do this, go to the “Search” bar located in the application drawer and click on the three small dots on the right.

Screenshot
Screenshot © LM

You must then go to “Settings” and, in the menu that appears, click on the “Hide applications” tab. These are displayed and the user only has to select those he wishes to hide. The applications 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 it with a loved one. However, it is possible to display a QR code on the screen of a telephone which will allow anyone who scans it to connect to this Wi-Fi network. To do this, you must keep pressing the “Wi -Fi” in the control center and click on the cog wheel of the network concerned.

Screenshot
Screenshot © LM
Screenshot
Screenshot © LM

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


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