Interesting Android Facts
Android has been the most popular mobile OS for some time now. Reportedly, over 1.4 billion Android devices have been activated. If you’re reading this, chances are, you are using an android device! Over, the years, users have tailored the Android experience to their needs and have their devices set up for maximum productivity. Google has constantly updated the Android OS to bring about some great changes in the user experience. However, some of these changes are so subtle that they slip under your radar. Whether they are minor changes to existing features, new introductions to your device or even cool older tricks, you can’t keep track of them all! So, we have compiled for you a list of the best android facts that you might not be aware of.
10 Best Android Phone Facts
Following are the best android phone facts:
1. Locate a lost Android device and remotely wipe it
All of us (well, most of us!) have experienced losing our phones, at some point in time. It feels horrible. Especially, in this day and age, where there is a lot of sensitive information on our devices. Phones have truly become an extension of ourselves. So, to stop you from fretting and running all over looking for your Android, Google has made the incredibly cool Android device manager.
Dropped your phone somewhere in the house? It’s got you covered! Left it at the mall after a day of shopping? It’s got you covered. Your phone is inaccessible and you don’t want anyone snooping? It’s got you covered.
All you need to do is make sure that your device is:
- Connected to the internet (either through WiFi or mobile data)
- You have signed into Google from your device
- Then, visit this link: https://www.google.com/android/find?u=0 and sign in
Android device manager then allows you to see the location of your device on Google maps, ring it, lock and reset its device password and finally, erase all data on your device. This amazing feature allows is extremely helpful and makes that phone you might’ve lost get back into your pocket!
2. Android Facts – Offline maps
I’d be lying if I told you that I could navigate within my city without my phone. Google Maps has been the ultimate tool to traverse any geographical location. Google has probably mapped out the narrowest streets and the thickest jungles and has got me out of a jam (literally!) more times than I can count.
I would imagine that many of you, like myself, have become dependent on Google Maps, and its absence would really affect the time it would take to drive down to anywhere unfamiliar. So what would happen if you would lose connectivity to the internet while driving? Sure does sound problematic. Well, no. Google’s got you covered here too because you can download the map of a specific area into your device.
You can take any map offline by following these simple steps:
- Open the Maps app on your android device
- Tap the search bar and scroll down to the bottom
- Tap ‘Download a new offline area’
- Select the specific area you want to take offline and press download
Voila. That is all you need to do never be away from Google Android Maps. You may not be able to use the navigation feature without the internet and GPS, however, the maps would still be better than having nothing!
3. Android Facts – Customizable quick settings
The quick settings and notifications introduced by Android were innovative and revolutionary. They quickly became the feature most consumers associated android with. The ease of access that came along with this interface was like no other in the market.
Over the years, the quick settings UI has seen quite the drastic changes. The overhauled quick settings in Lollipop were a much needed to change to the interface. It did away with the blocky clutter and made the UI much smoother. This, along with bringing all the important toggles in the spotlight made the quick settings UI shine. However, its rigidity left something to be desired. This is fixed in the latest Android update. So, if your device is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, a hidden menu can give you the access to play around with the quick settings and the status bar.
To access the secret ‘System UI Tuner’ follow these steps:
- Open quick settings by swiping down on the notifications twice or use a two-finger swipe
- Press and hold down the gear in the top right corner until it starts spinning (tapping it would just open up the settings)
- Let go after 5 seconds and you would receive a pop-up “Congrats! System UI Tuner has been added to Settings.”
- Head to the settings and scroll down to the system settings head and open the System UI Tuner
- Opening it for the first time would give you a notification. Press ‘GOT IT’ to continue
Now, you have the chance to play around with the quick settings tiles, the status bar and even add a percentage to the battery icon on the status bar!
4. Android Facts – Text selection
Talking about things that got changed in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the text selection system got a cool new re-design.
The new text selection menu, instead of creating a menu at the top of the screen now just appears as a floating toolbar over the highlighted. The confusing button layout has been replaced by clear-cut text.
Other than cut/copy/paste, the new toolbar has been upgraded with some swanky new features. Pressing the menu button on the toolbar will present you some unique options. The share button opens the standard Android share dialog box and lets you move that text across Android apps. You can even translate text via the toolbar if you have Google Translate installed. Not only that, android applications can put in their own options in the toolbar like the Google Docs app giving you the option to ‘insert link’.
5. Android Facts – Google Now
Google’s snappy intelligent personal assistant is probably one of my most used features on my android phone. It keeps track of literally everything. Scores of your favorite sports teams, a schedule for your upcoming flights, relevant news stories, location-based restaurant suggestions. The list is endless. And the best part is this integration is seamless, even if you’re using more than one device. The one feature I enjoy using the most is the voice-activated search. All you need to do is utter “OK Google” at any time while using your device, and Google Now will pop up. From here, you can set alarms, appointments, call anyone on your phone book or just do a regular Google search. Here’s how to activate voice recognition:
- Go to the ‘Google’ app in your app drawer
- Tap the button on the top left corner or simply swipe left
- Select settings
- Go to voice and open “Ok Google” detection
- Enable ‘From any screen’ and train your voice model
It is also possible for Google Now to read through the text on your screen and give you results on anything interesting – movies, locations, events etc. This feature, however, is only available on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
6. Android Facts – Multiple Users
Are you hesitant of handing over your phone to kids, wondering if they’ll make a call by mistake? Or just don’t want to hand it over to your friend because you they’ll mess around? Do you have a tablet you would like to share with someone but can’t of a viable way to do it?
Well, Android has a well-integrated multi-user system that could be the answer to all your worries. This feature allows you to set up different profiles for other users and much more. To create another profile you just need to:
- Go to settings
- Scroll down and select ‘Users’
- Here you get the option to select a ‘Guest’ or set up a new user
The guest profile allows you to set up a temporary profile. You can choose to allow this profile to make calls by tapping the gear next to the ‘Guest’ option in the ‘Users’ menu. To switch back, simply swipe down on the notifications twice to access quick settings and tap the portrait in the top right corner. This will delete the ‘Guest’ profile.
Everything is similar if you wish to create another user profile except that this profile won’t be deleted on switching back, but can only be removed by going to the ‘Users’ menu in the original profile.
7. Android Facts – Smart Lock
Constantly unlocking your Android phone becomes a drag at times. Cue in ‘Smart Lock’. Smart Lock is an interesting feature that, minimizes the inconvenience that you will face having a lock on your phone while not compromising on the safety of your device.
Smart Lock will provide you with various options to toggle the lock on your device. It will automatically disable the lock on your device if it is connected to a trusted device like a smartwatch, the Bluetooth in your car or an NFC tag. Similarly, you can set up this automatic unlocking at a trusted location like your home or office, with your face or voice and even make it stay unlocked with your body movements.
If your device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow the ‘Smart Lock’ option can be simply found by going to Settings>Security>Smart Lock. However, If it runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop, the smart lock can be enabled by:
- Go to settings and scroll down to security
- Find trusted agents at the bottom of the menu and toggle ‘Smart Lock (Google)’
- Scroll back up and find the ‘Smart Lock’
8. Android Facts – Developer Mode
Developer mode gives you a slew of options which you’ll probably never use, but are cool to have on your device and are fun to play around with. Developer mode, however, is Android’s worst kept secret, as you need to jump through some hoops to get access to them.
To get the developer options, follow these steps:
- Go to settings and scroll down to ‘About Phone’
- Find ‘Build Number’ seven times
- You will get pop-up telling you that you are now a developer
- Simply go back to settings and you will now be able to find ‘Developer Options’
Developer options have the slew of features that are probably not very useful for you but are incredibly fun to check out. One feature that I personally like to use reducing the animations to 0.5x. This makes the device snappier and more responsive. Mess around with these options and see if you find anything to your liking!
9. Android Facts – Easter Egg
Speaking of jumping through hoops to getting access, what would be a Google product with one of their trademark Easter eggs? Like the Lollipop-themed Flappy bird clone in the last iteration of Android, the current android version too has a true to its name marshmallow flavored Flappy bird clone. To get to the game by:
- Go to settings and locate ‘About Phone’
- Scroll down to the ‘Android Version’ and tap it until a symbol on the screen appears
- Long press it to launch the game
Let me warn you though, this game is incredibly hard! I myself haven’t been able to score more than 5. Can you beat my score?
10. Android Facts – Multi Window
Are you an advanced user and want something fancy? Well then, this one is for you.
The multi-window feature present in the Samsung Galaxy series can now be used in your own devices if it runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Multi Window allows you to prop open more than one application together on the same screen. It basically facilitates true multi-tasking.
To get access to the amazing feature, all you need to have is an understanding of rooting and flashing and just follow the instructions in this link.
So, this concludes my list of obscure or unknown Android phone facts that might help you in enjoying your device more.
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