Android smartphones and tablets already come with a lot of features that its competitors (read: iOS and Windows) don’t have. But these commonly-used features are just actually the tip of the iceberg! There are many other functionalities on these mobile devices that are just waiting to be unlocked.
Hence, here are 5 underutilized functions that people should actually start using, or at least be aware of:
1. Developer Options Menu
Want to show where the pointer is when you’re tapping the touchscreen on your smartphone or tablet? Or ensure that your device’s screen remains turned on while charging? Just want to get geeky and check out all the minute details of your phone? Then unlock the hidden Developer Options menu on your Android phone.
While this menu was once easily accessible on older Android versions, if you’re running version 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and above, you still need to activate it. To do so, simply go to the Settings menu of your device then open the About Device (also called About Phone or About Tablet) section. Once there, tap the Build Number option seven times. It will show you the message “You are now 4 steps away from being a developer” after three taps, and “Developer mode has been enabled” after the seventh tap. When that message appears, you can now check Settings for the new Developer Options menu.
2. Google Now
Move over, Siri. With its improved version (Google Now on Tap) now on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), this feature is not only limited to voice search. Acting as a launcher with a minimalist design, it fetches data from various apps and online services such as the weather and news updates. On top of that, you can also add your own reminders on this app.
3. Mobile Data Limits
In this age of unlimited-but-with-caps cellphone plans, it’s important to keep tabs on the amount of data that you’ve already used and set appropriate limits. To do so, simply go to Settings and tap the Data Usage option. Then you can just drag the horizontal bars on the chart to set the appropriate limits.
4. Android Device Manager
Can’t find your phone and you’ve forgotten to install an app for locating it? Don’t panic. Use the Android Device Manager to locate your device—and you don’t need to install anything on your smartphone or tablet to activate it. Simply go to Google.com and type the phrase “find my phone”. It can track down your phone down to a 30-meter radius. Just make sure that your phone’s linked to your Google account and that Remote Lock and Erase is activated in your Security settings, or else it won’t work.
5. Hidden Game
If you’re bored and just wanting to kill time, you don’t even need to download anything. Starting from Android 2.3 Gingerbread, each version of Android has an Easter egg—in the form of a game. To launch the game, simply go to Settings, then the About Phone menu and tap the “Android version” field quickly from 4 to 5 times. For Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and 6.0 (Marshmallow), it’s a game inspired by the cult hit Flappy Bird. Happy playing!
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