Android phones have several native features that, when activated, can improve your browsing and productivity. Some of them can be very useful in everyday life, such as the possibility to customize notifications, insert application shortcuts and duplicate software to use them in two different accounts – such as WhatsApp. In addition, setting modes such as “Snooze” and services such as Gboard can also bring convenience. Here are seven Android features that will change the way you use your phone.
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1. Using Gboard and its customization options
Gbord is Google’s keyboard and comes standard on some Android phones. The service has several customization options to improve its usability. One of the tools, for example, allows you to create shortcuts to ready-made responses. That way, a frequently submitted term can be retrieved only by typing the first three letters.
Another feature of Gboard is the creation of custom emoji, which combines stickers to form a new one. The app also has the option to save data from the clipboard, which allows you to view a recent history of everything that has been copied and pasted. Yet another possibility of the service is to change the layout, such as to be able to use it with one hand. See here the main functions of the Google keyboard.
Gboard allows you to save messages to be added by shortcut — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
Inserting shortcuts for apps is another native feature that can be useful, as they allow you to break down submenus of certain apps. So, instead of having to open an app and search for the desired tab within it, the shortcut has the specific icon already on the phone’s home screen. In the case of YouTube, for example, the tabs that can be turned into shortcuts are “Search”, “Subscriptions” and “Explore”. It is worth mentioning, however, that not all platforms allow you to do this.
To add a shortcut on the home screen, find the desired app and press it for a few seconds. Tap the desired menu and drag it to the home screen. That way, the shortcut will be fixed as if it were another app on the phone. When opening it, the forwarding to the chosen tab will be done automatically.
Learn how to insert tab shortcuts on Android — Photo: Reproduction/Flávia Fernandes
The guest mode of Android allows you to change the current account for another one that “resets” the factory system, which has only the standard mobile applications. In this version, all photos, videos, bank details and personal apps cannot be viewed. Thus, the feature works as an incognito mode, and can be useful for people who want to borrow their cell phone or want more privacy and security.
To activate, go to “Settings” > “Users & Accounts” > “Users” > “Guest”. To reverse the process, just go to the same screen again and tap on “Remove Guest”. After returning to the original account, all data and history performed on the Guest Mode account will be deleted.
Guest mode can be activated for more privacy on Android phones – with the exception of Samsung models. — Photo: Reproduction/Lucas Mendes
4. Different Do Not Disturb Rules
The “Do Not Disturb” mode allows calls and alerts to be silenced for a period of time or until the button is deactivated. The feature is usually present in the quick setting bar and can be enabled easily. However, what many users do not know is that it is possible to customize different rules for “Do Not Disturb”.
You can, for example, schedule a specific time for silent mode to be activated automatically every day. In addition, you can also configure exceptions to the schedules – such as allowing only calls to sound at the silenced time, for example. To activate the function, press “Settings” > “Sound” or “Notifications” > “Do not disturb”. On the screen, customize the role’s rules – such as appointment scheduling, exceptions, and additional features.
Choose what are priorities in “Do not disturb” mode on Android — Photo: Reproduction / Taysa Coelho
5. ‘Snooze’ mode on notifications
The “snooze” mode makes it possible to snooze a notification so that it appears later. The feature can be useful for those who don’t want to completely remove a notification, but also don’t want to view it at that moment. The function allows the app alert to reappear on the screen after a certain period, such as 15 minutes or an hour.
To activate the function, when a notification is received, drag it a little to the left or right. When the clock icon or “Zzz” appears, just tap on it, then choose your custom time.
6. Use app ‘clones’
Another possibility of Android is to duplicate applications – such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and others. The functionality “clones” the software and makes it possible for it to be used on different accounts. It is possible, for example, to log into two WhatsApp accounts at the same time – as a personal and a professional one.
The function is available natively on mobile phones from some brands, such as Samsung, Xiaomi and OnePlus. Each version has a different name for the feature, such as Dual Messenger on Samsung and Parallel Apps on OnePlus. On other models, you can download a cloning app from Google Play, such as Parallel Space.
On Samsung, the feature can be activated in “Settings” > “Advanced Features” > “Dual Messenger”. Choose the available app and the app will be cloned on the device. With the Parallel Space application, it is necessary to open it, tap on the desired application and choose the option “Add to Parallel Space”. The app will be added to the platform. Then just press it in the app to run activation and cloning.
It is possible to duplicate apps to be used with two accounts — Photo: Reproduction/Raquel Freire
7. Use ‘always on’ mode
Several Android phones have the “Always On” mode, which keeps the screen on and displays information chosen by the user – such as time, temperature and date. The function is available on devices with an AMOLED screen, a technology that allows for more fluidity and image quality.
If your smartphone doesn’t have the function natively, there are apps available on the Play Store that fulfill the same function. One of them is Always On AMOLED, which has the feature for free and offers the possibility to keep notifications and other data always enabled on the cell phone screen.
You can set a time interval for the Always On Display to turn itself off (Photo: Reproduction/Filipe Garrett) — Photo: TechTudo
with information from MakeUseOf and ComputerWorld
See too: Four Things You Should Never Do on Your Android Phone
Four Things You Should Never Do on Your Android Phone