Latest generation Android mobiles can benefit from all the new features that the platform is incorporating in the latest versions, but, unless you are a true expert, there will always be fringes of the system that you are not aware of. Did you know that you can open any application, setting or document from the general system search engine? And that you can take a photo or a selfie out loud or by pressing a button?
There are many possibilities offered by the Android platform and we are going to go through some of the best ones to get the most out of the devices. “Some of these tricks have completely changed the way I use my mobile,” explains Christian Collado, editor of the blog specializing in Android, andro4all, who has chosen the job of the search engine that we explain below as his favorite. And it is that, on many occasions, we use mobiles without knowing their full potential and thanks to small functions it can become much more useful. As always happens in this open operating system, it is possible that access to some of these tricks depends on the manufacturer, which generally places its own interface on top of the mobile’s Android base.
Take photos in a comfortable and automated way
The process of taking a photo from the mobile can be from very complex to almost automatic and without the need to touch any button; Android allows the user to choose how they want to use this popular feature. But logically we are going to focus on the easiest ways to take a snapshot: by pressing a physical button or using your voice. In the first case, in most mobile phones on the platform it is configured by default that when you press the power button twice for the camera app to run. In the second, it will be enough to say “Hey, Google, take a picture” or, “take a selfie”, for the system to shoot automatically; It should be remembered that in this second case, not only does the camera app open, but the photo is taken automatically at the end of a short timer on the screen.
Search for any item without going crazy
On many occasions we get lost in the system and between menus to locate a specific application or a document, ignoring that this can be done from the common system search engine without the need to specify what is being searched for. To perform a search for any file, application, photo or even settings, simply use the system search engine by sliding your finger down on the main screen. But you can also search using the Google search engine: just type the application you want to locate so that the system offers it at the bottom. Getting used to squeezing the potential of the system’s search engine will save us a lot of time.
Record what the screen shows
In what situations can it be useful to record what happens on the mobile screen? Let’s imagine that we want to show a friend or family member how to perform a function on the device and the steps to take, or if we want to share a video that is being played at that moment on the mobile… Those who have used this function are well aware of its utility, and on Android it has been possible for several versions. To make a recording —it can be done from any running application— you have to open the notification bar by sliding your fingers from top to bottom and click on “Record screen”; after a brief countdown, a recording will start from which we can select whether to include the audio or not. The sequence will be added to the photo library as one more video that can be shared later.
Reading in the dark without fatigue
Current mobiles usually have light sensors that adapt the brightness of the screen to the existing light conditions. This is especially useful for enjoying screen content under all circumstances, but also for optimizing battery consumption. However, the lower limit of brightness can be excessive when it is completely dark. What can be done in these cases? Android 12 responds to this problem with the “extra dim” function, which reduces the brightness of the screen to the minimum possible and well below the brightness offered by the system. To activate it, just press the “extra gray” button located in the shortcuts (available by sliding your fingers up and down). If the aforementioned button does not appear, it will be necessary to activate it through Settings / Accessibility / Vision improvements.
With the mobile on silent? Let me warn you with the flash
There are many circumstances in which one will be forced to leave the mobile on the table silent and, despite this, want to be aware of notifications. There are not a few situations in which external noise prevents us from hearing a call or message on the mobile; for both cases, the visual notification can be activated. Within the Accessibility section, there is the recommended Flash notification option (Settings/Accessibility/Flash notification): once activated, every time a notification arrives on the device (either a call or any warning), the flash will blink and in this way we can be informed when we do not have the mobile in our hands.
Mobile blocked? “Wake it up” with a few taps
This is another of the functions that not everyone knows about, and the one recommended by Antonio Sabán, coordinator of Genbeta, as something commonly used on your mobile: tap the screen a couple of times to “wake up” the device. That is, it is not necessary to hold the Android with your hands or press a button to see if we have missed a notification during a meal or when we have been absent leaving the mobile on the table: with a couple of touches with the finger on the screen, the Android device will show the received notifications (or their summary, depending on the configuration we have chosen) and on devices that support facial unlocking, it will even unlock the mobile with a couple of touches.