Hidden in your Android smartphone: Ingenious features you should know about

Android runs on the majority of the world’s smartphones. However, many great features of Google’s operating system are well hidden. In this article, as well as in the video, we present five tricks for your Android smartphone that will make it easier for you to use.

Google’s mobile operating system Android has been enriched by numerous great features over the years and has become so versatile that some helpful functions are downright lost. In this article, we’ll introduce you to five hidden Android functions that can make using your smartphone even more convenient or, in case of doubt, even increase the likelihood that you’ll get your phone back if it’s lost.

Android: Start smartphone camera immediately via the button trick

Android: Start smartphone camera immediately via the button trick

Snapshots have to be quick. Often, scenes or situations only last a few seconds, then the chance is lost. However, Android offers users a way to access the camera from anywhere within half a second. It does not matter whether the smartphone is locked, you are playing a game or writing a WhatsApp message. All you have to do to call up the camera in a flash is press the power button twice in quick succession. The camera starts directly and you can immediately start snapping pictures.

Note: Huawei also has this feature. However, you do not have to press the power button here to activate it, but the volume down button twice. This function has to be activated in the camera app for the first time.

Using two Android apps in parallel

Using two Android apps in parallel

Android offers the possibility to run two apps in parallel. Thus, one app takes up the upper half of the screen, the second app the lower part of the screen. This feature is especially handy for smartphones with a large display. For example, you can watch a YouTube video and chat on WhatsApp at the same time. To activate the function, go to the view of the last opened apps. From here on, the activation differs depending on the Android version:

Up to Android 8 Oreo: Press and hold an app and drag it to the blue area at the top of the screen. The app will then minimize itself so that you can select the second app. Click on it and both apps will run in parallel.

From Android 9 Pie: Click on the app icon at the top of a recently used program. In the menu that now opens, click on “Open in split-screen view” and the app will then minimize itself so that you can select the second app. Click on This and both apps will run in parallel.

Make calls on Android with just one click

Make calls on Android with just one click

If you are calling a person over and over again, then a direct dial shortcut might be helpful. This shortcut behaves just like an app on the homescreen. If you then click on this shortcut, a contact you set in advance will be called directly. This saves you from having to go through the phone app and the recently called contacts. To set such a shortcut, open the widget view and scroll down to the widgets of the “Contacts” app. Here, add the “Direct dial” widget. After dropping it on the home screen, you can directly select a contact you want. Now click on the shortcut and the contact you set will be called directly without any delay.

Fix Android apps to the foreground

If you give your smartphone to another person to show them something and you are afraid that this person will open other apps and read private data, then you can fix an app. The currently opened app then remains in the foreground and cannot be closed without further ado. If you now want to leave the app again, you will land on the lock screen and have to enter your password. Only then is the app unlocked and other apps can be opened again.

The activation differs depending on the Android version used:

Up to Android 8 Oreo: Press and hold the Back button and the Last used button of the navigation bar at the same time. You are now in the pinned state.

From Android 9 Pie: Open the recently used apps view. Click on the app icon at the top of a recently used program. In the menu that now opens, click on “Fix app” and fixes itself automatically. This functionality applies to all navigation types of Android.

Create Finder message on the lock screen

The last function provides a remedy if you are afraid of losing your phone and want to leave a message for a potential finder. Thus, this person can find a way to contact you despite the locked smartphone. To add this message go to the settings and click on the “Display” item. Here, select “Lock screen display” and then add a message from you under the item “Lock screen message”. You can immediately see this on the lock screen.