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Display recording, Good Lock and Android’s different finest hidden options

Your Android telephone has a treasure trove of hidden options. 

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A part of the attraction of utilizing an Android telephone is the wide range of {hardware} and software program choices. For example, the expertise you get from a Google Pixel telephone may be very totally different from what a Galaxy S21 gives, and then you definately add OnePlus into the combination and the expertise diverges much more. That mentioned, the core Android expertise stays almost the identical. All three producers use Android, sharing the identical options — a few of that are hidden. 

And now that Google has launched the first developer beta of Android 12 (which you’ll be able to set up should you like dwelling on the sting), the staple Android options are solely getting higher, and there are positive to be extra hidden options. 

Take display recording for example. It is a characteristic that you could be not even notice Google added with the rollout of Android 11, but it surely’s there, simply ready that will help you showcase your gaming expertise. Additionally, the capability to make use of two apps on the identical time will not be solely one thing iPhone customers can solely dream about but it surely’s additionally downright helpful and constructed into your Android telephone (this characteristic is not new, a minimum of for Pixel telephones) — you simply should know the place to look. Certainly one of my favourite hidden options is known as Good Lock, a device that retains my telephone unlocked once I’m at dwelling, then reverts again to requiring my fingerprint or PIN code once I depart. It is handy and it permits me to maintain my telephone safe once I’m not at dwelling. 

Be mindful, the options under could not look or work precisely the identical on each telephone, and that is as a result of totally different Android machine producers like to make use of distinctive interfaces. My recommendation? Use the search bar on the high of the Settings app should you’re struggling to discover a characteristic. 


You may lastly file your display with an official Google device. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

1. Have Android 11? Use the built-in display recorder

As a substitute of taking a screenshot to indicate off your new all-time excessive rating or seize a notification or app problem, use Android 11’s new built-in display recorder. Google launched Android 11 final September, however as is normally the case with main Android updates, it is as much as the device-maker to roll out the replace.       

As soon as your telephone is up to date to Android 11, you may discover a new Display File button within the Fast Settings panel. Swipe down from the highest of your display to entry the panel; you could have to swipe to the left to view extra settings choices, or you possibly can faucet the edit button to maneuver Display File to the entrance panel. 

When you activate Display File, you may be requested if you wish to seize audio, both simply the sound made by the app you are utilizing or each the machine and audio captured by the microphone — useful for strolling somebody via troubleshooting or organising an app. To cease recording, faucet the Display File notification. The video can be saved to your telephone’s gallery or digital camera roll, the place you possibly can then edit and share it. 


Take management of alerts and notifications. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

2. Quiet the notifications that may wait

Bored with each single notification inflicting your telephone to bleep or boop? Inform your Android telephone if you need an app to present silent alerts by long-pressing on the alert till you set off a immediate, asking if you need the notification to be marked as an Alert or Silent

Alert will enable the apps’ notifications to play sounds and present up on the lock display, whereas Silent mode will mute the alert, however nonetheless make it seen in your notification tray. 


Reside Caption is big from an accessibility standpoint. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

3. Add captions to any video or podcast

Reside Caption is a powerful, but comparatively new characteristic that is slowly making its method to extra gadgets. When energetic, it provides real-time captions to any video, podcast or voice word in your telephone. It would not matter if the video you are watching is muted — Reside Caption will nonetheless transcribe it for you. 

Because it was first introduced final 12 months, Google has expanded its Reside Caption characteristic past the Pixel telephone lineup to included Samsung’s newest telephones, together with the Notice 20 and the OnePlus 8 sequence. There is not an official listing of supported gadgets, so far as I can inform, and your telephone should be operating Android 10 to ensure that it to work. 

To activate Reside Caption (or examine in case your telephone is supported), open the Settings app and seek for Reside Caption. The Reside Caption toggle is in a distinct place on the Pixel 4 ($600 at Walmart), Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 ($410 at Amazon)

After turning on Reside Caption, anytime you start enjoying a video — even should you depart the amount turned off — a small black field will present up in your display giving real-time captions of no matter’s being mentioned. 

Clearly, these aren’t captions ready by a human upfront, to allow them to be much less correct at occasions, but it surely’s nonetheless rather well achieved and a characteristic that each telephone ought to have, not simply Android. You may be taught extra in regards to the characteristic and methods to use it in our full information (together with methods to restrict profanity). 


Break up Display is simple to make use of on an Android telephone. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

4. Use two apps on the identical time

Certainly one of my favourite options in Android is with the ability to have two apps on the display on the identical time. It is helpful once I’m a Google Doc and sending an e mail, or once I’m trying up a recipe and sending the ingredient listing in Messages. But when you have not achieved it earlier than, it isn’t instantly clear methods to put apps in split-screen mode. 

Faucet the app switcher button, or should you’re utilizing Android’s gesture navigation, swipe up from the underside of the display to enter the multitasking view and faucet on the app icon on the high of an app’s card or thumbnail adopted by Break up Display. The primary app will slide to the highest of the display, and the multitasking view will take up the underside part of your display. Both choose one other app from the multitasking view or launch an app from your own home display or app drawer. Not each app will assist split-screen mode, and the one method I can determine to inform if an app will work on this mode is just to strive opening it. 


Watch a video and browse Twitter on the identical time? Go on, I am listening. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

5. Watch a video and use an app concurrently

Much like split-screen mode is Android’s Image-in-Image characteristic: Utilizing it couldn’t be easier, you simply should know it is there.

I like to observe my favourite Twitch streamers whereas I browse Reddit or examine my emails. To set off PiP, begin watching a video after which return to the house display. Actually, it is that simple. As soon as you permit the app, if it helps PiP mode, the video will present up as a small window in your telephone’s display. You may drag it round, resize or shut it. You may also use PiP with getting turn-by-turn instructions in Google Maps, which makes it simple to see which cease it’s essential to get off at whereas navigating the subway in a brand new metropolis. 

To view an inventory of apps put in in your telephone that assist this characteristic, open the Settings app, and go to Apps & Notifications > Particular app entry > Image-in-picture. That is additionally the place you possibly can go to disable PiP for an app. For instance, if you don’t need Google Maps persevering with to indicate you turn-by-turn instructions after you’ve got left it, and would reasonably the app utterly shut down, then disable this characteristic for Google Maps. 


Activate Good Lock to maintain your telephone unlocked at dwelling. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

6. Use Good Lock to maintain your telephone unlocked if you’re dwelling

One other one in every of my favourite hidden options can preserve you from having to enter your PIN or scan your fingerprint everytime you’re dwelling or at work. You may set it to maintain your telephone unlocked if you’re in a selected location. You may also set it to maintain the telephone unlocked when it detects you are energetic, like if you’re strolling round whereas holding the telephone pressed to your face or talking over Bluetooth on wi-fi headphones. 

Open Settings > Safety > Good Lock and enter your PIN code when prompted. From there, you possibly can choose which side of Good Unlock you wish to use and when. 

Simply remember that in case you have Good Lock set to maintain your telephone unlocked at dwelling, which means anybody you reside with will be capable of get into it. 


Notification Log in your Android telephone generally is a lifesaver. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

7. Get better unintentionally cleared notifications 

Ever faucet the button to clear your notification tray, solely to note an warn you wanted to learn on the final second? I do know I’ve. Fortunately, there is a hidden Notification Log that may present you a operating tally of each alert and notification you’ve got obtained for the previous few days. The one method to entry it’s via a house display widget. 

Lengthy-press on any empty spot in your display, then choose Widgets from the menu. Discover the Settings choice, then choose Notification Log. The subsequent time you miss an alert, faucet the widget and you may see an inventory of all your alerts. 

In case your telephone would not have a Notification Log, give the Unnotification app a strive. 


Android 10 makes it a breeze to share Wi-Fi networks with a QR code. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

8. Shortly share your Wi-Fi community creds with pals

Giving your Wi-Fi community password to a pal or member of the family generally is a problem, particularly if it is a lengthy, advanced sequence of numbers and letters. Or you might be hesitant at hand over your credentials as a result of it is a password you employ elsewhere — I get it. Granted, having individuals over or visiting a pal’s house is one thing most of us are avoiding proper now, however because the CDC points new steering for absolutely vaccinated individuals, and issues start to return to regular, it is positive to come in useful. 

Fortunately, beginning with Android 10 you possibly can show a QR code in your telephone’s display that may enable anybody who scans it to connect with your Wi-Fi community. 

You may scan or create a QR code in your machine by opening the Settings app and deciding on Community > Wi-Fi. In the event you’re sharing your community credentials, faucet on the community title after which Share. In the event you’re connecting to a Wi-Fi community, faucet on the QR Code icon subsequent to Add Community

This characteristic additionally is useful should you’re organising a brand new telephone and do not wish to undergo the method of copying your password. 

Now that you have mastered Android’s hidden options, be sure to’re utterly acquainted with extra of Android’s staple options, like privateness settings and a devoted darkish mode. If in case you have Android 11, ensure that to take a look at a number of the Android 11 options we completely love. And this is what to look ahead to with Android 12

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