The Android mobile operating system has become a particularly feature-rich platform since its initial release in 2008. Indeed, Android devices now offer so many built-in capabilities that there are likely many features available that you haven’t even discovered yet.
We’ll go over five of Android’s best but little-known features below. Different versions of Android offer different sets of features, so you may need to upgrade to the latest version in order to access all the features below.
1. Multitask with Split-Screen Mode
Since Android version 7.0 (Nougat), it’s possible to run two apps at the same time either side-by-side or one over the other—an excellent feature for multitasking.
To activate split screen mode on your Android device:
- Open the Overview/Recents screen
- Long press on an activity title
- Drag the activity into the highlighted portion of the screen
2. Customize the Default Font Size
Do you wish it was easier to read the text on your Android phone? On the flip side, you may want to make the text smaller so that you can fit more content on your screen.
To change the default font size on your Android device:
- Go to “Settings”
- Select “Accessibility”
- Then select “Font size” to access the adjustable font size slider
3. Track Your Device’s Whereabouts Via GPS
Whether you’ve simply misplaced your device around the house or truly lost it while out and about, device location can save you a headache (and maybe some cash).
From a Home screen, navigate to Apps > Settings > Google (Google services). To enable device location services:
- Tap Location
- Set the Location switch in the upper right to the ON position
- Tap Security
- Set your preferences for device location
4. Customize the Do Not Disturb Settings
Need to focus, but don’t want to miss anything that’s truly important? Android’s Do Not Disturb mode is highly customizable. You can decide to block certain people from calling or messaging you while allowing others to do so, and you can also choose which apps are able to send you notifications.
To enable the Do Not Disturb setting:
- Swipe down from the top of your screen and long press on the Do Not Disturb icon.
5. Cast Your Mobile Device’s Screen to a TV
Android version 5.0 (Lollipop) introduced the casting feature, which makes it easy to view your mobile device’s display on a television screen. Casting is especially useful for sharing video or playing games as these activities can sometimes be difficult to enjoy on smaller smartphone and tablet screens. It’s important to note that this feature is currently only compatible with Android TVs.
As far as Android’s built-in capabilities go, these android hacks are just the tip of the iceburg. There are hundreds of features available that you may find useful, with new features added every single year.