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7 Cool Android Features You Aren’t Using: Phones/Tablets/Phablets : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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7 Cool Android Features You Aren’t Using

By: princepoint |Time : May 18, 2018, 04:50:37 AM
Android is stacked with so many tools and
 configuration options, we often overlook some of
 its most useful features. Sometimes they’re
 hiding in plain sight. Other times, they’re buried
 so deep, you’d never discover them without
 spelunking deep into sub menus, groping blindly
 in the dark.
 But don’t let that one killer feature get away. Even
 if you consider yourself an Android power user,
 you’d do well to make sure you’re familiar with
 every single menu, toggle and utility on this list.
 We’ve done our best to identify the precise
 locations of the features listed below, but you may
 have to hunt around menus a bit if your device
 manufacturer has excessive interface
 customizations.



 Use Android Device Manager for remote security
 Use Android Device Manager for much greater
 control over a lost phone.
 The Google Play Services framework is used to
 manage all sorts of back-end services, and
 Google updates it frequently in the background.
 Most of the functionality packed away in this
 framework is of little user-facing consequence,
 but there’s a lot including account sync, malware
 scanning,
 and the Android Device Manager. This feature
 allows you track, ring, lock, and wipe your device
 if you lose track of it.
 By default, you can only ring and locate a device
 with Android Device Manager, so if you want the
 full gamut of features, go into your main system
 settings and scroll down to Security. Find the
 Device Administrators option, and open it to see
 what apps have been granted admin privileges on
 your phone or tablet. Checking the box next to
 Android Device Manager allows you to wipe and
 lock the device in addition to the ring and locate
 features.
 You can remotely access Android Device Manager
 in a number of useful ways. If you only have one
 Android device, you can use any web browser to
 go to the Android Device Manager page and log
 into your account. From there, you can see a map
 of where your phone is located, and issue
 commands to nuke it or just lock it.
 Before resorting to extreme measures, you might
 want to start with locating and making it ring to
 ensure it didn’t just slip between the couch
 cushions. Should you have access to more than
 one Android device, you can use the Android
 Device Manager app, which you can keep on all
 your devices to locate and manage the others.



 Screen Recording
 Screenshots are for chumps. Show everyone else
 what you’re up to with a screen recording. A
 subset of Android users over the years have
 resorted to rooting their devices to get more
 advanced features. Android has slowly gained
 features over time that make root less of a
 necessity.
 As of Android 5.0 Lollipop, there’s less reason
 than ever to root now that Android supports
 screen recording. You just need an app to take
 proper advantage of it.
 A screen recording is simply an MP4 video file of
 what’s happening on your screen for the duration
 of the capture. There is no native tool to do this
 on most Android devices for some reason, but
 there are a ton of them in the Play Store. My
 personal favorite is the aptly named Rec.
 Whether you’re using Rec or another app with
 support for Lollipop screen recording, all you
 need to do is accept the screen capture request
 when it pops up. An icon in the status bar will
 appear to let you know the screen recording is
 ongoing. Some apps have support for different
 resolutions and bit rates for the recording as well,
 but the default will be the native screen resolution
 of your phone or tablet.
 The way you end a recording varies by app, but
 there’s usually a notification or you can simply
 put the device to sleep. One of the reasons I
 prefer the aforementioned Rec is that it has
 support for both of those options as well as shake
 to stop a recording.



 Speed up your phone 10x faster
 Why suffer even marginally slow animations when
 your processor can handle faster speeds?
 Android devices are faster than they used to be,
 but you can make your experience feel even
 zippier with one simple tweak. Android contains a
 hidden developer options menu that you can
 enable by going into your main system settings,
 then navigating to About > Software Information >
 More > Build number . Now tap on the build
 number—literally, tap on it numerous times—until
 a small message at the bottom of the screen
 confirms that you’re a developer.
 Now, don’t worry: This doesn’t make any
 modifications to your system. It just turns on the
 Developer Options menu back in the main settings
 list—so head back there and open it up.
 Developer Options has tons of interesting features
 to play around with, but you can also mess things
 up pretty badly, so it’s best not to change
 anything you haven’t thoroughly researched as
 this might affect your phone.
 Inside Developer options, scroll down to Drawing
 and find Window
 animation scale , Transition animation scale , and
 Animator duration scale . These are all set to 1x
 by default. These animations are the eye candy
 you see when apps open and close, menus drop
 down, and more. They help cover up lag as the
 system catches up, but you don’t really need slow
 settings on a fast device. You can set all of these
 to 0.5x for a more snappy interface experience.



 Don’t just monitor data usage—control it
 The trick is to receive a warning before you trip
 your data limit. In a country like Nigeria where the
 cost of data plans are highly expensive and
 carrier fees are ever-increasing, you often need to
 watch your mobile data consumption closely.
 Android has a built-in tool that helps you do this,
 but most users don’t use it to its full potential.
 The Data Usage menu is usually near the top of
 your system settings list (though it may be
 buried under a “More” heading), and can also be
 accessed via the network signal strength icon in
 Quick Settings. You can use the sliders on the
 usage chart to set your data limits for your
 chosen billing cycle.
 The default behavior is simply to warn you when
 you reach your data limit. However, by the time
 you get that warning, it’s often too late to adjust
 your behavior and avoid overage charges or
 automatic throttling. A better use of the data
 tracking feature is to set your warning a
 few hundred megabytes below your limit, then
 enable a data limit with the check box right above
 the chart. The red line on the chart lets you set a
 point at which your mobile data will be shut off.



 Use Wi-Fi Direct for quick file transfers
 The SuperBeam app facillitates device-to-device
 file transfers at warp speed—even 45 Mbps.
 Transferring files between devices has always
 been a little annoying, but features like Android
 Beam made it easier: Just hold together two NFC-
 enabled devices (Android 4.1 or later), and you
 can transfer files across a Bluetooth link. It’s a
 neat trick, but transfer speeds are capped by
 Bluetooth bandwidth, and file type support is
 limited.
 Luckily, however, most Android devices also
 support Wi-Fi Direct, even though Google’s stock
 apps don’t make use of it. Wi-Fi Direct is exactly
 what it sounds like: a protocol that can create a
 direct connection between
 two devices via Wi-Fi. You just need an app to
 make use of it, and there are several in Google
 Play. SuperBeam is probably the most powerful,
 and it has a free version. To get a transfer going,
 you just need to share the files to Super Beam (or
 whatever app you’ve chosen to use) and tap
 phones.
 Wi-Fi Direct allows you to queue up multiple files
 in a single operation and the transfer rate can
 easily exceed 30 Mbps. It’s fabulous for sharing
 large videos or images.
 Restrict background data, app by app
 Sometimes apps don’t need to be consuming so
 much data in the background but Android allows
 apps to wake up in the background and perform
 activities and because of this there’s always the
 possibility they’ll send and receive mobile data
 without your knowledge.
 When you’re on a low-capped data plan (or
 you’re just coming up on the cap) this can be an
 issue. Luckily, the Android Data Usage menu in
 your phone offers information on what’s using
 data in the background, and could save you from
 extra charges.
 Below the graph of overall data usage mentioned
 above, you’ll find a list of all your apps organized
 by how much data they’ve used, starting with the
 most greedy offenders. Tap on any single app for
 details on the split
 between foreground and background data. If you
 find an app using a lot of bytes in the background,
 you can scroll down to the bottom of the details
 page and check the option to restrict background
 data.
 Note, however, that this option is only available
 on devices that hook into mobile data plans. Also
 keep in mind that some apps won’t work as
 expected with this option enabled, so only use it
 for apps and services that aren’t respectful of
 your mobile data connection.



 Use Owner Info to make it easier to reclaim a lost
 device

 Share your owner information in order to help
 your lost phone finder return your phone.
 Having a pattern or PIN lock on your phone or
 tablet is always a good idea, but what happens if
 you lose the device, and a good Samaritan finds it
 and wants to return it? How is he or she
 supposed to know who it belongs to?
 Well, hidden inside the Owner Info menu, there’s
 an easy way to provide your identity. The Owner
 Info feature will be in the Security section of
 the main system settings, or under Personal >
 Lock screen and security on newer Samsung
 phones. You can add any info here you want, but
 an email and alternative phone number are safe
 bets. Just check the option above the text field to
 have the Owner Info displayed on the lock screen.
 Be aware, OEMs that heavily customize the lock
 screen like adding too much crazy widgets and
 text sometimes do away with this feature.

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