You won’t believe some of these cool tips and tricks Android has to offer
From easy-to-use gesture commands to nifty voice-control camera options, there’s always something cool to be done on your Android. Here are a few neat things you probably didn’t know your device could do.
(Note: please keep in mind that these tips mostly pertain to newer or more modern Android phones, such as the LG G4, LG G5, and Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and S6.)
1. Handy Tricks
You can take a screenshot on your Android device just by swiping your hand across the screen. Or, if you need to swiftly silence a pesky call, place your hand over the phone to mute it. To set this up, go into Settings, then choose My Device. Select Motions and Gestures and you’ll have the option to enable features such as Air gesture, Motion and Palm motion.
2. Use Your Device as a Hard Drive
Why carry around thumb drives when your Android device doubles as an external hard drive? Simply connect your device to a computer using its USB cable and follow these instructions here for set-up. Once you’ve done so, you can instantly start uploading and saving files onto your phone.
3. Turn on Tethering
Away from home and need to access the Web from your laptop? Tethering is your best bet. It allows your computer to go online using your phone’s data. To do this on a Samsung S4, S5 or S6, first connect your Android device to your computer with its USB cable. Then go into your phone’s Settings and look under your Network connections. Select More Networks and then Tethering. Make sure USB tethering is turned on and voilà, you can now browse the internet on your laptop. It sure beats looking for a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi or having to pay for Wi-Fi at a hotel. Click here to learn more about tethering your Android phone.
4. Control Your Data
Worried about overage charges? We don’t blame you. Luckily, the latest Android devices allow you to keep a stern eye on your data usage. All you have to do is go into your Settings and select Data usage. You can set mobile data limits, see exactly how much data you use per cycle and find out which apps have been eating up most of your data. You even have the option to turn your data off (don’t worry: you can always switch it back on). Click here to learn more about controlling your data usage.
5. Say Cheese!
Did you know you can snap photos and selfies on your Android device without even lifting your finger to click the shutter button? Launch the camera app, select the Gear icon and then tap the Microphone icon or tap on Voice Control to enable voice-control features. Now you can take pictures via voice command, by saying words such as “cheese,” “smile” and “shoot.”
6. Snap a Pic While Recording
Want to take a picture while recording a video? No problem. Once you’ve begun shooting, just tap the camera icon on the screen. A still photo will be saved in your gallery while you carry on shooting your video.
7. Share with Your Android Friends
Thanks to near-field-communication (NFC) technology, you can share just about anything – files, videos, music, photos, apps, etc. – with other Android users by touching one NFC-enabled device to another. Click here to see how it’s done.
8. Here’s to Your Health
The latest Samsung Galaxy phones come with the S Health app, which can check your heart rate and blood pressure. Simply press your finger into the app’s sensor and it will document all your health levels. It can also help you get in shape by tracking your daily activities, meals and fitness goals. Click here to learn more about S Health.
9. Face Unlock
You can unlock your phone with passwords, patterns and PINs, but did you know you can also open it with your face? That’s right: your Android device can recognize your face and, upon seeing you gazing into the front-facing camera, will unlock immediately. Click here to see how it’s done.
10. DIY Speakers
Need to amplify your phone’s sound in a pinch? Place your Android device, speaker-end down, into a cup or bowl. The rounded shape of the object will give your device a louder, fuller sound. Click here to learn more about making your own smartphone speakers.