With every new version of the operating system, new features come to your smartphone. It’s no different with the arrival of Android 13. But there are a number of zany pre-existing Android features that many people don’t even know exist. WANT editor Sabine explains to you what exactly she’s talking about.
Android has many nice features, but there are some that not every user knows about yet. And believe us: once you know them, a world will open up for you. Get even more out of your smartphone with these four handy Android tricks.
Unknown Android features
Once you’ve used these handy features, you won’t know how you ever got along without them. They make your smartphone experience a lot better and therefore your life a lot easier. The following features will help you get even more out of your Android smartphone:
#1 One of the finest Android features: Alt+Tab
Do you have a Windows PC? Then you probably know Alt+Tab to switch between tabs nice and fast. Good news, because this feature is also hidden in your Android device. To bring out this Android feature, you just need to make sure that gestures are turned on. You can find this setting by searching for Gestures or Navigation. If you now swipe to the right at the very bottom of the screen, the app you were last using will immediately come up. Swiping left takes you back to the other direction.
Get more out of your smartphone. (Image: Josh Withers / Unsplash)
#2 Guest Mode
Does a friend want to look something up on your phone, but you’re afraid he’ll start snooping around on your phone? With guest mode, you can prevent that from happening. It’s a kind of incognito mode for your entire phone at once. Open System in the settings and choose Multiple users. Enable the feature and press Add Guest and then Switch to Guest.
Your friend can now safely go about his business. Samsung users are unfortunately out of luck. This is because the South Korean company has decided not to add this handy Android feature to its own software shell.
#3 App shortcut menu
Many people open an app and start working from there, but using the app shortcut menu is often much faster. You can add a new contact by opening ‘Contacts’ and then pressing the plus sign, but using the app shortcut menu you’ll have it done in half the time. Just press and hold an app icon on your home screen for two seconds and the shortcut menu of that app will appear. In this way you can immediately add a contact or view your own profile. Much faster!
Google Pixel smartphone. (Image: Daniel Romero / Unsplash)
#4 Pause individual apps
Tired of notifications from that one app for a while, but also don’t want to put your phone on silent completely? No problem! It is possible to continue receiving notifications from WhatsApp, for example, while pausing those from Facebook and Instagram. Hold down an app icon for a few seconds and select the hourglass. When the app icon turns gray, the app is paused.
Unfortunately, you’ll find this rather unknown Android feature only on Google Pixel devices and phones running Android One. The latter is a bare version of Android, which you’ll find mostly in Nokia’s.