Why work hard when you can work smart? These 5 Android hacks you probably didn’t know about will let you do some nifty things without wasting time.
5 Android Hacks You Didn’t Know About
1. Access open browser tabs from other devices
If you’re signed into Google Chrome, just access the “New Tab” menu, or look for the “other devices” option. Clicking here will make all the other open tabs from your other browsers appear on your phone.
This is particularly useful for someone who needs to work on the move, especially since your desktop browser can be set to send an offline (downloaded) version of your open tab webpages to your mobile device. That way, if you go into the subway or take off from the tarmac, when internet goes away (eek!) you’ll still have saved versions of your webpages.
2. Use facial recognition to unlock your device
In most Android devices, this is accessed through settings > security > screen unlock, or on Galaxy devices face unlock. Then, snap a photo for facial recognition software to use as a base for when you want to unlock your phone with higher security. What if you’re worried someone else will use a photo to unlock your device? You can choose the active security option to ensure that you blink in order to unlock your phone.
3. Take a screenshot
This one is the easiest. Anything you want to take a screenshot of, simply press the “power on/off” button and “volume down” button simultaneously for one second. Your device will slide the image of your screen to the upper left corner, and the image will automatically be saved to the “screenshots” folder in your photo app.
4. Turn your phone’s mobile connection into a WiFi hotspot
If you’re in a bind for internet on your PC or other devices, you can easily use your phone’s mobile data connection to serve as a wireless network. The option is accessed through settings > wireless and networks > tethering and portable hotspot > set up mobile hotspot. You will then be able to choose an SSID (funny, serious, off-putting, etc) that you wish, as well as optional security key to access the network. This last part almost goes without saying, since if you’re in a public place and don’t set a WPA key, you can rest assured someone will connect quickly and use up your mobile data.
5. Use Google Voice Search for just about anything
Google has really stepped up its game with voice recognition in order to rival the iOS companion Siri. Devices running Android KitKat and above will be able to use this function without pressing the red microphone button in the search bar, but otherwise it can be accessed by doing just that. Once you press the button, ask Google a question (Is it going to rain today?), give it a command (Text Alyssa that I will be 15 minutes late tonight), or set a reminder (Remind me in 3 minutes to press the coffee), and it will use your phone’s internet connection to decipher what you need and carry it out. It can even be used to win arguments! “OK Google, show me pictures of a Lamborghini Gallardo.” “See dude, I told you that’s not a Laborghini.”
These hacks and more will make using your Android more effective and most importantly, more fun.