10 Unique Android Features That You May Be Missing For Long

All Android users have their eyes on the next OS version, P. The upcoming Android operating system was announced by Google on March 7, 2018, and the first developer preview was released on the same day.

Android P brought a lot of new features to the board. Few of them includes display cutout support, multi-camera support, image decoder for drawables, security enhancements, and much more. The OS is still in the beta program so you can actually expect more from Google.

But the hype around Android P can’t mar the success of Android Oreo and other OS versions. Irrespective of the OS version, Android is one of the widely used mobile platforms globally, and it offers a flexible landscape for customization. As Android P has still some time to get on the floor, thus my finding is heavily focused upon the Android Oreo 8.1 because it is the latest running OS.

There are still many features that are not known to many of the people due to various reasons. Thus, I will be focusing on such features which are least used or are hidden under layers.

Let’s get started.

1. App Installs

The Android app installation can be annoying sometimes. Most of you must be knowing that, if you wish to install an app other than Google Play Store, it can be done by opting for installation from unknown sources. This will allow almost any app from untrusted sources to be installed on the device.

With Android Oreo, you need to permit the Android app that’s downloading the untrusted APK.

How to do it

  • Open Settings
  • Go to Apps & Notifications
  • Tap on special App Access
  • Select the Install Unknown Apps

2. Android Icons Customization

If you don’t like the shape of an app on your device, simply change it. Yes, you can change the app shape in the Oreo OS. Sadly, the option of changing the app’s shape is not readily visible in the Settings; you can only find it in the Home Screen Settings menu.

How to do it

  • Tap and hold on the Home Screen
  • Open Settings
  • Change icon shape

Once there, you can pick between square, rounded square, squircle, and teardrop.

3. Notification Dots

Press the notification dots to see what’s new and easily clear them by swiping away. It is one of the features that people tend to miss. The app icon can be found on the home screen or the app drawer.

How to do it

You just need to hold and press the app icon, and you will get to know about the notifications and actions associated with that app.

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Furthermore, the colored dots can adapt the color theme of the app icon. It lets you dig in the information of a particular app rather than juggling in the notification bar.

4. Notification Channels

Get more granular and consistent control over which notifications can appear and how intrusive they are. Notification Channels enable the users to have a sway over how notifications appear on their Android devices. The users can also customize the notification categories such as High priority, Updated apps, Account alerts, etc.

How to do it

Swipe the notification, and a gear icon will appear. On clicking the icon, you can fiddle among various categories.

5. Snooze Notifications

With the number of apps, the notifications density also increases. The pile of notifications sometimes makes you miss on the important ones. But Android Oreo let you snooze the notification for a specific period of time.

How to do it

Swipe on the notification and you will get options to choose. Select the clock icon to set the time for which the notification can be snoozed.

6. WiFi Assistant and Google VPN

The WiFi Assistant feature is available on Pixel and Nexus devices running Android 5.1 and above. But with Android Oreo, you can employ improved WiFi Assistant which helps Android automatically connect to open networks.

How to do it

  • Open Settings
  • Go to Network & Internet
  • Then WiFi
  • Manage the WiFi Preferences

Once enabled, your device will automatically connect to open WiFi networks, and a WiFi assistant VPN key would pop up in the Notification bar. Though the feature is limited to a few countries only.

7. Battery Optimization

The best part of the Android Oreo is battery management feature. You can know about the apps that run in the background and consume data. If you find the apps to be irrelevant or you don’t use them frequently, you can force stop such apps.

How to do it

  • Open Settings
  • Select Battery option
  • You will see “App usage since full charge”
  • Check for“While in background”
  • Turn off Background Activity for the app

8. Autofill Data

The AutoFill feature remembers your logins to get you into your favorite apps at supersonic speed. It is done with the user’s permission only, so don’t worry about the safety. The Android system saves and suggests autofill data after analyzing the content on your screen. In Android O, the feature is set as default.

How to do it

  • Open Settings
  • Go to System
  • Select Languages & input
  • Move to Advanced
  • Enable the Autofill service

The feature can save your personal information, addresses, and passwords from the Google account.

9. Automatic WiFi connection

You can find this feature in the WiFi settings. As the name suggests, “Turn on WiFi automatically” connects you to a network once you are in a particular network coverage area. It is done by saving WiFi network to the GPS coordinates.

However, the feature will not work if the location service is turned off or the device is low on battery.

10. Easy ways to clear storage on Android O

The storage is an issue for many of the Android users. To resolve this issue, Google has upgraded the Storage section, that lets you view the apps consuming space on the device.

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Another feature that can come handy for managing the storage is Smart Storage option. This feature comes into play when the device storage is full, so it automatically deletes photos and videos from the device which are backed up to Google Drive. The other files will be saved.

The Upshot

Among the listed features, how many of them you were familiar with? The number can vary for different users, but I believe, the minimum pick will be one. So, grab your Android device and get going with the feature you liked the most.

Manage your device better.

Originally published at www.mobileappdaily.com.

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