It’s sometimes easy to forget that the phone we carry around is first and foremost a sophisticated computer that can do a lot for us with little effort. Still, the various platforms keep advancing, adding new features and learning from user behavior. How familiar are you with all the tricks and secrets of your device? Here we take a look at some of the most interesting ones, both for iPhone and Android.
You don’t need to unlock the phone to take a photo
Did you know you can take a picture without unlocking your phone first? On most Android phones, a double press of the power button will activate the camera even when the device is turned off (if this feature is not enabled, you can do it in the system settings).
Receive urgent notifications even when wearing headphones
“It’s one of the features I use the most,” explains Christian Collado, coordinator of the Andro4All blog. Essentially, it consists of being able to hear important sounds even with headphones on; Imagine you have a baby nearby or you are expecting a package. Maybe you just want to know what’s going on around you. It uses your phone’s microphone (or smartwatch if you’re wearing one) to pick up and identify common sounds like the doorbell ringing, a smoke alarm, or a baby crying. To enable it, you need to go to accessibility settings and turn on the option called Sound notifications.
Automatically unlock the phone when you get home
Your smartphone has a feature called Smart Lock that disables the screen lock in certain locations or when connected to certain devices (such as the car). To enable it, just go to Settings/Security/Advanced/Smart Lock; The position may vary depending on the manufacturer. You can also find it by using the settings search bar. From there, select trusted devices or places to keep the device unlocked.
View all notifications from the last day
Managing notifications can be a real nightmare, and the (smart) trend is to turn off the unnecessary ones, or at least dismiss them after reading them. But what if you want to recover one of those deleted notifications? Since version 11 Android offers a useful feature: the notification history, which keeps the notifications of the last day. To access it, go to Settings and type “Notification History” in the search bar; Then select the ones you want to see.
Double tap the back and you’ll get a selfie
Not many iPhone owners know it, but they do have an extra “button” on their device – albeit an invisible one. We refer to the back of the phone, which thanks to the accessibility feature can be configured to the user’s liking. “If I double-tap, the flashlight turns on,” explains Pedro Aznar, founder of the Applesfera blog. “Triple tapping activates the camera.” Anyone can set it how they like by going to Settings/Accessibility/Touch/Touch Back and choosing the feature that suits them best.
“Hey Siri, take a picture (or turn on the flashlight)”
Apple’s virtual assistant is loved and hated in equal measure for its uneven performance, but it can actually be very helpful; For example, you can use your voice to ask it to take a photo (the only limitation is that Siri only opens the camera application, but doesn’t activate the shutter button). Similarly, when you’re in the dark, you can just say, “Hey Siri, turn on the flashlight.” Assistant can perform many other basic functions.
Shake to undo… almost anything
Another feature that may not be well known among iPhone owners is “Undo” (same as Ctrl + Z), which is activated by shaking the device. You can undo almost any action in one swipe: a text message, a recently deleted email… if you made a mistake, you can always try this solution. This gesture had an almost anecdotal origin: Scott Forstall, who used to be one of the key figures in iOS, asked his team to find a way to add the “undo” function to the iPhone, and one of his engineers jokingly suggested shaking it. Forstall liked the idea and the feature is now a standard part of the device.
tap? Try gliding or dictating
The experts agree. Pressing the keys of virtual keyboards on mobile phones is not the fastest way to type. The iPhone keyboard supports swipe typing: You move your finger from character to character until the system offers the desired word. When you see the suggestion above, just lift your finger. This way is faster than the traditional one – but it’s not the only alternative: iOS has greatly improved its dictation features in its latest version and makes very few mistakes. You can access it by pressing the microphone at the bottom of the keyboard.
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