Android smartphones have some of the best tech thanks to the brainiacs at Samsung and Google. You may already know how great your Android camera is, but did you know you could be using the camera for more than just photos?
We also have the hacks for sending text messages that you need to know to make your life easier while texting. Plus – Android has a way to use your phone to focus on your wellbeing above anything else. These are a few of our 5 favorite Android tricks you need to know.
1. Scan using camera
Your Android camera can be used as a handheld scanner if you need to save or send any documents. You can do even more using the Microsoft Office app, but if you want a quick, easy, and free option – just open your Android’s camera.
In good light, point your camera at the document and it should automatically detect the area. Adjust the yellow rectangle as needed by tapping the corners of your document. Tap the Scan button, and then edit or save your scan. You can then send that scan via email or message.
You should be able to use this feature on Android 9 phones and later.
2. Digital Wellbeing
If you feel you’re spending too much time on your phone, Android’s Digital Wellbeing settings could be for you. You’re able to manage time on apps and adjust settings so you can reduce distractions.
Manage your time spent on apps by seeing how many minutes (or hours) a day you spend scrolling. If any of those numbers seem too high, limit your time on the apps. You can set a time limit for yourself for Facebook, for example, and after you’ve spent more than an hour of the day on Facebook – it will dim. This timer resets at midnight and you can always reset this setting, but you’ll have a better grasp on time spent on apps.
You can also temporarily pause distracting apps. If you’re trying to get work done and don’t want notifications popping up from other apps, you can set up Focus mode and pause your selected apps. You can turn Focus mode on and off, or set a schedule for say bedtime.
Android 10 phones and up will have all of these features, and Android 9 and up may have some of these features. It’s all available under your Settings when you tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
3. Glide typing
While you might wonder why you should install a third-party app to type when you already have a keyboard, I highly recommend Gboard which is available in the Google Play Store.
Gboard offers features including Voice typing so you can type on the go while dictating, Emoji typing, and Glide typing – also known as swype texting. You can use one finger to swipe from letter-to-letter, lifting between each word, to type more quickly.
Most Android phones (4.2 and later) allow you to enable this feature on the phone in your Settings (Head to General Management > Language and Input > On-screen keyboard > Samsung Keyboard > Smart typing and select Keyboard swipe controls) but the Gboard does offer more features at no cost.
4. Live Caption
Androids allow you to add captioning to any media you’re playing on your phone, including phone calls, video calls, videos you’re watching, and podcasts.
You can move the captions on the screen and easily turn them off and on, and even customize if you want to exclude profanity or label sounds like applause and laughter.
If you have a Pixel phone, you can use Live Captions on phone calls, but be aware it will notify the person on the other end of the call.
Some features only work on Android 10 and later. For media, tap the Volume button and under Volume controls, tap the live caption button which looks like this:
A note about Live Captions – the feature does use up a lot of battery power, and will be automatically turned off if you use battery saver mode. Live captions are also never saved.
5. Schedule text message
Have you ever wanted to send a text message but were worried it wasn’t the right time to do so? Whether that’s because of the time zone, you don’t want to forget to send a text the next day, or any other reason, Android allows you to schedule a text message.
After you’ve typed out the message you want to send to someone, instead of tapping the Send button, hold it down. Additional options will appear including one that allows you to choose your own date and time. A calendar will appear and you can schedule the time you want to send the message – perfect if you don’t want to miss a birthday!
You’re able to edit or delete a scheduled message before it sends. The message will be in your text message conversation, just tap Schedule with the clock icon, and update the information.
You can schedule a text message time on Android 7 and above.
Have a tip to share that we didn’t cover above? Share your favorite Android quick tip by commenting below.