Android now equips 84% of smartphones in the world (yes yes), and 71% in Europe, overwhelmingly for Google’s mobile OS (ZDNet figures). It’s apparently a little less brilliant for tablets, but it’s still a few million devices.
If I believe my Google Analytics over the last 30 days, among the visitors who come to this blog from a mobile device you are 62% on Android, 34% on iOS, the few remaining crumbs divided between Windows Phone and some brave BlackBerry, Playstation Vita or Firefox OS.
In short, I think an article to improve the use of your favorite device can be useful. There are a few shortcuts that many don’t know about, but they can make our lives easier. Here’s a nice list.
Open the camera with a double-click on power
Sometimes you have to react very quickly so you don’t miss a nice photo, and the time it takes to grab your camera, unlock the screen, open the camera and take the shot really doesn’t help in this task.
Android developers have already offered a handy shortcut in a corner of the home screen that allows you to open your device directly on the dedicated app.
But it is possible to go even faster, at least on smartphones not too old: since Android 6.0 it is enough to click twice in a row on the power button to launch the application, even the screen off. It’s as simple as that.
Some facetious manufacturers may have changed this behavior, such as Samsung prefers double-clicking the Home button, or Motorola prefers to break your wrist by shaking its device.
Note that if you too frequently take pictures of your pockets inadvertently because of this feature, and you want to turn it off, it’s possible in Settings / View.
Quickly search for an app
When you install a good amount of applications on your device, it can quickly become tedious to go through the long list to find the one you’re looking for.
The first thing to do is often to organize your home screens to have on hand the ones you use most often. And that’s a good thing, I made a full article here.
For the rest, there are two little tricks that save a lot of time:
– just start typing the name of the searched app from the home screen in the Google search bar, only to see it appear almost instantly under the search results (capture left)
– or in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a search bar at the top of the application list (right capture). You can even land directly in it by pressing the app icon over a long time from the home screen. Also noteworthy is that the “access to the Play Store” link that appears just below during a search keeps the typed query and can also save time to search for new applications.
Use quick answers for text messages
Here is an underestimated feature of our Android smartphones, which quickly becomes indispensable when you have taken a liking to it.
The quick response feature allows you to politely reject a call by explaining to our caller by SMS the reason for our unavailability.
On the classic Androids since version 4.0, just swipe up your finger at the time of the call, and choose the desired message from a small list (capture left).
The most being that it is of course possible to customize these messages to his liking. It happens in the phone app, Settings, Quick Answers. 4 different messages are customizable, it’s limited but this must be able to deal with most situations (right capture).
Facetious manufacturers who have nothing else to do but hide the functions of Android may have stored it somewhere else, I’ll let you look in their docs while cursing them until the 3rd generation.
Bonus: Fly your device by voice to do it faster
After the course of fun with this feature that seems to plunge us into a science fiction film, we can realize that voice control can really be very practical if we bother to tame it.
So much so that I made a complete article some time ago (which also concerns Siri and Cortana, no jealous). To sum up quickly, it is possible, for example:
– do some research,
– open apps,
– control your camera and your music,
– setting alarms and appointments,
– call your contacts and send them text messages or emails (see capture. I hid Chuck’s number to respect his privacy,
– use navigation,
– translate in real time,
I really invite you to take a look at all this.