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4 More Hidden Android Features

Want to know even more cool hidden features on your Android? Check these out.

Smart Lock

It’s a good safety practice to have your phone set to lock when it’s idle long enough, but unlocking all the time can be tedious. That’s why smart lock is one of the coolest features Android offers. It disables the lock screen when you’re at a particular location—for example, when you’re home.

To enable Smart Lock, open Settings. Then tap Security, then Trust Agents. There you can ensure that Smart Lock is on. Now, tap Back twice. Then tap Smart Lock. After you enter your PIN, pattern, or password, you can make sure your device unlocks when it’s in a certain place, when it’s connected to a specific Bluetooth device, or when it recognizes your face.

Display Owner Info on Locked Screens

Maybe you don’t lock your phone because you’re worried about what might happen if you lose your phone and a potential Good Samaritan won’t be able to figure out how to contact you. Well, Android lets you put your contact information right on your phone lock screen.

Go to Settings. Then, tap Security. Then, tap Owner Info. Inside Owner Info, check the box that says “show owner info on lock screen”. From there, you have to enter whatever contact info or message you want displayed. This information will show up on your locked screen. Now, if you lose your phone, a helpful stranger who finds it will be able to contact you.

Boot to Safe Mode

It’s important for an Android user to understand Safe Mode because it’s a good way to troubleshoot apps that are behaving badly. If you have an app that keeps shutting down or opens up dozens of annoying ads, you need Safe Mode.

To boot to Safe Mode, first hold down the Power button. You’ll get a pop-up that says Power Off. Instead of just tapping it, as you normally would, press and hold the Power Off button on your screen. You’ll then get a pop-up that asks if you want to boot to Safe Mode. Go ahead and click Okay. When you’ve booted to Safe Mode, all third-party apps will be disabled, and you’ll be able to deal with the offending app.

Screen Pinning

Maybe you want to hand your phone over to your child so they can play on YouTube but you don’t want them getting into your contacts list. Or you’d like to lend your phone to a co-worker so they can make a call but you don’t want them to look through your pictures. You need Screen Pinning. Basically, Screen Pinning lets you “pin” an app to your screen, locking out other apps.

First, you’ll need to enable Screen Pinning. Go to Settings. Then, tap on Security. Near the bottom of Security, you’ll find Screen Pinning. Tap it. Then, slide the button to the On position.

Now that Screen Pinning is enabled, you can pin any app to your screen. To do that, tap the Overview button (the square button along the bottom of your screen). Then, drag the title bar for the app you want pinned until it’s in the middle of your screen. In the bottom right corner of your app overview, there’s a blue pin button. Tap it. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want this app pinned to your screen and you’ll also be asked if you want to require a security code to leave the pinned app.