8 obscure Android features and what they do

8 obscure Android features and what they do
Two Android devices, using the very same build of the OS, can be quite different in reality if they're made by different manufacturers. So much so that it's not rare for (uninitiated) friends and family members to ask us whether a heavily skinned device is an Android device. It's kind of weird.

And while this division can be all kinds of problematic, the open nature of Android is what, ultimately, ensured its jaw-dropping propagation. And what some folks seem to forget is that while stock Android — the Android that comes out of Google's HQ — is comparatively feature-poor, all custom solutions by third parties are built on top of of a core stack of code. So the foundation is almost universally identical — manufacturers just add blocks on top.

Speaking of that foundation, the Android device in your pocket is almost assured to contain a score of almost entirely obscure features that we often find people are befuddled by. That's because these are quite cryptic, and unless you have the unwavering will to dig through Android help files, you'll likely never know what they do. As a sort of a weird educational challenge, we thought it a good idea that we shone some light on a few of them.

Let us know if you ever stumbled upon any one of them and stared blankly.

Depending on your Android version, some of the examples below might not be available with your device.





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15 Comments

1. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

stock android is retarded. custom UIs/ROMs makes stock look like sh!t (features-wise). *meh*

2. Settings

Posts: 2942; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

What's so retarded about vanilla? It's faster than Touchwiz, Sense, MIUI, Xperia etc. Plus, OEM skins bring bloats and unnecessary features to your device, which may lead to sluggish performance and hiccups. Don't let me start on bugs present on custom ROMs.

4. TerryTerius unregistered

The phrase "unnecessary features" is 100% subjective.

7. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Unnecessary? Android has, over the past years, copied features from custom ROMs, and Google even plans to include split-screen in the OS.. which is something present in TouchWiz since 2012!

8. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

is not "faster" than the touchwiz that comes with lolipop... know your facts.

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I use touchwiz, miui 5 and recently nexus 6. I don't feel much different. Most of my core apps are from Google anyway. Plus mainstream app form Facebook, Whatapps, WeChat to name a few. Nexus experience is as great as the major OEM skins. Just try it for yourself.

5. SirYar

Posts: 351; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I much prefer AOSP over other ROMs for it's visuals. I really enjoy material design and smooth animations/Transitions. The lollipop LG rom for my G2 may feature more stuff but it's simply ugly. As if LG doesn't give a damn about material.

13. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

You're the one who's retarded mate

3. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Screen pinning is cool, but I wish you could lock an image. Say you have an image and you want to pass it to a couple of friends the gallery app is pinned and not the actual image so they can roam around the gallery and see anything in it. Not to mention when passing it the likelihood of the photo getting swiped is high. Especially with the small bezels on my Note 5.

6. TerryTerius unregistered

You could always use a gallery vault app to store pictures you don't want anyone else seeing. Or if you have a samsung phone, just use private mode.

10. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Ehh, they're not THAT private. I don't want to have to switch modes or go into special galleries. Pinning apps is so easy and fast to do. I'm sure that there is an app that locks the screen, but it's not that big of a deal.

9. tacarat

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

If at all possible, know the apns before traveling. You can even program them in advance. Not every body will know the settings or there may be language barrier issues where you get the sim card from. The added bonus is you may find what carriers in that country do better or if there are issues with your phone.

11. Brewski

Posts: 658; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

What is Facebook rape?

15. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Facebook rape? I think it would be something like taking content from your device without your permission, like people do photos and posts you make on your facebook page...

14. Salsal

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

An article on the features in the Developer Options? Anybody?

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