Master your smartphone with these tips and secrets | Science and Technology

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the phone we carry is, first and foremost, a high-end computer capable of doing so much for us with little effort. However, different platforms continue to make strides, adding new features and learning from user behavior. How well do you know all the tricks and secrets of your device? Here, we will take a look at some of the most interesting ones, for both iPhone and Android.


You don’t have to unlock the phone to take a picture

Did you know that you can take a picture without unlocking your phone first? On the vast majority of Android phones, double pressing the power button will activate the camera, even if the device is turned off (if this feature is not activated, you can do so in the system settings).

Receive urgent notifications even if you are wearing headphones

“It’s one of the features I use the most,” explains Christian Collado, Andro4All Blog Coordinator. It mainly consists of being able to hear important sounds, even with headphones on; Imagine you have a baby next door, or maybe you’re expecting a parcel. Maybe you just want to be aware of what’s going on around you. It uses the microphone on your phone (or your smartwatch, if you’re wearing one) to pick up and identify common sounds like a doorbell, smoke detector, or a baby’s cry. To activate it, you have to go to the accessibility settings and enable the option called Sound Notifications.

Unlock the phone automatically when you get home

Your smartphone has a feature called Smart Lock, which deactivates the screen lock in certain locations or when connected to certain devices (the car, for example). To activate it, just go to Settings / Security / Advanced / Smart Lock; Its location may vary depending on the manufacturer. You can also find it using the settings search bar. Once there, select the trusted devices or sites where you want the device to remain unblocked.

See all notifications from the last day

Managing notifications can be a real nightmare, and the (wise) direction is to turn off unnecessary notifications, or at least get rid of them after reading. But what if you want to recover one of these deleted notifications? Since version 11, Android provides a useful function: notification history, where notifications from the last day are kept. To access it, go to settings and type “notification history” in the search bar; Then select the person you want to see.


Double click on the back and you will get a selfie

Not many iPhone owners know this, but they have an additional “button” on their device – albeit invisible. We refer to the back of the phone which, thanks to the accessibility feature, can be configured to the user’s desire. “When I click twice, the lamp lights up,” explains Pedro Aznar, founder of the Applesfera blog. “With three clicks, the camera is activated.” Everyone can adjust it as they like by going to Settings/Accessibility/Touch/Back Touch, and choose the function that suits them best.

“Hey Siri, take a picture (or turn on the flashlight)”

Apple’s virtual assistant is equally loved and hated, due to its uneven performance, but in fact it can be very useful; For example, you can use your voice to ask him to take a picture (the only limitation is that Siri only opens the Camera app, but doesn’t activate the shutter). Likewise, if you’re in the dark, you can just say “Hey, Siri, turn on the flashlight.” The assistant is able to perform many basic functions.

Shake to undo…almost everything

Another feature that may not be widely known among iPhone owners is “Undo” (just like Control + Z), which is activated by shaking the device. You can undo almost any action with a flick of your wrist: a recently deleted text or email… If you make a mistake, you can always try this solution. The gesture had a near-uniform origin: Scott Forstall, who used to be one of the main characters in iOS, asked his team to come up with a way to add an “undo” feature to the iPhone, and one of his engineers jokingly suggested you shake it. Forstall liked the idea and the feature is now a standard part of the device.

Writing? Try scrolling or dictating

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 can slide your finger from one letter to another until the system delivers the desired word. When you see the suggestion at the top, just lift your finger. This method is faster than the traditional method – but it’s not the only alternative: iOS has greatly improved dictation capabilities in its latest version, and made very few mistakes. You can access it by pressing the microphone at the bottom of the keyboard.

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