Last week’s Tech Tips column collected some iOS 14 tips for iPhone users, and many of Google’s Android 11 phones have similar controls – like the ability to customize the Quick Settings box or change the settings. change the synthetic voice of the assistant. And once you start learning about Android 11, you’ll find lots of other useful features.
Here are just a few of them. These tips should work on recent Google Pixel models, but keep in mind that other phone manufacturers often use their own modified versions of Android, so capabilities and menus may vary. different.
There’s Google waiting for you
If you’ve selected the Google Assistant as your virtual helper and use the current version of the Google Phone app for your calls, you can partner them with Keep Me to handle one of your calls. The most annoying tasks of modern life: waiting for customers – service representatives. (You also need at least a Pixel 3 or another compatible phone.)
To enable Keep You, open the Phone app and tap the Add three dots menu to go to settings. Select Keep Me and then tap the button to enable the feature.
When you dial a toll-free number and get put on hold, tap the onscreen button to activate Keep Me. Google Assistant takes over listening to humans and displays a “Don’t hang up” message. When a customer service representative receives the call, the Google Assistant will change the on-screen message to “Someone is waiting to talk to you” and highlight the “Return call” button. The phone records the audio and recording of the call, and you have the option to share the data with Google to help improve this feature.
Set up guest access
Lending your phone to someone is risky – especially lending it to someone else young Someone wants to watch the video but can also wander into your email and contact list. To keep the peace – and keep your personal files safe – you can use Android’s longtime “Multi-User” setting. With it, you can set up a separate guest or user account on your phone.
Open the Settings app, select System, then Advanced and Multi-User. Click the Enable button and then Add user to create a new account or use a guest account. You can switch accounts here or by swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings box and tap the Users icon.
Record your screen
Screen recordings are useful for presentations, demos, and troubleshooting. After years of third-party apps doing this job, Android 11 now includes a Screen Recorder app.
To use it, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings box and then swipe to the second page of settings. Tap the Screen Recording icon, enable controls for audio and tap the screen (if necessary), and tap Start. To stop recording, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the red notification bar. The recording is saved in the Movies library.
Use your source (Button)
The Quick Settings panel is handy, but Android 11 adds another place to store commonly used controls: Press and hold your phone’s Power button until the Power Menu appears. Here you have shortcuts to turn off or restart your phone, use Google Pay to make purchases, and manage smart devices in your home. Install an app like Power Menu Controls or Tasker and you can add more system controls to the desktop.
Another use for the Power button? Tap twice quickly to instantly access the Camera app to do that quick action.
Software developers have a history of sneaking so-called easter eggs into code, and Android has long held to this tradition. Android 11 revives an earlier prize: a hidden game that places digital cats roaming around your phone. To play it, go to About phone in Settings and tap on “Android Version” a few times. When the volume dial appears, rotate it three times until you see the number “11” and a cat emoji appear on the screen.
Next, hold the Power button to go to the Power Menu. Tap the Add three-dot menu to select More controls. Select “View more apps” at the bottom of the screen, select “Cat controls,” and add water dishes, food bowls, and cat toys to your Power Menu. Tap these controls and the digital cat will start appearing in your notifications or in floating bubbles, ready to be named and saved to the kitten crate on your screen. It’s not a complicated game, but it’s a way to pass the time until the final version of Android 12 comes out this year.