Jump to content



Photo

9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Android


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 gameboy1977

gameboy1977

    Neowinian

  • 959 posts
  • Joined: 17-August 05
  • Location: USA
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Windows Phone 8

Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:13

9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Android
 

51fda18cb072b6b3f20e8f249feedc817e1b8197

(Rob Pegoraro/Yahoo Tech)

 

Google’s mobile operating system is an extraordinarily flexible tool. But not all of its features are easy to discover — especially if you have a phone onto which the manufacturer or carrier has spackled its own interface. Fortunately, we’re here to help you get more out of your mobile device, and maybe also clear up a myth or mystery or two about it.

1. The malware threat nearly vanishes if you stick to Google’s Play store. Apps that can steal your data are a real threat on all mobile devices. But the security firm F-Secure found that in the second half of last year, only about 0.1 percent of apps surveyed in Google’s Play store contained malware — lower than any other Android app store. Further, it noted, “the Play Store is most likely to promptly remove nefarious applications, so malware encountered there tends to have a short shelf life.”

2. Chrome can impersonate a desktop browser. Tap the menu button in Chrome (the stack of three dots at the top-right corner), scroll down the menu and tap Request desktop site, and Chrome on an Android device will fetch a desktop version of the page. This is a great way to work around sites that would otherwise lock out Android — such as Apple’s “Find My Phone” tool.

3. GPS still works in Airplane Mode. Unlike iOS, Android doesn’t shut down a phone’s GPS receiver in Airplane Mode. One neat trick this makes possible: If you’re on a plane, you can run an app like the free FlyoverGPS to detect your position and then plot your aircraft’s position, altitude, and speed

10fe73ae358291a240735e76b028e5fe6369e7d4

(Rob Pegoraro/Yahoo Tech)

4. You can take “Photo Sphere” panoramas. In about a minute, you can use Google’s camera app to assemble a 3D interactive panorama that viewers can then pan around not just left and right, but up and down. (For an example, see this sphere I captured inside the otherworldly Sagrada Família church in Barcelona.) That’s kind of amazing, considering all the specialized tools you needed to create a QuickTime VR panorama in the ’90s.

5. You can’t banish bloatware, but you can bury it. You can’t uninstall most of the unwanted apps bolted to a phone by its manufacturer or your carrier without “rooting” the device (not recommended for the uninitiated), but you can recover much of the space they waste and then hide them permanently: Open the Settings app, select Apps, select the unwanted bloatware, tap Uninstall updates, and then tap Disable.

6. NFC may not be useful for buying stuff, but it can help your phone talk to other gadgets. The NFC (near field communication) chips in many Android phones were supposed to have us all tapping our phones on special tags to buy everything from sodas to subway tickets, but that’s yet to take off. You’re more likely to find that NFC helps your phone talk to other devices — for instance, you can use it to automatically configure wireless picture transfer to a “real” camera.

7. Google Wallet can store loyalty cards. Like NFC, this app was supposed to shine in mobile payments. In practice, however, I’ve found it more helpful as a way to replace frequent-customer cards and apps. For example, by entering my credentials for the Belly rewards service there, I don’t need to bother installing its app — and Google Wallet is smart enough to brighten the screen automatically and display the Belly QR code when I need to scan at a participating establishment.

8. When in doubt, swipe from the sides. Android often uses swipes into the screen as shortcuts. For example, swipe from the bottom on Nexus and some other phones to invoke Google Now; to get to the Play store’s menu, swipe from the left edge across; for quicker adjustments to things like WiFi and Bluetooth, swipe down with two fingers from the top. It’s not always obvious what your options are, but Google’s new “Material Design” is supposed to help.

9. Android devices are underrepresented on the Web. Android has an overwhelming share of the mobile market — almost 85 percent of smartphones shipped in the second quarter and almost 66 percent of tablets shipped in the first quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. But Android devices are not used that much on the Web. Another research firm, NetMarketShare, found that in June, more mobile Web users ran iOS (45.61 percent) than Android (43.75 percent). One common theory for that: Many low-end Android phones are used more like traditional “feature phones” — as in, their owners mainly employ them for phone calls.

 

 

Read more:




#2 adrynalyne

adrynalyne

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,439 posts
  • Joined: 29-November 09

Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:23

I knew all of them. None are secret features or anything. 



#3 Sir Topham Hatt

Sir Topham Hatt

    A Very Talented Individual

  • 6,755 posts
  • Joined: 02-November 03
  • Location: Island of Sodor, UK

Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:43

4. You can take “Photo Sphere” panoramas.


Windows Phone also has the feature but simply isn't that great at it, which is a shame.

 

These days I am finding more and more reasons to want to go back to Android, but now I have tasted WP, I can't stand Android as an OS.



#4 Open Minded

Open Minded

    Balance

  • 1,309 posts
  • Joined: 14-July 11
  • Location: California

Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:48

Windows Phone also has the feature but simply isn't that great at it, which is a shame.

 

These days I am finding more and more reasons to want to go back to Android, but now I have tasted WP, I can't stand Android as an OS.

 

What about it can you not stand?



#5 rfirth

rfirth

    Software Engineer

  • 4,221 posts
  • Joined: 11-September 09
  • Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 620

Posted 02 August 2014 - 19:45


1. The malware threat nearly vanishes if you stick to Google’s Play store. Apps that can steal your data are a real threat on all mobile devices. But the security firm F-Secure found that in the second half of last year, only about 0.1 percent of apps surveyed in Google’s Play store contained malware — lower than any other Android app store. Further, it noted, “the Play Store is most likely to promptly remove nefarious applications, so malware encountered there tends to have a short shelf life.”

 

Only 0.1%? That's a relief.

 

In July 2013, the Google Play store passed 1 million apps. If 0.1% are malware, that's 1,000 malware apps on the Google Play store.

 

 


2. Chrome can impersonate a desktop browser.

 

So can Windows Phone.

 

 


3. GPS still works in Airplane Mode.

 

I do this all the time with my Windows Phone.

 

 


4. You can take “Photo Sphere” panoramas.

 

Another thing I've tried a few times. But I much prefer a single rectangular image, or a panorama. Spheres are just weird.

 

 


5. You can’t banish bloatware, but you can bury it.

 

That's a shame. You can do that in just a couple taps on Windows Phone.

 

 


6. NFC may not be useful for buying stuff, but it can help your phone talk to other gadgets.

 

Another thing that isn't Android-specific.

 

 


7. Google Wallet can store loyalty cards.

 

Wallet app on Windows Phone stores my Walgreens card just fine.

 

 

I guess I was just expecting more from this list.



#6 Nagisan

Nagisan

    Neowinian Senior

  • 5,171 posts
  • Joined: 02-June 06

Posted 02 August 2014 - 20:35

I was unaware of being able to disable the bloatware.....I had always simply hid it from my app grid before (my previous phone can't disable bloatware as it runs an older version of Android, so I never thought to check for that as a feature in my newer phone), didn't know you could actually disable it. Outside of that, I either knew of or don't care about the rest of the list.



#7 red.

red.

    Neowinian Senior

  • 4,010 posts
  • Joined: 28-May 03
  • Location: Kent, England

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:10

Only 0.1%? That's a relief.

 

In July 2013, the Google Play store passed 1 million apps. If 0.1% are malware, that's 1,000 malware apps on the Google Play store.

 

 

 

So can Windows Phone.

 

 

 

I do this all the time with my Windows Phone.

 

 

 

Another thing I've tried a few times. But I much prefer a single rectangular image, or a panorama. Spheres are just weird.

 

 

 

Wallet app on Windows Phone stores my Walgreens card just fine.

 

 

I guess I was just expecting more from this list.

 

I think you misread the title. It's not "9 things Android can do that Windows Phone can't'.

 

No real need to bring WP into it.



#8 +FiB3R

FiB3R

    aka DARKFiB3R

  • 7,413 posts
  • Joined: 06-November 02
  • Location: SE London
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Phone: Lumia 930

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:22

Windows Phone also has the feature but simply isn't that great at it, which is a shame.

 

These days I am finding more and more reasons to want to go back to Android, but now I have tasted WP, I can't stand Android as an OS.

Dunno, Photosynth can do some pretty cool things. But then MS developed that for Android too.

 

http://photosynth.ne...47-2eb1e833365d


I think you misread the title. It's not "9 things Android can do that Windows Phone can't'.

 

No real need to bring WP into it.

That is a fair point. It probably should have read "Look at this click bait list of things you probably already know, and are not just limited to Android."



#9 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 62,884 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:29

I'd like to know why Android blocks search engines, other than Google. :/

Hmmm .... I just got dogpile.com to work on Firefox.

Odd.

#10 tsupersonic

tsupersonic

    Neowinian Senior

  • 6,658 posts
  • Joined: 30-September 06
  • Location: USA
  • OS: Win. 8.1 Pro. x64/Mac OS X
  • Phone: iPhone 5S/Nexus 5

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:35

I'd like to know why Android blocks search engines, other the Google. :/

:huh: What do you mean? You can change your browser search, and you can even download the Bing app if you want.

 

Do people really read these Yahoo articles? The quality of the content is so poor...with (sometimes) flashy headlines.



#11 +FiB3R

FiB3R

    aka DARKFiB3R

  • 7,413 posts
  • Joined: 06-November 02
  • Location: SE London
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Phone: Lumia 930

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:36

:huh: What do you mean? You can change your browser search, and you can even download the Bing app if you want.

Windows Phone, on the other hand... :(



#12 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 62,884 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 August 2014 - 21:48

:huh: What do you mean? You can change your browser search, and you can even download the Bing app if you want.
 
Do people really read these Yahoo articles? The quality of the content is so poor...with (sometimes) flashy headlines.


I'm guessing I was using Chrome other times.

I could get to dogpile.com, but no search results would come up -- no results found.

#13 tsupersonic

tsupersonic

    Neowinian Senior

  • 6,658 posts
  • Joined: 30-September 06
  • Location: USA
  • OS: Win. 8.1 Pro. x64/Mac OS X
  • Phone: iPhone 5S/Nexus 5

Posted 02 August 2014 - 22:04

I'm guessing I was using Chrome other times.

I could get to dogpile.com, but no search results would come up -- no results found.

I just tried going to dogpile.com using Chrome & Chrome Beta, and doing a search for neowin - it worked just fine. I tried on two devices (Android L on Nexus 5, Kitkat on Nexus 7)



#14 Buttus

Buttus

    Neowinian Senior

  • 3,323 posts
  • Joined: 07-September 05

Posted 02 August 2014 - 22:16

a photosphere in about a minute?   no way, not a full 360 degree half sphere, unless you want crazy overlaps or blur

 

i like #3, didn't know that. 



#15 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 62,884 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 August 2014 - 22:16

^ Maybe this was before the Andriod update I got.

Maybe they updated Chrome also.

I know several times after I got this tablet, I absolutely could not get any Search results, unless I switched to Google.

Maybe Google changed a policy.

Who knows.

I am on Samsung Galaxy 10.1