Today almost everyone has an Android or Apple smartphone and everyone uses their smartphone for basic stuff like calling, messaging, social networking, listening music, watching videos etc. Everyone knows how to do all these things using their smartphone. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
But there are many features which we do not know about or don’t know how to use. Here are several features which will make your life easier with your smartphone.
1. Virtual Assistant (Android and iOS)
So what is a Virtual Assistant? A Virtual Assistant is an assistant in your smartphone which helps you to complete certain tasks. If you have an Android phone your virtual assistant will be ‘Google Now’ or ‘Google Assistant’ (Depends on your Android Version) and if you have an iPhone 4S or newer model your assistant will be Siri(You can even use Google Assistant on iPhone now just by downloading it from the App Store). Now many people know about these virtual assistants but don’t know how to use them. In most of the phones holding the home button will activate your virtual assistant (But it may be different depending on your smartphone). Now what to do after activating them. Well, you can talk to them and give them commands.
These are several tasks which you complete using virtual assistant:
1. Calling Someone
You can use the following command to call someone, “Call person’s name“. For example, you can say “Call Jack” or “Call Rahul” you can even dial a number by saying “Call 99885544” or whatever the phone number is.
2. Setting an alarm
You can set alarm by using commands “Set an alarm for seven am” or “Waking me up at six thirty am” or “Wake me up in one and a half hour” etc.
3. Setting reminder
You can set a reminder using the command “Remind me to complete my homework at six pm on Friday”.
4. Opening Apps
You can say “Open WhatsApp” or the name of the application which you want to open and the application will get launched.
5. Asking Questions
You can ask questions like “Who is the prime minister of India” or “Who is the fastest man on the earth” or “What is the height of the tallest man on the Earth”.
You can complete many more tasks just by using your voice. For a list of what other things you can do ask your assistant “What can you do”.
2. Smart Lock (Android 5.0 and up only)
Smart Lock is a feature which detects if the phone is with us using various methods and keeps it unlocked. You can find this feature by going into Settings–>Security–>Smart Lock.
There you will see the following methods to activate Smart Lock:
1. On-body Detection
It detects if the phone is with you(on your body). It does that by detecting if the phone is in motion and as long as it’s in motion it will remain unlocked. But it can’t detect if the phone is with you or someone else. So if someone else takes your device while it’s been unlocked, they might be able to access it. Keep this in mind.
2. Trusted Places
In this method, it uses the location of your device to keep it unlocked. For example, if you are at your home and if you want to keep your phone unlocked you can add the location of your house and the phone will remain unlocked it’s in that location. You can add more than one trusted places and whichever places you add the phone will remain unlocked in those places.
3. Trusted Devices
It detects devices connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth or NFC(Near Field Communication). Now you can add trusted devices and whenever your phone is connected with any of the added devices it will remain unlocked. For example, if you use a Bluetooth headphones then you can add that device to the list of ‘Trusted devices’ and when your phone gets connected with your headphones it will remain unlocked.
4. Trusted Face
This is basically one of the methods to unlock your phone. In this method, you can add a face a face and on the lock screen the phone will detect the face of the person it sees through the front camera and if it matches with any of the face added to the ‘Trusted face’ list the phone gets unlocked.
5. Trusted Voice
Yes, you guessed it right you can use your voice using this method. Just enable the option to use your voice to unlock the face and then whenever you say ‘Ok Google’ the phone will get unlocked. Pretty cool huh! But there are also risks in using this option. Someone can unlock the phone who has a similar voice or using a recording of your voice.
3. Custom Launchers(Android only)
So what is a custom launcher? A custom launcher is basically a new interface for your homescreen. It may add a new design, features, fonts, icons etc. So if you have an Android phone and if you are not using a custom launcher you are missing out on so much. There are so many custom launchers available in the play store.
Now how to install a custom launcher? It’s very simple, download the custom launcher you want to use (I personally recommend Nova Launcher) using the Play Store and then open it. It will take you to your new homescreen. Now when you press the homebutton for the first time after installing the launcher it will ask you which launcher you want to use to go to your homescreen at that time select the new launcher that you installed and select it as default homescreen if you want to use it as your default launcher. If you want to set the new launcher as your default launcher afterwards you can do so by using this method and you can even clear the defaults.
Now you can play with it, explore it, add new widgets etc.
4. 3D Touch (iPhone 6S and newer)
3D Touch is a technology which detects the amount of pressure you are applying on the screen. And based on that it takes different actions. For example, you press a little harder on the camera icon and get different options like ‘Take a selfie’, ‘Record a video’ etc as you can see in the image. So if you want to open the front camera you can do that directly by tapping on the camera icon with a bit more pressure than you usually do and then select ‘Take a selfie’ and directly the front camera will open.
There are many places where you can use 3D touch to get more options and not only on the home screen you can use 3D touch in many applications (which are 3D touch compatible), control centre (the panel you see when you swipe up from the bottom) , notification centre etc. There are other tons of things you can do using 3D Touch.
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