Four Android features that almost NO ONE knows about – including app pause and guest mode

YOUR Android smartphone is full of clever tricks – but not all of them are immediately obvious.

We reveal four of the best hidden Android hacks, including skills that will make them easier to use in the future…

There are many Android tricks to learn


There are many Android tricks to learnCredit: Google

Fast app switching

One of the most useful Android tricks that most people don’t know about is the quick app switching gesture feature, which is reminiscent of the old alt-tab shortcut on Windows computers.

The way it works is that you can quickly go back to your most recently used app just by swiping your finger right anywhere at the bottom of the screen. From there, you can swipe right again to go back to another step in your app history, or swipe left to go the other way.

However, you must ensure that you have Android’s current gesture system enabled and are not using on-screen navigation buttons.

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Quick access to apps

Another nifty hack that helps with usability and efficiency is a hidden feature called App Shortcuts.

App Shortcuts give you a direct link to specific features in the apps on your phone, making searching for files or features on your phone a lot less painful.

It works by allowing you to access individual actions or areas within an app without having to open it and rummage through the menus or tapping on multiple commands.

To use this nifty feature, simply press and hold your finger on any of your apps’ icons for about a second and the options will appear in a drop-down menu.

For example, in Google Docs you can open a brand new document or use the app’s search function without having to launch it and wasting more of that all-important battery power.

Switch to guest mode

Ever had a family member or friend want to use your phone for something for a moment and you were a little worried they might see something personal that they shouldn’t?

Android’s guest mode is the answer to this very problem. In what is essentially an incognito mode for your entire phone, guest mode turns your phone into a blank device with only the basic pre-installed system apps available. Your own personal apps and accounts are safely hidden under the hood.

To use guest mode, open the system tray of your phone’s settings, tap on “Advanced” and then on “Multiple Users” and toggle the switch at the top to the “On” position. When you have completed this step, swipe down twice from the top of the screen and select your user profile picture before clicking on the “Add Guest” option.

To exit, just repeat the last step but tap on the Remove Guest option.

However, note that Samsung is the only Android operator that has chosen not to use this feature. So if you are a Galaxy smartphone owner, you cannot use guest mode.

Pause selected apps

If you want to take a break from certain app notifications but still need to be on the lookout for other, more important ones, a hidden feature called app pause lets you selectively mute the apps you choose for a specific amount of time.

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To activate it, press and hold your finger on any app icon on your home screen and look for the hourglass icon. Tap on it and the app’s icon will gray out, indicating it’s in suspended mode.

While this feature might be very smart, it’s only available on Google’s own version of Android. That’s right, so unfortunately you can only find it if you’re using a Pixel phone or an Android One device.

The best tips and hacks for phones and gadgets


Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find these secret features in social media apps? We’ve got you covered…

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Fry Electronics Team

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