Cool Smartphone Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

Paul Brown
21.03.2019 Published: 21.03.19, Modified: 21.03.2019 14:03:20

If you’re like most people, you use your smartphone every single day. Do you ever wonder if you’re using your phone to its full potential? You would be surprised how many hidden, unique features your device has. Here are a few neat tricks that you may not have known about for both Samsung and Apple devices.

Samsung Devices

Android phone on a tables edge.

1. Multitask using a multi-window
Have you ever wanted to use two apps at once on your Smartphone? For example, browse the web while watching a video? Samsung allows you to split your screen so that you can use both apps at once. Hit the button to the left of the home button and then press the button that looks like 2 rectangles on top of one another (located next to the ‘X’). Then, simply choose the two screens from your app history to use both at once.

2. Rapid charging
Thanks to Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge technology, their smartphones have the ability to charge very quickly. To enable rapid charging on your device, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Advanced Setting > Fast Cable Charging. It is important to note that this rapid charging feature performs the best when using the Samsung adapters and charging wires.

3. Create GIFs from any video or image
In order to use this feature, your Edge Panel feature needs to be activated. To turn it on, go to Settings > Display > Edge Screen > Switch Edge Panels On > Edge Panels > Check off Smart Select.

To make a GIF from a video, go to YouTube or your gallery and select a video. Then, swipe left from your phone’s right edge. When the edge panel shows up, select ‘animation’ and adjust the GIF to your preference. How cool is that?

You can also combine a number of photos to make them into a repeating slideshow. To do this, go to the three vertical dots on the top right corner of your screen and select “Create GIF”. Then, just select the photos you wish to use.

4. Extra storage
One of the prime reasons to own an Android device is that it allows you to add extra storage to the device if you are running out. You can add additional storage on almost all Android devices using a micro SD card. Certain apps can even be moved onto the SD card using the Application Manager.

5. Secure folders
Samsung’s Secure Folder feature allows you to keep certain photos, files and apps hidden from others. In order to view these contents, you must provide a password. To use this feature, go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Secure Folder > Sign in > Set Password. Then, add the contents you would like hidden into the secure folder.

6. Built-in Scanner
Scanning is a long and tedious process when you’re using a large, bulky printer. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to use your phone? Well, Androids have a built-in scanner. Go to the Google Drive app and select the folder you want to save your scanned documents in. Then, press the ‘+’ on the bottom right and choose ‘Scan’. To make it easier for your device to recognise the edges of your document, ensure that you use a contrasting background (e.g. white document on a black counter).

7. Hidden game on all Android devices
Go to Settings > About Phone > Software Information and then tap ‘Android Version’ 4-5 times. Press the image that appears 4-5 times and then hold it for 5 seconds. This will take you to a screen where you can play a fun game. A new one appears after every Android version update.

Apple Devices

White iPhone with gold accents centred with a beige background.

1. Make your speakers louder
On Apple devices, you can add various effects to your speakers. The most useful effect is to make your sound quality louder than the maximum volume on your device. To use this feature, go to Settings > Music > EQ and select “Late Night”.

2. Backspace on calculator
The most common complaint that I’ve heard about the calculator app is the inability to delete a number once it’s pressed. It’s frustrating to restart your calculation because of one mistake. But, there’s a neat little trick that works as a backspace button. Swipe left on the number you want to delete and it will go away. But, the number must be the last number entered.

3. Document scanner in notes
Just like Androids, Apple has conveniently built in a document scanner into your device. To use this feature, open the Notes app and create a new note or open an existing one. Then, press ‘+’ and then ‘Scan Documents’. Take a photo of your document, make any adjustments required and hit ‘save’.

4. Search based on objects in pictures
If you have a long camera roll, the Photos app has a useful search option where you can search for a photo based on who or what is in picture . Once you open the ‘Photos’ app, there is a search button located either at the top right or bottom right of your screen.

5. Teach Siri to pronounce
Siri has the ability to learn how to pronounce words, such as names. First, activate Siri and say the name so that Siri repeats it. Say “you’re pronouncing *name* wrong”. When Siri asks you how to pronounce it, say it correctly. Siri will then provide you with a few pronunciation options for you to choose from. Siri will use the new pronunciation moving forward.

6. Custom vibrations
Custom ringtones are great, but most of us keep our phones on vibrate. Did you know you can also set and create custom vibrations for your contacts? Open the Settings app > Sound & Haptics > Ringtone > Vibration > Choose/Create Vibration > Stop (if creating) > Save > Name Vibration. To assign it to a contact, open the Contacts App > Choose Contact > Press ‘Edit’ > Press ‘Vibration’ > Choose Vibration.

7. Hide photos
Have you ever given someone your phone and didn’t want them to see certain photos? You can actually hide some photos from your camera roll. This can be done by opening the Photos app and then pressing ‘Select’. Then, just choose the photos that you want hidden. Tap the share icon on the bottom left and then the hide icon in scroll bar at the bottom.

Your smartphone is an intricate device and probably has many more functions than you think. I highly suggest that you take a few minutes and conduct some research on your own phone. Many of these unknown features will probably make your life easier so take advantage of them.

Want to find out more about the tech and business opportunities offered at FDM? Apply here.

Read more tech industry news from our blog:

Featured image credit: Photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash

Body image credits: