Android is one of the best mobile operating systems. You can find it in smartphones, tablets, smart watches, fitness trackers, and even in your car dashboard.
The success of Android is partially due to its flexibility and open source.
Android Guides includes all our latest how-to guides on using Android devices organized in following sections:
Android 101 section covers core features of Android. These guides are version-independent.
Android 101 is also an excellent start point for new Android users.
Android Lollipop Guides
Android Lollipop guides section covers new features in Android Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1.
Android Marshmallow Guides
Android Marshmallow guides section covers new features in Android Lollipop 6.
Android Nougat Guides
Android Nougat guides section covers new features in Android Nougat 7.0 and 7.1
List of recent Android guides
This Android Pie guide explains where to find the screenshot shortcut in Android Pie and how to use it to take a screenshot in Android Pie.
Why you may need the screenshot shortcut?
In all Android phones, the default method of taking a screenshot is pressing and holding the power button and volume down button simultaneously.
Using this button combination to take screenshots works on all Android phones and tablets. regardless of the version of Android. Even on Amazon Fire tablets, you can take a screenshot with the power button and volume down button although Amazon tried very hard to de-Google in the Fire OS (which is based on Android).
The method is simple and easy if you “master” it.
The tricky part is that you need to press and hold the two buttons “simultaneously“. It means
- If you hold the power button too early, you get the power menu (power button options).
- If you hold the volume down button too early, you get the volume settings.
For many users who take screenshots only occasionally, it is hard to control the timing.
So, a shortcut for taking screenshots is one of the most popular features in some Android phones.
Now, Google finally introduced the screenshot shortcut to take a screenshot on Android Pie.
Both new users and experienced users will find it very useful. Even your grandma can easily take a screenshot with the screenshot shortcut.
Where is the screenshot shortcut in Android Pie?
After hearing about this new Android Pie feature, Some Android Pie users tried to find the screenshot shortcut in the quick settings.
Of course, they cannot find it.
The screenshot shortcut is in power menu (aka power button options).
You can hold the power button for about 2 seconds to get the power menu /power button options as shown below.
By default, the shortcut to screenshot is enabled in the power button options. Stock Android does not offer a standard method to hide/unhide it.
However, some Android manufactures may customize this feature and let you enable or disable the button.
How to use the screenshot shortcut to take a screenshot on Android Pie?
To take a screenshot, you just need to call out the power button options, then tap Screenshot as shown above to take a screenshot for the screen (without the power button options).… Read the rest
The post How to use the screenshot shortcut to take a screenshot on Android Pie? appeared first on Android Guides.
If you just switched to Android from iPhone, you will get used to these Android Pie navigation gestures very quickly. But if you prefer the three navigation buttons, you need some time to adjust.
This Android Pie guide explains how to enable Android Pie navigation gestures, how to disable them, how to use them, and answer some questions you may have on Android Pie gestures.
Background of Android Pie navigation gestures
In Android OS, the navigation buttons had been an essential part. Since Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS, Android 4.0), on-screen navigation buttons (software based navigation button) has been introduced to replace the hardware capacitive buttons.
Although Google wanted to kill the hardware buttons in Android (FYI, all Google released phones including Nexus and Pixel phones only use on-screen navigation buttons), Android manufacturers, especially Samsung, are slow to move in this direction. For example, Samsung only started to remove the hardware buttons in Galaxy S8 and S8+ in 2017.
For new smartphone users and old people, the navigation buttons (hardware or on-screen) are very useful and intuitive.
But for experienced users and younger generations, gestures can be more productive.
In Android 9, Google decided to add navigation gestures to partially replace the on-screen navigation buttons.
Of course, the Android Pie navigation gesture is not a complete replacement to the old navigation buttons because:
- Android Pie navigation gestures still need the home button. Back button will also appear automatically whenever necessary.
- Android manufacturers can always customize the gestures, or even disable them and use the old 3 navigation buttons.
In the future Android releases (e.g., Android Q), very likely, Google will strengthen and navigation gestures. In fact, in Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the old navigation buttons were disabled, and owners have to use the Android Pie navigation gestures.
What are the Android Pie navigation gestures?
Android Pie navigation gestures are all based on the home button. Here is the list of supported gestures:
- Swipe upwards from the home button to see recent apps. This is equivalent to tapping the Recent/overview button in the old 3-button system.
- Swipe right from the home button to switch to the previous app. In the old 3-button system, you need to get this in two steps: tap the Recent/Overview button, then tap the icon in the overview screen.
Android Pie guides cover major new features in Android Pie (Android 9.0). You can learn to use your Android Pie phones confidently with the help of these guides.
Why should you check these Android Pie Guides?
As explained in this post, there are many new features in Android Pie (Android 9). Even for a seasoned Android user, some of the new features are not straightforward.
So, we prepare these Android Pie guides to help both new and seasoned Android users master the new features in Android Pie (Android 9).
In other words, these Android Pie guides will help you use the Android Pie phone more effectively and productively.
All the guides in this section include detailed step-by-step instructions. So, they are easy to follow for all phone users.
We also highlight possible variations of customizations of some features in different phones in the guide to make sure that these guides work on most phones with Android Pie.
List of Android Pie Guides
Android Pie guides page is a live one: more guides will be added after we fully test them.
If you cannot find the guide you want, you can leave your request in the comment box below. We will try to speed up the release of the relevant guides.
If you have any questions on using an Android Pie phone, you can post your questions in the comment box as well. The community will help you get the answer quickly.
Here is the list of Android Pie guides released or to be released shortly.
This Android Pie guide explains the top 20 new features in Android Pie (Android 9): new navigational gestures, digital wellbeing, adaptive battery, dark mode, adaptive brightness, app actions, slices, app timers, wind down, screenshot shortcut, lockdown mode, overview selection, multitasking, multi-camera and external camera support, smart replies, notification management, text magnifier, volume controls, and accessibility menu.
Read on …
Android Pie introduced a set of new navigation gestures to replace the navigation buttons. Of course, there are many other new features in Android Pie.
This Android Pie guide explains how to enable Android Pie navigation gestures, how to disable them, how to use them, and answer some questions you may have on Android Pie gestures.
Read on …
Although Android manufacturers may customize or cripple some of the new features of Android Pie (9) in their devices, you will still enjoy a similar Android Pie experiences.
This Android Pie guide explains the top 20 new features of Android Pie (Android 9) most users will enjoy.
What is Android Pie (Android 9)?
Android Pie, aka Android P or Android 9, is the 9th major update of Android OS. It was officially released to the public on August 6, 2018.
As the successor of Android Oreo, many new features of Android Pie are expected in both of the user interface (UI) and the underhood.
Since the release of Android Icecream Sandwich (Android 4.0) in 2011, Google has released one major update of Android each year: Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) in 2012, Android KitKat (Android 4.4) in 2013, Android Lollipop (Android 5) in 2014, Android Marshmallow (Android 6) in 2015, Android Nougat (Android 7) in 2016 and Android Oreo (Android 8) in 2017.
On the release date, only Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL received the Android Pie (Android 9) update. Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the first phones shipped with Android Pie.
Most Android vendors started to roll out Android Pie update for their flagship phones from October 2018.
Why do you care about the new features of Android Pie (Android 9)
For most end-users, user interface (UI) is one of the most important features.
Android Pie will not disappoint you. There are tons of UI improvements. Of course, unless you are using a Google Pixel phone or an Android One phone, the manufacturers may tweak these new UI features a bit.
This page highlights the top 20 new features of Android Pie that most Android users will be happy to enjoy.
For app developers, there are also many new features of Android Pie. For example, Android Pie now supports the Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT). So you can take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps.
Anyway, updating your phone to Android Pie will rejuvenate your Oreo phone, which may look boring and work slower day-by-day.
#1 of the top 20 new features of Android Pie: new navigational gestures
Navigation buttons (Home, Back and Recents/Overview) have been a standard feature in Android for a long time.… Read the rest
In Android Ore0 8.0 and 8.1, smart text selection was introduced by adding a dynamic (smart) option (based on text highlighted) to the text selection menu.
So, you can get one additional option (in addition to the normal text selection in previous versions of Android) to use the highlighted text directly without going through the copy and paste procedure.
This Android Oreo guide explains to you what smart text selection is, and how to use this feature with examples.
What is smart text selection?
Prior to Android Oreo, selection, copy, and paste are all independent of other operations.
For example, after you finish the text selection, Android simply put the contents in the clipboard and close the pop-out window. Later, you can paste the text in supported apps.
Smart text selection in Android Oreo gives you a suggested shortcut to specific apps, in addition to all other text selection options.
The suggested app shortcut is based on the contents highlighted.
For example, if you highlight a number, Android Oreo may think it is probably a phone number and therefore the phone app is suggested.
If you highlight an email address, smart text selection will think you may want to email this person, and therefore GMail app is suggested.
When you highlight an address, then Google Maps app will be suggested.
In Android Oreo, smart text selection can only suggest apps that can directly operate on the highlighted text.
How to use smart text selection?
Smart text selection is always enabled in Android Oreo.
There are no user-accessible settings for it. This means you even cannot disable it even if you do not like it.
Smart text selection in Android Oreo may suggest various apps such as Google Maps, GMail, Chrome and Phone.
Here are some examples of smart text selection for these apps.
Smart text selection for Google Maps
Android Oreo can detect addresses from highlighted phrases and suggest Google Maps as the following app to use the selected text.
When an address is highlighted, as shown below, Google Maps is placed before the cut/copy options in the copy/paste menu.
You have the option to use cut/copy/paste and other options normally as in text selection in Android Marshmallow/Nougat.
If you tap Google Maps as shown above, your phone will bring you directly to Google Maps and display the address highlighted, as shown below.
In this case, the highlighted text (the address) will NOT be saved in the clipboard.… Read the rest
Since Android Gingerbread, Google always hides an Easter egg in each major version of Android.
The Easter egg in Android Nougat is even more interesting. The cat-catching game (Android Neko) is somewhat addictive for some users.
Android Oreo is not an exception. It also comes with an Easter egg.
What is Android Oreo Easter Egg?
Android Oreo’s Easter Egg features an octopus (because it is Android O).
It is a simple game: you can watch the octopus moving in the sea. Of course, you can drag it to move faster and change its path.
How to access the Android Oreo Easter egg game?
Google did not change the way to access Easter egg in Android Oreo.
If you are new to Android Easter egg, you may follow these steps to access the Android Oreo Easter egg game.
Step 1: Access phone settings
You can access phone settings via quick settings panel or settings app in the Home screen or Apps screen.
For example, as shown below, you can tap the settings icon (gear) in quick settings panel to access phone settings.
Step 2: Access Android version
In settings, scroll all the way down until you find system (or about phone in some Android phones).
Then as shown below, tap on System.
In System page, tap on About phone.
In About phone page, you can find the Android version.
For example, as shown below, this Pixel XL is running Android 8.1.0.
Please note, some Android vendors may arrange the Android version in other locations.
Step 3: unhide Android Oreo Easter egg
You can unhide the Android Oreo Easter egg by tapping rapidly on Android version for more than 5 times.
An Android Oreo icon should appear as shown below.
Step 4: Play Android Oreo Easter egg game
Tap on the Android Oreo icon rapidly a few times and hold it to launch the game.
There are also a few other ways to launch the game as well.
The Android Oreo Easter egg- an octopus, would appear.
You can drag the octopus by its head around the screen to move it.
To exit the game, simply press the back icon on the navigation bar.
Do you know how to unhide Android Oreo Easter egg? Do you know how to play the Android Oreo Easter egg game?
Notification channels (notification categories) in Android Oreo give you granular control of notifications.
You can manage individual channels of notifications from all apps to meet your needs. You can use notification categories (channels) together with notification dots and notification snooze to get total control of notifications in your Android Oreo phones.
This Android Oreo guide explains what notification channels are, 3 ways to access notification categories and how to manage notification channels in Android Oreo phones.
What are notification channels?
When an app pushes notifications, you may want to only allow a certain type of notifications, for example, important notifications related to certain activities, to appear in the notification panel.
Prior to Android Oreo 8.0, you can enable or disable notifications for individual apps. You can also silence notification for individual apps.
But you cannot selectively disable or enable some notifications of an app.
In Android Ore0, developers can group notifications of their apps into different notification channels (aka notification categories). You, as a user, can disable or enable individual notification channel (notification category) based on your preferences. For example, you can allow notifications from a specific notification channel to bypass do not disturb.
In a nutshell, notification channels offer granular control of notifications of individual apps. You can manage the notifications of each channel as well as of individual app.
Notification channels are enabled by individual app developers for their apps. Apps developed for older versions of Android (API level less than 27) will not have notification channels even if your phone was updated to Android Oreo.
How to access notification channels in Android Oreo?
There are at least 3 ways to access the notification channels for individual apps:
- via Quick Settings panel;
- Settings app;
- in the notifications panel.
Accessing notification channel through the Quick Settings panel or settings app
Step 1: Access the Settings menu
You can tap the settings app icon in the Home screen or Apps screen to enter phone settings.
Alternatively, you can open the quick settings panel by pulling the status bar downwards (swiping down from the status bar).
Then in the quick settings panel, tap the settings icon as shown below to access phone settings.
Step 2: Check apps and their notification channels (notification categories)
In the Settings page, tap Apps & notifications as shown below.
In apps and notifications page, tap on notifications then tap on app notifications.
To see various notification channels for each app, tap on the app.… Read the rest
The post How to use and manage notification channels in Android Oreo? appeared first on Android Guides.
Notification snooze allows you to temporally snooze a notification and act on it later on. This is similar to snooze an alarm.
When a notification is snoozed, it is not dismissed so that it will remind you again after the snoozing period (which you can customize) expires.
What is notification snooze?
Once in a while, you may want to snooze a notification, instead of dismissing it, when you cannot handle it at that moment.
If you simply dismiss the notification, you very likely will forget it and you may miss some important events.
Notification snooze is a new feature introduced in Android Oreo 8.0. It allows you to snooze notifications to avoid notifications from cluttering in the notification panel.
At the same time, notification snooze will help you to keep the important ones.
How to use notification snooze in Android Oreo?
Notification snooze settings are integrated into the notification panel and notification channels in Android Oreo.
You can use snooze notifications directly in the notification panel.
You can also manage settings for notification snooze in the notification shade.
Please note, you cannot use notification snooze in notification dots. This means you cannot snooze notifications through notification dots menu in home screen or apps screen.
Access notification snooze icon
Notification snooze is associated with individual notifications or notification channels.
When a new notification arrives, you can then snooze it.
To access the notification snooze icon, partially slide the notification to either the right or left until a clock icon appears as shown below.
The clock icon would be accompanied by a settings (gear) icon which leads to the notifications channels and other settings.
Choose duration of snooze time or cancel snooze
When you tap the clock icon, as shown above, the default snooze menu will be shown.
Tap Snoozed for 1 hour (except 1 hour area) to snooze the notification immediately for 1 hour.
Tap Undo as shown below to cancel the operation (i.e., not to snooze the notification).
As shown above, the default duration for notification snooze is 1 hour.
You can tap 1 hour to change the snooze duration to 3 other options: 15 mins, 30 mins or 2 hours as shown below
As mentioned above, you can cancel the snooze by tapping ‘undo’ in notification snooze menu. … Read the rest
Notification dots (aka notification badges), a new feature in Android Oreo 8.0 (and 8.1) quickly alerts you to unattended notifications from supported apps so that you will not miss any important notifications.
In addition to notifications in the notification panel, you can now find notification dots, which represents unread notifications near corresponding app icons, in the home screen and apps screen.
This Android Oreo guide shows you how to use notification dots in Android Oreo 8.0 and Android Oreo 8.1
What are notification dots?
When a new notification arrives, it will be automatically shown in the notification panel.
If you clear all notifications in the notification panel, you can then only find the notification/message after you open the app.
Therefore, sometimes, you may miss some important notifications, when you accidentally clear all attended notifications and forget to open the app later.
This problem was addressed in Android Oreo 8.0 with the introduction of notification dots.
If you are a Samsung Galaxy phone users, you probably have used the number badge already. But number badge is Samsung’s proprietary implementation. Only apps that implemented some Samsung libraries will have this number badge feature.
Notification dots in Android Oreo works with all apps. Even the app was developed (targeted) for old versions of Android, Android Oreo is able to show notification dots (notification badges).
You can also customize notification dots in Android Oreo.
For example, you can enable or disable notification dots for individual apps (read on). Notification dots also work with notification channel introduced in Android Oreo.
App developers can further customize notifications to be shown in notification dots.
How to use notification dots in Android Oreo?
Notification badges only appear when you receive notifications in an app.
For example, if you receive a new SMS message, a notification dot would appear at the top right of the messages app icon as shown below.
If it is an app folder, the notification dots indicate the presence of notification badges for one or more of the apps inside the folder. You need open the folder to find out the app having unattended notifications.
To see the notification, press and hold the (long press) app icon.
A pop-up (pop-out) window will appear. App developers can customize this pop-up window.
So the look of this pop-out window may vary from app to app.
For example, for Android Messages app, the pop-up window looks like below when you have unread messages.… Read the rest
The post How to use notification dots (notification badges) in Android Oreo? appeared first on Android Guides.
In this Android Oreo guide, you will learn how to use picture-in-picture (PIP) mode in Android Oreo 8.0 and 8.1. We will show you two examples of using picture-in-picture (PIP) mode in Android Oreo: VLC player and Google Duo.
If you are using a Samsung phones, you should check this guide.
What is picture-in-picture (PIP) mode?
PIP is a multi-window mode which is mainly used for video playback. You can use any app with a video playing (or Google Maps navigation) window floating over it.
As picture-in-picture (PIP) mode is a new feature for Android devices requiring the latest Android API (level 27), the number of supported apps is still very limited.
Currently, PIP mode can be used for apps such as Youtube (only if you have Youtube Red), VLC for Android, Google Duo, voice navigation in Google Maps, video calls in Whatsapp and a few others.
This list will expand when more app developers enable PIP support in their apps.
How to grant permission for picture-in-picture (PIP) mode in Android Oreo?
In order for apps to use picture-in-picture (PIP) mode, you have to grant them the permission first.
Apps that can float over other apps in PIP mode need a special permission. By default, this permission is granted when you install the apps.
This is required only for the floating apps. Apps under the floating app don’t need any special permission.
You may follow these steps to grant app permission for picture-in-picture (PIP) mode so that these apps can float over other apps.
Step 1: Enter the Settings page
You can enter the Settings menu through the Settings app in home screen or apps screen.
Another way to access the Settings menu is through the Quick Settings panel by swiping down from the status bar or top of the screen as shown below.
Step 2: Enter Apps and Notifications settings
Tap on Apps & notifications in Settings page as shown below.
Step 3: Access Advanced settings
Once in apps and notification page, scroll down until you see advanced as shown below.
Step 4: Grant permission for picture-in-picture mode
Tap on Advanced and then select Special App Access.… Read the rest
The post How to use picture-in-picture (PIP) mode in Android Oreo 8.0 and 8.1? appeared first on Android Guides.