Android is one of the best mobile operating systems. You can find it on smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and even 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 organised in the following sections:
The Android 101 section covers the core features of Android. These guides are version-independent.
Android 101 is also an excellent starting 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
The Android Nougat guides section covers new features in Android Nougat 7.0 and 7.1
Android Oreo Guides
For Android Oreo (Android 8.0 and 8.1), please check the Android Oreo guides page.
Android Pie Guides
For Android Pie (Android 9), please check the Android Pie guides page.
Android 10 Guides
For Android 10, please check the Android 10 guides page.
Android 11 Guides
For Android 11, please check the Android 11 guides page.
Android 12 Guides
For Android 12, please check the Android 12 guides page.
List of recent Android guides
It is not included in our top 12 new features in Android 12 because Extra Dim is a “niche” feature for very specific scenarios (if you often use the phone in a dark environment), not because it is not important.
Extra Dim is often misunderstood by even many professionals. Therefore, many users are confused the Extra Dim with the brightness control.
This Android 12 guide explains what the Extra Dim in Android 12 is, how it works, how to use it in Android 12, and corrects some common misunderstandings about Extra Dim in Android 12.
What is Extra Dim in Android 12?
Sometimes, you may feel the phone screen is too bright in a dark environment (e.g., in a theatre). However, the brightness level is already set to the minimum level or auto-brightness (adaptive brightness) is already on.
Basically, you are stuck on that uncomfortable brightness level.
Extra Dim, which was introduced in Android 12, is designed to solve this issue for you. It can further reduce up to 50% of the brightness of the screen for you.
In Android 12, Google implemented Extra Dim as an accessibility feature to further reduce the “brightness” of the screen below the minimum level specified by the hardware vendor.
This may sound ridiculous. How can the brightness be lower than the minimum level specified by the hardware vendor?
So, here is the catch. When Extra Dim is activated, the colour range will be reduced.
In other words, you get a dimmer screen at the price of the accuracy of the colours. Read on.
As this is a built-in accessibility feature in Android 12, none of the Android vendors has changed this feature.
In addition to the entry in the accessibility settings, a quick setting button for Extra Dim can be found in most Android 12 phones (e.g., in Galaxy S22).
How does Extra Dim in Android 12 work?
To understand how Extra Dim works, we need to know a bit (just a bit) about the colour and brightness.
Each colour on the screen has a value. For example, if the screen can only display 256 colours (8bit; most smartphone screens actually can display 16,777,216 colours or 24bit), the black colour will have a value of 0, and the white 255. The colour range is then 0-255.… Read the rest
This Android 12 guide explains why some Android devices got the Android 12 update already, some are still waiting for it, and some will never get it. The guide also shows how to check the Android 12 update for your device and how to update your phone (or tablet) to Android 12.
Why am I still waiting for the Android 12 update?
When Android 12 (Snow Cone) was released to the public on October 4, 2021, these were only the “core” of the new Android OS.
Unlike Windows, Android releases the source code, not the executable. The drivers for the components of your Android device, e.g., the touchscreen, the sensors, the modem, are usually not included.
So, before the new Android OS code is compiled with the drivers for the components, the source code of Android 12 is actually useless for your phone.
To make it worse, you have to wait for the manufacturer of your Android device to build the executable because most of these drivers are proprietary. You cannot do it by yourself.
So, it will take the manufacturer some time to test and build the new “firmware” for your phone. In fact, Google released the Android 12 build for Pixel phones on October 19, 2021. These are the first Android phones with Android 12 updates.
Some big manufacturers, like Samsung, are deeply involved in beta testing and usually have more resources to put everything together to roll out the Android 12 update. So, you will get the Android 12 update for your device within 2-3 months. Older devices may also get the Android 12 update, although the update usually comes later than newer devices.
Some middle-tier Android vendors, like Motorola (or its parent company Lenovo), are reluctant to invest resources on sold devices. They care more about getting quick money (sell new devices). They may roll out the Android update on a few latest models.
Smaller Android vendors may not have enough resources to build a new OS for older devices, and therefore, these devices will NEVER get the Android 12 update.
How about the unofficial Android 12 update?
Building the latest Android OS for older devices normally requires even more resources than for newer devices due to some compatibility (with some new features) issues of “a few” old components used in the older devices.… Read the rest
In Android 12, you can quickly snooze notifications and customize the snoozing period for individual notifications.
This Android 12 guide explains the new functions and features of quickly snoozing notifications and customizing the snoozing period for individual notifications. It shows you step-by-step how to use it to quickly snooze notifications in Android 12.
Please note this guide applies to stock Android 12 (including Android One) or near-stock Android 12 (e.g., on Moto phones). However, Android vendors may customize and alter this feature. For example, the notification snoozing works differently on Samsung Galaxy phones with Android 12 (One UI 4).
What’s new on snoozing notifications in Android 12?
Now, in Android 12, some new features/functions were added:
- A snooze button for each notification was added so that you can tap to snooze the notification for a while.
- A dropdown menu that allows you to customize snoozing period for individual notifications.
So, you will find these two minor updates extremely if you use the notification snooze frequently.
How to quickly snooze notifications in Android 12?
By default, when you expand notifications in the notification panel in Android 12, you will see the additional snoozing button, as shown in the screenshot below.
Each notification has its own snoozing button. And it is not necessary to use any gestures to access the button.
So, you can quickly snooze notifications in Android 12.
For example, as shown in the screenshot above, you can just tap the snooze button to snooze the notification for 1 hour, which is the default snooze duration in Android 12.
You can undo the snooze operation by tapping the Undo button, as shown in the screenshot below. This would cancel the snooze.
The snooze button, by default, also works in the lock screen. In other words, if you choose to show notification contents on the lock screen, you will also have the option to snooze the notifications on the lock screen directly without unlocking the phone to access the notification panel.
How to customize snoozing period for individual notifications in Android 12?
As mentioned, by default, notifications will be snoozed for 1 hour in Android 12 after you tap the snooze button.
You can customize the snooze duration shorter (up to 15 mins) or longer (up to 2 hours) without leaving the notification panel.… Read the rest
The post How to quickly snooze notifications in Android 12? appeared first on Android Guides.
All these Android 12 guides include detailed explanations and many screenshots so that you can follow them easily.
About Android 12 Guides
Since Android Lollipop (Android 5), Android guides are organized into two groups:
- Generic Android guides.
- Android guides for new features of each version.
The Android guides of the first group can be found on the Android 101 page. These guides usually work for all (or most) versions of Android.
With each major release of Android, we created a section inside the second group.
So, Android 12 guides are listed on this page. While guides for new features of Android 11 are listed on the Android 11 guides page. Same for other versions of Android.
The Android 12 guides listed on this page are mainly based on the stock Android. So they work on all Google Pixel phones (
Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL), Motorola Moto phones (Moto G, Moto E, Moto X, Moto Z), Nokia Android phones and all Android One phones with Android 12.
Please note, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL stopped at Android 11. So, there is no official Android 12 update for them.
If you are using a heavy-customized Android 12 phone, e.g., Samsung Galaxy S22 (coming soon), Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, the features may be slightly different. Some settings may be moved to different locations. Some features may be implemented differently (e.g., UI).
So, do not be panic if you notice the screenshots on these guides are substantially different from your phone. You can always ask for help in the comment section if you cannot follow through with the guide.
List of Android 12 Guides
This is a live page. We will update this page regularly when new Android 12 guides are tested and released.
You may bookmark this page or subscribe to this site to get the latest update for Android 12 guides.
If you have questions on Android 12, you can also post your questions in the comment section of this page.… Read the rest
Android 12, as the successor of Android 11, was publicly released on October 4, 2021, with many new features and improvements, as expected.
This guide summarizes the top 12 new features of Android 12 that most users will like (or need) to know. A concise explanation of each of these new features is provided to help users, especially those upgraded from Android 11, quickly start to use these new features.
Detailed step-by-step guides for some of these new features of Android 12 will be covered in other posts separately (and listed on the Android 12 Guides page).
Please note, a few big Android vendors (e.g., Samsung) may implement a few of these features differently in their Android 12 releases. So, if your phone is not running the stock (or near-stock) Android 12, you may find the settings are in different locations or have different options.
If you have questions about getting the Android 12 update for your device, you may check this guide.
Here is our list of the top 12 new features of Android 12.
1. Redesigned UI: one of the most eye-catching new features of Android 12
After you update to Android 12, you will very likely be surprised by the huge digital clock on the lock screen.
This is just an example of dramatic changes in the redesigned UI (user interface).
Based on Google, the redesigned UI in Android 12 lets users feel more comfortable. For example, you will see more space in the notification panel. The quick settings panel is no longer just icons: the name and current status (if applicable) are also shown.
The redesigned UI in Android 12 actually changed the entire user interface, from shapes, light and motion, to customizable system colours.
It is also a lot easier to customize the Android 12 UI.
2. Camera and microphone access indicator: the most practical new features of Android 12
Android 12 now lets you know whenever the camera or microphone is accessed by an app. So, this is an addition to the location access control introduced in Android 10 to protect your privacy.
In the status bar, you will see the camera and microphone icons when they are being accessed.
And if you don’t want any apps to access your microphone or camera, you can completely disable camera and microphone access globally in the quick settings panel in Android 12. By default, these two quick setting buttons are hidden.… Read the rest
With the Android 11 update, a new feature, notification history, has been introduced, allowing users to track the notifications on their devices even after being dismissed.
In addition to the notification history introduced in Android 11, stock Android also allows you to access full notification logs through a Settings widget. It is a somewhat hidden feature.
This Android 11 guide will explain what the Android 11 notification history is, the difference between notification history and notification log, how to use it and answer some questions you may have about the notification history.
What is the Android 11 notification history?
Since the feature of snoozing notifications was introduced in Android Oreo(Android 8), it has allowed users to organise their notifications on their devices and prevent notifications from cluttering. However, there are times when you may accidentally dismiss an important notification before checking it out. Therefore you may want to check the notification history or the full notification logs.
The Android 11 notification history is essentially a feature which allows users to track their notifications and view all previously dismissed notifications on their devices.
This feature is useful for decluttering the notification panel under the quick settings menu.
Users can always refer to the notifications history to look up some important notification that may have been missed.
In the notification history, the time and date at which the notification was sent are also recorded so users can view time-limited notifications that may have been missed.
Difference between notification history and notification log
Notification history and the notification logs were designed for different purposes.
- Notification history is only available in Android 11 (and later). Notification log is available through a Settings widget from at least Android Gingerbread (Android 2.3).
- Notification history only offers notifications in the past 24 hours. Notification log includes notifications since the last reboot.
- Notification history only shows notifications that have been shown in the notification panel. Notification log has all notifications including the hidden (not shown in notification panel) notifications.
- Tapping any notifications in the notification history will open the corresponding app. Tapping and holding (long tapping) the notification will direct you to notification settings for the corresponding app. But if you tap notifications in notification log, you may get different results in different versions of Android. In Android 11, it directs you to the notification settings for the corresponding app. The long-tapping and tapping gestures work identically in the notification log page.
The post How to use notification history and notification logs in Android 11? appeared first on Android Guides.
Android 11 has finally included a native screen recorder.
Although some Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy s10 already have a native screen recorder, it was only available to Samsung phones. With the Android 11 native screen recorder, Android devices are now able to take screen recordings without the use of third-party apps.
Read on to learn more about this feature, how to use it and some questions you may have about it.
What is native screen record in Android 11?
As seen by its name, this feature allows users to take a recording of their device screens without using an application.
Although there are many third-party apps which offer decent screen recorders for Android, the new native screen recorder in Android 11 reduces the hassle for users when they want to take a screen recording.
Since it is a native screen recorder, the recordings can be saved and directly backed-up to the Google Photos app. This allows users to be able to view and edit their recordings through the Google Photos app on different devices.
However, do note that as the screen recorder takes a video of what is displayed on the screen when it’s turned on, sensitive information such as passwords and usernames will be captured in the recording. These can be edited out or censored after the recording is saved using video editing apps or through the Google Photos app.
Anyway, now you are not limited by the static screenshots when you want to share the screen. You can share it as a live video with sounds.
How to use native screen record in Android 11?
To allow for easy access to the Android 11 screen recorder, users are able to access and use the feature through the quick settings menu. The following steps will show you how to use native screen record in Android 11.
Step 1: Access the quick setting menu
To access the quick settings menu, pull down twice from the top of the screen (or status bar if not in the immersive mode).
Scroll through the quick settings menu until you see the screen record icon. Tap on it to begin recording.
If you cannot find the button, you can tap the Pencil icon to add it.
Step 2: Begin recording
After tapping on the screen record icon, a pop-up for screen recorder settings will appear where you can adjust the settings for the screen recorder.… Read the rest
Dark theme has been a well-received feature in Android phones since it was first introduced Android Pie (Android 9) and improved greatly in Android 10. In Android 11, new features have been added to optimize and improve the user experience of Android dark theme.
This guide explains the new features in the Android 11 dark theme, how to use it, how to customize it, and how to schedule so that dark theme is turned on and turned off automatically.
What’s new in Android 11 dark theme?
In Android 10, Dark theme was introduced to be applied system-wide on both the Android system UI and apps running on the device.
Now in Android 11, scheduling has been added to Dark theme.
With scheduling, the phone will automatically switch to dark theme mode according to the user’s schedule settings. This reduces the hassle for users to switch between light mode and dark mode on their phones during the day.
There are 3 types of schedules users can apply to their phones Dark theme and will be explained later on in the post:
- Turns on at a custom time.
- Turns on from sunset to sunrise.
How to access Android 11 Dark theme settings?
There are 2 ways to access the settings for the Android 11 Dark theme:
- Through Settings
- Through the quick settings panel
Method 1: Through Settings
The first way to access the settings for Dark theme is through Settings.
Access Settings either through the quick settings menu or by tapping on the Settings icon in the apps menu.
In Setting, tap on Display to enter the display settings.
In the Display settings, tap on the Dark theme to enter the settings for it.
Do not tap on the switch as it only turns on/off Dark theme on the device.
Method 2: Through the quick Settings menu
Another way to access the settings for the dark theme in Android 11 is through the quick settings panel.
To access the quick menu panel, pull down the status bar twice.
Once in the quick settings panel, hold down on the icon named dark theme as shown below.
By default, the icon is not found in the quick settings menu; you can add the icon to the quick settings by tapping on the edit icon and dragging the needed icon to the quick settings panel.
How to use dark theme scheduling in Android 11?
Android 11 has returned with an Android Easter Egg game. For each major version of Android from Android Gingerbread, an Easter Egg has always been included as a mini-game in the Android System with Android 10 being an exception.
In previous Android systems, such as In Android Lollipop and Marshmallow, the Easter egg game is usually an entirely new game. However, the Android 11 Easter Egg has brought back the beloved Android Neko game that was initially introduced in Android Nougat.
This guide will explain what the Android 11 Easter Egg game is, how to access it and how to play the game (Android Neko Cat game).
What is the Android 11 Easter Egg game?
For Android 11, its Easter Egg is called the Android Neko game. The game works in a similar way as it does in Android Nougat, with the main objective of the game being having users collect cats by providing them with food, water and toys.
Unlike the previous Easter Egg games, the Android 11 Easter Egg is not played in the Quick Settings but rather in the Device Controls under Power menu.
How to access the Android 11 Easter Egg?
Like the previous Easter Egg games, the Android 11 Easter Egg game need to be enabled through the phone Settings.
The following steps will show how you can enable (and disable) the Android 11 Easter Egg game via Settings.
Step 1: Access Settings
Enter Settings either through the quick settings panel or by tapping on the Settings icon in the apps menu, as shown in the two following screenshots.
Step 2: Access Android Version
In Settings, scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu and tap on About phone as shown below.
In the About phone page, scroll down until you see Android version and tap on it.
Make sure that it says 11 under Android version, if not you will be unable to access the Android 11 Easter Egg game. (Please refer to this guide on how to update your android version)
Step 3: Access the Easter egg
After tapping on Android version you’ll be brought to a page which allows users to view the information about the Android system.
Tap on Android version 11 rapidly to access the Android 11 easter egg. A green dial should appear as shown below.
Now, you are ready to enable and play the Easter Egg game.… Read the rest
The post How to play Android 11 Easter Egg game (Android Neko Cat game)? appeared first on Android Guides.
Android 10 introduced the Live Caption feature, initially for selected Pixel phones, to automatically caption any audio being played. Later, most Android vendors implemented it in Android 10 phones (e.g., Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20). Google further improved this feature in Android 11.
This Android 11 guide explains what Live Caption is, when you need to use it, how to use it, and how to customise it in Android 11 and Android 10 phones.
What is Live Caption?
Live Caption is a new feature that has been added to phones with Android 10 and up.
When the feature is enabled, the phone automatically detects audio being played and captions them on the phone in real-time. You can use the Live Caption even if the phones audio is being muted.
Live Caption generates real-time caption according to the audio that’s being played. The feature is supported by most Andriod apps but may be unavailable for some media and calling apps.
When to use Live Caption?
Live Caption in Android 10 and Android 11 can be used to caption the audio from the following such as:
- Audio messages
- Phone calls
Anyway, you can use this feature to caption most audios on Android 10 and Android 11.
How to turn on Live captions?
By default, Live Caption is not enabled in most Android phones. You can turn on (and turn off) it at any time. The captions will only show when speech is detected.
Live Captions in Android 10 and Android 11 can be turned on through 2 ways:
- Using Android Settings;
- Using the volume button.
You may follow the following steps to turn on Live Caption (or turn off) on your phone via Settings.
Step 1: Open Settings
Enter Settings either through the quick settings panel or by tapping on the Settings icon in the apps menu, as shown in the two screenshots below.
Step 2: Open sound panel
In the Settings page, tap on Sound as shown.
Step 3: Tap on Live Caption
In the Sound settings, scroll down to the Live Caption tab and tap on it to enter Live Caption page.
Step 4: Enable Live Caption
In the Live Caption page, you can turn on/off this feature and change the captions’ settings.
Tap on the switch as shown below to turn Live Caption on.
Tap again to turn it off.
In this page, you can also access the Live Caption settings, as shown above.… Read the rest
The post How To Use Live Caption in Android 10 and Android 11 appeared first on Android Guides.