Android is seriously popular. The mobile operating system is installed on over 2.5 billion devices across the globe, a figure that’ll only continue to grow as Google and third-party vendors continue to sell new smartphones. Android is incredibly popular for its extensive array of features, many of which you won’t find on iOS, at least not with the same level of customisation.
So without further ado, here is Express.co.uk’s roundup of the best Android features that are sure to ignite jealousy amongst the Apple faithful.
The more you know
Android is an operating system that rewards users that are eager to experiment with it and read up on its latest and greatest features. While that may not be for everyone, it certainly gives you a feeling of palpable excitement when you discover a new tool you never knew existed.
The operating system’s developer settings are a perfect example. You won’t find developer settings on your Android phone out the box, instead you’ll need to head to your phone’s build number (usually found in the “about phone” section within Settings) and tap it numerous times until a prompt appears telling you developer settings have been unlocked.
The secret Android menu can be used to make a number of tweaks to your device, but by far our favourite is the ability to essentially speed up your phone by reducing its animation times. If you scroll to roughly half-way through developer settings you’ll be presented with three options that mention animations.
They are the following: Window animation scale • Transition animation scale • Animator duration scale
By default, these should all be set to 1x. However, altering them to .5x will make your phone feel noticeably speedier.
The Google Assistant
Although it’s available on iOS, the Google Assistant is engineered from the ground-up for Android devices. The chatty helper comes pre-installed on most Android phones and can be summoned just by saying the words “okay Google” at any time, or by squeezing your device if you own a Pixel handset.
The Assistant also works harmoniously with Google’s range of apps, too. That means it can remind you to get to a meeting or set timers for you with a simple command and much more.
The freedom of choice
Android gives users the freedom to choose what apps they want to use as their default. Want to use Firefox as your main browser instead of Chrome? No problem. Want to use Facebook Messenger as your go-to SMS app? Go ahead!
In the Settings of any Android phone, you’ll find a page dedicated to default apps. As the name suggests, this allows you to pick the apps you want the device to use as standard. Handy right?
Use two apps at once
Smartphone displays are getting larger and larger, that means it’s more inviting than ever to split your screen in two so you can use two apps at once. To activate split screen apps on Android, all you need to do is load up your multitasking view and press on an open app icon. This will present users with three options that will allow you to get more info about the app, pause it or – you guessed it – put it in a split screen view.
As the name suggests, the split screen feature will ensure one app fills one half of your display and a second takes up the other. The feature makes it much easier to multitask on Android.
Wallpapers that never get dull
Ever get bored of your wallpaper on iPhone and have to scour the web to find a replacement? That’s something Android fans don’t have to deal with. Many Android smartphone vendors include carousel wallpaper options where a particular background will change throughout the course of a day or vary from one day to another.
Then there are live wallpapers that, as the name suggests, include some sort of motion that’ll keep you entertained.
Watch video wherever, whenever
Google introduced a system-wide picture-in-picture mode in Android 8 Oreo back in 2017. Since then, users have been able to binge on videos from the likes of YouTube in a small window on-screen while getting other things done. While iPhone users have the feature in some apps, like WhatsApp, it’s certainly not as widespread as it is on Android.
Picture-in-picture functionality isn’t just limited to video though, a number of other apps like Google Maps also support it, too.
If you don’t like the user interface of your Android phone, you can completely redesign it by downloading a third-party launcher. Nova Launcher is easily one of the most popular Android launchers – it allows for endless amounts of customisation so you can make your home screen, app drawer and app icons look exactly the way you want.
Nova Launcher aside, there are a ton of other launchers on the Play Store – even Microsoft is getting in on the action with its aptly titled Microsoft Launcher.