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Android 10: These hidden features will surprise you

Android 10 is full of useful features. You just have to know where to look.

Android 10 was officially released on September 3, 2019 for supported Google Pixel devices, as well as the third-party Essential Phone and Redmi K20 Pro in selected markets. The OnePlus 7T was the first device with Android 10 pre-installed.

Android 10

From keeping your phone unlocked when you're at home to using multiple apps at the same time, Android has very useful features. You just have to know where to look for them. Here we tell you how.

It's easy to feel that each Android phone has drastically different features and capabilities, and to some degree this is true. Comparing a Pixel phone to a Samsung Galaxy S20 and a TCL 10 Series is going to reveal big differences. But at the end of the day, all of these phones are powered by Android, and at its core, it has the same features.

Some of these functions are hidden, however. For example, split-screen apps. Using two apps at the same time or is it something that only users can dream of. They are very useful apps that are integrated into your Android phone - and you just have to know where to look to start using them. One of my favorite hidden features is called Smart Lock, a tool that keeps my phone unlocked when I'm at home, and then locks again when I leave the house. 

Please note that all the features listed below may not look or function the same on all phones. This is because different Android phone manufacturers use different interfaces to differentiate themselves from their rivals. My advice is to use the search bar at the top of the Settings / Settings app.  

Silence notifications that can wait 

Tired of every notification making your phone ring? Tell your Android phone if you want an app to send you silent notifications by long pressing on the alert until you activate a reminder that asks if you want the notification to be categorized as Alert or Silent. 

The alerts will allow the notifications of the apps to play sounds or appear on the locked screen, while the muted ones will be, that, muted but will be shown in the notification tray.

Add subtitles to any video or podcast

Live Caption is an impressive and relatively new feature that is gradually coming to devices. When enabled, add captions in real-time to any video, podcast, or voice memo on your phone. It doesn't matter if the video you're watching is muted, Live Caption will transcribe it for you. 

Since it was first announced last year, Google has expanded the Live Caption feature beyond its Pixel line of phones to include Samsung's Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 series. There is no official list of supported devices, but your phone will have to run Android 10 for it to work. 

To enable Live Caption (or to see if your phone is compatible), open Settings and search for Live Caption. The Live Caption switch is in a different place on the Pixel 4, Google S20, and OnePlus 8.

After activating Live Caption, every time you start playing a video - even when the volume is turned off - a small black box will appear on your screen, including real-time dictation of what is being said.

Use two apps at the same time

One of my favorite features on Android is being able to use two apps on the screen at the same time. It is very useful when I am viewing a Google Doc and sending an email, or when I am looking for a recipe and sending the ingredient list in Messages. 

You can tap on the app sharing button, or if you're using gestures on Android 10, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to enter multitasking mode and tap the icon at the top of the card. an app on the thumbnail followed by Split Screen. The first app will slide to the top of the screen and the multitasking view will occupy the bottom section of your screen. You can select another app from the multitasking view or launch an app from the home screen or in the app tray. Not all apps support split screen mode.

Watch a video and browse Twitter at the same time

Android's Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature follows the same idea as split-screen apps.

To activate PiP, start watching a video and then go to the home screen. Once you leave the app, if it supports PiP mode, the video will show up as a small window on your phone screen. You can drag, resize and close this window. 

To see a list of apps installed on your phone that are compatible with this feature, open the Settings app, go to Apps & Notifications> Special app access> Picture- in Picture. This is the same place where you can disable PiP for the app. For example, if you don't want Google Maps to keep showing you turn-by-turn directions once you've exited the app, you can disable Pi.

Use Smart Lock to keep your phone unlocked when you are at home

One of my favorite hidden features can save you the step of having to enter your PIN or scan your fingerprint when you are at home to unlock your phone. You can set the phone to unlock whenever you are in a specific location. You can set the phone to unlock whenever it detects that you are active, such as when you are walking or holding the phone next to your face or speaking into wireless headphones. 

Open Settings> Security> Smart Lock and enter your PIN code. From there, you can select which aspect of Smart Lock you want to use and when. 

Just keep in mind that if you have a Smart Lock set so your phone is unlocked at home, that means the people you live with can access your phone.

Share your Wi-Fi data with your friends

Sharing your Wi-Fi password with a friend or family member can be a hassle, especially if it is long and complex. 

With Android 10 you can display a QR code on your phone screen that will allow anyone who scans it to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

You can scan or create a QR code on your device by opening the Settings or Configuration app, selecting Network> Wi-Fi. If you are sharing your network credentials, tap on the network name and then Share. If you are connecting to a Wi-Fi network, tap on the QR code icon next to Add Network.

This feature is also useful when you are setting up a new phone and you don't want to go through the whole process of copying the password. 

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