As we know, Android powered phones are often crammed with small features and customizations that we as users are never aware of. Here at mobiletweaks.net, we are looking to keep you, our readers, informed of as many of these tricks as we can possible find. So, in the spirit of that, we’ve compiled what’s becoming a favorite of ours; a list!
Google Now is the most obvious change in the latest version of Android. By simply saying “Okay Google” from your home screen, you access the ability to search or control various functions on your device with simply your voice. Obviously an answer to Apple’s Siri, Google Now is proving just as innovative and powerful as it’s counterpart.
If you enjoy tinkering with the deeper functions of Android that Google would rather most users avoid changing, then turning on Developer Mode may be your best friend. By going to Settings > About Phone, then hitting the “Build Number” button seven times you unlock the Developer menu that allows you to access features such as the ART runtime and other more dev-minded aspects of KitKat.
Android has the ability to, if the phone is lost, remotely lock and wipe the phone. This helps, in the case of theft, to keep your personal information out of the hands of those that should not have it. Go to the Google Settings app, then choose Android Device Manager. From there turn on “Remotely Locate This Device” along with “Allow Remote Lock and Factory Reset.” From the Android Device Manager website and you can change lockscreen passwords, make the phone ring if it’s lost or, ultimately, wipe the phone if need be.
One of the things that sets the Android OS apart from iOS is the ability to change the launcher, which changes how your phone looks and acts. While previously something those that hacked their phones were only privy to, Google has enabled this as a quick and easy process and allowed a large number of available launchers to be placed in the Google Play store. The change can be toggled in the Settings menu and from there, after downloading a new launcher, the launcher itself can be chosen.
One of the biggest features of Android 4.4 is the ability to link your Cloud Storage accounts with the Android Storage Access Framework. This basically allows you to access any cloud storage service you connect to it, such as Drive and Dropbox, all through one convenient location. This is a quiet feature of 4.4, though it is arguably one of the most important.
The Widget is something that Android had a monopoly on and in 4.4 Android has begun allowing Lock Screen Widgets. They are not, however, enabled by default, so to allow them to appear, you need to go into Settings, then Security and turn on “Enable Widgets.” Most of the Google Suite of apps are available, along with a growing number of others.
Android has a reputation for being highly customizable and almost every day someone finds something new regarding the widely popular OS.