Android P: hidden features – CNET

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Android P: hidden features – CNET

Android P: hidden features - CNET


Shortly after Google released Android P in a public beta, we had it installed and began tapping around in an attempt to discover as much as we possibly could.

The longer Android P is available — and after future updates — the more hidden features we will surely find. But for now, here are four features we think are worth flagging up.

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Split screen

android-p-split-screen

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With Android P’s new multitasking view, there’s now a new method to put an app into split-screen mode.

When you swipe up on the screen to view the app cards, the app’s icon is shown at the top of the card. Tap on the icon to view app info and the button to enable split screen.

Quickly open the app drawer

android-p-quick-access-app-drawer

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you enabled Android P’s new gesture navigation feature and want a quicker way to access the app drawer, try this: Tap on the line just above the Google search bar.

That line, despite being tiny and sometimes difficult to accurately tap, opens the app drawer without any other interaction on your part.

Emergency lockdown

android-p-emergency-lockdown

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to disable the fingerprint sensor or facial recognition on your device, Android P has added an optional emergency lockdown button.

To enable the button go to Settings > Security & Location > Lock screen preferences and toggle the switch next to Show lockdown option.

To use the feature, hold in the power button until the power off or restart prompt shows up, where you’ll find the new Lockdown button. When you tap on it, your Android device will lock itself, requiring a PIN or pattern to unlock, as well as stop displaying any notifications on the lock screen.

Android Flags

If you are an avid Chrome user, odds are you’ve enabled or disabled a feature through Chrome Flags at some point. With Android P, Android Flags are now a thing.

The feature is hidden in Developer Options, so you’ll need to enable that before you can tinker with Android Flags. Enable Developer Options by opening Settings > System > About phone > Advanced then tap on Build number at the bottom of the screen seven times.

andropid-p-feature-flags

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With that done, Developer Options will show up in Settings > System > Advanced. Select it, and then scroll down to the Debugging section and select Feature flags (phew, finally).

The current list of flags is rather limited, but the “settings_bluetooth_while_driving” is particularly interesting. With it enabled, the Bluetooth settings page now offers an option to automatically turn on Bluetooth when your phone detects you’re in a moving car. This is especially helpful for those who only use Bluetooth to connect to a car and prefer to have it off at other times to save battery.

How to get Android P right now: Download the beta.

Android P gives Android gestures like the iPhone X: And it’s not bad.



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