Smartphones are useful little devices with an astonishing number of functions. They’ve become an essential part of our daily lives, so much so that most of us can’t imagine going anywhere without them.
You may think you know your phone like the back of your hand, but are you really getting the most out of it?
Here are 10 secret features hidden in smartphones that may surprise you!
1. Screen mirroring: display your phone screen on your TV
Want to show a group of friends a video on your phone, but the screen is too small for everyone to see? With some types of smartphones, you can display your screen on your TV using the screen mirroring function.
If you have an Apple TV, you can activate this secret iPhone function by enabling AirPlay on your device’s menu and connecting it to the TV.
If you have an Android, Chromecast is your best friend. This little device allows you to display apps on your TV just by pressing an icon.
2. Scan QR codes without an app
QR codes have been gaining momentum recently, particularly due to the pandemic. Businesses and restaurants have been using them to limit contact between employees and customers, and governments are beginning to use them as well.
Before, you needed a special app to use QR codes, but now, most smartphones (iPhone and Android) can scan a QR code just by taking a picture.
The phone’s camera app will recognize the QR code and automatically display the link. Much simpler!
3. Connect a mouse, keyboard or gamepad to your phone
Feel like using your Android phone as a computer? That’s another cool thing smartphones can do!
There are USB cables you can use to connect a computer mouse or keyboard to a smartphone. This feature is particularly useful in case your computer ever breaks down and you need to work or write something!
You can even connect a video game controller to your phone so you can play your favourite mobile games while enjoying the pleasant, ergonomic feel of a gamepad.
4. Create shortcuts for phrases and emojis
Not a fan of typing out answers to text messages?
To make texting more efficient, you can program various shortcuts in the keyboard settings of your iOS or Android device. For example, you could have your phone automatically replace “OMW” with “on my way”.
If you’re often in a rush, this hidden feature is perfect for you!
5. Tips for charging your cell phone faster
Wondering why your phone won’t charge or is slow to charge? One reason might be that your phone has many apps open in the background and is constantly on alert to send you notifications.
If you can, always put your phone in airplane mode when you charge it. It will make a big difference!
6. View two apps at once on Android phones
It can sometimes be frustrating to have to switch from one app to another when using your cell phone. We often need more than one app at a time. For example, you may want to watch a TV show and look at a recipe while cooking.
Android has resolved this problem with a split screen display feature. In split screen mode, the two apps are displayed one on top of the other so you can use them both at the same time. This feature is a multitasker’s dream!
7. Save battery by not using apps
Some used smartphones have a shorter battery life than newer models. You may need to find ways to save battery so as to avoid having to charge your phone multiple times a day.
One way to save battery is to use the browser version of some apps instead of the app itself. New apps can drain older cell phone batteries very quickly.
To simplify things, you can add browser shortcuts directly to your home screen. For example, if you use Google Chrome to access the Facebook mobile website, you can add it to the home screen in Settings so you can open it as easily as an app!
8. Take pictures while filming video
Did you know that you can take pictures while filming video on your phone? When you start recording a video, a little circular button will appear in the corner of the screen. You can use the button to take pictures.
This feature is great if you want to capture key moments of your video, because taking screenshots after filming doesn’t always work well.
9. Activate hidden functions on your phone with secret codes
If you want to feel like a technology pro, try out this cool trick!
Both Androids and iPhones have secret codes you can dial for a variety of useful functions.
For example, if you want to hide your phone number when making a call, simply enter #31# + [your number] before calling.
There are codes for improving call quality, seeing your smartphone usage statistics, checking data consumption, and more.
10. Cat Controls on Android 11: your virtual pet
Anyone who enjoyed having a Tamagotchi as a kid will love this hidden feature. Smartphones with the Android 11 OS have a well-hidden secret feature: Cat Controls!
Once you’ve unlocked the Cat Controls, you can attract virtual cats by filling their water bowl, feeding them and playing with them. You can attract as many cats as you want and give them quirky names.
This feature isn’t exactly useful, but it’s a lot of fun!
Click here to find out how to activate Cat Controls on Android 11.
Find a phone full of hidden features at Recycell
Are you getting the most out of your smartphone? Explore a variety of fun and useful features on your device with these 10 tips.
Looking for a smartphone you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on? Recycell has a wide variety of cell phone models, so you’re sure to find something you like!
Check out our used cell phone store online!