After releasing Android O Developer Preview in March, Google released the Public Beta version of its upcoming mobile operating system at I/O 2017. Google also announced new features that are coming as a part of Android O update. The company mentioned about background limits, adaptive icons, autofill APIs, notification dots, smart text selection, and more. However, Google did not mention a bunch of other tweaks that it has added in Android O. Here are five hidden features of Android O and how to enable them. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealed
System UI TunerAlso Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear mask
Until now, custom ROMs offered you the ability to tweak settings and customize your smartphone the way you wanted to. However, looking at Android O Public Beta s hidden features, it seems like Google may also allow you to tweak around a few things when the final version is released. ALSO READ: Google I/O 2017: Here are the top 5 features coming to Android O Also Read - HP Chromebook 11a review: Great for students, not so for professionals
Activating System UI Tuner is simple — drag down from top of the screen for notification panel, followed by tap-and-hold on the cog / gear icon for a few seconds. Once activated, you ll be notified about the same. To access System UI Tuner you can then head over to Settings -> System -> System UI Tuner.
Now that the System UI Tuner is enabled, you can customize the navigation bar too. In terms of customization options, the navigation bar can be left leaning or right leaning, and you can adjust the button size to normal or compact. You can do this by heading over to Settings -> System -> System UI Tuner -> Navigation bar. ALSO READ: Android O Developer Preview: Here s everything you need to know
You can also add an extra button on the left or right, which could be a keyboard switcher, clipboard button to bring up cut, copy and paste options or keycode to enable hidden features, such as picture-in-picture mode, which we will talk about later.
Custom lock screen shortcuts
By default, Google only offered a couple of lock screen shortcuts — Google Now on left, and Camera shortcut on the right. Now, you can replace them by adding your favorite apps to the lock screen. ALSO READ: Stop bragging about 3D Touch on the iPhone because Android O is bringing that feature to the Android world
To change the lock screen shortcuts, head over to Settings -> System -> System UI Tuner -> Lock screen. Besides selecting app shortcuts, you can also select options like new tab or new incognito tab for Chrome, Wi-Fi, Battery and Data Usage from Settings, launch rear or selfie camera, and more.
App install from Unknown Sources
The Google Play Store is your one stop shop for downloading and installing games and apps. But, there are times, when you want to install apps from outside the Play Store. Till Android Nougat, you were required to enable app Install from External Sources, but the option has been moved on Android O. ALSO READ: Android O Beta: A quick look at the refreshed interface, picture-in-picture feature, notification dots and more
Now, you need to head over to Settings -> Apps & notifications -> Special access -> Install unknown apps, to enable app install from external sources. Rest of the process remains the same — simply download the APK file, tap on the file and tap on install.
Yes, Google did mention that Android O comes with picture-in-picture (PIP) feature, and supports apps such as Google Chrome and YouTube. However, the feature does not work out of the box, and you ll need to do some tweaks to make it work.
Under System UI Tuner, head over to Navigation Bar, select extra left button type and select keycode. Next, under left keycode, enter 171 and select the icon from the left icon menu. That s it. The icon you choose in the navigation bar menu should now appear on the bottom left corner. Now, open YouTube or Chrome, and tap on the extreme left corner on the navigation bar to minimize it.