Android 10 disembarked its journey on popular phones and tablets, including Google Pixel devices (Google’s flagship smartphones), Samsung Galaxy series, One Plus smartphones etc to begin with and later was available for mid-range and older smartphones and tablets. Most Android updates of the past usually had dessert themed names in alphabetical order. However, they are given codenames prior to launch. For example, Android Pie was Android P and its predecessor Android Oreo was Android O. This year, we had Android Q. However, Google has thankfully decided to ditch numbers and go with numbers, beginning with Android 10.
With your initial boot of Android 10, you would not be very elated to notice any major changes and it was meant to be that way. Android’s appearance and feel really only change in a limited way with this update. There are really major improvements hidden away but there are significant changes to the user side of the experience which are noteworthy. The new Android 10 update boasts a ton of novel features from an exciting dark mode (saviour of battery life) to live caption and better notification controls. Now, if you have purchased a brand new Android phone or just recently updated and are looking for ways to take advantage of the new features, we are here to guide you through the best Android 10 features that you should be using today:
Dark Mode is my personal favourite feature among all the new features as it enables Android 10 users to darken everything from apps to settings and notifications. The Dark Mode is Godsent as it helps to save your battery and looks classy and doesn’t strain the eyes.
Here is how you can turn the dark mode on:
- Go to Settings > Display
- Toggle on “Dark theme”.
You can also check your Setting menu on the top and can access a dark mode switch. However, you will need to click on the pencil icon in the lower-left corner of the settings menu to find this new feature.
Google developed Live Caption to make Android more accessible for commoners. This feature will live-caption any video being played on your device even with no internet connection. In order to activate this feature, you just need to play a video and press a volume button. The volume slider bar shows up with a caption button at the bottom which you can tap and then move the caption by dragging it around the screen. The Live Caption feature was only available on Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to begin with and was later made available on the rest of the Pixel smartphones.
Gesture navigation is something which Google had been trying to implement since long and finally rolled out with the Android 10 update and we couldn’t be more happier. With Android 10, Google got rid of the dependency on the back button – the conventional navigation feature. Moreover, the Android 10 update includes a full set of gestures to enable the users to move beyond buttons. However, gesture navigation is an optional functionality as per Google. On Pixel smartphones, you can enable the setting by following these steps : Go to Settings > System > Gestures > System navigation and choose Gesture navigation from the options provided.
Efficient Notification Manager
When it comes to managing notifications, Android 10 does a good job of providing options like Silent (Do not disturb equivalent) and Alerting (where you will get a sound with each new notification). Now, before you wonder why this is such an important feature, let us tell you why. The idea behind this feature is to allow the user to manage their notifications as and when they come from the home screen itself without having to navigate through to Settings and change notification settings.
Limit Location Access
Have you ever thought about how many apps request you to allow location access to the point that it gets annoying and serves no purpose. With this feature in Android 10, the user has the capability to stop apps from obtaining your location when not in use. There are many apps like Facebook and Instagram that invade your privacy when you don’t change this setting. You can now change location to “Allow only while using the app” by going to Privacy settings.
If you haven’t updated your phone to Android 10, you can do that easily by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System update. If the update is available, it will only take a few minutes to install but if it is not available yet, you might need to wait longer for it. Android 10 update is upto the discretion of your phone manufacturer and hence it may take a few weeks to months before you receive this update unless you are using Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.