5 awesome hidden Android smartphone features you should try out

These easy-to-miss Android features will make your life so much easier

Having an Android OS is like having an open door to a wide variety of configurable and customisable options for your smartphone.

There are so many features that it seems like you would never discover them unless someone pointed you in the right direction. And that’s where we come in. We’ve identified five awesome Android features that you may not be using, but you probably will find useful. 

But as different smartphone manufacturers release their personalised Android ROMs, you might need to prod and poke around the settings menu a little (or better, just search the Settings menu if you can). Without further ado, here are our picks.

Set useful personal info on the lock screen

Losing your phone is a painful experience, and more often than not, you have to rely on the Android Device Manager to locate your phone. However, what if your phone winds up in the hands of a good Samaritan who's looking to return your phone?

To prepare for that outcome, you can leave a message on your phone’s lock screen via the ‘Owner info’ menu. Either search for it in Settings, or look for it in Settings > Lock screen (for Samsung users, it’s under Personal > Lock screen and security). Type any message you like, such as your e-mail address or an alternate phone number to contact you. 

Scroll faster through your phone

If you feel that your phone is a little slow when scrolling through menus or when opening and closing apps, try this tweak if you’re sure your processor can handle the extra load.

First, you’ll need to get into the hidden developer options menu by entering your Settings > About Phone > Build number. Click on ‘Build number’ a bunch of times until a message pops to confirm you’re enabling developer settings. Just exit back to the main settings and you’ll see ‘Developer options’ appear as an option.

Within 'Developer Options', scroll down until you find ‘Window animation scale’, ‘Transition animation scale’ and ‘Animator duration scale’ under Drawing. Just set these to 0.5x for faster system animations. Don’t get too experimental with the rest of the options here unless you know what they do (we’re not responsible if your phone becomes messed up or worse, bricked).