Generation after generation, Android keeps a sweet line of names for its operating systems, and this time they did it again with Marshmallow. This version promises to follow in the Material Design made by its predecessor and focuses on even greater enhancement for the entire platform.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is present on a number of devices, with more carriers and devices receiving updates in the near future. The major features in this version are the little things that people will truly appreciate in their daily lives, such as individual app permissions, native support for fingerprint sensors, and granular context features for Google Now. Therefore, you might want to take a peek at some of this version’s cool yet hidden features.

Google Now on Tap

 

It’s somewhat weird that the most important new feature of Marshmallow isn’t one that’s outright visible. Google Now on Tap is essentially Google search in your apps. When you’re within an app, you can press and hold the home button and Now on Tap will then scan it for related information and links based on what’s on your current page, which it will then display as cards. For instance, if you’re reading a movie review, it might provide links to articles about the director or movie casting; or it might bring up information on an artist you’re currently listening to on Spotify.

This feature saves you time of leaving your app to find additional information.

Lock Screen Message

 

Displaying a famous quote or a line that’s memorable to you is cool, but this feature is very useful especially for emergency cases when something happens to you (knock on wood), and someone needs to contact your family right away. By including a phone number to contact, email address, or home address on your phone’s lock screen, there’s a greater chance that someone will be able to return your phone in case it gets lost or you need emergency assistance.

To add a custom message on your lock screen, go to Settings > Security > Lock Screen Message and then type in the message you would like to be displayed. It will appear then as a scrolling text on your phone’s lock screen.

Customize Quick Settings and Status Bar

 

The System UI Tuner unlocks experimental features to tweak and customize the Android UI. Google warns that these features may “change, break, or disappear in future releases” and to proceed with caution.

To enable the System UI Tuner, you need to open the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the status bar with two fingers. Then, tap and hold the Settings gear icon at the upper-right corner for a few seconds and then let go.

You will be directed to the Settings app and a pop-up message will say “Congrats! System UI Tuner has been added to Settings.”

Scroll down and tap System UI Tuner and you’ll get access to making tweaks to the Quick Settings pane and Status bar. Tap on Quick Settings and you can remove and re-arrange shortcut icons to your liking. Tap on Status bar and you can turn on and off which icons show up in the status bar.

Display Battery Percentage on Status Bar

 

There are several ways to see the exact battery percentage on your Android phone. The easiest way in Marshmallow is to swipe down from the status bar using two fingers; you will see the battery percentage in the Quick Settings pull-down.

However, if you want the battery percentage to show all the time on the battery icon, go into the System UI Tuner (which was mentioned above) and then toggle the Show embedded battery percentage switch to its On setting. You will now see exactly how much power is remaining with just a glance at the battery icon — similar to iOS.

Smarter Volume Controls

 

There were a significant number of users who were not satisfied with how Google messed up with the volume settings in Android Lollipop. In Marshmallow, Google was able to straighten out the screwy volume controls.

Now, when you press the volume up and down buttons on your phone, you get individual sliders for adjusting the volume of the notifications, music, and timer. To access the additional sliders, just tap on the down arrow.

Voice Search from Lock Screen

This is another no-brainer feature that you can easily overlook if you’re not paying good attention. On the lock screen, there’s now a shortcut for Google voice search in the lower-left corner where there used to be a shortcut to the phone dialer.

Swipe from the microphone icon and it will launch a voice search.

 



This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 6:34:27 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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