It has been a while since Google released the Android 10 update. It has rolled out to some flagships while new devices come with the latest software out of the box.
Google ditched the dessert-themed naming scheme when Android 10 was released. However, the lackluster two-year major updates and three-year security updates on smartphones remain.
Not all Android smartphones will receive the Android 10 update especially devices that are on the budget category. For mid-range smartphones that are two years or newer, there is still a chance. Here’s a list of smartphones receiving Android 10 anytime soon.
For those who will have their update soon or if you already have the update but have not explored, here are the top 10 features everybody should be using.
1. Gesture Navigation
This new feature on Android 10 allows the user to navigate between apps through swipes and taps. Google’s implementation is neat, but it takes some time to get used to it after the update.
There will be different methods in activating Gesture navigation depending on the brand. On Nokia devices, it activates once the update is installed. In general, here are the steps to activate gesture navigation based on Pixel 4.
- Open Settings
- System navigation
- Select Gesture navigation
2. Personal Wi-Fi QR codes
Android 10 added a new WiFi feature for smartphones. It allows users to create a QR code for their Wi-Fi network. It also allows users to connect to a Wi-Fi network through QR codes. This feature is convenient for private networks with a lot of incoming visitors. They can easily connect to the network without typing a password.
To activate the feature:
- Open Wi-Fi and Network settings
- Choose the desired network
- Click the share icon and a QR code will appear
3. Dark mode
The Dark mode might seem like a feature that is already present in previous Android versions. But it was only this time that Google made it official. The previous dark mode was experimental and it only activates on certain Google apps. This improved dark mode is system-wide, which allows most apps to have a darker theme. Even the wallpaper gets dimmer once it activates.
Activating the dark mode takes two simple steps. Just open the Display settings then toggle the Dark mode settings.
Using the dark mode allows for longer battery life, especially for devices with OLED display. For some smartphones, the dark mode also activates when the battery saver is on.
4. Smart reply to messages
When it comes to communication, this is one of Google’s best feature so far. The Smart reply predicts the best reply to a message received on any messaging app.
Whenever there is a message notification on Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, Telegram, or WhatsApp, the smart reply opens up on the notification bar and allows for short quick replies. This feature is great for users who are in a meeting, or in public transportation.
The only downside is, if the user is living in a non-English speaking country, the smart reply will not activate.
5. Focus mode
Smartphones are undoubtedly used for productivity nowadays. This new feature helps users whose main business or work involves the usage of smartphones. The new Focus mode is part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing suite.
When activated, the Focus-mode disables notifications from apps that the system detects as a distraction while working.
Another feature added to the Digital Wellbeing suite is the parental controls. This allows parents to monitor their child’s activities or prevent them from doing certain tasks.
6. Undo app removal
There will always be an instance wherein a user mistakenly removes an app from the home screen accidentally. Once an app is removed, sometimes it gets hard to remember what it was or where was the original location.
This little feature gives the user a little bit more time to undo accidental changes on the home screen. If the remove app option gets activated, there will be an undo app changes option at the bottom of the screen.
7. Improved privacy settings
The Android 10 brings a dedicated Privacy option on the Settings menu. It has improved permissions for location, camera, files, contacts, and other private concerns.
The new section allows the user to have a clear view as to what apps have access to a certain setting. It also provides an easier way of disabling app access to private data.
With the recent privacy issues surfacing such as Zoom’s access to data, this Android 10 feature provides more control with the user’s privacy settings.
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8. Live captions
The Live Captions feature gives deaf and people with impaired hearing an easier way to navigate the smartphone. This feature allows Google Assistant to process speech with no delay. It serves as on-the-spot captions for everything inside the smartphone.
The great thing with this feature is it does not need mobile data to work. Everything happens offline, which makes it easier to use during emergencies. The feature is accessible through the accessibility settings.
9. Improved notification controls
Notifications are intrusive at times. With Android 10, the notification bar now offers the option to “Alert” or “Silent” an app notification.
When choosing alert, the app continues to make a sound like a regular notification. The silent, as the name implies, disable sound or vibration.
This is a small feature that might seem useless to other users. However, its main usage is to customize the smartphone to react differently on each app unlike the vibrate or silent option through the volume rocker.
This feature is accessed in the Notifications tab under the Apps & Notifications settings.
10. Location control
On previous Android versions, the location access is always allowed once set on the first try. This time, Android 10 gives a more flexible option on how apps use location information.
Users now have the option of letting an app access the location data whenever an app is open. Once the app is not in use, location access will be disabled.
This feature saves battery life as well.