The very best Android 12 hidden options we have discovered digging via Google’s OS

Android 12: We love these hidden features. Here's how to use them yourself

What’s inside Google’s new Android 12 working system for telephones? We discovered some methods that fly underneath the radar. 

James Martin/CNET

Google began rolling out its newest cellular working system, Android 12, final month following the debut of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional. The brand new OS is on the market to all Google telephones from the Pixel 3 and up. (This is the way to set up Android 12 proper now if your telephone is suitable.) The cellular software program will come to different Android units, together with telephones from Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi, later this yr. 


Brett Pearce/CNET

Android 12 has a number of new options to distinguish itself from Android 11, together with new privateness instruments, a redesign known as Materials You and extra. (This is how Android 12 compares to Android 11.) However, as I usually say when new working programs are launched, one of the best options are often the hidden ones. These are options that have not been introduced, however ones it’s important to dig into the working system to seek out. For instance, there is a devoted recreation mode in Android 12, however it’s buried within the Settings app. There’s additionally a shortcut to your system’s notification historical past for while you by chance dismiss an alert.

Learn extra: You gotta change your Pixel 6’s default settings

We’re nonetheless digging via Android 12 and what it has to supply, however thus far we have discovered 4 hidden options which can be certain to be helpful. (In the event you’re an Apple consumer, here is the whole lot we find out about iOS 15, some hidden options we have discovered and 20 iPhone settings it’s best to change.) 

Android 12 retains your notification historical past a faucet away

Do you ever filter a notification with out studying it? I do it on a regular basis. Android has supplied system notification historical past for a while now, however you both needed to know the place to look, otherwise you needed to set up a third-party app to see it. 

In Android 12, all it’s important to do is scroll to the underside of your notification shade, the place you will see a brand new Historical past button. Faucet it, and you may see lately cleared notifications in addition to alerts from the final 24 hours. 

In the event you see Handle as a substitute of Historical past, that is as a result of Notification Historical past is not turned on. Allow it by tapping on Handle, then choose Notification Historical past and slide the swap to the On place. 


You now have fast entry to your previous notifications. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 12 makes huge telephones really feel smaller

A brand new one-handed mode in Android 12 is probably not a headlining characteristic, however it’s one that might make a giant distinction in how you employ your telephone. That is very true in the event you’re utilizing a telephone with a giant show, just like the Galaxy S21 Extremely

The brand new one-handed mode strikes the highest half of no matter’s in your display screen to the underside half, making it simpler to faucet a fast settings tile or a notification. To make use of it, place a finger on the small bar on the backside of your telephone’s display screen and swipe down. It could take a number of tries, however when you get the gesture found out, it is easy to breed. 

Earlier than you are able to do that, although, you will want to show it on by going to Settings > System > Gestures > One-Handed Mode and slide the swap to the On place. Under the swap to allow the characteristic, you will have two choices: Pull display screen into attain or Present notifications. Choose the primary choice after which shut out the Settings app.


Use the brand new Recreation Mode in Android 12 to spice up efficiency or stay stream on YouTube. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

There is a devoted gaming mode in Android 12

In the event you play quite a lot of video games in your Android system, you will be completely satisfied to know that Google is including a devoted Gaming Mode to Android 12. When it is turned on, your telephone will do issues like robotically activate don’t disturb while you begin enjoying. 

However you’d by no means know the mode existed in the event you did not enterprise deep into, of all locations, your notification settings. Extra particularly, go to Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb > Schedules. As soon as there, test the field subsequent to Recreation Mode to show it on. Subsequent, faucet on the Settings gear icon to and toggle each objects.

In my temporary expertise testing it, recreation mode does not work in each recreation ( you, Asphalt 9). It does work in Name of Responsibility Cellular, nevertheless. When it is lively, you are able to do issues like pressure your telephone to optimize itself for gaming in a single-tap or view your system’s present frames per second.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 12 has a brand new app structure choice, however it may be Pixel-only

The app grid in your telephone’s dwelling display screen usually ranges for a 4×4, 5×5 or 6×6 grid (or related combos). Nonetheless, in Android 12 on the Pixel 5, there is a new app grid choice that is downright humorous at first look — 2×2. I assume that is restricted to simply Pixel telephones, however hopefully, different phone-makers undertake it, because it’s an enormous accessibility characteristic for these in want of bigger app icons. 

Change to the brand new 2×2 structure with a long-press on your private home display screen, then choose Types & Wallpapers> Grid > 2×2

For extra, try the greatest Android telephones to purchase in 2021, each cause why it’s best to give Pixel telephones one other probability and the way the Pixel 6 with its Tensor chip is extra thrilling than the iPhone 13

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