Exploring Tech: 5 Things You Can Do With the Android Pie

I know I said in my review of the Nokia 3.1 Plus that having to use an Android again freaked me out a bit. But being the curious little tech cat that I am, I couldn’t resist to see what little bits and bobs Google added to their latest version of their smartphone operating system.

Some of these things on this list were shown to be while exploring the Nokia 3.1 Plus (going around in their settings etc) and others are Android lore that I was curious whether still existed. That being said, here are some bits you can do after upgrading to Pie that could make your life just a little bit easier:

1. Instantly mute/vibrate

No longer do you have to constantly press volume down to silent your phone, but instead you can simply press the Power and Volume Up buttons simultaneously.

You’ll have to set this up first, however. To do that, head over to your Settings à Sound à Shortcut To Prevent Ringing à Press Power & Volume Up together, then you can choose whether it mutes your phone, puts it in vibrate mode or just does nothing. Easy peasy!

2. Split screen and screen pin all in one place

Split Screen is something I’m rather unsure about as a feature but I find it cool nonetheless. With Pie, you can split screen while on the Recent screen.

Tap on the app’s icon on the Recent screen and you’ll be able to see Split Screen and Screen Pin options there.

3. Get battery information almost instantly

Now you can quite instantly find out what’s been draining your phone’s battery thanks to this feature allowing you to quickly access your battery info.

Slide down to reveal Quick Settings and simply tap the battery icon on the top-right. That’s it! You can do the same thing if you want to access the Clock settings.

4. Flappy Droid is still a thing

I hated Flappy Bird and honestly found it such a strange viral phenomenon. Anyone who played it just got so angry. But when I still had my Sony Xperia Z1 and found this Easter egg back during Lollipop (though called Flappy Droid instead), I must admit I did get excited about it. It was a cheeky little poke Google did by acknowledging what was viral at that time.

It seems that Google hasn’t updated Flappy Droid since its Marshmallow version but it’s still a nice little game you could just pop on when you’re bored with the other games on your phone and you find yourself without an internet connection.

Accessing the game isn’t as easy as it was before, you’ll need a third-party app like Nova Launcher (or any other activity launcher app) to get to it. Launch the launcher app (hehe) and then long press the Home Screen and tap Activities under the launcher app section, scroll down until you see the System UI dropdown menu, open it up and select Marshmallow Land. You’ll see a change to a “P” icon (because Pie) and all you need to do is tap the icon to launch Flappy Droid.

WHAT A MISSION. Big thanks to Gadget Hacks for the assist.

5. Lockdown your phone

Possibly my favourite feature I’ve found while looking around the Nokia 3.1 Plus. Enabling Emergency Lockdown will instantly disable your phone’s fingerprint scanner or facial recognition features, and will hide all sensitive information off your lock screen. Pretty handy if I do say so myself.

If you’re keen to set it up, go to Settings à Security & Location à Lock Screen Preferences and toggle Show Lockdown Option. Now you’ll be able to see Emergency Lockdown when you press and hold the power button, and you can turn it on whenever you feel unsafe.

As an Apple user, I find these bits really interesting, especially the Lockdown feature. I’m always worried about someone swiping my phone while I’m out and about, and a feature like that would make me feel a lot safer about the data on my phone. While that one thing won’t make me switch back to Android, it does make me miss my Xperia Z1 a little.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is out now and can be found at a Nokia store near you! More info can be found on their website. I got my review unit thanks to Lumos PR. Read my review here.

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I'm a freelance photographer and writer. I'm using this blog to give myself a platform for the creative freedom in games and tech writing without the fear of analytics.

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