With every new release of a new Android OS there comes new features and improvements from the previous version. The current Android 6.0 Marshmallow is no different as it packs lots of additions and improvements from 2014’s Android 5.0 Lollipop.
While some of these features are easy to spot right after the update, there are lots of others that are completely hidden from the common user. If you want to be more than just a common user of the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, here are some 8 hidden features you probably didn’t know about.
Google Now on Tap
If you have been following, one of the most talked-about updates in Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the Google Now on Tap. Surprisingly, this feature is nowhere near the user for immediate use. In case you are asking, the new Now on Tap is a better version of the usual Google Now, offering its services in more places including inside apps. Just press and hold the home button when inside any app and the app will be scanned for relevant information that is then displayed as cards.
You will also notice that the Google search bar now appears on every home screen and not just the main one as in previous versions. This means that you can summon Google Now from any screen by simply saying “OK Google.”
Manage app permissions
Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings to the fold a cool feature in the shape of enhanced control over apps permissions. Unlike in the past where apps must be given access to all the permissions they require before installing, Marshmallow lets users install the apps with some permissions denied. It is also possible to make the changes for apps that are already installed. Go to the specific app via the Apps Settings and tap on Permissions. While in there, simply select the permissions you’d like the app to access, be it location, microphone, camera and so on.
Customizing Quick Settings
Another feature that has made Android 6.0 Marshmallow a must-have for many is the ability to customize the Quick Settings. All these can be done with the help of the System UI Tuner, which is disabled by default. To enable it, open Quick Settings by swiping down from the top (status bar) using your two fingers. Proceed by tapping and holding on the Settings gear icon that shows up on the top right. A Settings app will show up with a pop-up message congratulating you for successfully adding the System UI Tuner to the Settings.
Go ahead and scroll down to the System UI Tuner option and then tap on it to reveal customization options for your Quick Settings panel as well as Status bar. For the Quick Settings option, you will be able to move around shortcut icons or even remove others while for the Status bar, you will be able to determine which icons appear.
The new Android 6.0 Marshmallow has a hidden file explorer. Maybe the reason its hidden is that it doesn’t offer the best, especially when compared to third party apps such as ES File Explorer Manager. While you can still do basic things such as copy, move and share files, there is no room for renaming or even creating new folders. But there is room for searching for files using their names. This file explorer can be found in Settings>Storage>USB>Explore.
Custom lock screen message
It is possible to add a lock screen message on a device running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You can have a famous quote, an inspirational message, your contact, email address or any message you wish displayed on your lock screen. To make this happen, head to your phone’s Settings>Security>Lock Screen Message and then proceed by specifying the message you want to be displayed.
Niftier volume controls
Android 5.0 Lollipop was one of the worst, if not the worst when it comes to volume controls. However, Google has taken care of things in the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow, making the volume controls a lot niftier. When you press the volume down or up button, individual sliders pop up where you can adjust the timer, music and volume notifications independently. Simply tap on the down arrow to reveal these additional sliders.
Display battery percentage on status bar
To keep you informed of your phone’s battery level, Google added the option of displaying the percentage levels of your battery on Android phones. Marshmallow has a much easier way of bringing this option up. Just swipe down using two fingers and you’ll see the percentage level of your battery in the Quick Settings. However, if you want to have this option displayed permanently on the status bar, head to the System UI Tuner and turn on the “Show embedded battery percentage” option.
Flappy Bird duplicate
Savvy users of Android Lollipop discovered a Flappy Bird-like game hidden deep inside the operating system. Google has done the same with the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow. To play the game, head to the phone’s Settings and tap on About phone. Find the Android version number and start tapping on it until you see an M icon show up. Proceed by tapping this M icon and it will turn into a marshmallow. Long press the marshmallow until you see the game appear.
One thing you should keep in mind is that these tips and tricks have been tried and confirmed on a Google Nexus smartphone. It is possible to find the same features in other locations than the ones described in this article.