8 Underrated Features of Your Mobile Device You Probably Didn't Know About

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It is easy to get lost in all the new phone releases when multiple happen yearly. Consequently, most new functions go unnoticed because people do not pay attention. Here are eight of the most underrated mobile features.

Mobile Features Get Lost With Every New Release

Apple announced the latest in its long line of products — the iPhone 15 — in September 2023. Considering the technology giant debuts a new model every year, even the most tech-savvy people are bound to overlook a few exciting features with every release.

After all, most people do not pay attention to the newest phone’s functions when they do not plan to upgrade. However, companies frequently release OS updates that apply to multiple generations. As a result, many people do not realize what their mobile devices can actually do.

iPhone’s Underrated Mobile Features

Most iPhone users know their phones in and out, considering Apple has such a robust ecosystem. Still, there are plenty of lesser-known features.

1.Background Sounds

The iPhone comes with a unique white noise function in the accessibility settings. On the audio/video page, you will find the Background Sounds feature. It plays soothing noises, helping you mask background chatter, focus or relax.

You can choose from three different levels of white noise — dark, bright or balanced. Alternatively, you can pick a rain, stream or ocean sound. If you want to customize your listening experience, you can tweak the volume and audio balance.

When you want to stop using the Background Sounds feature, toggle it off in Settings. For a faster switch, you can set it to pause automatically when you play other media or lock your phone.

2.High-End Processors

Every modern Apple device comes with a high-end chip that runs everything. The kind you have depends on what iPhone you own. For example, Pro models typically have better processors than standard ones. Of course, newer models have superior internal components, too.

Most people assume their phone is mainly good for calling, texting and using apps. They would be amazed if they knew the kind of power their device held. Apple’s A-series chips are one of its most underrated mobile features.

The latest processors are impressive. For example, although the latest A-series — the iPhone 15’s A17 Pro chip — is only a few nanometers wide, it can handle trillions of operations per second. It has such outstanding performance that people can natively play video games with high-end graphics.

3.Back Tap

With Back Tap, you can turn on various functions by tapping the back of your phone. For example, you can screenshot, toggle the flashlight, scroll or turn on live captions.

Find this hidden iPhone feature by heading to the “Touch” page in the accessibility settings. There, you can enable actions for double and triple touches.

4.Visual Lookup

Visual Lookup has existed for a few years, so its standard functions are relatively well-known. However, Apple majorly upgraded it with iOS 17. Now, it can auto-select and copy people and objects, turning them into stickers. Also, it can identify symbols like laundry codes or dashboard warning lights. It truly is one of the most underrated mobile features.

Android’s Underrated Mobile Features

The majority of people have at least one mobile device. In fact, around 95% of people in the United States have a phone. Somehow, there is still an astonishing amount of useful mobile features they do not know about.

1.Split Screen

When you are in the app tray, you can tap the three vertical dots to enable split-screen mode. It lets you display two different things simultaneously, meaning you no longer have to keep switching between them.

Think of the possibilities — you could reference a map while texting someone directions or watch a movie while scrolling through its reviews. This hidden Android feature lets you multitask like a pro.

2.Smart Lock

Understandably, constantly unlocking your phone for every little thing can get tedious. With Android’s smart lock feature, you never have to worry about that again. You can set it to stay unlocked for as long as you remain in a specific place — like your home or workplace — or when it is on your person. As soon as you leave your trusted location, it automatically locks.

Google Pixel’s Underrated Mobile Features

Google has some powerful technology behind its phones. Consequently, Pixel phones have some interesting, underrated features.

1.Live Translate

Live Translate is among the most underrated mobile features on any modern phone. After all, it is a new-and-improved version of the standard Google Translate function. You only need to tap and hold on text to view it in your native language.

Since this function also works through the camera, you could use it to interpret words on street signs, paperwork and shop windows automatically. Combine the feature with the live caption accessibility tool to translate media like podcasts and videos.

On some Pixel models, you can ask the Google Assistant to interpret speech in real time. While you speak, it turns everything you say into text from your chosen language. With this feature, communication barriers are a thing of the past and every conversation flows smoothly.

2.Call Screening

Are you tired of endless robocalls? With the Pixel’s call-screening feature, you can fight back with an automated robot voice of your own. It answers calls for you and asks pre-set questions like who the caller is and why they are reaching out. The phone writes down what they are saying, so you can watch how they respond in real time and decide whether to pick up or not.

If the call turns out to be spam, the Google Assistant can tell the caller to take your number off their contact list and save the audio transcription for review later. Thia Pixel feature is a lifesaver for those who deal with nonstop spam. It is one of the most beneficial mobile features on any phone due to robocalls’ prevalence.

These Mobile Features Change How You Use Your Phone

Even though these mobile features largely go unnoticed, they are some of the most powerful functions on modern devices. You might change how you use your phone after you learn about them.

Eleanor Hecks is the managing editor at Designerly. She’s also a mobile app designer with a focus on UI. Connect with her about digital marketing, UX and/or tea on LinkedIn.



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