Shortcuts are some of tech’s best treasures. Nothing is more satisfying than finding quick ways to get stuff done on your Google phone. Google loves sneaking shortcuts and time-savers into its software. The operating system and Google-made applications around it are full of invisible shortcuts, and once you know how to take advantage of them, you’ll never look at your Google phone the same way again.
Widgets add a shortcut feature to Google phones. For instance, you can use the built-in widgets to create contact widgets and app widgets for your favorite contacts. To create a widget, tap and hold the Home screen, and then select Widgets. You’ll find widgets that can help you automate frequent and routine tasks, such as:
- The contacts widgets automatically dial calls to selected contacts.
- The Google Chrome widget places a sizeable window on your screen with a list of your Chrome bookmarks.
- The Gmail app widget shows a selected folder of your Gmail email messages in a resizable window.
Google phones also have accessibility features. To set up these features, go to phone dialer settings and choose ‘Answering and ending phone calls.’ Then, tab the Power button to end a phone call and tap the Home button to answer phone calls.
2. Smart Swipe
It is a time-saving shortcut that can help you do stuff faster on your Google phone. The Android Quick Setting panel has a series of one-tap toggles that enable instant access to several system functions.
To use this shortcut, you just need to swipe down twice from the top of your screen, which allows you to view the Quick setting panel in its fully expanded form. However, you can reduce those steps in half if you know the secret.
So here is the secret: regardless of what you’re doing on your phone, swipe down from the top of the screen using two fingers side by side. This way, you’ll skip the typical partial-panel view, and you’ll go directly to the fully expanded Quick Settings Panel.
3. Streamlined Slide
The three-dot menu you see in the upper-right corner of many Android applications is present in many of Google’s creations, such as Gmail, Chrome, and Messages. But there’s a faster way to access the three-dot menu and access any item in one swift motion.
Instead of tapping the icon to load an application’s menu and then tapping the item you want, just swipe down on the menu symbol and move your fingers directly to the item you want. The menu will appear as you go, and you can automatically choose whichever item that’s highlighted once you lift your finger.
4. The Cursor Commander
Often, moving your on-screen cursor to a precise place is frustrating. Fortunately, Google’s keyboard has a solution for that.
First, install Google’s Gboard keyboard on your Google phone; if you haven’t already, and then set it as your default keyboard. Then, anytime you’re typing text using the keyboard, touch your finger to the space bar and then slide your finger to the right or left without lifting it. That’ll move your on-screen cursor around your screen and let you place it anywhere you want for quick editing.
If you aren’t having any luck, you just need to activate the option. First, click the three-dot menu in Gboard’s top row, then select the gear-shaped Setting icon on your screen that comes up. It will take you into the keyboard settings, select “Glide typing,” and then turn on the toggle next to “Enable gesture control.”
5. Google Assistant Voice Command
Using Google Assistant Voice Command shortcuts, you can ask them to open your Facebook profile, check Instagram updates, and show YouTube subscriptions.
However, to use these shortcuts, you must enable them through the following steps:
- First, unlock your Google phone and say, “Hey Google, my shortcuts.”
- However, if “Ok Google” detection is disabled, open Google Assistant manually by clicking your profile picture > Settings and scrolling down to Shortcuts.
- Here, you’ll see a list of shortcuts for various actions based on your frequently used applications.
- Click on an action, personalize your command for the shortcut and click Save.
Now, you can use Google Assistant to pull up frequent actions and tasks that are supported. Also, you can personalize the voice commands for various actions; for instance, instead of saying, “Hey Google, my Facebook profile,” you can change that to, “Hey Google, open my Facebook profile,” or anything you want.
Currently, Google Assistant Voice Command supports a few third-party applications, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Amazon, Spotify, Snapchat, Discord, Etsy, Twitter, Uber, and Google apps, such as Google Maps, Gmail, and Keep.
6. Zippier Zoom
Pitching to zoom is ok if your fingers are free, but if you’re holding your smartphone with a single hand, then the two-finger zoom manipulation is quite challenging. So for these moments and any other time when you need an extra-efficient zooming option, Google phones have got invisible advanced options just waiting to be used.
These options are effective in Chrome when you’re viewing a site that isn’t correctly optimized for mobile or viewing a desktop version of a website. Also, these alternatives are effective in Google Photos and Google Maps.
In any of these environments, just double-tap anywhere on your screen to zoom into the area. Or just double-tap and leave your finger down, and then drag it upward to zoom out, and downward to zoom in.
7. The Calendar Controllers
The Google Calendar app features three valuable shortcuts:
- From the Google Calendar’s agenda view, swipe any reminder or event toward the right to delete it in one swift motion.
- Swipe downward or tap on the app’s top bar (where you can see the current month’s name) to bring a monthly view into focus for a quick at-a-glance reference. Then, swipe back up with your fingers starting just below that area, or tap the bar a second time to hide it when you’re done.
- And every time you’re scrolling through your agenda view in the app, click the small calendar icon (the box that has a blue dot in the upper-right corner of your screen) to return to the current day. It’ll swipe you instantly back to the present, regardless of how far into the future you’re.
8. The Speedy Delete
Another time-saving Google phone shortcut that you should take advantage of is the ability to delete mistakes while inputting text into your Google keyboard. First, ensure the option is activated on your device. To do that, go to Gboard’s settings, look under “Glider typing,” and ensure that the option for “Enable gesture delete” is turned on.
Thus, anytime you want to delete a word or even an entire sentence in your Google phone’s text field, just touch your fingers to your keyboard backspace key and slide them to the left. The further you go, the more words will be highlighted. Once you have the right words selected, let go and they’ll disappear.
9. The Spoken Share
This shortcut offers a way to send web pages to anyone without going through the typical multistep sharing hassle.
Spoken Share shortcut relies on the Google Assistant, so pull up your Google Assistant when you’re scrolling through any web page in your preferred web browser. Then, to share the web page, you just need to say “Hey Google” or use any other Google Assistant summoning shortcuts you like. Tell the Assistant “Send this web page to,” followed by the name of the person you want to send the web page to.
On Google Pixel phones, Google Assistant will paste the link to the web page inside a conversation with your chosen contact in your default messaging app. On most Google phones, Google Assistant will instead send a screenshot of the web page into your default messaging app. While the specifics might vary, the result is the same: you’ll share the website you’re viewing with minimal effort involved.
10. The Photo Flyer
Whether you’re using the Photos app to sync your content to the cloud or even just a default gallery for your snapshots, Google’s multimedia management tool has an efficient way to change the number of photos visible on your screen at any instant.
Pinch your fingers outward on your screen to use this shortcut to switch to a more zoomed-in view to view fewer but larger pictures. If you continue pinching outward, you’ll eventually view the all-the-way-zoomed-in view of a single photo.
Meanwhile, pinching inward will zoom you out gradually from that single-photo view to a month-overview display that shows many thumbnails broken down by date.
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