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5 Cool Features in Android Nougat…

| Technology | January 12, 2017

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Split-Screen Mode

split screen

Split-screen functionality might not seem all that new since it’s already available in numerous OEM versions

(the Galaxy Note, for example, has included it for several generations now). But now it’s available as a stock feature and may be coming to your device soon eventually maybe.

Split-screen works in portrait and landscape modes. When you have one app open, you can simultaneously access another app by long-pressing the recent apps button (the little square one) to prompt a carousel of apps on the side. (You’ll notice that once you enter split-screen mode, the recent apps button transforms into a new hamburger icon.) You have some limited ability to resize windows (but only in portrait mode?). You can exit spit-screen by dragging the barrier all the way to one side or long-pressing on the recent apps button.

Note: Not all apps yet work with split-screen. For example (and quite surprisingly), the Google Search app doesn’t play nicely with split-screen (but you work around that by long-pressing on the home button for Google on Tap).

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Quick Switch

QUICK SEARCH

Nougat now allows you to switch back and forth between the two most recent apps by double tapping the recent app button—it works in split-screen or full-app mode. Seems like this helpful little trick should have been a standard feature a long time ago.

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The Secret ‘UI Tuner’

To enable the hidden “UI Tuner” menu, swipe down the notification shade and long-press the gear icon you would use to get to Settings. You’ll find a new menu in your Settings menu under the “System” section. Enacting this feature prompts a warning that you’re about to encounter “experimental features” that “may change, break, or disappear in future releases. Proceed with caution.”

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Easy Pull-Down Shade Editing

Want easy access to tiles of your choice through the top pull-down shade? Nougat’s got your back.

Once you pull down the top shade, expand the little arrow on the right to see a fuller list of easy-access tiles (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, etc.). Nougat gives you some freedom to choose which tiles live there permanently. Just hit the “edit” button on the bottom-right corner to access the complete list of tiles, and you can drag to re-order.

Another welcome change: The pull-down shade allows you to swipe left or right to multiple pages to access more tiles. You could, theoretically put all your tiles up there for quick access. And lastly;

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Power Notifications
Are you a total control freak? Well, Nougat gives you some more of that control you need, you power-hungry monster.

First, you’ll need to enact the aforementioned hidden UI Tuner and then toggle-on “Power notification controls” (under the “Other” menu). This gives you the opportunity to set app notifications on a scale from Level 0 (Block all notifications) all the way up to Level 5 (Show at the top of the notification list, allow full-screen disruption).

Now, when you go into Settings > Notifications, you’ll be able to set each of your app’s notification level after tapping the large green “A” to the slide’s left (which I assume stands for “auto”?).

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