5 things you didn’t know you could do on your Android phone

Mobile phone

So you think you’re the Android master? You know all the ins and outs, the tricks of the trade and you’ve been taking complete advantage of your device’s capabilities for years.

Or have you?

Even experienced Android devotees might not be reaping the full benefits of their handsets.
Here are five things that you might not realise you can do on your Android phone.

Save Maps

Sometimes your phone will forsake you in your hour of need. This especially rings true (no pun intended) when travelling in unknown territory. But this neat tip will save you from getting lost!

  • Before embarking on your journey, go to the Google Maps app and view the area you’ll be visiting.
  • Type “OK Maps” in the search bar.
  • The map you’re currently viewing will download to your phone, so you can access it offline.

This method also conserves your battery life so you don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

This feature is especially convenient when travelling to another country, where a lack of service or expensive mobile roaming rates is a real possibility.

Your smartphone can act like a USB

Did you know your Android device can easily double as a USB? That means as long as you have your phone on you, there’s no reason to carry around a separate thumb drive.

  • All you have to do is plug your Android phone into your computer as you normally would to charge it.
  • When you plug it in you will be given the option to make it into a USB storage tool.
  • That will allow you to drag and drop files into your phone, letting you take them wherever you need.

Infrared Technology

A lot of Android phones now come with infrared technology, allowing users to control devices like their TV from their smartphone.

  • Check to see if your smartphone comes with the WatchON app, which comes preloaded on some of the newer Android devices.
  • The App turns your Android handset into a universal remote control.
  • If the app is not available on your handset, you can choose from a variety of third-party programs to help you out when your remote is either low on battery power or simply out of reach

Voice Power

A lot of audio tools on your Android phone can make using voice commands much simpler. If you don’t feel like reaching for your smartphone, you can set it to read incoming text messages out loud and alert you of calls.

You can also use your voice to take hands-free photos.

  • Just go into the standard camera app and turn on Voice Control.
  • That will let you snap pictures by ordering your phone with trigger words such as “cheese” and “shoot.”

No more shaky, blurry photos from having to fumble around to press that pesky button.

Stay in Control of Data Usage

Sometimes going over your data limit can come with nasty consequences. Your Android smartphone can help you curb your data usage by keeping you better informed.

  • Access Data Usage in Settings to see which programs are guzzling the most data.
  • You can set reminders for your phone to let you know when you’re approaching your monthly limit.
  • You can even shut down cellular activity when you go over your limit.

If you’d like other handy hints to manage your mobile data read our previous article. You can also use the iiNet Support App to monitor your data use.

Do you have some handy tips on getting the most out of your Android phone? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Dan says:

    Saving maps for offline usage can also be accessed by tapping into the search box and scrolling to the bottom of the list. You’ll find the “Save a new offline map” option.

    The infrared + voice control stuff is pretty specific to specific phones isn’t it? Not really an “Android” tip as such!

  2. Zen says:

    Thanks. Might have to link some of my friends/relatives this way, thank you so much for including the instructions in the post.