Overlooked Yet Useful Android Features

2017-12-04

Let’s dive right into it:

USB On-The-Go

If your phone has USB OTG, it can act as a host. It means you can connect to it cameras, mice, keyboards and, yes, usb drives.

Being able to connect storage devices is amazingly undervalued. Offloading files to a removeable drive, transfering between devices and not taking out the laptop for the simple stuff are just some of the benefits.

Saved me when I had to transfer files to a PC I didn’t trust with my phone.

Screen Aspect Ratio

Slim bezels are all the rage right now (as they should, thanks Dell), but one thing is often ignored – the screen aspect ratio. I’ve been using a Blackberry Keyone for a few weeks now, and I really enjoy the 3:2 ratio.

More room to write, more room to read, and better thumb reachability. I can even load some tablet APKs and they are usable, unlike my older Nextbit Robin, which has a 16:9 screen.

Hopefully Microsoft will bring the change.

MHL

Yeah, yeah, I know, we have Chromecasts now. Sometimes, though, I just want to hook it up to a TV with a cable.

(Lack of) Permanent Capacitive Buttons

Navigation buttons (back, home, overview) should be rendered on screen. This means:

  • Bigger screen (or smaller phone)
  • Buttons can be hidden if necessary
  • Most importantly, they update with the software.

Xiaomi, the main offender, is apparently working on that.


Unfortunately, it is not easy to find out if a phone has these capbilities, which is why we didn’t yet add relevant fields to StockDroids. We are scouring the web and hopefully they’ll be added soon.

In the meanwhile – spread the word! Demand can bring manufacturers to release more data and to incorporate these features.