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New Tricks for New (and Old) Android Phones

Dec 13, 2012, 19:00 (1 Talkback[s])

There's a new crop of Android phones out there — and a new set of hidden shortcuts to make using your phone even easier. And even if you have an older model, I'll share my favorite tools to get you the same functionality you would get with a brand-new device.

Camera Tricks: One of the handiest things about modern phones is that you now have a reasonably high quality camera with you at all times. But as cool as that is, it can be incredibly frustrating how long it takes for the camera to launch. How many times has this happened to you: By the time you've woken up the phone, unlocked your screen, and opened the camera app, you've missed the moment.

Launch the camera in just one move. On most phones running the latest Android OS, you can customize your lock screen for fast access. On the Samsung SIII, for example, you can simply press and hold the center of the lock screen, rotate the phone 90 degrees while still holding the center of the screen — and boom; the camera launches. To enable this feature, go to Settings, Security, Lock Screen Options, and then turn on CAMERA QUICK ACCESS. On older android phones you can use an app like WidgetLocker to get the camera icon onto your lock screen. Added bonus: With WidgetLocker, you can customize your lock screen with whatever functions you like to access quickly.

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