11 Android features we had a long time ago that fell by the wayside

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Android has improved a lot since its first versions, although after more than a decade of updates, it is inevitable that some functions will be left by the way. Some of these changes have clearly been for the better, while others are less clear.

In this article we collect 11 Android functions or features that have been lost over time, with or without good reason. In the list we have both features from the beginnings of Android and very recent changes on Android 11.


The ‘Notification ticker’

Message

At the beginning of Android, when you received a notification you could read a preview of the text in the notification bar. This preview was temporarily displayed in place of the notification icons and, if it was long text, it was cut into several pieces.

He notification ticker it was a quick and discreet way to find out what they have written to you without changing the application, although disappeared on Android Lollipop to make way for Heads Up notifications, a floating notice at the top when a new notification arrives and that is hidden after a few seconds.

The widgets on the lock screen

Widgets

Widgets are one of the fundamental pillars of Android and, until recently, one of the main differences between Android and iOS. Nowadays it is possible to add widgets in most launchers for Android, although in the past could also be added to the lock screen.

This allowed you to add additional information to the lock screen, such as the calendar, the weather or a custom clock, although the invention did not last long. Came with Jelly Bean and left with Lollipop, which entered lock screen notifications instead.

Vibrate and silence in the off menu

Poweroff

There are almost as many shutdown menus as there are layers of customization, although the norm today – if we exclude the Android 11 home automation center– is that said menu shows you the options for shutdown, restart and lock.

In the past, the shutdown menu included other interesting shortcuts such as the control for the silent or vibrate mode, airplane mode and even to activate or deactivate the data. It is not too difficult to access all these functions in other ways (from the quick settings, for example), although the classic off menu will always have a place in our hearts.

Pass apps to SD

Storage

In the early days of Android, the vast majority of mobiles had very little storage space, with the promise of being able to expand it using a microSD card. For this, it was possible transfer applications to MicroSD card and freeing up storage space, although the system came not without few problems and it was sometimes questionable whether it was an advantage.

Today, some mobiles still allow transfer apps to MicroSD card, although Google never exploited the potential of external storage on Android and the system was never improved beyond the adoptable storage, which even today is not available in all mobiles with MicroSD cards.

Android Beam

Beam

Now we have Android Nearby, but in 2012 there was already a simple and somewhat fun way to pass data between two nearby mobiles: with Android Beam. This connection was made by joining two mobiles while showing what you want to send on the screen. Not too wireless in that they had to be totally together, but easy and fairly universal.

Unfortunately, Google decided kill Android Beam on Android 10Although some recent NFC phones still include support for Android Beam. Android Beam was based on NFC, while Android Nearby relies on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or WebRTC.

The USB mass storage connection

Masive storage

What happens when you connect an Android mobile to a PC via cable It depends a lot on what version of Android you are using and the manufacturer of your mobile. Over time they have grown connection modes, from the classic PTP and MTP to MIDI, share connection, upload only, Android Auto …

The one that does not appear now is the mode of USB mass storage, which was the equivalent of using a MicroSD card reader for the PC. It is similar to the current “Transfer files” in that you can operate and manage all types of files and not only photos and videos, but much more stable, especially when moving or copying several folders or files.

Desserts

Desserts

It’s debatable that Android’s desserts were a feature, but they were undoubtedly part of the operating system’s identity. Since Android 1.5, each version has been related to a dessert beginning with a successive letter of the alphabet, but all this ended up on Android 10.

Now the Android versions are not related to desserts -except internally– and the result is a more squared operating system and Easter eggs that are increasingly difficult to understand.

The drop emojis

Gotamojis

Another sign of identity of Android, especially in its early days, were its teardrop emojis. The design is not to everyone’s taste, but it is undeniable that it was something that made Android unique, for better or for worse.

On Android Oreo, Google I redesigned the emojis with a more traditional design and therefore the gotamojis disappeared except for sporadic visits to other apps in the form of stickers. With so many variants and changes in emojis, it would be more difficult than ever to bring them back, but it would never hurt to be able to choose the emoji pack you want, just like icons.

Call recording

Record

Few things have riled up both Android users and the inability to record calls from Android 9. The most ironic thing about it is that Android by itself never made call recording easy, but the developers of these types of applications found unofficial ways to achieve it. On Android 9, Google I block these ways of doing it.

To this day, it is still possible to record calls under two circumstances: that the manufacturer of your mobile has incorporated it into the Phone application or using the microphone speaker, which results in a poor quality recording. At least there are reasons for hope, and it is that the Google is activating call recording in its Phone app in some terminals and countries.

Reorder the home screens

Reorder

It was not a tremendously popular function, although it will undoubtedly upset more than one person who wants to carry it out and discover that, from Android P, unable to reorder startup screens.

That is, you cannot make the third screen become the first or the other way around, as long as you use the stock Android launcher. You can of course keep doing this from many third party launchers like Nova Launcher.

Use other camera apps to take a photo in another app

Cameras

We end our list with one of the most recent changes: the inability to use third-party cameras to complete actions to take photos in other apps. That is, if an app asks the system for an application to take a photo, the official camera app will be used and not any other that is installed.

Google explained that this change was made to protect privacy of users, although those who prefer a third-party camera application to the one that comes on the mobile, will have to settle for using the official one in some specific cases. You can still use third-party camera apps on Android 11, but not to complete actions in other apps.


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11 Android features we had a long time ago that fell by the wayside

was originally published in

Xataka Android

by
Ivan Ramirez

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