The best Android exclusive feature for me is…

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Android is the most widespread system in Spain, and part of its success lies in its open nature that allows any manufacturer to create devices in any range of specifications, prices and software features, being able to be based on a series of basic characteristics and from there create your own experiences in what we know as layers of personalization.

These layers usually add multiple features, but sometimes they also remove some of the purest Android experience, which sometimes makes the switch to a mobile from another brand a worse experience for us. Each person is a world and characteristics that for some are not very important for others can become a reason to discard a mobile brand.

And that’s precisely what happened the other day when I was chatting with Fernando about whether my favorite Android feature had already made it to Color OS (Oppo’s customization layer). Since he was shocked that it was so important to me and it shocked me that he did not even use this brilliant Android shortcut, well here I will talkof the shortcut that made me abandon the iPhone.

Double press the power button to launch the camera, my favorite Android shortcut

Among mobile brands, ease of use is usually one of the key pillars of the user experience and everything must be intuitive. However, Android hides a shortcut that is anything but intuitive, but which I love.

Such access is as simple aspress the power button twice to turn on the camera. It is a shortcut present in Android for many years and that, unless someone explains it to you or you discover it by accident, you may live without knowing that it exists. It is not present in all mobiles, since many layers of customization (Oppo, realme, Huawei) omit it (or change it to the power button) and although in others such as MIUI it can be activated in the advanced settings, it is not activated by default.

The best Android exclusive feature for me is… 1

Between February and September 2020, I put my Pixel 2 XL aside to use an iPhone Xr as my main mobile in my day to day. I liked the experience with iOS and I loved the Apple Watch enough to stay in the ecosystem. During those months I discovered that the ability to operate the camera by pressing the power button twice was crucial to me, far more than anything Apple did better could offer me.

Why is it a shortcut that I like so much

  • It is a shortcut that does not discriminate if the mobile screen is on or off. You press twice fast and activate the camera.
  • The power button is very accessible:for ergonomics the power button is usually located in an easily accessible position. That makes double-pressing a shortcut that is very easy to access, being able to activate the camera with one hand even on gigantic mobiles.
  • I take a lot of photos and I want to take them as quickly as possible: when you use the camera a lot, this shortcut ends up staying in the muscle memory of your fingers.

Each user is a world, and that is the best of Android

The best Android exclusive feature for me is… 2

The reason why I wrote this article is because there is a lot of division about it, and it is that after asking friends and acquaintances the answers are very varied. There are those who know the shortcut but do not use it, those who cannot live without it and those who do not know it. Because despite being a very old shortcut, as no one explains it and that in some layers it disappears or they change the button, it makes it not so widespread either.

In the same way, in turn, things like this are the beauty of Android, an ecosystem in which all mobile phones seem the same, but when we decide to change we realize that small features that nobody appreciates are capable of changing our experience to the full.

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