The world of smartphones is constantly evolving with new devices launching every single day. A huge majority of these devices run on the open source Android platform which is highly customizable. Though most of us own an Android phone, we are not quite familiar with a lot of its superpowers.

Making calls, sending texts, checking mails and browsing the web are the quite so often things we do with our smartphones. However, there is more than just these that Android phones are capable of.

Here are 8 things you didn’t know your Android phones could do!

1. Scan Bar Codes

Barcode Scanner - Android Phone Tricks

How cool is it when you walk into a store and scan the products you need to buy using a smartphone? It is even cooler when you get important information from these scans. All you need is a smartphone and a simple app called Barcode Scanner Pro to do the task.

Point the camera towards a Bar Code or QR Code to begin scanning. Once the code is scanned, you get all relevant information hidden behind the code right on your phone.

2. Remote Lock & Wipe Data


Remote Lock & Wipe Data

There is nothing more worse than losing your phone, that too with loads of personal information that someone might get access to. There is every possibility that your data can be manipulated and used for wrong reasons.

But, not any more! With Android Device Manager you can control your device even when it isn’t with you. Wiping out all data and enabling the lock screen is as simple as pushing a button.

3. Run Linux OS

Run Linux - Android Phone Tricks

How about a full-fledged desktop operating system on your android phone? There are no complicated steps or high level hacking involved. All you got to do is download the Debian noroot app from Google Play Store into your device.

The app needs 900MB of free storage and cannot be stored in a SD card. Once you have it installed, you can run programs and games like you would on any other desktop version of Linux.

4. Control Your PC using Google Remote Desktop

It is now possible to control your laptop or PC using an android device from anywhere! All it takes is a mere 10 minutes of simple set-ups and you are ready to go. You will have to first download Google Remote Desktop from Chrome Store for your PC. Once done, you will be guided through the steps needed to complete the process. You will create a PIN for syncing the PC with your smartphone.

Next, download the Google Remote Desktop app from Google Play for your android phone. Open it and tap on the name of your computer. You will be prompted to enter the PIN which you created. Enter it and you are all set!

You can now control your PC using your android smartphone.

5. Record Your Screen


Record Your Screen

Screenshots are a thing of the past. You can now record live sessions of the activity on your smartphone by installing a simple application. Forget about rooting your phone, this app works like a charm.

Download AZ Screen Recorder from Google Play and you get a full-fledged application for recording your on-screen activities. The app comes with a countdown timer which makes recording easier. More added features like integration with phone’s camera and editing videos inside the app make for an excellent overall experience.

6. Re-Configure Navigation Buttons


Re-Configure Navigation Buttons

The navigation buttons on the bottom of your phone’s screen can be made to do more than just navigate. There is a little app called Home2Shortcut which works wonders on your navigation keys.

You can assign different functions for the navigation keys based on tapping. For example, you can assign to open camera when the ‘Home Key’ is double tapped. Configure your keys smartly to save time in opening commonly used applications.

7. Create Custom Widgets


We all need a phone that is a reflection of our own selves. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do with your device that beyond a point you cannot customize it any further. This isn’t a trouble any more when you download the Beautiful Widgets app.

Express yourself with a wide range of customization options using this simple application. You can easily customize the home screen according to your mood and get weather forecasts with beautiful animations.

8. Play Old Games


Want to experience the fun of playing Super Mario once again? This time you can play it wherever and whenever you want. All you need is an emulator installed on your smartphone.

There are a lot of emulators available on the Google Play Store. Choose the one that enables you to play games you love and rewind pleasant memories. MegaN64 and My Boy! Free-GBA Emulator are good examples of top-rated emulators.

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