7 Android Shortcuts and Tricks for Doing Things Faster

Android has a series of helpful shortcuts for everything from taking a quick photo to a full on Do Not Disturb mode. These Android shortcuts may have been around for years, but some extra luck lies with those who have Marshmallow installed on their devices. 

1. Double-click the Power button to access the camera

The lock screen on your Android devices have a tiny camera shortcut (which appears as an icon) in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Just tap, hold and swipe the shortcut to take a quick snapshot from your locked Android device.

But did you know that there’s an equivalent camera shortcut for when your Android handset is unlocked? In case you’ve installed the new Marshmallow on your Android device, try to double-click the power button, and you will go straight into the camera app from your locked phone! 

android shortcuts launch camera

2. Press and hold the Volume Down button to turn off notifications, calls and alerts

On Android Marshmallow phones, an elaborate new feature helps you to silence incoming calls, chats, notifications, and other alerts on any daily schedule you choose (this will be super-helpful during meetings). Once you’ve set your quiet times, the “Do Not Disturb” mode will go on auto-pilot, shushing all but the most important buzzes and beeps.

But let’s say there are some occasions though, when you’ll want to silence your Android quickly without having to deal with the Settings menu or with the pull-down Quick Settings window shade. Then all you have to do is simply press and hold the volume-down button. As you do that your Android phone or tablet will switch into an “alarms only” variation of the Do Not Disturb mode. To deactivate the Do Not Disturb mode, press and hold the volume-up button.

all android shortcuts list do not disturb

3. Tug or pull down to refresh a webpage in Chrome

Want to quickly reload the current web page you’re viewing in Chrome? Here’s how: 

  • Tap on the tiny refresh button to the left of the address bar.
  • Tap on the three-dot menu button and tap the refresh icon in the top corner of the screen.
  • Or an easier alternative is to just tug down or drag down on the page itself. Once you’ve tugged down enough, a spinning Refresh icon will appear below the Chrome toolbar and in a few seconds, the page will reload.

all-android shortcuts list pull down to refresh

4. Say Yes to “OK Google” anytime, anywhere

Chat up your personal Android assistant whenever you want, even when your device is locked.

The first step: Open the Google app (either from the Applications tray, or—if you’re using the Google Now launcher—by swiping from left to right from your first home screen), tap the three-line menu button in the top corner of the display, then tap Settings > Voice > “OK Google” detection.

Next, you’ve got some choices to make. If you’d like, you can set your handset to respond to the words “OK Google” only from the Google app or a home screen in the Google Now launcher. Now that you have this option enabled, just say “OK Google” and your Android will listen carefully for a command, anything from “What’s the score of the Cricket match?” to Set an alarm for 8 am tomorrow morning”.

Now in order to make your device respond to “OK Google” from any screen, enable the aptly named “From Any Screen” option. If you’re really keen on saying “OK Google” anytime, anywhere, switch on the “Personal results” setting, which makes the “OK Google” trick work even if your device is locked. 

5. Press and hold the Home key for “Now on Tap” suggestions

Say you’re sending email messages with a broker agent to coordinate the price, dates, and addresses. An easy way to get extra suggestions from the information on these messages is to: 

Press and hold the Home key. Then a “Now on Tap” display will appear. A series of Google Now-style “cards” that provide information, shortcuts, and suggestions will appear based on whatever’s on the screen.

all android shortcuts list now on tap

Looking at your Gmail messages about the new apartment? A card appears for the apartment’s address on Google Maps, a suggestion to set up a Calendar appointment, and a link to the broker’s website.  Listening to music on the Google Play app? Press and hold the Home key for shortcuts to the song’s music video on YouTube, social media or headlines about the singer from Google News.

6.Two options to take a screenshot

Ideas can hit at any second, and it also takes a second to take a screenshot! 

You can easily snap a picture of whatever’s on the screen once you know the shortcut. Simply press to hold the power and volume-down buttons until you hear the “click” sound. 

Then you can find the screenshot saved in your default photos app, or pull down the Notifications screen and tap on the image you just took. 

all android shortcuts list take screenshot

Now if your Android phone or tablet has been updated to Marshmallow, try this second option: Simply press and hold the home button to launch Now on Tap, then tap the share button to the left of the Google button. And in a second, your device will snap a screenshot, and a slide-up window will give you a menu of options for sharing or saving the image.

7. Tap and slide for App Info and its settings

Get all kinds of useful information about an app from its “App info” screen: For example, you can see how much storage the app is using, how much data it consumes, types of notifications, etc. 

The common way to get to the info screen for any given app is to just click or tap Settings > Apps; you’ll then need to scroll down the alphabetized list to find the right app.

all android shortcuts list app info

Another shortcut: Open the Application tray, tap to hold an app icon, slide it up to the “App info” button at the top of the screen, then release.