Android devices are filled with a plethora of features that you will gradually discover as you spend more time exploring the device. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to give beginners some pointers so that they can learn to efficiently use some of these options. Below, we list down three features that nearly every new Android user should know and explore to make their lives easier.
Nearly every Android device released in the last one year comes with NFC (the Moto G being a notable exception). NFC or Near Field Communication is a great way to quickly share files between various Android devices, automate tasks and even pay for your purchases at the local super market. Check our full NFC 101 series for tutorials and tips on how to make the most of NFC. Not many Android users know how useful the feature actually is but once you get accustomed to it, there is no looking back. Sadly, NFC payments is a very demographic-limited feature whose adoption rates have been further slowed down by carriers and Google all promoting their own protocol, instead of supporting just one.
Another feature that is present in nearly all mid-range and above Android devices, Wi-Fi Direct is a great way to quickly transfer large files between Android devices at speeds that are 10x faster than Bluetooth (45Mbps). While pairing and transferring files over it is a very tedious process, you can use a third party app from the Play Store to start these large file transfers in a jiffy.
Voice Actions in Android are among my favorite features of the OS. Using a simple voice command, users can launch apps, set reminders or calendar appointments, navigate to home or work and more. Voice Actions is actually a part of Google Now but can be used even with the latter turned off. Simply tap on the microphone icon on the Google Search bar widget on your homescreen and then speak whatever you want your device to do like a Google search, basic mathematics calculations and more. You can find the full list of Voice commands supported by Google Search here.