Android 13 is now available for some Google Pixel owners to install, but Samsung Galaxy, Motorola and other Android users will have to wait until the end of this year to get their hands on the latest update to Google’s mobile software. However, there is still much to explore Android 12which most people still use on their Android phones.

Read more: How to download Android 13 Beta 2 on your phone now

Whether you own a Pixel 6 Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S22you can find a number of hidden settings and features on Android 12 that can completely change the way you use your Android device.

In this story, we’ll show you how to recover accidentally deleted notifications, use your phone with just one hand, and much more. Check out what Android 12 has to offer below.

If you want to learn more about how you can improve your Android experience, check out these seven tips to improve your Android’s performance and how to save battery with Android’s built-in dark mode.

Android 12 keeps your notification history with one tap

Have you ever cleared a notification without reading it? I do it all the time. Android has offered device notification history for a while, but you either have to know where to look or you have to install a third-party app to see it.

In Android 12, all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the notification panel, where you’ll see a new History button. Tap it and you’ll see recently cleared notifications as well as alerts from the last 24 hours.

If you see Manage instead Historythis is because Notification history not included. Activate it by tapping Managethen select Notification history and slide the switch to On position.

You now have quick access to your past notifications.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 12 makes big phones feel smaller

New one-handed mode in Android 12 it might not be a flagship feature, but it’s one that can make a big difference in how you use your phone. This is especially true if you are using a phone with a large display such as Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The new one-handed mode moves the top half of everything on your screen to the bottom half, making it easier to tap a quick settings tile or notification. To use it, place your finger on the small bar at the bottom of your phone’s screen and swipe down. It may take a few tries, but once you get the hang of the gesture, it’s easy to reproduce.

Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to turn it on: go to the Settings app, type One-handed mode and turn on the feature. Depending on which Android phone you have, this feature may have different settings that you can turn on and off.

One-handed mode on Android

Left: Google Pixel 6 Pro. Right: Samsung Galaxy S22

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

In Android 12, there is a special mode for games

If you play a lot of games on your Android device, you’ll be happy to know that Google has added a dedicated gaming mode to Android 12. When turned on, your phone will do things like automatically turn on Do Not Disturb when you start playing.

But you’d never know the mode existed if you didn’t delve deep into your notification settings. Specifically, go to Settings > Notices > Do not disturb > Schedules. Once there, check the box next to Game mode to turn it on. Then tap Settings gear icon to and switch the two items.

In my experience testing it, game mode doesn’t work in every game (I’m looking at you, Asphalt 9). However, it works in Call of Duty Mobile. When it’s active, you can do things like force your phone to optimize for one-touch gaming or see your device’s current frames per second.

Android 12 game mode

Use the new Game Mode in Android 12 to improve performance or stream live on YouTube.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android 12 has a new app layout option

The app grid on your phone’s home screen usually varies for a 4×4, 5×5, or 6×6 grid (or similar combinations). Android 12 on the Pixel, however, has a new app grid option that’s downright ridiculous at first glance — 2×2. I’m guessing this is limited to Pixel phones only, but hopefully other phone makers will adopt it as it’s a huge accessibility feature for those who need larger app icons.

Switch to the new 2×2 layout by long-pressing the home screen, then select Wallpaper and style > Application Grid > 2×2.

Google Pixel app grid

This 2×2 app grid feature is only available on Google Pixel.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

For more see best android phones and Samsung phones to buy in 2022any reason why you should give Pixel phones another chance and how The Pixel 6 with its Tensor chip is more exciting than the iPhone 13.

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