Aug 15, 2013 (07:08 AM EDT)
10 Hidden Android Tips, Tricks

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

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Throughout the past year, Android skyrocketed in popularity and currently holds 79% of the global smartphone market. When it comes to number of users, Google's operating system trumps even Apple's iOS. Together, Android and iOS make up 93.2% of the global market, but Android's share has been rising while Apple's share dropped.

Android's surge contributed to smartphones outselling feature phones globally for the first time in Q2, according to Gartner.

What gives Android the current edge? The smartphones are well-known for their customizable interface, which continues to attract new users. You can make the devices your own with apps, games and custom settings.

You can also optimize your Android's performance with personalized shortcuts, search boxes and widgets. Many people take personalization to a new level by adding custom words to the Android dictionary, adding contacts' images to the home screen or downloading animated backgrounds for a fun (though battery-draining) touch.

Android's many options and features are numerous enough to overwhelm even smartphone veterans. For every feature you know, there is another that can help you do something new with your smartphone.

Consider, for example, the Android's ability to run Google Maps offline. With Google Maps for Android, you can select and download a specific area on the map. The downloaded section can be used in places that have limited or unavailable Internet connection and on devices that don't have a data plan. If you don't have an unlimited data plan, using an offline map will save you the cost of accessing Google Maps on a mobile network.

To create an offline map, enter Google Maps for Android and display your desired map on the screen. As of July 11, 2013, there is a button that says "Make this map area available offline" to simplify the process. The estimated size of the area in your map will appear on the screen. If it is too large, you will be asked to choose a smaller area. You can store up to six maps on your device.

Click through our slideshow to see more things you can learn about your Android smartphone. If you have further suggestions to share with your fellow readers, please add them in the comments section.

Want even more Android app suggestions? Check out our round up of classics: 10 Epic Android Apps.