This story was originally published and last updated .
When setting up a phone for someone who's not especially tech-savvy (or simply doesn't care to learn about their phone), Android offers a nice amount of flexibility in terms of what you do or don't have to do. But just because the flexibility is there doesn't mean there aren't a few highly advisable, if technically totally optional, steps you can take to make that phone (and potentially the person using it) a lot less annoying. Here are 10 things we think will make any beginner's experience on an Android smartphone less frustrating, both for them and the person tasked with setting them up.
The "Capture" button on the Stadia controller (pictured just above, it's the one with the square brackets near the center) now actually does what it's supposed to do when you're using it on an Android device. A recent update has rolled out the ability for it to actually capture screenshots and clips on Android phones.
Samsung's custom version of Android, One UI, includes plenty of great features and changes. However, there are also some parts of One UI that are just strange — like how screenshots are saved in the compressed JPEG format, instead of the default PNG format that stock Android uses. Sure, it saves a small bit of storage space, but the images usually look terrible once they are shared.
We've known since Google promised it last year that Android 11 was going to get scrolling screenshots, and when the first developer previews landed, a new screenshot interface was found buried inside. Though it still hasn't been turned on for everyone yet, at least one person who flashed DP2 has the new interface.
Stadia has progressed quite a bit since it the invites started flowing to early adopters, but many people still say it feels very incomplete. Many standard features are still missing, the game library isn't very expansive, and it still hasn't fulfilled some of the core promises — playable on Android TV, anyone? Nevertheless, the Stadia team can (partially) cross off one of the features users have been expecting: access to screenshots and videos.
As we predicted last week, Google's latest quarterly Feature Drop is rolling out for Pixel phones today. Unlike the regular monthly security releases, this update includes a ton of new features, including a new play/pause gesture for Pixel 4's Motion Sense, a wider rollout of car crash detection, dark theme scheduling, Live Caption for the Pixel 2, a new power button wallet, live Duo AR effects, a pile of new emoji, and a whole lot more.
Last year, Google promised that scrolling screenshots were coming to Android R/11, and our friends at XDA Developers have spotted the first signs of the feature in the recent Developer Preview. It isn't enabled and doesn't work (yet), but the first signs of scrolling screenshots are there, hidden inside DP1.
After years of using mostly stock-Android phones, I bought a Galaxy S10e for myself a few months ago, and I've used it almost every day since that point. While the software experience isn't perfect, Samsung does usually provide options to disable functionality I don't care for. However, there's one software quirk that can't easily be fixed: screenshots are constantly backed up to my Google Photos library.
Screenshot editing made it into stock Android relatively late as it only recently arrived with Android 9. To make up for this oversight, Google seems to be determined to add isolated solutions to as many of its apps as possible and has already equipped Google Photos and Search with their own markup tools. It looks like Chrome is poised to follow as evidence points to yet another screenshot editor, this time meant for the Android version of the browser.