Our favorite apps are updated almost every week. The bad news is that these updates usually go unnoticed. Did you know that Facebook helps you look for public Wi-Fi? Or that Gmail can write your emails for you? So you don’t miss out on the best new features on your favorite apps, we’ve compiled the best updates in recent months.
1. Gmail writes your emails for you
Gmail offers an option called “Canned Responses.” This feature saves messages or phrases that you use most often and suggests them when you draft an email, saving you time.
Want to enable this option? You have to go to the settings section in Gmail called Labs. Gmail Labs is a testing center with “far-fetched” experiments (according to Google) of all kinds. You can access Gmail Labs here.
The feature you’re looking for is called “Canned Responses” and all you have to do is click on “Enable” and then “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
Next time you compose an email you’d like to save as a canned response, click the little triangle on the lower right-hand side of the screen. That opens a menu with an option for “Canned responses.” Just move over and click “Save” if you’d like to save that email so you can fire it off again someday.
You may have noticed a basic AI version of this at the bottom of messages you read on the Gmail app on your phone. They look like this:
2. Gmail’s most invisible feature
It’s unlikely that you’ve noticed this Gmail update because it’s designed to go unseen.
Haven’t you noticed lately that you’ve received fewer spam emails with suspicious links? Gmail has enhanced its ability to detect and delete this type of email even before it reaches your inbox. It’s not yet 100 percent foolproof, but it’ll keep you safer than before.
3. Make wish lists on Google Maps
Google Maps lets you make lists of places you’d like to visit. Imagine that you’re planning a vacation to Paris. You can make a list of those museums, restaurants, and attractions that you’d like to visit. And you can share the list with those you’re traveling with. Or with anybody, for that matter!
Google Maps users are making the most of this feature to share recommended places or themed attractions. To use this feature, it’s as easy as pinpointing a place in the app, clicking “Save” and choosing the list with the green label that says “Want to go.”
4. Share anything with WhatsApp
WhatsApp lets you share any file type (mp3, videos…) between contacts provided that these files do not exceed 100MB in size. Instead of sending 100 photos one-by-one, why don’t you send them as a .zip file, for example?
5. WhatsApp gets their act together…kind of
It’s taken a while, but WhatsApp now has filters, like Instagram and the rest! At the time of writing this article, there are just five filters and they’re only available on iOS; no news on when they’ll arrive on Android.
6. Facebook helps you find Wi-Fi
Facebook has a relatively new feature called “Find Wi-Fi.” It’s a little bit hidden. First you have to click on the three horizontal lines on the lower menu bar. Click on “See More.” There you’ll find it and you can enable “Find Wi-Fi.”
After enabling it, Facebook will show you a map with the closest Wi-Fi hotspots as well as details about these hotspots, like which businesses they belong to.
7. Download movies and TV series from Netflix
Taking a plane somewhere? Bring your tablet packed with your favorite Netflix movies and shows! Not all Netflix offerings are available: pay attention to the download icon that appears on the TV series or movie listing. Amazon Prime also offers this feature.
8. Spotify Codes
Spotify has a feature called Spotify Codes. Have you noticed that below songs, playlists, and albums, there is a barcode in the shape of a sound wave? If you don’t see it, click on the three dots to access Spotify’s advanced options.
You can exchange these sound codes with your friends and they only have to open the Camera feature within Spotify for apps to scan them.
Also, Spotify Codes are an excellent way for artists to become known, as they can insert their codes on social media so the rest of the world can quickly access their songs.
9. Muting on Twitter
Got some people on Twitter who won’t stop spoiling your favorite TV series or spewing goofy conspiracy theories? Don’t want to block them because sometimes you talk to them and some of their Tweets are interesting?
Twitter now lets you mute whoever you want. Muting means that their messages will not appear on your feed, all without their knowledge. You’ll receive notifications if they mention you in a Tweet or if you receive direct messages from them. And you can check their Tweets when you feel like it.
Muting is as easy as clicking on the “down arrow” on one of their Tweets. You’ll see this option, among others.
Have you found any hidden features you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!