Android is a mobile platform that changes constantly. With each new system version Google introduces new features and removes others that in general are obsolete or don’t provide an added value for users.
Nevertheless, in some occasions we’ve seen how some useful system tools, which we could even use in a daily basis, disappeared completely with no explanation. Today, we put together a list of five features that inexplicably disappeared.
Features that inexplicably disappeared from Android forever
Now on Tap
We have to start with the most recent one and also the one we miss the most. Now on Tap appeared on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it gave us information about what was happening in our screen.
It only took a long tap on the device’s home button for the Now on Tap to search the screen for relevant information and then give us helpful information when performing actions such as planning events, saving phone numbers or web addresses. However, it seems like Google decided that the Now on Tap and the virtual assistant couldn’t coexist and they made it disappear.
Live Folders were something that only the veterans of the Android universe will remember. In 2009, Google announced this launcher tool in the operating system developer’s blog. It allowed the apps to show information in the home screen, without having to execute the app – similarly to the quick accesses introduced in the Android 7.1.
The aim of this tool, which was born and died with the Android 1.5 Cupcake, was to show information in real time about the apps, such as a dynamic contact list, markers, playlists, emails or a newsfeed. Contrary to the widgets, the user would be the one tapping on the folder icon to see the information.
Widgets in the lock screen
Another one of the features some of us miss is the possibility of setting widgets in the lock screen. This characteristic appeared on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and soon turned into one of the top rated features by the users, as it allowed them to personalize one of the few interface parts that up until then was unmodifiable.
The widgets in the lock screen allowed users to see information from the apps without having to unlock their phone. Unfortunately, the feature disappeared from Android overnight and we’ve never heard of it again.
Probably, not many of you will remember Movie Studio. It was a video editing app introduced in 2011 together with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the tablet oriented version, which even got to be one of the most attractive features of this edition of the operative system.
Later, it also launched on smartphones, aiming to become the Snapseed of videos. This idea vanished when Google decided to abandon the app development and removed it from Google Play in 2013.
Even though it hasn’t completely disappeared, the current Daydream has little in common with what it was a few years ago. Nowadays, we all know DayDream as a Google platform for virtual reality. But it wasn’t always like that.
In the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google hid in the settings app a section called Daydream. It was a feature for moving screensavers and Google even introduced some of this screensavers, such as a clock or a colorful cloud that changed with time. Today, this feature is still available on Android Stock but the name has changed to “screensaver” probably to avoid misunderstandings.