System updates are due to the sheer number of devices and / or manufacturers that refuse to push them out. Thanks to the versatility of Android, not everything is lost if you own an older mobile phone.
Tech-savvy types have the opportunity to flash a new ROM to bring the latest and greatest features to their cell phones. If the idea of installing a custom operating system goes beyond your head, you can try these apps and workarounds to get new Android features on your old smartphone.
The gesture control has taken over the smartphone area, as both Android Pie and now Android Q offer native gesture controls. Some OEMs even offer different gesture options for their new and slightly older products.
You do not need any of the latest Android versions to navigate on your old Android phone with gestures, as some third party apps are offered similar functionality. One of the most popular tips in this regard is navigation gestures.
Read: Android 9 Pie Update Tracker – When will your cellphone get it?
The app, developed for Android Lollipop and above, provides swiping gestures to go home, return, access the menu of the last few days and much more. The premium version even features gestures for skipping songs, taking screenshots and opening the Power menu. Some reviews have shown that the functionality may be good or bad (as it was somewhat flawed in our tests), but you can check it yourself at any time.
Another solution are Fluid Navigation Gestures and, similar to the previous app, Fluid Navigation Gestures requires users to execute an ADB command to disable the phone's traditional navigation bar. Nevertheless, it is good to know that there are options.
Android Pie has introduced the features of Digital Wellbeing for smartphones that allow you to keep track of how to use your smartphone in different ways. Android Q has enhanced this suite with its Focus Mode feature, which allows you to block distracting apps. But what if your old Android phone is on Android Oreo or an earlier version?
The next best option may be the Stay Focused app, which allows users to block certain apps that distract them. With Stay Focused, you can also block apps on certain days if you need to focus on your studies / work during the week. In addition, the app promises a breakdown of your app usage history so you can see how much time you spend on Instagram.
One of the better Android Q features is the Smart Reply functionality, which will soon be available for all messaging apps. These include, for example, WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messenger. You can still get the Smart Reply functionality on your old Android phone through the Gmail and Android Messages apps, but there is also Google's special Reply app.
Read: Which manufacturer updates its smartphones the fastest – Android Pie Edition  The experimental app has since been shut down by the company, but can currently be loaded onto repositories like APKMirror. At the time of the shutdown, Google had announced that the app would continue to work for a few months, but users would not notice any improvement.
However, we tried the app while writing this guide (more than six months after Google shutdown). and it still works well enough. The app even gives you the ability to enable automatic message responses while driving.
The answer is currently limited to Slack, Android Messages and WhatsApp. Do not expect this list to grow with Reply's shutter status.
Password is filled in automatically
Android Oreo and Pie have significantly improved support for auto-populating passwords on the platform. With these Android updates, login credentials in apps and web browsers could be automatically populated. Do you own an older Android phone with nougat or lower? Here, password managers come into play, with which you can use similar functions.
One of the most popular solutions is LastPass, which lets you store all credentials behind a main user name and password. The app requires Android Lollipop or higher, so chances are good that your device meets this requirement.
It's not quite as seamless as native support in apps and preferred browsers, but you can copy / paste your credentials via LastPass App. Also keep in mind that LastPass has its own browser so you can more easily access credentials for your favorite websites.
Easy Wi-Fi Sharing
The seamless Wi-Fi release is probably one of the most underrated and overdue Android Q features that allow you to exchange credentials using a QR code, Bluetooth, and NFC. Google was not the first to release this feature because Huawei, Xiaomi and Windows Phone devices have had the QR code option for several years. But what if your phone does not receive the upgrade to Android Q?
There are several apps in the Play Store that offer a similar solution, with InstaWiFi probably being one of the oldest on the market. All you have to do is enter your credentials into the app and then spit out a QR code that guests can use.
In our experience, the app works well as guests simply scan the code and get access. The developer states that you need a specific QR scanner app to scan these codes and that Bixby Vision does not work properly. However, we tried Xiaomi and Meizu devices (both support QR codes for sharing Wi-Fi services) and they worked fine.
Perhaps the only major disadvantage is that the app does not seem to save your generated QR codes.
Are there any other Android P and Android Q features you would like to see on your old Android phone? Let us know in the comments!