Android for beginners: Tips and tricks for your new smartphone
When you‘re holding your shiny new Android smartphone and are questioning learn how to get essentially the most from it, you then‘ve come to the precise place.
Whether or not that is your first smartphone, you’ve got simply hopped over from an iPhone, otherwise you‘ve had a variety of Android handsets, we have pulled collectively a few of the finest Android ideas and methods that will help you get probably the most out of your cellphone.
Android is an ever-altering beast with many faces. There are totally different variations of the software program, there are many totally different producer skins layed over that Android core, like these from Sony, Samsung or HTC, and there is a limitless stage of customisation you may apply from Google Play, or different third-celebration sources.
That signifies that few Android gadgets are alike, however all Android units have the identical basis. So, beginning initially, here is the best way to grasp your Android cellphone.
Kind out your Google account
Android and Google are like peas in a pod. To make use of Android, it’s essential to use a Google account. Which means every thing that goes with it – Gmail, calendars, contacts, YouTube, Google Maps and extra.
Getting your account so as is one thing you are able to do out of your PC earlier than you signal into your new system, letting you employ the massive display screen and keyboard to get issues straight.
Google incorporates a contacts system which hides inside Gmail in your desktop browser. If in case you have plenty of contacts, import them into Google contacts and handle them there. Managing them on a pc makes it a lot sooner to get all the pieces right earlier than you get began.
In case you have your contacts in one other kind, there are straightforward methods to import them to Google, in addition to scan for duplicates and so forth. As your Android life progresses, it is price popping again to your core Google contacts record to examine that all the things remains to be good and tidy.
In the event you‘re pondering of saving contacts to the SIM card and transferring them over, it isn’t definitely worth the effort: higher to seek out the software program to import them out of your previous telephone to your PC, to then feed them to Google. It should make your life simpler sooner or later.
Grasp switch instruments, or simply use Google
Many producers supply switch instruments that can assist you transfer previous content material to new locations. This is likely to be a desktop app, however extra continuously, it is changing into a part of the machine while you set it up for the primary time. Android now additionally has the choice to revive a earlier backup, or arrange a tool from scratch, in addition to providing you the possibility to switch information wirelessly to setup issues like your accounts and settings.
Usually talking, in case you‘ve been utilizing Android beforehand, these objects related along with your account will transfer over and not using a hitch. Nevertheless, for issues like images, you would possibly want to transfer them to a cloud service if you wish to protect them.
Google Images is the apparent alternative for Android customers, as a result of it is related together with your account. You simply have to put in the app and sign up. You could possibly additionally use OneDrive from Microsoft or Dropbox, as each provide photograph backup choices and are broadly accessible throughout platforms. You would additionally save to a microSD card and transfer it throughout, you probably have the hardware to assist it.
Get to your settings quicker
Swiping down the notifications bar will get you entry to shortcuts for varied hardware toggles. It is right here you’ll be able to flip off issues like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi rapidly and simply. Many producers edit this space, so Samsung, LG, HTC and Nexus units all look totally different.
Android has a grid of fast settings shortcuts in the event you‘re on one of many latest variations of Android like Lollipop or Marshmallow, which most new units are. Swipe down with two fingers and it’ll take you straight to these toggles.
If you wish to head to the total setting menu, faucet the cog on the high of the notifications space once you swipe down.
Watch your information
Though some contracts provide you with limitless knowledge, it is all the time price looking for a way a lot you are consuming, in an effort to keep away from an undesirable invoice by ensuring you do not go over your knowledge restrict.
Head into the settings menu and within the high part “wi-fi and networks” you will discover the choice for knowledge utilization. That is the place the cellphone retains monitor of your information use and you’ll set an alert in your limits so you do not over spend.
You too can see what’s consuming information which is a fast technique to spot apps that is perhaps utilizing a variety of knowledge after they do not should be. You’ll be able to then go to that app and tinker with the settings, maybe set it to replace on Wi-Fi solely.
Knowledge not working?
Smartphones are advanced beasties and generally issues simply cease working. The bar says you will have full reception, however nothing is transferring, you’ll be able to‘t get that website to load or that tweet to ship.
Strive flipping the telephone into Aeroplane/Airplane mode and again once more. This may sever your connection and re-set up it, and hopefully issues will begin shifting once more. You may get to Aeroplane mode through the short settings grid talked about above, or with a protracted press of the standby button.
Wi-Fi will preserve you linked and saves your knowledge prices, however there’s an choice in Android to provide you with a warning to open networks. When strolling down a typical road, it would continually ping you, asking if you wish to join.
Normally these networks aren’t open, they require log-in as soon as you’ve got related. Head into settings > Wi-Fi > superior settings and disable the function to be left alone.
In case you‘re searching for the WPS choice on Android, which is basically useful to rapidly hook up with a router, you may discover it in settings > Wi-Fi. It could seem with the WPS arrows, or be hiding within the menu.
Wi-Fi not working?
Identical to mobile information, typically Wi-Fi goes on the blink. Usually, simply opening the fast settings and toggling Wi-Fi off after which again on once more, will re-set up the connection.
Superb shows … eat battery
The fantastic show in your Android gadgets can also be the factor that is going to eat the battery. Though it usually appears the perfect at full brightness, that is not very helpful to your battery. Choosing auto brightness will usually provide the greatest stability of brightness and the visible influence you are after.
Some units will then allow you to tailor auto brightness so you possibly can enhance or lower inside that scale. Bumping it down a notch on lengthy days will assist lengthen your battery.
When you‘re simply not proud of the auto brightness, then strive the app Lux Lite. It will take over the show brightness management, in addition to letting you bump it up or down from the notifications space.
Additionally have a look at your show sleep settings. There isn’t any want for it to remain on longer than you want it, so head into settings > show > and search for “sleep” or “show timeout” and decide one thing shorter.
How do I take an Android screenshot?
Merely maintain standby and quantity down on the similar time and you will get a screenshot of no matter you are taking a look at. Not all the things might be captured, nevertheless. Some protected content material, similar to video taking part in in some apps, will not seem in your screenshot.
Screenshots are saved within the gallery in their very own folder, however should you‘re seeking to share, you are able to do straight from the notifications bar as soon as it is saved.
What’s the greatest Android keyboard?
Easy: the one which works for you. You do not have to place up with the keyboard your system comes with. There are a great deal of choices for the keyboard, from the producer‘s model that Samsung or HTC bundle in, by way of to the inventory Android keyboard, or third get together keyboards like SwiftKey or Skype.
First up, you would possibly need to flip off the vibration suggestions on keypress, which you will discover in settings > language & enter (or language & keyboard) the place all of the keyboard settings lie. Typically the vibrations get backed up and as soon as your fingers begin flying, they can not at all times sustain, which is annoying. The buzzing of the vibration can also be actually annoying to these round you. Some vibrations get hidden within the sound and notification setting. Once more, much less is extra, as they are saying.
Though among the producer keyboards are fairly good, the inventory Android keyboard (available on Google Play) can also be good, however we’re followers of the superior options of SwiftKey (pictured above), which is properly value a strive too, due to the energy of its predictive strategies. It is also free.
Get some apps
Telephones was for making calls. Now they’re for doing all the pieces. It doesn’t matter what you are after, there’s sure to be an app excellent for the job, from purchasing to banking, to studying to relationship.
Apps are discovered within the Play Retailer. From right here you’ll be able to obtain a world of free or paid-for purposes. Nonetheless you do not have to do it via your telephone. As soon as signed in along with your Google account, you are able to do it from a browser, pushing the required app by way of to your handset. Simply head to Google Play in your browser to get began.
It is price noting that apps replace frequently on Android. That is not essentially as a result of there’s one thing incorrect, however as a result of there are fixed adjustments to usher in refinements, optimisations or new options.
Nevertheless, you will need to be sure to‘re solely updating these apps when related to Wi-Fi. In Play Retailer, head to settings and you will find the choice to manage how your apps get updates.
You are additionally free to put in apps that are not on Google Play. This will embody beta software program direct from builders, or one thing like Amazon Underground. If you wish to do that, you will should allow that possibility. Go to settings > safety and you will find the choice to allow apps from “unknown sources”. Be warned, nonetheless, that you could be expose your gadget to dangers in case you select to take action.
Which is the very best Android browser?
There are many browsers obtainable for Android, with every providing a spread of various choices. The inventory browser is Chrome and that is the perfect Android browser.
Nonetheless, whenever you‘re a brand new gadget, you may discover that you’ve got one other browser, possible one which has been tinkered with by the machine producer. As a rule, you’ll be able to ignore it and go straight for Chrome.
In case your machine would not have it, Chrome is on Google Play, and for those who‘re a Chrome desktop person, you will discover loads of syncing by your Google account, together with browser and search historical past, bookmarks and autofill particulars, that are actually helpful on the transfer.
Customise your Android residence pages
The homepage is entrance of the queue in the case of customisation. Your new cellphone will in all probability include a variety of shortcuts and widgets unfold throughout a lot of pages.
If you do not need them, delete them with a protracted press and drag them to the trash can. You may also often delete the pages they’re sitting on: there is not any have to have seven residence pages in the event that they‘re all empty.
Completely different variations of Android and completely different producers have barely totally different approaches to dwelling web page customisation. Usually a protracted press on the background wallpaper, or a pinch on the background will get you began, nevertheless it differs from machine to gadget.
Use Android folders
Folders are a good way to organise your apps on your private home web page. To be further environment friendly, it’s also possible to place folders on the shortcut bar on the backside of the show.
This implies you possibly can have a number of your core apps handy with out them cluttering up your house web page, in order that pretty wallpaper of your cat stays seen.
To create a folder, simply drag one app shortcut over one other and a folder can be mechanically created.
Some gadgets may even allow you to make folders within the apps tray (menu) which is an effective way to organise all the pieces in there and make it simpler to search out your app. That stated, in case you‘ve performed a superb job with folders on your own home web page, you will end up hardly ever utilizing the primary apps tray.
What Android Launcher ought to I take advantage of?
For those who‘re new to Android, the time period launcher may be complicated. The launcher is principally the house pages, the apps tray and the shortcut bar on the backside.
Your machine will include a inventory launcher in place, that of the producer. For those who do not prefer it and desire a completely different look to your telephone, it is very easy to modify to an alternate and there are loads in Google Play. From Android four.four KitKat upwards, it is easy to handle the completely different launchers you’ve put in for straightforward switching.
If you set up a brand new launcher, the unique stays on the cellphone so you are not dropping it, you are simply telling the cellphone to make use of a unique launcher as a substitute, which means you possibly can escape from the appears of HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz should you do not prefer it and have one thing just a little extra distinctive.
We’re huge followers of Google Now Launcher. It give any Android cellphone a easy inventory Android feel and look, with Google Now solely a swipe away.
The best way to backup your Android images
To handle the age-outdated drawback of how to ensure your images journey with you, it doesn’t matter what gadget you are utilizing, there are many choices. This was once dependant on a 3rd–social gathering app, however now it is dealt with by Google Images.
Google Pictures was previously built-in into Google+, however has been break up out up to now yr as a standalone app and repair. It is the inventory gallery on Android gadgets, though many like Sony and HTC will provide one thing totally different. All gadgets can entry Images, nonetheless, and it has backup built-in into it.
All it’s important to do is head into the settings and select which Google account you’d prefer to backup. Meaning you may, for instance, save all of your machine photographs to a private account slightly than a piece account you would possibly lose entry to sooner or later. You get the choice of choosing to backup a smaller model or the complete factor.
If you wish to escape from Google, you are able to do the identical with different apps, reminiscent of Microsoft’s OneDrive or Dropbox. Each will provide to backup your images and movies. Test your settings although, as you in all probability do not need to be backing up over telephone information, simply when on Wi-Fi.
SD card or not?
In the event you‘re fortunate sufficient to have a microSD card slot in your gadget, there are some things you must learn about it.
MicroSD is a good place for storing extra content material on your gadget, or to increase the storage you’ve. If in case you have a tool that is operating Android 6 Marshmallow, the most recent model, you might need entry to one thing referred to as Flex Storage. Flex Storage helps you to use the microSD card as expanded inner storage. The microSD card’s capability can be assimilated and used for every thing the telephone needs.
Flex Storage is a good choice for these with a low storage machine, like 8GB, because it means you’ll be able to broaden it and settle for extra apps. In the event you decide to not use Flex Storage, you possibly can‘t use it for putting in extra apps – it’ll solely be used for storing information, like music or images.
Importantly, in the event you‘re opting to make use of microSD, you should purchase the quickest card you may to make sure that you are not slowing the telephone down in the case of accessing the info you will have on it.
Managing Android music
Google’s personal music service (Play Music) will allow you to add your music to the cloud out of your Mac or PC, successfully backing it up on Google’s server. You will then have the ability to stream or obtain this to your gadget.
Should you‘ve been an iTunes buyer, that is no downside. The Music Supervisor you obtain for PC or Mac can discover your iTunes music and add it, however beware, it should take a while and can probably be various broadband information.
However as soon as carried out, it is all accessible to your Android gadget(s), or via any browser. Be aware, nonetheless, that music you obtain to your Android gadget via Play Music can solely be listened to with the Play Music app.
If you happen to‘ve purchased music from Amazon MP3 up to now, the Android app will allow you to stream or play songs from that service too and there are many different choices for gamers and streaming companies.
Alternatively you may simply load all of your content material onto your cellphone‘s reminiscence, and as we talked about, utilizing microSD for this job is more likely to be the best choice, in the event you can.
Transferring information to and out of your telephone
Android is nice in that it provides you a lot flexibility for carrying and utilizing all types of information. Embracing the cloud is preferable to utilizing wire and you’ve got loads of choices to get entry to these PDFs or no matter else you need. You should utilize Google Drive to maneuver information simply and you may then entry these by way of any browser, or on any Android system, or with apps elsewhere.
Google’s apps will allow you to edit them simply and there are free functions for issues like Docs and Sheets, splendid for working in your paperwork on the transfer. Alternatively, Microsoft presents free Workplace apps for Android, though some options are solely obtainable to Workplace 365 subscribers. It really works in cohoots with OneDrive, once more.
Alternatively, Dropbox will do a lot the identical factor. Set up the app and you can transfer recordsdata by way of the cloud over to your gadget.
For those who do need to use wire – and that is typically higher for bigger recordsdata like video – then you’ve got a number of choices. Many producers bundle software program with units, though this tends to concentrate on picture and music syncing and is commonly extra hassle than it is price. As an alternative, you possibly can simply entry the machine via Home windows as soon as plugged in by way of USB, so you’ll be able to simply drag and drop information.
On a Mac, you will want to put in an software referred to as Android File Transfer. As soon as in place, you possibly can once more drag and drop on to your system‘s reminiscence.
Be aware nonetheless, that there are numerous settings in your cellphone to deal with USB connections. You may be given the selection of what you need to do, however nowadays, utilizing cloud syncing is commonly the quickest choice.
Need to know extra?
You may take a look at our full Android 7.0 Nougat ideas and methods to essentially get to know what Android can do.
Android for beginners: Tips and tricks for your new smartphone