New to Android? Still wondering if you’re setting it up to work the best it can for you? I’m going to go over the basics of set up to get you on your way to Android bliss.
My own homescreen, main one of 7 on my Galaxy SIII.
1. When you first turn on your phone you should be prompted to go through setup. Don’t blow this off unless you don’t have a Gmail account or any social accounts like Facebook that you want to link to your phone. And if you don’t have a Gmail account, you may want to get one. It will make your life so much easier and keeps all your contacts, emails, and more in one place.
If the Setup wizard doesn’t automatically start up, go to your “Settings” and sign in under “Accounts”. Settings can either be opened by sliding down the notification drawer and clicking the cog in the top right or pressing your menu button and selecting settings there.
2. Your phone should also be configured with little prompts/pop ups/instructions on the home screens. But if not, here’s how to maneuver through your phone.
- Slide – all Android phones unlock with a slide (or swipe) of your finger by default. There’s also a notification drawer at the top of your screen. Touch it and slide it down to see all your notifications including voicemail, email, download/upload status, text message, missed calls, etc.
- Swipe – swiping your finger from left to right, right to left will take you through your home screens. Different phones will have a different number of home screens. My Samsung Galaxy SIII (and SII before it) has 7 homescreens.
- Press & hold – If you want to add anything to your home screen, one way to do it is to press & hold an empty part of the screen. This should bring up your app & widget drawer (or maybe a menu for other Android phones). You will most often choose to add widgets and icons to your screens unless there’s something really specific you need to get to fast. My must-have widgets include photo album, clocks, weather, calendar, Starbucks, my to-do list app (Wunderlist), etc. This is typically where you will find differences among the manufacturers of the Android phones. And more options too. For me, I just have to press, hold, and drag widgets and icons directly to my homescreen. Play around, you’ll find ones you’ll just love. To get rid of an icon or widget, press & hold it and then drag it to your trash can at the top of the screen.
3. Apps can be downloaded from the Play Store. Open your Play Store in the app drawer or on your homescreen (it’s usually there by default). In there you can browse and search for anything you might need or want. When an app includes a widget, just go through the steps above to place it on one of your home screens if desired.
4. Switch more easily between apps you’ve used recently by pressing and holding your home button. For example, this is extremely useful when food shopping when I’m switching between my calculator (I’m hardcore like that) and my shopping list. You won’t find me going over budget! 🙂
5. Customize which apps you want in the bottom of your homescreens, known as the dock. Just press, hold, and drag an app’s icon into the dock position you would like and it will switch out the app that’s currently there.
You should be ready to use your phone and get to know it a bit better. Have fun!