Photo: Business Insider, William Wei
Part of the beauty of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system is that they allow a deeper level of customisation. That can be pretty confusing for some people.
If you got a new Android phone for the holidays, here are a few quick tips to get you started.
Note: All Android phones are different. Each manufacturer alters the software a bit, so the screenshots here may look a little different than the phone you have. Just keep in mind that the basics are essentially the same on most devices. We used HTC’s One X+ for this demonstration.
When you first turn on your Android phone, you should sign in using your Google Account. This is the same account you use to log into Gmail. When you sync your phone with your Gmail account, your browsing history, calendar, email, etc. will be waiting for you.
You should also agree to back up your phone's data to your Google Account. That way if you lose or have to reset your phone, you can quickly retrieve your settings.
In the Settings app, you can sync your Android phone with popular online networks and services like Facebook. The more you add, the easier it is to share stuff like photos.
See? You can easily share photos from your phone on Facebook and other major services without launching the app. As you install more apps on your phone, you'll notice more options in this window.
Widgets are apps that live on your home screen and provide real-time information like news and weather. You can tap and drag them on your screen from your phone's Widgets menu.
All Android phones come with this handy widget that lets you control Wi-Fi, brightness, and other basic functions right from your home screen. Use it!
Under your security settings, you can allow your phone to install apps from unknown sources. That means apps you find on websites or alternative app stores like the one Amazon offers. Just be careful because allowing unknown apps on your phone could make your device more prone to malware.
The newest Android phones come with a voice-controlled assistant called Google Now. It acts a search tool, but can also remind you of appointments, get you directions, and find sports scores.
Android is really good at helping you manage multiple apps at once. Tapping the multitasking key on your phone (it looks like two boxes) will let you cycle between open apps.
If you swipe your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom, you'll get the notifications centre. This area tells you when you have a new message, Facebook post, Twitter mention, etc.
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