This Is What You Should Do After Taking Your Android Phone Out Of The Box For The First Time

MWC Google Booth Android Guy

Photo: Dan Frommer, The Business Insider

One of the biggest advantages Android phones have over the iPhone is the deep level of customisation you get.But all those options can be daunting to a smartphone beginner. If you’re new to Android, we have some tips to get you started with your new phone.

Note: This walkthrough was done using the latest version of Android. Software can vary from device to device, so we kept things as general as possible.

Since you own a Google phone, you should sign in with your Google account. This is the first screen you'll see when you turn on your phone for the first time. Once you sign in, all your Google services like Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Reader, etc. will sync.

This is Android's default home screen. You'll likely want to change things around a bit. Let's make some room for a few new apps.

The Android Market is the place to start. Below is our list of a few essential apps we think you'll need right off the bat. (And they're all free!)

Facebook: No intro needed here.

Twitter: Send and receive tweets.

Foursquare: Check in to venues and share your location with friends.

Netflix: Stream movies and TV shows to your Android phone.

Evernote: The best note taking app on the planet. Syncs with your phone, computer, and pretty much any other device you can think of.

Dropbox: A great way to store files in the cloud.

New York Times: Keep up with the latest important news.

Sportacular: Live scores for all your favourite sports.

Google Reader: Google's RSS feed reader.

So now you have all these great apps, but they're cluttering your desktop. Let's clean things up by organising apps into folders.

To make a folder, simply drag one app on top of another.

Tap the folder to open it. You can give it a name by tapping the empty field below the apps.

There, doesn't that look better? Of course, feel free to organise stuff any way you want.

To change your wallpaper, tap and hold an empty space on your phone's background. You'll get this pop up box. You can choose a wallpaper from the gallery (photos you've taken), Google's animated live wallapapers, or Google's regular wallpapers. Live wallpapers can hurt your battery life a bit, so we're going to choose a regular one.

One great thing about Android is the option to add widgets to your home screen. These provide live updates for stuff like news, weather, etc. You can add a widget by tapping and holding one from the Widgets menu...

...then drag it to your desired location on your home screen. Android comes packed with some great widgets, but you can find others in the Market.

From your contacts list select the person you want to add to your home screen. We'll select Nicholas.

Now your contact is on your home screen. Just tap the icon and your phone will call that contact. You can do the same for text messages too.

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