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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings

    Welcome to Android Central!

    You've come to the biggest and best Android forum around. Here you'll find over 2 million members discussing the whole gamut of Android issues and beyond, overseen by a crack team of Moderators, and assisted by your friendly neighborhood Ambassadors (a group of volunteers who share a pathologic urge to help those in need of Android assistance). Before you go any further, please be cool and review the , which go a long way towards making this forum a fun and comfortable place in which to hang out. That's ok, I'll wait ...

    All set? Then here we go! The purpose of this thread is to act as a launchpad for those of you who are completely new to Android, whether you've moved over from an iPhone, a Windows Phone, or a Blackberry, or you're a newbie to the whole world of smartphones. It is by no means a comprehensive guide, but I will suggest links here and there for further reading as well as links for apps that may expand your device's capabilities. To a certain extent, I will build upon the massive original Getting Started guide written by milominderbinde back in 2010, so he still deserves a lot of credit. I'll try to keep the terminology pretty basic, but if you start wondering what's meant by terms like RAM, GPU, kernel, or "phone call" (so, people actually talk to each other using these things?!?), then refer to The Android Dictionary.

    Keep in mind that there are hundreds of different Android devices in use today, with varying Android versions and manufacturer-specific tweaks to the interface, so a guide like this can't be one-size-fits-all. To make things easier (for me, at least), I will refer mostly to "stock" or "vanilla" Android, which is the pure unadulterated version of Android that Google has on its Nexus devices. Specifically, I have a Nexus 5 and a 2013 Nexus 7, both with Android 4.4.2.


    What Is Android?

    In case you just emerged from a time warp from the 1800s (I say, look at all of the horseless carriages!), Android is Google's mobile operating system based on Linux. Android is open source and free to use by developers, who can make modifications for specific devices and release them as "custom ROMs" (more on that later). The first Android phone was released in 2008, and since then its development and growth have accelerated exponentially. As of mid-2013, the rate of Android device activations worldwide was 1.5 million/day, and there were . As of late 2013, Android's worldwide , while the .


    What's with the Names? You're Making Me Hungry.

    Just as with other operating systems like Windows and Mac OS, Android continues to develop, ever advancing to higher versions. Android version 1.0 and 1.1 were very creatively named Android version 1.0 and 1.1. But each major version update starting with 1.5 has had a nickname based on a sweet treat, because why not?

    • Android 1.5 (Cupcake)
    • Android 1.6 (Donut)
    • Android 2.0-2.1 (Eclair)
    • Android 2.2 (Froyo)
    • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
    • Android 3.0-3.2 (Honeycomb)--for tablets only
    • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
    • Android 4.1-4.3 (Jellybean)
    • Android 4.4 (KitKat, originally Key Lime Pie)
    • ???Android 5.0 (Lollipop? Licorice? Lemonhead?)

    Do you sense a pattern? Right, it's alphabetical, starting with C. Google, you cheeky rascals. (Not sure what happened to A and B--perhaps they were considered alpha and beta test versions?)

    These various versions of Android pose a bit of a problem, because as more advanced versions of the OS are released by Google, older devices typically get left in the dust. Most devices get system updates for 18-24 months at the most, because after a while it isn't efficient for the phone's manufacturer or the wireless provider to modify the latest Android version to work on an outdated piece of hardware. As Android has matured, though, fragmentation has become less of an issue, since subsequent versions have been more evolutionary steps rather than quantum leaps, allowing more compatibility of apps across OS versions.


    Choosing a Wireless Carrier

    There are, of course, the big carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, that require you to pay fairly hefty monthly fees based on 2 year contracts with early termination penalties, effectively locking you in. But there are an increasing number of smaller wireless companies like Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk that offer cheaper plans, often in a pay-as-you-go fashion. These companies typically piggyback off the bigger carriers (e.g., Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint network), but the tradeoff is that they usually don't carry the latest and greatest devices. As this kind of service has become increasingly popular, the big carriers are now offering similar plans (like AT&T's GoPhone or Sprint's AsYouGo). As an interesting aside, one innovative service, Republic Wireless, actually relies on available wi-fi signals to make calls over the web; if no wi-fi signal is available, the phone switches over to the Sprint network.

    Your choice of carrier and plan should be based on several factors, many of which will be unique to you (like financial situation, device preference, and local availability). One of the most important factors will be the quality of the network where you'll be using it most. To see how good voice and data reception are in a particular area, you can check the online maps, a crowdsourced service which shows the coverage levels reported by users of their Sensorly app (Google Play Store link ). is a similar site (Google Play Store link ). And of course, Consumer Reports is always a good source of information, with their annual ratings of wireless companies both big and small (although I find their smartphone ratings less useful, since they're often a release cycle behind).


    Which Device Is Right for You?

    The huge variety of devices to choose from is one of Android's greatest advantages, but it can also be confusing and present you with too many decisions. There are high end phones, budget-friendly entry-level phones, and varying levels in between. There are different screen sizes, amounts of memory, and levels of processing power. Some allow you to expand your storage memory using a microSD card, although this is rapidly becoming less common, as Google nudges everyone towards cloud storage. Different manufacturers often make minor (or sometimes major) tweaks to the basic "vanilla" or "stock" Android interface in efforts to enhance the user experience as well as to make their devices stand out from others--Samsung has TouchWiz, HTC has Sense, etc. These "skins" or "overlays," as they're often called, can be the source of great enjoyment or frustration, depending on factors like how well the hardware supports them and if the extra features are actually useful to a particular user. So as you can see, the choice of device will end up being very individualized.

    However, there are some basic guidelines to follow, because there are quite a few devices out there that will only give you a subpar experience. If you're considering a particular device, look up its specifications on the web, and check for the following:

    1. RAM: This is where active apps reside. The way Android works, the system prefers to keep RAM mostly full of open apps, to allow for faster and more efficient app switching and opening (see this article). The more RAM a device has, the more apps can be active, and the device will thus run more smoothly. 1 GB of RAM is standard these days, with higher end phones having 2 GB. Try to avoid devices with less then 1 GB of RAM. They'll be slow and clunky.
    2. ROM (also referred to as Internal Storage): This is where apps are installed, and where data generated by apps is stored. Part of this storage (anywhere from 2 to 6 GB) will be taken up by the OS and any preinstalled apps (i.e., nonremovable "bloatware"). So even though a device might be advertised as having 4 GB of ROM, it may only have 1-2 GB available to the user. This can severely limit the number or size of apps you can install, and you can't fully install apps to external SD cards, so don't expect that expanding the memory to 32 GB with a microSD card will help. External SD cards are mostly good for storing media files like music, videos, and photos. Look for devices with at least 8 GB of ROM, preferably at least 16 GB. For more discussion on memory, see this guide.
    3. CPU: It's hard to keep track of the different kinds of processors out there, but as a general rule of thumb, the more cores, the better the performance. Specs aren't always everything, but they still mean something. A quad-core CPU will almost always outperform a dual-core CPU, and no one should be settling for a single-core CPU any more. As for clock speed (i.e., the GHz), it's difficult to compare CPUs these days based on only those numbers.
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 03-14-2014 at 04:15 PM.
  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    Your Homescreens

    So you've gotten your happy shiny new Android device and just finished setting it up with your Google account. Now what do you do with that vast expanse of blank screen? This is one of the main ways you can make Android your very own. What you're seeing is a Homescreen, which is akin to the Desktop in Windows. On it, you can place shortcuts to your favorite apps, combine those shortcuts into folders, and set up widgets. You're not limited to just one homescreen--stock Android gives you five homescreens to customize, which can be accessed by swiping left and right from homescreen to homescreen. You can also choose your own wallpaper (either a static wallpaper or a live wallpaper). Let's start discussing these in more detail.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-homescreen.jpg

    App Shortcuts:
    These are just like shortcuts on a Windows desktop, in that clicking on the shortcut will launch the app, but removing the shortcut will not uninstall the actual app. In order to place an app shortcut on your homescreen, you need to bring up the All Apps screen (also referred to as the App Drawer) by tapping that circular 6 dot grid icon as seen above. Extending the Windows analogy, consider the All Apps screen to be like the Windows Start menu, where you could bring up all installed programs (at least, until Windows 8 came along). The position and appearance of the All Apps icon may vary from device to device, and on certain tablets, it may be at the upper right of the screen. The All Apps screen displays every app that is currently installed on your device, and looks like this:

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-all-apps.png

    It's in alphabetical order, and if you have more apps installed than can fit on one screen, you can swipe left and right to see all pages of your apps. To create a shortcut, long-press the app icon (i.e., press and hold until you are able to manipulate it). The All Apps screen will disappear, and the homescreen will reappear. While still keeping your finger on the app icon, drag it somewhere on the homescreen, release your finger, and voila! You've created an app shortcut.

    If you don't like where you placed it, just long-press it again, drag it somewhere else, and release it. If you want to get rid of it, long-press it and drag it to the "Remove" area that appears at the top of the screen. (Some devices might show a garbage can icon instead.)

    The Favorites Tray is where you can place shortcuts for frequently used apps. As you swipe between various homescreens, the Favorites Tray will remain unchanged. Placing or removing shortcuts there is done the same way as anywhere else on the homescreen. You can also create app folders there (see below).

    App Folders: As you can imagine, homescreens can become cluttered pretty quickly. You can organize app shortcuts into folders by simply dragging one shortcut onto another. When you see a circle appear around the shortcut, release your finger, and you will now see a circle that contains a smaller version of the shortcuts you just combined, which is your new app folder. If you tap the folder, a window will appear with all of the app shortcuts contained within. You can also name the app folder by tapping where it says "Unnamed Folder," and then typing a new name. You can easily drag a shortcut out of a folder back onto the homescreen, and if there is only one shortcut left, the folder disappears.

    It can be a little difficult to get one shortcut onto another without the other one moving out of the way. The trick is to move the shortcut fairly quickly--this signals to the system that you're trying to create a folder. If you just want to bump something out of the way, drag the shortcut slowly.

    What the Heck's a Widget?: A widget is something you can place on a homescreen that actively displays dynamic information (like a news or weather widget) or allows you to perform a certain function by simply tapping it (like a wi-fi toggle). Widgets are listed under the Widgets tab of the App Drawer (see it in the upper left corner?)--tap it to bring up all available Widgets.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-widgets.png

    Just as with app shortcuts, you can swipe left and right to see more pages of widgets, and long-press the widget you want to drag to a homescreen. Keep in mind that widgets may require a certain amount of real estate on the homescreen, so if there isn't enough room, you may not be able to place the widget successfully. The numbers to the right of the widget name tell you how many spaces on the homescreen are needed (e.g., Google Play Books requires a 2 x 3 grid of spaces).

    Widgets are often a component of an app that you may have installed, but sometimes an app you see on Google Play might only be comprised of a widget. This can potentially lead to confusion if you install something and then can't find it in your All Apps list. Make sure you read the app description carefully on Google Play--the developer will often specify if something is a widget only, and remind the user where to find it.

    On certain devices with older Android versions, a widget might not show up as available in the Widgets list immediately after installing it. You may need to restart the phone for the Widgets list to populate correctly.


    Wallpapers: There are two kinds of wallpapers--static and live (i.e., animated). Static wallpapers can be chosen from the preloaded selection of wallpapers, from photos that you took with your device's camera, or from images you downloaded from the web. Live wallpapers can be chosen from the preloaded selection, or can be installed from the Google Play Store (many of them are free). As you might imagine, live wallpapers tend to use a little more battery than static wallpapers, due to the increased processing power needed for animation. But the effect can be quite striking, and is a unique feature of Android.

    The degree of battery usage by a live wallpaper depends on factors like the complexity of animation, interactive features, and the need to access the web (e.g., to update and display weather information).

    To select a wallpaper, long-press any blank part of the homescreen until the following menu comes up:

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-lwp1.png

    Gallery and Photos are essentially the same--they just access the photos on your device using different apps (the stock Gallery app and the Google+ Photos app). Simply select one of your photos, adjust the framing to your liking, and accept it. If you download an image from the web for use as a static wallpaper, you will find it here as well (typically in the Download gallery).

    Wallpapers shows the preloaded static wallpapers.

    Live Wallpapers shows the list of live wallpapers. Selecting any will give you a preview of the live wallpaper. Tap the Settings button at the lower left to adjust its appearance and behavior; tap Set Wallpaper when you're done. Here's a list of some of my favorite live wallpapers, all of which are easy on the battery:













    You may notice that most of these are the full paid versions. Although they all have free "lite" versions, it's always good karma to pay for the full apps if you like them (or to donate money, if solicited). It supports the developers, encourages them to create more apps, and is rarely more than a buck or two.
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 12-15-2013 at 02:02 AM.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    Buttons and the Notification Bar

    Let's look at this figure again:
    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-homescreen.jpg
    Back button: This is pretty self-explanatory. Pressing it will go back to the previous screen within an app (or, if you're in the browser, the previous webpage). If you're already back to the initial app screen, pressing Back again will dump you to the homescreen.

    Home button:
    Pressing Home will immediately get you from whatever you were doing back to the homescreen. The app you were just using will often remain open in the background, but not always--it depends on the app. The homescreen you get sent to is the last homescreen you were on; if you press Home again, you will then jump to the main homescreen (which is the one in the middle--i.e., #3 of 5).

    Recent Apps buttons: This brings up a list of apps that you recently used in thumbnail form.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-recent.png

    You can switch quickly between apps by tapping them, and you can remove apps from this list by swiping them away (or by long-pressing them and selecting "Remove from List"). It is important to note, however, that this is not a task killer. For example, if you're playing a song on Google Play Music, then go to the Recent Apps list and swipe it away, the music won't stop. But swiping certain apps away can actually close them--once again, it depends on the app. See where a Google engineer discusses the issue in more detail. To exit the Recent Apps list, press any of the 3 buttons.

    The 3 main buttons will occasionally change to 3 innocuous dots while certain apps are running, so as not to be too intrusive. For example, here's what happens to the buttons when the camera is active:

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-button-dots.png

    It's a little hard to see, but the buttons turned into 3 faint dots. To bring the buttons back, just tap anywhere along that lower bar. If you tap one of the dots, it will still correspond to the appropriate button press, though.

    Menu button:
    When Menu options are available, you will see the 3 vertical dot Menu button somewhere on the screen--typically the upper right. For example, here's the Google Play Store:

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-menu.png


    The Back, Home, and Recent Apps buttons on many newer Android devices are "soft" on-screen buttons--i.e., the device itself doesn't have any physical hardware buttons for these functions, so the buttons appear on screen. If you have an older device, or one of the dwindling number of newer devices that still have them (like the Motorola Droid Ultra, Mini, and Maxx), you may have hardware buttons like this:

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-capacitative-buttons.jpg
    The 2nd icon is the Menu button while the 4th icon is the Search button. On these devices, you may not see the "soft" Menu button onscreen, since the system knows you have a hardware Menu button.

    On devices with hardware buttons, long-pressing the Home button usually brings up the Recent Apps list, and long-pressing the Search button brings up Google Now.


    Notification Bar: Also known as the status bar, this shows you various icons like the battery indicator, wireless signal strength, etc. If you see an icon that you don't recognize, check your manual or the web for a list of all commonly used icons. Notification messages from apps will also appear in this area, typically one line of text at a time. To see the full notifications, simply swipe down from the top of the screen, and you will drag down the entire Notification Shade. Keep in mind that on tablets, you may have to swipe down from the upper left half of the screen, because swiping down from the upper right half may open the Quick Settings shade (more on that later).

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-notification-drawer-full.png

    Tapping any of these notifications will open that particular app--so for example, if you tapped the Calendar reminder, the Calendar app would open to that event. With many Google apps, you can actually perform app functions directly from the Notification Shade, as seen above. With Gmail for example, you typically get the option to delete an email without having to open the Gmail app (although that function isn't seen above, since there are multiple emails).
    You can find out which app is responsible for a notification by long-pressing the notification and tapping "App Info."

    Certain notifications can be expanded to show more information. For example, with Gmail, the initial notification will only show the sender info and title of the email; however, if you swipe down on that notification, you can expand it to show the first few lines of text from the email. If there are multiple emails, the initial notification will only tell you how many emails are unread, but when expanded, it will show sender and title of those pending emails (as seen above).

    You can dismiss individual notifications by swiping them to the side--this will only remove the notification, not delete the event or email. You can remove all notifications at once by tapping the Dismiss All button at the top right. Swiping the Notification Shade back up or pressing the Back button will close it again.

    Notifications are usually controlled in an app's settings, so if you're getting bombarded by too many notifications, you can turn some of them off by opening a given app, going to its menu, and seeing if there is an option to turn notifications off (or sometimes, to limit the types of notifications you get). If the app doesn't give you that option, you can still turn them off by going to System Settings>Apps, selecting the app in question, and unchecking the "Show notifications" box.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-unchecked_show_notifications-393x700.png
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 01-23-2014 at 11:26 AM.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    System Settings, Part I

    The System Settings menu is where you can adjust a lot of the nuts and bolts of your Android device. There are two main ways to access System Settings--from the Quick Settings menu and from the All Apps list. The more convenient way is to open the Quick Settings menu (available in Android 4.2 and up) by swiping down from the upper right half of the screen if you have a tablet, or swiping down with two fingers if you have a phone.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-quick-settings.jpg

    Tapping the Settings button will bring you to the main System Settings menu. Notice the other buttons that are present in the Quick Settings menu--these either act as toggles or quick access to that particular menu. In stock Android, the Quick Settings can't be modified, so we're stuck with these buttons:

    • Brightness: Tapping will bring up the screen brightness slider.
    • Wi-Fi: Tapping will open the System Settings>Wi-Fi menu. Long-pressing it will act as a wi-fi toggle. When wi-fi is on, the network name and signal strength will be displayed.
    • Auto Rotate: Tapping will toggle between automatic screen rotation and locked screen rotation.
    • Battery: Tapping will open the System Settings>Battery menu, showing current battery stats.
    • Airplane Mode: Tapping will toggle Airplane Mode, which will turn off all radios (wi-fi, Bluetooth, and mobile data/voice). Once in Airplane Mode, you can toggle wi-fi and Bluetooth back on, but the cell radio will stay off until you turn off Airplane Mode.
    • Bluetooth: As with the wi-fi button, tapping will open the System Settings>Bluetooth menu, and long-pressing will act as a toggle.
    • Tapping on your profile picture will bring up selections to go to your Google+ profile or your entry in the Contacts/People app.


    The other way to access the System Settings menu is to open the All Apps list and tap the Settings app (which usually has a gear or slider control icon). If you'd prefer to have the Settings available with only one touch, you could create a Settings shortcut on your homescreen. The following is a quick overview of the important System Settings to be familiar with (but keep in mind that the Settings may differ with each device):

    Wireless & Networks
    • Wi-Fi: You can turn wi-fi on or off by sliding the switch on the right. If you tap on Wi-Fi, you'll see all available networks, as well as those your device has remembered. To connect to a particular network, just tap it. To modify or forget the network settings, long-press it, and then select the appropriate choice. Modifying the network settings will allow you to change the password in case it was entered incorrectly. Forgetting the network will clear its settings from your system, and if you try to reconnect, any password that is required will have to be reentered.

    Forgetting a network and then reconnecting to it can sometimes clear up wi-fi connectivity problems. For more information and tips, see this guide: [GUIDE] Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Connection Problems

    • Bluetooth: Just like with wi-fi, you can turn Bluetooth on or off by sliding the switch. If you tap on Bluetooth, you'll see all paired devices, and you can also Search for Devices by tapping that button at the upper right.
    • Data Usage: Shows how much data you've used over a user-adjustable time period, sorted by app, starting with the one that has used the most data. Tapping on an app will give you a further breakdown of foreground vs background data usage. For devices that use both wi-fi and mobile data, tapping the Menu button gives you the option to display both wi-fi and mobile data usage.
    • Airplane Mode: See above.
    • NFC: Turn on or off Near Field Communications, which allows for data transfer by simply bringing your device into close proximity with another device with the same capability. This option is only available if your device has an NFC chip, and the ability to transmit data with it is app-dependent.
    • Tethering & Portable Hotspot: You can use your mobile data-connected device to broadcast a wi-fi signal that other devices can use as a hotspot. The ability to do this depends on your mobile data plan.

    Since most data plans are not unlimited, it's important to be aware of how much data might be used by tethering. If you're tethering a laptop to your phone and watching a ton of YouTube, you'll use a lot of data very quickly.

    Device
    • Sound: You can separately adjust volumes for Alarms, Notifications, and all other Media. Options for screen touch and screen lock sounds may be found here as well. You can also select a Default Notification Sound, but this can be overridden by an app if there is a separate Notification option in that app's Settings. So for example, if you open Gmail, then tap Menu>Settings>[your Gmail account]>Inbox Sound, you can specify a different notification sound for each of your inboxes.
    • Display:
    • Brightness: Adjust manually with the slider, or tap Auto for automatic brightness. Automatic brightness is regulated by the ambient light sensor, typically located right next to the front-facing camera. If the sensor detects low light, the screen will dim; if it detects bright light, it will increase screen brightness accordingly. Anything that blocks the light sensor (like an ill-fitting case or your finger) may lead to inadvertent screen-dimming.
    • Wallpaper: This is essentially the same as long-pressing a blank area of the homescreen to bring up wallpaper options, as discussed previously.
    • Sleep: Select how long the device will idle before the screen turns off.
    • Daydream: Starting with Android 4.2, this option is like a screensaver. You can choose from a few preinstalled Daydreams, and others can be added (typically as a component of a live wallpaper). You can select for the Daydream to display while charging, while in a dock, or both, by tapping the "When To Daydream" button at the upper right.
    • Storage: A graphical representation of the general categories of stuff stored on your device. You can tap each category to explore them further.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-storage.png
    Tapping Cached data will give you the option to clear all app caches, which can temporarily clear up some storage.
    If you tap the Menu button on this screen, you can also select what kind of USB Computer Connection your device will use when you plug it into your computer. Most newer devices will only offer MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) and PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol). MTP is the main one you'll use, but neither will allow your computer to see every single folder on your device. Older devices will have a selection for USB Mass Storage (sometimes called "Disk Drive"), which allows the device to mount as an external hard drive on a computer. This allows the computer to see all folders in Internal Storage and the external SD card. However, in order to accomplish this, these older devices need a separate App Storage partition that is inaccessible to the computer (otherwise, apps would crash if the partition they were in was suddenly mounted to a computer). App Storage is typically small, and limits the number of apps those older devices can have installed at a time, which is part of the reason why most Android device makers have abandoned that practice.

    • Battery: A graph of your battery stats. Tapping on the graph will give you a fullscreen version with additional information along the bottom letting you know when you had wi-fi on, when the device was awake, when the screen was on, and when it was charging. Tapping on the app or process in the list will give you more details for that particular item.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-battery1.png [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-battery2.png
    For tips on how to prolong your battery life, see this guide: [Guide] Battery Saving Tips

    • Apps: All installed apps are listed here, broken down into 4 categories: Downloaded, Running, All, and Disabled. Swiping the screen horizontally will switch categories.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-downloaded.png [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-appinfo.png
    • Downloaded & All: These categories display essentially the same information--the main difference is that Downloaded shows only those apps that you have installed on your own, while All shows every app, including the system apps. Tapping an app will give you the screen on the right, which breaks things down further, and shows you the Permissions the app has. There are a few things you can do here:
      • Force Stop: If the app is misbehaving and seems to be bogging the system down, you can force it to close.
      • Uninstall: The same as uninstalling from the Google Play Store. System apps and preinstalled apps ("bloatware") can't be completely uninstalled, but you might see "Uninstall Updates"--this will revert the app back to its factory state, after which you could Disable it (see below).
      • Clear Data: This will erase important app-associated data like passwords, saved games, preferences, etc. It can be helpful if an app is malfunctioning, but it's worth trying the Clear Cache option first, as described below.
      • Clear Cache: The cache is where temporary app data is stored that is not crucial to its operation, but can make the app run more efficiently (e.g., recent webpages visited by a browser). Caches can increase in size over time and take up storage memory, so clearing app caches can reclaim some of that space. It may also correct glitchy behavior, if there's some bad piece of data stuck in the cache. You can clear individual app caches here, or you can clear all of them at once as described above, by going to Settings>Storage>Cached Data. (There are plenty of 3rd party apps that can do this with one touch, like .)


    • Running: These are the apps that are currently open in RAM; available RAM can be seen at the bottom. This list should never be empty or close to empty--remember that Android likes to keep apps open in RAM to allow for faster and more efficient app switching and multitasking. The system manages this on its own, and will often open apps automatically, based on usage patterns and other functions inherent to those apps. Manually closing apps using a "task killer" typically does not help battery life over the long term, and in fact may worsen battery life, because those apps will probably open again soon, which takes CPU and therefore battery. For a more detailed explanation, see this excellent article.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-running.png
    • Disabled: Depending on the Android version, this may be a separate column, or might be at the bottom of the "All" list. These are the apps that were manually disabled by the user. On a brand new device, this category should be empty.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-disable.png [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-disabled.png
    Disabling only applies to system apps or preinstalled "bloatware" that can't be uninstalled (assuming you're not rooted). Disabling an app essentially deactivates it and makes it dormant--it will disappear from the App Drawer, and can only be found in the Disabled Apps list. You won't free up the storage space taken up by the app, but you will free up system RAM for other apps to use. To disable an app, tap the Disable button on the App Info screen. To re-enable it, select it from the Disabled Apps list and tap Enable.
    Be cautious about which apps you disable. As you might imagine, some system apps are very important for normal functioning. For example, disabling the Download Manager will interfere with accessing the Downloads folder, as well as installing apps.


    • Users: You can add additional users if your Android version supports it (on 4.2 and above). If you press the settings button next to the owner, you can enter Owner Info and choose to show it on the lock screen.
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 12-15-2013 at 02:39 AM.
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  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    System Settings, Part II

    Personal

    • Location: This is where you can select how your device checks its location and whether or not apps can access your location. This menu may vary in appearance and options, since there were some changes in terminology with Android 4.4, so I won't go into much detail about how the menu is laid out.
      • ​The device can use GPS, wi-fi, and/or cellular signal to determine your location. GPS is the most precise, but uses a significant amount of battery, so unless you need this precision, it's best to keep GPS off until you need it. Determining location using wi-fi (by using the router's MAC address) and/or cellular signal (by triangulating from your nearest cell towers) is less precise, but still reasonably accurate (within about 1000 feet or so).
      • You can turn on or off the ability of apps to access your location here.
      • Location Reporting allows your device to periodically send your location data to Google for use by its various location based apps like Google Maps, Google+, and Google Offers. For example, if you have Location Reporting on and you've selected to share your location with friends on Google+, then they will always know where you are (and hopefully none of them is a stalker). Turning Location Reporting off doesn't affect the ability of apps to use your location--for example, Google Now will still know where you are and report the proper weather. So it's never been entirely clear to me what the real benefit of Location Reporting is. Here's a fairly from Google.

    ​I have found that Location Reporting can contribute to some battery drain, since it may increase the number of partial wakelocks (where the device is awakened from sleep to perform a task--in this case, checking location and reporting it). I keep Location Reporting off until needed.


    • Security:
      • Screen Lock: Choose how to unlock your device. People love stealing gadgets, so do yourself a favor and pick something besides "None" or "Slide." But please do pick a code or pattern that you know you won't forget. A person who posts about having forgotten the lock pattern/code and wanting to figure out how to bypass it is sure to arouse suspicion.
      • Automatically Lock: Choose how long to wait after the device goes to sleep before the device locks. You can set how long the device idles before going to sleep in Settings>Display>Sleep.
      • Power Button Instantly Locks: Does what it says if the box is checked.
      • Owner Info: You can put your name and contact info here, and choose whether or not to display it on your lock screen. I suggest listing only your name and a contact phone number, but not your home address, unless you want a thief to know where you live.
      • Encrypt Tablet: This will add a layer of encryption for your entire device, which may be important or even required if your device is used at work for sensitive data. However, for the average user, it is unnecessary, and might cause more problems than it's worth. It may slow down your device somewhat, and it's an irreversible process, unless you factory reset it. Read more .
      • Device Administrators: This lists apps that can be granted increased access to certain core system functions. For example, you should see Android Device Manager listed here, with the function "Allow Android Device Manager to lock or erase a lost device." Checking the box will allow Android Device Manager to do a remote wipe if you were to lose your device. Apps that require Device Administrator privilege will usually let you know and prompt you to go to this menu.
      • Unknown Sources: Very important to check this on if you want to install apps from anywhere else besides the Google Play Store (for most people, this means the Amazon Appstore). This also allows you to install apps manually (aka sideloading) from .apk installer files, but please be aware that downloading .apk files from random filesharing sites may increase your chances of malware, since there will be little or no vetting of files on those sites. In addition, if those .apk files are for apps that are not free, then it's piracy, which is illegal and totally not excellent.
      • Verify Apps: If turned on, then any app you install will be checked by Google. If it is known to be malicious, then installation will be blocked. According to this , "When you verify applications, Google receives log information, URLs related to the app, and general information about the device, such as the Device ID, version of the operating system, and IP address."

    • Language & Input: Change language, adjust the Spell Checker, and edit your Personal Dictionary here. Also, you can adjust the settings of your keyboard, and choose which one should be the default keyboard, if you have more than one installed. To adjust the keyboard settings, tap the settings icon to the right of the keyboard in question. You can adjust things like auto-capitalization, keypress sound or vibration, auto-correct, etc.
    • Backup & Reset: Be vewwwy vewwwy careful here, since this is where you find the Factory Data Reset option, which will wipe your device clean. (Don't worry too much, though--if you accidentally tap it, you'll be prompted with warnings and asked if you really want to do it.)
      • Back Up My Data: Turning this on will keep certain data backed up on the Google servers. Information from your Google apps (e.g., Gmail, Contacts, Drive) normally sync with Google anyway, so this feature has more to do with other information, like your wi-fi settings, the list of all apps installed from Google Play, and some 3rd party app data (although there's no clear way to know which 3rd party apps will backup to Google). explains in more detail.
      • Backup Account: Select which Google account to backup to.
      • Automatic Restore: If you reinstall an app that was able to backup data to the Google servers, then this feature will restore the settings and data. Again, there's no clear way to know which apps can do this.

    Accounts
    • This is a list of any user accounts that are connected to your device, like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. Non-Google accounts like Facebook will only appear here if you have the respective app installed, so if you only access Facebook using the browser and don't have the app installed, you won't see it in this list. You can also add a new account here.
    • Tapping an account will give you various associated options. For example, tapping Google will give you options to modify Google Search, Google Location Services, and Google+ (see below left). Tapping any of these options will take you to the corresponding Google Settings screen (more on that later).

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-accounts1.png [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-accounts2.png

    • Tapping on your Google account will give you the screen at above right. This is a breakdown of all Google apps that can be synced, along with the time of last sync. If the box is checked, the app will automatically sync, so unchecking it will prevent that app from syncing. Tapping the Menu button at the upper right (shown in the image) will give you the option to do a global Sync Now, as well as an option to Remove Account.
    • If you see a sync symbol like the one next to Drive, that means something has changed that needs to be synced. In this case, I had just uploaded the above image to my Google Drive, which the system recognizes is now out of sync. I could simply wait for the next auto-sync, or I could tap that sync symbol to do it manually.

    System

    • Date & Time:
      • Automatic Date & Time: When checked, the device obtains the current date and time from one of various network servers. If your device is a phone, there should also be an option for Automatic Time Zone, but this option isn't available on wi-fi only devices (like my Nexus 7). On wi-fi only devices, you need to use the option for Select Time Zone.
      • User 24-Hour Format and Choose Date Format: Self-explanatory.

    • Accessibility: Various options for the hearing or visually impaired, including Captions, Magnification Gestures, Large Text, and Text-to-Speech Output. A couple of things to note:
      • ​If you uncheck Auto-rotate Screen here, then the Quick Setting Auto-rotate button will disappear. So if you ever find that the Auto-rotate button is missing, then look at this menu.
      • Adjusting the Touch & Hold Delay might be useful if you find that long-pressing activates too quickly for your preference.

    • Printing: Settings for Google Cloud Print. Learn more .
    • Developer Options: Since this guide is intended for beginners, I won't discuss this menu. Because there are advanced settings that can really mess with your device's performance, Google usually hides this menu to begin with. In order to reveal it, you need to go to Settings>About Device, then tap the Build Number about 7 times in a row, after which you will be told you are now a Developer, and this menu will be accessible.
    • About Device: You can find various information like the official model number of your device, which Android version it's running, etc. You can also tap System Updates to check for any official updates to the operating system that might be pushed over the air ("OTA") by the device manufacturer and/or wireless carrier.

    To see something fun, tap rapidly on the Android Version until you see something pop up that is related to the nickname of your version (i.e., KitKat, Jellybean, etc). If you have Jellybean, long-pressing it will bring up the "Beanflinger" interactive animation that can then be used as a Daydream. If you have KitKat, long-pressing it will bring up the Android KitKat logo, and long-pressing that will bring up a cool interactive mosaic called the "Dessert Case," representing the history of Android.

    [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-beanflinger.png [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android (2014), Part I: Intro, Homescreens, Settings-dessertcase.png
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 12-15-2013 at 02:34 AM.
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  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    That's all for now, folks! Stay tuned for more while I work on Part II!

    Update: Here's Part II!
    Last edited by B. Diddy; 01-29-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Incredible. Very well done!

    Sent from my awesome HTC One
    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central





    Thanked by 4:
  8. #8  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    I second Paul's sentiment; this is great!
    Thanked by 2:
  9. #9  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Now that I've come back to android again there are so many devices that I want to try! This Note 2 is very nice though and there is really no reason for me to switch to something else unless it's an s4 or a Note 3!

    Sent from my Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk
    Last edited by mumfoau; 12-21-2013 at 06:29 PM.
  10. #10  
    srkmagnus's Avatar

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    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by mumfoau View Post
    Now that I've come back to android again there are so many devices that I want to try! This Note 2 is very nice though and there is really no reason for me to switch to something else unless it's an s4 or a Note 2!

    Sent from my Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk
    You mean switch to a Note 3? Your right, those would be the only devices I'd switch to if I had the Note 2.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using AC Forums mobile app
  11. #11  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by mumfoau View Post
    Now that I've come back to android again there are so many devices that I want to try! This Note 2 is very nice though and there is really no reason for me to switch to something else unless it's an s4 or a Note 2!
    I am using a Sony Ultra Z from the Google Play store and it is wonderful.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by srkmagnus View Post
    You mean switch to a Note 3? Your right, those would be the only devices I'd switch to if I had the Note 2.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using AC Forums mobile app
    Yes I meant Note 3! Lol I am considering checking out a RAZR maxx hd though.... not in exchange for my note though. I see several on Craigslist right now that interest me

    Sent from my Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk
    Last edited by mumfoau; 12-21-2013 at 11:17 PM.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    I bought the box pro, thanks..
  14. #14  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Dowler View Post
    I bought the box pro, thanks..
    Box pro?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
  15. #15  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    im planning to use live matrix wallpapers.

    @OP
    can u rate these 2 depending on their battery usage and performance affect to other apps?

    1.
    2.
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    It's hard for me to rate those--you really need to try them out for yourself and see how they work for you. If I had to choose one of those two, I'd pick #2, because there are no ads.

    Try , which I've used before, and is easy on the battery. Also, no ads!
  17. #17  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    I think my biggest thing was realizing that usage isn't the same as screen time. When I was on iPhone the usage encompassed background activity and screen time but on android screen time is just that, screen time.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
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  18. #18  
    hondaf17's Avatar

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    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    This is a very good thread, thank you. I have been on a BB for 8 years and my Moto X just arrived. I love my BB and am only switching because my company is making me. However, I am impressed with the hardware of the Moto X and am trying to keep a very open mind about moving to Android. I have read this thread, and a lot of others, and have a few questions:

    1) How do I "mark prior read" in the e-mail app? When I first synced my personal email accounts (live.com and comcast.net) I have 100 messages that show up as unread. How do I simply tell the device to mark them all as read? I hope I don't have to go through one by one.
    2) On my home screen, how do I get rid of the big box that says "google" with a microphone? The Moto X is always listening so I don't need that box there.
    3) How do I change my default search to Bing?
    4) Does amazon instant video not have an Android app?
    5) I've already disabled Google + (do not have an account). I would also like to disable Google Play Music, Movies, Books, Newstand, etc. These are all "stock" apps or whatever but I consider them bloatware. Basically I have zero google accounts (besdies a gmail I never use but had to set up) and don't want all this stuff. Will disabling all of these negatively impact my experience?
    6) Any way I can set my default map software to Bing instead of Google?
    7) Can I get internet explorer loaded and set as my default web browser as opposed to Chrome?
    8) Why do I have 5 "homescreens"? I only have enough icons taking up 1, but can scroll left and right to empty screens.

    I am a total rookie, but trying to learn, and am keeping an open mind. I realize it will be different from BB and I'll deal with it. Help on these items will be greatly appreciated.
  19. #19  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    This is a very good thread, thank you. I have been on a BB for 8 years and my Moto X just arrived. I love my BB and am only switching because my company is making me. However, I am impressed with the hardware of the Moto X and am trying to keep a very open mind about moving to Android. I have read this thread, and a lot of others, and have a few questions:

    1) How do I "mark prior read" in the e-mail app? When I first synced my personal email accounts (live.com and comcast.net) I have 100 messages that show up as unread. How do I simply tell the device to mark them all as read? I hope I don't have to go through one by one.
    2) On my home screen, how do I get rid of the big box that says "google" with a microphone? The Moto X is always listening so I don't need that box there.
    3) How do I change my default search to Bing?
    4) Does amazon instant video not have an Android app?
    5) I've already disabled Google + (do not have an account). I would also like to disable Google Play Music, Movies, Books, Newstand, etc. These are all "stock" apps or whatever but I consider them bloatware. Basically I have zero google accounts (besdies a gmail I never use but had to set up) and don't want all this stuff. Will disabling all of these negatively impact my experience?
    6) Any way I can set my default map software to Bing instead of Google?
    7) Can I get internet explorer loaded and set as my default web browser as opposed to Chrome?
    8) Why do I have 5 "homescreens"? I only have enough icons taking up 1, but can scroll left and right to empty screens.

    I am a total rookie, but trying to learn, and am keeping an open mind. I realize it will be different from BB and I'll deal with it. Help on these items will be greatly appreciated.
    Hi. Welcome to the forums. I had a Moto X and will try to answer your questions.
    1. Try the 3 dot menu button at the top. There may be an option there.
    2. Different launcher like Nova is required to do that.
    3. I don't think you can. If there is a way it would be in settings in Chrome.
    4. Probably not if it isn't in Play.
    5. Settings>apps>swipe over to all apps>scroll down to each app and click on it. You will see a screen that will disable them. Uninstalling updates may need to be done first.
    6. Map quest may have an app on Play.
    7. I don't think so. MS does not have many apps on Play.
    8. You can delete home screens with Nova.


    From a Sprint Moto X using AC Forums app

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
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  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    1) How do I "mark prior read" in the e-mail app?
    I have to admit that I don't use the stock email app, only Gmail, so I can't tell you exactly. On Gmail, there isn't a quick way to mark all read--I think you'd have to do that in Gmail on the desktop.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    2) On my home screen, how do I get rid of the big box that says "google" with a microphone?
    You usually can't remove that search bar on the stock user interface, although you can easily install a 3rd party alternative launcher like , which allows you to customize your interface much more, including removing the search bar. Nova has a definite Jellybean/KitKat feel to it, but there are other launchers like which are significantly different from the usual Android launcher.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    3) How do I change my default search to Bing?
    Install the app/widget. I don't know if there's a way to make that default for voice search.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    4) Does amazon instant video not have an Android app?
    There isn't an app unless you have a Kindle. I believe there are workarounds--here's a video describing one:


    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    I would also like to disable Google Play Music, Movies, Books, Newstand, etc
    Disabling those store apps should be fine. I would leave Google Play Services alone, though, because that is becoming increasingly important in the operation of the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    6) Any way I can set my default map software to Bing instead of Google?
    What do you mean by default? Do you mean if you click on a map in the browser? There isn't a dedicated Bing Maps app for Android, so you wouldn't be able to open it as an app. I'm not sure if there's a way to open Bing Maps in your browser by default.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    7) Can I get internet explorer loaded and set as my default web browser as opposed to Chrome?
    Sorry, but no. Be very careful about apps that purport to be IE in the Google Play Store--the ones I saw have very few downloads and seem kind of fishy.

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    8) Why do I have 5 "homescreens"? I only have enough icons taking up 1, but can scroll left and right to empty screens.
    Some versions or modification of Android allow you to delete empty homescreens or add an unlimited number of homescreens, although the basic Android interface usually doesn't. Again, you could install an alternative launcher like Nova Launcher, which lets you do that.
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  21. #21  
    hondaf17's Avatar

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    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Thank you very much for your responses. I will keep replying here in hopes that 1) I continue to get good suggestions and 2) it might give you more ideas of what Android rookies are encountering, for future guides and to help more people.

    1) I have not found a way to mark prior read with the Outlook app, or the default mail app. I don't understand why this is not a feature, but oh well.
    2) One of the reasons I got a Moto X was that I understand it was close to vanilla android. However, Android is not as "open" or "customizable" as I was thinking it would be. I will consider downloading Nova Launcher. Are there any negatives to downloading Nova Launcher? Worse battery life?
    3) I'm shocked Amazon doesn't have an instant video app for Android. They have one for iTunes. Everyone rips BB for lack of apps so maybe my expectations were too high that I thought a huge app/service like this would be available.
    4) Thanks for the heads up about IE/shady programs. Kind of sticks as I prefer IE, as my bookmarks sync between my desktop, laptop, and hopefully my phone. Oh well, will live with Chrome.

    New frustration / question:

    1) Where the **** is a file explorer? I can download a file from the Skydrive app to my device, and open it in Quick Office. However, Quick Office can't delete any files??? I did some research and downloaded ASTRO File Manager. I have since found out how to delete files, but deleted files still show up in Quick Office. Quick Office doesn't have any settings at all, or a "refresh" button. Also, ASTRO File Manager can't download files from Skydrive? I need to open the Skydrive app, download them, then launch ASTRO to view/manage/delete. The document storage/filing process is woeful, unless I'm missing something obvious.


    TYIA,
  22. #22  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    Thank you very much for your responses. I will keep replying here in hopes that 1) I continue to get good suggestions and 2) it might give you more ideas of what Android rookies are encountering, for future guides and to help more people.

    1) I have not found a way to mark prior read with the Outlook app, or the default mail app. I don't understand why this is not a feature, but oh well.
    2) One of the reasons I got a Moto X was that I understand it was close to vanilla android. However, Android is not as "open" or "customizable" as I was thinking it would be. I will consider downloading Nova Launcher. Are there any negatives to downloading Nova Launcher? Worse battery life?
    3) I'm shocked Amazon doesn't have an instant video app for Android. They have one for iTunes. Everyone rips BB for lack of apps so maybe my expectations were too high that I thought a huge app/service like this would be available.
    4) Thanks for the heads up about IE/shady programs. Kind of sticks as I prefer IE, as my bookmarks sync between my desktop, laptop, and hopefully my phone. Oh well, will live with Chrome.

    New frustration / question:

    1) Where the **** is a file explorer? I can download a file from the Skydrive app to my device, and open it in Quick Office. However, Quick Office can't delete any files??? I did some research and downloaded ASTRO File Manager. I have since found out how to delete files, but deleted files still show up in Quick Office. Quick Office doesn't have any settings at all, or a "refresh" button. Also, ASTRO File Manager can't download files from Skydrive? I need to open the Skydrive app, download them, then launch ASTRO to view/manage/delete. The document storage/filing process is woeful, unless I'm missing something obvious.


    TYIA,
    1. It might be a bug in that app. I am not sure as I do not use Outlook. I would consider emailing the developer and suggesting the feature.

    2a. Android is very customizable. The fact that you can download a different launcher or a different keyboard is one of the defining characteristics of that.
    2b. A second launcher like Nova should not drain the battery any more than not having it.

    3. That is all up to the app developer.From what i understand it is very easy to create an app for Apple versus Android. Part of the reason is consider something simple like different screen resolutions. That has a factor in developing apps.

    4. I used to like IE too, but as I got more and more accustomed to Chrome, especially, since many things you do are integrated. Say you search for Ice cream flavors on your desktop Chrome. Your history will show that search on your device as well. If you search it enough, it will show up on Google Now as a card. Bookmarks between Chrome and your X will be synced.

    1a. File explorers versus Quickoffice: Quickoffice opens documents that are in Google Drive and other apps. Most of the time, cloud storage files need to be deleted on the desktop version of the site.

    Hope that answered some of your questions.

    Devices: Current: Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0); Retired: Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch); Traded: Galaxy S3
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be - Lao Tzu
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  23. Thread Author  Thread Author    #23  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android 2014, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by hondaf17 View Post
    3) I'm shocked Amazon doesn't have an instant video app for Android. They have one for iTunes. Everyone rips BB for lack of apps so maybe my expectations were too high that I thought a huge app/service like this would be available.
    I suspect this is more of a way for Amazon to get people to buy a Kindle, as opposed to a Nexus 7. Just as with many issues on Android, there are ways of making it happen. Here's one way:

    and are also good file manager apps.
    Golfdriver97 likes this.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    I have a LG optimus Dynamic 2 with service provided by TracFone. My question is about the lock screen settings options. One of the options is Random Pin, Random allocation of digits. I get that this would be a more secure option than using the same one all of the time. My question is how do you know which code is being used? Does it show you when you choose this option and where does it show you? I do not want to choose this and not know where to find the current code. I have looked in all of the manuels I can find on the Optimus dynamic and none mention this feature. Can you provide any info?
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: [GUIDE] Getting Started with Android Reloaded, Part 1 [work in progress]

    Welcome to Android Central! I've never encountered that feature before, but from a quick web search, it sounds like the "randomness" involved with the Random PIN entry is the arrangement of the numbers on the keypad for entry, rather than a random code that is generated that you have to then enter. So in other words, the PIN keypad won't show the number keys in the typical 1-2-3-... order, but instead they'll be randomly organized. You'll still have a set PIN that you selected, and enter that PIN using the keypad. The random organization helps prevent an obvious fingerprint pattern on your screen that thieves or other nosy people might be able to duplicate in order to break into your phone.
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