A few simple questions from a first time user

lachdanan

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Hi all,

I received my phone today and I love the OS and the phone. Never owned smartphones before but I have ipod touch which uses iOS even though it's not an iphone, it's pretty close IMO. But this phone seems light years ahead and looks very slick.

Anyway I couldn't find how to do a couple things so would appreciate any help:

1. How can I set the screen auto close/turn off to be longer? Setting sleep to 15 seconds from auto doesn't seem to do anything.

2. Where can I download widgets and how can I change my home screen?

3. If you own an app that's available on ipod touch, and the same one exists on android, can you download it for free? Does this depend on the developer?

4. When I am clicking links, the phone asks if I want to use Chrome or Internet. Is Internet their browser? Which one is more recommended? I feel Chrome looks better for page layout?

5. Should I conserve CPU and other power saver settings? I only turned on the last 2 options, because I thought maybe the cpu conserve option would slow things down when I am using it?

6. Are there any good sites that would show me the tips, tricks to become more efficient with this phone and OS? I am only used to ipod touch and that doesn't have anything special to know. I mean stuff like shortcuts, and getting to places quicker, like settings, removing unwanted apps, etc. I did some minor customization but didn't want to tweak too much when I don't know.

Btw I am technically savvy, so please feel free to mention anything that might help me :)


Cheers.
 

B. Diddy

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Welcome to Android Central! I don't have a One, but in general:

1. Go to Settings/Display/Sleep (or it might be called Screen Timeout) and change it to a longer interval, like 1 or 2 minutes. Not too long, though, or you'll find yourself using up battery quickly.

2. Widgets can either be standalone or included with certain apps (e.g., most weather apps will have widgets as well). You should be able to download and install any number of widgets from Google Play or Amazon Appstore (or other reputable app stores). Here's a simple tutorial on how to add widgets to your homescreen: Add or remove a widget to your homescreen - HTC One

3. App prices vary from free to a few bucks. Just search for the app on Google Play and you can find out easily. Not all apps on iOS are available for Android, though. And keep in mind that not all free apps are really free, because a fair number of them (mostly games) encourage or require you to purchase additional items within the game to progress. This is known as the "freemium" model.

4. Chrome is Google's browser designed for Android phones, while Internet refers to what is called the "stock" browser (a more basic browser). Chrome has more features, but the stock browser is often just as fast (if not faster), and definitely uses less memory. Try both and see which one works better for you. When that window pops up, there should be an option to make whichever one you choose as the default, so that you don't have to keep choosing.

5. The use of power-saving options depends on your overall usage. If you find that you're running low on battery a lot, then turn them on. They will, of course, decrease the performance of the phone a little.

6. http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc-one/270501-htc-one-user-guide-quick-start-guide.html
http://forums.androidcentral.com/general-help-how/31622-getting-started-android-tips-tricks.html
 

lachdanan

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Thanks alot for replying, they are very helpful.

Btw do you know if android keeps the apps you just used running in the background when you close them? Like on iOS, it still runs the applications even if you ran it 2 weeks ago.

Also do you know if there is a setting to force the phone to use wifi if available over 3G? Not sure if this is the default, but if it's not, I would appreciate how ti set it.

Thanks again :)
 

B. Diddy

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The way Android works, when you switch from using one app to another, or go back to the homescreen, the app may or may not remain active in the background. It can depend on the app, as well as how the Android system regards the app--if it's something that seems to be used frequently, Android may keep it open, or "cached," which means it isn't taking up any active memory, but can be moved quickly into memory when it's restarted. The important thing to know is that there is rarely a need to "kill" a running app, since the system manages it intelligently. Sometimes, though an app might misbehave and take up too much processor power in the background, thereby slowing things down--then, it might be helpful to kill the app. Here's a useful article explaining things in more detail: RAM: What it is, how it's used, and why you shouldn't care | Android Central

If you have both wifi and 3G/4G mobile data turned on, and if both wifi and mobile data connections are available, the phone will default to the wifi connection (and you should see the 3G/4G icon gray out). I'm not sure if the 3G/4G radio turns off when this occurs, though (which would conserve battery).
 

Tower72

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Another thing to add to question #3..If you OWN an app from iOS you can not download it for free on Android, it will have to be repurchased
 

ajua

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To add some things to the excellent answers B. Diddy posted

2.- There are stand alone widgets and apps that come with widgets. Some stand alone widgets are useful but the few widgets I have pinned to my homescreen are from apps. I recommend EZ Weather (free without any ads and great interface/widgets), Clean Calendar Widget (if you run a third party launcher, if not, the stock one is great). If you haven't received the 4.2.2 update, you can use Notification Toggles or Power Toggles to add a persistent notification with the toggles of your choice like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. Also, they can put a battery percentage in the notification bar if you want.

4.- It's a matter of preference. I have set the stock browser as default as it works well and I like the black address bar. Try them both and decide. You can always change it by going to Settings - Applications and clicking on the one you set as default. There just tap on reset default values. The next time you tap on a link, you will be prompted again to choose which app to use for that. This works for any app that can be register for handling links, phone numbers, etc.

5.- This depends on how heavy you use the One. In my case I have awesome battery life and I have never had the need to turn Power Saver on. I have enabled all the power saver settings except the data connection. Also, Power Saver will be turned automatically when the battery reaches 15%.

6.- Android Central site and forum can help you with all that. Also, searching is your friend. One thing I would recommend against is the use of task killers or battery savers. There are tons and tons and tons. With the One's hardware and the way Android has been improving over previous versions, there absolutely no need to use these kind of apps. In the end, you can always try them and see if they are useful to you or not.

One thing you can learn about if you want more customization options for the home and shortcuts is to use a 3rd party launcher. There are plenty and the most popular are Nova and Apex. They will allow you to have more screens if you need them (I "force" myself to use only 2 or 3 at the most). You can use them with icon packs to change the look of the icons, have them displayed with no names, customize the app drawer, folders, use different animations, etc.
 

EverNap

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Another thing to add to question #3..If you OWN an app from iOS you can not download it for free on Android, it will have to be repurchased
Except Whatsapp and maybe some other apps (that I don't know of). I paid for Whatsapp on my iPhone, and then when I eventually moved to my HTC One, I didn't have to pay again.
"Your service is attached ot the phone number listed above. You can freely switch your mobile device, reinstall, or upgrade the software as long as your service phone number stays the same. We hope you enjoy your service."
Just FYI :)

5. Should I conserve CPU and other power saver settings? I only turned on the last 2 options, because I thought maybe the cpu conserve option would slow things down when I am using it?

6. Are there any good sites that would show me the tips, tricks to become more efficient with this phone and OS? I am only used to ipod touch and that doesn't have anything special to know. I mean stuff like shortcuts, and getting to places quicker, like settings, removing unwanted apps, etc. I did some minor customization but didn't want to tweak too much when I don't know.

Btw I am technically savvy, so please feel free to mention anything that might help me
I have all the settings checked in the Power Saver Mode, and I've never felt the phone slow down or the screen being too dim even when I was at around 5% battery level. I think it works fairly well, and I'm happy with the battery life of my phone.

I usually just Google things like "best apps for android" or "best to-do app android" and sometimes restrict the timeline to the last year or few months to find apps that might work for me. Also, I check out the AndroidPolice and AndroidCentral webpages to see if any apps they mention occasionally are useful to me. There's so much more you can do to your phone compared to your iPod, so have fun discovering things you might like :)
 

lachdanan

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Thanks alot guys. I don't own many apps, it was SoundHound which seems to require a repurchase.

I really like this OS, seems pretty user-friendly. One thing that confused me is when I removed an app from the desktop, it was only the shortcut. I know this is normal for PCs, but for iOS, that's the only way to actually uninstall AFAIK. So I didn't realize I had to also delete them from the Apps section.

I was also surprised 7 GB is already used by the default software out of 32. I thought it was a lot since I didn't install anything. I know it has a lot of default apps like facebook, etc which is great but I thought those were tiny in size :)

Actually one thing I wonder is if it's possible to reduce the vertical distance between the shortcuts on the desktop? I feel it would look more tidy if it was reduced it by 30-40% or so IMO. But just a guess, not a huge deal. But can I control this?

Other than that, I am wondering if I can set the apps in the bottom bar / dashboard (?).

@ajua: Is this what you mean by those apps called Nova and Apex? I will check them out.

I don't ncessarily want to remove them but it would be cool if I could add one more, and if they were a little smaller.

Although it would be even better if I could change their icons on the dashboard. Right now they are inconsistent in size and design. Maybe something like an icon pack just for some apps?

I am sure you guys know more about it :)

Figuring out the double clicking of the home button, I was actually killing the open apps manually. I will read the article B. Diddy. My experience was that from iOS, these really slow down the phone, as it was with very slow animations, so that's why I was micro managing like that. It's good that I shouldn't worry about it.

I am surprised people are buying iOS despite the price and limited control. I am not a phone expert but this phone and OS is very powerful. I think they got it right :)

Thanks again guys.
 

B. Diddy

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It's pretty standard these days for manufacturers to advertise the total memory the phone has, not the total memory available to the user. The OS usually takes up around 3-4 GB, while other bloatware can take up an additional few GB. Remember that bells and whistles like proprietary skins (e.g., HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz) add to the storage taken up by the system.

The best way to really customize your homescreen the way you're asking about is to install a custom launcher like Nova or Apex. I suggest getting a little more familiar with the Android system in general before delving into this level of customization.

You should be able to swap out the apps in the dock at the bottom of the screen. Long press any one of the shortcuts there until you can drag it, then move it elsewhere or remove it from the homescreen. Then long press the shortcut you want to place there (either one on the homescreen or one in the App Drawer, where all of your apps are listed), and drag and drop it.
 

lachdanan

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Thansk alot B. Diddy, I did the hold down thing before but the app drawer disappears when I am in this mode. I will try dragging it to the empty area that's revealed though, maybe that's the way then.
 

lachdanan

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Hey guys, do you know if it's possible to see the exact numeric values for some settings like brightness? My brightness was set to auto but I didn't like that it was changing it randomly every 30 seconds or so. I set it myself by eye to match it to the lowest auto setting used as I found that comfortable to look at, but it would be nice to see the actual value like 40 percent or 0.4, etc. That way I would know it exactly instead of eyeballing the slider location.

Is there a way to do this? Perhaps an app that shows these settings differently?


Thanks again guys :)
 

ajua

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Hey guys, do you know if it's possible to see the exact numeric values for some settings like brightness? My brightness was set to auto but I didn't like that it was changing it randomly every 30 seconds or so. I set it myself by eye to match it to the lowest auto setting used as I found that comfortable to look at, but it would be nice to see the actual value like 40 percent or 0.4, etc. That way I would know it exactly instead of eyeballing the slider location.

Is there a way to do this? Perhaps an app that shows these settings differently?


Thanks again guys :)

To the question about launcher, yes, they can allow you to set a custom grid. A grid defines how many rows and columns are shown on the screen. With more rows, you can narrow the space between icons and you will get extra room from more. I personally use 6 rows. Columns are for the horizontal number of icons. I'm set with the default, which is 4.

Icon packs come with plenty of icons for the most popular apps. My favorites are Stark and Goolors. With Nova or any other launcher you can individually change icons for any app, be it on the drawer or just the icons on the home screens.

I have yet to see a phone handle auto brightness the way it's meant to be. All of them throttle it too much to my liking. On the One, I have set it around 35%-40%. There's no way to see numeric values from the settings as it is. You can always use an app to control auto brightness. I've read good things about Lux but I don't like to duplicate functionality with apps, only when absolutely necessary.
 

walterkurtz

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Actually one thing I wonder is if it's possible to reduce the vertical distance between the shortcuts on the desktop? I feel it would look more tidy if it was reduced it by 30-40% or so IMO. But just a guess, not a huge deal. But can I control this?

Other than that, I am wondering if I can set the apps in the bottom bar / dashboard (?).

@ajua: Is this what you mean by those apps called Nova and Apex? I will check them out.

I don't ncessarily want to remove them but it would be cool if I could add one more, and if they were a little smaller.

Thanks again guys.

+1 for nova settings

it will do all of these things and more.
 

lachdanan

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Thanks alot guys, which is better though Nova or Apex. I did fiddle with them and Apex allowed me to hide apps in the free version. Other than that it seemed all the same except Apex seemed to have more transition effects?

One thing I noticed though using either I lost the ability to have almost transparent status bar. I couldn't find a setting for this but is that doable? Both show me a gray status bar but I like the almost transparent status bar the default has.

I loved the transparent drawer both allowed me to do though. Really cool :)
 

walterkurtz

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Thanks alot guys, which is better though Nova or Apex. I did fiddle with them and Apex allowed me to hide apps in the free version. Other than that it seemed all the same except Apex seemed to have more transition effects?

One thing I noticed though using either I lost the ability to have almost transparent status bar. I couldn't find a setting for this but is that doable? Both show me a gray status bar but I like the almost transparent status bar the default has.

I loved the transparent drawer both allowed me to do though. Really cool :)

i am far from an expert, and probably not qualified to reply to much in this forum. i have only had my htc one (first droid) for a month now. also, i have only used nova. i found no reason to try apex as nova did everything i wanted nicely. i eventually chose to untick the box in nova that says 'show notification bar' under LOOK AND FEEL. it made my desktop a little cleaner and the notification bar appears whenever i am in an app or of course swipe down to reveal it. when i did have the notification bar enabled, i recall it being black rather than transparent. it didn't bother me, but i use black or very dark images on my desktop. oh, i also have dock enabled. but under DOCK STYLE i have it ticked off. i think that keeps it transparent maybe. hope this helps. cheers!
 
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lachdanan

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Thanks alot guys, it helped immensely :)

Btw do you guys use the free versions of nova/apex or paid? I use free for now and free apex allows me to hide apps from the drawer while nova requires a paid version for that.

Also guys I installed the Go launcher to check it out and didn't like that it was a very bloated app, so deleted it. Later when I installed ES File Explorer, I noticed there are 2 more Go folders, so deleted them there. Then discovered those apps in my drawer. It didn't allow me to uninstall those because of missing files I think. Should I reinstall Go launcher and then uninstall all those apps? I think there were 3 total. I am used to uninstalling and everything being removed automatically from iOS, though I am not sure if it successfully does that since I have no way of seeing it.

Also do you guys know how to go forward using this OS/phone? I know < goes back, but sometimes when I press it more than once, it goes far back and I don't know how to go forward like on the PCs, when using the browser for example.

Thanks again :)
 
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