Android mobiles are very easy to use, have a wealth of features – some of which you will find you can NEVER live without – and thousands and thousands of apps (applications) you can try and/or buy. But there are a few things you need to get right to start with. Here’s my top ten:
1. Be careful which Googlemail (gmail) account you set up for your Android account. I’ve put this in bold because it’s one that really bugs me! As an early adopter, this was something which never occurred to me. In short, you need to link a credit card to your Google account so that you can buy apps instantaneously, but as you can also link emails and contacts, you need to consider which account to use. I set up my main, busiest, account and now regret the thousands of contacts which are synchronised with my phone. It’s going to take me ages to sort this out, so I advise you to set it up properly in the first place to save yourself aggravation long-term.
2. Emails are great when they come through all the time, especially if you need to watch out for those important ones and on more than one account. You can set up different ringtones for each email account if you want to, as well as choose whether to synchronise your calendars and contacts.
3. There are some great ways to write using your Android phone. I prefer ‘sliding’ and purchased Slide-It. after trying it out. This allows me to slide between letters and can be very fast. There are different versions of the same thing, so you can easily check them out before you buy them. Lots of different settings you can adjust to suit how you like to use the program.
4. If you do a lot of texting or writing when you are sitting at your computer, you can set up your phone with a wireless keyboard app which will let you write these messages from your computer. Wifi Keyboard is one to look at.
5. Battery life can be poor if you have a lot running, so only have wireless on when you need it, ie at home in the evening.There are battery monitor apps you can get which may be more accurate than the one on your phone.
6. Likewise, only run updates and big downloads when you can use the wifi. You will eat into your data allowance if you do these when you are out and about.
7. ‘Profile’ is another word for how your phone is set up at any given time. For example, at home you may want wi-fi, but not bluetooth. You may want to turn off all sound and vibrate at 10pm and restart it all at 7am. A profile app such as PhoneWeaver (the one I use) can change the settings on your phone according to lots of different ‘triggers’ ie time, place, connection. There are lots you can try for free in the Android market, so try before you buy.
8. Backup your files, data, contacts – in fact anything important – from time to time. If you use Gmail, then your contacts and calendar will be safe enough, but it’s all the other stuff you have. There are lots of apps, but the one I decided to stick with is My Backup Pro. Incidentally, it was this app which alerted me to the email problem in item #1. Try a few and see how you get on. Don;t wait until after you have a problem to realise you didn’t backup!
9. If you want apps like task reminders, or notepads, you need to be sure they don’t disappear when you change phones or have a problem. Some automatically save to the SD card, but if you change to a different brand phone, it may not read the card. Go for apps which use universal formats and you should be all right, but you may need to test a few first.
10. Finally, check how other uses have rated the app before you consider using it. 4 or 5 stars is good, but any less and I’d look for a different version.
That’s all for now. This is not by any means an exhaustive list as 10 ideas is just the tip of the very big android iceberg. Why not add your experiences and ideas too?