Christmas is over! The gifts have been given, cookies have been eaten, and your extended family is back home (where they belong!). Now’s the time to really start playing with all the toys you’ve received! With Android putting a huge foot forward this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if you got at least one thing powered by Android. Maybe you got a brand new Moto X, Nexus 7, or Note Tab. In any case, you now need to know how to get started. Keep reading. I’m here to help.
What I Do First
Let me get this out of the way: technically the first thing you do is sign into your Google account. Since Android has you do this once you turn your device on for the first time, I won’t mention any more of it, and assume that you’ve done this step already.
When I help someone set up their Android device, the first thing I have them do is learn how to use the app drawer and access the settings.
On any Android device, you’ll see an icon towards the bottom of your screen that represents your app drawer. Click that and it will open up a list of all the apps you have installed on your device. If you’re coming from an iOS device, the app drawer is kind of like the homescreens of your iPhone. You page through in alphabetical order, find the app you want, and open it. Check.
To get to your settings, you normally have to pull down your notification shade and tap the settings icon there. Here you’ll find a wealth of information so take some time to enter all the categories and explore what’s there. Some apps have you access certain areas of your settings, so don’t forget! If you want a little party trick for your friends, scroll down to the bottom where it says About Phone (About Device for tabbies). Find the Android version and keep tapping. Then long press and enjoy a nice little Easter egg from Google!
Get A Keyboard That Works For You
The next thing I do is have them type for a little while. Why? Because if you don’t like your keyboard on Android, you can change it. So, start a Hangouts conversation and start chatting with someone. If you find any little quirks or frustrations, change your keyboard. It’s kind of trial and error to find one you like, but my top recommendations are Swiftkey, Fleksy, and the official Google Keyboard. They all have good startup tutorials, so I’ll spare you those details.
More Like Guidelines Than Actual Rules
Falling in love with Android is a process. The following are just some things to try out for yourself to get an understanding of just how flexible your shiny new toy is.
- Remember, there are alternates of almost any app imaginable. (ie- Klyph for Facebook or Carbon for Twitter)
- If you don’t like the way your device looks, download a custom home launcher (I recommend Nova Launcher)
- Don’t forget you have widgets (usually, long press on your homescreen to find the widgets menu)
- Start logging into things with Google. It just makes stuff easier.
- If you don’t like it, don’t get mad. Change it.
- If your kids are going to use your tablet, set up restricted profiles for them.
- Set up Google Now. You’re welcome.
Stay tuned til next week where I talk about a more extensive list of great apps to check out on you new device. Welcome to the family!
What did you get for Christmas tech-wise? Anything Android? Let us know on social media or in the comments below! Let me know if you need any help as well!
[Image via Hashir Milhan]