How to set up your new Android Smart Phone ?

After researching and getting confused a lot, by means of  reading reviews , friends opinion and hands on video , you have finally settled on an Android smartphone. Believe me , there is no one best smartphone available in the market . It’s just a matter of what you really want from the phone – features that really matter to you and then choosing within your budget.

Always keep in mind : Your girl friend and mobile are just the same , if you wait for some more time , you will get a better choice  🙂

In this post , I will share with you few tips on getting started with using your android smart phone for the initial few weeks . Read On ..

Setting up  your Android Smart Phone :

Registering with Google Play 

Google Play is the new branding  provided for Android Market Place  where in you can register your mobile and  start accessing/installing mobile apps.

This is some thing you have be really aware : If you are planning to gift a phone some body else , do not do the initial setup using your google account. Google account here I refer can be your gmail user account. This account once registered cannot be removed easily.

Though you can add new google accounts , the initial google account cannot be removed completely which means the mails , google play account cannot be easily changed from one google account to another google account.

Avoid embarrassment when the phone you gifted some one  has mails popping out from your gmail account since you did the initial setup with your google account 🙂

Only a factory reset can possibly remove the google account . This was a problem faced when I was using Gingerbread Android OS ( Ok , Android OS has different versions Like Windows 7 , Windows 8) and am not sure if this problem still exist . So please make sure you think through this before registering in Google Play.

Installing applications from Google Play

After registering in Google Play , the usual way to install app is via the Google Play app on mobile . But there is an another way  to do it . You can even install a mobile application from your Google Play web application. Web version is easier to browse and navigate actually. Once you like to download an application , click on install . A pop up would appear – please choose the device registered and voila , the app is automatically downloaded on to your mobile provided the mobile is connected to the internet via wifi.

App Discovery 

It happens a lot after installing so many different app based on what you need , friend’s recommendation , you reach a stagnant point after which you would lose interest to keep yourself updated with finding out the latest interesting apps coming new to the store.

This is when  App Discovery tool helps a lot. It is embedded right into Google Play these days. Visit the Featured/Top New App/Trending  apps.

Other option is visit the Facebook AppCenter . Here you can see various apps that are popular and used by your friends. This app center list apps for both android/ios and even browser. You can see apps that are most used by friends and can regularly be updated.

Moving Apps to SD Card 

Google Play offers a plethora of apps that one does tend to install a lot of applications on the phone . It also leads to the phone running out of memory quickly  there by leading to a situation where in one can’t install any more app quickly. This typically happens with most of us , install many applications , use it for couple of times and then leave it untouched for months.

So there has to be  a periodical check of memory space and then move apps to SD card if available on your phone. That’s when the App 2 SD really comes handy.  What it really does is the fact that once an app is installed , this App2SD prompts to move the application to SD card there by organizing the mobile memory space efficiently.

Monitor Mobile Data Usage 

One of the most frightening thing  that can  happen for first time users is that , as soon as they get the mobile and if they are in post paid plan ,  start browsing a lot without getting an idea how much it would cost them and finally get a big bomb as mobile bill.  For example , a 5 min you tube video may consume 30 mb of data .

So without waiting anything further ,  install a Data Counter application which can keep a tab on the data being consumed for each of your online activity. I use a free app ( this is the most awesomatic thing with Android , many free apps with limited features available as free ) called 3G watch dog which can monitor your data usage effectively. It can filter between mobile data usage and wifi data usage . This is the mobile application that I use most in my mobile .

3G Watch Dog

Use mobile data judiciously 

Read Later 

If you have a internet at home , then it’s better not to use too much of mobile data when you are outside. One issue is that , there are still many sites that do not have a mobile version and hence if you visit their pages , it may consume a lot of data  or even it may be too long to read.

Pocket

So what you can do is that , save those pages for reading later when your back at home , in your laptop using home internet. I use Pocket  an mobile application and browser app/plugin . All those bookmarks made in your mobile can be viewed from your browser and vice versa.

Reduce refresh interval

Many application uses refresh interval to automatically update new content for your app. But this can consume data and can also drain battery some times. So it’s better not to set  refresh intervals for every 5 or 10 mins.

Use Google Maps Offline feature 

In case if you want maps without navigation , use the google maps offline feature. It will help you to store the maps offline for a specific location. More details in this short video. If you are going to a different country without any data plan but just neep map , this feature is immensely helpful .

Improving battery life

One of the most annoying things with using a smartphone is the battery life.  As of now, this is still a problem for lot of us but they are few ways to improve battery life – not by a great extent though .

  • Switch off wifi and gps when not required. Both these drain battery life in a big way.
  • As mentioned earlier , minimize frequent refresh intervals for updating of content in your apps and avoid synching gmails , contacts etc.
  • There is a tendency to choose live wallpapers that update content dynamically . Some of them even refresh photos from facebook and show it on wallpaper/screen saver. These drain battery a lot and can be best avoided after the initial awesome feeling fades out gradually.

Avoid Phone Contacts Sync with Facebook or Twitter

This is some thing that can be best avoided . Synching the phone contacts with Facebook or Twitter.  Though it looks super cool , displays your friend’s  updated pics as contact icon and even displays their  latest status updates , this can be really messy .

There are instances when my contacts are deleted/removed but am not sure how.Also all the synching takes more data . So once the initial euphoria goes down , disable all these sync which does not make sense.

I hope you find this post interesting and relevant if you are using an android mobile.Please share your comments or tips . Thanks for reading , yeah , you made it till the end , you are certainly a rockstar 🙂

Cheers,

Dinakaran

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