The excitement is palpable. You’ve unwrapped your shiny new Android phone, charged the battery, and inserted the Sim. You’re ready to roll. Here’s what happens next…

Powering up

With most Android phones, as soon as you switch the handset on, a picture of the familiar robot logo is what welcomes you. Touch this and you’ll be shown how to use the onscreen virtual keyboard. This is also where you create the Google account that you will need, among other things, for buying apps. If you already have a Googlemail (or Gmail) account then you can use this instead.

Wireless on

The next page asks if you want to turn on the phone’s wi-fi feature. Doing so will obviously provide faster internet-access than a 3G data-connection but it will also drain your battery so it’s probably only worth doing this if you are currently within range of a wi-fi network that you can access.

If you do opt for wi-fi, the phone will then show a list of networks with a strong enough signal for you to connect to. If you recognise any of these, or find an unsecured one, then just select it and then tap in your password.

Next, you must  decide if you want location services switched on (these don’t actually use your phone’s GPS feature). You next job is to back-up data, such as your contacts, onto the handset. If you already have a Googlemail account and your friends details will already be stored online, and your phone will immediately download these. The first such wireless sync can therefore take a while but it means your numbers will be on your phone effortlessly. Job done.

Supercharge the battery

You have a new phone. You’ll be using it a lot. So let’s take some precautions to ensure your battery will see you through day one. Look out for our Android Beginner’s Guide  to Boosting Battery Life for more details.

For now, it’s a good idea to switch odf your phone’s GPS and Bluetooth features. To do this, press the ‘Menu’ key, choose the ‘Settings’ option and then select ’Wireless and Network’. Here, you’ll find tick-boxes that will toggle wi-fi or Bluetooth on and off. The ‘Location and Security’ section is where the GPS switch resides and it’s worth dimming the screen brightness in the ‘Display’ section too.

You can, in fact, greatly simplify all of this by installing an app that automates your phone’s power-management features, such as Juice Defender {link}.

Find your first app

Find your first app in the Android Market

As you probably know, apps are merely add-on programs that bring handy new features to your phone or, indeed, monsters to shoot. For a walk-through of how to go about this, read our How to download an Android App guide. In short, though, press the ‘Applications’ button and then find the option labelled ‘Market’. This is where the magic happens.

Launching the ‘Market’ option will then instantly enable you to see the latest Android apps for your phone, assuming you have an internet connection at the time.

Tap the magnifying-glass icon and type in either a keyboard, or the name of the actual app you want. You can also search by category. Once you’ve found one you want, click on this, select ‘Confirm’, and it’ll be on its way to you.

Tip: To create a handy shortcut to Market on your phone’s desktop hold your finger on the ‘Market’ icon until you return to the home screen – and then release. Job done.

That’s enough for day one other that to remind you Life of Android’s review section is chock-full of the essential apps you’ll want to download right away.

2

Comments

  • rickyj.ward@gmail.com

    January 7th, 2011 08:58 AM

    As a former Nokia user, it’s a whole new world! Thank you for the tips…

  • rickyj.ward@gmail.com

    January 7th, 2011 08:58 AM

    As a former Nokia user, it’s a whole new world! Thank you for the tips…

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