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An Android phone – How to use it ?

Now, if you remove the parts related to Android in this post then, it reads – “how to use a smartphone  “, that is because most parts of this post is true in general for a smart phone as well.

I am writing this post, as I see lot of green robots in the hands of people around me. Whats disturbing is the fact that, they have not realized the true potential of an android phone. Yeah.. I said it. But dont worry.. Read through (I started using Android when there were around 1000 apps, now there are more than 2lacs!)

1. Buy a decent phone.

Android is mainely critisized for its fragmentation. According to the latest stats relased by Google, there are more than 300 phones which are carrying Android. It becomes difficult to update all of them soon after Google releases a new version of the android, this is because Hardware vendors have to recieve the updates first and then they have to modify their phones accordingly. So, as of now we cannot control this thing now. What we can do instead is to buy a phone which has a decent hardware with the following specs at least

  • Around 1 GHz processor
  • 512MB or more RAM
  • Sensors (GPS, Accelerometer )
  • Front and Rear Cameras (look for Front facing camera as newer version of android has GTALK with video call capabilities)
  • Around 4inch Display

My picks (In India)

Full list of android phones in India with their price (approximate)

2. Understand the version.

Like any other OS Android has evolved through different versions. Latest phone version of android OS is 2.3.4 (Gingerbread, 2.4 is also there, but no one has seen it fully except for HTC Flyer), and Tablet version is 3.1(Honeycomb) .

It is always suggested to buy a phone which has Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above. Read this for the full version history, and check their names!!

3. Be aware of first time settings.

When using an android phone for the first time it will bug you for lot of information, including your google/gmail credentials. Normally an android phone will ask for the following things for the first time.

  • Credentials for GAPPS (Google aps – Gtalk, Market, Gmail, Youtube and Maps) – It is always suggested to provide the details. You can skip this but there is no joy using an android phone without GAPPS
  • Location Service – Google will keep track of your location using GPS or Network location to adjust itself when displaying Maps or Search results. I always turn this feature of. I use it only when I am using maps.
  • Backup – This is a useful feature, where in Android will take a timely backup of your contacts and other things so that when you migrate to a new android device then those details will be made available again.

5. Don’t worry – install apps!

I see lot of people who use an android phone without installing or using apps other than bundled ones(may be because of data plans, but check this out –http://www.3gsimplified.com/). But, trust me, you are missing something big. There are lot of apps which are mind blowing and awesome at the same time and there are more 200,000 of them.!! And for your luck lot of them are FREE!! iLove!!

6. Use widgets/home screens

Two wonderfull features of Android is customizable home screens and widgets. Go ahead and install them, but make sure that you have only required, as they suck battery and Data.

7. If you are not satified yet,

If you had done good till now then, i bet you wont need a costly Apple to keep you healthy. But still if you are looking for more fun then sure, android lets you have it.

  • Root your phone – yes, Android is an younger brother of Linux, and hence you can do lot of things at root level (or in other words getting su access). It is 99.99% safe to root a phone but most of the times you will “void” warranty if you do so. So if you know what you are doing then go ahead I am sure you will have lot of fun. (How to root and its benefits here, here and more)


Have Fun

Harsha S Aithal

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Categories: Android
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