Five tips for Android newbies
Jumping into Android life can be a little daunting if you’re coming from almost any other smartphone eco-system. To make the process a tad easier we’ve thrown together a quick guide for all of you Android newbies out there.
Here are 5 quick tweaks you can use to get the most out of your new device.
1. Try a new launcher
The beauty of Android is how much customization is available to users straight out of the box. Your launcher and keyboard are two things that will impact your experience every time you pick up your device.
What the heck is a ‘launcher’?
A launcher is essentially an android home screen — everything you see when you turn on your phone and flip through apps. Switching from Android’s stock launcher to options like Apex, Nova, or Google Now launcher will change the look and feel of your experience. Every launcher comes with customization options, like the ability to tweak animations, folder settings, icon size, icon quantity and even gesture controls.
What’s awesome about launchers is how easy they are to experiment with. Jump into Google’s Play store and download a launcher the same way you’d download any other app.
After your initial install when you first hit the home button, your device will ask you which launcher you want to set as default (stock or the new launcher you’ve installed). Select the new one and bam, your launcher is installed! Take a little time to tweak its settings to perfection, and you’ll have a greatly improved Android experience.
That said, if you’re not liking the change and want to go back to default, simply uninstall your new launcher as you would any other app. Alternatively, if you just want to switch launchers with the option of going back, simply visit your app settings and clear the default setting on your new launcher. (settings > applications > ‘new launcher name‘ > clear defaults)
It’s that easy – go try it for yourself!
Android’s default keyboard is fine, but third party keyboard apps often offer a little more customization, and more often then not, offer more accurate typing and autocorrect.
Changing your keyboard is as simple as installing a new app. Jump into the Google Play store and try a few out for yourself.
3. Keep it clean
When you first get your new Android it will seem snappy and more than capable of juggling your daily multitasking. As you accumulate more apps you’ll notice that your once swift device may be lagging. This is simply because you’re starting to use more of your device’s storage and memory.
To counteract this inevitable slowdown we’d recommend regularly clearing your recent apps and deleting your junk files.
To keep things simple we’d recommend using Clean Master as a one size fits all solution.
This app has a beautifully simple user interface and will make the task of clearing old files and freeing up memory a one click process.
The real beauty, though, is in the app’s constant monitoring and suggested actions which leave any second guessing out of the question.
4. Watch your battery
An all day battery is the dream for Android power users. With quick monitoring and setting tweaks you can have your device running when you need it.
Toggle your features – Play through your device’s quick settings and make sure you are only using the features that you need. Wifi, GPS and Brightness are the top three things that I always keep track of to ensure that my device isn’t chugging juice when it should be sipping it.
Check battery consumption – Android actually has a battery consumption tracking tool build right in. Look under the battery option in your android settings menu. It will give you a full graph of your battery’s daily consumption and even show you which apps are sucking the life out of your device.
Make use of battery saving modes – Often overlooked, many devices actually come with battery saving modes built in. Toggling this setting is a quick way to extend the life of your battery. In some cases, some devices even have an ‘Ultra power saving ‘mode. For example, newer Samsung phones can limit your screens colours and kill off all unneeded apps for the bare minimum which can take your battery life from hours to days.
5. Widgets, widgets, widgets!
A unique feature for Android is the ability to use persistent widgets and floating apps. Go into your app drawer and look for the widget section. You can find tonnes of quick widgets that you can place over your home screen.
Using widgets can shave a few seconds off every instance of using your phone. For example, if you know you’re going to check your calendar, group chat and email regularly, use widgets for all three and save yourself from having to individually open each app.