There aren’t many things you can do with a newly-bought smartphone unless it’s Android – Google’s open-source OS allows a huge number of useful tweaks to be done. And here are the most useful ones – you can do these even if you’re new to Android and don’t know much about smartphones.
1. Improve battery life
One essential tweak for new Android phones is to download an app that improves the battery life of the phone. The majority of smartphones now, through their efforts to increase performance and ability, are very short in their battery life (even phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2 last only a day or so).
Many apps are available on Google Play, which increase the battery life of the phone and therefore avoid the need to charge the phone every few hours. Such apps include GreenPower, Juice Defender and Battery Booster, all of which have good reviews. The main way that these apps boost the battery life is through shutting down the wireless connections in a controlled way when not in use.
2. Theme change
The problem with phones that run Android is that they all look very samey due to the sheer number of non-Apple/Blackberry phones that run the operating system. To makes your phone far more individual and suited to you, changing the theme on your phone is a must. The pre-set themes are all very samey and bland, so downloading new ones is the recommended course of action. These can be found through various websites for free. Whilst some distributors will charge for their themes, there’s no real need to pay, as every theme you could want can be found for free, whether that’s an extremely smart set-up, or complete trashy novelty.
3. Set up your push email service
One of the great assets with Android phones is the ease with which emails can be picked up whilst on the go. Whilst Blackberry were the first to master this service with their operating systems, Google have now caught up and offer just as good services as their Research In Motion rivals. If you use Gmail, setting up your email delivery couldn’t be easier, with on screen instructions showing you how to link your email with your phone through the Gmail app. However, if you use another email provider, you can still easily access your emails through your Android phone, through downloading the respective application from the Android application market.
4. Set your security settings
They say the iPhone 4S is one of the most secure phones, but actually Android phones are rather secure, too. Obvious enough, but through the eagerness of some to set up other features on their new Android phone, they forget to add sufficient security settings to their phone. The potential ramifications for this can involve a mischievous friend asking to see your new phone and then changing your Facebook profile, or more seriously could involve a stranger accessing your newly set up email with the same ease that you are able to. On pre-Android 4.0 phones, you are able to add a PIN, password or pattern unlock function in order to keep your phone from being used by strangers. However, recently seen through Android 4.0, face unlock is now also available, which recognizes the face of the user and subsequently unlocks the phone. Who wouldn’t want to try this feature after getting their ICS phone?
5. Organize Your Widgets
Widgets are Android’s specialty, so get using them straight away! The phone will come with some pre-set widgets ready for use, but many will be stored away and will need to be set up. Also, many of the best widgets will need to be downloaded. Whether you want to have rolling news on your home screen, weather updates or shortcuts to social network updates, there is a widget available. Experiment, arrange the tiles around them on the home page and keep exploring!
Guest post by Amelia who likes to write about smartphones and tablets. She loves both Android phones and Apple’s devices, and she’s currently looking for some iPhone 4S deals to finally buy Apple’s latest flagship smartphone.