Did Santa leave you a brand new Android smartphone this Christmas? If so you might be wondering what to do with your pristine smartphone, what apps to download and what security features to add. Android is an open-source operating system that runs on a variety of smartphones from different manufacturers and carriers. An Android user experience is different on a Samsung phone or Motorola phone, but despite the differences there are still some basic tips you should do right away.
Setup your Google Account. When you setup your Android phone for the first time it will ask you to provide your Google Account information. Setting up your Google Account is the fastest way to get E-mail, contact and calendar functions setup on your Android phone. Your Google account will also allow you to sync your contacts to any other Android phones you might get in the future. You'll also need to have a Google account to access the Android Market where you can download apps for your phone.
Get Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connections are faster than your phone's 3G or even 4G data connections and it uses less battery power than traditional cell data. Plus Wi-Fi isn't limited to your carriers' data threshold meaning you can surf the Web to your heart's content. And getting Wi-Fi is essential to getting those Apps from the Android Market.
Get some Apps. The Android Market is the second largest app market next to Apple's App Store and there are new apps being added every day. Android users have an advantage over iOS users because they can get apps from third sources aside from Google's official Android Market. One great app to have for your phone is Spotify for music lovers who want access to the latest music. Spotify launched earlier this year in the U.S. and allows users to listen to music without downloading it. A premium subscription costs $10 a month and gives you access to 15 million music tracks. News junkies will want Google Currents which is a new app that pulls content from many news sites in an attractive print like magazine look. It uses Google's search engine to present the top current topics online. As for games there's always the standard Angry Birds but for gamers looking for a bit more challenge, Cut the Rope is a fun game that will test your puzzle-solving mettle.
Organize your Apps. After you've downloaded some apps you need to tinker with their apps settings. Apps like news and RSS apps, some social networking apps and GPS apps would frequently go online to get updates. These updates will eat up data and battery life so you need to monitor the apps "Update Frequency". If you don't need to get updated for your social network every 15 minutes set it to update every four hours or even just once a day. Check your apps and set them to update for your own preference and use.
Check your other settings. The great thing about Android is the amount of customization you can do the system. You should organize your homescreens to fit areas of your activities like work and personal. You can add widgets to the homescreen like calendar notifications or weather information to display. Fit your homescreen with your preferences for a more personalized experience.
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