Our guide to your first Android smartphone

Take a look at our top tips and handy hints to get your started.
Our guide to your first Android smartphone

So, you’ve got your first Android smartphone, but you’re not sure how to make the most of it. Well, here are a few useful tips to get started with, which should help you get more from your phone – and make your life a little easier to boot.

Download some apps

Explore a wide world of apps, and fill your phone with the things that matter to you. Whether that’s the latest news, local weather, the latest football scores or a music streaming service, head to Google Play, and fill your boots.

Then, personalise your phone

You can turn your home screen into a hub of all those must-see bits of information, dividing your screen into info-packed squares or rectangles (or if it’s music, you’ll see handy play and pause buttons right there on your home screen).

Here’s how you do it: find an empty space on your home screen, then press down on the screen and choose ‘widgets’ from the icons that appear. Choose the one you want. Done.

Get the information you need, without having to ask

With Google Assistant, the info you need is right at your fingertips. All you have to do is ask. Amongst the things you can do – translate something into over 100 languages, make restaurant reservations, check film times, set reminders, take selfies. All that, just by asking Google to do it for you.

Here’s how you get it: open the Google app. Go to the menu, then ‘Settings’. Under ‘Google Assistant’, tap ‘Settings’ and then ‘Turn on’.

When you’re set up, just say ‘ok Google’ to get started.

Don’t use all your mobile data

Stay on top of your data – and avoid having to pay for extra – by setting up a warning to let you know when you’re reaching your limit.

Simply go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage > Set mobile data limit

With public Wi-Fi spots, you can save your own data. Be told when you’re in a public Wi-Fi spot by following these steps.

Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi > Advanced Wi-Fi > Network Notification – Notify whenever a public network is available

Get to your important stuff fast

You can customise quick settings so you’re able to switch easily between your most used features. For example, you can switch between Wi-Fi networks, turn Bluetooth on and off, and other common features. To set up your quick settings, go to Settings > System > System UI Tuner > Quick settings.

You can delete settings you don’t want and add new ones.

When you want to access your quick settings, just swipe down with two fingers from the home screen.

Don’t write a message, read one

Fancy a break from typing text messages, or adding an appointment to your calendar? It can be somewhat laborious. So, use your voice instead. Google voice commands let you set reminders and alarms with your voice, and allows you to simply dictate a text message or email. You can search the web, too.

Here’s how you make the magic happen. Say ‘OK, Google’ and start talking. Simple, right? So you could say, ‘OK Google, text Mum… it was lovely to see you yesterday… etc.

Just turn on OK Google from Settings > Voice > OK Google detection, and you’re away.

Get rid of those annoying sounds

Can’t bear listening to people typing a message, and with every letter, there’s another click, click, click. Annoying for you but maybe annoying for them too, especially if they don’t know how to turn off the clicking noise. If you want to lose the noise, here’s how you do it: Go to Settings > Sound > Advanced > Other sounds and vibrations.

Sort out your apps with Android folders

If you’ve got a bit app happy, you might want a place to store them. Why not store similar apps (e.g all games, all organisational stuff, all media) in the same folder so they’re easier to find on your home page.

To set up a folder, just drag one app’s icon on top of another, and it’ll create a new folder.

Those are our top Android tips. Got any more for us? Let us know below the line.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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