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Dublin: 19 °C Thursday 28 August, 2014

15 tips and tricks for your new Android phone

Get the most out of it.

PART OF THE beauty of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system is that they allow a deeper level of customisation.

That can be pretty confusing for some people.

If you got a new Android phone for Christmas, here are a few quick tips to get you started.

Note: All Android phones are different. Each manufacturer alters the software a bit, so the screenshots here may look a little different than the phone you have. Just keep in mind that the basics are essentially the same on most devices. We used HTC’s One X+ for this demonstration.

See also: 15 tips and tricks for your new iPhone>

15 tips and tricks for your new Android phone
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  • Tips and tricks for Android

    When you first turn on your Android phone, you should sign in using your Google Account. This is the same account you use to log into Gmail. When you sync your phone with your Gmail account, your browsing history, calendar, email, etc. will be waiting for you.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    You should also agree to back up your phone's data to your Google Account. That way if you lose or have to reset your phone, you can quickly retrieve your settings.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    Whenever you download a new app from the Google Play store, you should check the box that says "Allow automatic updating." That way your apps will update to the latest version without asking permission. It'll save you a lot of time.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    Google Maps lets you store maps offline so you don't eat up your data plan while navigating. When connected to Wi-Fi, open Google Maps, select the area you want to store offline, tap the three dots in the bottom right of your screen, and tap "Make available offline."
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    In the Settings app, you can sync your Android phone with popular online networks and services like Facebook. The more you add, the easier it is to share stuff like photos.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    See? You can easily share photos from your phone on Facebook and other major services without launching the app. As you install more apps on your phone, you'll notice more options in this window.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    Widgets are apps that live on your home screen and provide real-time information like news and weather. You can tap and drag them on your screen from your phone's Widgets menu.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    All Android phones come with this handy widget that lets you control Wi-Fi, brightness, and other basic functions right from your home screen. Use it!
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    Under your security settings, you can allow your phone to install apps from unknown sources. That means apps you find on websites or alternative app stores like the one Amazon offers. Just be careful because allowing unknown apps on your phone could make your device more prone to malware.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    The newest Android phones come with a voice-controlled assistant called Google Now. It acts a search tool, but can also remind you of appointments, get you directions, and find sports scores.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    Android is really good at helping you manage multiple apps at once. Tapping the multitasking key on your phone (it looks like two boxes) will let you cycle between open apps.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    If you swipe your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom, you'll get the notifications center. This area tells you when you have a new message, Facebook post, Twitter mention, etc.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    If you want to delete an app from your home screen, tap and hold it for a second. Then drag it to the "Remove" button.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    You can store apps in folders by tapping and dragging them on top of each other.
  • Tips and tricks for Android

    You can also add shortcuts to your favorite contacts from the People app on your phone.

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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