So you got an Android Phone for Christmas, now what?

The holiday season is always an exciting time of the year, new toys, family, friends, and always good food. Now that the presents are opened and you got your brand new Android phone, what should you do now?

Well first set it up! The first part is fairly straight forward, enter your information, setup your email accounts, and get to your basic homescreen. Depending on if you're coming from another Android device, iPhone, Blackberry, you will need to import your contacts, if you have a Google account, it will happen automatically.

When setting up your Facebook account, depending on your device, it may import all of your Facebook friends into your "contacts" if you select "sync contacts", this can be a bit annoying as your contact list gets populated with hundreds, if not thousands of entries; some may wish to avoid this.

So now you have a couple of choices, are you a minimalist, or do you want all your info on your screens. Depending on your device, you will have several screens and one home screen.

On the main screen, press and hold for a few seconds, and a popup menu will appear with the ability to add shortcuts, widgets etc. The choice here is yours but if you're a social media fanatic, you can find your widget of choice for Twitter and/or Facebook that keeps all your needs just a swipe away.  You can begin adding widgets to your screen by following the onscreen instructions, its pretty straight forward, pick a widget and then drag it to your location of choice. Some widgets have multiple interfaces, you can usually tell if there are arrows on the widget selection screen (left and right) to show the different sizes.

Don't forget about your notification area too! Take a look at the top of the device, where the battery is, if you "pull down" or swipe down from that area you will open a drawer that contains all your notifications. This is a one stop shop for all the updates on your device and when you get an email, sms, etc, this is a shortcut to all those apps.

Speaking of shortcuts, how do you access the apps you have running? Simple, hold down the Home button and a popup menu will appear, this shows all you're currently running tasks.

But with any new smartphone OS, its all about the Apps... and where can you find a great list of them? You can find them right here.  One application not on the list that we can recommend is "Better Cut". While not free, it does allow you to chang icons as well as the names of the icons on the device. It can be handy if you want to change Handcent SMS to just SMS, note that different launchers may allow you to do this for free but HTC's Sense currently does not.

So what all is left? Enjoy your device! Android will take care of all your needs and make sure to checkout the marketplace as it contains a world of add-ons that can make the experience more complete.

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Games? LOL Most iOS game are hyper short or extremely repetive. Personnally i don't game on phone, i prefer PC, Xbox, PS3 gaming. All i want is the GPS, the Phone, MSN and send some SMS appart from that...

Obviously NEOWIN is biased towards android devices (yes, i know diff authors)...or dont know much about them. WP7 and iPhone articles have 3 times as much info. Either that or this was half thought through and not much thought put in to it. But whatever

My iPhone is the right size, I had wanted to have a keyboard, I had a desire HTC Z Easy. I just wonder which manufacturer will dare to invest in WP7 when it has sold so catastrophically bad. Show us the real numbers MS!!

Nostradamus666 said,
My iPhone is the right size, I had wanted to have a keyboard, I had a desire HTC Z Easy. I just wonder which manufacturer will dare to invest in WP7 when it has sold so catastrophically bad. Show us the real numbers MS!!

ey buddy, nice post again, you already posted the same thing on a different article.

How come the iPhone and Windows 7 articles have so much more in te articles (screenshots, apps, etc...) and this one has nothing? Most of the stuff here is explained to you when you turn the device on already..

tiagosilva29 said,
#0 - Sell it on eBay ; Get Openmoko

Buying something no one's ever heard of based on one person's suggestion from the internet?
Sure, I'll get right on that.

losershawn said,
Buying something no one's ever heard of based on one person's suggestion from the internet?

It's your experience that matters.

This is basically the root of all android phones hahahahaha! Nexus One mainly . Hope to get one more which be the HTC Desire Z

DROID DOES! I <3 my Droid2. Despite what some would call a "lack of apps", it's a wonderful device. My friends who have iProducts are constantly staring at them. All the time. 24/7. I've seen iDevices almost end people who don't see buses coming. Amusing, but sad at the same time.

SK[ said,]Disappointed with the Apps on Android Market. Seriously missing the choices the App Store has.

thats one of the things that drove me back to the iphone, i hate the UI, but the apps and games win.

SK[ said,]Disappointed with the Apps on Android Market. Seriously missing the choices the App Store has.

That's when you take the time to contact the iOS Developers and tell them you'd love to see an Android alternative. When they see the demand, that's what gets their attention. Keeping silent doesn't help 'em any .

I've contacted a few that are considering Android as they have more and more people contacting them for it .

SK[ said,]Disappointed with the Apps on Android Market. Seriously missing the choices the App Store has.

1+

Totally agree (love my iPhone 3GS, waiting to get the 4th)

Cupcakes said,

That's when you take the time to contact the iOS Developers and tell them you'd love to see an Android alternative. When they see the demand, that's what gets their attention. Keeping silent doesn't help 'em any .

I've contacted a few that are considering Android as they have more and more people contacting them for it .


thats when they email you back and say "haha, in your dreams, theres no money to be made on the android market."

Gabe3 said,

thats when they email you back and say "haha, in your dreams, theres no money to be made on the android market."

Any serious developer wont say that, considering number of android devices sold.

XeonBuilder said,
What apps are you talking about? I seem to have found everything I needed for my Android phone.. I actually think the apps on the android market are just as good and in some cases even better than the ones I had for my old slow ass iPhone.

All Popcap games, a non laggy Fruit Ninja, Helsing's Fire, Fragger, Secret of Monkey island, Space Miner, Infinity Blade, Fifa, GTA, Tap Tap Revenge... I could go on and on.
Unless your into Anime porn then Android Market is crap. I have one game that's worth playing on my Desire and that's Angry Birds. As much as I dislike Apple I really do miss my iPhone. The two reasons I went for the Desire was down to price (Apple are greedy *******) and the signal issues of the iPhone 4's "don't touch me here" spot. Whilst it never created issues it was annoying as I seem to sit between 3G and Edge at my house. Picking up the phone would guarantee a drop down to Edge. Funnily enough though I get the same issue now on my Desire on a different network.

The one thing I do like over the iPhone is the interaction with the phone from apps. Such as CallTrack which copies call logs into a calendar on Google.

SK[ said,]
blaaaah

Youre right, my bad

iPhone is great for your average not so tech-savvy user(your grandma) but if you want to be in charge of your phone and do more - Android is the only way

Gabe3 said,

thats one of the things that drove me back to the iphone, i hate the UI, but the apps and games win.

The marketplace actually got a new UI for me in the past week you know, others got it the week or so before that.

SK[ said,]All Popcap games, a non laggy Fruit Ninja, Helsing's Fire, Fragger, Secret of Monkey island, Space Miner, Infinity Blade, Fifa, GTA, Tap Tap Revenge...

I know there is a FIFA, not free though I tested it out and seemed pretty decent quality. Can't comment on the others as I don't really play games.

SK[ said,]

All Popcap games, a non laggy Fruit Ninja, Helsing's Fire, Fragger, Secret of Monkey island, Space Miner, Infinity Blade, Fifa, GTA, Tap Tap Revenge... I could go on and on.
Unless your into Anime porn then Android Market is crap. I have one game that's worth playing on my Desire and that's Angry Birds.

You're confusing "Apps" with "Games". You know how many games I have on my Desire? One.

Saying the Market is crap except for Anime porn when you seem to be looking for only one thing which EVERYBODY knows that iOS does better is just plain stupid.

Gabe3 said,

thats when they email you back and say "haha, in your dreams, theres no money to be made on the android market."

Yea, tell that to the angry birds devs who made millions.

tomjol said,

You're confusing "Apps" with "Games". You know how many games I have on my Desire? One.

Saying the Market is crap except for Anime porn when you seem to be looking for only one thing which EVERYBODY knows that iOS does better is just plain stupid.

TomTom
BBC News
Digg
National Trust
Teamviewer
Colour Splash
WoW Armoury
etc

Admittedly there is a lot more games but still, the Market is still very lacking in comparison.
Am I not allowed to give my opinion on something without it being considered "stupid" then?

SK[ said,]

TomTom
BBC News
Digg
National Trust
Teamviewer
Colour Splash
WoW Armoury
etc

Admittedly there is a lot more games but still, the Market is still very lacking in comparison.
Am I not allowed to give my opinion on something without it being considered "stupid" then?

All but National Trust and _Official_ BBC News and TomTom are available on android market.
Dont know why you would want to use TomTom anyways, Google Maps is so much superior unless you travelling the across the earth(roaming prices).
If you dont have a proper dataplan for the supercomputer in your pocket I dont see why you have a smartphone anyways

SK[ said,]

All Popcap games, a non laggy Fruit Ninja, Helsing's Fire, Fragger, Secret of Monkey island, Space Miner, Infinity Blade, Fifa, GTA, Tap Tap Revenge... I could go on and on.
Unless your into Anime porn then Android Market is crap. I have one game that's worth playing on my Desire and that's Angry Birds. As much as I dislike Apple I really do miss my iPhone. The two reasons I went for the Desire was down to price (Apple are greedy *******) and the signal issues of the iPhone 4's "don't touch me here" spot. Whilst it never created issues it was annoying as I seem to sit between 3G and Edge at my house. Picking up the phone would guarantee a drop down to Edge. Funnily enough though I get the same issue now on my Desire on a different network.

The one thing I do like over the iPhone is the interaction with the phone from apps. Such as CallTrack which copies call logs into a calendar on Google.

Fruit Ninja is smooth on my GS?
But I have to admit that Android Market is limited in games if you compare to the App Store.
But wait more... Android is chasing up

Huleboeren said,

All but National Trust and _Official_ BBC News and TomTom are available on android market.
Dont know why you would want to use TomTom anyways, Google Maps is so much superior unless you travelling the across the earth(roaming prices).
If you dont have a proper dataplan for the supercomputer in your pocket I dont see why you have a smartphone anyways

None of the list you mention are on the Market. There's no official BBC News, nothing at all for National Trust and TomTom comes up with some app made by TMI Limited for 79p which is basically a manual for your TomTom Go device...

Google Maps Navigation is nowhere near as good in terms of navigation. If they added it to Android I would gladly pay for it. Google's offering is enough to get by but you get what you pay for, as a free application it sure does show.

SK[ said,]Disappointed with the Apps on Android Market. Seriously missing the choices the App Store has.

There is a lot of stuff on Android Market; however, Google really messed up when they offered no applicatoin protection and even the current protection solution isn't air tight.

This made larger developers stay away from Android as exchanging purchased Apps was too easy. And it still has them nervous.

The irony though is that Application security on iOS/iPhone is not much better, but being an inherent feature of services offered by Apple through their App store gives developers the illusion of a secure way to sell applications.

Not that any online purchasing method is foolproof with regard to pirating sofftware, Microsoft did see where Google dropped the ball on Android, and ensured that their market model (that they had used before) was to be an essential piece of WP7, which makes developers less fearful of piracy, and MS also added in inherent features of Trial/Demo concepts so that the developers can easily provide a trial can easily be unlocked when purchased, instead of having to acquire another 'paid' version of the App.

With all that said though, the Android Marker is the OSS heaven of software for devices/phones, and this means that there is a LOT of free software availalbe.

I have had a few Android phones, and to this date I have not had the need to purchase an App for it. There is always something available for free or ad supported for everything I have needed. (And I use a lot of Apps, even having to move to a modified ROM so that I could install more Apps to the SD even when they are not meant to be run from the SD card.)

Edited by thenetavenger, Dec 26 2010, 9:54pm :

SK[ said,]
There's no official BBC News, nothing at all for National Trust and TomTom comes up with some app made by TMI Limited for 79p which is basically a manual for your TomTom Go device....

I never understood why anyone downloads a news app, why not use the power of a smartphone to just go the website or put a bookmark to it on your desktop or add the RSS feed? To me that's just effectively adding bloatware.

SK[ said,]
None of the list you mention are on the Market. There's no official BBC News, nothing at all for National Trust and TomTom comes up with some app made by TMI Limited for 79p which is basically a manual for your TomTom Go device...

Google Maps Navigation is nowhere near as good in terms of navigation. If they added it to Android I would gladly pay for it. Google's offering is enough to get by but you get what you pay for, as a free application it sure does show.


I said all BUT those I mentioned

You have obviously never used Google Maps Nav on a trip before.

Phil DeLong said,
Fingers crossed that this article will be of huge help to me tomorrow, hoping for a Droid X.

good luck. and good article, sure it will come in handy for many tomorrow.

flexkeyboard said,
now you sell that iPhone clone on eBay and get something better.
Nothing better than the iPhone clones. Haven't you read the news? You can hold them any way you want! And install anything you want

codename.venice said,

I love, but cannot afford android

Even if you have a basic prepaid phone or cheaper cost carrier like Cricket, Android devices are available. It might take some saving up, as they don't discount the phones like Verizon that ties you to a 2/3yr contract, but some are still rather inexpensive.

A couple of friends picked up a Zio from Cricket a couple of months back, and even though it is not a top end phone, when I comparied it to my Droid, the only trade off was a lower 3mp camera without flash, no slide out keyboard, and the Android 2.2 update not yet being available. (I don't use the slide out keyboard as I find both the default onscreen and swype keyboards far better than the phyiscal one for faster typing.)

The less expensive Zio sitll had the same screen resoultion, brightness, CPU speed, RAM options, and weighs about 2/3 less than my Droid, which was really nice.

Anyway, even if not now, give things time, and with Android and WP7, the smartphone prices will continue to drop and it won't be long that non-smartphones are rare and even the cheap and free phones will be Android or WP7 based.

If you have a carrier with a plan already, there are always deals for virtually free Android phones if you commit to 2 more yrs of service. (Even if your not eligible for an upgraded phone offer, go talk to them or call them, a lot of the time they will let you use the upgrade discount options early.)

So keep looking at what is out there based on your options of cell company and if price point you have to meet.