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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