If you searched for android manual and I found this post, first thing, welcome. You have come this far for two possible options. Either you’re one of the “nuts” who resisted having a smartphone and finally decided to upgrade, or you’re coming from another operating system and want to make the move to Android, the mobile operating system par excellence. Maybe you are still in the research phase and curious to know how everything works. More and more people are taking the plunge, partly because they feel a bit disconnected from the rest.
If you’re one of those who finally decided to “go through the hoop” and buy an Android smartphone, you won’t regret it. Today we’re going to take you step by step through all the basic Android configuration settings to make your experience as satisfying as possible. We’ll be by your side to guide you and help you get your new phone up and running. Wherever you’re from, I say, welcome to Android.
What is Android?
If you are new to the world of smartphones, we are not going to get involved in eternal rivalries. You should know that Android is the mobile operating system from Google. And what about the operating system for the most used mobile devices in the world. Your current number of recently published active users exceeds two billion. There is nothing. And today it competes almost exclusively with Apple’s operating system, which accounts for more than double the number of users. We can say that Spain is an Android country since more than 92% of smartphones in our country run on the green Android system.
In 2017 Android It has been 10 years since its launch. Has been actively working since 2008 on mobile devices, tablets and recently on wearable devices. Created under the financial support of Google by the software company “Android Inc.”, which would eventually be acquired by Google in 2005. Its acknowledged father, Andy Rubin, and a selected team of engineers intended to create a system based on Linux. This is how the Android operating system came to be.
A system open to all
The advantages of this operating system over Apple’s iOS are that it is an open system. Any manufacturer can use it and adapt it to its devicesChange today. Any developer can create applications for the same thanks to a kit that Google offers for free download. In short, to be able to use it freely for what it was designed for. An operating system for smart devices with a touch screen. In this way, any brand that manufactures a smartphone, with the mandatory Google license, you can use Android as an operating system. What Apple, for example, does not. It is currently a trend that even manufacturers who used to use their own operating system, like BlackBerry for example, have ended up succumbing to a more global system.
Android is an operating system based on an application structure. The main ones, considered basic for their functionality, are integrated as standard by the operating system itself. A system built on an architecture designed to simplify the reuse of components. Thus, any application can use the resources of the device, and it can be replaced by the user. Later, we will talk about applications, their installation and give you some tips.
What are the customization layers in Android?
As we have explained, almost all current manufacturers use the Google system to bring their devices to life. And there are companies that, with the intention of differentiating themselves from others, use so-called customization layers. This would be, explained in a very graphic way, like “Dress up” the Android system with other clothes. The operating system remains the same, but in appearance it is different. The image it shows is different from the one created by Google. Here the level of optimization plays a fundamental role that has been achieved with the insertion of a layer on Android.
There are companies, like Sony, that postulate more aggressive layers of customization, even limiting some access to the configuration in some cases. There are brands like Xiaomi, whose version of the operating system, called MIUI, is getting very good reviews from its users. And there are others that choose to offer a “pure” Android, much cleaner and more configurable.
To taste the colors. But we are in favor of an Android without limitations and without “disguises”. Since sometimes these layers cause slowdowns of an already fluid system that works well unnecessary.
How to create a Google account
You may not have an Android smartphone, but it is quite possible that you have a “gmail” email account. If you already have it, it will be your identity to use all Google services. If you haven’t created your Google account yet, you’ll need to do so before starting the configuration of your device. To do this, you won’t need more than two minutes. In this Android manual, we explain everything. The procedure is like creating an email account, because you will do it too. The only problem you may find is that someone is already using the name you want. For the rest, including a series of personal data, you will have immediately created your Google identity but if you have any doubts, here we explain step by step and the different ways to create a google account.
Once you are logged in, you are ready to access the biggest app store there is, the Play Store. In the same way, you can use on your Android device all the services offered by Google for free. As a rule, these are all the applications that our device already has pre-installed. Depending on the brand of the device, they may be accompanied by some of the company’s products such as music players, etc.
Free Google services
Google really wants to make our lives easier. And offers us a series of tools with which we can make the most of our smartphones in the most comfortable way. There are so many and so diverse that we could differentiate by headings the types of services that Google offers for free. In our Android guide, we have selected those that can offer you the most in the first place.
Google services for work
In this section we can use
- Google Documentsan online text editor in which we can edit and share any document wherever you are.
- Google Spreadsheets is a spreadsheet, but with the ability to share it, make it public to edit one or more, and use it anywhere.
- Google Presentations, the closest thing to what you would call “power point”. A very easy to use program to create and read your presentations.
- Google Drive, a safe “place” to keep a copy of your most used files, even application data.
To organize yourself
Google also gives us the opportunity to become more organized. And have the most valuable content on our smartphones anywhere. So we will have at our disposal
- Google Photos, which is not only used to organize our captures. Automatically create albums by dates or places. In addition to offering us up to 15 GB of storage so that the photos do not take up space on our device.
- Google Contacts makes us never worry about changing phones due to the loss of stored numbers or having to transmit them manually. Synchronize the contacts with your Google account and they will be where you identify yourself.
- Google Calendar, the Google calendar so you don’t forget anything and everything is written down. Notices, reminders, alarms, nothing will escape you.
Answers to the questions
Why do we want a smartphone if we can’t ask it anything, right? To have Google in the palm of your hand is an advantage. With the pre-installed Google widget, we can ask by talking to Google about anything. Or search and browse in its well-known application in your browser.
- Google Chrome to search and navigate in the well-known application of your browser
- Google Maps. Whether you want to know where something is or how to get there, the big “G” is there to help you instantly. Google doesn’t leave you behind no matter where you are.
- Google Translate, this will ensure that wherever you are, language won’t be a barrier for you either.
Entertainment and fun
A smartphone is for many synonymous with distraction. And so it is, we have all been relieved at some point by a long wait. There are also those who use their Android phone as a multimedia entertainment center. For this, we can enjoy a varied number of applications.
- YouTube. The video streaming platform par excellence. Play your favorite videos, share them or download your own.
- Google Play Music puts a competent media player in your hand. And in addition to playing music from your devices, you can access the latest hits of the moment. Or buy the latest album by your favorite artist.
- Google Play Movies As with music, get the latest in movies, TV shows or series.
These are the most important services, but Google offers you much more. As you see, a whole world of possibilities with your Android device. Were you aware of everything you were missing? Surely you don’t regret buying an Android smartphone. And if you haven’t bought it yet, by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll surely be convinced.
Basic configuration of your Android phone
Have you already bought it? Congratulations. If you finally have your new Android device in your hands it’s time to get it ready. In this Android manual we will guide you step by step through the initial setup. After taking your new phone out of its box, we’ll need to add our SIM card first. And without fear, press the power button to start the configuration.
How to set your language on Android
This is the first thing we have to do when we turn on our new Android device. After the diplomatic welcome message with which it greets us we must choose the language with which we will interact from that moment with our smartphone. From a long list of languages, we will select the appropriate one, and that’s it.
If at any moment we want to change the language chosen in the initial configuration, we can do it easily. We will not direct in the menu of our smartphone to “Settings”. And from here, normally enter inside “Advanced Settings” we must look for the option “personal”. From here, clicking on “Language and text input” we can access the list of languages and change it to the one we want.
How to set your Android device as a “new device
The latest available versions of Android offer new configuration options for the launch of a smartphone. Thus, in the case where the new phone purchased serves to renew a previous one, we will have it easier. From this point, we can configure the new phone with the same options as the old one. Even with the same applications we have installed, Wi-Fi keys, etc..
But this is not our case now. And to continue with the basic configuration, we need to select the option “Configure as new device”. In this way, the following steps and settings will be entered for the first time. So let’s go to the next step.
Select a wifi network for our Android smartphone
Although the step of selecting a Wi-Fi network not necessary completely to complete the configuration of the new device. If it is strongly recommended to perform these operations with an Internet connection. In this way, the configuration of the device will be completed. In the list of available Wi-Fi networks, we must select ours. To continue, after entering the access code, we must select “continue”.
It is common to use more than one Wi-Fi network throughout the day. For this reason, and so that you can add all the networks you need, we explain how to do it at any other time. We access again to the “Settings” icon of our device and select the “Wifi” option. After activating the Wi-Fi connection, we will be able to see in a list the available networks. Simply select the desired network and enter the access code. Our device will automatically connect to the registered networks when we are in its coverage area.
How to connect with our Google account.
We assume that we already have a Google account or that we have created it following the instructions above. Accessing it and being able to enjoy all the services offered by our account is very simple. We will simply have to identify ourselves with our account “firstname.lastname@example.org” and enter our password. Once this is done, we must accept the terms of service in order to proceed to the next step.
It is also possible to continue the configuration without having a “gmail” account. But again, we recommend you do it with it. In this way, we can take full advantage of the set of services that Google offers us. And so the configuration will be more complete in all respects.
How to add another email account
Once the previous step is finished, the configuration menu will ask us if we want to add another email account. Here we can add the rest of the email accounts that we use assiduously. Whether they belong to Google or any other operator. The Gmail application will take care of organizing them in folders. You can see all the e-mails at once or select the inboxes, sent, etc. individually.
As for Wi-Fi networks, once the process of configuring the device is over, we can also add as many email accounts as we need. For this, we will go to the repeated icon of “Settings” where we should look for the option “Accounts”. From there, we will select “add an account” and we will enter the account name, password, etc. And immediately it will appear in the inbox with the rest.
Configure the security and unlocking system in Android
In this aspect, the security options that our device can offer us play an important role. In other words, it depends on the related advantages you have. Currently, almost all new devices are equipped with fingerprint readers. And although there are phones that still do not incorporate this technology, there are also those that have iris reader or facial recognition.
If our device does not have any of the security systems news, we should not worry. It can always be safe from third parties if we make good use of the tools that Google offers us. We can always have an unlocking scheme or do it via a numerical code. In this step, we can select just one or combine them with each other. Either way, we always advise you to use one.
This is the last step in the basic configuration of our device, but it is not the least important for this. Once we have selected the security system, our smartphone is almost ready. These settings are usually the same on almost all Android devices. But the order could change depending on the customization layers and the version of the operating system we have.
Depending on our location, we will select the appropriate time zone. From there, we can be sure that the time indicated by the device is correct.
Now, yes, we can enjoy our new device to the fullest. But first, we can give you a little touch of personalization. Undoubtedly one of the features of this operating system, the ability to give it the appearance that we like most. From the basic configuration of the device we can select the theme, ringtones or message that we like most. Just like it background lock screen or use of the screen. Or the colors of the notification lights related to each notice.
How to know if my Android operating system is up to date
Counting on the multiple pre-installed applications that Google offers us, the smartphone is already fully operational for almost all tasks. But before proceeding to install external applications, it is worth checking that our software is up to date. To do this, in the device menu, we will go to “Settings”. We will look for the option “About my device” and we will click on it. Once this option is open, we must select “Check for updates” (or a very similar option). The phone itself will check if it has any updates waiting to be installed.
If there is an update waiting, just click on “Download and install” and immediately the download will start, which will be installed automatically. This process may take a few minutes and our phone will be up to date. Note that you will not be able to download an update with less than fifty percent of battery.
As a practical tip, it is convenient to perform this operation with a wifi connection. Since downloading an operating system update can increase our data consumption in excess.
An updated operating system is always more secure and efficient. Optimizing the device with its own features and with applications is always better with the latest version available. Being up to date will prevent you from encountering application compatibility problems, and even the battery consumption might improve.
How to download applications on Android
Now it is. Our smartphone is ready to receive applications. We can now download and install as many applications as we want. And our main advice is to do it from the official store, Google Play Store. There we will find almost a million applications at our service for practically everything we can think of. All we have to do is press the Play Store icon preinstalled by default and we can access it.
Sorted by categories among which we can findFor example, entertainment, lifestyle, photography, education, sports, and so on to more than thirty options. We can choose to search among the most popular, or search for games, movies, music. Endless options with which we will surely find the application we want.
To install an application on our devices, the first thing is to access the Play Store. Once inside, when we have found the desired application, you just have to click on it. When we open it, we can see information related to its content, see screenshots of the application itself, and even read reviews and see user ratings. In addition to checking whether the application is free or paid.
How to install or uninstall applications on Android
If you’ve convinced us, just click on “install”. The application will automatically start downloading and installing on our device. And once the installation is complete, the application will create a new icon on the desktop. To open and use it, just click on its icon. Do you see how easy it is? It couldn’t be easier to download and install an application.
But what if I don’t like the application I downloaded? No problem, we can also uninstall them very easily. One option would be to go to “Settings”. From there, we select “Applications” and we will see the list of installed applications. By clicking on the application we want to uninstall, a menu appears in which we must select “Uninstall”. Or, depending on the version of Android we are using, if we press and hold on any application, a cross will appear on each of them. And by clicking on the cross, the application will also be uninstalled.
Essential applications on Android
With the multitude of options available to us in the Play Store, every smartphone is different from another. Your device says a lot about you. By looking at the applications we have installed, we can know our tastes and preferences. Sports, games, music, photography. There are so many options we can download that it is difficult to make a selection that will satisfy everyone.
But even so, we could agree for the vast majority with a series of “fundamental” applications. And we are going to recommend you the ones that are recommended to us. Among them, we have selected the most popular in each sector. By installing them, you will be able to get the most out of your new Android phone.
Social networks’ own applications are the “abc” of downloaded applications for smartphones. And they are above operating systems, brands and models. So we can not ignore the applications that cherish the most hours of use. Smartphones are almost inconceivable without these apps. They live for each other and vice versa.
Considered as the network of networks, we can tell you few things that are not known about this social network. The fact is that if you’ve decided to switch to a smartphone and still don’t have a Facebook account, this is the time.
Twitter, another of the social networks that are essential to be in communication with the world. Originally designed as a microblogging service. And converted through its use, and of course its users, into a real communication tool. Personalities, authorities, professional and amateur media combine perfectly in a cocktail of information and opinions that we can not ignore.
The social network for photography enthusiasts. Or that’s how our smartphones arrived for the first time. Currently converted into a powerful platform to discover people, photographs, stories and even businesses of interest. Instagram can not miss on a new Android smartphone.
Communication is the primary purpose of a phoneor whether it’s smart or not. And as we know, our current form of communication has changed. There are hardly any phone calls anymore. And with an Android smartphone in your hands, it is absolutely mandatory to install at least two.
Is the most downloaded and used messaging application in the world. Who doesn’t use WhatsApp today? There are even companies that integrate this application, among which we find it pre-installed. A fundamental application to be in the world
Telegram considered “the other” by many. But chosen better than WhatsApp in countless comparisons. Its essence is the same as that of its rival. But with continuous work on updates and with the implementation of different features manages to be more versatile than WhatsApp.
Useful applications for your smartphone
The aforementioned apps are the ones you’ll see on almost every smartphone that works today. But in the vastness of the Google Play Store, there is room for much more. And there are applications that can serve you only for what you need. Applications that without a doubt they will give your smartphone another point of usefulness and functionality.
Therefore, below, we are going to recommend you some of the applications that we like the most and those that we use of course daily. For many, smartphones are another form of communication and entertainment. But for many others, it is also a useful work tool that can help us a lot.
A place to keep everythingThis is how an application defines itself that can help you a lot to be more organized. Designed like a notebook but serves much more. You can save photos, files, audios or text notes. It serves as a reminder for appointments or tasks to be done. One of the most complete applications for the office or for your business and the most evolved.
What is new and useful in this application is that you can use it on any of your devices. And you will always have them synchronized simultaneously. So you don’t have to worry about finding a note on your phone or tablet. What you write in Evernote will be on every device you use. One of the most useful apps you’ll find.
Another great tool for organizing work – Trello – . Great for performing group work tasks. Create a board and share it with whoever you want to collaborate with. You can create very visual columnar lists. Yes fill them with cards, for example, tasks. These cards can be easily moved from column to column, for example from tasks to completed tasks.
If you share an office or tasks with a team, we can’t think of a more convenient and useful way to get organized. Share your board with your colleagues. A) Yes everyone will have access to updated information about pending and completed jobs. A highly recommended app.
One of the applications that always wins a place among our favorites. With the motto of “Save for later”, it helps us not to miss anything that might interest us. Put it in your “pocket” and read it when you have time. You can save articles and news in an unlimited way. And you can even order them as it suits you best. Definitely a tool designed for those of us who don’t stop. And this is very useful so that we don’t miss any important article for us. what we are really interested in.
Pocket is as useful as it is easy to use. Saving a publication in your “pocket” is quick and easy. After installation, Pocket includes an extension with its icon. Using the sharing option, we can automatically save in the pocket. And we only have to access the application to search for everything we want to save for later. An excellent idea that can be of great help to us.
This application is designed with a very similar idea to Pocket. Although it includes other types of media. The world of podcasts is gaining more and more people thanks to this type of platform. Humor, entertainment, culture or music programs. Everything fits in iVoox. A huge and well organized platform where you can listen to your favorite radio program whenever you want.
If you can never listen to the radio program you like the most, chances are it is already on iVoox. You can subscribe to different publications. This way, you’ll know when there’s new content related to your tastes and programs you follow. Not everything will be for work, right? A perfect ally for your leisure time.
We could advise you about the applications without stopping you for a long time. These are some of the ones we use the most and consider the most useful. But as each user is a world. The best advice is to dive straight into the Play Store and find your particular “treasures”. If you need an app for something secure, it’s in the Google App Store.
It’s normal to read and hear that Android is not a secure operating system. Or at least it’s not one hundred percent. And in part that’s true. Something that, on the other hand, being the most used system in the world, it is normal that it is the most attacked by malware. To ensure the security of our device, we have at our disposal a series of applications and antivirus to control the “cleaning” of our mobile.
Keep in mind that the security of our devices depends a lot on the risk we expose them to. Access websites with questionable reputations. Opening suspicious emails. Or even downloading poor quality, ad-filled apps. As we can see, there are several possible forms of infection. Fortunately, Android is constantly working to improve security. And it seriously checks potentially dangerous apps by banning them from the Play Store.
As an active Android user since its inception, I must say that I have never encountered a serious problem due to a virus infection on my smartphone. And it is a fact, as it happens in a computer, that the constant scanning of files on a device that makes a program or application, eventually slows down its operation. Therefore, to avoid virus problems without losing some performance, some precautions must be taken with the content we consume and its origin.
But if you want to sleep peacefully knowing that everywhere you access your passwords and data will be safe, it’s best that you install an antivirus application. A great option could be 360 Security, considered the most reliable mobile security software in the world. Not in vain, it has a rating of 4.6 out of five in the Play Store. In addition to having over two hundred million downloads.
How to backup my data on Android
As a rule, our smartphones contain valuable information for us. Sometimes in the form of messages, photos and videos. Or even work documents that we should not lose. To ensure that all our data is safe accident, or access by a third party, it is best to use the tools that Google makes available to us.
Through Google Contacts, Google Photos or Google Drive, we can have our contacts, photos, files or documents safely and anywhere. But if we want to create a backup in the device itself, we will explain how to do it. To make our backup copy, we need to open the “Settings” option. We go to the advanced settings and look for “Personal”. One of the settings is “Backup Copy”.
In this option we have several options available. We can copy our data to the device itself or do it through our Google account. For this, we need to be logged into the smartphone with our own account. From there, we can also restore network settings, for example, in case of a change of operator. And we can also restore the factory data, in case we want to completely erase our devices.
All the previous steps we explained will be very useful if you are new to an Android device. And they will also be if you are before your debut in this field of mobile technologies. We tried to make a complete guide so that you won’t get lost at any point. But you may not be new to the world of smartphones. And yes you are on Android.
So, to make this guide more versatile, we will include one more step. That’s how we’ll make this welcome work for everyone who wants to join the world’s leading mobile operating system. Both new users and those who come from other operating systems. And that switching from one operating system to another is no obstacle.
How to transfer my data to Android from iPhone
From Google, they have always taken into account the possible migration to Android of users from an iPhone. And for years, it has been developing applications that facilitate the task of migrating data from one platform to another. Although sometimes the process can seem tedious and complicated. Google offers tools that will greatly simplify this transition from Android data to iOS
Google Drive for iOS
One of the most useful applications that Google offers for free through the apple’s signature application platform. With this app we can export all the content we deem necessary from the old iPhone to have it on our new Android. And we can do this by following a few very simple steps.
Installed on an iPhone, besides being able to use it as the tool it is, to store and process files and documents. It can also be us very useful to transfer our data from iOS to Android. Therefore, the first thing to do is to download this application. Yes, once installed on the iPhone, we identify ourselves with our Google account. The data will be copied through this account.
With Google Drive for iOS installed on the iPhone, we must do the following. From the settings menu we must select “Make a backup”. We must choose to have the data copied to our Google Drive account in which we previously identified. Once this is done, we will select the different files we want to copy such as contacts, photos, calendar events, and even WhatsApp conversations. Easy, right?
When we open the same application on our Android device, pre-installed in the factory, we can access all the copied data. From WhatsApp, when we install it, we must select the restoration from the copy in Google Drive so that the chats are saved. We will do the same to recover contacts, calendars, etc.
Google Photos for iOS
As a limitation of Google Drive, we can see that the storage it offers us is insufficient. As a rule, the highest percentage of occupying the memory of a smartphone corresponds to photos. And they are the ones that give the impression that the storage is cluttered.
In the same way that we have on the Apple App Store from Google Drive, recently also we can download Google Photos. With a not insignificant 15 GB available for free, we can greatly lighten the storage occupation of our devices. And in the same way, have at our disposal all the photos and videos instantly on our new Android smartphone.
Although always we recommend first the native Google applications for its solvency and proven functionality. We can also recommend a relevant application that we can find for free on the Google Play Store. If you have not yet clarified these steps to follow, there is a simple and foolproof application.
Move the transfer / backup of contacts
If transferring contacts from your old iPhone to your new Android smartphone is a problem, stop worrying. So that the start with your Android doesn’t get off on the wrong foot We’ve selected an application that after using it, you won’t hesitate to recommend. In less than a minute, you’ll see how your contacts move from one device to another without having to complicate things.
Whether you’re coming from iOS or renewing a device and want to recover your contact book this is the perfect app. A recently updated version and a 4.8 rating on the Play Store precedes it. Yes the experience of having used it several times confirms its excellent performance.
We should download the application on the iPhone and also on the new device. We access via its icon on both phones at the same time. Taking into account that we must have Bluetooth enabled. In our new phone, we will select the option “import contacts from another device”. The application itself will follow the Bluetooth devices in the vicinity. When we see the name of the old device on the screen, we just have to select it by clicking on the icon that appears with its name.
In this case, we will select the iPhone from which we want to import the contacts. We need to grant permissions to the necessary application so that you can access the calendar data. Once we do this, the directory will start to be copied from the old device to the new one. All that remains is to grant permissions on the new device to locate the imported data in the contact book. Yes, right away we can enjoy all our contacts on the new phone. It is simple.
From now on, we can no longer use as an excuse not to change the operating system due to the difficulty of transferring our data from one platform to another. Thanks to these applications, we will be able to have all our files, photos and contacts through very simple steps.
You are now ready to immerse yourself in the Android world
Today we have explained in detail how to fully enter the Google mobile ecosystem. From this moment on, Android can already be part of your life. Properly configured, a smartphone becomes a useful “extension” of ourselves. And far from being an obstacle in our personal relationships, with proper use, it can help us in many ways.
If you have hesitated from the beginning to choose between iOS or Android you say that over time, and increasingly, the two operating systems are becoming more and more similar. In principle, we could say that both serve exactly the same purpose and work with the same concept. And both are supported by an application store that complements the basic services they offer.
The fact that Android manages to stand out from the rest is due to some key circumstances. An operating system with the most open mind in all aspects. Its free software is one of its greatest assets. Access to the development of applications without the need for expensive licenses. And the possibility of having many more possibilities of configuration and customization. Supposedly, there will be nothing you can miss in Android from other operating systems.
If you are not a beginner, you may find this guide too basic. Although this was the real purpose of its creation. Help those who, due to circumstances, have not been able or willing to access new mobile technologies until now. Was our guide useful to you? We hope we have helped you to make your new smartphone as functional as possible. Now all that’s left is to enjoy the Android experience, good luck!
And if you have any doubts or if there’s something you don’t know how to do, leave us a comment and we’ll help you.