Are you new in Android world? Do you just buy a brand new Android phone but don’t know how to use it? Do you accidentally lost your manual book? If the answer is yes, I suggest you read this guide first. In this article, we will teach you how to use Android phone for beginners. We know that Android phone interface is slightly different from one phone to other, but we will teach you how to use an android phone in general.
Below tutorial is quite a lot, you don’t have to read it all at once. We suggest you to bookmark this page or write this short address: http://goo.gl/i32Gn and save it in case you need more reference in the future.
Before we begin, we need to inform you that in order to use all Android features, for example to access Android Market (Google Play Store), you need to have a Google (Gmail) account and sign in with it. Here is step by step to integrate your account with the device:
- Make sure you have an active internet connection. If you can use the browser, then you’re OK
- How to set the Google Account:
- from the main screen, press the MENU button
- Click Settings
- Click Accounts & Sync
- Click Add Account > Click Google > Click Next
- If you already have an Google or Gmail Account, choose Sign In > fill your username and password
- If don’t have Google Account, click “Create” then fill the required data > Click next
If you face a problem to create a Google Account using your phone or tablet, you can create it using desktop computer by visiting www.google.com/mail then click “Create an account” > fill the required data.
After you create the account, then you just have to sign in via Settings as above tutorial or you can open Android Market (Google Play Store) application then it will ask you to enter your username and password.
- Remember, if necessary write down your username and password because this is important
- It’s not easy to change the account that already integrated with the Android phone or tablet. Normally you have to reset your device to remove or change the account. Resetting the device means erasing all data and downloaded application. So, be wise selecting the account that you want to integrate with the phone.
Now, here’s the info how to use your Android phone or tablet:
1. First off all, let us teach you How to Unlock Screen
What you need to do is touch the “lock icon” then drags the icon to (usually) to the right until the phone is unlocked.
2. How to Lock Screen or Phone
Simply press the power button, and the screen will turn off and the phone will be automatically locked. Note: don’t hold the power button too long or your phone will shutdown.
3. How to Use Android Phone – The Button Function
To operate Android device, besides using the touch screen, the manufacturer will provide at least three additional buttons that usually located below the screen. Those three buttons is the “Menu” button, “Home” button and “Back” button. The sequence of button placement could have been different from one phone to another. Below is a picture of button placement in Samsung Galaxy Mini.
“Menu” button have a function to display additional options from any activities conducted. For example, when you are in the home screen or main screen, when you press the menu button, it will show the popup menu and show additional selection such as setting, wallpaper, notifications, etc.
“Home” button is useful to take you to the home screen or back to the main screen.
“Back” button allows you to cancel the command or return to the previous menu.
4. How to Use Android – The Notification Panel
Every time there is a new SMS, E-mail, or any instant notifications from social site will be informed through the notification panel. It also have a function to show the information about ongoing transfer or download, give information if there is something wrong with your phone and many more. Basically the panel shows information about your phone that needs your attention. To open the notification panel, you should touch and hold the top of the screen (it’s the part where shows the signal strength, battery status, etc) then drag the panel downward until it’s open. In some type of Android phone, you can open the notification panel by touching the Home button, then “Menu” button, after that select “Notifications”.
5. How to Use the Android Phone – Changing Default Language
To change the language on Android Phone, what you have to do is go to main screen by touch the “Home” button, then touch “Menu” button after that select “Settings” then select “Language & Keyboard” then you can change language by selecting “Select language” or in some type of phone, you can click “Select Locale”.
6. How to set Android screen Brightness
Press the HOME button> press the MENU button> click Settings > Click Display > Brightness > set the desired brightness level. If your Android mobile phone has a light sensor, you can set the device so it can automatically change the brightness level based on surround light intensity. To do this, give a check mark on “Automatic Brightness”.
7. How to Make a Call Using Android Phone
To mak.e a call, you should touch the “phone handle” icon on the main screen, then touch the number you wish to dial, after that you should touch the call button which is usually have a green background.
To make a call through the phone book, what you have to do is go to the phone book or contacts application and then if your phone already shows the search form, you just have to type the person name that you want to call. If you can’t see the search form, what you have to do is touch the “Menu” Button and then select “Search”.
8. How to Receive Calls
To receive a phone call, it is almost same like to unlock screen. You have to touch the “Phone Handle” icon or the “Answer Call” then drag it to the (usually) right when there is incoming call.
9. How to Turn Off the Ongoing Phone Calls
Many Android phones are not equipped with a dedicated button to end the call. So, to hang up the phone, you need to touch the “End call” icon (usually with red background) on the screen. If you can’t find or see the “end call” icon, you should drag down the notification panel first. If the screen turns off, you need to touch the “Home” button first to turn screen on.
10. How to Sign In to Google Account(s)
To be able to use all the features on the Android phone or tablet, the user is required to have and signing into their Google account.
To sign in to the Google account, what you have to do is press the HOME button> press the MENU button > Click select Settings > Click Accounts & Sync > Add account > after that follow the instruction given on the screen. If you do not already have a Google account, you can also directly add a new one through this menu.
If you have a trouble registering a new Google account, it is advisable to register using computer first. You can create the account through Google owned service, such as gmail.com. After you create your Gmail (Google) Account, then you can try sign in again on your Android phone or tablet.
11. How to Activate Android Application
To activate Android apps, what you need to do is press the “App drawer” icon and then you just have to select and touch the application that you want to activate.
12. How To Turn Off Android Application – Is It Necessary To Turn Off Android Application?
If you can’t see the exit button on Android application, sometimes you need to press “Menu” button first to see it, even sometime you need to select “more” menu on application to find the exit choice.
Some Android application doesn’t have the exit button. If you already finish using the apps, what you have to do is only press the “Home” button that will take you back to the main screen and the Application will run in Background.
Some of you will say, if I keep application running on background, will it consume phone energy / battery and slowing down the performance? The answer is most of Android application won’t consume your battery or slow down the performance if you let them run in background. Not like some other operating system (OS), Android OS will automatically turn off unneeded application when they consider necessary.
If you understand a computer a little bit, Android OS will freeing the RAM (Random Access Memory) by shutting down unneeded application if some other applications need more RAM. It is done automatically so you don’t have to worry about managing RAM. That is why, many Android application doesn’t have the exit button or pretty tricky to find it. It’s because it’s not too necessary to turn off the apps.
For further information about this topic, you can read:
13. How to Use Android Phone – How to Put My Favorite Application Icon on the Main Screen
To put the favorite or frequently used application icon shortcut on the screen, what you have to do is go to the Application Drawer (the list of your application) by touching “App drawer” icon on the main screen, then touch AND HOLD your favorite application, don’t lift your finger until the display change to the main screen then you can release your finger. If you want to adjust the position of the application icon, you just simply touch and hold the icon then drag it to the desired position.
14. How to Activate Android Widget one the Main Screen
What is Android Widget? It is some kind of application that can be placed on the main screen of your Android tablet or phone just like application shortcut icon. The difference between widget and application shortcut is the widget can interact with the user input or it can change look (it’s animated).
In Addition, not all widget application can be found on the App Drawer (application list). So to be able to use this application, you must activate it through the main screen. Some examples of widgets are the Facebook widget that can show the last status of your friends or APN On-Off Widget that have a function to turn on and off internet connection easily.
To activate the widget, what you have to do is touch the HOME button > at the main screen TOUCH AND HOLD the screen for several seconds > click widgets > choose the widget that you want to activate.
15. How to Remove Unwanted Icons from the Main Screen
To remove an application icon from the main screen you have to do is touch and hold (don’t lift your finger) one the application icon, then when the icon “float” you just have to drag it to the trash can. It will only remove the icon from main screen and it won’t uninstall the program. You can still find the application in the app drawer.
16. How to Use MP3 as Ringtone on Android
For complete tutorial, you can read: How to Set MP3 Ringtone in Android Click here
17. How to activate and connect to internet using wi-fi
To activate Wi-Fi, go to the main screen by pressing the HOME button> press the MENU button > Click Settings> select Wireless & Networks > give a check mark on the “Wi-Fi”
In some types of Android phones, there is a power control Widget that can be use to make it easier for the user to enable or disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. To activate or to make sure if your phone or tablet has the widget, what you have to do is touch the HOME button > you will be taken to the main screen > Touch and Hold at the main screen > click Widget > find the “Power Control” widget.
Here’s how to connect to the internet via wi-fi network on Android phone: Go to Settings> Click Wireless & Networks> Click Wi-Fi settings> Click on “Wi-Fi” to activate it> Wait for a few moments so the Android device can detect all active Wi-Fi connection> Select the Wi-Fi network you want to use> If prompted to enter the password, then you must enter the correct one (case sensitive). If you don’t know the password, you can ask to the owner or administrator of wifi network.
18. How to use USB and Wi-Fi Tether (Portable Hotspot) on Android Phone
This method is only applicable to Android phone or tablets that already using Android 2.2 (Froyo) upwards. If your device still using operating system Android 2.1 downwards, you can still enable this feature, but you must root your Android device first.
How to use wifi tether on Android (how to make an Android phone as a “modem” via wi-fi:
- Go to the Settings
- Click Wireless & Network
- Click Tethering & Portable Hotspot
- Give a check mark on “Portable Wi-Fi Hot Spot”. In some type of Android phone, it’s written “Mobile AP”.
- If you want to set a password so unauthorized device can’t using your internet connection via wifi, you can click “Portable Wi-Fi hotspot Settings” > Click “Configure Wi-Fi hotspot” > Choose the security method you want to use and choose the password you want to use > Click Save.
- Now you just have to activate the wifi on the other device(s) and follow the instruction to connect using wi-fi.
How to make Android mobile phone as a modem using a USB connection:
- Make sure you already have a data cable that compatible with your Android phone or tablet
- Make sure you already install the necessary driver on your computer (the Driver CD usually included in the sales package)
- Connect your Android phone to a computer using a data cable, wait until computer detect your phone or tablet
- Go to Settings
- Click Wireless & Network
- Click Tethering & Portable Hotspot
- Give a check mark on “USB Tethering”
- Wait a minute until your computer connected to the internet
- That’s it
19. How to Activate Bluetooth
To activate Bluetooth, what you have to do is go to the main screen by pressing the “home” button and then press the “menu” button then select settings, after that choose “Wireless & Networks”. Then you can enabled or disabled Bluetooth by check or uncheck the Bluetooth options.
20. How to Use an Android Phone – How to Send Files via Bluetooth
To be able to send files such as Pictures, Videos, etc., what you have to do is go to the Gallery or the location where your personal files are located, then touch “share” icon (sometimes you have to press the “menu” button first to find “share” menu), after that select Bluetooth. Android phone will automatically find other device and you should wait for a moment. After other device listed on the screen, you just have to touch the device name to start the transfer.
Some of the Android phone users say that there are types of files that cannot be transferred via Bluetooth, for examples music files. Well, if the music files is the protected files or is the system files, then this condition might be true. But for others, you can transfer it using file manager application. If you don’t have file manager application, you can download it free from Android market. To send the files, is almost same like when using phone gallery, you just have to locate and select the file and then choose menu “share” or “send”.
21. How to Use the Android Phone – How to Receive Files via Bluetooth
Some people think that their Android phone can’t receive files via Bluetooth and they are assuming that there is a problem with their phone or the phone is defect. That condition is not always true, to be able to receive files via Bluetooth for the first time, beside you have to activate the Bluetooth, you may also have to make your phone Visible or discoverable.
What you have to do is go to the main screen by pressing “home” button and then press the “menu” button then select “settings” , then select “Wireless & Networks” then select “Bluetooth Settings”, after that tick the option “Discoverable”. Your Android phone will be detected by other devices for some time. Sometimes you need to pair your phone with the other devices. If it ask a pair code, you can fill the code with any number you like for example 1234 as long as you insert same code on both device (your phone and the sender).
For further information about Android Bluetooth Transfer, you can read this article:
23. How to enable and disable background data and auto synchronization on Android
For further information, you can read this article (click)
24. How to Install Android Applications
Actually there are several ways to install Android Applications, but the easiest and the safest way to install the apps is by visiting Android Market using your android phone, choose the applications that you like then touch the Install button. Most of Android Application is free but data charge may apply.
25. How to Use Android – How to Uninstall Android Applications
To uninstall Android application from your phone, what you have to do is go to the main screen by pressing the “home” button and then press the “menu” button then select “Settings”, select “Applications”, select “Manage Applications”, wait for a little bit while the application list is loading, then you can select the application you want to delete by touching the application name and select “Uninstall”.
26. How to Move Android Applications to SD Card
If your tablet or phone using Operating system Android 2.2 (Froyo) or newer, you can transfer games or apps to SD card. Here’s how to do it:
- Press the HOME button
- Press the MENU button
- Click Settings
- Click Applications
- Click Manage Applications
- Find and Click the application you want to move to SD card
- Click Move to SD card
If you use Android operating system Eclair (2.1) or earlier, then this feature is unavailable. However, you can still move the Android application to SD card by rooting your phone and then install additional applications, such as Link2sd.
In fact, even though you already use Android 2.2 Froyo upwards, some applications still can’t be moved to SD card. To force this application so it can be move to SD card, you must root your phone then install third party application such as link2sd or Move2SD enabler.
27. How to Enable / Disable GPS or A-GPS on Android Phone and Tablet
Here’s how to turn on or off GPS on Android phone:
- Go to Settings
- Click Location & Security
- To enable the GPS, Give a check mark on “Use GPS Satellites”
A-GPS or Assisted GPS is a feature to make GPS locking faster. It will use a little bit data connection because A-GPS is basically using cellular phone tower position to determine your current location.
It’s better if you don’t turn off this feature because it quite handy and it only use data connection when you start the GPS. If the GPS already successfully locked the satellite, it will be no longer use data connection.
However, if you still want to turn it of, it can be done through the:
- Click Location & Security
- on the “Use Assisted GPS” word, don’t give a check mark on it or leave it blank. If you can’t find “Assisted GPS”, find “Use Wireless Networks” word.
28. How to Factory (Hard) Reset on Android phones and Tablet
Factory reset will erase all data and applications stored on the Android phone or tablet. After you do the factory reset, your phone software will become just like-new condition when you purchased it.
Factory reset is required when you want to sell your cell phone or you want to give it to someone else. This feature also useful to fix problems on your Android device that caused by software, for example if you feel your phone or tablet become slower than it used to be. People sometimes called factory reset as a hard reset.
You should backup all your important data and application before doing the factory reset. Here’s how to do Factory reset on Android Phone:
- Go to Settings
- Click Privacy
- Click Factory data reset
If because of some condition, you can’t get into phone menu, you can still do factory reset through the Android recovery mode. For further information about this topic, you can read article:
29. How to change Android Theme
For further information, you can read article: “How to Change Android Theme and Icon Tutorial”
30. How to Backup Android Application
If you want to do a factory reset or you want to buy a new Android phone but you don’t want to re-download all your current applications and games, then you should do a backup first. For a complete tutorial, please read: “How to backup Android Applications”
31. How to Backup Contact on Android phone
You can backup your contacts include with the details (phone number, fax number, email, notes, etc). You can backup to SD card first then after that you can transfer to other device or you can save it on the computer.
Here’s how to backup Android Contact:
- Open your phone book or contacts application (In some Phone it called “people”)
- Press the MENU button
- Click Import / Export
- Click Export to SD Card
32. How to close an Android application
If you can’t find the exit button to turn off Android application, try pressing the MENU button first then find the Exit button. If you still can’t find it, maybe the app is doesn’t have the exit button. However, you can still turn off the applications using Android task manager or using task killer application.
The truth is Android application is not necessary to turned off. After you use the apps, you can simply press the HOME button and the application will run in the background. It will not burden the system or slowing down your phone or tablet performance as long as it’s not using the CPU (Processor).
Related article: don’t use automatic Android Task Killer click here
33. How to use Android file manager
If you still confuse how to copy paste file from one folder to another in your Android device or to transfer file between your Android and computer, you can read: How to copy, paste, move file and manage file on your Android device click here.
34. How to save Android battery
For further information, read: How to save Android battery effectively using applications or not click here.