Introduction to Android phones & tablets
||These notes accompany a series of workshops given at
House. The Introduction to
Android phones and tablets
workshop is given in two parts. This is the first part - looking at
your Android device and becoming comfortable with the Android operating
system and standard apps. The second part
will help you learn to customize Android and suggest some worthwhile
apps to download and install.
Android is the most popular operating system in the world today (see: Nearly nine out of 10 smartphones shipped run on Android) - used by more people than Microsoft Windows, Apple's Macintosh or iOS. It's developed by Google and used by a variety of smartphone and tablet manufacturers for a huge variety of products. That's both a strength and a weakness - it's a strength because it means you can get a phone (or tablet) in a wide range of sizes - small, medium, large, extra-large, styles, price-points, with keyboards and without, etc. It's a weakness because there is a huge range of hardware and software versions - manufacturers and phone companies are free to customize Android as much as they want. This makes it difficult to distribute Android updates - even vital security updates; while a majority of Apple iPhone/iPad users are running either the latest iOS version or the previous one, Android users are running a wide range of versions - and even users of the same Android version will find that it looks and works differently on, say, a Samsung phone from one from HTC.
|Most Android devices offer
easy access to commonly-used settings - things you might want to get to
quickly, like turning Airplane Mode on or off, connecting to a WiFi
network, or more.
To get to the Quick Settings options, pull down from the top. You'll see notifications. On my older HTC Desire 510 phone, there's an icon in the top right above the notifications list - tap on it and you'll see the Quick Settings as shown to the left.
On my newer Nexus 5x phone, pull down from the top to show the notifications - then pull down again. This time you'll see the Quick Settings as shown to the right. (There are a couple of other options on a second page if I swipe from the right).
In both cases, you'll see options to adjust the screen brightness for more visibility in bringht sunlight or to save battery power. You can quickly turn WiFi on or off or connect to a different WiFi network. Turn the Bluetooth radio off - and leave it off unless you need it - it's just wasting battery power otherwise. Turn 'airplane mode' on when you board a plane and turn it off again when you land (maybe!). Disable auto-rotate if you find it annoying.
(For all these plus lots more settings, the Settings app offers lots of options - we'll look at that in detail in Part 2.)