Top Android Tips and Tricks

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Mar 26, 2013 3:31:07 AM via Website

Introduction

The Android operating system has been developing fast since the release of Version 2.x (ranging from Eclair, Froyo to Gingerbread) for smartphones and Version 3 (Honeycomb) for tablets. It achieves another great milestone with the latest Version 4 (Ice Scream Sandwich or ICS), a universal system suitable for running on both smartphone and tablet devices.

If you’re using a smartphone running on the Android version 2.x, you will be familiar with the four hardware buttons—Back, Menu, Home and Search—to interact with the system. Borrowing the design built for the tablet, Google’s flagship smartphone Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.0 now has no hardware buttons on the front, not even one. These hardware buttons turn virtual, leaving only two physical buttons—Volume and Power—on the left and right sides of the device.

Like the screenshot, the three buttons Back, Home and Recent Apps often appear on a home screen and the Menu button only shows up when an app needs it. When you playback a video, the default media app hides all these onscreen buttons and takes up the whole screen area for your video. A pretty good idea.

If you’ve just got a new Android device running on Version 4.0, these tips and tricks might be of help to you. Some relevant information on older versions of Android is added for ease of reference where applicable.

Note: These tips and tricks work best with Android 4.0 on Galaxy Nexus. Some steps here may differ from your Android system if it is of a previous version or has been modified by the device supplier.

How to Switch between Open App

When running an app, you can minimize it by simply tapping the Home icon. Getting back to it is not just one click on the taskbar like the way you do in Windows. But the Android way is pretty straightforward too.

Tap the Recent Apps icon to reveal the apps that you recently opened. (Note 2)
Slide down to see more recent apps.
Tap a screenshot from the list to instantly switch to the app.
Note 1: You can clear the recent apps from the list by swiping them sideways one by one.

Note 2: On Android 2.x, touch and hold the Home button to reveal recent apps.

How to Close a Running App

The Android system doesn’t need you to close a running app for every instance. But in some cases you may need to force stop an app that’s misbehaving, or like playing a game, you may need to actually close the app in order to start a new level rather than continuing the last. Here are the steps to follow:

Run the Settings app and tap Apps under DEVICE.
Select the app you want to close.
Tap the ‘Force stop’ button and tap ‘OK’ to confirm.

How to Set and Clear a Default App

In Android, you can set a file to open with a certain program by default as you do in Windows. For example, if you have installed an image viewer such as QuickPic, the system will ask you to select an app when you try to open an image file (See the screenshot).

To set a default app to open the file, check ‘Use by default for this action’ before you tap that app.
The next time you tap an image file, it will always open with the app you’ve selected without asking you again.

What if you need to clear the default app?

Run the Settings app and tap Apps under DEVICE.
Choose the app you do not want to launch by default.
Tap ‘Clear defaults’ under LAUNCH BY DEFAULT.

How to Uninstall an App

Installing apps from the Google Play store to your Android device is convenient, likewise removing them is pretty straightforward.

Tap the All Apps icon on the tray and select the Apps tab on the top.
Touch and hold the icon of the app you want to uninstall.
Drag and drop the app icon over the Uninstall icon then tap ‘OK’ to confirm. (The Uninstall icon appears only for the app that can be uninstalled from the system.)
Alternatively, you can run the Settings app, tap Apps under DEVICE then select the app you want to uninstall from the list.

How to Add and Remove Icons from Home Screens

When you install an app, the system often adds an app icon on your home screen. This icon works as a shortcut to run the app. In case you need to manually add an app icon or a widget icon yourself, it’s pretty easy.

Tap the All Apps icon on the tray.
Select the Apps or Widgets tab on the top.
Touch and hold the icon you want to create a shortcut.
Drag and drop the icon on a home screen you like.
To remove an icon from your home screen:

Touch and hold the icon of apps, widgets or shortcuts until the Remove icon appears on the top.
Drag and drop the icon over the Remove icon.
Note: On Android 2.x, you can add a shortcut icon by touching and holding an empty location of a home screen or press Menu then tap ‘Add’; On Android 3.0, touch the customize button at the top right of a home screen to add a shortcut icon.


How to Re-arrange Icons

When you install new apps to your Android, the system stacks up the icons automatically without asking you to select a home screen. But you can subsequently re-arrange the icons on the home screens and on the tray.

Touch and hold any icon on your screen for a second.
Drag the icon to a different spot on the screen, or even to or from the tray, except for the permanent “All Apps” icon.
You can also drag an icon to the left or right edge of the screen until it starts sliding, then drop the icon to another screen.

How to Create, Rename and Remove Folders

Other than the apps on the tray, sometimes it’s difficult to quickly look for an app to open if you have many icons spreading across a few home screens. Why not create a folder to group similar apps together? It’s much easier than you might think.

Touch and hold any icon for a second.
Drag the icon over the top of another. The system then automatically groups two app icons in a folder.
Touch the folder, then tap “Unnamed Folder”, key in a name for the folder and tap “Done”.
You can rename a folder at any time—tap a folder then tap its name to rename.

While the system auto creates a folder for you, it does the same to removing a folder automatically—tap a folder to expand it, then clear all grouped items inside the folder—just touch and hold, then drag them out from the folder one by one.

Note: Older Android system doesn’t support this feature, but you can rely on a third-party app such as GO Launcher EX to achieve almost the same effect.

Source : 9android.net/top-android-tips-and-tricks/

— modified on Mar 28, 2013 5:27:59 AM