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Android Phones - How to Get Started

Have you just purchased an Android phone, but finding it a little bit tricky to use? Follow these tips on how to get started with your android operated phone now.

Getting Started:

Before you start using your Android device for the first time you will have to set up a Google account. The account will get you started and allow you to download apps from the Android Market through Google Checkout and pay for the apps using the account.

When you enter your Gmail address into your phone, it also pulls contact information from your address book, so you are ready to start emailing people from your Android phone from the word go.

Security Options and Pattern recognition

For security reasons all Smartphones are pin enabled to unlock your screen before you can use your phone. For example the iPhone requires a 4-digit PIN style number to unlock the phone, Android phones have a similar system but it is a three by three grid of dots instead of a numerical pad. To unlock your phone, you have to connect four of the dots with your finger. Find ‘settings’ on your menu screen and click ‘require pattern’ to activate this function.

Getting started with the menu

The main menu consists of three or more home screens onto which you can drag and drop shortcuts from a larger sub-menu. It is essential that you are able to access your contacts and the numeric keypad for dialling and messaging for emails and texts, which is where the shortcuts come in useful. It is recommended you have these things on the central main page, as it is the first one you will come to whenever you turn your phone on.

Downloading apps and software to Android

As soon as you are familiar with the main menu, it will be easier for you to get started with downloading some applications from the Android Market web link. You can search for apps manually, by browsing categories such as communication, entertainment, news and weather just to name some of the applications that might come in handy on your phone.

You can also just pick from a list of the most popular applications. The top three applications that Android users have downloaded the most since their launch are: The Weather Channel and Facebook for Android.

Typing Messages

The Android phone tends to want to correct anything you type, either a text message or an email just like a spell checker function on your computer. While this is useful, as it cuts down on errors, it is a function that might get in the way of your communication, so it is one to keep a close eye on, and you are able to add specific words to the phones dictionary to avoid continued attempts by your phone to correct your typing.

Other apps

There are plenty of applications that can help you enjoy using your Android phone. Many Android phones have a high speed wireless GPS connection and if you are a music fan, the Android market offers apps such as Pandora radio app which allows you to save your favourite artist or song for Pandora to create the ideal station for you. If you choose to skip a song that you do not like, the program will automatically change the music genre to create the most suitable radio station for you.

Other popular apps include social networking apps such as Twitter and Foursquare, which will allow you to keep up to date with the latest news and gossip and track your locations using the phone’s GPS system.


Like all new operating systems Android phones can take a little bit of time to get to grips with, but in all honesty, they are fairly straightforward to use, offering similar functionality to other devices you would have used in the past. With access to a growing list of available applications, it’s little wonder than more than half of the top ten smartphones in South Africa now operate off Android.

This break down guide of how to use your Android phone will better get you connected and allow to use your phone with great ease.

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