Android Starters Guide

Discussion in 'Android' started by Dter ic, Apr 18, 2011.

Apr 18, 2011

Android Starters Guide by Dter ic at 11:50 AM (861 Views / 0 Likes) 1 replies

  1. Dter ic
    OP

    Member Dter ic ~

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,757
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    <div align='center'><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/158797/learner.jpg" title="Click to view full size" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/158797/learner.jpg" alt="User posted image" height="100" border="0" /></a></div>

    A beginners guide on Android, for those that have just recently purchased one.

    <b>Android? what the? </b>
    Android is the name of the OS for mobile deices originally developed by android.inc and later developed by
    google and the Open Handset Alliance. it has since then gained widespread popularity.

    <b>Versions</b>
    <!--sizeo:2--><span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->(it's history time)<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    There are a few different version of Android out there right now. They have a numeric tag and a name, based round desserts and incrementing alphabetically as they go -

    1.5 Cupcake – Found on very few handsets these days.

    1.6 Donut – Surprisingly, there are still some devices being released with this version on. I would recommend avoiding them though!

    2.0/2.1 Eclair – A revamped UI and Live Wallpapers were the big features released with this version. It’s found on many a large portion of devices right now.

    2.2 FroYo – The much awaited Adobe Flash update, made possible by the introduction of a new JIT compiler, which basically gives better results from CPU’s. Also introduced with this update is the ability to move apps to the SD card, freeing up space on the device as well as built in tethering (see explanation of this further down). At the time of writing, this is gradually being pushed out onto devices.

    2.3 Gingerbread – Not a huge amount of changes. A new keyboard, better power management. Some new stylings. (2.3 anyway).

    3.0 Honeycomb – Massive UI overhaul. Made specifically for Android tablets

    <b>Features</b>
    Android's main feature hast to be that it's customizable, Not only by changing wallpapers and colours, sounds and such, but even that most handsets can be ‘flashed’ with custom ROMs (the base OS with different alterations: examples including Cyanogen and MIUI)

    Widgets are another great feature. Android allows widgets to be added to homescreens by long pressing a blank bit of desktop (press your thumb on a blank bit of screen until a menu pops up). A widget can be a variety of sizes and will show data from an app and can often be operated without having to open the app itself. For example, there is a power control widget (found on top of the notification bar) where you press one button to turn on WiFi and another to turn off bluetooth. Another might simply be a clock, or a widget to show the weather forecast (or have both, like in HTC's sense widget)

    Because Android is now maintained by Google (mostly) Android comes with the ability to sync data (contacts, calenders, email and more) from your android phone to Google's servers. just in case if you happen to break your phone and have resorted to a new one, with sync, you can easily transfer data from Google's
    servers your your new phone.

    Another great feature is the Notification Bar, found along the top of your homescreen. Generally it will always have the time, phone cell strength, data connection type and battery indicator, but it also will have information from apps, such as e-mails, text messages, weather conditions and a variety of other information. This can usually be dragged down at anytime, to see what you’re being notified about.

    You can also change the ‘launcher’ very easily. The launcher is in essence the User Interface of your phone. It’s what the homescreens make up, what the widgets and shortcuts sit on and includes the app drawer. Some makes of phone come with a custom launcher such as Touchwiz, Motorblur or the best one being Sense UI that comes with many HTC Android devices. These are also available in the Market (see below) such as ADW Launcher and Launcher Pro, which is probably the best one available. These are a little advanced though and you’re perhaps better off looking more at these once you’re a more experienced Android user.

    homescreen overview

    <b>Market</b>
    Google's take on the "Apple app store" called market, a place to find new apps and games.

    To install an app, open the Market, browse or search for an interesting looking app and press on it. Then simply press to install. It will download and install itself. An icon will appear in your notification bar once it’s ready, you can press this to open the app.

    Should you decide to pay for an app, you will be charged through Google Checkout, which can be linked to your Credit Card. Once you’ve bought it, you have 24 hours 15 minutes to try the app or uninstall and get a refund if you don’t like it. If you keep it, it’s linked to you Google Account, so if you change phones, you just log in to your Google Account and you can download your paid for app again.

    There are alternatives to the Android Market, why would you want to use one? one reason could be that one market releases apps before the Official Market does.

    Amazon app store
    a recently opened store specializing in android apps. you need a amazon account to purchase apps

    GetJar
    Billing itself as "The world’s second largest app store with over 1 billion downloads to date, second only to the Apple App Store"
    the store spports Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile and was the first place where you could get the Android version of Angry Birds.

    Appbrain
    Rather than selling apps directly itself, AppBrain is an alternative way of browsing the official Android Market. Given that Google still doesn’t have a comprehensive way of searching the Market from a browser, AppBrain is incredibly useful for hunting down interesting apps on a larger screen

    Appsfire
    Like AppBrain, Appsfire doesn’t offer apps itself, instead acting as an alternative to the official Market.
    While available on the Web, Appsfire really comes into its own on your Android handset, offering smart app recommendations based on the apps you already have installed.


    <b>Data Connection</b>
    In your notification bar, if you’re not connected to a WiFi network, you should see a symbol indicating your data connection speed. It will be showing one of the following -
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    G – (GPRS or 2G). The slowest connection around these days. If you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you may be happy to get at least this. Top speed is 60 kbits per second, it's a good battery saver compared to H

    E – (Edge). A bit faster than G, able to get up to 470 kbits a second.

    3G – This is what you expect as a minimum these days. It’s fairly wide spread across the country with reportedly over 90% of the population covered by 3G now. With this connection you can realistically watch streaming TV on your mobile.

    H – (HSDPA or 3.5G) This is becoming more wide spread now, and gives speeds up to 7 meg a second, if you’re in a good area. In reality you’re more likely to get 2 to 3 meg a second, but this still means the latest Take That track will be on your phone in a matter of a couple of seconds.

    LTE – (Long Term Evolution or 4G) This is in testing right now, and I would expect it to start appearing on new devices in the new year. It boasts speeds in 3 figures (150 meg a second possibly). There are areas in the US using a 4G type connection, but the only phone capable of using it at this point is the HTC Evo 4G.

    Most phone plans come with a data package, usually 500 meg a month. It’s worth checking yours does, because data-as-you-go can get VERY expensive. an app like 3Gwatchdog can help track your data usage.

    <b>A few terms you may come across.</b>

    Rooting
    This is when a programmer/hacker manages to gain access to the root of his phone. It’s a little like having admin rights on your Windows PC, it lets you get to things that can potentially damage the way your phone works. Because of this it's rather dangerous, but at the same time it allows function like a terminal emulator to be used, or remove system applications that you may not use.

    Tethering
    Put simply, tethering is the ability to share your phone’s data connection to other devices, either via a USB cable or through WiFi. With the 2.2 update (or with certain apps on 2.1) it is possible to turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot.

    Fastboot
    Fastboot is a command line tool used to directly flash the filesystem in Android devices from a host via USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images custom ROM's and such

    ADB
    Android Debug Bridge (ADB) comes bundled with the Android SDK. It is a command-line tool used to communicate with and control the device over a USB link from a computer. It is commonly used for diagnosing problems with the device. Once you have ADB installed, you can use ADB to copy files to and from the device's internal memory, install apps, run commands, see logs and more.


    <b>Useful Links</b>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t284409-must-have-android-apps" target="_blank">Must have Android apps</a>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t285573-android-phone-user-tips" target="_blank">Android User Tips</a>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t262636-post-your-android-homescreen" target="_blank">Post your Android homescreen</a>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://www.xda-developers.com/" target="_blank">XDA-developers- ROM hacking and development</a>
     
  2. Vipa

    Newcomer Vipa Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Sticky?
     

Share This Page