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Android basics

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Android_robot.svgUnless you have an Apple iPhone, odds are that you have a smartphone that runs on the Android OS (operating system). If you’re not familiar with Android, this handy tutorial will get you up and running in no time.

There are several brands of phones that use Android OS, such as Samsung and HTC. Both of these brands use the Android OS a little differently, but we’re going to cover the basics that should get you started no matter which phone you have.

First stop: the power button, which, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, turns the device off and on. You can usually find this at the top of the device, and all you have to do is press the button for a few seconds to turn the phone off or on.

Locking your screen might seem like a hassle, but it’s one of the simplest things you can do to protect the information you store on your phone. You can lock your screen by pressing the power button lightly – holding it too firmly will power the phone down. When you’re ready to unlock your phone, just touch the power button lightly again and a Lock icon will appear on the screen. Follow the instructions on screen to unlock your phone.

Volume controls are on the side of the phone, and you can use these to adjust the ringtone/text message loudness, or volume of videos you watch, among other things.

The Home button can be found at the bottom of your phone and is usually an image of a house. Tapping it will take you back to your main (home) screen. If you press and hold the ‘Home’ button, a window pops open with your most recently used apps listed. This will help you get back to your favorite widgets quickly.

The  Back button is the one that has an arrow pointing to the left, and it will take you to where you just were, much like the back button on your internet browser.

A Menu button, which looks like a list, allows you different options within any widget you use.

The Search button isn’t on every Android device, but it’s pretty self-explanatory and is shaped like a magnifying glass. It will help you find applications and webpages.

Want to make a phone call? Press the blue phone on the bottom of the home screen. Once this opens up, press the grey phone button on top left of the screen, dial the number you want to call, and press the big phone button in the bottom middle of your screen.

To send a text message, tap the message button, usually found in the apps dock. Once the message inbox is open, tap the white box with the plus sign, enter your contact’s name or manually enter the phone number of the person you want to text, tap “type Message”, write your message, and tap the gray airplane button next to the message field.

This basic overview is all you really need to know to start using your Android OS smartphone. Want to learn more? Make sure you check out our Smartphone U YouTube channel for more helpful tips & tricks!


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