10 tips for getting started with Android
Jump straight in with your new Android tablet or phone.
Just got a Hudl or a new Google Nexus 7? Here’s the Android knowledge you need to get the most from your new tablet.
1. Get on a wireless network
Unless your Android device is connected to a wireless network, and ultimately the internet, you’re going to find it difficult to do too much with it.
Web browsing, social networks, apps, games, streaming media and more are all dependant on a wi-fi connection.
You’ll need to know the router name of your wireless hub called the SSID, the password/passkey or have access to its one-press connect WPS button.
On your Android device tap the App Drawer button that usually sits in the middle of the bottom dock, tap Settings then tap Wi-Fi in the left-hand list, this should already be set to On.
A list of wireless networks will appear on the right. Tap the one that is yours, enter the password and tap Connect. After a few seconds your Android device should be connected.
2. Add apps to the home screen
One of the easiest changes is adding shortcuts for your favourite apps to one of the main home screens.
It’s easy once you know how: tap the App Drawer button that usually sits in the middle of the bottom dock.
To add an app to the home screen just tap and hold the app you’d like to add, the home screen will appear and you will be able to move it around to where you want it.
Afterwards you can tap and hold to move it around again or delete it.
3. Get a Google Account
On your Android device tap the App Drawer button that usually sits in the middle of the bottom dock, tap Settings.
Depending on your version of Android either tap the Account entry on the left then Add, or tap the + Add account entry that’s listed under the Accounts section.
4. Try the Google Play Store
The Google Android store is called the Play Store and now you have a Google Account you can access it. Tap the shopping bag shaped icon on the home screen or in your App Drawer.
Currently you’ll only be able to download free apps, that’s not a bad thing as there are loads of them, see the next step for one.
5. Install an app
We’re going to suggest Google Gmail simply as it offers a good email client that automatically can tie in with your Google Account, and it’s free.
6. Get some Android games
Everyone loves playing the odd game and Android has a ton of free and full-priced games to choose from. We’ve created a top 5 free Android games list for you here.
7. Enjoy your music collection
Everyone loves music and you can get your entire digital music collection online and streaming, or stored on your new Android device.
This is using a free Google service called Google Play Music that has launched in the UK and US.
It means we can all upload 20,000 songs then enjoy them streamed to all your Android devices or anything that’s running a web browser.
We show you how to use this in the feature How to get started with music on Google Play.
8. Keep your Android device secure
Android provides a host of ways to keep your device secure. Open Settings > Lock Screen and choose from a PIN, password, face recognition and drawing an on-screen pattern.
So if you lose your device, it’s stolen, or if you just leave it lying around random people can’t just send emails, look up your calendar or worse.
9. Add a new Android wallpaper
There are a couple of ways of doing this task, but the easiest is to tap and hold on a blank area of the homepage.
After about a second a new menu will appear for you to choose the Wallpaper option and see a selection of pre-loaded wallpapers.
These are great as they’ve been created specifically as wallpapers for your device, so will fit and look perfect.
Scroll through the list and when you find one you like tap the Set wallpaper button and you’re done.
10. Stream video to your Android device
Entertainment on the move is the equivalent of taking a book with you in your bag, but instead of being stuck with just the static written word to keep you happy Android phones and tablets can handle a whole lot more.
A world of digital entertainment in fact, follow our guide for getting started on Blinkbox.
You might also like to read:
- Tesco Technology & Entertainment magazine now on Android and iOS
- Introducing… the Tesco Hudl tablet
- Improve your Google Nexus 7 battery life
- Five of the best keyboards for Android
- Essential apps for university