If you were lucky enough to receive a new Android smartphone or tablet this year, we have some tips to make your experience easier. We hope you are able to enjoy one the top ten best hottest coolest smartphones of 2011 or maybe the sold-out Transformer Prime or Kindle Fire.
No matter what you've got, smartphones and tablets are so complicated nowadays that there usually is a learning curve to get up to speed. In fact, we know intelligent people with PhD's who have told us that the latest devices take time to master.
1. Take Your Time. Learning how to set up and use your smartphone or tablet can be overwhelming.
2. Read Quick-Starts, Tips and Guides & Watch Videos. Most devices come with a Quick Start Guide. We know you want to get everything working right away, but we suggest that you read the Quick Start Guide. Makers of the smartphones/tablets, such as HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG offer support forums and videos for getting started. Here are some of our favorite new user tips articles:
- Galaxy Nexus owners should be aware of the new features in Android Ice Cream Sandwich (see all features in 4.0 Primer).
- Droid RAZR how-to videos.
- Don't be intimidated by the fact that a lizard and frog can play Android games.
- Motorola Xoom tablet tips.
3 .Back Up Data. Before you do anything with data, your contacts or email, back it up. With Android-based devices, you may also want to edit your contacts in Google Voice and Gmail because all those contacts will be imported into your Android phone. You will then have to scroll through all those names to find your "real friends."
4. Breathe and Relax. This could be a daunting task. If you relax and realize that your ultimate purpose is to make your life easier, don't pressure yourself, and it should be a little easier. Keep in mind why you need the device in the first place. When you look at your objectives, they will guide your processes.
5. Think Before You Social Sync. HTC Sense, MotoBlur (or social apps on Motorola Droid phones) and Social Hub on Samsung Galaxy SII phones all have ways to bring social media together and sync in some form. Before you unify all your contacts on your new phone, you should consider if you want to know what's going on every few minutes with all your two hundred Facebook friends. In Android phones and tablets, you can set, if you want, all your feeds checked constantly in the background, which of course drains the battery. If you want longer battery life, shut off background data synching.
6. Keep Your Old Phone or Tablet For a While. If you are with a GSM carrier, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, you can swap the SIM card from your old phone. If anything goes wrong you need to call tech support. All the carriers offer phone support. Also you may forget to copy contact or data from your old device.
7. Get a Live Demo. Many stores offer classes. Check at your carrier's store or call for an appointment to be shown how to use your smartphone or tablet. This will save you time in the long run.
8. Save Your Boxes, Invoices & Packaging. The boxes and packaging are often needed for shipping and returns. They also have connectors and wires that you may forget. Keep the packaging in a safe place, just in case.
9. You Always Get a Second/Third Chance. If you can't master your smartphone or don't like it for any reason, most carriers allow for a 14-day return period, which is often extended over the holiday season. Verizon extended its return time for smartphones bought after November 15 until January 15, with a $35 restocking fee. Returns require the original packaging and invoices. You can check out Wireless and Mobile News Review of Reviews to help decide what model your next phone will be.
10. Find Help When You Need It. Wireless and Mobile News is dedicated to helping our readers with news, reviews and articles so that you have the best wireless experiences. You are welcome to search our site and send us feedback on our Facebook wall with suggestions. We often prerelease information, such as texting research on Facebook because we like it when you "like" us.