Top 10 android setup tasks for a new android user

In any case, the Android set up tips after the break should help you kickstart any shiny new android phone including the Droid family, Evo 4G, Galaxy S or other Motorola, Samsung and HTC android phones.

  1. Import contacts:
    • Export contacts to CSV, import to Gmail contacts. After that,
    • Sign in to your phone with your Google account, if you haven’t done that yet.
    • Browse to Contacts>Settings>Display options>Select “Only contacts with phones”, and also Google>Manually select all groups. Then sync.
    • While you are at it, use the Email app to setup your school/office email and install Gtasks to sync your todo lists with Google tasks. Use IMAP or Exchange settins to ensure that email read status is synced to your phone too.
  2. Facebook and Twitter:
    • Install the Facebook and Twitter apps.
    • Select to import data on your existing contacts. Pictures and other address data are the automagically added to your contacts.
    • Set Facebook and Twitter to update once every 4 hrs to prevent your friends from draining your battery. The Facebook sync setting could be in Contacts>Settings>Accounts or in the app itself
  3. Home screen:
    • Install ADW launcher to get a better home screen.
    • Select ADW launcher to open by default when the Home button is pressed.
    • Set the number of screens to 3 and apps to scroll vertically. Thats feels a lot better on the Galaxy S phones.
    • Set desktop rows to 5. Theres a lot more screenspace on large screen phones.
    • Select fade app labels for some nice animation.
    • If you want to reset the launcher for any reason, browse to Settings>Manage apps>ADW launcher> Reset defaults.
  4. Home screen widgets:
    • Install Beautiful widgets, one of the best Time and Weather widgets.
    • Try out some clock skins and pick the one you like.
    • Tap on Time to open alarm, Date to open calendar and Weather to open a nice animated weather widget.
    • Galaxy S phones have the WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 4G, enable/disable buttons in the notification area, but you might want to place Power Control, an android standard widget, on your home screen and have better control over your battery.
    • While disabling the GPS, enable Geo location using WiFi to retrieve current location without sacrificing battery power.
  5. Get your phone back if you loose it:
    • Install Contact Owner.
    • Enable the security pattern in settings,
    • Setup Google Voice if needed
    • Add your email and the Google Voice number to your contact. You can use a friends number instead too.
    • Get Contact Owner to show your email and the phone number on the password screen, so the finder can reach you to give back the phone.
    • Also, enable Latitude in maps to track the location of your phone.
  6. Find your background:
    • Download a backgrounds app
    • Stylems Backgrounds shows a list of nice backgrounds, one of the oldest in the market.
    • Floating Image lets you set your background in style, while images float away.
    • Look at Flickr Interesting photos too.
  7. Change phone settings automatically:
    • Install Timerrific
    • There are apps that use GPS or phone battery levels to change settings automatically, like Tasker and Power Manager
    • Timerrific is better though. It changes settings based on time/day and is nice to the battery.
    • Now you can set the phone to vibrate at office/school and turn off WiFi when not at home.
    • While you are at it, install No Signal Alert, so you don’t miss important calls. Your phone will let you know if it looses signal.
  8. Don’t type, scan:
    • Install the Barcode Scanner app
    • Scan any barcodes you see on the web or elsewhere using Barcode Scanner.
    • The app works on Google Product Search too, all you have to do is browse to it on you phone and click on the “Scan Barcode” button. Now you can compare prices on the go.
    • If you have Android 2.2, the Chrome to Phone extension is very nice too.
  9. Other must have Apps:
    • Music, News and TV apps are always a must.
    • Pandora, Slacker radio or Last.FM: Free personalized radio
    • NYtimes: Award-winning journalism of The New York Times
    • NPR: Listen to NPR shows
    • TV shows from CBS, The CW, CNET, ET, Showtime, CBS News, CBS Sports and much more!
  10. Last but not the least change your ringtone:
    • Android comes with some nice ones, you can create your own too.
    • Install Ringdroid. Copy any MP3 to your SD card to edit and set it as your Ringtone.
    • You can assign a specific ringtone to a contact too.

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