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Android Tips and Tricks

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Android Tips and Tricks

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Description

  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 544
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5385-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5385-4

Covers All Android™ Smartphones and Tablets Running Android 4.4 (KitKat®) or 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
 
Unlock the Power of Your Android™ Smartphone or Tablet

Discover hundreds of tips and tricks you can use right away with your Android device to get more done, and have more fun.

You’ll learn how to use your Android smartphone or tablet as a powerful communication, organization, and productivity tool as well as a feature-packed entertainment device. You will dig deep into the settings and capabilities of both Android itself and the preinstalled apps, developing the knowledge and skills to exploit them to the fullest.

Easy to understand and non-technical, Android Tips and Tricks is perfect for beginners–and for more experienced users ready to get more productive or move to newer devices. It covers all new and recent Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4 (KitKat®) or 4.3 (Jelly Bean)–with bonus coverage of today’s top Android “skins”: Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense.

Here’s just a sampling of what this book’s tips, tricks, and strategies will help you do:

  •    Connect to wireless and cellular networks, keyboards and Bluetooth devices, and even VPNs

  •    Transform your device into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, and share Internet connections via USB or Bluetooth

  •    Secure Android with screen and SIM locks, location settings, and encryption

  •    Sideload apps from any source and keep bad apps from loading

  •    Take Gmail to pro level with signatures, vacation responders, labels, archiving, advanced search, and secure two-step verification

  •    Manage multiple email accounts together: POP, IMAP, web mail, and Exchange

  •    Get more out of your Google Chrome browser, and share bookmarks across all your devices

  •    Chat via text, audio, or video on Google Hangouts–and customize it to work just the way you want

  •    Enjoy your music everywhere, whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud

  •    Easily capture, edit, and share top-quality photos and videos

  •    Transform your smartphone or tablet into a total social networking hub

  •    Squeeze more battery life from any Android device

Guy Hart-Davis  is the co-author of My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and My HTC One, and the author or lead author of nearly 100 computer books.


Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Getting Up to Speed with Your Android Device

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Getting Up to Speed ........................................................................................................ 1
Identifying Your Device’s Android Version and its Skin ..................................15
     Understanding Android Version Numbers and Names ......................................16
     Finding Out Which Android Version Your Device Is Running ..................................16
     Establishing Whether Your Device Is Using a Skin ........................................17

Setting Different Volume Levels for Different Audio Sources...................................19

Managing Your Notifications...................................................................................20

    Responding to a Notification ..............................................................................20

    Turning the Notification Light On or Off ...............................................................22

    Turning Off Notifications for an App ......................................................................22

    Clearing Repeat Notifications .................................................................................22

Entering Text ...........................................................................................................24

    Using the Keyboard and Spelling Correction .............................................................24

    Entering Text Using a Hardware Keyboard.................................................................29

    Entering Text Using Dictation...................................................................................31

    Entering Emoji .............................................................................................................33

    Using Alternative Keyboards ................................................................................33

Setting Up a Tablet for Multiple Users ...............................................................34

    Creating a User Account .......................................................................................34

    Creating a Restricted Profile ..................................................................................37

    Switching Among User Accounts and Profiles .........................................................38

    Deleting a User Account or Restricted Profile ..............................................................39

    Understanding and Avoiding Problems ................................................................39

Getting the Best Battery Performance .....................................................................40

    Identifying Power Hogs .................................................................................................40

    Eking Out Battery Life ...............................................................................................43

    Recharging Secrets.......................................................................................................45

Managing Files and Storage ..........................................................................................47

    Adding an SD Card ....................................................................................................48

    Choosing a File Manager ............................................................................................51

    Checking Free Space and Seeing What’s Taking Up Space ......................................52

    Recovering Space .........................................................................................................54

2 Syncing Your Device ............................................................................................. 59

Understanding Your Options for Syncing Your Device...............................................60

    Choosing the Right Sync App ......................................................................................60

Getting and Installing Your Sync App ..........................................................................62

    Installing a Sync App on Windows .......................................................................62

    Choosing What Happens When You Connect Your Device to Windows ........................64

    Installing Android File Transfer on OS X...................................................................65

Using Your Sync App ..............................................................................................67

    Using Sync Apps on Windows .....................................................................................67

    Using Android File Transfer on OS X.......................................................................70

Loading Files on Your Device ...........................................................................................71

Updating, Backing Up, and Restoring Your Device ..............................................72

    Keeping Your Device Updated..................................................................................73

    Backing Up Your Device ...........................................................................................76

    Restoring Your Device ...................................................................................................79

Setting Up and Using Remote Lock and Wiping...............................................81

    Setting Up Remote Find and Wiping .....................................................................82

    Remotely Locking and Wiping Your Device..................................................83

3 Customizing Your Device ....................................................................... 87

Setting Up Your Home Screens ...............................................................................87

    Adding and Removing Home Screens ................................................................88

    Adding Apps to Your Home Screens ........................................................................89

    Adding Widgets to Your Home Screens .................................................................89

    Adding Web Addresses to Your Home Screens .....................................................91

    Organizing Home Screen Items into Folders ..........................................................92

    Adding Dropbox Folders to Your Home Screens ....................................................93

    Repositioning Items on Your Home Screens ....................................................93

    Removing Items from Your Home Screens..............................................................94

    Rearranging Your Home Screens ...........................................................................94

    Setting the Wallpaper ......................................................................................................94

Using a Different Launcher ..........................................................................................96

    Choosing a Launcher ...................................................................................................97

    Installing a Launcher ....................................................................................................99

    Setting Your Default Launcher ............................................................................99

    Switching Among Launchers ..................................................................................100

    Changing Your Default Launcher .......................................................................100

    Making No Launcher the Default.......................................................................101

Configuring Input Options......................................................................................102

Configuring the Lock Screen ......................................................................................105

    Choosing the Best Locking Method ........................................................................105

    Setting Up Locking on Your Device ..................................................................106

    Putting Widgets on the Lock Screen ..............................................................107

    Putting Your Owner Information on the Lock Screen .....................................108

Choosing Location Settings to Protect Your Privacy ......................................109

Encrypting Your Device ...................................................................................112

    Encrypting the Data on Your Device ...............................................................113

    Decrypting the Data on Your Device ...........................................................115

    Performing a Hard Reset .........................................................................117

4 Connecting to Networks and Devices ............................................... 119

Using Airplane Mode .......................................................................................119

Taking Control of Cellular Connections.................................................................120

    Displaying the Mobile Networks Screen .......................................................120

    Enabling and Disabling Data and Roaming ................................................121

    Choosing Between 3G and 4G Networks ..........................................................122

    Configuring a New Access Point .......................................................................123

    Connecting to a Different Carrier.....................................................................123

    Keeping Within Your Data Plan .........................................................................124

Managing Your Wi-Fi Connections .................................................................128

    Turning Wi-Fi On and Off ...............................................................................128

    Connecting to Wi-Fi Networks ..............................................................130

    Connecting to a Closed Network .......................................................131

    Setting Up a Network Using WPS .................................................................132

    Using Wi-Fi Direct ..............................................................................................133

    Installing Digital Certificates .............................................................................135

    Choosing Advanced Wi-Fi Settings ....................................................................137

    Whitelisting Your Device on a Wi-Fi Network ....................................................139

    Configuring IP Settings Manually .....................................................................140

    Connecting Through a Proxy Server ..............................................................142

    Improving Your Wi-Fi Connections ..............................................................144

    Forgetting a Network .........................................................................................145

Sharing Your Device’s Internet Connection ......................................................146

    Sharing the Internet Connection via USB Tethering ...................................................147

    Sharing the Internet Connection via Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot ....................................148

Connecting Bluetooth Devices .........................................................................150

    Pairing a Bluetooth Device with Your Android Device ..............................................150

    Transferring Files to Another Device via Bluetooth ......................................................152

    Sharing an Internet Connection via Bluetooth Tethering ................................153

Using VPNs .........................................................................................................155

    Setting Up a VPN Connection ...........................................................................156

    Connecting via the VPN .................................................................................157

5 Installing, Running, and Managing Apps ..................................................... 161

Evaluating Permissions When Installing Apps ....................................................161

Getting a Refund on an App .........................................................................................163

Configuring Your Play Store Account .......................................................................164

Sideloading Apps .........................................................................................................166

    Installing a File Manager ..............................................................................................167

    Getting the Package File for the App ................................................................167

    Setting Android to Allow Apps from Unknown Sources ..........................................169

    Sideloading the App ............................................................................................170

Running Apps .............................................................................................................170

Working with the Recent Apps Screen ..........................................................................171

    Switching Apps with the Recent Apps Screen ..................................................................172

    Closing an App from the Recent Apps Screen ..................................................................173

    Opening the App Info Screen for an App ......................................................................173

Forcing an App to Stop .................................................................................................173

Clearing an App’s Cache, Data, or Defaults .........................................................174

Uninstalling Apps ..........................................................................................................174

Rebooting into Safe Mode .....................................................................................175

Resetting App Preferences .......................................................................................176

6 Taking Gmail to the Pro Level ................................................................................ 179

Setting Up Your Other Gmail Accounts ..............................................................................180

Configuring Your Gmail Accounts to Work Your Way ...........................................................181

    Choosing General Settings ................................................................................................182

    Configuring Account-Specific Settings ....................................................................................185

Triaging and Reading Your Messages ............................................................................192

    Navigating Among Your Accounts and Labels .................................................................192

    Working in the Conversation List .................................................................................192

    Reading Your Messages .....................................................................................................195

Writing and Sending Messages ..........................................................................................196

Labeling and Archiving Your Messages..........................................................................198

Dealing with Problem Mail and Problem Senders .................................................................200

Searching for Messages ..............................................................................................201

    Searching with Keywords...............................................................................................201

    Searching with Advanced Search Operators ......................................................................201

    Searching with Boolean Operators and Grouping ........................................................204

Setting Up 2-Step Verification ....................................................................................205

    Setting Up 2-Step Verification Using a Computer .........................................................205

    Setting Up 2-Step Verification Using an Android Device ........................................207

    Logging In to Your Account with 2-Step Verification Enabled ..............................207

7 Becoming Expert with the Email App .............................................................. 209

Setting Up Your Non-Gmail Accounts.................................................................................210

    Gathering the Information Needed to Set Up an Email Account .........................................210

    Setting Up an Email Account .................................................................................................213

Setting Up Exchange Server Accounts ................................................................................220

    Getting the Information Needed for Your Exchange Server Account ................................221

    Entering Your Exchange Server Account Details.............................................................222

Deleting an Account from the Email App ................................................................227

Sending and Receiving Messages ........................................................................228

    Creating and Sending a Message .............................................................................229

    Receiving and Reading Messages ...............................................................................232

    Replying to Messages and Forwarding Messages .........................................................235

Setting Up and Using Quick Responses ......................................................................236

    Setting Up Your Quick Responses .............................................................................237

    Using Your Quick Responses ...............................................................................238

Saving and Reopening Drafts ......................................................................................238

Navigating Your Mailboxes .............................................................................238

Choosing General Settings ...................................................................................240

Choosing Account-Specific Settings ......................................................................241

8 Browsing with Chrome .......................................................................... 245

Choosing Essential Chrome Settings .....................................................................246

    Configuring Your Google Account .....................................................................247

    Choosing Your Search Engine ..................................................................................250

    Setting Up Autofill Forms ......................................................................................250

    Working with the Save Passwords Feature .............................................................251

    Choosing Privacy Settings and Clearing Browsing Data .........................................252

    Choosing Accessibility Settings ...............................................................................254

    Choosing Content Settings ................................................................................255

    Managing Bandwidth and Preloading ..............................................................258

Browsing the Web with Chrome ........................................................................259

    Navigating Among Web Pages ..............................................................................259

    Managing and Switching Tabs ...............................................................................261

    Making the Most of Bookmarks ............................................................................263

    Returning to a Tab You Recently Closed ............................................................265

    Viewing Your Chrome Tabs Open on Other Devices ........................................265

    Returning to a Page You Visited Earlier .............................................................265

    Browsing Incognito ............................................................................................266

    Requesting a Desktop Site ...........................................................................267

Using Chrome to Mobile ...................................................................................268

    Installing Chrome to Mobile on Your Computer ................................................268

    Setting Up Your Mobile Device ........................................................................269

    Sending Pages to Your Device .....................................................................269

9 Maximizing Your Productivity ................................................................ 271

Streamlining Your Life with Google Now............................................................272

    Navigating and Customizing Google Now..............................................................272

    Accessing Google Now from the Lock Screen ....................................................282

    Working with Reminders in Google Now ..................................................................282

Navigating with Maps ...........................................................................................284

    Making Sure You Know Essential Maps Moves ...................................................284

    Saving Maps for Offline Use .........................................................................................287

    Choosing Key Settings for Maps .................................................................................289

Managing Your Contacts .............................................................................................291

    Adding a New Contact............................................................................................291

    Displaying Only the Contacts You Want to See ....................................................292

    Joining and Separating Contacts .........................................................................293

    Importing and Exporting Contacts .......................................................................294

Mastering Your Schedule with Calendar ...................................................................295

    Configuring the Calendar App ................................................................................296

    Choosing Which Calendars to Display.....................................................................298

    Controlling How the Calendar Appears ................................................................298

    Creating Events ......................................................................................................299

    Inviting Others to an Event ......................................................................................299

    Dealing with Invitations ........................................................................................300

    Sharing Your Google Calendars .............................................................................300

Transferring and Syncing Files with Google Drive ..............................................301

    Setting Up Google Drive ....................................................................................301

    Navigating Google Drive ............................................................................302

    Configuring the Cache, Encryption, and Data Usage .....................................304

    Creating a Folder ............................................................................................305

    Adding Documents to Google Drive .....................................................................306

    Keeping Documents on Your Device ..............................................................306

Printing Documents ..............................................................................................307

    Printing to Local Printers .........................................................................................307

    Print to an HP Printer Using the HP Print Service Plugin .........................................308

    Printing to Cloud Printers ......................................................................................308

    Printing on Your Existing Printer ....................................................................309

Using a Chromecast Device .................................................................................310

    Setting Up a Chromecast with Your Android Device ......................................311

    Casting Your Screen to the Chromecast Device ..................................................314

    Playing Music to the Chromecast Device ..........................................................315

10 Making the Most of Phone and Messaging ................................................ 317

Becoming Expert with the Phone App ..............................................................317

    Making Calls the Easy Way ....................................................................................318

    Saving Time with the Call Log and History ...................................................320

    Taking Calls—or Avoiding Them ........................................................................325

    Configuring the Phone App to Work Your Way .............................................327

    Setting Custom Ringtones for Important Callers ....................................334

    Blocking and Screening Calls...........................................................................335

    Setting a SIM Card Lock .....................................................................................336

Chatting, Talking, and Conferencing via Hangouts ...........................................338

    Getting an Account ......................................................................................339

    Getting Started with Hangouts ......................................................................339

    Making Hangouts Comfortable for You ..................................................340

    Configuring SMS in Hangouts ...................................................................343

    Communicating via Hangouts .........................................................................345

11 Exploiting Camera, Photos, and Videos ......................................................... 353

Getting Great Photos with the Camera App ......................................................354

    Opening the Camera App and Navigating Its Interface...........................................354

    Accessing the Camera from the Lock Screen ........................................................356

    Configuring the Camera App to Suit Your Needs .............................................357

    Taking Regular Photos ...........................................................................................360

    Taking Photo Sphere Photos ..........................................................................368

    Taking Panorama Photos ..................................................................................369

    Taking Photos with the Lens Blur Feature...............................................................369

    Editing Your Photos ..................................................................................................372

Shooting Videos ....................................................................................................375

Capturing Screenshots ......................................................................................376

12 Enjoying Your Music Everywhere ........................................................................ 377

Understanding Your Options for Listening to Music on Your Device ................................378

Getting Your Music onto Your Device .....................................................................378

    Understanding Which Music Formats Your Device Can Play ...........................................379

    Getting Your CDs onto Your Android Device ......................................................................381

    Transcoding Existing Files .......................................................................................385

    Syncing Songs Directly with doubleTwist ................................................................386

Getting the Most Out of the Play Music App .................................................................387

    Getting Started with Play Music .........................................................................387

    Setting Up an Account...................................................................................................389

    Syncing Your 20,000 Songs to Play Music ......................................................389

    Buying Songs from the Play Store ..........................................................................391

    Navigating the Play Music App ................................................................................392

    Playing Songs ..........................................................................................................394

    Downloading Songs ........................................................................................................396

    Deleting Songs from Your Device and Your Library .....................................................397

    Configuring the Play Music App .............................................................................398

    Creating Playlists ........................................................................................................401

Improving Your Music with the Equalizer ................................................................403

    Turning On the Equalizer ...................................................................................403

    Creating a Custom Equalization ..............................................................................405

Using Other Music Apps ...................................................................................405

    Three Apps for Identifying Music .........................................................................405

    Three Streaming Services ....................................................................................406

13 Staying in Touch via Social Networking ........................................................ 407

Getting Serious with Facebook .......................................................................................407

    Making the Right Decision When Logging In ....................................................................408

    Getting and Configuring Facebook Messenger ...............................................................409

    Making Facebook Work Your Way ..........................................................................415

    Choosing Essential Privacy Settings .......................................................................417

    Securing Your Facebook Account with Two-Factor Authentication ..............426

    Using Multiple Facebook Accounts on the Same Device .......................................431

    Removing Your Facebook Account from Your Device ................................................433

Making the Most of Twitter .........................................................................................434

    Signing In to Twitter .................................................................................................434

    Navigating the Twitter App .............................................................................................435

    Configuring the Twitter App ..........................................................................................437

    Securing Your Twitter Account with Login Verification.............................................442

    Using Multiple Twitter Accounts ............................................................................445

14 Using Samsung TouchWiz ........................................................................... 447

Getting Up to Speed with TouchWiz Essentials ...................................................448

    Using the Buttons in TouchWiz ..................................................................................448

    Navigating the Home Screen....................................................................................449

    Customizing Your Home Screen .........................................................................450

    Using Gestures to Control Your Samsung Device ...............................................452

Customizing the Apps Screen .................................................................................453

Working with Quick Settings and Settings ..............................................................455

    Using the Notifications Panel and the Quick Settings Bar .....................................455

    Using the Quick Settings Panel .................................................................................457

    Navigating the Settings App .................................................................................458

Using the Toolbox ................................................................................................460

Using Multi Window ..................................................................................................462

Understanding the Samsung Hub, S Apps, and Samsung Apps ...............................465

Using the Camera App’s Extra Features ........................................................................466

    Mastering the Essentials of the Camera App .....................................................................467

    Making the Most of the Camera Modes ........................................................................468

    Setting the Camera to Take the Photos and Videos You Want .......................................469

Browsing with Samsung’s Internet Browser ....................................................................474

    Grasping the Essentials of the Internet App .......................................................................474

    Saving Pages and Reading Them Later .................................................................476

    Returning to Web Pages with Bookmarks...................................................................476

    Opening Multiple Windows and Navigating Among Them .................................477

    Loading Your Favorite Pages onto the Quick Access Screen ................................478

    Adding a Web Page Shortcut to Your Home Screen ...........................................479

    Browsing Incognito .........................................................................................479

    Syncing Open Pages Through a Samsung Account ...................................479

Sharing via S Beam ................................................................................479

Making the Most of the Galaxy Note’s S Pen ............................................480

Improving Performance by Turning Off TouchWiz Features ............................482

15 Using HTC Sense ..................................................................................... 485

Taking a Five-Minute Tour of the Essentials ................................................................485

    Unlocking Your Phone........................................................................................486

    Getting the Hang of the Soft Buttons .....................................................................486

    Navigating the Long Screens ...............................................................................487

    Navigating the Tabs ....................................................................................................487

    Getting to Grips with the Three-Finger Gestures ...................................................488

    Navigating and Customizing the Quick Settings Panel ............................................489

    Setting Up the Lock Screen on Your HTC Phone ........................................................490

Making the Most of the Home Screen ..............................................................................492

    Customizing HTC BlinkFeed .........................................................................................494

    Putting What You Need on Your Home Screens ..............................................................496

    Getting More Out of the Status Bar ............................................................................497

Navigating the Apps Screen .......................................................................................498

    Sorting the Apps Your Way ........................................................................................498

    Hiding the Apps You Don’t Want to See ............................................................500

    Changing the Grid Size.........................................................................................500

Phoning and Gesticulating ..........................................................................................501

    Getting Around the Phone App’s Five Tabs .......................................................501

    Using Gestures When Your Phone Rings ............................................................502

Enjoying Music with the Sense Music App .................................................................503

Using the Camera’s Extra Features .........................................................................505

    Shooting with the Camera App ............................................................................506

    Configuring the Camera App to Take the Photos You Want ..................................507

    Choosing Other Settings ..................................................................................510

    Shooting Both Ways with Dual Capture Mode .........................................513

    Bringing Scenes to Life with HTC Zoe .........................................................513

Index .............................................515

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