You are previewing Android™ Tips and Tricks.
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Android™ Tips and Tricks

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents at a Glance
  5. Table of Contents
  6. About the Author
  7. Dedication Page
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. We Want to Hear from You!
  10. Reader Services
  11. Introduction
  12. 1. Getting Up to Speed
    1. Identifying Your Device’s Android Version and its Skin
      1. Understanding Android Version Numbers and Names
      2. Finding Out Which Android Version Your Device Is Running
      3. Establishing Whether Your Device Is Using a Skin
    2. Setting Different Volume Levels for Different Audio Sources
    3. Managing Your Notifications
      1. Responding to a Notification
      2. Turning the Notification Light On or Off
      3. Turning Off Notifications for an App
      4. Clearing Repeat Notifications
    4. Entering Text
      1. Using the Keyboard and Spelling Correction
      2. Entering Text Using a Hardware Keyboard
      3. Entering Text Using Dictation
      4. Entering Emoji
      5. Using Alternative Keyboards
    5. Setting Up a Tablet for Multiple Users
      1. Creating a User Account
      2. Creating a Restricted Profile
      3. Switching Among User Accounts and Profiles
      4. Deleting a User Account or Restricted Profile
      5. Understanding and Avoiding Problems
    6. Getting the Best Battery Performance
      1. Identifying Power Hogs
      2. Eking Out Battery Life
      3. Recharging Secrets
    7. Managing Files and Storage
      1. Adding an SD Card
      2. Choosing a File Manager
      3. Checking Free Space and Seeing What’s Taking Up Space
      4. Recovering Space
  13. 2. Syncing Your Device
    1. Understanding Your Options for Syncing Your Device
      1. Choosing the Right Sync App
    2. Getting and Installing Your Sync App
      1. Installing a Sync App on Windows
      2. Choosing What Happens When You Connect Your Device to Windows
      3. Installing Android File Transfer on OS X
    3. Using Your Sync App
      1. Using Sync Apps on Windows
      2. Using Android File Transfer on OS X
    4. Loading Files on Your Device
    5. Updating, Backing Up, and Restoring Your Device
      1. Keeping Your Device Updated
      2. Backing Up Your Device
      3. Restoring Your Device
    6. Setting Up and Using Remote Lock and Wiping
      1. Setting Up Remote Find and Wiping
      2. Remotely Locking and Wiping Your Device
  14. 3. Customizing Your Device
    1. Setting Up Your Home Screens
      1. Adding and Removing Home Screens
      2. Adding Apps to Your Home Screens
      3. Adding Widgets to Your Home Screens
      4. Adding Web Addresses to Your Home Screens
      5. Organizing Home Screen Items into Folders
      6. Adding Dropbox Folders to Your Home Screens
      7. Repositioning Items on Your Home Screens
      8. Removing Items from Your Home Screens
      9. Rearranging Your Home Screens
      10. Setting the Wallpaper
    2. Using a Different Launcher
      1. Choosing a Launcher
      2. Installing a Launcher
      3. Setting Your Default Launcher
      4. Switching Among Launchers
      5. Changing Your Default Launcher
      6. Making No Launcher the Default
    3. Configuring Input Options
    4. Configuring the Lock Screen
      1. Choosing the Best Locking Method
      2. Setting Up Locking on Your Device
      3. Putting Widgets on the Lock Screen
      4. Putting Your Owner Information on the Lock Screen
    5. Choosing Location Settings to Protect Your Privacy
    6. Encrypting Your Device
      1. Encrypting the Data on Your Device
      2. Decrypting the Data on Your Device
      3. Performing a Hard Reset
  15. 4. Connecting to Networks and Devices
    1. Using Airplane Mode
    2. Taking Control of Cellular Connections
      1. Displaying the Mobile Networks Screen
      2. Enabling and Disabling Data and Roaming
      3. Choosing Between 3G and 4G Networks
      4. Configuring a New Access Point
      5. Connecting to a Different Carrier
      6. Keeping Within Your Data Plan
    3. Managing Your Wi-Fi Connections
      1. Turning Wi-Fi On and Off
      2. Connecting to Wi-Fi Networks
      3. Connecting to a Closed Network
      4. Setting Up a Network Using WPS
      5. Using Wi-Fi Direct
      6. Installing Digital Certificates
      7. Choosing Advanced Wi-Fi Settings
      8. Whitelisting Your Device on a Wi-Fi Network
      9. Configuring IP Settings Manually
      10. Connecting Through a Proxy Server
      11. Improving Your Wi-Fi Connections
      12. Forgetting a Network
    4. Sharing Your Device’s Internet Connection
      1. Sharing the Internet Connection via USB Tethering
      2. Sharing the Internet Connection via Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot
    5. Connecting Bluetooth Devices
      1. Pairing a Bluetooth Device with Your Android Device
      2. Transferring Files to Another Device via Bluetooth
      3. Sharing an Internet Connection via Bluetooth Tethering
    6. Using VPNs
      1. Setting Up a VPN Connection
      2. Connecting via the VPN
  16. 5. Installing, Running, and Managing Apps
    1. Evaluating Permissions When Installing Apps
    2. Getting a Refund on an App
    3. Configuring Your Play Store Account
    4. Sideloading Apps
      1. Installing a File Manager
      2. Getting the Package File for the App
      3. Setting Android to Allow Apps from Unknown Sources
      4. Sideloading the App
    5. Running Apps
    6. Working with the Recent Apps Screen
      1. Switching Apps with the Recent Apps Screen
      2. Closing an App from the Recent Apps Screen
      3. Opening the App Info Screen for an App
    7. Forcing an App to Stop
    8. Clearing an App’s Cache, Data, or Defaults
    9. Uninstalling Apps
    10. Rebooting into Safe Mode
    11. Resetting App Preferences
  17. 6. Taking Gmail to the Pro Level
    1. Setting Up Your Other Gmail Accounts
    2. Configuring Your Gmail Accounts to Work Your Way
      1. Choosing General Settings
      2. Configuring Account-Specific Settings
    3. Triaging and Reading Your Messages
      1. Navigating Among Your Accounts and Labels
      2. Working in the Conversation List
      3. Reading Your Messages
    4. Writing and Sending Messages
    5. Labeling and Archiving Your Messages
    6. Dealing with Problem Mail and Problem Senders
    7. Searching for Messages
      1. Searching with Keywords
      2. Searching with Advanced Search Operators
      3. Searching with Boolean Operators and Grouping
    8. Setting Up 2-Step Verification
      1. Setting Up 2-Step Verification Using a Computer
      2. Setting Up 2-Step Verification Using an Android Device
      3. Logging In to Your Account with 2-Step Verification Enabled
  18. 7. Becoming Expert with the Email App
    1. Setting Up Your Non-Gmail Accounts
      1. Gathering the Information Needed to Set Up an Email Account
    2. Setting Up an Email Account
      1. Setting Up Exchange Server Accounts
      2. Getting the Information Needed for Your Exchange Server Account
      3. Entering Your Exchange Server Account Details
    3. Deleting an Account from the Email App
    4. Sending and Receiving Messages
      1. Creating and Sending a Message
      2. Receiving and Reading Messages
      3. Replying to Messages and Forwarding Messages
    5. Setting Up and Using Quick Responses
      1. Setting Up Your Quick Responses
      2. Using Your Quick Responses
    6. Saving and Reopening Drafts
    7. Navigating Your Mailboxes
    8. Choosing General Settings
    9. Choosing Account-Specific Settings
  19. 8. Browsing with Chrome
    1. Choosing Essential Chrome Settings
      1. Configuring Your Google Account
      2. Choosing Your Search Engine
      3. Setting Up Autofill Forms
      4. Working with the Save Passwords Feature
      5. Choosing Privacy Settings and Clearing Browsing Data
      6. Choosing Accessibility Settings
      7. Choosing Content Settings
      8. Managing Bandwidth and Preloading
    2. Browsing the Web with Chrome
      1. Navigating Among Web Pages
      2. Managing and Switching Tabs
      3. Making the Most of Bookmarks
      4. Returning to a Tab You Recently Closed
      5. Viewing Your Chrome Tabs Open on Other Devices
      6. Returning to a Page You Visited Earlier
      7. Browsing Incognito
      8. Requesting a Desktop Site
    3. Using Chrome to Mobile
      1. Installing Chrome to Mobile on Your Computer
      2. Setting Up Your Mobile Device
      3. Sending Pages to Your Device
  20. 9. Maximizing Your Productivity
    1. Streamlining Your Life with Google Now
      1. Navigating and Customizing Google Now
      2. Accessing Google Now from the Lock Screen
      3. Working with Reminders in Google Now
    2. Navigating with Maps
      1. Making Sure You Know Essential Maps Moves
      2. Saving Maps for Offline Use
      3. Choosing Key Settings for Maps
    3. Managing Your Contacts
      1. Adding a New Contact
      2. Displaying Only the Contacts You Want to See
      3. Joining and Separating Contacts
      4. Importing and Exporting Contacts
    4. Mastering Your Schedule with Calendar
      1. Configuring the Calendar App
      2. Choosing Which Calendars to Display
      3. Controlling How the Calendar Appears
      4. Creating Events
      5. Inviting Others to an Event
      6. Dealing with Invitations
      7. Sharing Your Google Calendars
    5. Transferring and Syncing Files with Google Drive
      1. Setting Up Google Drive
      2. Navigating Google Drive
      3. Configuring the Cache, Encryption, and Data Usage
      4. Creating a Folder
      5. Adding Documents to Google Drive
      6. Keeping Documents on Your Device
    6. Printing Documents
      1. Printing to Local Printers
      2. Print to an HP Printer Using the HP Print Service Plugin
      3. Printing to Cloud Printers
      4. Printing on Your Existing Printer
    7. Using a Chromecast Device
      1. Setting Up a Chromecast with Your Android Device
      2. Casting Your Screen to the Chromecast Device
      3. Playing Music to the Chromecast Device
  21. 10. Making the Most of Phone and Messaging
    1. Becoming Expert with the Phone App
      1. Making Calls the Easy Way
      2. Saving Time with the Call Log and History
      3. Taking Calls—or Avoiding Them
      4. Configuring the Phone App to Work Your Way
      5. Setting Custom Ringtones for Important Callers
      6. Blocking and Screening Calls
      7. Setting a SIM Card Lock
    2. Chatting, Talking, and Conferencing via Hangouts
      1. Getting an Account
      2. Getting Started with Hangouts
      3. Making Hangouts Comfortable for You
      4. Configuring SMS in Hangouts
      5. Communicating via Hangouts
  22. 11. Exploiting Camera, Photos, and Videos
    1. Getting Great Photos with the Camera App
      1. Opening the Camera App and Navigating Its Interface
      2. Accessing the Camera from the Lock Screen
      3. Configuring the Camera App to Suit Your Needs
      4. Taking Regular Photos
      5. Taking Photo Sphere Photos
      6. Taking Panorama Photos
      7. Taking Photos with the Lens Blur Feature
      8. Editing Your Photos
    2. Shooting Videos
    3. Capturing Screenshots
  23. 12. Enjoying Your Music Everywhere
    1. Understanding Your Options for Listening to Music on Your Device
    2. Getting Your Music onto Your Device
      1. Understanding Which Music Formats Your Device Can Play
      2. Getting Your CDs onto Your Android Device
      3. Transcoding Existing Files
      4. Syncing Songs Directly with doubleTwist
    3. Getting the Most Out of the Play Music App
      1. Getting Started with Play Music
      2. Setting Up an Account
      3. Syncing Your 20,000 Songs to Play Music
      4. Buying Songs from the Play Store
      5. Navigating the Play Music App
      6. Playing Songs
      7. Downloading Songs
      8. Deleting Songs from Your Device and Your Library
      9. Configuring the Play Music App
      10. Creating Playlists
    4. Improving Your Music with the Equalizer
      1. Turning On the Equalizer
      2. Creating a Custom Equalization
    5. Using Other Music Apps
      1. Three Apps for Identifying Music
      2. Three Streaming Services
  24. 13. Staying in Touch via Social Networking
    1. Getting Serious with Facebook
      1. Making the Right Decision When Logging In
      2. Getting and Configuring Facebook Messenger
      3. Making Facebook Work Your Way
      4. Choosing Essential Privacy Settings
      5. Securing Your Facebook Account with Two-Factor Authentication
      6. Using Multiple Facebook Accounts on the Same Device
      7. Removing Your Facebook Account from Your Device
    2. Making the Most of Twitter
      1. Signing In to Twitter
      2. Navigating the Twitter App
      3. Configuring the Twitter App
      4. Securing Your Twitter Account with Login Verification
      5. Using Multiple Twitter Accounts
  25. 14. Using Samsung TouchWiz
    1. Getting Up to Speed with TouchWiz Essentials
      1. Using the Buttons in TouchWiz
      2. Navigating the Home Screen
      3. Customizing Your Home Screen
      4. Using Gestures to Control Your Samsung Device
    2. Customizing the Apps Screen
    3. Working with Quick Settings and Settings
      1. Using the Notifications Panel and the Quick Settings Bar
      2. Using the Quick Settings Panel
      3. Navigating the Settings App
    4. Using the Toolbox
    5. Using Multi Window
    6. Understanding the Samsung Hub, S Apps, and Samsung Apps
    7. Using the Camera App’s Extra Features
      1. Mastering the Essentials of the Camera App
      2. Making the Most of the Camera Modes
      3. Setting the Camera to Take the Photos and Videos You Want
    8. Browsing with Samsung’s Internet Browser
      1. Grasping the Essentials of the Internet App
      2. Saving Pages and Reading Them Later
      3. Returning to Web Pages with Bookmarks
      4. Opening Multiple Windows and Navigating Among Them
      5. Loading Your Favorite Pages onto the Quick Access Screen
      6. Adding a Web Page Shortcut to Your Home Screen
      7. Browsing Incognito
      8. Syncing Open Pages Through a Samsung Account
      9. Sharing via S Beam
      10. Making the Most of the Galaxy Note’s S Pen
      11. Improving Performance by Turning Off TouchWiz Features
  26. 15. Using HTC Sense
    1. Taking a Five-Minute Tour of the Essentials
      1. Unlocking Your Phone
      2. Getting the Hang of the Soft Buttons
      3. Navigating the Long Screens
      4. Navigating the Tabs
      5. Getting to Grips with the Three-Finger Gestures
      6. Navigating and Customizing the Quick Settings Panel
      7. Setting Up the Lock Screen on Your HTC Phone
    2. Making the Most of the Home Screen
      1. Customizing HTC BlinkFeed
      2. Putting What You Need on Your Home Screens
      3. Getting More Out of the Status Bar
    3. Navigating the Apps Screen
      1. Sorting the Apps Your Way
      2. Hiding the Apps You Don’t Want to See
      3. Changing the Grid Size
    4. Phoning and Gesticulating
      1. Getting Around the Phone App’s Five Tabs
      2. Using Gestures When Your Phone Rings
    5. Enjoying Music with the Sense Music App
    6. Using the Camera’s Extra Features
      1. Shooting with the Camera App
      2. Configuring the Camera App to Take the Photos You Want
      3. Choosing Other Settings
      4. Shooting Both Ways with Dual Capture Mode
      5. Bringing Scenes to Life with HTC Zoe
  27. Index