Florian Seroussi's Blog

Entrepreneur, traveler, geek, curious about so many things.

Droid for Dummies

One thing I noticed while purchasing a Droid at my local BestBuy -was the lack of basic knowledge froUsual unboxing pic. #droidm potential buyers.

Fortunately most will learn fast and adopt geeky habits but some will return their new phones very disappointed Droid did not meet their expectations.

So here is a little tutorial on how to make the best out of your new phone.

First steps to properly use the Droid:

-       Remove gently protection sticker on the battery cover BEFORE inserting the battery. Failure to do so will make the battery door irremovable. Been there, done that.

Droid cover battery door

-       You need a Gmail or Google Mail App account to operate an Android phone. If you don’t have one you need to create one. Technically you can use an Android phone without a Gmail address but you’ll be missing 80% of core features. I suggest you sign up for a Gmail and add your other email accounts. Gmail account will just be used to sync your contacts, Latitude, Market, etc.

-       To configure your phone, you will need to access “settings”. Unlike the iPhone, “settings” icon is not showing on home page. To access the “settings” press the central lower tray to pop up all applications. They are sorted from A to Z. Get to “settings” and start configuring.

-       If – like me- you like to keep your phone protected you will need to set it up. By default Droid does not offer protection i.e. PIN code. Android 2.0 introduces a new form of screen lock called “pattern”. Press on central tray, scroll to “settings”, go to “location and security settings”, check mark “Require pattern”. The rest is very intuitive.

-       Once your phone is protected from curious, very likely they will try to input pattern. After 5 attempts, phone is locked 30 seconds. Every wrong attempt after 30 seconds will re-lock your phone for 30 seconds. If you forgot your pattern, you can still log on to your phone using your Gmail username and password.

-       Market is the application store for Android powered phones. To access Market you need to have a valid credit card on file via Google Check Out [Google Merchant account a la Paypal].

-       Downloaded applications are assigned to your Gmail account. Whenever you change phone you simply need to logon using your Gmail credentials and all your apps will be available for download again at no cost.

-       For now – Droid offers only 3 home screens. You can add shortcuts, widgets or folders by keeping your finger pressed on an empty spot. A menu will pop up offering several options.

-       Background image format covers all 3 panels. Screen definition is a bit odd 960X854 pixels. Check Droid Forum Gallery for cool wallpapers.

-       I strongly suggest you install “power control” widget on your central panel. You will be able to toggle Wifi on/off, Bluetooth on/off, GPS on/off, and brightness with a single touch. Very useful.

Power Control Widget

-       To use the camera you need to press on the gold button located on the lower right side of the phone. You cannot use the camera without unlocking your screen first. Keep finger pressed a couple of seconds to launch camera. For now, camera is slow and auto-focus needs an urgent firmware update.

-       On most applications you can use the search function. Easy access to search needs a single pressure on the magnifier icon located on the right inside of lower toolbar. Very handy to search applications in Market, contacts, emails, etc.

-       To optimize battery I suggest, you set “screen time out” (located under Settings/Sounds and Display) to 15 seconds. By default it’s 1 minute. Also under Sounds and Display, adjust brightness to low. Also in Sounds and Display, set Animations Off. Do not keep Wifi on all the time, mostly on Verizon where network is faster than most Wifi connection. Remember to turn Bluetooth off if you don’t use it. No need to keep GPS on in the house J

-       You cannot remove pre-installed applications. To uninstall applications you downloaded and no longer want to have go to “settings/applications/manage applications. A short way to remove an application is to keep your finger pressed on the application icon and use the pop up menu to uninstall it. Very smart.

Here I will stop as I believe further steps are not for beginners.

Let me know if you have additional tips or tricks and I will add it to the post.

Happy Droiding.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2009 at 5:18 pm and is filed under android, Geek, google, iPhone, Technology, Telecom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 comments to “Droid for Dummies”

  1. Noah says:

    Where do I add weather widget?

  2. Go to Market, search for Weather widget, install and voila.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Florian Seroussi and Luca Filigheddu, Patsy Stewart. Patsy Stewart said: RT @florianseroussi: New Blog Post. Droid for Dummies http://bit.ly/3ylSZm – Let me know if you have more tips. < Great info thanks! [...]

  4. John says:

    Adding app/widget to main homepage does not seem possible. I can do this on the other two pages, but not on the main home page. Is this typical?

  5. @john because you don’t have enough space available for icons or widgets. To remove a widget or icon, simply press on it – keep your finger pressed and drag it to the center tray. It will free more real estate for new shortcuts.

  6. Blair says:

    How do I add a picture to the contact that pops up when they call?

  7. Marcia says:

    I just got mine day before yesterday, young man at Verizon set me up, installed battery, put on protective case and screen protector, transferred my contacts, set up my Gmail acct., etc. When I got home I charged battery first. Then played around. Tried to set it up on the Multimedia center, it didn’t fit into multimedia center! It took me a few minutes to decided it was the plastic case! Then another few frustrating minutes to get the case face off! (I have arthritis in my hands and had never removed a case before!) but I finally managed and it worked fine then. Left it in clock mode all night and found it was now down to 5% only charge, won’t do that again!I guess you have to put it to sleep at night but I thought the multimedia center woud keep it charged.
    I think the droid was released before all the “paper work” was done! At least on Verizon’s part! Young man did give me a web site to check but not the Motorola web site.
    Some folks will not like there experience with this phone, learning curve will be to much for many of us older folks, vintage 1936 for me! But I shall overcome and use this dandy tool! And enjoy the phone!
    I love the apps, they are why I got the phone.
    Thanks for the help!

  8. Dwight Ensor says:

    Thanks for the help. I was getting tired of hearing DRROOOOIIDE every few minutes. What the heck was it notetifing me of??

  9. ceri says:

    This helped with some of the things I spent a long time trying to learn. Let me know if you have other tips.


  10. randy says:

    got my phone 1 week ago. so far so good. never had a smart phone, cant believe i waited this long. i have the remember me box checked on email but it ask me to renter the info each time? any suggestions. also i did get usefule info off this site, thank you

  11. Cady says:

    I got my droid a few days ago n I love it but there’s some things I wish came in the manual! How do I lock txt messages or save pics txted to me? My 2 yr old also added a few shortcuts to the home screen n I can’t figure out how to get rid of them?! If you know of anywhere that I can get a full tutorial (or how to get the one in the phone past the first page?) That would be great! I did learn a lot from the bit you have here! Thank you so much!

  12. ron says:

    how do I put videos from my droid to my computer. I hooked up the cables but when I go to gallery it shows I have nothing when clearly i do…

  13. ron says:

    and how do i forward a message or picture to more than one person

  14. Larry says:

    is there a way to differentiate between notification for email and text msg? Can I turn off notification sound for email and leave it on for test message??

  15. Claudia says:

    I have the same question as Larry i want a notification for Text messages but not email — Is that possible?

  16. Crystal says:

    Thanks for the info – very helpful! Anyone know how to open a picture in a text message and save it or forward it to a friend? Also – I can’t figure out how to get back to a call if I click over for call waiting. THANKS!

  17. Rebecca says:

    Your blog is great! You labeled me – a dummy with a droid. Quick question, I downloaded BeyondPod to subscribe to podcasts but the system prompts be to download a media player. Do you know how I can listen to podcasts on the Droid?

  18. Frank says:

    Can the Droid be used as a personal messaging device? Like a “REMINDER RECORDER” where you can enter a thought or two and then play it back later?

    Thanks in Advance

  19. mary says:

    A couple questions. What’s a widget? Can you hook Droid up to a printer? The GPS stinks, directions are not only bad but wrong – is there a better app? Do I need to keep my old internet provider?

  20. mary says:

    One more question. I’ve read these questions which are same as mine
    Where are the answers?

  21. mary says:

    Just got my Droid 3days ago. I love it, buy gps does not work very well. It tells me to turn right
    When it should be left, or turn into a subdivision when I should go straight. Any suggestions on how to fix that? Thanks

  22. jean maier says:

    i set up the required gmail account when i activated this Droid…i have 2 othr gmails accts…can these also be put on the phone but password protected? thanks

  23. robert says:

    Buy a real map.

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