Hello Android Phone Users Dated 15th May '13.
This article is a Starter Pack. Subject is too wide and changing every minute. So for those who want to spend their whole life on mobile, do join this forum for the avalanche of info: http://androidforums.com. For the nibble guys read this goodies page http://androidforums.com/android-lounge/490778 to see how complex things can get, hope you don't get indigestion.
This page is a sharing media started in 13th Jan '13 after having new (not so new now) knowledge in using Android phone, a Samsung Galaxy Advance (S.Adv). In the first 15 days when we faced issues, we realized that many shops, users and even service center are in a learning curve like us. So we like to share with you our experience and also try to answer your questions that you can't resolved easily via the web.
You may ask why this page when most info is already in the manual or in the web; the reason is: to help filter out (from the info overload) to get started FAST. For the older generation toying with the mobile too long will create neck pain and numb sensation at the finger tips, so induction must be fast. More images are now added to help you get along fast.
Note: Every version of Android phone will differ slightly in how to solve problems. This write up is based solely on Samsung Galaxy Advance (S.Adv). See below on why we choose this model. For example Samsung GT-19300 Galaxy S III (S.III) use Operating System or OS - Android 4.1.2 (JZO54K) Jelly Bean, while 1st generation of S.Adv use OS - Android 2.3.6 Ginger Bread, thus some ways of doing things are different between them.
You are very welcome to comment and contribute as we do not profess to know enough. Author stands to be corrected to learn more. We have Fast Comments at the bottom of this page for you 1) to ask for more 2) if you disagree with our views or 3) if you can give more sharing. Interesting and useful exchanges between we humans will be summarized on this page as an additional feel good service from Ipoh. Thank you. 乐Peace2U.
Home Pages vs Application Pages (1st - Know your phone) - Use Folders to organize ie classify and group
2 important Apps on the 1st Home Pg
Touch Screen: Taps & Motions
Users - Beware of unwanted / unaware ISP Data NetWork Usage
My new phone use up all its Power (100% to 0%) in < 12 hours at night - Are you paranoid about battery usage like me?
Reboot or Hard Reset of the Phone / Crisis Management Issues
How to add a Widget & Why Widget over Apps?
Why we choose Samsung Galaxy Advance S.Adv?
How to choose Communication Apps?
My GPS is not working, is it a hardware or software problem?
Understand transfer of data between PC & mobile using USB port (among too many other ways!)
How to get the latest news feed to stay ahead of changes, the the fastest and cheapest way.
If you read on & find info here to be fun, direct, practical & useful with sound reasons, do consider to drop us your comments & questions or at least vote. Here are few questions that you may be interested:
What GPS Navigation Apps can i get from the web and what is the difference with Google Map?
What in your opinion is most fantastic unit converter you found & why you recommend to young students to get it?
What App is best to learn 1,000 Chinese characters to be able to read newspaper and watch China video serials? What about Chinese phrases?
What is a good off line dictionary with Thesaurus & Chinese explanation & English?
Can I protect my mobile against virus?
Do I have a SD card problem?
1 Home Pages vs Application Pages (1st - Know your phone)
Before we start, know your phone. Your phone has 3 important hard keys (HKys) at the bottom (Option/Menu, Home & Back) 2 more (Volume Up/Down & Power/Reset Lock) at the sides. Search the web for a .pdf manual that you can download to understand more about your model. Your phone package only contain a tiny manual, it is not enough. So be IT savvy to survive in this fast changing world get the full manual.
When you buy a new android phone, normally there are many Home Pages (Pgs) in place. For S.Adv mobile using GingerBread OS, all Pgs, Home or Applications (App), has four icons or Soft Keys (SKys) at the bottom which are not removable ie Phone, Contracts, Messaging & App. In S.III version, there can be up to 5 SKys which can be changed except the Apps SKy or Home SKy. When you press the App SKy, you go into the App Pgs which contain all the Apps (inc games) that is installed in the phone.
Also note, you can get back to a Home Pg from any App Pg by pressing the Home SKy or pressing the third HKy ("Back" . return arrow) at the bottom.
Following images is for S.Adv
For S.III, the layout is as follows:
Your first job is to reduce the number of Home Pgs eg minimum two; to hold the Apps you frequently want to use. To remove empty Home Pgs, you press the 1st left bottom "Menu" HKy to expose the "Edit" SKy (red box). Note: Menu are different for different models with its different Android OS.
version of Edit Menu in Home Page
Add Folder is the next layer menu list within the + option.
Long Press on Home page will bring out the options under +.
Note the Battery Widget Fuel Gauge 85% (more at "5. My new ... power drain.." below)
of Edit Menu in Home Page
Note: Create Folder is out in the front as an option in S.III.
Pressing this "Edit" SKy will reduce Home Pgs as ThumbNail (TbN). As TbN you to can remove or ADD +. You can also pinch to reduce to TbN. The two images that follow show the pages as TbN after pressing "Edit" SKy or pinching. Pinch = placing two fingers on the screen and pinch them together (the logic here is pinch to reduce size of a Pg to TbN).
To remove any empty Home Pg, Press a finger on the Home Pg TbN, Hold until you feel your mobile vibrates, then without leaving your finger from the screen, Drag the image 2 Trash bin (red box) at the bottom of the screen. (abrv. PHvD2, got it!). The 2 TbN images show the (left image) "Many blanks" Home Pgs" [3 extra] (right) "Correct Number" of Home Pgs". As we suggest the 3 extra blank Home Pgs should be removed to tidy up the pages. If there are additional Apps and you need a new Home Pg you can always add + a new Home Pg.
with Many Blank Home Pages
Remove the 3 extra by PHvD2 to the Remove / Trash bin (red box)
+ SKy will add new Home Pg
correct number of Home Pages
The following 2 images shows a typical Home Pg (App button in red box) vs App Pg (Home button in red box).
(4th out of 4)
The Apps SKy (red box) show this a Home Page
(2nd out of 6 - some may be blank)
The Home SKy (red box) shows this a Apps Page.
The next 2 images shows the App page after pressing the left "Option" HKy. Note: 1) S.Adv & S.III have different App Pg format & different Menu, 2) the use of Folders to group all the Apps in the S.Adv image, only the EasyAccess remains as an App & 3) there is only 1 App Page in the S.Adv Version (red box) due to use of Folders. (In short Folders reduce the number of pages that you need to swipe to find.)
Menu are different in the 2 versions: S.III version has 8 options while S.Adv version has 3.
version of Edit Menu in Apps Page
Note this version of Apps page made use of Folders thus reducing to only 1 App Page (red box)
of Edit Menu in Apps Page
The next image is what is inside the App Tool Folder in one of Home Pg with the important "Play Store" App for downloading other Apps (red box) and the S.III Home Pg with its 5 SKy at the bottom.
Tool Folder in the Apps Page
The important "Play Store" App is in red box. This is used to get Apps from GMail (register for a GMail Ac if you have not, to use Play Store you must have a GMail Ac)
Page with its 5 SKy
The Apps SKy (red box) cannot be moved.
To reorganise your Home Pgs you may first want to remove some Apps that you don't want to be on it. To remove a App from a Home Pg, trash the App using PHvD2 Trash. You are now ready to select the Apps from the Application Pgs to put in them in the selected Home Pg; ie on the App use PHvD2 Home Pg. Remember you can use Folders to help you to organise your Home Pgs as well as the App Pgs.
2 important Apps on the 1st Home Pg
There are 2 important Apps that we place on the 1st Home Pg, they are Settings & Task Manager. Why we label them as important, read the 5th topic on my paranoid .
To place Apps from the App Pgs, first select the Home Pg you want to put your App. Since we are targeting the 1st Pg, Swipe to the 1st Pg.
Next press the 4th bottom-most SKy ie App to get to the Apps Pgs. Swipe until you see the App Pg that contain the Setting App. Next PHvD2 Home Pg that appear. Once you leave your finger, App will sit in the 1st Home Pg. To move it to a new position, again use PHvD2 new position.
Repeat above to place the Task Manager App in the 1st Home Pg next to the Setting App.
There is another way to add Apps. (These smart phones are very versatile).
At the 1st Home Pg, PH until the Home Pg is reduced as TbN and a soft 4 option menu appear at the bottom. Select the Shortcuts SKy, next select the App SKy from next menu (swipe-able). This will then list all the Apps in the mobile. Look for the Setting & Task Manager Apps. For each App, PH let go, it will end up in the 1st Home Pg.
In this way you will see that there are Widgets you can also add to the Home Pgs; what are they? Can we replace these 2 Apps by some more powerful Widgets? (More to explore; not yet). That is the reason why we advocate that you buy a Android phone if you have not. We assure you, it will blow your mind.
3 Touch Screen: Taps & Motions
Until recently i just found that tapping TWICE quickly with your finger will zoom in or out while viewing web page or images instead of spreading your fingers . This comes about because in Jelly Bean some options will not work by tapping once, you need to tap TWICE, not sure it is a bug or a hardware problem. Following is a page from the Jelly Bean manual on tap, flick & pinch - use the right jargon.
In Jelly Bean, there are many Built-in motion recognition allows you to perform actions by moving your device or making gestures with your hands. To use these functions, you must first activate the motion recognition feature. In the application list, select Settings > Motion. You can also set the reaction speed of such motions in Sensitivity Settings. Unfortunately some of these may not work in various flavors of Samsung Galaxy, particularly true of imitation clones. Even as originals, they have too many features that can go haywire, like the saying "One more joss stick holder, one more devil" to give you endless annoyance.
The motions & effect are tabulated below
Set to make a voice call by picking up and holding the device near your ear while viewing call, message, or contact details
Set the device to alert you if you have missed calls or new messages when you pick up your device
Double Tap Top
Set to move to the top of a list of contacts or email messages when you double-tap the device
Tilt to Zoom
Set to use a tilting motion to zoom in or out when viewing images or browsing webpages
|Pan 2 move Icon||Set to move an item to another page when you tap and hold the item, and then slide the device to the left or right.|
|Pan 2 browse image||Set to scroll through an image by sliding the device in any direction when the image is zoomed in|
|Shake 2 update||Set to shake your device to search for Bluetooth devices or Kies air devices|
|Turn over 2 mute/pause||Set to mute ringtones, pause media playback, or mute the FM radio when you place the device face down|
|Palm swipe 2 capture||Set to capture an image of the screen when you sweep your hand to the left or right across the screen|
|Palm touch 2 mute/pause||Set to pause media playback or mute the FM radio when you touch the screen with your palm|
To help to understand these motions more, following are some images
4 New Users - Beware of unwanted / unaware ISP Data NetWork Usage
New users of smart phone must be vigilant of your mobile connecting to your ISP. Depending on your data plan, eg Maxis ISP do warn you by SMS or caped the transfer once your limit is reached. Remember data network is not cheap, 1G will cost around RM50 depending on ISP. You can easily run up to hundreds of ringgit if your plan has no capping.
You should know how to check your Data Usage. For example if you are a Maxis user, dial *100#, then Navigate [Internet & Setting > Mobile Internet > Check Status] to show you what plan you have and how much is your usage.
Always set your mobile to No for "Use packet data". This is done by Navigate [Settings (App) > Wireless & network > Mobile Networks].
Also your mobile's top status bar will also show if you are data connected to your ISP. To understand what's in the top status, you have to read the manual for your mobile; hence download it now if you want to be more aware of your phone.
Also the shop selling you the phone, may also accidently switch on your Data Network when they use your Sim card to set it up, so again be vigilant. Best of luck.
5 My new phone use up all its Power (100% to 0%) in < 12 hours at night. Are you paranoid about battery usage?
When your phone is consuming power, it will be warm even though you not actively using it.
Two widgets on battery usage to look out for beside reading the notes in Navigate[Settings > Power Saving > Learn abt power saving] in your mobile.
Active Application Widget: Put this Monitor Widget (see below on how to add
a Widget) on the Main Home Pg to help you to control power user. This
Widget will show you what App are Active; more importantly you can see
how much RAM is being use (50% sound right). By selecting "Clear memory"
SKy to can reduce the memory usage to 40%.
Note: This Widget is actually come from Task Manager App (in some model, this will not present itself as a Widget ie only show as App).
Battery Widget Fuel Gauge Free: This shows the exact % of battery left instead of just a picture. It also shows what apps is using the most battery, top will be the Android System x2, next on the list will be Display.
Widget Over. View (Battery level
Press the SKy (red box) to open the battery usage page
Wifi is shown to be on while Bluetooth is off.
Widget - Battery Usage by Apps
Note: Battery expect to last 1 day 2 hours in the image
To know if you have a battery problem or phone problem, fully charged the phone then do the following:
Ensure Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS & Sync are all turn off.
Use Active Application Widget to clear Memory to until all Apps are closed.
Reduce Brightness to minimum
Reduction Screen TimeOut to 30 secs.
Use your phone in your normal pace as a granny phone ie the traditional phoning & messaging, no fancy smart function.
In this granny usage way, your battery should last at least two to three days like the good of days. If not & if phone is not warm when not in use, battery is the culprit. Change to another battery, repeat above to compare.
Three good Apps here are KillerApp (as the name say - kill unwanted Apps that are running), Carat App (monitor what App is hogging & bugging your system.) and Watch Dog Lite. Do not blindly use KillerApp to kill all as it may not be the best way as some experts say. I now rely on "Watch Dog" "Alerts" to see if there are any Apps which are misbehaving & not just simply kill. Search the web and experiment with them to learn more. We are also learning everyday.
6 Reboot or Hard Reset of the Phone / Crisis Issues
If your phone system is badly corrupted, you may require a Hard Reset. This is what the Service Center will do as the first line of repair - Restore Factory Default settings. You too can do this by Navigate [Settings > Privacy > Factory Data Reset]. Taking the "Reset" option will Erase all data in your phone & you have to reinstall all your Apps and reconfigure your pages. So don't do this if you want peace.
However this is one other thing you can do which is not so turbulent. This is do a "Reboot" or Hard Reset that will recopy the system files (i think). To do this, first turn off the phone. When phone is off, press & hold Volume Up HKy (not down), follow by pressing & holding "Home" HKy & finally the "Power" HKy. (see the resemblance to Ctrl-Alt-Del in PC). Do this until you feel yr phone vibrate, let go and soon you will see the rebooting screen (font very tiny). Finally follow the instruction on the screen; Volume Up/Down HKy to select option and Home HKy to run selected option. Once it is done, the phone is as good as new.
Some times if all else fail, open the back cover and remove the battery, then restart.
The following is an extract from Jelly Bean that is useful for Crisis management.
7 How to add a Widget & Why Widget over Apps?
At any Home Pg press the Menu HKy, to display the + / Add command. You will then see "Add to Home" 4 choices: Widgets, Shortcuts (contain the Apps & other shortcuts), Folders and Wall papers. We think for rest of it, you have just follow the screen. You must experiment from here to expand your mind and not depend on too much notes. This challenge is one of the reason why you should buy a Android phone to exercise your brain.
Widget is interactive with the system ie updating & showing latest status. Two Widgets that you may already using: 1) Digital Clock & 2) AccuWeather.com. Two other interesting Widgets are Power Saving & Avast Anti Virus (this App can be downloaded from GMail [you need a Gmail account]. You use "Play Store" App within the App Pg to download and install Android Apps (there probably thousand of free App in the web, find it & tell us in Fast Comment or Ask iPC forum [to be reopened]).
Note: Widgets will be different in Jelly Bean and Ginger Bread. Also some built in Apps can be different. For example Polaris Office is a built in App in S.Adv and may not be in S.III or the pirate versions.
8 Why we choose Samsung Galaxy Advance (S.Adv) ?
Firstly we choose Android OS phones because the development community here is big plus Google, the developer, is a great contender. Latest Acer smart phones are on Android Jelly Bean 4.1. Year 2012 in China, Acer had an issue with Google over the A800 smartphone using the Aliyun OS which is said to run Android Apps.
Samsung Galaxy Advance S.Adv is chosen for the right size to suit your pocket both in terms of price and size. It is too bulky to carry a big phone as we use it as mainly as a hand phone rather a tablet or note book.
After playing with Galaxy S.III, though bigger is still ok for the bigger pockets. This is more so because you no longer have to hold such phones next to your ears to talk. You don't ever have to use ear sets to reduce exposure to radiation, why? Simply because the speakers are powerful enough for a comfortable talking and you can always turn up the volume using the left hand volume button (up). This is the correct way to talk if you are doing video chat. Don't forget to press the Speaker SKy.
The extra thing we look for is the front camera so that we can Tango (another great free App) with family oversea with video. The size is also suitable for the older guys to read as the display is not too small. Trust me you will still have to have your myopic reading glass to read anything because of seniority. There are other interesting App for communication which by using WiFi connection you can do it for free; they are WhatsApp (for messaging with picture attachments) & Viber (for talking like Tango but without video).
9 How to choose Communication Apps?
There are many such Apps for download from Play Store App. Don't waste too much time trying out new ones. Just a short note on how to get them & install. Basically, you use Play Store App to download load the Comm Apps. Play Store requires that you have an email account, so if you still don't have one, create it now. One of the things you must learn is to download Apps, install and also how to REMOVE them too, that's a must to stay afloat.
Currently I stick to Viber, WhatsApp, Tango (many use Skype that is based on email address). These 3 are chosen based because of the following attributes:
All use mobile number as contact.
All use wifi which can be free. If you generate your own wifi, it is still cheaper than a direct data plan. (Do you know that your data sim card can be used to generate wifi plus data broadband using 2 types of hardware?)
All are already quite established, so many users or your friends are already in it. Your friends must be have activated account b4 you can chat.
Tango can do video chat too. To see each other your phone must have a front camera.
WhatsApp allow text chat with attachment of pictures, completing the transfer whenever your recipient's wifi window is open. It is fast!.
All installation require that you activate the account using your mobile number. You next have to enter a activation code (sent to your email or sms to your handphone by the server) to complete the activation process before you can start using.
I also use Talk (now changed to Hangouts) from google which is based on email account, not mobile numbers. It is similar to Skype but good thing is it is tied to your email account. In anyway I am with Google from the start using it huge size email box and Chrome browser. Hangouts can now be downloaded as an App Store, TT & Talk is dropped by Google.
In Apr 13 I played with WeChat from Tencent Technology (Shenzhen, China), look very interesting & trendy. WeChat is based on phone number with video chat, etc similar to Tango. But it has a new Live Chat feature not found in the rest. This new feature turns a normal chat into one with sound recording enabling you to hear the historical voice message - interesting eh! - a walkie / talkie.
One caveat - you have to invite a chatting
partner before you can start chatting. For example: you have to ask your wife
permission before you can chat with her highness, a little extra price to pay 2
talk. Once she say yes, it is for life!.
Also if you are not comfortable with your fingers to type or yr English not so good or you want the other party to hear your musical voice, then press "Hold 2 Talk" button & talk2 to record. This also mean that you can keep on talking & talking and the poor guy the other side can't say a thing unless you "over". Great!! ... wait - 1 minute limit.
Another point worth mentioning it cross platforms, meaning iPhone can chat with Androids using WeChat.
So i am now using WeChat, my listed above is expanded to 4.
10 My GPS is not working, is it a hardware or software problem?
My GPS is not showing the right location after my holiday in Spain. So I ask myself the above question and because I dislike sending my mobile back to the De Garden, Ipoh, I joined the forum http://androidforums.com & post my worry. A senior member suggested I download the "GPSTest" App from google PlayStore which I did. Then what did I find?
The GPSTest app was first not showing any satellite BECAUSE I was doing it in a 2 storey building. Once i was outside but still with a porch roof over my head, 8 satellites appeared but all grey, meaning none was being used. The minute I move out from the porch to the open air, all satellites signal colored up. The next instant my position was correctly shown.
But .. later (learning curve) I found that it even within a building, they will light up depending
on the area, so be patient.
So there is nothing wrong with my hardware or the software; as a novice I just learnt that GPS signal do penetrate everywhere, we just got to be patient while allowing this App to give us confidence.
This app is fantastic as it also acts as a compass, altitude indicator, atomic clock reports & more. Enjoy your GPS on your mobile with this App. Here are images showing how great this GPS-Test App is.
|No Satellites being detected yet
GPS is on and is in the process of detecting. Faster detection if there is no roof over your head.
|Satellites in View
= 9 and
In Use = 3
The 2 in use has Signal to Noise Ration (SNR) of 33
The time 20:35 is according to the atomic clock in the satellite.
Note the direction of magnetic north.
Note the direction of the satellites over your head.
The day and night are in the world is shown.
Position of sun is in yellow and your position is in red.
11 Understand transfer of data between PC & mobile using USB port (among too many other ways!)
To transfer pictures, sound, doc etc between devices (between mobiles, PC-mobile), the easiest way is to make use of the cloud storage; meaning make use of What'sApp that can attach & send files - simple en?
However for those who like to better control of transfers between mobile and PC by using applets such as Total Commander (TCom will expose all files and allow better control & monitor the transfer process) then you need to use your USB cable. The key points in using cable connections are 1) Do not plug in the cable to your mobile unless told by the system (S.III may be different, it is smarter), 2) follow instructions on your mobile 3) use your PC to process (the mobile will become a memory device attached to your PC). The process is explained below by the images on my S.Adv mobile.
& Network dialog from Settings
Use the USB utilities to do the connection
Tap the button to go to next screen
|Instruction to connect USB cable
Note: Timing is important, do not connect cable until you see this. S.III may be different
2nd Last Screen before the actual connection
Once you tap Connect button the green android will turn to orange.
Once orange ie connected, go to your PC and do all your file routines such as transfer, rename, delete, etc.
12 How to get the latest news feed to stay ahead of changes, the the fastest and cheapest way?
One of the top 10 Apps (one point of view) is Pulse. It will update the introduction of the news item that you have selected. Subject grouping can be News, Science, Biz, Tech, Health, etc. In each of these group you can have famous names such as Economist, BBC News, Forbes, National Geographic, Harvard business, and many more. Once you are connected to a WIFI source, opening Pulse will update them.
To read the full article, you have to browse in the web from Pulse by clicking the related button. There is a way to save money by downloading the full article as an .pdf and then you read it with "Polaris Office" App later. The download pdf is at the "download" folder which is easily located using the "My Files" App. This way you do not need access to Wifi at the time of reading. Polaris Office has a very important feature that allows easy reading by downward scroll only - "ReFlow Text".
The costs of reading articles is cheapest because you rely on some Wifi connection which is prepaid and thus free as far as you are concerned. It is the fastest because Pulse will filter the articles for you based on your subject group and selection of famous names.
The following images should guide you to DIY (Do It Yourself).
Group showing News source you selected
Opening this will download the latest articles from each source to the respective groups.
downloaded pdf file using Polaris Office
Check out the very useful "ReFlow Text" SKy (red box) at the its menu
|Using "My Files App" to look at the
Note: You can also use Total Commander to do the same.
Files within the /sdcard/download folder
Click on the file and your mobile will suggest what Apps can be used to open the file
Jelly Bean News
Jelly Bean is now (16 Jan 13) available for Samsung Galaxy S.Adv (old android version is Ginger Bread) Users, see this link http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/424634/20130116/galaxys-advance-i9070-official-android412-xxlpy-jellybean.htm. Do this at your own risk, we have not tried it yet.