In this mini instruction manual for smartphones, we decided to meet all the users who want to use an Android phone for the first time (maybe coming from an iPhone or an old generation phone) showing you instead how to use it as an expert right away.
The guide is suitable for beginners but we will also show you many tricks and advanced guides with which to constantly improve the approach to Android also by users who have been using it for many years.READ ALSO: Guide in 20 points to Android to start with your mobile or tablet
Android Guide for Beginners
The guide is divided into convenient categories, so you can learn all the secrets of the Google-branded operating system step by step.
How to call and add numbers in the phonebook
Making a classic call is really very simple: we search for the Phone or Call app to view the dialing keypad, type the phone number we want to call and then tap the green button to start the call.
If we have numbers to save in the phonebook, we can import them directly from the SIM Card or type them on the numeric keypad and select the item Add to contacts or Save in contacts, visible directly from the keypad or from the menu at the top right. The numbers saved are visible from the app Contacts or Address Book, based on the phone manufacturer; to avoid losing them in case of loss or change of phone, we advise you to activate the synchronization of online contacts, as described in our guide on How to transfer Android contacts and synchronize the phonebook.
If we want to integrate an unwanted call filtering system on our Android phone, we can change the official keypad and install one of the recommended dialer apps in our guide on how to Block calls from unwelcome numbers and unsolicited SMS.
How to add an email account
Emails are very important nowadays and we will have to make sure to receive them in real-time even on our Android smartphone. Modern telephones have an app dedicated to receiving e-mail messages (usually called Email), but for convenience, we recommend using only the Gmail app, always updated, already present on virtually any Android device and compatible with any type of phone.
To add a Gmail email account to our phone, simply add a Google account to the phone: open the Settings app, look for the menu Account or Synchronization so let’s tap on Add account -> Google; now we will only have to enter the Google account in our possession to start Gmail synchronization.
If we want to add other Gmail accounts or other mail accounts (to be checked in a single app), just open the Gmail app, open the top left menu (with the three horizontal lines), tap on Settings and finally select Add Account. The app supports Outlook, Hotmail and Live, Yahoo accounts, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 accounts and offers the possibility to manually configure the account to be entered (for example in case of corporate email or PEC).
In this regard, we invite you to read our guides on how Add non-Google email addresses on Gmail for Android is the Best Android app to read and send Email.
How to install a new app
In order to expand the functionality of the phone, we will have to learn to install new apps from the dedicated Android store, ie Google Play Store. We identify your app among those present in the device and we log in with a Google account (in case we haven’t done it yet); after access we will see the initial screen of the store appear, where you can choose what to install from the various categories or using the search bar at the top (in case we need a specific app).
Once you have identified the app you want to install, simply tap on its name or image, then press the button Install to start the installation on the device (if the app is available for free). If the app is available for a fee, we will first need to add a payment method to the Play Store, as described in our Guide to the Google Play Store, tricks and options to know.
If we don’t know which app to install on our Android smartphone, we invite you to read our guides Best free Android Apps to download for each category is Best 10 paid Android apps that are worth buying.
If, on the other hand, we look for an alternative store from which to install the apps (net of the safety tips that we will see in the dedicated chapter), we recommend reading our article on Alternatives to Play Store to download Android Apps without Google Account.
How to customize the look of Android
What sets Android apart from any other operating system (even compared to iPhones) is the great level of customization that we can set on our phone: practically we can change the appearance and usability of the device by installing the right apps!
If we want to change the launcher (ie the screen and app management system), just install one of the recommended apps in our guide to Best Android Launcher to change Startup Screen on all smartphones; if we are looking for maximum speed from our phone, we can choose one of the launchers recommended in the article ai Android launcher faster and lighter for slow smartphones.
If we want to change the keyboard, just install one of the alternative keyboard present on the store and go to the app Settings -> Languages and input -> Current keyboard, so you can choose the keyboard to use when writing messages or on any app.
For a change the background, the lock screen, and the widgets, we invite you to read our dedicated guides on how Change and download wallpapers on Android phones and tablets, on how Change Android screen lock with lock screen apps and finally the Best Android widgets for the smartphone screen.
If instead, we want a more “pure” Android experience, with apps that are always up to date and based on Google releases, we invite you to replace the system apps with the recommended apps in our guide to All Google Apps for Android smartphones.
How to increase security on Android
Security is an aspect not to be underestimated on Android, given that its widespread use has aroused the interest of cybercriminals, who create new viruses and traps for Android smartphones every day.
To avoid fraudulent or virus-filled apps, it enough activates the integrated antivirus in Google Play Store: we open the Store app, press the menu at the top left (with the three horizontal lines), then select the menu Play Protect.
We press on the gear symbol in the upper right corner and make sure that the two items Search for security threats is Improve detection of malicious apps are active. In this way Play Protect will always check all installed apps, reporting and removing dangerous apps that we can install by mistake or through external sources.
To increase security e also block dangerous chat messages (very widespread, especially on WhatsApp), we advise you to install one of the free antivirus apps reported in our guide to Best antivirus for Android free. Always to increase safety, we carefully follow all the advice in the article on How to protect Android from malware and malicious apps, viruses, and spies, so as to avoid the vast majority of threats that can hit our phone.
If we fear that our Android smartphone can be lost or stolen, it will be enough for you activate the tracking system integrated in the operating system, so you can always know where our phone is (if it’s on and connected to the Internet), lock it or reset it remotely and let it ring, so you can find it immediately.
To block the launch of some apps and to keep your data and passwords in a safe place, just follow the advice in our guide on how to Securing Android phone data in 10 ways.
How to update Android and apps
To benefit from new features and to increase the security of our Android smartphone, we will have to proceed with the constant updating of the operating system and installed apps, so as not to take risks and always get the latest news.
To update the operating system via the manufacturer’s official releases, simply go to Settings -> About phone -> System updates (or similar entry) and start searching for new updates. If there is an update, just press Download and install it to update the operating system. If our smartphone has not received any system updates for at least two years, we advise you to install a modified operating system (a custom ROM), such as those recommended in our guide to Best Android Custom ROM versions for every smartphone.
If we do not want to change the operating system (the procedure is long and not without risks), we can still have an updated smartphone by following the advice in our guide to How to update Android (even without installing new versions).
Automatically update apps it is very simple and within the reach of any user: we open the app Google Play Store, let’s get to the top left menu (three horizontal lines) and select the menu Settings. From here we select the item Automatic app update and make sure we select Only via Wi-Fi or On any network (if we have a mobile data offer of at least 20 GB).
If we want to update the apps manually at regular intervals, we return to the left side menu of the Play Store, let’s tap My apps and my games then press on the button Update all (if present) to update the apps.
We advise you to always update the apps, so you can access the new features and increase their usability over time; if the internal memory is not enough to update all the apps, we advise you to read our guide on how Free up Android space on internal memory and SD card.
With our complete guide to Android, we will be able to use any phone with the green robot as if we were expert users, it will be enough to learn just the essential to be able to carry out most of the daily operations.
Still on the subject of Android, we can read our two guides to things to do right away on the new Android smartphone and ai typical errors on Android that make beginners, so you know right away the things to do as soon as we turn on the phone and things not to do on Android, since they can ruin the user experience.
In another article, to learn more, we talked about the Android notification bar, another important element worth investing some time in, so as to become true experts in the operating system.
To stay updated on Android news, we install the How2do app on our mobile phone without delay.