Android 2.3 Gingerbread is out of the bag and eventually will make its way to phones. But many of you are still waiting on Froyo. And in the meantime, there can be a bit of confusion over which version of Android you're actually running. The easy way to check is to press the menu button, then go to settings. The scroll down (it's usually at the bottom) and choose "About phone." You should see a screen like the ones above. (Note that HTC phones may make you go deeper, into "Software Information."
What you're looking for is "Android version." You should have Android 2.1-update 1, or Android 2.2, or Android 2.2.1. What you're not looking for is "Software version." On the Droid X (which you see above on the left), it may be a bit confusing, because the software version is 2.3.xxx. But that doesn't mean you're running Android 2.3. (Sorry.) No, just look for the Android Version line and you'll be all set.
So you've got this snazzy new phone, with some snazzy "Super AMOLED" or "SLCD" or "AMOLED" or "LCD" screen -- or whatever the tech buzzword of the week happens to be.
Your phone has a sensor (also called an ambient light sensor) that automatically adjusts the brightness on the screen depending on how bright it is where you happen to be. (That's the "ambient light" part.) You'll likely notice your phone's screen doing dim or brightening throughout the day. The idea is to keep it low, but not too low, to save on battery life.
But what if it's just not bright enough for you? Go to Menu>Settings>Display>Brightness and uncheck the "Automatic brightness" box. You'll now have a slider with which you can adjust your screen.
Most phones (especially those on Froyo) also have widgets that let you adjust to low, medium and high brightness.
We don't recommend running around with your phone's screen turned up all the way, but you're free to do so if you want. Just don't come complaining to us about how quickly your battery drains.
Adding a signature to your e-mail -- especially when you're working from a smartphone -- can be either a badge of honor, or an excuse. (The joke goes that you can get away with typo after typo so long as your signature says "Sent from my iPhone.)
Adding a signature in your Android smartphone's gmail account is easy.
Fire up ye olde gmail application.
Press the menu button.
Type the snarky statement of your choice.
Signatures don't have to (and probably shouldn't be) full of snark, but they can be handy to let the recipient know that you're working from a phone, and so the response might not be as long as it would be if you were working from a desktop. Typos are still on you, however.
About a year ago the Motorola Droid was released, and many of us have held strong with it since then, but with all these new devices being released there is tons of temptations. As many of you know the primary line on Verizon accounts are eligible for annual upgrades, which means it is that time to make the big decision. Are you content with your Droid for the time being, or is there something else that is out that you plan to make the jump to? So, let us know, will the OG Droid be enough to hold you over for now, or will you be making your way to a Verizon store to grab yourself a new device?
If your Android smartphone has a physical keyboard, it also has keyboard shortcuts. And these shortcuts are customizable. The picture on the left is what you see what you press the menu button once, and then press and hold it again. You briefly get a look at the keyboard shortcuts for the top-level menu items. Want to quickly open the notifications area? Hold the menu button and press "n." Menu+p gets you to the settings.
Even better is that you can set new keyboard shortcuts, based off the search button. Go to settings>applications>quick launch, and you can set new shortcuts, or reassign the ones that are already there. (And in the case of the Motorola Droid Pro, remap the quick-launch hardware button on the right-hand side of the device.)
2 years ago
Galaxy Tab root (and others) just a few clicks away with z4root root
So you have your new shiny Galaxy Tab, and you want to root it. I like the way you think. The good news is that the days of SDK's, cryptic shell commands, and crazy Windows USB drivers are over. An app from the Market (z4root -- links after the break) will root your Tab, as well as other Galaxy S phones and other NAND unlocked devices with just a button press.
Download and install Z4Root from the Market
Enable USB debugging (menu>settings>applications>development)
Run the app, and press the "root" button
Your Tab will restart, and you're rooted. Unrooting is just as easy, just run z4root and "unroot." Of course a lot of the goodies available for other devices just haven't been made for the Tab just yet, but they're coming. Hit the jump for download links and a list of other phones this will work on. [XDA Developers via Pocketables]
Now that we're all getting our Samsung Galaxy Tabs, we're going to want to take a screen shot or two, right? And Sammy's made it easy for us. No rooting, no muss, no fuss.
To take a screen shot on your Galaxy Tab, all you have to do is hold the back button and press the power button. You'll hear a shutter "click."
Screen shots are automatically saved onto the Tab's microSD card, in the ScreenCapture folder. You can the e-mail them, mount the device and manually move to your computer, upload somewhere -- whatever you want!
We know this works on the Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile versions of the Galaxy Tab, and presumably it will on the AT&T version, too.
As North America prepares to "fall back" from Daylight Saving Time (and that's the correct name for it, by the way) at 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning, we need to make sure everything is ready to go -- including our Android phones.
In theory, there's nothing we need do to get our phones ready. The OS should handle the time change on its own, but it's always best to be prepared and have a backup plan.
On your Android phone, tap the menu button, then settings, then scroll way down to the Date & time settings. Make sure Automatic (Use network-provided values) is checked. If you need to set a different time (our readers in Indiana might have to do this) you can change back Sunday morning when you wake up -- let the network and OS make the switch automatically to keep things from fouling up.
If you rely on your phone as your alarm clock, be smart and use another method for a day, just in case. This is especially important in the fall, as a malfunction would cause the alarm to go off an hour late. And finally, change those smoke detector batteries!
2 years ago
Motorola Backflip to Android 2.1 upgrade instructions, release notes
Copy it to the root of your SD card (not inside another folder), and make sure it stays named "Blur_Version.3.0.1390.MB300.ATT.en.US.zip." Sometimes Windows likes to add to the file type extension, so double check.
Tap the menu key > Settings > About Phone > System Updates and look for the update. Your Backflip should find it, install it, and reboot.
When you restart (this process may take a while!) you should be running Android 2.1. Our friend also says that you may experience apps force closing, this can be fixed by uninstalling, then reinstalling. Good Luck! Thanks anonymous friends!