On a lot of the content I push out, whether it be a screenshot or a video, if my lockscreen makes itself known, there's usually a comment or two asking what lockscreen I'm using or what I set up and how, so folks can reproduce the same thing on their phone. I've decided to write a handy little guide for anyone hoping to do the same, and finally put the questions to rest.
It's rather simple, and you're only going to need a few things:
One thing Android devices are not known for is having stellar battery life, but most of us can live with that because of all the other amazing things it can do. We have all come to the realization we need to monitor our battery life, and see exactly what is eating it up throughout the day, but what about the new folks who don't know how to do this, they are missing out. Well, with just a few simple steps you can monitor your battery life as well, and gain a better understanding of what is draining it, and look for some ways to help improve it.
Open device settings
Scroll to "about phone"
Click on "battery use"
Next to each process that is using battery for your device you will notice that it will show a percentage of its use, generally the display is near the top, depending on how bright you have your screen set. With this information you can see what applications and processes are eating through your battery, and adjust your usage to allow for better battery life.
By now your Google account is probably linked to just about every Google product available, and having them all sync to your device can be quite a strain on your battery. Often times users don't even realize that most of these items are syncing automatically in the background, but luckily controlling what gets synced is quite simple. By turning off things that you don't need syncing users can enhance the performance of their battery because the device is not consistently checking for things to change and update. Whether you wish to sync emails, contacts, calendars, Google +, Google Music, or any other Google service, complete control can be had by following a few simple steps.
Go to Settings then Accounts and Sync
Click on the account you wish to manage
Check and un-check the options you want to change
Back out to save your changes
With just a few clicks you are able to have complete control at any time, making it extremely easy for users to change their minds of what can sync at any time.
So you just got a brand new shiny Android device and you are looking for a way to get rid of that boring default wallpaper? Well, look no further because we are here to help you get something that you want set on your device. Each device comes with a number of pre-installed static wallpapers, along with a bunch of live wallpapers as well which users can select. Fortunately, you are not stuck with these, and you can install just about anything you want, so if you are looking for something different hop in the Android Market and download one of the many wallpaper apps available, and browse for one you like. Once you find and save a wallpaper that you want to your device, you have two different options of how to set it, so let's take a look at those.
From your home screen press menu, then select wallpapers or from your app drawer select your gallery icon
Use the box to select the portion of the wallpaper you want to use
In the lower left corner you will accept the size, then wait a second for it to set as wallpaper
Once you receive a confirmation that it has been set, hit the home button and view your wallpaper
If you happen to hit the home button before the device confirms that the wallpaper is set, it may not actually set it so you will have to go back and do it all again. Error on the side of caution and give it a few seconds to complete and set itself as the wallpaper.
Widgets are probably one of the coolest features of Android devices, and developers seem to love them as much as the users do. When installing an application, not only do you receive the application but often times you are also gaining some widgets along with it and these usually offer users quick and easy access to various features of the application. Adding, moving and removing widgets from any of your home screens is quite simple, so let's take a look at how it is done.
Either long press an empty space on your home screen, or press "menu" then "add."
Select "widgets" and allow the list to load
Select "widget" from the list by tapping on it (if there are settings they will then pop up)
From here you can move the widgets around by simply long pressing on any of them and then dragging them, like they are an icon. Widgets can be removed from your home screen by long pressing the widget and dragging it to the top, or bottom (depending on your launcher) until it turns red, and then letting go of it.
Ever find yourself reading a website or e-mail on your device and then out of no where the screen goes blank? Sometimes that pesky timeout for your screen can be way to short, or way to long for your preference, but luckily it is something that is extremely easy to change, and can be managed while on the go. The default screen time out is set to 30 seconds as a battery saver, but that is not ideal for all users, some want longer, and some want much longer, but fear not with a few simple steps you can make it however you need. Follow these simple steps to take control of your screen time out.
Go to settings, then display
Change the time out setting to your preference
Press the back button to save changes
Sit back and relax
Now wasn't that simple? If you find yourself needing more time simply change it, and if you wish to go back to the standard 30 seconds, you can easily swap back to that as well. Pretty simple, huh?
As we all know tons and tons and tons of Android devices are dropping all the time, and keeping up with the newest device on the market is enough to make anyone want to file bankruptcy. Comparing all the specs of the devices can be a daunting task, as it appears each time you are comfortable with a decision, something new is releasing, or being announced. So, where do you draw the line? What is the most important feature about a new device for you, is it screen size, resolution, processor, operating system, camera, or something else? Be sure to take a second out of your busy day, and let us know what is most important to you in your decision making process.
Facebook does a really good job reminding us when our upcoming Events are or when our friends and families have their birthdays. It’s gotten to the point now where I’ve given up trying to memorize birthdays and just look to Facebook. The problem I run into is that I don’t spend all my time on Facebook, so if there was an easy way for me to see the reminders on a service that I do, such as Google Calendar, it would be a lot more valuable. Enter: syncing your Facebook Events with your Google Calendar. It is an easy process that will take ten minutes tops. Here is the step by step process:
First: Go to your Facebook account and click Events in the left pane. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see three links: Past Events, Birthdays and Export.
Next: I'm going to show Birthdays only, but if you want all events, just click Export and skip this step. Click Birthdays. Scroll all the way to the bottom again and click Export Birthdays. A link will pop up.
Finally Copy the link and go into your Google Calendar. In Other Calendars in the bottom left, select Add, then Add by URL. Paste the link you copied into the box.
Voila! You're all set. The Calendar will appear in your Other Calendars as Friends' Birthdays. If you are on your Android device and go into your Calendar application -> Settings -> Calendars, it should be listed. If the box is ticked, then that means it's syncing to your Android device. Now you won't have to worry about visiting Facebook when you're worried about missing someone's birthday you may have forgotten.
As we all know, battery life is something that we all keep an eye on with Android devices, and one of the biggest offenders in this is the brightness of the display. Setting the brightness of the display is rather easy, and something that can be changed at anytime without the need of rebooting the device or anything. Follow the few simple steps below, and in no time you will be in complete control of your devices brightness.
Launch the device settings
Scroll to Display
Select brightness, uncheck automatic brightness
Drag bar left to right to make brighter / dimmer
While the device defaults to Auto, this is not always the best setting as often times users can use the device at a lower brightness, which consumes less battery. In the direct sun light you may want to change it back to full brightness, but play around with it, and set it up to your personal preferences.
One of my favorite things about Android is that there are tons of options for keyboards, lots of different styles, skins and colors that can be selected, and changing them on the go is extremely easy. The stock Android keyboard is not for everyone, and many of us like using other options like Swype, Smart Keyboard Pro, Thumb Keyboard or one of the many others that are available, and setting them to be your default keyboard is rather easy.
Download and install new keyboard
Go to Settings then scroll to Languages and keyboard
Ensure that check mark is next to name of new keyboard
Go to a text entry field (email, SMS, etc)
Long press in empty compose space, select Input Method
Select keyboard that you wish to use
It's just that simple. You can change them at any time, even in the middle of a message if you wish!