Integration with Google Mail, the ability to accommodate third-party software and a finger-friendly interface all help explain why Google Android has quickly become an immensely popular mobile operating system. We demonstrate how to set up email and organise files using the platform.
Integration with Google Mail, the ability to accommodate third-party software and a finger-friendly interface all help explain why Google Android has quickly become an immensely popular mobile operating system.
Of course, it helps that Android handsets tend to offer Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS as standard, and that a range of designs are available at various price points. Some Android handsets push the boundaries at the very highest end of the smartphone spectrum, while others are pitched to compete with lower-cost feature phones – and there are plenty of examples in between.
Android has a great range of onboard features, but it can also be ‘skinned’. In other words, it lends itself to customisation and can be augmented with a bespoke interface. In fact, nearly all Google Android handsets have some sort of customised look or features.
We used a Motorola XT720 for the following workshop. While it offers high-end features such as an 8Mp camera, the Motorola runs an unskinned version of Android 2.1. You may see slightly different results and be offered additional options on your own handset.
‘Scenes’ aren’t unique to Android, but we think they offer a prime example of how manufacturers can add value to their handsets. HTC, in particular, employs Scenes on many of its smartphones, allowing it to create sets of home screens with their own widgets and wallpapers for use in different situations.
You could set up Scenes for work, leisure, business trips, holidays and so on, putting the applications and widgets you’re likely to need in a given situation to hand.
Whatever a manufacturer has done to differentiate its smartphone from the rest, every handset can accommodate applications found in the Android Market. We found plenty of apps there to help us increase our productivity, and we’ll share our finds with you over the following pages.
Step 1. Your Android handset can incorporate contacts and contact data from a range of different sources. When you first used your handset, it will have imported your contacts from Gmail. If you also want to import contact information from your SIM, open the Contacts app, press the Menu button and choose Import/Export, ‘Import from SIM card’.
Step 2. HTC Sync lets you synchronise the Outlook contact and calendar information stored on your PC with your phone. Install and launch the application. Choose Sync Manager, Settings, then work your way through the menu on the lefthand side of the screen.
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