Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Android tips

How to Switch between Open Apps

When running an app, you can minimize it by simply tapping the Home icon. Getting back to it is not just one click on the task bar like the way you do in Windows. But the Android way is pretty straightforward too.

Tap the Recent Apps icon to reveal the apps that you recently opened. (Note 2)
Slide down to see more recent apps.
Tap a screenshot from the list to instantly switch to the app.
Note 1: You can clear the recent apps from the list by swiping them sideways one by one.
Note 2: On Android 2.x, touch and hold the Home button to reveal recent apps.

How to Close a Running App

The Android system doesn't need you to close a running app for every instance. But in some cases you may need to force stop an app that's misbehaving, or like playing a game, you may need to actually close the app in order to start a new level rather than continuing the last. Here are the steps to follow:

Run the Settings app and tap Apps under DEVICE.
Select the app you want to close.
Tap the 'Force stop' button and tap 'OK' to confirm.

How to Set and Clear a Default App

In Android, you can set a file to open with a certain program by default as you do in Windows. For example, if you have installed an image viewer such as QuickPic, the system will ask you to select an app when you try to open an image file (See the screenshot).

To set a default app to open the file, check 'Use by default for this action' before you tap that app.
The next time you tap an image file, it will always open with the app you've selected without asking you again.

What if you need to clear the default app?

Run the Settings app and tap Apps under DEVICE.
Choose the app you do not want to launch by default.
Tap 'Clear defaults' under LAUNCH BY DEFAULT.

How to Uninstall an App

Installing apps from the Google Play store to your Android device is convenient, likewise removing them is pretty straightforward.

Tap the All Apps icon on the tray and select the Apps tab on the top.
Touch and hold the icon of the app you want to uninstall.
Drag and drop the app icon over the Uninstall icon then tap 'OK' to confirm. (The Uninstall icon appears only for the app that can be uninstalled from the system.)
Alternatively, you can run the Settings app, tap Apps under DEVICE then select the app you want to uninstall from the list.

How to Add and Remove Icons from Home Screens

When you install an app, the system often adds an app icon on your home screen. This icon works as a shortcut to run the app. In case you need to manually add an app icon or a widget icon yourself, it's pretty easy.

Tap the All Apps icon on the tray.
Select the Apps or Widgets tab on the top.
Touch and hold the icon you want to create a shortcut.
Drag and drop the icon on a home screen you like.
To remove an icon from your home screen:

Touch and hold the icon of apps, widgets or shortcuts until the Remove icon appears on the top.
Drag and drop the icon over the Remove icon.
Note: On Android 2.x, you can add a shortcut icon by touching and holding an empty location of a home screen or press Menu then tap 'Add'; On Android 3.0, touch the customize button at the top right of a home screen to add a shortcut icon.

How to Re-arrange Icons

When you install new apps to your Android, the system stacks up the icons automatically without asking you to select a home screen. But you can subsequently re-arrange the icons on the home screens and on the tray.

Touch and hold any icon on your screen for a second.
Drag the icon to a different spot on the screen, or even to or from the tray, except for the permanent "All Apps" icon.
You can also drag an icon to the left or right edge of the screen until it starts sliding, then drop the icon to another screen.

How to Create, Rename and Remove Folders

Other than the apps on the tray, sometimes it's difficult to quickly look for an app to open if you have many icons spreading across a few home screens. Why not create a folder to group similar apps together? It's much easier than you might think.

Touch and hold any icon for a second.
Drag the icon over the top of another. The system then automatically groups two app icons in a folder.
Touch the folder, then tap "Unnamed Folder", key in a name for the folder and tap "Done".
You can rename a folder at any time—tap a folder then tap its name to rename.

While the system auto creates a folder for you, it does the same to removing a folder automatically—tap a folder to expand it, then clear all grouped items inside the folder—just touch and hold, then drag them out from the folder one by one.

Note: Older Android system doesn't support this feature, but you can rely on a third-party app such as GO Launcher EX to achieve almost the same effect.

How to Type Faster with Multiple Spaces
Instead of typing a period at the end of each sentence and follow by a space, you can tap the space bar twice to get the same result.

How to Type Special Characters

If you often need to switch between the on-screen Alphabet and Number keyboards just to type a comma in a sentence, then why not check out below to find out more?

While on the Alphabet keyboard:

, (comma) => touch and hold the Full-stop key (.)
' (single quotation mark) => touch and hold the Full-stop key, and slide to choose the single quotation mark (')
" (double quotation mark) => touch and hold the Full-stop key, and slide to choose the double quotation mark (")
Turn caps lock on/off => double-tap the Shift key to lock, single-tap to unlock.
Special letters not on the keyboard? => touch and hold a key, then slide to choose a variation (See the screenshot).
Need just a digit or symbol from the Number keyboard? => touch the ?123 key and slide to a digit or symbol key, and you're back to the Alphabet keyboard automatically.
While on the Number keyboard:

Symbols not on the keyboard? => touch and hold a key, then slide to choose a variation, or tap the #\< key to find out more.
Often type an equation? => touch and hold the #\< key, tap a sign and you're back to the Number keyboard when you release the #\< key.
Need just a letter from the Alphabet keyboard? => touch the ABC key and slide to a letter key, and you're back to the Number keyboard automatically.

How to Cut, Copy and Paste

This looks simple but can be tricky sometimes when you use different apps. In general, these steps can be used in Email or some other apps:

Double-tap or touch-and-hold to select a word.
Drag the handles to adjust the area if needed, then tap Cut or Copy.
Tap an insert point, and drag the handle to adjust it if needed.
Select Paste (Hint: tab the handle when the 'Paste' button doesn't appear).
Note: When working in a web browser such as Android's Browser, use touch-and-hold to select a word since "double-tap" has been used to enlarge or reduce a webpage.

How to Turn Off Auto-Correction

When you're typing through, the system checks your spelling and suggests a few words. Unless you've selected one of them, the highlighted suggested word overwrites your word when you finish typing it followed by a space, punctuation mark or return character. If you feel that's annoying, you can turn off Auto-Correction.

Open the app Settings and select 'Language & input' under PERSONAL.
Tap the Quick Settings icon next to 'Android keyboard'.
Select 'Auto correction' under TEXT CORRECTION.
Select 'Off' to turn off 'Auto-Correction'.
Note: As an alternative, whenever a word is replaced not to your liking, you can tap the Delete key immediately after which and the system returns the word you've typed.

How to Lock Screen Orientation

The Android screen switches to either the portrait or landscape view in response to the way you hold the device when you run certain apps. What if I want to lock the screen orientation to one view so that the screen doesn't rotate to another? Easy.

Run the Settings app.
Tap Display under DEVICE.
Uncheck "Auto-rotate screen".
Your screen will then lock to the portrait mode. To unlock it, check the above option.

How to Print Screen

Where’s the PrintScreen button when you need to take a screen shot of your Android device? Instead of using one button, try a combination of two:

Press and hold down the Power and Volume-down buttons simultaneously.
Open the Gallery app, and you can see your screenshot already saved in the Screenshots album.
Note: Older Android system doesn't support this feature, but it has a more complicated way to take screenshots using Android SDK such as this without rooting the device.

How to Select Wallpapers for your Android

You can easily select a wallpaper from a collection of a few in your system and set it as wallpaper for your Home screens.

Touch and hold an empty location of a home screen.
Choose either Gallery, Live Wallpapers or Wallpapers from the pop-up menu.
Select an image and set it as wallpaper.
Alternatively, you can run the Settings app, then go to DEVICE > Display > Wallpaper, and continue with the step 2 above.

How to Access Notifications

At the top of your screen, you will see notifications which report calendar events, alarms, incoming mails or other ongoing events. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the list of notifications, then swipe up from the O-sign to hide it.

Depending on the notification type, you can swipe a notification sideway to dismiss it, or tap the X-sign to dismiss all from the list.
To access a notification, tap it and you're taken to the related email, reminder, message or app. The notification then clears automatically from the list where applicable.
Note: When you slide down from the top of the screen, you can also see this Quick Settings icon. Touching this icon is equivalent to running the Settings app.



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