So, we've decided to start excavating assorted Operating Systems
, digging around their various nooks and crannies and shovelling up a hassle free guide to getting the most from your tablet or phone’s OS.
We’re beginning with Android’s latest mobile platform, Jelly Bean
. Obviously, while Apple has iOS 6.1 and Microsoft wields Windows Phone 8, Google’s green sweet-toothed robot prefers the more vibrant monikers.
Given it’s Google’s platform, your device will undoubtedly brim with Google
services such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps... You get the picture! Still, since Android is an open system, consumers aren’t restricted to using apps from a single provider.
Android handsets feature the distinctive Back-Home-Task
input. Beneath the capacitive touchscreen these three keys act as your principle taskbar, retreating over missteps, returning to the desired (programmed) Homescreen or sliding clear unwanted tabs respectively. Usually, there are specific gestures or touch inputs which mimic this functionality, but for convenience’s sake, Back-Home-Task is the easiest option.
If you’re a human being and old enough to type, chances are you have a Google Account. Easiest thing is to sync it immediately. You can do so manually, or throw on the Auto-Sync
function from Settings. Get this done and you’ll be receiving emails, IMs and updates before you so much as glance at a widget.
Jelly Bean allows for a maximum of five Homescreens
, though how you populate them is up to you. Tap-and-Holding empty space will expand/contract the aforementioned screens, enabling users to populate them with widgets, apps, themes or wallpapers.
are software programs launched to serve a specific function, bridging user and hardware (think Facebook, think Lattitude), Widgets
are streamlined versions allowing users to operate them from the Homescreen (Stopwatch, Weather!) You’re decision to employ one over the other should probably be based on aesthetic preference, or random selection (I don’t actually mind) but the difference in power consumption is negligible.
Most Smartphones come loaded with bloatware
i.e. Apps or Widgets the manufacturer/supplier imagine suit you/them best. Some of these can prove quite handy and are best left floating where they are. Any undesirable can be binned by holding a finger on their icon for a half second and dragging them into the trash. Indeed, entire home screens can be spring-cleaned en masse.
The ubiquitous Menu
icon calls up a comprehensive programme list which can be sorted alphabetically or by preference. Apps can be launch directly from here or their shortcuts dragged onto available spaces. Customization... it’s a bit of a theme...
A Status Bar
, bordering the top of the Homescreen keeps users abreast of the time, charge, connectivity, as well as assorted notifications: Software Updates, Anti-Virus Threats, Taggings, Texts, Emails or Downloads. The Status Bar can be yanked low, consuming the screen’s entirety. This permits users to address their notifications individually. Alternatively they can be cleared from view with the push of a button or filters can be added by launching Settings.
New Apps are readily available and downloaded simply. Tap the ‘Play Store’
App. Choose your desired application. Download. It will be stored in the Menu tab (with the Status Bar keeping you abreast of its progress) From here do with it as you please! Taxing stuff eh?
is similarly customizable with themes and functions selectable from Settings (seriously, your new best friend, in case that’s not come across!) Horizontal swipes grant instant access to the MP3 player or onboard camera, negating the need to launch them from the Home Screen.
Web-pages can be resized manually using the ubiquitous pinchy zoom
. Alternatively, users can double tap for an automatic fit, zooming the highlighted text to wrap about the screen. Text can be highlighted by tap-and-holding, if you’re into that...
Finally, all the pinching, zooming, tapping and sliding in this world won’t help you compose an email... will it? Android Keyboards
are refreshingly customizable. Users can choose between a trio of base designs, including classic 9 button phone pad. From here visible secondary functions, numbers and punctuation can be optimized for your convenience. However the relatively recent addition of gesture typing allows users to slide their digits from character to character, pausing for a split second between swipes. It’s a bit hit and miss to begin with, but hordes of enthusiastic converts swear by it. And in general. They’re very enthusiastic.
Arguably the most versatile mobile platform, Android
is bending over backwards to accommodate your preferences. Asimov’s
laws insist it quite literally lives to serve. So play with those options, it’ll make your life easier!!!Android Version History
Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.6 Donut
Android 2.0 Eclair
Android 2.0.1 Eclair
Android 2.1 Eclair
Android 2.2–2.2.3 Froyo
Android 2.3–2.3.2 Gingerbread
Android 2.3.3–2.3.7 Gingerbread
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Android 3.1 Honeycomb
Android 3.2 Honeycomb
Android 4.0–4.0.2 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0.3–4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean