Which Version of Android Do I Have? – Setting Up Your Android Phone – Getting a Google Account – Synching Your Phone with Your Accounts – Accessories – The Home Screen – The Applications Launcher – The Notification Bar – Phone Settings – Wireless and Network Settings – Ringtones Silencing Your Phone – Orientation and the Accelerometer Lock Your Phone – Storage – Text Input – Phone Information – Charging About a month ago, I took my parents to see “Star Trek: The Exhibition” at the Sacramento Aerospace Museum. The exhibition is a museum piece celebrating the iconic sci-fiseries. In addition to the normal array of props, costumes, and ship models, it has a series of displays on how Star Trek impacted real-world science and technology. Although things like transporters and warp drives are, unfortunately, likely impossible, Star Trek did directly inspire developers at Motorola in the creation of the first cell phones. Characters on the show also carried around small, portable computers called PADDs. As visionary as the show was, however, even they did not envision a world in which those portable communicators would merge with PADDs into a single device.
In many ways, we are at the dawn of a new age in computers.
Our children will marvel at the thought of carrying around a device that can only make calls. My kids, in fact, are already used to the idea that Daddy’s phone can take pictures, provide voice-guided directions, and, most importantly in their 8- and 4-year-old minds, allow them to play games.
Modern mobile devices really are nothing less than portable computers with all of the power — and complexity — that that implies. This chapter is designed to get you started using your Android device and understanding its key features.