Android Tips For Newbies


You have your new Android device. So you’ve either decided to break away from the iOS universe or this is your first venture into the confusing world of portable devices. To bring everyone up to speed, Android is Google’s portable Operating System competing with Apple’s iOS. It is available on tablets and phones of various shapes and sizes. Unlike Apple’s iOS that runs exclusively on Apple products, Android runs on devices created by various hardware manufactures such as Samsung, Asus, and others. It is free and open source, so users benefit by being able to get whatever hardware they want.

Android comes in various versions named after desserts. The current version at the time of this article is Jellybean.

So now that you have your new Android device, here’s how to make it your own:

Moving From iOS to Android

If you’ve decided Apple is no longer doing it for you, realize this: It’s not impossible to escape the walled garden Apple has built around your life. You music can move over, most–if not all–of your apps are available on Android, and changing over is relatively easy.

If you don’t already have a Gmail account, sign up for one now. Since Android is a Google product, you will use your Google account to interface with your device.

Moving Your Music From iTunes To Android

If you’ve got a huge collection of music on iTunes, you can move anything that is not DRM-protected over to Android quite easily. Several years ago, Apple stopped using DRM, so if your iTunes collection is fairly new, you should have no problems at all. If you DO have DRM-enabled music, Apple allows you to convert the music over for a small fee. Learn how here: iTunes Match requirements.

The next step is to use an app on Android that will replace iTunes. In this example, we are using Google Play Music Manager.

Google Music Manager

Download Google Play Music Manager here. Choose your Operating System, download and install.

google music manager install

When Google Play launches, select “Upload songs to Google Play.”

music manager

If all of your music is in iTunes, select iTunes and then click Next.

Follow the onscreen prompts to move your iTunes library over to Google Play. That’s it! Now that you have a Google Play account, your music lives in the cloud. You can purchase and upload music into your library and listen to it on any of your Android devices. Goodbye iTunes.

Out With Siri, in with Assistant

Siri was probably one of the last great innovations of iOS and it debuted for the iPhone 4S back in October of 2011. Siri is an artificial intelligence that allows you to search for directions, dictate a text message or engage in a pitiful conversation with on a lonely Friday night. Fear not, Android has a comparable app called Assistant.

Android assistant app

While maybe not as fluid as Siri, Assistant can be launched by shaking your device and can help you perform nearly any task you want.

In addition to Assistant, Android has a powerful voice search feature built in. Just swipe the home button upward from the bottom to bring up the search box. Tap the microphone and ask your question.

iOS and Android Apps

While many of the free big-name apps you run in iOS are available on Android (Pandora, Evernote, Dropbox, etc), anything you purchased in iOS will need to be purchased again in Android. If you bought Angry Birds for your iPhone, you will need to buy it again for your Samsung Galaxy S4. There’s no getting around that. Fortunately, the Google Play store has quickly gained ground on the Apple Store and you should have no issues finding your favorite games and utilities for your Android device.

Android Navigation

Say what you want about Apple, but they nailed navigation. One Home button at the bottom-face of the device launches the home screen, one finger to swipe to the next page.

Android handles things slightly different. You can click the power button on the side of the device to bring up your home screen, and then either swipe or select the following icons to navigate:

android navigation

The curved arrow allows you to go back to the previous screen. The house icon takes you back to your home screen, and the drawer icon allows you to multitask with any apps running in memory.

Whether you’ve been using iOS for years or whether you’re a newcomer to portable devices, you should have no problems navigating Android’s similar interface.

Android Updates

Android handle updates a little differently than Apple. Apple will push out an update and it will be available to download immediately on your iPad, iTouch or iPhone. This is not necessarily the case with Android. You might find you are at the mercy of the manufacturer of your device. It may take them longer to make the latest Android update available. Or they may choose never to update your device again.

If you decide to go with Android and always want to ensure you get the latest updates, be sure to select a genuine Google device such as the Google Nexus or theĀ Google Nexus Phone phone. With that said, most major brand Android devices should also update relatively quickly.

Switching To An Android Device

In conclusion, if you love your Apple device you should stick with it. As long as you understand you’re not trapped in Apple’s world, you can pick the hardware that works best for you. In one weekend, you can have your music, contacts, calendar, mail and apps all moved over to your Android device. If you have any questions about converting to Android, be sure to ask in our forums or leave comments below.

One Response

  1. Rod Brown July 1, 2013