Monday, September 19, 2011

Android 101

For the first post on this blog, I want to share some basic information for new Android users to help understand how this OS is different from other ones that are on the market today. These are only basic descriptions and am happy to help to explain further.


Apps
These are the programs that you can download from the Market that let you do various tasks.


Homescreens
These are basically desktops that allow you to organize your apps and widgets in different ways. Some phones/launchers let you change the number and others don't but all Android devices have them. Having different screens basically allows "themed" screens like one screen for media, another for utilities, and yet another for games. These are only a few options but each homescreen can be customized for however the user wants.

Widgets
These are a form of an enhanced stock ticker where you get immediate updates from various apps. The most basic form comes as a clock or calender while the Facebook or Twitter widget shows your news feed, scrolling with recent updates. these do not launch like a normal app. In order to use it, you either hold down on an empty space on your home screen, click add, select widget and finally select the widget you want to see. Different widgets have different sizes. Some have multiple size options. Regardless of the size, it will only appear if you have room on that homescreen.

Launcher
Different phone manufacturers provide their own form of launcher (i.e. HTC Sense, Samsung Touchwiz, Motorola MotoBlur). Some people like them, while others don't. There are other launchers available in the market like ADW Launcher, Go Launcher, and LauncherPro which provide a variety of other options like homescreen transitions, themes, etc. No one launcher is actually better than any other but is only better if you, the user like it over another launcher.